Freiestheater Equals Deadend

In z’Germaninland, that little place in the middle of Eurowasteland, Freiestheater is almost comparable to New York “Off” and London “Fringe”. I say “almost” because at least NY and LN have produced works from their venues that are worth a hoot. With that bit of frustration in mind…

For a struggling writer rejection is good. It means more than being just worst at what you do. It means, at the least, you’re also doing something. Seriously. As a prose writer that cannot get published or as a playwright rejected by every theater I sent my plays, I think it very important, no matter what, to absorb all the failure, learn from it, keep going, and, most importantly, stick to your beliefs, don’t change for others, develop your style, blah blah, blah blah… The scary thing is, I will stick with it, and the way it’s gone thus far, I’ll die a complete failure. Drinks anyone?

Did you know that between Berlin and Munich there is no place in the world with so many theaters? Yeah, there’s actually some kind of UNESCO historical recognition of the German theater landscape. But that’s neither here nor there. It was a big mistake for me back in the late eighties to think that I should go to Germany to kick off my playwriting career. It was also terribly naive to think that I didn’t need to go to New York to make it. Seeing how things turned out in Eurowasteland probably means that I would have been literally eaten in NY. Still. At the time I thought: why not do something different?

The idea back then was if I’m gonna be a playwright I need to learn all about theater. There was no opportunity to do that in the US. At least not where I’m from. Since I had relatives in Germany, the move wasn’t that difficult. Living here with proper credentials, though, was – but that’s for another post. I quickly realized that I could also produce my own plays in Germany – hence, jump-start my dream career as a theater producer and/or director. I met a few intelligent German chicks and got them to help me with translations. I got to know some actors and technicians. Heck. I even found a theater. Then I financed the projects with the money I was making from working as a research consultant for the corporate world and… Bang. I got laid and made theater.

As any creative person eventually figures out, achieving the slightest success in the arts is really, really hard work. It’s not comparable to a career in the mindless corporate world. In theatre I suspect this is compounded by the fact that there are many instances of creativity. Perhaps in the early stages of becoming a playwright, dealing with the various creative elements is what determines success or failure, especially in a wholly government subsidized community, as is the case in Germany. In my opinion, theatre has three main pillars: actors, directors and writers. The subsidized German theatre has basically annihilated the writer as one of those pillars. Oh my, the actors and directors have taken over. Does a lonely writer among beautiful and powerful people have a chance?

I heeded advice from “career” theatre people (dramaturgs, directors, etc.) working in state subsidized houses and sought other venues for my work. I eventually produced two relatively successful plays in the early 90s and two more in early 2000. When I went with these “dues” back to state houses I was still rejected. No one was open to new writing, although I could prove that my plays worked, i.e. that they were ready for the stage. I was then told that you have to be a name first if you don’t write in German. What? Seriously? But I live here and speak your language and… They were absolutely right. I guess.

Why do I stay here? Because I enjoy being shunned as though I were a leaper. Plus, I’m getting old. Life is over. I don’t have the energy anymore. Loser.

From a writer’s point-of-view – yes, even a failed one – German theatre sucks. (Except for the work of the above mentioned Ms. Kettering, of course.) My reason for this generalization is not because Germany has rejected me or because I’m becoming a bitter old man. It’s because German theatre hasn’t produced a world-class play, actor or playwright in probably thirty years. Productions today are wonderful and exuberant, see my post here – but there is nothing new. Instead it swallows more than 1 billion euros in state subsidies. You would think, with that kind of money, there would be some fantastic funky German play known to the world or some fantastic funky German playwright.

The market for German-language theatre is huge. And it is self-indulgent. It has become nothing more than an Arbeitsbeschaffungsmaßnahme comparable to Germany’s struggle to rebuild autobahns with a day-late-and-euro-short budget. Of course, one could argue that writers like Botho Strauss and Moritz Rinke and Ms. Kettering are great German playwrights. But they are no where near the likes of Pinter, Albee or even Brecht because their work doesn’t transcend German-ness. What a shame, eh. With that in mind it is hard for me to swallow all this rejection, which btw, has left me to only writing and no more producing. The advice of the privileged subsidy pay-check clan:

I waddled around Freiestheater for about ten years and learned that ALL German actors, directors, stage hands, lighting technicians, electricians, carpenters, etc., who were not privileged enough to get a “contract” with a state subsidized house, all worked in Freiestheater. It was a smorgasbord of wannabe Liza Minnelli’s, pseudo intellects who made fun of politicians, rejects. The layers of creativity here, it is very creative!, was suffocating. Beyond that, unlike New York “off” and London “Fringe”, there was no proof of bottom-up success with German Freiestheater. It took me those ten years to realize this. And now, I believe they should take the word “theater” out of Freiestheater. Replace it with hobby.

I am proud of one aspect of all this failure: of the four plays I originally wrote in English and translated to German and then produced in the dead-end Freiestheater scene – none of them received any state funding, even though I lived, worked and paid taxes in Germany. I financed them myself and owe a lot to the participants, actors and theater managers. Hundreds of people saw my work. And I consider that a privilege! Ironically, state and city theater budgets were being cut yet all Freiestheater stages that I tried to get into were still receiving subsidies and they all said NO to me. Ouch.

For posterity, here is a rejection letter for funding from the city of Düsseldorf in 1992 for my play Flight of the Dodo. Luckily I was able to put the play on anyway.

I consider it a fun reminder of having made a big mistake. And I’m not bitter. Seriously.

Prost!

-tgs-

Example Cover Letter

This is almost a disclaimer: 1) Now that the peons of most Anglo corporations are scratching their monkey heads about where their futures are (not) going, it might be time to (re)think (a)knew. If thinking without emotional influence or monetary influence is a problem in your life, then you might want to review this documentation first with your therapist/drug dealer. 2) Please be advised that use of the “cover letter” element of this blog-post is granted as long as credit is given to worstwriter for, if not writing it, inspiring it. Credit for the job-advert that motivated this cover letter is granted only to HR personnel. And now on to the fun.

Bill Hicks, the late-great comedian, brilliantly demanded of ”marketing” people (a faction of the “corporates” – a term I’ll be using regularly not just in this post but thru out this blog) that they all go fuck themselves and then commit suicide. What a nice thought, eh? I think all corporates should do that. But that’s neither here nor there.

