November 3, 2006


It’s kind of sad though, stopping this thing. It’s been a pretty big part of my life for over two years. A lot has happened, but now I need the change. I feel like people have stopped being as interested since I got an agent. It’s like this blog was about a guy who was hard-up and suddenly got married; it lost its purpose. The blog was used to buoy the spirits of a writer who wasn’t as successful as he wanted, and a major issue was answered. That’s how I see it—it was around then that people stopped reading like they had been. Strangely, right when the blog became less important to me.

I feel like there’s some final thing I need to write down before the blog’s complete—like finishing a novel. But my life’s always unfolding, so there will always be something to put down here. Just don’t know if I will. I’ll still post reviews and whatever seems really important. I still like posting music here. But everyday blogs, I don’t know. I need to cut the umbilical cord.

When John Coltrane stopped doing dope—I think around 1960—his playing started getting far more piercing and soul searching. He wasn’t medicating the pain away, instead he used music to medicate it. Blogging is heroin. A quick fix of writing and response. All the energy I expend here should probably be put into my novel.

For all I know, I’ve written that thing about Coltrane before. It’s a pretty good lesson. That’s another reason I need to stop writing here. I think I’m repeating myself. Maybe everything from this phase of my life has been said, in one way or another. I think I’m going to write private journals now, a place I can be far more honest. I feel like I’ve done blogging. It’s liberating. To not have the obligation. Who knows, maybe I just need a new template.

November 2, 2006


I’ve been thinking about something mentioned in the Daniel Pinchbeck interview linked a few posts ago. As I mentioned in my Cesar Torres interview, Pinchbeck’s my favorite writer. He takes the most chances, even if he doesn’t write fiction (though I’m sure many find his POV fiction). I’ve been reading some bad blood about him lately, not sure why. Maybe that’s what happens when you get successful—jealousy and judgment.

Him and the interviewers talk about how we’ve got a skewed value system in America. How money is the main barometer of a thing’s worth. I’ve done the same thing in my life. I should be prouder about what I’ve accomplished, but I have very little money to show for it. I was also thinking about housewives, how taking care of children is not considered real work, even by some feminists. What’s better—a woman who takes care of children, or a woman who gets an executive position for a plastics manufacturer that pollutes the environment. There’s a lot more that goes into a value system than money. Same goes for a husband, the breadwinner, who works a mostly pointless job—as many jobs are mostly pointless, except to keep the economy going. Do there really need to be 50 different brands of paint? Not really. So the man goes out, brings in money working a pointless job, the homemaker stays home taking care of the kids. Who’s more important?

I saw March of the Penguins the other night. Depressed me, mostly because I was already depressed. Life is hard. Those animals suffer so hard to raise their kids. That’s what life is about—creation, either procreation or creating something else. Forcing women into subservience is one thing, but there should be no problem with taking care of children. Perhaps reading Natalia Antonova’s blog has got me thinking about feminism.

Today a Jackson Pollack painting sold for 140 million dollars, which is really fucking retarded, an insult to anyone who’s starving. Our value system makes no sense.

Another part of the value system: a blog is only as good as the number of comments. Though there’s actually is some truth to that because a blog should be a conversation, not a monologue. This blog peaked a while back, as most blogs seem to. I used the blog to help me believe in myself as a writer again, after too much rejection. I don’t need that as much anymore, especially now that I’m writing more consistently. I was always writing, but not how I have been recently. Maybe people can sense that.

In another Viking Youth Power Hour show, they talk about the singularity—when technology overtakes us in both a negative and positive way, the tech apocalypse. It’s already happening. I may not have any cyber implants, but this computer is as part of me as my brain. Information that I’ve discovered online, people I’ve met, have altered the trajectory of my life. I write on the computer, I published a book on the computer. I am part robot. In a positive way, for the most part, because I’ve learned a lot.

Blogging is tied up in this. To take a PK Dick line of thought: blogging is a form of schizophrenia, a separate, independent personality, an approximation of me, but still a part of me. A blog has less distance than fiction, even if the fiction is autobiographical. Something about there being a three-dimensional object of a book and paper, rather than residing within the strange mind of the Internet. Cybernetic again, part of my mind is trapped online, in robot form. A negative spin, because part of my personality has also really grown online. All in all, it’s a pretty heavy relationship, especially to someone who takes writing ultra (too) seriously. Makes me want to stop it. Again.

November 1, 2006

2 Reviews

So North of Sunset got its first bad Amazon review, from someone who liked Oscar Caliber Gun. I’m not totally surprised, but it’s still a bummer. I figured this would happen with some people who read OCG and liked the hard-boiled, angry narrator which is not as present in NoS. I think more people will like NoS than OCG, actually, it’s broader, but those who like OCG seem to believe in it more. If you read NoS and liked it, feel free to leave a comment on Amazon (now available) and tell him how wrong he is.

Matthew Selznick, author of Brave Men Run, writes up the book. Mostly very nice, but says the first third is too slow. Another thing I was anticipating being criticized. Spends some time setting up the characters. I justify it by saying it’s like a Hollywood movie, where in the first ten minutes people get to speak dialogue outside the lines of the plot, and after the plot starts rolling it’s all they think about.

The new novel’s getting even further away from hard-boiled noir writing. I don’t feel like going back there. Closer to Robert Anton Wilson’s Illuminatus trilogy and PK Dick’s Valis novels. If I do it right. Different sorts of readers read that than crime fiction. I just ordered up RA Wilson's Masks of the Illuminati, which I haven’t read. Found a copy of Caleb Carr’s Killing Time and Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon the other day for two dollars. That’s where my head’s at.



We had an excellent Halloween. Went to Angelino Heights, a collection of old Victorian houses in L.A., beautiful and haunted-seeming even when it’s not Halloween. Most everybody decks out their houses like crazy, dresses up, even does performances. Hundreds of kids. Liv loved it, made both of us very proud.

Speaking of Halloween, yesterday’s flap with John Kerry made me want to hurt somebody. Politicians are evil and awful people. They are children, bullies with power. Kerry messed up a joke and it was seized on to help elect a party that is responsible for hundreds of thousands dead. Fuck John McCain, a weakened shell. Really, anyone who votes Republican deserves what they’re going to get—to watch the earth fade. Not that Democrats are going to save the planet, but the more stupid America becomes, the more selfish and thoughtless, the more they vote Republican.

Personally, I’d like to see John Kerry get the nod in 2008. Hillary Clinton? Of course not. I think she’s put out there to make the Democrats look clueless. Reminds me of 2004 when the Repubs said they feared Dick Gephardt, which sounded like opposite-speak. They actually wanted Gephardt because he’s such an unmanly politician in these regressively manly times. John Edwards? A too-nice boy with no experience. Wesley Clarke? Belongs only on TV. It’ll probably be McCain or Giuliani, which, honestly, would be preferable to what we’ve got.

Note: The President of the U.S. is a character in the novel I’m writing. The world in 2020. I’ve been watching the election closely. I don’t have great hopes that the Dems are going to win on Tuesday, despite the polling. People this awful find a way to stay in power. Just look at 2004.

Rant over. Feel bad? Look at that picture of my girl. There is still goodness out there.

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