Saturday, July 31, 2010

Minor Moments of Liberation

I recently sold some books to Half-Price Books and realized when I got home that way back in the early 1990s when I first started on by B.A., I had the bizarre habit of writing my name, address, phone number and, most odd, my social security number in the front of my textbooks.  It must have been a different time because these days I would never do something like that for fear of having my "identity" stolen (My identity, in a purely metaphysical sense, has nothing to do with numbers on a piece of paper or in a computer, but I'm just smart that way...)  Anyway, it got me thinking how even I have been duped by the "information age" and post 9-11 world into being a paranoid idiot.

Everything is safe now.  It makes me sick.  Children and adults wear helmets when they ride bicycles.  When I was a kid I would have thrown my bicycle away if someone had ever demanded I wear a helmet.  My friends and I used to ride in the most dangerous, life-threatening manner, jumping on and off the street in heavy traffic, no doubt scaring the shit out of the adults.  That's what kids are supposed to do, goddammit, they are supposed to test the boundaries of mortality.

These days, we can't go anywhere without being followed by a camera.  Orwell warned us about it and we just let it happen without any protest.  The status quo has got such an iron grip on our thinking that they've managed to turn Orwell into the villain and anyone who mentions his prophesies is suspect of being some sort of militant wacko who lives in the hills of Idaho collecting guns and old typewriters...  I know better.  Hopefully you do too.

Myself, I have a heart condition that forced me to sober up sooner than I wanted.  Now my tests of mortality are generic, like my annual visit to Kings Island to ride The Beast.  Recently, however, I noticed police are "cracking down" on people who don't wear their seatbelts.  I find this amazing.  With all the crime and violence caused by the prohibition of narcotics, seatbelts are their most pressing issue???  Thus, I have decided I am not going to wear my seatbelt when I drive.  I have to say, it is liberating to get in the car, just like when I was a teenager, start it up and drive.  That extra move to put on the seatbelt is entirely programmed by the state.  Getting rid of it feels like getting rid of a tiny, tiny amount of the weight and pressure that has been put on all of us to be good little consumer robot citizens.  I love it.  It's like breathing near a clean beach.

I know it's not smoking pot in the city-county building bathroom, something I once allegedly did, but it's as good as a rebel rapidly approaching middle age can do at the moment.  That, and writing about the good old days, when having no moral center was mandatory and following stupid little rules that are only designed to chip away at your ability to make your own decisions was absolutely out of the question.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Dangers of Sobriety

I won't go into it, but many years ago, I was never sober.  Then, I was sober.  I gotta say, sobering up was the biggest mistake I ever made. 

When you're consistently unsober, life is always interesting. You can be sitting in on an insurance seminar with a bunch of boring as all holy fuck insurance people and pop a pill or grab some swigs from a flask in the bathroom and, boom!, suddenly the most boring fucks on the planet become interesting. 

As for things that are actually interesting, experiencing them under the influence makes them unforgettable (until you sober up and can't remember anything you did between 1988 and 1997...)  Once you sober up, everything becomes even.  The roller coaster an unsober persons sends the nerves on comes to a screeching halt and life plays like a boring piano riff repeated over and over.

Sometimes I wonder what legacy I can leave as a failed filmmaker and unknown writer.  If I had to choose, I would pass on these words of wisdom to the youth of the future:

Once you start down the road of chemical bliss, don't turn around until it runs you into the grave.  You'll spend the rest of your life in sorrow if you stop before fate decides to stop you...

Monday, July 26, 2010

The poker gods have spoken

I've made a few blunders at the poker table before, but the mistake I made tonight will probably be written on my tombstone.  All I will say is, any man who throws away a full house deserves to lose big and early.  I apologize to all the gamblers who ever lived.  Some sort of misfire in my brain has shamed me at the poker table for eternity...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Stuff I recently read on the web

The narrator of Jack Getze's story "Tool of the Tade" has an ex named Lorraine, just like half the narrators of the stories I write.  What the hell is it with women named Lorraine?  And from the south, no less.  Anway, Mr. Getze tells his story with a nice, lean, unapologetic prose.  Pure noir writing.  Again, PC nazis beware, Getze appears to still have his spine, which is bad news for the Polite Police.  You can read the whole story here:

Beat to a Pulp

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sorry for the delay

Been on vacation.  Will resume posting stuff shortly.

Don't forget to visit and submit to:


Thursday, July 1, 2010

All Due Respect

So I'm trying to start a crime fiction blog that features one writer about once a month.  I'm kicking it off with myself with "Methamphetamine and a Shotgun," a story inspired by an old Chester Himes story.

Feel free to check out the guidelines and submit: