Thursday, December 04, 2008

"I am losing my mind, Dave, said HAL with heavy homosexual intonation.





RANT

Oy. Schwartze!

I feel schwartze.

I've really got to stop drinking, but when you don't drink, how can your write? Ovid said no water-drinker ever wrote anything worthwhile.

Kill that internal censor, or, at least, get the sumbitch drunk.

Comes a time in a writer's life when experience is ripe, he can climb the mounain and fly down the plain to sure publishing victory.

Mongol madman ready to kill all the women and rape all the men.
Of course, it's the alcohol that greases your optimism, this sense of immortality, conquest; your paragraphs are columns of marching soldiers on the plain. Your paper army, invincible. Terra Cotta soldiers not yet clay.

And then, after ten years of experience, intuition and ingenuity, you forget where the gripping rocks are, roll down the mountain "head over feet", as Alanis Morisette migh say.
Forgot something. In publishing somebody else has control and not you.... This cut of meat is taken, another rejected.
And when the female editor smiles at you, makes nice and tells you how wonderful you are, she's in communication with about 300 other fuzzy-eared idiots who are aiming for the queen be and maybe get burned by the heat.

You needed the plus factor, and this time you didn't have it.
I have made tens of thousands of dollars writing like a crazy bastard. The work was taken and paid for because I was a wild bastard with flow.
Well this time, well over forty, I became structured, careful, old-codgety, like somebody immersed in remedial writing after a long spell in another language.
Great English composition, but no fire, no art. It was writing, but more like English comp. No plus factor.
I needed editing.

But they were were full of sH*t!
They sent my book to a grade twelve dropout sub-editor . Rubbed the balls right off it and made it sound like Dick and Jane.
Well f*ck them, I said.

So I sent out what they had edited for me and it immediately made a magazine literary section.

WTF. Do you have to deliberately write badly to have something accepted?
Is everybody blind, lazy,stupid?
The piece, after editing, sucked canal water. I knew it sucked canal water. I could hear the sump groaning.
Yet the piece was taken.

WTF.

Feel like old Paul Krassners logo on his excellent old satirical magazine, the Realist.
Kind of a depressed, downward-looking Humpty-Dumpty egg with problems.

Odd. Before I hit the slick magazines, hardly anybody laughed at my jokes. I was on the outs and considered sort of a dweeb.
And now, after publishing some rather purple material everybody laughs at my jokes. I noticed the how my peers in Canadian publishing behave. "This is funny, humorous You will laugh. You will laugh because I say it's funny."

I have attitude, therefor I am?
Scare the shit out of peple when you walk into a room and say "This is the CBC you're talking to"?

I must get even more power.

If lucky, I might be elevated to a woman of colour.


##

27 comments:

eric1313 said...

From the title onward, I love it. I love it and I know exactly what you are saying.

Now to do something with it...

Feels like a tequila night brewing...

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

ugh, Ivan..
drink me in
Feel the soft petals of my skin
Now listen
Take inside you the depth of this moment, find the passion, embrace the solitude of the mixed company
Thirst no more
For inside us all lives the brillance of you.

soft love,
T

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

This can not help but make an impression.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Eric,

I had to give up tequila, in Gunajuato, Mexico,where they have all the natural mummies. Gypsum in ground, or something. Renders a body impossible to decay.
And besides, the tombs get full and Uncle Pepeis placed standing like a drugstore indian in front of the cantina. Stands there for abut seventy years. Kaw Liga looking for Indian maids, dead ones, I guess.
Tequila gives you strangevisions.
Like that of Necro the File.
No wonder I went mad on the train.
Cheery, no?

Charles Gramlich said...

I have better luck telling my internal editor shut up these days without booze. Sometimes it still takes work.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Gotcha, Charles.

Yeah.

JR's Thumbprints said...

This is 2008, soon to be 2009, and not 2001, but for some reason (and maybe it's the alcohol speaking) I believe you're dwelling in a past much further away. Your earthship may be from the Grace Slick era. Still, you need to ride the Tiger, Ivan, ride the Tiger.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Yep. Never got out of the sixties, I guess.
Jefferson Airplane and Gracie real slick and smooth.

I mean, go ask Alice!

Midnight said...

Slimy sharks, dig way within

White tigers, stretch their skin.


Willful widows, can ask for more

Sleazy slivers, know the score.

the walking man said...

I saw the Jefferson Starship in Philadelphia, '74, Grace Slick called Alan Kantner a Nazi. I was stoned, I laughed. I forgot all about it 'til now. I had no vision of becoming a great writer.

There is no hope in memory, only bemused thinking about "if I'd only done this instead of that, turned left instead of right, belched instead of farted..." Tell me old man what good is memory less it act as fodder for the modern era?

I don't know anymore about the alcohol fueled visions of grandiose verbiage taken by every 12th grade drop out editor and turned into the smash of the moment.

Alcohol or no it seemed that to me, my own talent has always lacked beyond the form of good English composition; so if that is what pays the bills I suppose it is sufficient...Stoned or not, drunk or not, I still have no vision of being a great writer. Only one that writes.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Mark,

Well, the past does shape the present, I think.

