Archive for the ‘Editor’ Category

Number Theory


14 Jan

concern

Widepread Concern

samplex

Originally published pn January 14, 1997

Thanks Landry for the personal update. Been swamped with Bracken's biography of Guy Debord, that Situationist International revolutionary Frenchy fellow I've namedropped a few times in your direction. A decent book I must say, if only because it is the first so-called biography in ANY language of this rather famous dialectician, according to its author, although Greil Marcus writes about him extensively in LIPSTICK TRACES, a book with which I believe you are somewhat familiar.

Still haven't even begun to compose the New Year's Day, the Day After Massacre tale of Tim, Jennifer, Steve and all the 1980s throwbacks, but it's right there waiting for me when I get my breath back from Bracken. Ninety-nine photos have been scanned, 400 pages of text converted from Windows to Mac, and all laid carefully into PageMaker.

Currently busy proofreading with an interested eye; although I loathe the man's politics, his philosophical insights are pure poetry. Beaucoup typos, misspellings, missing words, et cetera, so gotta keep my eye on the ball. I also designed the cover. Bracken's hip to it, so all things are hunky dorey. Will get paid (underpaid but satisfied) and appropriate acknowledgements.The publisher is Feral Books, currently of Portland, Oregon soon to be moving to sunny LA. Whew! Be glad when all this REAL WORK is behind me...

GT

Just Another Jesuit Poseur


03 Oct

woman

The Trust Factor

samplex

Originally published on October 3, 1996

Notes is a bust, can't find a use for it, but I guess before I'll ever get around to affording Director 5, Avid VideoShop is a decent start, so again, rather than webbing I was reading for pleasure this afternoon. Like Tom Howell once said to me, "Any fool can spend money...." Most interesting concept, hiding as it was in his mouth. Little green apples...

What I'm concerned about right now is the olfactory packaging assault. Hardware and literature needs no sniffing, but aromatically introduces itself with gusto to the nostrils as soon as the box and ever more powerfully when the plastic wrapping is unfurled. Taking delivery on new hardware is absolutely a fresh breeze in the nostrils. The absence of the 1710AV display undercuts what would surely be some sort of full frontal euphoria though. A call to Apple just now netted me nothing more than what I already knew. Two more weeks may pass before all the backorders are filled. Or then again it may show up tomorrow. Credit card is billed as each portion of the order is shipped.

According to the set-up manual the 8500 is shipped with voice recognition software enabling user-scripted commands to perform tasks as well as rendering responsive feedback from the Mac itself. Uhmmm...wonder how well that will work out of the box; I have my suspicions...

We are exactly the same, me and that bum. We are both messed up because we cannot control the nature of need nor the nature of corruption. Life is the mathematical ratio of one to the other.
When at Microcenter I did ogle over a 200mhz Performa that spoke the application names when the mouse passed over them, but I was completely ignorant that the Mac had voice recognition capabilities already out on the 8500/120...

I do believe I'm gonna get a kick out of wearing the QuickTime movie producer's cap. All that video footage collecting dustbunnies will finally serve a purpose as I push to integrate multimedia into the iMote core premise: the cult of personality exposed for what it truly is, nothing more than reality itself. Understatement and pomposity explored from the historical and futuristic prespectives. The perilous dichotomy explained as the everbroadening gulf between inexplicable social aloofness and seamless integration into the fabric of worldly imperative.

From Jesus to Debord (did I mention Bracken confessed last week when forced into the corner of my argument that among some dissenters Debord is ridiculed as just another Jesuit poseur?) I wish to stake a claim for what ails the world in general and will use the tracks of classicism to upbraid the apostles of the classes. I believe I have been laying in the groundwork, and now I have nearly all the tools of production.

Is premature death or irrepressible riotous living the only two acts separating me from my destiny, or am I merely a hollow shell of a pretender? That is the test I have always dared to wait while all the pieces are gathered onto the board (bored?). I have seen the enemy, and the enemy is us, to borrow a phrase. Like I have said to Bracken in several a lucid moment, revolutions are a dime a dozen. If it ain't the bum on the street asking for a dime, it's me asking for a dollar twenty. We are exactly the same, me and that bum. We are both messed up because we cannot control the nature of need nor the nature of corruption. Life is the mathematical ratio of one to the other.

So to quote YAST, of course ripe in a rebellion of his own with SAST...

Let's Mac on! dudes and dudettes! Or is that more properly put, LET'S MAC ON DISKS AND DISKETTES?

