April 4, 2006

Haircut and Other Stories

Yesterday I spent the day sending out the new story and/or a novel excerpt, but mostly the story, to litmags:

Land Grant, Paris Review, Zoetrope, Night Train, Open City, Fence, Tin House, A Public Space, NYer, Swink, Eclectica, Watchword, Drunken Boat, Barrelhouse, Storyglossia, Failbetter

Some others waiting in the wings if none of those places are takers. Thanks to Rebecca at Writing Blind for telling me about some places I hadn’t heard of. All that and only five were actual hardcopy submissions. All hail the online submission process. Some of the submissions are pointless, like the NYer, but it’s free so what can it hurt. I like this story. It’s more together than what I’ve written recently. Better than My Cherry. Though there’s a very wide line between what I like and other people like. I think this one should find a home.

Also yesterday, like every day, I applied for jobs. A number of jobs come up each day, but in a city of 12 million people, and 10 million of them are writers, there are a lot of applicants for each job. It’s hard. Or, to quote The Who: It’s very, very, very, very hard.

***

This past weekend my parents were out of town so we housesat for them. They’ve got a lot of cable so we watched some bad TV. We were going around the dial and I was feeling like a Christian. Every channel had some fucked-up sexual innuendo that I could imagine scaring the shit out of some reasonably repressed parents. It made me feel old. We switched to a show called Wonder Showzen, which I’d never heard of. In the ten minutes we watched there were jokes about child molestation and starving kids in Africa, showing actual pictures of starving children. It’s funny, see, because it’s pushing the envelope.

Not finding stuff like this funny doesn’t make me out of touch or uptight, I hope. Older people have been complaining forever that kids’ culture is out of bounds. I don’t think Elvis’ gyrating hips are that big of a problem, but making fun of starving children? I don’t know. It’s like making Holocaust jokes, it just shouldn’t happen. And it’s not a sign of liberation that people can finally laugh at it. One argument says, laughter is a way people cope with horror, blah blah. Not if the humor turns the mind to stupid jello. It’s not progress, it’s regress. But that’s the same thing people said about the Beatles haircuts.

9 comments:

Minge said...

We all see humour in different things. It's just a noise we make. Why do we make such a big deal out of it? I don't know, but we do. All of us. How often have I said, "That bitch was laughing at me," or, "Why didn't you laugh at my joke?"

Henry Baum said...

I don't think laughter's just a noise we make any more than an orgasm is just a noise we make. Nothing's just anything.

Empty Drum said...

They were right about the Beatles haircuts.

Minge said...

But laughter is just a noise. The "because" is often irrelevant. A fart is a fart. The beans you ate six hours before hardly figure any more. The laughter is a sound. It's imortant or trivial to you. It doesn't matter what you are laughing at, whether it's the starving Africans two seconds ago or the memory of your Mother-in-law slipping on a banana skin a year ago. It's your laughter and you should laugh if you want to and sod everyone else. If they're offended, it's their problem, not your problem. It's just a noise. It's not like you've done the offensive thing, is it!?!?

Henry Baum said...

It's OK to laugh at anything? I don't know about that. Speaking of things that aren't right, here are the lyrics to The Who's It's Hard

Empty Drum said...

Hey, why not; we were always taught as kids that it's OK to cry, right?

And after all, what is laughter but high-speed crying?

El Diablo De Verde said...

Laughter as high speed crying - I like that.

Henry you've been tagged. Sorry. It had to be done.

Minge said...

It's ok to laugh. Yes, just like it's ok to cry. It's good therapy. It's good karma.

Empty Drum said...

While it's technically OK to cry, if you're a man and you cry it means you're a pussy.

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