Sunday, May 04, 2008

Alanis is Ma Belle


An impromptu rant during the intermission in my play here, "The Fire in Bradford"

I'm broke but I'm happy
I'm poor but I'm kind
I'm short but I'm healthy, yeah
I'm high but I'm grounded
I'm sane but I'm overwhelmed
I'm lost but I'm hopeful baby
What it all comes down to
Is that everything's gonna be fine fine fine
I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is giving a high five
I feel drunk but I'm sober
I'm young and I'm underpaid
I'm tired but I'm working, yeah
I care but I'm restlessI'm here but I'm really gone
I'm wrong and I'm sorry baby
What it all comes down toIs that everything's gonna be quite alright
I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is flicking a cigarette
And what it all comes down to
Is that I haven't got it all figured out just yet
I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is giving the peace sign
I'm broke but I'm happy
I'm poor but I'm kind
I'm short but I'm healthy, yeah
I'm high but I'm grounded
I'm sane but I'm overwhelmed
I'm lost but I'm hopeful baby
What it all comes down toIs that everything's gonna be fine fine fine
I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is giving a high five

I feel drunk but I'm sober
I'm young and I'm underpaid
I'm tired but I'm working, yeah
I care but I'm restless
I'm here but I'm really gone
I'm wrong and I'm sorry baby
What it all comes down to
Is that everything's gonna be quite alright
I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is flicking a cigarette
And what it all comes down to
Is that I haven't got it all figured out just yet
I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is giving the peace sign...

Alanis pretty well says it.

I don't have a pocket to put my nand into, but there is just this feeling that "everything is going to be fine, fine fine."
You just know those things.

So what if half your teeth have been pulled out by a dentist who seems to have pinched the wrong nerve and you were reduced to a gibbering idiot for a couple of days, memory loss, unable to move your fingers and somehow standing heplessly to one side while you obrserved the pitching and tossing of your brain--all the things you have ever learned, scrolling through your mental screen as if on a VDT.

So what if you can not afford to even pay this dentist, but the rent too.

So what if in the last thirty years, you have met a whole series of assholes, most of them in education, too busy builing their Ozymandias castle trhat students just happened to get in the way.

So what if you got a writer's grant for your novel and then everybody in the publishing company makes his car payments and the novel is returned to you. "The process, he process. The process itlself is the most important thing."
"What about me?
"You're just a writer. It's the process. The process."

Sounds like a bunch of freaking Satanists, and most people in Canadian publishing are, so help me.

Gay and satanic. Yeah. "We can hurt you!"

Example: Once Alanis Morisette got international fame, the CBC here decided to do a special on Alanis Morisette.

I listened, but all that came out was the Ottawa bands around Alanis' themes. Not a single Morisette song was played.

"We can hurt you."

But it was too late. Alanis was already with Madonna's label and living in Switzerland. World fame.

Dont' you dare to be original or talented in Canada. We will pull you down. We can hurt you.

Mordecai Richler.

"We will destroy you." Don't dare to be original in Canada. Young girls growing up in small communities, that's the mantra.Feminism. Now that's new, isn't it?

Carbon copy novels in a carbon copy culture that sucks up to American Republicans, and everybody wonders why.

It's the crude, dude.

Art bows to commerce.

Well, yes. But when George Orwell worked for the BBC, it wasn't the CBC. Carbon-copy country. CBC. Carbon-copy radio service.

Nobody could write a" l984" in Canada. We get post-appcalyptic novels, yes, but they are carbon-copy and dull.
African donkeys talking to birds!
WTF.

Supposing we were to have a genius like Anthony Burgess producing a Clockwork Orange here.

Here is a savant who writes classical music, has invented a quasi-Russian argot all by himself, has predicted forty years before the fact our "homeless" condition and perhaps, if I can stretch the oxymoron--made Canadians into clockwork oranges. Give, give give, until there is nothing else to give. Oh what the hell. We never were a real country anyway. So what's wrong with Canada turning out like Cuba?

The dictator's new clothes.

Yes, yes, multiculuralism as a mantra, but nobody is hiring immigrants here.
And all the manufacturing jobs are gone anyway.

Doctors and biochemists driving cabs because of--say it on!--prejudice in the Canadian Medical Association.
Tough luck, Henry Urguck.