GT

Why Do Writers Need Editors But Painters Do Not


17 Sep

Alledgedly Landry

Alledgedly Landry

samplex

Date: Sep 17 1996 14:55:12

Sorry more words than you called for. Guess that in and of itself supports the subject of this little piece. Was that your ploy all along? To mock the amateur wordsmith? Now, if I could have just emailed you a painting, that would have said it all in a flash.

Painters can make an honest (or lazy) attempt to pass ANYTHING as art. They don't have to worry about the confines of structure in the way that a composer or a writer must. Let's face it, I can squat down on a canvas, smear a big corn filled turd around on a spatula, glue on a crucifix, and immediately get a reaction from born again christeeeans, derelicts, intellectual bull shit artists and the like who don't even have to be literate. But, if I write a story about blowing a big chocolate corn stuffed stain on a piece of fabric and shoving a cross on top, first, I must construct a sentence in some grammatical form that even people who can read can understand. Then, I have to get people to read it. Since most people, even with some college education, refuse to read on principle, only a small percentage of the population will read it. Out of this group, most people will read it just to fill up some time on the john, some won't get through it because they will be bored, some will laugh but forget it immediately. . .basically only a smidgen of people will care—some whacko born again Christeeean who will want to make sure the piece will be censored, a few people who think anything that couples shit and Christ in the same piece to be important, a zealous ACLU lawyer, and the writer (maybe on this one).

And, in order to be taken seriously as a writer (whether you need it or not) you are REQUIRED to have an editor and your writing is only worth something if SOMEONE ELSE (in particular a BIG PUBLISHER) likes it and prints it and sells it. Quite different from celebrating independent artists, filmmakers and musicians who can gain credibility precisely IF they shun the BIG GUYS.

Now to address the points:

1. Painters as a demographic rarely stop working on a piece until they are finished.

If they do stop before they are finished they lie and say they ARE finished. If I turn in a manuscript finished or not, people can put their two cents in and change shit. How come I can't go up to a painting and blot on a hint o#196# yellow here and there? Hunh???

2. Writers are a driven but inherently lazy bunch, and are inclined to need a proper correcting of their pomposity since word manipulation rules are finite.

OH, does this hit the mark. Does this mean that a writer who paints is also a lazy painter? My painting and writing instructors both said "Miss Landry, you are very talented, but very lazy!" No fair that a writer can't use words like paint, layering and layering for effect. Well, you can do it, but who would read it?

3. Wordlovers are a different crowd from artlovers with slightly different motives and therefore require a middleman.

Yes Yes Yes. Sort of like a conductor in an orchestra. Otherwise, chaos.

8. It's easier to dismiss a single canvas than a truckload of books in boxes.

#8 True, in a way. But, I think the modern computer/internet age is presenting a dilemma for old school visual artists. Electronic visual art is now on the same intangible level as the written word or music. Think about it. I am an artist (alive or dead). I sit in my studio drinking, fucking young boys and going insane from syphilis. I buy paint and drugs from my so-called friends, have a vision and do a painting. Since I am well known in my village or on the left bank of pareeeeeee, a few bored no-talent rich people bid for my painting. The painting. The only one. Mr. Booger wins and buys it for $3 million and takes it home to hang it over the fireplace in his boudoir and whacks off to it every night. No one else sees it until his death. Then, his lover gives it to some museum and the only way you can see the actual painting is if you spend lots of money to go to the city that contains the museum that houses the painting.

But, if I'm, say, Emily Dickinson, I write, I die, and years later all these people read my books. At the most, they spend, what, $10 on a collection. After a certain time, the more valuable the words become (named "classic") the easier it is to buy a piece of paper with the words on it. (I'm at work, so I apologize for how disjointed this is). In a nutshell, writing was and is always existing in a virtual world. You can't own the writing in the same way you can own a piece of art. But, with the Internet, I can do some visual art, scan it in my computer (or do it on the computer), put it on the Internet and it becomes just as unreal and intangible as words. Everyone can own it. Everyone can borrow bits and pieces of it. This will do more damage to the artist's ego than STDs. Writers have always known this and that is why a writer embraces the modern world before a visual artist.

This reminds me of an argument I had with my friend Brad who is a painter. He said that painting is art and writing is craft. What do you think?

Landry

Another Shot At Literary Credentials


16 Sep

poet

The poet Charles Bukowski

samplex

Date: Thu Sep 16, 1996 6:48:00 PM America/New_York

Finished the Bukowski book, and and 75% finished with D'Sousa's 650 page tome which I unabashedly declare as the most thorough and well-adjusted look at racial intelligence in the literature to date. But let's finish first with that old egotistical drunk with a few passages I either am forced to admit reflect my own struggles, or are simply savvy lines I find fascinating for a variety of reasons, lines upon which I suppose I'll remark in the appropriate pauses as I stretch like a svelte Nottingham cat I know for another shot at literary credentials, may God forgive me. So have a laugh, attack of superiority, goof, or gaff. Be assured that I'm not trying to browbeat you with anything particularly profound, but am simply exercising the most available form of verbal flatulence not essentially my own:

"...as per a 'literary conspiracy' against me, I suppose that a great many do hate me—much of it caused by my writing style which is rather unpoetic, also in my drinking moments I have caused difficult feelings, I suppose. No excuses, man, also in my own short stories I am often the bastard villan of the pieces. I guess I am convincing. Also I don't mingle much with the literati (sic)...no New York City or North Beach up at Frisco, none of that. I am the loner. People come around here, I beer-up, and I have a tendency to run them out the door. All in all I suppose I have given off rays that I am a son of a bitch. They almost have me believing it myself."

I tattooed my body, not in a dim jones to appear chic and confrontational but because a navajo wanted to mark me and because I dared toss away any hope of worldly respectability my native intelligence and white skin supposedly entitles me to receive by throwing in with the foolish and the irresponsible, blackening it, and to prove something else to the sterile. I fattened up to escape the hype of my earlier thinness, and to test the women who claimed to love me for my mind when time has proven it was my body these older women desired.
Well, the Buk nailed me on this one, although I believe my own grammatical intuition is in lot less need of an editor than CB's, who throughout this book of letters was found railing against the "gross impertinences" of that particular class of literary befrienders, and yet appears as sloppy a writer as I've ever seen in print, much less world famous. (GT)

"Well, the female is a clever creature. She knows how to regulate her affairs. Most often it is the man who falls apart; it's the man who jumps off the bridge. When we give over our feelings they run off with us. There's no regulating them. I give over my feelings too easily, and it's not all regulated to suck and fuck (as the sculptress calls it). I get as much or more, out of other parts. Small talk. Breakfast together. Sleeping while touching. Waiting while the other goes to the toilet. Lovemaking after a stupid argument. Drinking beer with maddened friends. Hundreds of tiny things. I am never bored when I am with my women. I get bored in large formless crowds. Bored, hell, I get desperate, I lather and blather at the mouth, my eyes roll, the sky shakes. What am I talking about here?"

Uh, Gabriel. You're talking about Gabriel...

"I think that what has happened with Hal is that he has put total importance upon POETICS and what a poet is supposed to be. A good poet never knows what he is, he's a dime from the edge, but there's nothing holy about it. It's a job. Like mopping a bar floor. I can't rail too much about him; I suppose that the things he has imagined in his mind seem very true to him. Who is to judge? I rattled around his place in Venice a couple of nights drunk but it was more in energy and clowning than malice or a wish to destroy. I'm an asshole in many ways, I even enjoy my assholeness. I can tear a man in half in a short story; I can also tear myself in half, but I'm no knifer, I don't whisper things into editors' ears. I'm no destroyer. Nothing can be destroyed that has the power to move forward into its own thing. Fame or acceptance or politics or power has nothing to do with it. Nothing is needed but self going-on as self must. One only need realize this small realization."

Well, so far I have done nothing but quote what I presume to mirror my own thoughts, but this brings me to a question about the language you used in your last letter, Landry.

Your individuality schtick as an artist and a human being is very interesting. For one thing, I think that you are one of the few people I know who really is asserting their individuality. So many people think they are doing it when all they do is change uniforms.

INTERESTING? Does your usage of this word best translate to clever, queer, peculiar, noteworthy, what?

However, I do not think that whenever me or anyone else brings up generalizations about minorities or women they should be dismissed as bunk. I think that white males (at least in Western Culture) are socialized into a world that allows them to see the world differently. It must feel pretty good to come in on top. Then, if you fail, you only have yourself to blame. While I don't think anyone should use their group's oppression as a crutch or an excuse for any flaw they may have, I don't think the general population of blacks, Asians, women, Hispanics can escape some of the hardships put upon them throughout history by white men.

But enough of this blather, this is not the stuff of Email where it simply sounds like histrionic self-rationalizing apochrypha (hey, how did Howellnyms sneak into this perfectly good snatch of self-criticism), but the iron truth is in God's own pocket calculator, and as long as my memories sustain me, I will not relinquish the justification of my own experience any more than a thousand subsets of humanity do with their own Pontius Pilate slant, following after their own fashion.
Now we are tiptoeing into the pond best swam within the context of D'Sousa's book. I just got off the phone with Len Bracken who does not share my enthusiasm for D'Sousa's points of view, he having heard him on a radio talk show (I caught him on Phil Donahue), although I challenged him to read the book before dismissing him out of hand. I am thoroughly convinced of the integrity of D'Sousa's work, perceptions, and remedies for what ails us as a culture,although admitting it will take a cold day in hell to convince the Boasian liberal establishment to nudge an inch off its pedastal, but I'd rather postpone that commentary until a more appropriate time. Now back to the asshole of the hour:

"Norse? I understand his viewpoint. We simply come out of different poetic backgrounds. And when I'm drunk I am generally rude and boorish and stupid to everybody alike. I don't just select Hal. If he could understand this he might feel better. Before a man can ever meet the gods he must learn to forgive the drunks. Alta? I understand her viewpoint, and it must certainly seem plausible and right to her, but creation, art, is the breakthrough. We hardly do what is proper or kind, though often, in life, we are kinder than most, much more. Without flying flags about it. Alta does not know how to write a sentence down. It hurts her pitch. I don't want to rape Alta. I don't want to rape anybody. I never have. But if an artist wants to go into the mind of a rapist or a murderer and look out of that mind and write down that mind, I don't think that is criminal. Furthermore, I didn't say my stories in NOLA were "sarcastic." I don't apologize for my work. If I write a story about a shitty woman then that shitty woman did exist. One form or another. Blacks can also be shitty as can whites. I refuse to be restricted in the materials I can paint with. It's really all so ridiculous to defend anything as JUST that thing, can't they even understand that? Oh Alta, I HAVE love...that's why I can write other things..."

Ditto again. Hence my niggard reputation. A capsule rant of the reality of a consciousness which has predicted me since a child, if I may: I presumed at the insidious sterile age of seventeen to wreck my whiteness, my elitehood, my natural intelligence by lowering my standards to the world's din. I have refused time and time again the higher education the world says I must have in order to achieve the level native intelligence requires. I have stated on several occasions and to surprising acclaim that I drink to excess so I can be as stupid and as forgetful as the rest of the world. I tattooed my body, not in a dim jones to appear chic and confrontational but because a navajo wanted to mark me and because I dared toss away any hope of worldly respectability my native intelligence and white skin supposedly entitles me to receive by throwing in with the foolish and the irresponsible, blackening it, and to prove something else to the sterile. I fattened up to escape the hype of my earlier thinness, and to test the women who claimed to love me for my mind when time has proven it was my body these older women desired. I dare to remain jobless so as not to take a job from those who claim the system is rigged in my favor. In my pure uneducated but highly observant 20s back in the 1970s I was popular and hung with the gay population, and also infiltrated the hispanic and black cultures, and as a result often had projected onto me what I was reading was the sole domain of my own kind, the white male...et cetera et cetera. But enough of this blather, this is not the stuff of Email where it simply sounds like histrionic self-rationalizing apochrypha (hey, how did Howellnyms sneak into this perfectly good snatch of self-criticism), but the iron truth is in God's own pocket calculator, and as long as my memories sustain me, I will not relinquish the justification of my own experience any more than a thousand subsets of humanity do with their own Pontius Pilate slant, following after their own fashion.

This has gotten rather long, and I have three more bookmarks to exploit for your perusal, so until next time....

GT

Writing From One's Own Nostrils


07 Sep

Spotting Friends In The Picture

Spotting Friends In The Picture

samplex

Originally published on September 7, 1996

I wrote: "...what I might really need is a good five cent cigar and a well-edited collection of GT/The World letters. Now THAT'S A JOB for the Bracken's breath, but he couldn't stand it. He'd abolish Thy letters, and want to publish his own. I just don't think Len Bracken is talented enough to edit Gabriel Thy, nor I, him."

Tom wrote:

I heard that. Lenny commented on that to me recently, saying he offered his editorial services but 'you wanted to write about everything' with a knowing chuckeling. I smirked to, know the widing gulf between the kind things Lenny writes, I write about, and what your doing. Lenny has done some editorial work for me and it's been effective in achieving the limited, specific goals of commercial writing, similar to the goals of academic writing. Focused, defined, and above all CLEAR and unambiguious. If you're going to go out on limb with thousands of vague poetics allustions and private jokes, then we can't help you. It [is] a strange and mercurical landscape out there, maybe you'll be recognized as an innovative and important writer who went it alone and created his own unique style. Then I will attend my own Tom Howell Roast and listen to scores of writers and critics tell me what a fool I was for not understanding that I was in the presence of genius, then eat my dinner of crow.

BTW, Lenny and I have a film treatment in the hopper with my agent in New York. We're egarly awaiting a FAX of editorial comments, margin notes and other ego-deflating comments about how we didn't write it right. Should such a FAX come across your machine, please notify me immediately. Look forward to your spirited rebuttal (this is not a flame, but a mere creative spark).

Neither Stick Nor Stones (She Mumbled)


16 Aug

styx

Styx Haunts The Dollhouse

samplex

Originally published on August 16, 1996

Well folks, it's official. Styx has left the building. After spending four of five nights away from the Dollhouse in her search for fun & frenzy around the U Street corridor, spending nearly every dime of the $200 plus she bussed in with, Styx wandered up on Wednesday afternoon an hour past her declared work time of noon. I told her she was fired, having been very clear that if I was going to make work for her in order to help her make Dollhouse rent I wanted her to take it as serious as any outside job: honesty, dedication, and consistency the foundation of that relationship. And since she now had no visible means of support, I thought she should leave for those greener pastures she had taken up in recent days.

Tom Howell and his pals had as much adopted her, and I wanted her to go, so I worked up the stones to insist she leave. She was too quiet, acted like a prisoner, an ugly step-child, a peril to herself and to us, too antsy to get out of the house night after night. Obviously she was not comfortable here. And the feeling was mutual. Tim had wearied of her ghostlike emphemera, hardly a word spoken, and then only a whisper we invariably had to ask she repeat. We thrive on explicit boltwrenching chat around here. She thrived on escape. She just wasn't working out. All my speeches intended to enlighten and provoke exchange mattered nothing to her. She just wanted to flutter beyond like gutter garbage in the wind in some unspecific marking of time.

Despite yesterday’s hangover slump after crucifying an entire bottle of vodka the day before to ease the anxiety of having to turn my back on somebody, even somebody I probably loathed, I was notably relieved that she was gone. No deep & disturbing psychodrama, merely thirteen hours of photograph labels had passed between us. Other than $125 dropped on a twin mattress for her, which I am sure we can parlay into a proper use once we can afford to remodel the basement, I feel she owes us nothing, and I nothing to her. A closed chapter in all our lives.
When I awoke Tuesday morning and Tim said she had not come in again that night I figured she would stroll in late, and asked Sue to take the Metro leaving me the car to move her across town. And so I did. I fed her some Ethiopian along the way, and that was that. No anger, no final speeches. Just the shared feeling that this was the most natural thing to do considering the anxiety we both endured while she was here. Although she said she was prepared to complete her day's work that afternoon, she admitted she was happy to try her luck on the street.

She had spent last night at Ted's. An odd but warm fellow, a heavy-set bearded lost & found street saxophonist, Ted kept a place over on the notorious in one of the Paul Lutauf Belmont Street buildings—a barren dump as you can imagine, having lived over on that same stretch of Belmont-In-Squalor yourself a decade of woeful memories ago, eh Jennifer, but certainly more the Styx style than the ordered clichés of the mid-life middle class Dollhouse manor. We made no vows to keep in touch, for as I said, very little was directly exchanged, particularly on the topics of the immediate past and the oh so immediate future, and what little was said I drew out with a direct questioning, the sole standard form of communication we seemed fated to share until she would leave I presumed.

Despite yesterday's hangover slump after crucifying an entire bottle of vodka the day before to ease the anxiety of having to turn my back on somebody, even somebody I probably loathed, I was notably relieved that she was gone. No deep & disturbing psychodrama, merely thirteen hours of photograph labels had passed between us. Other than $125 dropped on a twin mattress for her, which I am sure we can parlay into a proper use once we can afford to remodel the basement, I feel she owes us nothing, and I nothing to her. A closed chapter in all our lives.

Strange how I once thought she & Tim might hit it off, when instead it was Howellnyms & his Braeniac crowd who took immediate advantage of this wandering waif.

She was quite efficient in those thirteen hours at the Mac. I used a microrecorder early in the mornings before she was stirring to identify the appropriate people, place, and dates of each photo. She then transcribed them, printed to label sheets, and then applied to pictures each label at an astonishing rate. I was quite pleased with her work, but I knew she wanted to maraud the cityscape instead despite her acquiescent nods when I plied her with questions concerning her comfort & intentions amongst the Dollhouse regulars. I might have let Rob Williams down, but it no longer mattered. He'd passed her along to me. I passed her along to Tom and Russell Braen—no doubt to their prudent chagrin—but at least she wanted to be over there with Russell's Myhouse crew, closer to the urban street action than she was with us. I heard somebody say Patrick Tracy, our looming Irish writer, won a Madam's Organ backroom blowjob out of it, her idea, his treat. Enough said.

GT

S A M P L E X

"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""


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