Friday, October 31, 2008

Let's talk about books.

Because that's what this is supposed to be all about, right? In particular, I wanted to focus on one genre that I've decided I absolutely, positively detest (wow, check out that cliched use of adverbs).

Self Help.

The very description of these blights upon humanity is erroneous. If you were helping yourself, you wouldn't be following the advice of some fucking mind predator to begin with. A more apt description of this shit would be, "Buy My Book You Dumbfuck and I'll Tell You How to Think, Act, and Feel or: How You Too can be Enlightened to My Way of Thinking."

I could write one of these books. It would be one page long. On that page I would say, "Get the fuck out of bed, stop searching for someone to tell you how to live your life, find something that excites you, and fucking do it."

Have I made myself clear? People who glom onto this pablum clearly don't have enough self esteem to feel as though they can make their own decisions. The idea that you're helping yourself by following some unqualified quack's mandate is ridiculous. And aside from that, honestly, do you really need to read more than one of these tree killers? I mean, how many ways can you find to say the same thing. It would be like hundreds of people all trying to rewrite Stephen King's "The Shining." The original was good. The knock-offs, not so much.

"I used to weigh 300 lbs, was a fry cook at Macdonald's, divorced with homosexual tendencies. Here's how I turned my life around. (This is where the steps come in.) First I found God. Second, I sold my rottweiler to pay for my bariatric surgery. Third, I read a bunch of self-help books. Now I'm an authority on the subject and if you buy my series of DVD's I can show you how to create wealth and prosperity in your life. If you don't believe me ask my supermodel wife how many times I pleasure her in one day. All that in between speaking engagements I travel to in my private jet. Oh, and don't forget to pray."

If it's so easy, if that's the way we were all meant to live, why the fuck isn't everyone on board with this system?

You want to know why?

Because everyone is different.

If you want to know more, send me $20.00 and I'll personalize a plan for you. Or you can come to my $500 a plate dinner I'll be hosting here, here, and here. I promise you, you'll never be the same.

As always, I've probably gone a little overboard (another cliche and I don't care who knows it) with my ranting. I'm sure not everyone hooked on self-help books is as desperate as I make them out to be. Like vegetarians, I'm sure some are decent and very well-adjusted people. I might not even mind hanging out with them. Everything I state here on these pages are completely baseless when it comes to facts to back up my claims. I may, in fact, even feel completely different about this subject in the next day or two. But hell, what are blogs for?

How many steps is that? Three? Four? Seven? Twelve?

Like I said, in my book there would only be one.

Peace, and don't forget to vote for the candidate (cough, cough, Obama, cough, cough) of your choice.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Teknology? Love it ? Hate it? Can it be trusted?

What got me thinking about this techno trap so many of us seem to be caught up in? You guessed it: The election. You know, that thing we can't stop obsessing over? That thing where if we get it wrong, the balance of the Universe could be thrown into complete chaos? That thing where you'll probably have to make the most important decision of your life?

Actually, I may be exaggerating a bit here, especially if I adhere to my philosophy and remind myself that whatever the outcome, ultimately it doesn't matter, because you know what? The Universe shant be controlled by mere mortals, especially old farts with bad comb overs and steel rods up their asses who've been bought and paid for by corrupt wealth.

In fact, IF that does happen, things on this planet could get real interesting real fast.

But back to my original topic of technology. It seems some folks are afraid to use those new fangled computerized voting machines, laboring under the impression that they could somehow be fucked with. In other words, used to rig the election. Thus, here in Monroe County, you have a choice: new technology, or paper ballot.

When I first heard about this I seriously almost bought into it. Then I started thinking, hmmm...I pay my bills on line. Keep track of what little money I have on line. I'm an active participant in certain internet communities. I email, chat, connect, and network. I'm tuned in and turned on. Even my most precious work is done and stored on a computer that I trust will spit it back out to me next time I want to dabble around with it. So why would I fear using a computer to do something that in the long haul is so much less significant than the books I write or my personal identity? I mean, it's not like your single vote will be the difference maker in a life or death situation.

Or can it?

Oh, what the hell. Life these days is automated. That in itself is scary enough. But if you're going to give yourself over to it, don't do it halfway.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Poor neglected blog.

Okay, I'll openly admit I suck at keeping up this blog. I'll also admit that the only reason I'm adding a new post at this time is because I realized that my signature over at Absolute Write has a link to this blog and I suppose there's a chance, albeit a slim one, that someone over there is getting a little ticked at me for allowing a two month lapse between posts with nary a whimper. Now I suppose this will go completely unread because anyone who may have at one time checked this spot for my pathetic words of wisdom has lost all faith in my ability to do so.

If it helps, I'm sorry.

So what, you might ask, prompted me to sit my ass down and spout off today? Well, there's a couple of things, the first being the very nice compliment I received from copeck at AW, who's been reading my shameless one liners. It's nice to know I have at least a one person fan base. And then there's that thing happening in just over a week. You know, that thing where the future of the world lies in the balance; where if the unthinkable happens we're all going to be mega-sad and there'll be protests nationwide triggered by an economy that's collapsed and the re institution of the draft. Being in an academic environment part of me wonders if massive anti-administration demonstrations and rioting might not be sort of an interesting thing to take part in. Maybe there'll even be some dope smoking and free love involved.

Wait a moment while I fantasize...

Okay I'm back.

As for the very nice compliment I received, I'll admit it's flattering and just the kind of thing a struggling writer needs to keep the fires lit. Actually, for the most part all of the comments I've had from readers on my 2nd draft novel that I'll soon be getting back to have all been puzzinglingly positive. Maybe I'm onto something. Of course I won't know for sure until I've gotten about 30 rejections but I've been told not to let those bother me. Even the greatest of writers have been rejected countless times and I'm sure I'm not the exception.

This is where I share my theory on how to be a success as a novelist, which is sort of along the lines of a reality TV show. Outlast, outwit, and outplay the other contestants even if they might be stronger, brainier, and better looking.

In regards to the early, vote often, vote for Barack.

That is all.