And all the while we are reaching 50 per cent immigrants and the other half native-born and nobody is working and some of the immigrants are becoming outrightly nasty.

Crime in the streets, people offed every day, but Statistics Canada says crime is th lowest ever.

Well, Emperor, it is hardly news that in Canada, it's Big Business, Big Government and Organized Crime.
That is the story, and that's the entire story.
Now aren't we glad that we have so well emulated Detroit or even New York?

Kill in the streets, have your drugs and money stolen by the drug squad.

But don't light a cigarrette!
This we can do, and it's all up to you!

The upside is, I suppose that Canada works because everybody is incompetent. Maybe even corrupt.

The culture is really 500 years old and it is wiser than the players.

No plague of frogs. It is because of the frogs that Canada works.

It will survive the Harpers and the potato chip kings. (There is no more fish, so the McCains make it on chips from P.E. I. and even here, McDonald's seems to have bought out the entire island.

Come to think of it, Alanis Morisette sounds French.

And Aha. That's creativity.

But she did not make it in Canada.

They would not have let her.

Thank God for the French, I say.

I've got one hand in my pocketAnd the other one is giving the peace sign...

Vive Alanis Morsisette and all that she represents.

11 comments:

Monique said...

Hey Ivan, What's new? It has always been a rotten world for the many and a heaven for few.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Monique:

Yes.

Like Bob Dylan says, "You'd be just one more person crying."

Yep. We are back to the Great Pirates of l905, and the stock manipulators of l929.

The Great Pirates rule.

But here an there, there's an Alanis Morisette, my long-time heroine.

I like her because she survived Canada and prevailed.
All on her own.
She did go mad once or twice, but said, "Well, you just walk through it."

Did they ever go away?

Charles Gramlich said...

I learned the value of writing when I got my last royalty check. It's not worth much.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Congratulations on the royalty cheque, Charles!

These things have hidden porks.

Somebody on the street in my town identified me as an author. She introduced her to her friend. "He is famous."

I was flabbergasted.

Said, Well, like in the old Bowery Boys movies, Huntz Hall would malapropise: "Yeah. Much extinguished."

But you get something out in print, even newspaper columns, somebody notices.

People in my building actually asked me to autograph some books of mine...As you migh imagine with a name like mine, it takes some time.
And that, I suppose, is a rhyme.

Cheers.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

p.s.

My spelling is like my lovemaking.
Everything seems to go in but the skill.

Second para of my reply to Charles should read perks and not porks.

....I don't even want to go there...

Donnetta Lee said...

Ah, Monique is right, but hard to think of it that way at times. There are so many of us on this earth that few really get "the nod" they deserve. But "here and there, there's an Alanis..."
Donnetta

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Alanis rocks, even at her mid-thirties.
Well, don't all the superstars these days?

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

Ivan,

Life is what it is. Nothing we can really do about it. There will always be those people that get everything and others that only see it in dreams.

Alanis is right and did say it correctly over and over. But forget all that because time is coming Ivan. I can feel it. Life will settle and those that have given their all will finally see the light and those that need to fade will. (Oh, now don't I sound like a preacher of the word!)
Hell, I worry so much and I am now getting tired of worrying. To hell with life and love. I have left my heart and soul out for all to see, if no one sees me, its their loss. Same for you Ivan, we see perfection even when you are imperfect. That is what makes you worth reading. You know what I am saying Ivan. You are worth the ride if you want to hold on.


Soft love,
T

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Ooh.
Seems we are all on a path to someting. In our own way.

the walking man said...

Ivan,
old man on
the Canadian Sea,
loved the rant
nodded all the way
through it.

Ivan I too
had a desire for fame
and wanted to be
among the pantheon
of creative writers.

Fuck it!
I got off
the cruise ship,
American Sea.
Better a tramp steamer for me.

Taper the goals
to availability
not the
availability
to the goals.

Now I roam the earth
an accomplished success.
A good thing for a dreamer
like me, never
looking from the stern

of this my life,
this tramp steamer,
this success driven
dream refitted machine.
Fuck 'em is the mantra for me.

Peace in ridicule of society.

mark

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Mark,

Well hey.

You got 'er published.

At least here.

This old man came back with the fish all right.

But the *&^&ing sharks mangled it.

I can see the bones of the billfish
dragging behind.

Oh Papa.