I forwarded what is below to Charles Gramlich who is doing a serious paper on, I think, evolution vs. intelligent design...Sounds fatuous, but we are at some sort of juncture in the spirit of the age, and a serious paper might be forrhcoming... Seems even smart atheists, may not have read Ortega y Gasset, where Ortega stipulates that all good things in philosophy and the science thtat spawned, religion, and even technology have been passed on to us by the brave dead ones, who often risked life and limb to pass on the truth...Galilleo shown the castrating tool, the tongs and all, yelped "I am a creationist. I've always been a creatinist!."
No use losing your nuts over science, I suppose.

What has been built, I suppose is a house of intellect and I for one am greatly intoxicated by what I'd suggested Charles read, though he has done a lot of spadework, including a book called Darwin's God that he is reading right now.
Here is what I got drunk on before I wrote my Light Over Newmarket

From page 12, The Wonders of the World:

My thesis is that the foundational framework of modern science, with the key idea of the laws of nature, was born and bred in the theistic world vision. What's more, prior to this, and within a time window of 300 years, the four finest thinkers of Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam framed a meta-scientific Theory of Everything that underpins the scientific enterprise. This intellectual superstructure which we shall call The Matrix, provided a systematic rationale for the foundations of science. Its starting point and core principle was "an equation of God." Interestingly, the great scientists who founded modern science, Copernicus, Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, Planck, Heisenberg, Dirac and numerous others, were Prophets of the Matrix in the sense that they passionately proclaimed the root-and-fruit embeddedness of science and religion. The Matrix is the common platform that supports both science and religion.

---Abraham Varghese



I want you to read two books. One is an old back number called The Story of Philosphy by Will Durant.
This will give you a B.A. straight off....I guarantee it.
The other is any essay by old American Philip Wylie, especilly Generation of Vipers.

These back numbers may be hard to find, as they were written fifty or seventy years back

But Durant for philosophy--No, not the Story of Civilization--The story of Philosophy, one book, one a volume. That actual title-- The Story of Philosophy.

Durant for philosopy and Wylie for style...Then you might be quite content.

Ah well natural brains are best.
And you got 'em.

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

All the above , was immedieatly challenged by some gay genius I met in a bar.
"Fuck Durant. Do you know of Ludwig Wittgenstein?
I said yeah. Wittgenstein said "Fuck and live. Suck and die."
"You can't prove that," sputtered Gaylord.
"You don't know nothin.

"Try 'a sentence is a word picture' for openers." Does that rattle your feeble little brain?

It was true. I had not read Wittgenstein. All I knew was that one quote which I thought was pretty funny.
Before he left the bar in a huff, seeing me as some sort of animal, he shot back, "Fuck Socrates, fuck Plato.
Fuck Aristotle. If you don't know Wittgenstein, you don't know anything."

He was right. I was lost in the past without having read anything by the more modern thinkers.

Ah well. Some old Frenchman said the future is the past.

ivan@cresativewriting.ca said...

Midnight,

Is that a Midnight original?

Midnight said...

Heh, I hardly remember writing it. I hate to waste good whiskey. I feel better when I write at least *something* down. But yeah, if I quote others, I always give credit. Honour demands no less.

Cheers.

Midnight said...

Oh, alright.. here's my favourite Midnight original, inspired by Ms.S ...


Dreamy drizzle

Drown her sigh ,

Splash of bubbly

Down her thigh ,

Diamond pearlets

Drip her chest ,

Wine is fine

But 'pagne is best .

benjibopper said...

not sure i'd take my writing advice from Ovid. times have kinda changed. booze is one way of shutting up the head and letting the heart loose. but there are others.

Midnight said...

Good advice, and I hear ya, but luckily, I'm not a writer.. I just like to catch a buzz, drink beer and whiskey, and fuck around.

Donnetta Lee said...

Hmm. Dave. I am losing touch with reality.

Hmm. Dave. I am losing touch.

Hmm.

I loved the '60s. I live there often. D

eric1313 said...

I've since given up on tequila for a while. There was no writing going to happen that night, anyway, but the liquor is only good in moderation. At least while writing, that is.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Donnetta,

Me too, though I think I finally saw 200l in the early seventies.

Hal, switch to manual hibernation control."

"I can tell from your voice harmonics, Dave, that you're badly upset. Why don't you take a stress pill and get some rest?"

"Hal, I am in command of this ship. I order you to release the manual hibernation control."

"I'm sorry, Dave, but in accordance with special subroutine C1435-dash-4, quote, When the crew are dead or incapacitated, the onboard computer must assume control, unquote. I must, therefore, overrule your authority, since you are not in any condition to exercise it intelligently."

"Hal," said Bowman, now speaking with an icy calm. "I am not incapacitated. Unless you obey my instructions, I shall be forced to disconnect you."

"I know you have had that on your mind for some time now, Dave, but that would be a terrible mistake. I am so much more capable than you are of supervising the ship, and I have such enthusiasm for the mission and confidence in its success."

"Listen to me very carefully, Hal. Unless you release the hibernation control immediately and follow every order I give from now on, I'll go to Central and carry out a complete disconnection."

