Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Pathos and Bathos


I saw my old newspaper publisher on the street the other day.

He looked like a lonely, frightened angel.

Oh what the hell. My wings too, are singed.

Brings to mind a cartoon of the novelist and the banker.

"See that screwed up looking guy doing all he can to place one foot in front of the other?...That's the novelist.

"See that screwed up looking guy walking behind him?..That's his banker."

I don't know how many publishers and bankers I have given the chills to, but after a number of libel suits and bankruptcies nobody of any artistic power or real money wants to go near me with a ten foot pole....Maybe it's because I am a ten foot "Pole".

"Better hang onto tha private income, Ivan," the late top editor Gerry Anglin used to tell me.
"I don't think anyone in town will want to hire you. You're a loose cannon."

So what if I called the father of the baton twirler a psycho. (He used to have the poor girl practising all night in a basement, hitting the rafters with her baton, the thing bouncing back towards her, knocking out one tooth, then another, till finally the father outfitted the poor aspiring champ with a hockey mouthguard). What is the matter with people? The ambitious mother bringing her poor 11-year-old to the Big Shot movie producer, well known for abusing children.

Ah, the stories we had to produce for $175 a weed ($1,750 in today's money).

I was either lacking in intellectual finesse or I couldn't stand half my story subjects.
Journalism is chores. No job for the sensitive.
I never made a very good paparazzo.

Now the paparazzi are hounding me and and I make a lot of old editors nervous.

I have written a lot of letters to the editor, some good, others a headache for editors, with the result that
they will do anything to tell me to lay off, even to the point of reviewing my books, if only I would shut up and leave politics to the politicians. So many closets, so many skeletons...And as an old paparazzo, don't I too have skeletons!

Irate makers of plaster elves and church gargoyles, inventors of the snowboard, bankrupt restaranteus, operators of 7-11 stores, people you wouldn't want to have in your social circle who nevertheless now have the Indian sign over you because you erred in a fact or two of their stories and they want to sue.

They go back to your old blogs, slap your around in their comments, call you a pr*ck.

Have they no idea of the kind of person they slight?

Are they blind, lazy, or just stupid?

I am most good, most kind, most modest.

But I've got to make money. "I am making money, Martha...We are all making money!"

Outside, men rake leaves.

Nowadays I too, rake leaves.

Landscaping. What a drag.

I recall a past where after receiving a number of scholarships at the University of California, I was sudenly not in favour any more as a writer, turned down by Stanford on a scholarship and was reduced to raking leaves to keep a family going.

Stories are told of graduates of MFA programmes forced to distribute telephone books.

Maybe it's a disease of denial I have.

I hate wearing a suit.

"This is too good for me."

I noticed my old publisher too, has taken to wearing dungarees.

People say, "There goes Ivan, the f*cked -up writer."

"And there goes Fred, his f*cked up publisher."

Maby we are both condemned.

Me for trying to tell the truth, and him for taking the responsibility of printing it.

##

39 comments:

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

Ivan,

Is it written that one must play follow the leader or like those in which they write about?

I was not there when things fell apart, I am here now and can only say it is hard to seperate feelings and writing, it does not matter who you are. Without that personal edge, as I call it, you are just writing the same garb everone else is. What fun is that?

True writers may have to follow some rules, but I say no regrets. Write what you feel, what you see, write what you know. Is there anything else that is better than that? If there is ... tough, tough I say. If they do not like you, find one who does. You may have to wait on the money, but like everything else, it will come.

Create a new genre, tell those that need to follow instead of lead to find a new house to occupy, because someone wanting to write about experience and truth and with his own pen has come to town.


Tara

Shesawriter said...

"Now the paparazzi are hounding me and and I make a lot of old editors nervous."

Hmmm.... I couldn't imagine why. ROFLMAO.

TomCat said...

A ten foot pole, huh? Either you're exagerating you don't need to write to make a living!! ;-)

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Oh, what a sweet hit.

ivan@crreativewriting.ca said...

Tanya,

Thanks. I see life is picking up for your too.

http://www.creativewriing.ca said...

You are always ahead of everybody else on your poliical blog.
I notice that the wayward, missing U.S. H-Bomb info just made the Canadian blogs.

Ah ten foot pole.

Could I ever get a job if that were the case.
Me and Ron Jeremy.

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

Anyone home?

the walking man said...

Ivan fuck that burned singed bullshit.

Reinvent yourself, you have the credibility now find the spoken word forums where your at and start going to the open mic and become and performance poet. Practice at the mic for the slam season which starts in the spring and get to the number one performance spoken word spot atop the heap of them lesser mortals than you and be called a poet.

by the by some poets do get paid a few hundred a night for a couple hours worth and you my friend of the pen I am sure would slay the dragon children who would be chasing you for points. Just remember three minutes with a ten second grace period before you lose points.

fucking kill them all and let them suck at the tit of your singed wings.

