Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Wolf-Man Getting SERIOUS!

Fuck, Scott Fitzgerald, I'm Using Exclamation Marks!!!!!!
F. Scott Fitzgerald drunk or sober could write unbelievably beautifully and with such great churning skills he left his words and sentences smooth as rich cream, a buttery fine prose crammed full of every second of every day of memory and feelings about those memories and the mental health of the characters he developed out of those feelings, this ordinary Minnesota small-town boy transforming (transcending?) himself into equals with the privileged class, that dominant new-England-East Coast inherited-wealth privileged class, the ideal class for mid-American bright boys like Scott, mocking these privileged characters while envying them; and Scott never got rid of his country-bumpkin ineptness--even in marrying his own rich girl he married a high-strung loser (I've read Save Me the Waltz--good book, but it pales compared to Tender Is the Night and Gatsby)--characters right out of his life and his thinking about his life, his true Him, a small-town American-Dream (getting filthy rich and accepted by back-East society) dreamer movin' on up to an Ivy League college and getting acquainted in that Ivy League school with that Eastern old-line-legal-reserve privileged class willing to let you fall at their feet in adoration if they saw the least spark of what they'd been privately schooled to call genius in your country-bumpkin but beautiful writing.

Scott Fitzgerald avoided newspaper work to zoom all the way on ice into Princeton where he was suddenly bunk buddies or club buddies with publishers's sons or future publishers, the blossoming critics, the future editors, and even the future men-and-women-about-town about who he wrote stories about--all the contact you would ever need to get published, if you could just write as damn well and swiftly interestingly enough--writers were heavy into psychoanalysis in those days--and Scott sure was, especially in Tender Is the Night--and drunk or sober, Scott Fitzgerald managed to write as naturally smooth as the icy plains he grew up on, which is the way you instinctively write no matter how hard you try to acclimate to another environment of writing, a learned way of writing where if you're not careful you end up writing journalism or letter writing--Pal Joey by John O'Hara is a prime example of using letters to form a novel. John O'Hara was born a scrub-poor, small-town Pennsylvania bright-boy who lied about attending Princeton, starting off as an almost-Commie Liberal, writing a brilliant novel, Appointment in Samara, but then going on to let his belief that he was in that Ivy-League-college privileged class of writers drive him into the arms of commercialism, and from there into the clutches of Hollywood, afterwhich he came Back East rich enough to buy his clothes on Saville Row in London and rich enough to hang out and pretend to be Princeton graduate fiction writer with his drink in hand at his special place in the Oak Bar at the Plaza Hotel (now Ivana Trump's private living quarters--thanks to a convenient marriage)--and John went on to end his days writing a way-out John-Bircher-type right-wing syndicated newspaper column, still a damn small-town bright boy with very little respect left at all for him as a writer and none at all as an Ivy-League phony. [John O'Hara is still an interesting literary figure.]

All of this "writer babble" in me trying for a brief moment to be a serious social observer, you know, do away with the scumbag vernacular and the low-down riverbank and riverboat cursing in natural everyday American English, or even giving up using the board-room swearing of a bunch of always-watching-their-backs gogetters trying to find ways to steal every dollar that was ever printed in the USA and now in all the countries of the world, or giving up the roughhouse swearing you'd find say in a college football team's locker room, with a cussing coach riling up his cracker players--like the venerable old redneck Bear Bryant who made his holy name coaching the University of White Alabama used to cuss 'em out with some good ol' South mud-spewing expletives--or old cussin' Woody Hayes at Ohio State who used to whack his players over their heads when they didn't please him--or, hey, a closer-to-home example would be being in a basketball team locker room with Bobby Knight when he's thinking he's a basketball God and lettin' loose with the crudest of American-Immigrant English--or what about Tommy Lasorda's language when he managed the Los Angeles (Traitors to Brooklyn) Dodgers? "What the fuck are you fuckin' doin' out there?" Tommy once went out to the mound and ask his pitcher--"You're fuckin' killin' my ass--you can't throw strikes, you're fuckin' up, you're fuckin' killin' me"--I'm gonna try and avoid writing like those in-your-gutter-face American heroes--I'm suppose to avoid neologisms, contractions, vulgarisms, the vernacular, street speech--I'm supposed to fall into a "SERIOUS" style--like such serious writers as Noam Chomsky--or all these tv pundits who write for the NYTimes or The Rupert Murdoch Wall Street Journal or The Washed-Out Post--like David Brooks, a serious writer even though what he's writing is bullshit--and I see more and more writers using "bullshit" now in their serious writing. Getting serious so that one day the writing in The Daily Growler may be taken as serious [yeah sure!!].

I was just reading an interesting book by Texian journalist Chet Flippo and in it Chet has a piece he wrote for The New Yorker, when it was still under American editorship, on the night "serious author" John Henry Abbott stabbed to death Richard Adan, a poet and almost-happening playwright who was working at his soon-to-be father-in-law's deli/cafe on the Lower East Side of New York City, on the corner of Second Avenue and Fifth Street--all about this serious author who was actually a hidebound professional criminal--a jailhouse author--and this jailhouse author was praised by the Ivy-League privileged editors and publishers and by Harvard-Bright-Boy Norman Mailer, who at that time had just made his best money ever off his Executioner's Song, a copycat trip into the world of Truman Capote's invention in In Cold Blood, the journalistic novel, and I never was able to read a Norman Mailer novel (Deer Park; Why Are We in Viet Nam? (a novel set in Texas, by the bye)), though in a way I did like Executioner's Song, though I thought In Cold Blood was much better written; hell, let's face it, Truman Capote was a better WRITER, a more natural writer, than Norman Mailer.

I'm struggling to write serious. Like, I'd like to write serious like Baltimore Bob, proprietor and chief Sociologist at The Daily Howler. Baltimore Bob writes clean, slickly constructed sentences with good inside punching going on in his repartee (he says he a comedian now so he uses a lot of comedic punchlines in his reasoning, pricking the sores of our media pundits with dead-on reasoning, showing the pus oozing out of those sores; yet, he writes about what he writes about--the idiocy of the "so-called" Liberal press, the education system and how it's measured, and how "so-called" Liberals in general consistently shoot themselves in the foot--so pinpoint precisely and wittily responsive--where it takes me several trips around Robin's Nondimensional Barn, BB skirts it in a matter of a paragraph or two--bolding the statements that are totally inane and in most instances ignorantly WRONG--as to where I might paraphrase something a fool says or writes about for 2 or 3 huge paragraphs, like I got vexed by Uncle Joe Biden last night as he was spieling out how wrong it is for us to be involved in Bush's Folly (the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan--and currently, I see our rose-showering thankful Iraqis are trying to tell us now to vamoose out of their country (uh-oh, I'm not being serious!)(uh-oh, Scott, I used an exclamation mark!!! (I am laughing at my own joke))--yes, the Iraqis are telling us to get the Christian Hell out of Moslem Iraq and leave them to their own situations--Iraq does have a surplus budget it was revealed several weeks back--which is something the USA can't say--and Uncle Joe Biden went on to blather that "Barack Obama knows we must reduce our troops in Iraq, our brave and wonderfully heroic troops and reordain them to go fight in the Holy of Holies war the War Against the Terrorists in Afghanistan, our righteous WAR, which Obama will continue, 100 years if it takes that long!"-- and these soldiers are fools to me--and then Uncle Joe Biden went on to heap piles of holy insane praise on the heroic families, the husbands and wives and sweet children of these supersoldiers--supersoldiers with superequipment who can't seem to make any military tactic they try work--and then you begin to see these clowns aren't serious so why should I be?