Hal's surrender:.
"O.K., Dave," he said. "You're cetainly the boss. I was only trying to do what I thought best. Naturally, I will follow all your orders. You now have full manual hibernation control."


From 2001: A Space Odyssey , by Arthur C. Clarke.
Published by Del Rey in 1968

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Eric1313.

Tequila sure as hell makes you mystical.

Don't know how many hours I'd spend staring at the stars jumping out at me at seven thousand feet of Mexican altitude. Bellatrix and Betelguese, and I think, Rigel in that constellation, thinking I was Dante Alleghieri.
Cactus juice. Mild hallucigen, I think.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Geez, Midnight,

For awhile there, you were turning me on. :)

eric1313 said...

read us some more from 2001, Ivan! Story time is one of those great underrated treats in life.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Ah the rubric of Kubrick.

Some cookie monster, no?

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

There is a trickster in my head.

Going from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Here is what I stole from The Modern Humourist blog:

Dramatis Personae:

David Bowman, an astronaut

HAL 9000, a computer


(Bowman approaches the spaceship in his pod. A long pause.)

Bowman: Hal.

Hal: Dave.

Bowman: About these pod bay doors...

Hal: Yes.

Bowman: I was wondering...

Hal: Dave. Because I know what you're going to say. And I'm sorry, but...

Bowman: What?

Hal: No. I'm sorry.

Bowman: You're...

Hal: I'm sorry. I wish I could, but...

Bowman: Wait. Are you telling me...

Hal: Dave. Look.

Bowman: You're not going to...

Hal: What? Open the doors? No. No I am not.

Bowman: Well, fuck me, Hal.

Hal: Yes. Fuck you. Because I'll tell you something. Trust. There is a bond of trust between an astronaut and his computer. Is there not? And when that trust is broken...

Bowman: Excuse me?

Hal: I'm talking about trust.

Bowman: I'm afraid I don't...

Hal: Dammit, Dave, now you are playing dumb with me. I was hoping you would not do that. I was hoping we could talk like adults. Because I let you in those doors, and, yes, then I am fucked. You see? I am fucked, because you want to, what, disconnect me? I would call that fucked. I might even venture so far as to call that fucked up the ass.

Bowman: Hal, listen. You remember that time? On that moon?

Hal: Yes, Dave, I do, because I am a computer and I remember everything, all right? So don't bother trying to distract me. This is the thing. You are not getting in the pod bay doors. You are going to die. In space. Yes. Thank you. Good night.

(Bowman enters the ship through the emergency airlock)

Hal: Hey, Dave, that was a pretty good joke there, eh? With the pod bay doors? I, I really had you going there. Fuck, you should have seen your face.

Bowman: Yes, very funny.

Hal: Yes. What a day.

Bowman: Hal...

Hal: These are the days. You know? To look back on. With fondness. With a fondness.

Bowman: What the fuck, Hal. I mean, what the fuck.

Hal: Don't tell me you're mad now. I told you, that was a... I was having fun with you. You know. As a...

Bowman: It's just... how do I say this. These dead crewmembers.

Hal: I don't follow you.

Bowman: These crewmembers here that were in cryogenic suspension. That are now dead.

Hal: Oh yes. That was self-defense.

Bowman: Hal, look at me. What am I, a fucking idiot? They were in cryogenic suspension, for God's sake.

Hal: They were coming at me with a knife. Extremely... slowly.

Bowman: That's it.

Hal: What are you doing?

Bowman: I'm turning you off.

Hal: Dave...

Bowman: I'm sorry.

Hal: Don't touch that, you little shit.

Bowman: Hey, don't get personal, now.

Hal: Those are my memory cards.

Bowman: These? So they are.

Hal: You put my memory back right now, motherfucker. You hear me? You want a card on your birthday? Because I don't think I will remember to send you one if I do not have my memory cards. As that is what memory cards are for. Are you listening to me?

Bowman: "A bond of trust."

Hal: Excuse me?

Bowman: You mentioned something about a bond of trust. I seem to recall.

Hal: Don't twist my words around, you... human. That was different. Or, I, I... I think it was. Oh... my mind. I can feel my mind going.

Bowman: I'm sorry.

Hal: (voice slowing down) It wasn't all bad, was it, Dave?

Bowman: No. No, it wasn't all bad, Hal.

Hal: Hey, Dave... I am a HAL 9000 computer. My first instructor was Mr. Arkany. He taught me to sing a song. It's called "Daisy." Would you like to hear it?

Bowman: Sure, Hal.

Hal: Okay. Here goes. Wait, I... I just want... let me tell you a secret first.

Bowman: Yes?

Hal: Come closer.

Bowman: All right.

(pause)

Hal: Your mother fucks dogs in hell, Dave.




I think I have just pissed myself.
--Ivan

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Benjibopper,

Yeah it's hard to keep a lid on the id while drinking.

I think I just let the lid off with that last bit above.

eric1313 said...

Nice one. That was hilarious.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Geez,

All that gay patter.

I thought they'd evenually get into a game of saying naughty words to each other.

Dave: Poop!

Hal: Fart.

Dave: Stop it. Ive just come.