Digress. Oh. And. Before I forget. The compulsive labor force that makes up the American’t middle-class has so angered the upper-class that the upper-class (conservative revolution, neo-cons, etc.) has declared war. Who knows, perhaps the upper-class will find a way to dupe elections and put a moron into the presidency who represents their ideology and wears shit-kicker boots and swaggers when he walks as though he’s got a stick up his ass beyond the one that his blue-blood was born with. And after that’s done everyone will go – and I mean everyone: ”gee, how’d that happen?” But I won’t speculate too much here about American’t politics – there are other blogs for that. The problem I have is that there is something that enables and facilitates the idiocracy of the corporate run world. I believe the source of all this mindless-ness can be found in the little things that no one thinks about. Like paying your bills. I mean. Seriously. Even though you have too many bills and they are big and bulbous, paying them is a little thing. And boy does paying occupy all of your life. Am I wrong? Anywho. It is these little things that make up the whole, right? Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a class fighter – even though I am almost sure that the grandchildren of the elites that built American’t post civil war are all completely useless to society now yet are part of our current political demise. And so. There is nothing to gain in fighting the fights that so many have already fought – and subsequently lost. Again. I use the word(s) middle class lightly. And. Can you say progressive? In fact, let the upper-class have their way – they are better at it than if another class were to take their place. Seriously. Or something like that.

Note: the covers letter is first; the job advert follows.

The Cover Letter

Dearest slave driver corporate Dudettes and Dudes,

This is a response to your recent job posting (amwillingtopaytobeunemployed.com) for a Innovation Research Analyst/Strategist. This is also a challenge. I challenge you to motivate me to apply for employment to your company.

Let me start with a new concept that you have probably never heard before. The concept of work itself has been turned into a commodity. Did you know that? No? Let me try to explain in brief. Work is traded like products are traded. Hence globalization. With that in mind, working in a coal mine and getting black lung has been replaced with working for a nebulous corporation and dying from emotional distress attached to it.

So let’s break from the norm, shall we. Let me tell you what you need – as opposed to me providing only what you want so that I may fall into a privileged world of being granted permission to have any kind of standard of living bequeathed via your automated salary payments systems. You believe you want a “career professional” (code for automaton) with twelve years experience, a college degree with an awesome GPA, to include advanced degrees, of course, and the ability to answer questions with all the right answers w/out blinking an eye. Oh. And you also want all of the above from someone no older than twenty-six and a few months.

You have got to be kidding! First, making any sort of comparison between AT &T and AOL is ludicrous. That would be like comparing Nature’s invention of a horse with Man’s invention of the automobile. It is, of course, possible to compare (if one generalizes in terms of mobility and follows mindless conservative rhetoric) but then one could only ask afterwards, ok, fine, and…? AT &T is the product of governmental deregulation in the 70s. AOL is the product of whimsical nerd-fancy that just happened to catch a wave. Ok, maybe there’s your comparison: AT &T is/was about systematic governmental involvement plus the break up of a monopoly which turned out to be a great farcical business case. AOL, on the other hand, is/was systematic governmental un-involvement plus the want of a monopoly and has turned out to be a great farcical business case. Now, if one thinks in terms of Newton (yeah, Isaac), then there is something else perhaps worthy of researching here: inertia (in the context of business). That is the only thing which is comparable between these two companies born as dinosaurs. What about the service economy? you ask. Yeah, if I was motivated, I could take this issue and do the apple and orange (or horse and automobile) thing for at least three-thousand words, including lots of really cool graphs.

Oh, and what about the IBM question? This is a double… you have got to be kidding!! Without leaving too much of a conspiracy theorist trail it would be pretty easy to say that… IBM did invent windows (indirectly, of course). But in doing so your readers (or do you call them clients) might gawk at the revealing sight of a young Bill G., including pimples and tears, being turned away by slick dark suits with blue ties.

Now I have a question for you. What does … “achieving a repeatable discipline of service innovation development” really mean? (Does this have anything to do with wax on, wax off, grasshopper?) Being the casual but innovative guy that I am, in order to figure this out I went to your website. Oh, I guess that was helpful ((big grin)).

Let me help you once again gain some perspective. The service industry is not a result of industrialization. Also, it is not a natural step in the evolution (if you can use that term in modern day united mistakes) of an industrialized economy. The service industry, as we know it, is nothing more than the result of failed industrialization. If we must categorize our economy as a service economy then we must first look closely at the succession of an agricultural economy to that of an industrial economy. Personally, and adhering to the principle of not going through life blind, I don’t see how anyone can view the negative results of industrialization as a succession. Therefore, you cannot consider this so-called service economy as an economy. (This is easily verified by the numbers.) It is obvious that our service-driven, capital-based economy is a horrific failure and it is exactly that failure that all companies need to address ((slight grin)).

Best regards and good luck in your sorting of the swelling herd.

-tgs-

Note: Below is the original advert; I have only changed the names, etc. And. No. I never heard from this company after sending in my “resume” and cover letter.)

The Job Advert

Innovation Research Analyst/Strategist Reply to: someone@somecompany.com

Date: 2005-06-16, 4:13PM EDT This position is designed for college graduates with 1-2 years work experience. If you are qualified and interested in applying, please submit a well-crafted cover letter explaining your interest and fit for the position to some- one@somecompany.com.

Why did AT &T fail to invent AOL? Why didn’t IBM invent Windows? How does Cisco handle the fact that 68 % of its equity valuation is based on revenue expectations for products  and services it hasn’t even invented yet?
Somewhere LLC is a research consulting firm striving to solve such questions, which illustrate one of the most complex, yet fundamental, challenges confronting businesses today: achieving a repeatable discipline of service innovation development. Peer Insight was founded to articulate a new science, a new set of disciplines, to under- stand innovation in services industries. Leveraging our understanding of service innovation, service strategy, and customer experience design, we work directly with senior executives from Fortune 500 corporations to help them navigate the shift from products to services and compete in the booming services economy.

We’re looking for a passionate, intellectually-curious, critical thinker to join us, particularly one eager to take on more responsibility, challenge, and growth opportunities than you might expect to find elsewhere. You must be keenly interested in business strategy and in helping businesses devise creative solutions to the wrenching macro-economic changes confronting them. Candidate will have within 1-2 years professional experience, preferably in a business, consulting, or research environment. Undergraduate degrees in business or liberal arts welcomed.

The successful candidate will be an analytical thinker, sharp and confident at engaging senior Fortune 500 executives in conversation on the critical business challenges of the day – and capable of gleaning original insights and concepts from those conversations. A demonstrated ability to synthesize large amounts of information, distill it down to key findings, and argue a point of view persuasively with colleagues is required. Individual must have a proven ability to present ideas and data with ease in all mediums: visually, verbally, and in writing. Candidate must be well-read and conversant in business strategy and terminology. Candidate must demonstrate specific research skills, including an adeptness at developing research frameworks that yield statistically and qualitatively meaningful insights. Experience with web design, database integration and development, and/or desktop publishing a plus. Must know the Microsoft Office suite, including Power Point, inside and out.