Peace

MARK

the walking man said...

Goddamn new trifocals and here I sit trying to get used to them!!!

JM said...

Ivan:

Journalism is indeed a tough racket; that's why a lot of people opt out, fall by the wayside, or go insane and get themselves fired. Those who remain after 20, 30 years are to a person cynical bastards, for good reason.
A couple, actually: For one, you witness the very worst in human nature and behaviour on a regular basis. And there's the fact the disdain for your profession is all but universal, and they're all waiting for you to mess up so they can exact revenge, or whatever they seek.
So, yeah. You can be a lot of things -- drunk, lazy, stupid, lecherous, dull, antisocial, etc. -- and get by just fine. But if you're sensitive you're doomed.
The key -- and that is a thread in this discussion -- is to stick around long enough that you can begin to do things your own way, and there is, as you know, a price to be paid for that.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

The Walkig Man,

I am heartened that people are re-embracing the spoken word, though there is something of an oxymoron in it. The spoken word is nothing new and its granddaddy is surely the written word. Folks like Cicero (not the catroon pig) Tacitus
and good, gay Julious Caesar have had tremendous influence on the spoken word.
Julius Caesar was known for walking into Abyssinia making a speech in Latin and all the brothers could dig it immediately, saying "Right On, Bro; you the man!" even if they couldn't speak a word of Latin. It is a gift that Caesar had.
So I'm glad the spoken word has had a resurgence and poetry can ring once more. I am a great fan of Dylan Thomas--or--for that matter-- Dylan.
A stanza of a Dylan song can truly make you say, "Right on."
So, strangely, can a speech by Bill Clinton.
I guess by "spoken word" they must mean poetry and I'm glad that form has come back so strogly.
So strongly that I actually have made some money in coffee houses and theatres. It is a good development and I appreciate you encouragement.


Ah trifocals.
The scientists and bioligists make such a big thing of the human eye, how marvellous it is, while 500 million years ago, little antique shrimps called trilobites already had natural trifocals. They could see almost as well as we can!

Ivan

ivan@creativewritring.ca said...

Jeff Mitchell,

You have been around Ontario jounalism for well over twenty years and certainly know of what you speak. And I think you have found your way of doing and saying things, on your own terms, pantywaist editors notwithstanding.

You won 'er, pal, and my respect and certainly that of your peers goes out to you.
(And you also did a crackerjack story on me, which, I am told, has been passed from hand to hand.
This has happened to many of your feature stories and not for nothing are you known for being the best aronud. But, as you say, theres is this price).

Ivan

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Tara,

Your opening comment seems to have inspired a lot of other commentators, certainly me.

Thank you.

Ivan

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

p.s. to jm,

...And thanks for bringing me back down to earth. :)


Ivan

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

Ivan,

I do not know how insppriting i am. just know I believe in what I wrote.

Tara

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

Anyone for some cheesecake? Or am i alone here?

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

I'm eating rocks over here.

Big Ontario election.

Liberals in by almost a landslide.

Conservatives shoot themselves in the foot over "faith-based" school issue.
Why didn't they just say it on?
Micks have too much power in education.
Ah, but the French, the French.
They are not Hugenots!


Ah, yes, I'm into cheescake.


Ivan

Shesawriter said...

Hey Ivan,

My life isn't picking up half as much as I would like! :-)

Tanya

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Oh I don't know, Tanya.

I kind of like what you wrote in your blog:

BUT GUESS WHAT? My fondest memories come from the time I spent working on that book! The sheer joy of learning and discovery kept my 'baby' muse happy. I wasn't worried about agents or publishers or slush piles or any of that stuff. I just wanted to write. And I did. Badly, but darn it, the journey was sooooo much fun. I had no idea what I was doing and I didn't care...

Ivan

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

Ivan,

Good I have plenty. Made it this morning. What can we do after the cheesecake?

Tara

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

How you lead one on.


You know I like my cheesecake real.

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

Ivan,

So do I. Nothing like cooking great tasting food from scratch. It is cool here tonight. I am thinking of lighting a fire. want to join me?

Tara

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Like to join you, Tara,
but the cheescake on top of ham hock has left me a bit sleepy.

The worst sin, of any man, I suppose, is to have the man fall asleep at the moment of truth.

Then he wakes up a three a.m., ready to rock and roll and all he's got to mount is the polar bear rug.
What was in that cheescake?
I am falling asleep.

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

Smiles... I will never tell or maybe I will.... a "special" ingredient?

eric1313 said...

You re-invent yourself every post, Ivan. Good for you.

You tell truths others really wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. And you know what makes the very best writing?

The truth.

You knew that. Who wants to listen to a liar? Nobody. At least, nobody wants to know the writer is lying.