--these same failed military tacticians have convinced "Shot Down on His Mission" Cap'n John McCain that the infamous Commander-in-Chief Bush's military tactic referred to as "the Surge" has been successful--"the Surge" actually means "an unexpected increase in raiding and in the killing and maiming of innocent men, women, and children"--forcing innocent civilians against firing-squad walls to decide to live as a Christian American Invader or be shot as an "insurgent," that famous invisible enemy who now the instigators of WWIII say is all over the world, no longer contained in Iraq or Afghanistan--the hypocrisies surrounding this World-Wide War on Terror (a Bush invention) are enough to make you curse. I mean you suddenly remember that the votes from the US Army were used in Florida to push Bush barely past Al "Bore" Gore to successfully steal the election of 2000--so I'm sorry, I have to say, what in the fucking hell is wrong with these privileged bozos and bimbos and Beezers and Yahoos? most of them Ivy-League-trained privileged little already rich boys (like Bore Gore, John "Skull and Bones" Kerry, Johnny Boy "I Love My Cancer-Riddled Wife" Edwards, G.W. "Georgie Porgie" Bush, G.H.W. "Pappy" Bush--and now here comes one of those country-bumpkin (Southside of Chicago) American-Dreamin' his way into Harvard, that privileged place where American Dreams (getting filthy rich without working too hard) are made reality--what the hell?, I'm screamin', and soon I am growling, as though guarding a big pile of fresh baby elk belly meats--these small-town fools coming off the plains and from the mountainsides and La-La Land and from hoary old New England and out-of-work Michigan and backward-thinking Colorado are two-faced, hypocrites, FOOLS, humans reverting to monkeys-in-the-zoo tactics--and there still are the Old South bozos who would vote for Mickey Mouse if he were running as a ruin-the-USA Conservative nutjob--and now there are the New South Conservative bozos--and the New Texas Conservative bozos (like the phony Ron Paul), and what a damn dumb speech that Texan from Crawford, Texas, Obama almost picked for his veep gave--Texas white politicians still guilty about stealing all that land from the Republic of Mexico oh those many years ago now; yet that fear of Mexicans is still in the DNA of those "real" drugstore-cowboy Texans, those conservative crooked-as-snakes-at-night oilmen, and the Veterans of the White Citizens Council, and NRA charter members and Death Penalty advocates--excuse me, I drift like the tumbling tumble weeds that roll across the dusty dry and sunny horizon of where I was conceived [wtp--Thanksgiving Eve seemed so unromantic--and knowing my father, he was more likely to try and gain permission to reenter his castle from his queen at a more dramatic time of year than Thanksgiving--or maybe I'm rationalizing like my old man used to rationalize all the god-damn time] and where my environmental thinking started, a mixture of high-plains north-central Oklahoma, small-town and big-city Texas, and the literary trip I started out on in New Orleans that eventually led me to New York City via way of the Florida Keys, San Francisco, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

This was an attempt by me to get serious. I cast my eyes of Scott Fitzgerald's statement that using exclamation points was like laughing at your own jokes--'cause I know what he means--you should make you emphases in your writing and not via punctuation marks--and I cast my eyes back on fellow Texan, Chet Flippo, and an essay he "typed" (we once said "penned") about "the deal and the pitch," opening the essay quoting John Gregory Dunne (from Dunne's book The Studio), "The deal, that's all this business is about....Listen, if Paul Newman comes in and says he wants to play Gertie Lawrence in Star!, you do it, that's the nature of the business." Then Flippo writes: "In the beginning was the pitch, and while it was not necessarily good, it was certainly effective....'Have I got a deal for you!'"

for The Daily Growler

This Is the Third Anniversary of Katrina Flooding New Orleans--and Now Another Hurricane Is Headed Their Way--Nagle Is Still Mayor--There Are No Evacuation Plans--And Now New Orleans Is Filled With Illegal Immigrant Laborers! Bush Gets Away With Letting a Whole American City Go Under--"Fuck 'Em! Again"
Bush Did a Fly By Over This and Said, "Hell, that doesn't look so bad."

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