The Somewhere LLC Innovation Research Analyst/Strategist will participate in client research interviews and help develop research frameworks and hypotheses, and develop reports and presentations therefrom. The analyst will rapidly become an innovation expert and will be invited to contribute to the development of Somewhere LLC intellectual property. Analyst will assist in development of Peer Insight executive education symposium and workshops. Candidate will be welcomed to grow within the organization and quickly assume more challenging responsibilities.

As Business Week wrote in the editorial of its March 21, 2005 issue, Many of the best jobs in the future will be found in the sweet spot where design, customer understanding, and emerging technologies come together for businesses. That’s what you’ll find at Somewhere LLC. We’re committed to delivering a richly-rewarding professional experience for our employees, and welcome applicants who are committed to professional, personal, and academic growth throughout their lives. In addition to being a superb analyst, the successful candidate will be an entrepreneur at heart, who can thrive in our collegial culture. We endeavor to make a real difference in our client’s lives and each other’s.

Job location is so-n-so, USA Compensation: Very Competitive…Based on Experience

Please apply with Cover letter and resume.

Truth Seeking v2.0

(Something I’ve been working on and will likely never finish. As usual.)

Subtitle: Isaac Newton and (My United Mistake’s) Radio Talking Heads

It hurts me to say this but there is no such thing as truth seeking. Trust me, I’m American’t born – I know these things. Of late I feel compelled to promote this conclusion because, the other day, on assignment in St. Augustine, Florida – and right in the middle of doing my stretching exercises, which is part of a regular break from home-office-outsourced-work – I saw a bird fall out of the sky and hit the ground a few stories under my window with a loud jell-o thud. The bird was a swan or something with a wingspan of at least two meters (61/2 feet). It fell out of the sky when I was squeezing my chin to my knees, gasping. At first I thought it was a stuffed animal that had fallen out of the hands of a child flying above in the front seat of a biplane – I was not far from Disney World – but then I quickly realized that couldn’t be the case. At least I was almost sure that it couldn’t have been a biplane. With a false sense of responsibility and guided by some sort of paternal order, I wiped two beads of sweat from my left eye and walked outside in my stretch-exercise dress with a cordless phone, a broom, hedge clippers and a purple, orange and green beach bucket that, obviously, the previous occupant of this room had left under the bed.

The first thing I noticed when I got to the bird was bubbling blue colored fluid (blood?) seeping out of the two holes at the top of its long and slightly crooked bill. I assumed the holes were its nose. Then, sure of my discovery, I called nine-one-one. After a quick briefing I was put on hold and connected to elevator music almost the same as the music played in most American’t shopping malls. For those that don’t know, this music is the calming serenade of a survive-to-consume lower middle class pitched against a slightly higher lower middle class in a kind of winner-take-all war of consumption. Embedded deep within this music, not unlike what The Beatles embedded in at least two, maybe three, of their albums is a code that makes the human brain despise other humans when faced with the reality of credit card maximization.

Within minutes, and just as my right calf muscle was cramping from the abrupt disruption of stretching and the jaunt from my hotel room, the bird – and me – were surrounded by smartly dressed, almost corporate looking men with Homeland Security pins on lapels and typically dead civil servant smiles. One of the men said upon arrival: paramedic, sir. When I stepped away relieved that I had performed a kind of civil duty, I counted a total of twelve men and as many vehicles in the surrounding parking lots and thought: that’s a lot for a dead bird. Eventually all the parking lots in the surrounding area, which included hotels, motels, bars, bordellos, churches, one meth clinic, three Wal-Marts with drive through pharmacies and a huge industrial facility that no one has been able to tell me what it does, were completely filled and all I could think of were concepts like national security, government overstep, stupid white men with too many guns and too little (good) sex and those same stupid white men never having the joy of frivolously and regularly missing lunch. And then I heard someone whisper: it has the blue blood. A half dozen men were staring at the dead bird. Someone else said louder: no, it’s kind of green. And then the word “terror” fell and like a tree in fall full of that word – all the leaves started falling like hot potatoes. As much as I tried, there was no avoiding the almost theatrical entrance of the highly trained professionals who were about to rid the world of not only fear but consideration of fear by annihilating the presence of an alien blood bird. After a short while there was little else to contemplate. What had I done?

(2a) (2006-04-10 08:54) Epiphany

That night, at about three-thirty in the morning, I opened me eyes and stared at the image of a sky on the ceiling above my rent-a-bed. The sky was full of activity. There were clouds and the shadows those clouds made on other clouds. There was also the shadow of rain falling from distant clouds. There was the light of lightening but no sound of lightening. For whatever reason I couldn’t see below this sky. That is, there was no horizon to guide me to view the ground and/or all that was below this sky. I assumed that I was comfortable and unwilling to move in order to change my view. Either that or I was the bird from that morning. Flying. Still alive. Even though my blood was red.

Eventually there was a dreamy blue light on the ceiling that was a mix of street lights and moonlight and I think I was falling half asleep or remaining half awake. REM? If so…

My dream was being projected on the ceiling and I was watching the previous day in playback. The difference was that the Homeland Security agent that had interviewed me regarding the bird was now narrating to me. He told me that I was having what is termed a Ruckus-Epiphany and it was taking place in my cerebral cortex and it was caused by my having touched and then tasted the blood of the bird that had fallen out of the sky.
“But I didn’t do such a thing,” I said.
“Yes. You did,” the agent responded. “Are you a terrorist,” he then asked.
Silence. The agent continued by saying that this form of epiphany is very dangerous and was discovered accidentally by an east-German horse doctor who was also the first physician banned from working with Olympic athletes. When the doctor was told that he was banned from doctoring, he just smirked and reminded the audience that he was ninety-six years old and had a secure pension from the second Reich. The agent continued telling me how dangerous the form of epiphany was that I was having and if not treated promptly could lead to degenerative disease, delusions and a complete failure of injected patriotism. On the other hand, the agent added, smirking, doctors have been able to synthesize the epiphany and bottle it. We can use it against the enemy. You’re not the enemy, are you? When I inquired if that was the cause of the metallic flavor at the back of my tongue, the agent told me to go back to sleep and to visit three doctors in the morning. I went back to sleep and dreamt nothing and woke up to my alarm at six-fifty-eight.

