Kill Your Darlings
A screaming came across the sky… Was that Pynchon, he thought? Warren was in the middle of finishing up his third cup of coffee as he heard the noise growing outside his front door. His copy of “Gravity’s Rainbow” was in a box somewhere in the basement, unread except for a few chapters. But he always remembered that line. “A screaming comes across…”
What Is The Funny?
Here I am on another Saturday night, staring at a screen and wondering what to do with myself. I spent most of the day at a book sale for a community organization and have just finished two separate earlier reads that I had put aside for far too long. I have also willfully sacrificed some other books for Montreal’s Livre-Service book boxes (a perfect way to contribute to public reading and a method of discovering what else is out there to cudgel the brains). As I cleaned up, I discovered some writings I had left on a shelf and wondered about for quite some time: S.J. Perlman’s New Yorker writings were there, a torn back cover and an intact front cover with the title The Rising Gorge. I had only read two or three pieces in it before abandoning it as a well-intentioned work of comedy that did not make me laugh. And now, I as found it and attempted to read something light – Angela Carter and Mohsin Hamid were the writers I had imbibed earlier – I found the same difficulties facing me. I simply did not find it funny.
The Truth of Consequences
Oh, dear. Oh, dear… This is a true story, and one of those holidays that still crushes me. It was a typical Canadian Thanksgiving, meaning that it was celebrated by immigrants and took place earlier in the year than the one celebrated by our neighbours to the south. With my family, it was West Indian fare mixed in with turkey, pasta, salads, cakes and all the dishes that friends and family could bring over in the growing autumn cold. My mother was in charge of the kitchen, leading the other housewives and cousins and aunts and other female relatives whom I knew since I was a child. My father, as was common with the men in our families, had sports as a distraction on television (football and maybe hockey), or played dominoes on foldable wood and metal chairs and tables. Kids, if we were smart, had commandeered a television that was available in the basement and had our VCR ready to go with a choice of videos brought over or recently borrowed for the day (yes, the 1980s were a very different time). I would sometimes join them, but I was becoming a teenager. Most of the kids there were too young for me to play with, and the one who were older were not there (other friends and other events took over their lives). I was on my own. And I did not mind. I did not want to watch another comedy whose ending I could predict from the opening credits…or tape cover. I did not follow football or hockey (with the latter, I waited only for the playoffs), and with the kitchen, it was a no-go zone until I was called down to deliver grace and then eat. That would mean me, my room, and my guitar.
This is the life for me. When you come into this building at the zoo and pass by the fourth section nearest to arctic life – yeah, I know exactly where they put me – you see me, a beautiful octopus. Call me Frank. The media calls me that, and I think that it is a pretty good name (more about it later).
I Don't Give A Fap...
I know, I know... You need an explanation...or set of explanations... Movember is a growing popular movement where men grow a moustache and donate money to various charities which support men's health around issues of testicular and prostate cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. There are various suggested charities and events that can be taken up if you are willing to lend a hand.
The Two-Week Plan
I wonder about how we make friends. Peter Ustinov said that friends are not the ones you pick; they are the ones who simply got there first. Others believe that friendship is deeper than any love affair can be. People often regret losing a friend more than a lover.