People, always remember to check the paper situation before committing to a stall. I'm only sayin'.
I am, by the way, writing a novel. I have 82 pages plus an outline but that needs to swell to at least 200 by March 15, when that much is due to the invitational novel workshop I'll be attending in May. Which of course is why I'm putzing around on LJ.
Anyway, I'm growing a beard and not shaving it off until the first draft is complete. Don't worry! That doesn't mean I won't keep it trimmed! ZZ Top look cool, but I won't be ready for a beard like that until I'm in my sixties.
Yes, we all seem to be more up in arms today about James Frey and his partially made-up memoir than we are about domestic wiretaps, freedom of information in China, and terrorists taking power in Palestine. And it makes sense to me why.
Countless hordes of people feel like they were lied to by James Frey. The reason this is more upsetting than being lied to by the President and his cronieswhich happens and continues to happen on a regular basisis that we're used to being lied to by politicians. We may be appalled by it, but we take this as expected behavior.
Writers, however, are a breed apart. Yes, their main job is to entertain us, but when they're doing their job well they are saying something true to us about what it means to be human, something that resonates in us, the readers, to our very cores. Thousands upon thousands of people felt that James Frey had told them something very resonant and true about their own lives, only now it's come out that what he said was, in many ways, made up. Of course people are upset. Of course they feel betrayed. On some level it must feel like finding out your spouse has been leading a double life.
I feel betrayed as well, but not because I read and believed A Million Little Pieces. I have not read the book. I feel betrayed as a writer on behalf of my profession. James Frey's responsibility as a writer was to tell the truth, and he failed to live up to that responsibility.
For your wife’s last b-day you gave her a vibrator because of your hopeless Erectile Dysfunction.
Oh, shit, how did they know that???
For a moment I wondered what horrific sight or gut-churning smell it might be that had made such unholy handiwork of this Andy Richterlooking fellow's fat face, but all became clear when the porcine perambulator spat these words with a venom that would not have disgraced a slithering specimen of Naja nigricollis nigricincta: "What is that on your head?"
Ah. Owing to the evening's chill, I proudly sported my infamous Mad Bomber Hat1, tugged snugly down around my ears. Lined with genuine and luxuriant lapin fur, this toasty headgear never fails to elicit hearty compliments from more discerning critics (as, in fact, it did not much later that evening). Never before, however, had an imprecation of such vehemence been hurled at my innocent chapeau.
Needless to say, such churlishness could not be allowed to pass unchecked. Shrugging off my shock, I turned as the surly stranger passed and sent this salvo sailing over my shoulder:
- 20% of the stuff takes 80% of the time to pack. (Corollary: 20% of the stuff takes 80% of the time to unpack.)
- If it's valuable and you don't pack it yourself, it may not turn up at the other end.
- It's never wise to start a long day without either coffee or breakfast.
- Never attend a new Woody Allen flick on opening night on the Upper East Side. (Corollary: Never attend a new Woody Allen flick.)
- Better to spend a little extra money on higher-quality packing tape.
- Self checkout at Home Depot rocks. (Corollary: But only if you have the deft touch of an Indiana Jones.)
- Never attend a kid-friendly exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History during the holiday break.
- Nothing hits the spot after three days of moving like grilled cheese, fries, and a chocolate shake.
- Reversing the doors on a refrigerator is not a trivial operation, but neither is it impossible.
- Even the friendliest, least threatening of dogs can make you believe even the friendliest, least threatening of moving men, telephone technicians, and cable installers are serial killers freshly sprung from the lowest depths of hell.
- Some apartments look bigger when furnished than when empty.
- Antibiotics are more wisely acquired before the move than after.
- Friends and in-laws make everything go better.
- Sleep is good.