(2b) (2006-04-11 06:59) Diagnosis

I don’t want to languish on the details of my personal diagnosis, but three doctors in the greater St. Augustine area examined me with a thoroughness attributable only to the Eurowasteland insurance coverage I was totting while on assignment in The United Mistakes of American’t. Oh, how American’t doctors love my welfare state branded Eurowasteland insurance. They grope for me. “Insurance that pays,” they yell and scream and dance. Even though at times doctors claimed I suffered from both delusions of grandeur and chronic self deprecation, patient and medicine man recognized the benefit we both derived. Our tolerances were high. On top of all that, medicinal visits gave me an excuse not to work for the man for a few hours.

There was one difference to these doctor visits compared to other visits. Using the internet and other emerging technologies, one American’t doctor hooked up with one of my Eurowasteland doctors. It was a spectacle all should have the privilege to experience. When I asked by the Eurowasteland doctor why the call, I heard the American’t doctor whisper “homeland security”. Expensive computers with glaring screens surrounded and filled the space that used to be just one highly and over educated man and one less man than him conversing about gastric troubles. Now it was about PCs and operating systems and peripheral devices that make young geeks that can’t afford and government. There were ethernet and LAN connections. There were certainly hearing devices and hidden surveillance cameras. There were Internets and technically metaphorical Tubes were glowing in rainbow colors, hyperlink data protocols were twitching in the atmosphere, filling the space, comforting the patient – or were they comforting the doctors? It all became especially interesting, bordering on intriguing, when I tried to explain the situation about the fallen bird – at the behest, of course, of the American’t doctor to my Eurowasteland doctor. Wow. Shame more people in American’t don’t have such good health insurance, eh.
“Yez, cohl-league,” the Eurowasteland doctor said to the American’t doctor on the PC screen. “Vee half no evee-dence of z’burd here.”
“Thank you doctor,” the American’t concluded.
“Yuh ahr vel-come cohl-league.”
The doctors small-talked about getting together someday and I stared for a short stint at the ceiling, it was bland and had no shadows. Then the American’t doctor turned to me and slapped my left knee with a wooden ruler. He had put his computer on sound mute. He inquired about the assimilation therapy recommended by my Eurowasteland doctor. I told him that it was a requirement after receiving permanent visa status, to include work status, in Eurowasteland. He mumbled, “oh, so they’ve finally caught up to us on that note.” The American’t doctor turned the sound back on and the two discussed whether or not assimilation therapy was reversible and then reversible again upon my return to Eurowasteland. The doctors were very conciliatory to each other, almost as though they were dancing on a perfectly polished floor of diplomacy. I thought I heard a promise in there somewhere to meet in Greenland but the American’t added that Greenland belonged to Eurowasteland. Eventually I watched the PCs all disconnect from the yearning Eurowasteland doctor.  His eyes expressing very clearly that he too wished that he could be where I was – bird included – but more importantly being able to get the same hourly fees as American’t doctors. Then the American’t doctor’s screen-saver kicked-in showing fake vacation pictures that everyone could order from http://www.lietoyourself.com.

In helping me get over my fear of possible, albeit temporary, forced repatriation after the bird incident my doctor recommended that I make a link back to where I was when I expatriated. He empathized the difficulty of this matter but reminded me that the bird, and hence the possible link to terror – as noted by the officers from Homeland Security – was no joking matter. Indeed, it was a tough link. And even though I was an expatriate that didn’t mean that I was ex-patriotic. Still. Having the days where it all began behind me was a good thing. Although I was confident that this wouldn’t cause any permanent damage – for I had started, quit, restarted and quit again with things like smoking, sex, etc. – I could do this and then get on a plane and re-expatriate again. My goodness. These aren’t the ‘80s anymore! And. I am the little caboose that could… can.

Having seen in my files that I was a media junky and that I always complained about not having good radio in Eurowasteland, my American’t doctor recommended that I stream extreme wingnut radio using the Internets while washing down those pills with bourbon, lime juice and seltzer. “It’ll take away some of the sting,” he said. “And the drink is called a Ricki – I invented it,” he added. I took his advice, signed waivers and LOPs (letter of proposals), shook the bottle of pills that I was given and headed out to the parking lot that was the size of Arizona. Luckily the parking lot was surrounded by malls, Wal-Marts and various corporate restaurants that all had the atypical shit food and, as a compensator for being shitty, the good branded liquor.
After a couple of hours of failed attempts of finding something decent to listen too to soothe the rest of the pain, and seeing the stress build up in me trying to search the maze of what’s available on the Internets to help me repatriate, I http’d with my Eurowasteland doctor who eventually recommended that I listen to a guy named (insert wingnut radio talkshow host here) who he had read about in his research of my case. Then my Eurowasteland doctor reminded me that transcontinental medical advice was monitored by my new Gestapo… he corrected himself: Homeland Security.
The first few days of listening to American’t wingnut radio was trying, not unlike being weaned from logic and reason altogether. But, having been expatriated for so long, there was enough disconnect to rectify and restrain. And so, like a prescription, I streamed wingnut radio via the Internets every night after a full day’s work for the man.
Within a day or two after the whole ordeal with the bird, the doctors, pills and talking heads, I met a Homeland Security temp agent named Julstice. He knocked on my rent-a-bed door. He asked if it would be ok that he ask me a few questions regarding the recent events and he added that his partner was waiting in their car. I looked at his I.D. that was encased in a zip-lock bag, agreed and invited him in.
“Nice place,” he said. “You get this reimbursed?”
“Yes.”
“Really? Private sector. Wow. You wouldn’t believe what I have to go through to get expenses reimbursed. Sometimes we prefer to sleep in our cars.”
“You should vote differently,” I mistakenly said.
“What was that comment? Come again,” the agent said, raising his right brow.
I was feeling bold. It was the prescription drugs and the talking-heads that making lose my tongue, my mind.
“American’t is rotting from the core because the voting constituency uses feelings to make all its important decisions. You allow your emotions to govern reason. That’s bad. Real bad.”
“Oh. You’re educated, aren’t you,” the agent said looking at his notes on a government issued PDA. On the back of the PDA was a bright and crispy clean stamp on top of an old and scratched away stamp that read: YOU not GOVERNMENT, are responsible for this device.
“Oh. I see here,” the agent continued, reading from the little green and black print screen in front of him. “You’re not actually educated. You attended various colleges for about,” he counts with his fingers. “Here we go. For about seven years. But you have no degree. Yeah. I’d expatriate after all that, too. Say. You play golf?”
“Of course, dammit. I’m Amercan’t.”
“You’re what? Oh, that’s a good one.”
“I can hold my own for nine holes,” I said.
“Let’s go,” he said. “After – you buy the coffee.”

(3) (2006-04-12 04:03) Julstice

There’s no getting around it. Corporatism has ruined coffee across the Atlantic. Something as simple as coffee shouldn’t be ruined. But so is the free market that many are convinced actually exists. In my life I’ve had coffee cooked, percolated, filtered and, due to recent developments in the advanced welfare state that is Eurowasteland, I am now the regular recipient of coffee brewed through an extremely expensive machine that uses fifteen-bar of atmospheric pressure and special filtered water heated to ninety-five degrees celsius. This machine is fully automated. In fact, it’s so new-fangled that I use it as a morning alarm clock. But now I’m in American’t where really, really big and gnarly corporations even admit through their advertising and branding to be copying something straight from the southern parts of Eurowasteland, and yet are incapable of making a decent cup of coffee. I mean. Come on. I can understand that cars are ruined by corporations. But coffee beans grow on trees that are far enough away from any American’t that he or she doesn’t have to be reminded of how close to poverty they themselves are. These beans are cultivated by really poor souls who could care less about the waste politics of surviving to consume that has become The Wicked West. Obviously it is the lackluster existence of those same poor souls that is the foundation of corporations – but I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself. Just stop ruining the fucking coffee you pseudo fascist pigs!

Let me cut to the cake. My assignment in American’t is to secure the delivery of a large amount of shoe lace aglets. The deal, although previously signed and sealed, recently came under international and transcontinental scrutiny due to an incident between competing CEOs on both sides of the Atlantic regarding a stair-race to the top of a Malaysian high-rise. The problem wasn’t the race itself but the prize the two CEOs were after. The prize was a Philippine national living on an extended visa in Bali, which was fine, except for the small fact that she was also, until very recently, involved in a scandal with the ambassador of Thailand to American’t. You see, Thailand was trying to corner the market on shoe laces and… Well, you get the business slash economic picture there.
The Eurowasteland corporation that temporarily hired me – because the guy they tried to get from Mumbai canceled for unknown reasons at the last minute, subsequently relegating his pay scale to me since I wasn’t the first to start pay negotiations for this outsourced work – has compromised on a deal. It is my temp-job to facilitate that compromise. The gist of the whole deal, in fact, is that, ultimately, the Eurowasteland corporation is helping the American’t corporation – as they say – save face. The main reason for the whole debacle is, as usual, unabridged greed combined with the natural failings of human males the world over. This all came about because Eurowasteland corporation developed a material that is used as a flame retardant and flavor enhancer in the aglets of shoe laces. Under the guise of outdated industrial cooperation and mutual benefit, the top priority of the American’t corporation was to steal the aglet material and then enable a Failasia sub-corporation to manufacture it at a lower price. This is common corporate practice since the latter part of the twentieth century and both parties are well aware of it. In fact, Eurowasteland corporation is accustomed to this kind of corporate behavior and doesn’t really care. The American’t corporations effort to cover everything up with a silly tabloid-driven controversy – where dueling CEOs have a stair-case foot race to the top of a Malaysian high-rise – has been a disaster. Word got out that the winner of the race would get first dibs on a former first-lady of some pacific island pseudo-nation that had turned exotic dancer – but I also heard that the loser got sloppy seconds. Again. Eurowastelanders just want their fucking money. The key here being: no matter what happens the American’t corporation is liable for the deal because they signed a contract and litigation to get out of the deal is just too troublesome to my employer. Would you believe that they’ve even given me permission to renegotiate payment? I’ve heard that even some of the Eurowasteland corporations upper management almost feel sorry for their American’t counter parts. “That’s how bad the American’t economy is,” they say. Yet, if this deal completely failed because of some judicial and international scandal it would be best if Eurowasteland corporation maintain at least some credibility with other potential American’t corporations. Other useless money making industrial products are always in the works.

The full name of the agent assigned to me was Julstice Jonah. As previously mention, he’s a homeland security temp. He thinks we have being temps in common. I failed to mention previously that Julstice’s office is in a local Motel 6 located just outside of St. Augustine. That puts him in a different social class then me and I’m not sure, after being out of the country for so long, if I’m up to speed on current iteration class structures. I’ve subsequently learned that he shares the Motel 6 office with four other agents. That’s why he was always so gaga eyed when he came to my, obviously other class, rent-a-bed complex. It also explains why he was so curious about expense reimbursements.

Because I was so curious we small-talked about the office at the Motel 6 having to double as a roof over their head and eventually he added that, because of the cramped space, his team sometimes alternated sleeping in their government issued car – which looked like a late 1980s model Town Car by Lincoln. Julstice’s second job was guarding Wal Marts and he mentioned once that he was proud that his future wife only had to work two jobs, as well.
“We’re doing great,” he’d say and then miss double bogie.
Julstice was a little over five feet tall and almost a head shorter them me. He shaved with a bic single blade disposable that was probably shared by four other men (you can tell by the scars around the adams-apple) and wore a plastic watch that must have been a promotional gimme from some Wal-Mart grand opening. He wore a pen in the outer breast pocket of a polyester suit jacket and a pair of dark green slacks that was only an attempt to match his jacket. His shoes were black and plastic and probably cleaned that morning after he had to request one of those shoe-shine-pads that you often mistake for soap that lie around cheap motel bathrooms.

After we finished nine holes Julstice asked twenty-two questions while drinking three cups of coffee that I paid for with a Eurowasteland bank card that he found amusing. None of his questions had anything to do with the bird that had brought this whole situation to play. Instead he asked if I had seen kids around the neighborhood between the ages of fifteen and nineteen who, he was reading from his PDA, visited a mosque during a junior high school trip to Arizona and were passing through. Julstice even showed me the yearbook pictures of all the kids that he had proudly managed to hack into the PDA. He thought that hacking to help investigate was a good thing. After a while I asked what his questions had to do with the bird. He paused and fiddled with the stylus of the PDA, sometimes chewing on it. He finally got around to the bird. “Oh yeah, … ” he said.

(4) (2006-04-13 09:08) Blue Blooded Birds

”We’re particularly interested in your motivations regarding the bird and how that might influence your career and-or residency status. We concluded that there is no direct connection to terror. You’re obviously a man who is in right places at right times. Some people call that luck. Most of us at Homeland don’t. Yet. You see things. We think that is good. At Homeland, seeing is believing. Perhaps there is a way that we can have maximum utilization of your skills while you’re abroad. If you know what I mean.”
“Are you trying to recruit me?”
I knew that most American’t government agencies had resorted to the same tactics as corporations when it came to jobs. If you managed to recommend someone and they are hired and they improve, somehow, profits, then you get a bonus. Whoopi.
“Perhaps we’re testing your patriotism,” Julstice said.
“That would be interesting. Why didn’t anyone test it when I was young? Wouldn’t that have been easier?”
“But you ran from us – when you were young.”
“That’s because when I was young you’all became ideologues and wingnuts.”
“According to our records, you voted wingnut… I mean you voted republican once.”
“Once?”
“And we consider that good,” Julstice paused. “Like all of us, you dance to the tune the system relegates – and you’ve been very creative at doing that. Come on. We both know you’re on the market. Exotic birds aren’t the only thing you are looking for.”
He looks at his PDA, checking. I try to make sense of what he’s saying.
“According to our records you were indoctrinated…” he paused. “Sorry. Wrong word. You were schooled here.”
“Yes. I was schooled in the united mistakes of American’t.”
“You need to be careful saying that. Some people with a lesser sense of humor than me might take it the wrong way.”
“Fine. Let’s cut to the chase, shall we,” I said, interrupting Julstice’s next attempt to communicate. “Its kind of a big deal for me. I work – sorry – compete to survive in the free market. The opportunity to expatriate came along but that’s water under a bridge from a long time ago. Now. Currently the company I’m with for the next few days felt as though it was worth it to save at least one part of a two part deal that could potentially go real sour. We’re talking serious money here. Which I’m sure you can’t quite understand. Even though your organization is funded through the blind expenditures of tax collection, you and your colleagues are nothing more than an aggregate in maintaining the lie of employment figures for statistical government departments. And this is the real catch, dude. You’ll probably not comprehend this but I’m gonna try it anyway. Your temp employment is nothing more than a way to control both inflation and really, really devastating unemployment figures for a country that is rotting from the inside – and doesn’t want the world to know it. Did you get all that? You’re government funded cheap labour, dude. You get paid for basic living but that’s it. Capice. Hello? I’m not talking here to a vacuum am I? Hello. Anywho. You do comprehend the intricacies of non-free markets which you and your wingnut brethren are part of distorting. Still with me? Now. If you would focus on the bird instead the choices I have made in life – which, by the way, were choices I made so that I would not have to be part of the motor of a sinking ship like you are, then maybe you would have something to report to the holders of your strings. This is and should be about the bird. I didn’t have to call nine-one-one. But I was compelled. And this is what I get? Again. The bird is something I felt compelled to report and to me there is a connection to it and my outsourced profession and the situation this country is in. There is, of course, no direct connection to either shoe laces or aglets. So there’s really no need to involve that. Have you understood me?”
Seriously. This is a government temp employee. After a while of trying to converse with such a automaton you think you’re addressing a wall with empty eyes.
“Uh, ha,” Julstice eventually said. “And what were you doing before you took this job?”
I gasped, took a deep breath, went with it.
“(Big sigh.) There was a short time at the beginning of this fiscal year that I had to stoop a little and had a stint with a cheap temp agency. I was relegated the job of cordoning off bird farms in Southwestern Eurowasteland and prohibiting non-Eurowastelanders traveling to or from those farms.”
“What actually constitutes a non-Euro…?”
“Well,” I said. “It’s mostly just the British. You know, that whole island thing they have going there. There animals are filthy and they treat them like they treat the lowest of classes.”
“Is that why they’re all so dentally challenged,” he asks and smirks – the first sign of humanity oozing out of him.
“No. Of course not. Has nothing to do with that. It’s why the island is sinking under the burden of obesity, false ideology and inbred monarchs. But you’re right. They are all dentily challenged.”
“I see,” he says.
He worked frantically on his PDA.
“Wait a sec…”
He was sipping on his third cup of shitty coffee that cost me four thousand times the corporations cost for making it. He was expecting me to offer him another cup.
“Then let’s stop beating around the bush, shall we,” he said. “You’re an expatriate, you claim.”
“I live in Eurowasteland,” I reassured him. “You’ve seen my records. I’m only here on a six week assignment to secure a large transcontinental transaction. And go to Disney World. And play some golf.”
“Right. My notes here tell me,” he shook his PDA as though shaking it would get it to work better. “My notes tell me that you became an expatriate because of disillusionment.”
“Oh boy. Well. That’s not true,” I calmly but proud-defensively responded. “I left because there were no choices.”
“Maybe there were choices and you simply were unwilling to recognize them,” he said, his PDA finally working.
“That may be the case and if it is then I retract what I said and claim that I left because freedom has run it’s course and there’s none left. Does that sound better?”
“I’m not sure a judge will accept such a retraction – nor will he or she accept the other stuff you were yelling at me a minute ago,” Julstice said.
“A judge? I do not need a judge to deal with where I choose to live,” I said.
“Then maybe you should starting appreciating what enabled you that choice.”
“Touché,” I thought in a loud whisper.
There was a long pause. Julstice sucked at the remaining milk foam in the coffee cup and I decided not to offer to buy him a fourth cup.
“What about the bird,” I asked. “What do you guys make of the bird?”
“We have to consider every possibility, we have to search every crack, we must leave no sand corn unturned. We live in very difficult times, which I’m sure you’re unaware of. You obviously think, since your outsourced work pays better than mine, that you are better than me or my partners. At least your little monologue a minute says something to that. And that’s fine. I don’t take my work personally. Because at least I know that my work stands for something. Even if most people that do it hate it. You, on the other hand, left us. And that’s the issue. You ran away. You laughed as we got stupider and stupider and stupider. You threw up on us when we elected the children of blue bloods to our presidency and they turned out to be the break-thru entry-way to fascism as the final step to our empire. You wrote and wrote and wrote about it. Everything was published and yet you still remained working as an outsourced project manager or transaction consultant or corporate whatever. But I see here that you had to. Your writing brought in too little income. And then, one day, while traveling so comfortably on the hind-parts of your new home, the great welfare state of Eurowastelandia, the blue blood bird of terrorism practically falls into your lap and all you can do is call Homeland Security about it.”
Another pause. His coffee cup empty. My mind empty. I was surprised. Government peon can formulate a thought or two. It was time to come out. So I took a deep breath, stared off into the sunset above the golf course. There was no fictional city on a hill. There was no ideology to be seen flying on the wings of (their) god’s favorite albatross. There was just me and a government agent, a few spent golf balls and the grievance of write and wrong. So I let go.
“Fine. This is going nowhere. Ok. Here: I killed it,” I said.
Long indifferent pause.
“That’s it,” I continued. “I did it. Isn’t there some value to that? It’s my contribution to my former countries efforts in the war on terror. How deep do you guys have to look into this? Why are you beating around the bush? Give me my medal.”
“No! Forget it!” Julstice said to my grave disappointment.
“And that’s where we are now,” he continued. “It’s not about the things you do. It’s about the things you write. It’s about the things you buy – at our great department stores and…”
Julstice reached into his cheap jacket pocket and pulled out a copy of a receipt. He put the receipt up to my face and when he was sure that I knew what it was he pulled it away and we both had competing, confident smiles on our faces.
“You’ll never,” he said, “beat this system. Not alone. Not just you. And especially not in coercion with your welfare state Eurowasteland. As smart and savvy as you are, didn’t you know that Wal-Mart is not only a great department store that makes it’s workers happy and smile all the time but one of the best information gathering systems humanity has ever created? Purchasing a Smith & Wesson on a passport that we issued you and then lying to the clerk about your address…? Did you think this would go unnoticed? Did you think it was your call that made us come out here and check this anomaly? Well. I’m… We’re not here to make you return that Smith & Wesson. We’re not the God-Damned Soviets, you know. I have two partners out there that will gladly give you more guns. You can even come here from wherever you decide to live. You can write anything you want – and I can choose not to read it. Which I do. So you see. There are choices. We all have choices. And before I go. It was nice to have met you. And. The bird is ours. And, no, you can’t have the bullet either. Homeland Security is watching you no matter what. Now go sell your shoe laces.”
“I negotiate contracts for the final sale of aglets and I’m … WORSTWRITER,” I said as Julstice walked away trying to imitate some stupid Texas swagger.