I think you need to keep boiling stuff in the pot all the time. Simmer time is good, but turning up the heat will get you somewhere faster in this world of exhausted fiction and post-post-modern bullshitulitis.

Teach them what Metafiction and Metafiction really are, not just writing conscious of it's self, but self-conscious, and conscious of other people's doggy-butt-smooch writing that kisses up to critics and is not made for real people to read.

Ivan, you have it. Keep using it, and don't let the demons or the dummies get to you.

See this? I'm totally on my toes--and I'm as exhausted as the fiction world is! We come up with better things on the blog pages than so many of the things I've read that were part of the "cannon".

Don't let them blow your head off with that cannon. Show them who's balls they're firing.

Show the world how it's done.

And let us know, so we can totally do it too!

Peace out

Eric,
the mad Apache/Viking

eric1313 said...

oops... Megafiction and Metafiction...

Hello, everyone

Mark

Tara

Liz

JR

Josie

and the rest.

See you all sometime tomorrow.

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

Morning Ivan. Morning everyone

ivan@creetivewriting.ca said...

Thanks Eric.
You sort of mirrored what I was trying to say.
And you added some extra insights..
Hey man, do I ever like "doggy-butt-smooch writing that kisses up to critics and is not made for real people to read."
That is a gem, a kind of reverse belle lettrism unto itself.

'Ppreciate your insight.

.............

Canon and Cannon.

There used to be a joke in the Air Force about a distinguished-looking, dapper man who would frequently go to houses of the Rising Sun.
While putting on his left shoe in the morning the graceful little guy heard the lady saying,"You know, by your general demeanor and the way you were when with me last night, I took you for an upper-class guy. Are you?"
"Well, almost upperclass," the man said. "I am a monsegnieur."
"Hey man," she chortled.
"By the size of your weaponry I'd swear you were a cannon."


Hoo Hah!

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Good morning, Tara.

...At leas it was still morning while I was writing to Eric.

Been up all night watching election results.

Seeme the Liberals won again, big time.

I don't get it. They elected a guy like Jimmy Carter with his brains kicked in.

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

Going to bed then?

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

By the way, as I am sure ou know... politicians have no brains unless you count theirs backsides.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Certainly our "Ethelred the Unready" over here.

Ivan

the walking man said...

Yes Ivan I am well aware of the history of spoken word but are you aware of slams?

Josie said...

Good morning, boychik. I just popped in to say hello. I have nothing intelligent to add to the conversation. You know me - the dumb blonde :-)

Josie

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Mark,

I am so sorry if I said anything assholy to scotch the grace of your wonderful, even inspiring comment.
...Just got carried away.

When I wasn't teaching any more, I'd go to the park and lecture ducks. Some would look up with some inerest, others would shuffle around on webbed feet, the eyes glazed. Bored.
Nex time I brought a loaf of bread, and they really got into it.

I did not mean to slam you.
Just old Irwin Corey doing his thing--probably at the wrong time.
I am a fan of your best writing.

Ivan

ivan@creativewriting.c said...

Helle Josie.

I think you got the last word in.
New blod abuilding here.

...And with your accomplishments, no one could call you a dumb blonde.

I think I read somewhere that you almost broke the IQ scale that old bearded guy administered at work.
One-fifty ain't bad!

Ivan

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

yeah okay

dong dong23 said...

designer handbags
michael kors handbags
michael kors outlet
coach outlet
nfl jerseys wholesale
coach outlet store online
cheap jerseys
nike air jordan
replica watches for sale
ralph lauren sale
rolex watches
louis vuitton handbags
air jordan 13
cheap ray ban sunglasses
michael kors outlet
michael kors handbags
lebron james shoes 13
cheap jordans
tory burch outlet
michael kors outlet clearance
louis vuitton bags
timberland outlet
cheap ray ban sunglasses
gucci handbags
louis vuitton handbags
adidas trainers
ray ban sunglasses
jordan shoes
cheap jordans
coach outlet
ralph lauren outlet
hermes handbags
michael kors outlet
coach outlet
adidas originals shoes
adidas originals
nike outlet store
coach outlet
louis vuitton handbags
20167.27wengdongdong

raybanoutlet001 said...

tiffany and co jewellery
nfl jerseys from china
nike roshe run one
nike huarache sale
michael kors factory outlet
michael kors outlet
tiffany and co jewellery
air max thea
nike zoom
nike roshe one
adidas nmd
air jordan shoes
kobe basketball shoes
adidas neo online shop
huarache shoes
air jordan retro
michael kors handbags clearance
adidas nmd
michael kors outlet store
lacoste polo shirts
nike air huarache
michael kors handbags
ray ban sunglasses outlet
http://www.outlettiffanyand.co
skechers go walk
cheap tiffanys
ray ban sunglasses
discount oakley sunglasses