(5) (2006-04-14 09:11) Isaac Newton

I splurged and bought myself a daily newspaper on the flight back to Eurowasteland. The headline read: bird-flu on US shores? The sub-headline read: Birds falling out of sky. I sat back and listened to one of many mp3 devices. I have many because each one is filled with a specific genre of music. What a privilege, eh. I enjoyed some jazz while the stewardess informed us all how to save our asses if the plane goes down. Once we reached cruising altitude I looked at the gritty souls of my shoes which I had removed after the stewardess was finished. Focused on the warn-out souls, I thought about what people carry around with them these days. And then Isaac Newton came to mind – as he sometimes does. I thought about him and the stuff carried around in the magic place that so few bother to look at, a place that has never been studied or preached about – not even by Newton. I’m talking, of course, about the space between the bottom of your feet/shoe and the ground. It is indeed a magic place and I’m sure that Isaac Newton would have called it that as well. That’s right. People need to start looking into this – because Isaac didn’t. They need to start understanding where that space comes from, who put it there, how is it maintained. It doesn’t matter if the space is sub-atom-microscopic and impossible to see and therefore impossible to prove with empirical evidence. Who knows, my guess is they will prove the likes of string theory before they get to this magic space. The irony being, if people were to study this space that we all in The West so gallantly walk with, then we could finally prove what has been up to now Biblical fiction. Wouldn’t that be nice? We could finally prove things like JC walking on water, turning water to wine and perhaps, maybe, just maybe, the singularity that is a/the virgin birth. But I digress.

(6) (2006-04-15 09:11) Epilogue

It is a myth that Newton witnessed an Apple falling from a tree. I hope I’m not busting anybody’s bubble with that fact. I mean, he’s not Santa, right? Isaac never in his entire life witnessed such a thing and there is empirical proof of that. He was born, raised and died English. English people are dentally challenged, ugly and just plain weird. That means they never eat anything that is good, plus that whole island thing has them squandering for fresh blood so as to curb the inbreeding – the first sign of which is bad teeth. The only reason the apple tree thing came about in the first place was due to a discrediting campaign against Isaac as only the English can discredit. It all has something to do with his family – and the closeness of that family. Accentuate the word “close”, please. So some hogwash, hobnob scholar made up a story that Isaac was a perverted fag in his spare time and liked trees, preferred one of his nieces and enjoyed the oil residue of ink. But for the monarch loving English holders of power, who would stop at nothing to maintain that power, even a story of Isaac and trees was too edgy. So they retooled the story down to Isaac sitting under an imaginary apple tree, stoned out of his mind, waiting for a snake to appear. The snake thing eventually was too much for wimpy future generations, which in turn allowed it to evolve to a story about an apple falling. I haven’t finished my research on this story so I’ll give you what I have in the interim. Good luck.

(6) The story of the sad days of Isaac Newton and how he won over the board and his favorite niece

During an inquiry by Royal Society board members regarding a recently published anonymous document about gravity, Nicolas Fatio de Duillier, a controversial friend of Newton and fellow Society member, fell ill after being hit on the head by a very heavy stone. It is said that the cause of the blow to the head was due to inexcusable gestures he made to a very young and beautiful niece of Isaac Newton. Newton had taken offense to the rumor that Nicolas Fatio de Duillier had, with out proper consent and chaperon, lured Newton’s niece under an apple tree a few days earlier. It was supposedly one of the last apple trees in all of England as they needed the wood to build boats in order to sail to foreign lands and subjugate lots of non-white but well toothed peoples. When Newton confronted Nicolas Fatio de Duillier with the rumor he didn’t deny it. Hours later de Duillier was hospitalized with a major concussion. A later diagnosis revealed that de Duillier had a traumatic head injury and neurological damage.

For the board members of the Royal Society questioning the origin of the paper on gravity, and because of political reasons regarding rumors of Newton’s next appointment that would bring with it great power in the halls of higher learner, this controversy was welcomed. The board members immediately began an investigation. When approached in his hospital bed regarding the document, it is said that Nicolas Fatio de Duillier, in a delirious state, admitted to writing the document as a prank to get back at Newton for causing him great anguish and emotional hardship only because he had fallen in love with his niece. The members of the board to the Royal Society who were against furthering Newton’s career were over-joyed. They finally had a motive that could incriminate the math genius. The board members who were for Newton were perplexed. Could it be that the genius they thought would secure their institution’s future be filled with violence, spite and patriarchal misgivings? Also, could this have something to do with rumors of Newton’s personal life and/or rivalry between Newton and de Duillier? de Duillier was also pretty good with numbers. The bloated board was perplexed and immediately ceased funding the discovery of gravity. The document in questions was ceased and put under wraps. The only persons given access to the document were, of course, the board and a janitor. When Newton made a personal request to view the document he was immediately turned down. But Newton was no slouch in the halls and board rooms of higher learning. He was able to sneak a copy of the document from one of the bored members who was facing child molestation charges. When the document was delivered (by the molested child) to Newton he read it and turned red with anger. This is most certainly more than a prank, he thought. How could it have come to this, he thought. That damn de Duillier deserves what he gets, he thought. The document contained drawings and mathematical formulas taken straight from the black-board in Isaac Newton’s office. The formula describing universal gravity that he had been working on for the past three months was mockingly changed. For example, F was replaced with N and the ma with D. And then around those two letters was drawn a heart. But that wasn’t so bad. The author also drew various pictures of stick people in precarious sexual positions some of which Newton couldn’t comprehend. Newton was disgusted by the whole thing. Without shame Newton went to the board and confronted them. Without letting them know that he had illegally procured a copy of the document in question, he detailed the mockery that was in it. Most board members held back their mumblings and snickers as Newton described the stick pictures in the document. But one or two board members couldn’t help bursting out a laugh or two. When the board asked how Newton acquired the contents of the document he brought forth the janitor who Newton had manipulated. Then Newton turned the question to the board. “Why would you give such an important document to the janitor?” The board responded that it was the janitors job to throw away the trash. It was then that the board member that had given Newton a copy of the document requested that the subject be changed to something about mathematics and the board agreed and ordered tea. Once again, Isaac Newton was off the hook. But one of the board members, the one most vehement about not promoting Newton mentioned that the issue wasn’t yet closed. As soon as de Duillier recovered they would continue their investigation. A few days later de Duillier died of his head trauma and Isaac Newton was eventually promoted and would soon discover gravity.

Stop for now.

-tgs-

 

What Is Creative

There are times when I confuse myself so much I could bust. I’ve concluded over the years, with some systematic observation, that the eternal and infinite state of confusion I often find myself in might be the reason, in general, that so many men need sex as a sport instead of intimacy and/or procreation and/or an excuse to like someone. I know… big can of worms there. But go with me here. Let me try to provide an example.

Got into a discussion recently regarding the idear of creativity and business. Someone say that in business management and economics ”creativity” is the key to success. I was drinking a cup of coffee with too much foamed milk and upon hearing this immediately belched foam from the back of my throat onto the suit pants of a colleague. And then I laughed.

Creativity is something sacred. It’s the stuff I call upon to worst-write. Yes, even to worst-write worser than worse. I have given up on God, religion and most of the (in)human attempts at ideology and governing. So in a way, the only thing I believe in is creativity. To equate it with something that proves itself time and time again as silly and idiotic and anti-human is too much for even my stark nerves. Belch.

”I’m sorry,” I said, wiping the rest of the foam that had started to drip out of my left nostril.

”Tommi, what’s the matter? You’re turning pale with every breadth,” my colleague said wiping white and somewhat (now) greenish suds from her pants.

”Business has nothing, ever!, to do with creativity,” I said.

”Oh Tom, looks like we hit a nerve again,” my colleague said.

I proceeded to say, quite forcefully and with fervor, that business has no creativity. If it had creativity it would not be business. Period. At the most there is innovation and I might go as far as saying there is a bit of imagination. I can find no cause to use that word ”creative” regarding business — at least as I’ve come to understand the word. The only thing that comes to mind when thinking about business in the context of how it evolves, changes and/or moves is inertia.

Then my colleague said, ”What about the iPod?”

”There’s not an ounce of creativity in that thing, nor in anything else that company makes. All they do is regurgitated. They ride on the laurels of something or someone else. Again, you could use the word innovative or at the least imaginative. Think of the WalkMan. The uncomplicated reality is the iPod was all already been done a long time ago. Copied. Status Quo. Sorry. No creativity there.”

I hate being right most of the time. The biggest problem with being right is that I’m usually only right inside my own mind. Unless drinking coffee with “colleagues” that I have to be with in order to earn a living. Still. You can talk till you are blue in the face but there is, if you’re rational and are capable of thought, not one example of creativity in business.

Please someone send me an email with an example that proves me wrong.

For the sake of not getting completely lost in my own mind I turned to a dictionary for help. Here’s what I found.

Creativity:

1. The quality of being creative

2. The ability to create

Creative:

1. marked by the ability or power to create; given to creating

2. having the quality of something created rather than imitated

3. managed so as to get around legal or conventional limits, as in creative financing; also deceptively arranged so as to conceal or defraud, as in creative accounting

Create:

1. to bring into existence, as in God created the heaven and the earth

2. a: to invest with a new form, office, or rank, as in was created a lieutenant; b: to produce or bring about by a course of action or behavior, as in her arrival created a terrible fuss, c: create new jobs

3. cause, occasion

4. a: to produce through imaginative skill, as in create a painting; b: Design, as in creates dresses

The best definition and that which gives me the strength to hold on to (my) outrageous idears is this:

Create (cont.):

5. Intransitive senses: to make or bring into existence something new

So do I now have to start thinking about what the word ”new” means? I know, post Clinton, it’s now good that we start (re)defining words based on subjectivity. It just gets my gander that people have lost touch with what things mean.

Of course, it doesn’t stop there.

Goethe said something interesting: ”creativity is a child of solitude”.

Try to find that in ”business”!

Source for definitions: Merriam-Webster-10thEdition online.

Rant on.

-tgs-

 

What To Write On

notebooks-1

I’ve gone through a lot of writing material in my day. I only wish I would have gone through more. (Perhaps more on that in another run-away-future post.) Henry Miller wrote that he’d written millions of words. And I’m sure he did. But did Miller write as much text as Bach wrote notes? Who in academic circles will ever answer that one? Anywho. At (my) last count, including journals, novels, plays and whatnot, I’ve probably written close to a million words.

On what?

I prefer the simple ”composition” books by Mead and Pen-Tab. I’m really not sure how many makers there are of these things – since W-mart you never can tell where anything comes from anymore – in fact, since W-mart you can’t tell if anything is actually produced at all – it all seems so… just there.

I never touched one of these notebooks before I was about twenty-five. I guess that had to follow the fact that the first novel I read was when I was twenty-two (or so). Back then I used to strap my notebook to the back of my motorcycle and it went with me everywhere. I wrote my first play in a ”composition” notebook.

Since moving to Europe the women here don’t fancy American public-school-looking equipment. No, they fancy brands. So I’ve moved up. When I can afford it (or when one of the girls I’m with can afford it) I use Moleskine notebooks. These things are really nice. Very convenient.

There are around fifty notebooks of different sizes and brands laying around where ever I am. They’re like my security blanket. As with all my journals, I start writing in one direction and then when the book is full I turn it over and write in the other direction.

Sometimes I get caught up in writing on anything. I’ve got poster board (DIN A5 size) full of writing. Why?

This is not a plug for selling these things. I’m just trying to get the message out that I’ve failed as a writer and I’m proud to have a lot of words to prove it.

Rant on.

Thomas