Sunday, February 2, 2014

Famous for the wrong thing

Sometimes I'll write up some really smashing bit of prose here, and feel all tingly and proud, and I'll send it off to the internet with as much of the tiny fanfare as I can muster with my crude, paleolithic marketing skills, only to find it slips right into that internet ocean with barely a whisper. Sinks silently, Just another blog day gone. And yet on other occasions I'll dash off, with barely a whiff of fanfare, some touch of nonsense that I think will just barely do for the day, and I find quite a bit of fuss over it out in internet land, relatively speaking. Co-workers who I thought long since stopped reading my blog say suddenly "I liked today's post."

"The one I wrote about how I tie shoes?" I ask amazed.

The thing is, you just can't ever tell. Other people are, curiously, not me, and so have wholly different standards for quality. Of course, I am nearly always startled and taken aback that almost anything I write isn't insanely popular. It mystifies me. But I bear up better under it than I used to, with a lot less bitter disappointment and a lot more genuine curiosity and bafflement. "Is the internet broken?" I ask myself. I shake the internet. Seems okay. I can still get to amazon. Youtube videos of Jack White playing Ball and Biscuit still garner tens of thousands of views. I guess the internet is working. Perhaps I am not the greatest blogger ever. No, that doesn't seem right. I scratch my head. Sometimes I think I will never crack the mystery.

Fortunately I am not alone in all of this wrong thing famous sort of thing. I've seen many an artist struggle with this stuff. Arthur Conan Doyle did not seem very keen on his success with Holmes, going so far as to kill him off, thinking that would convince everyone to go nuts over his historical fiction if only he could just disappoint them into it. I recently read Kerouac hated beatniks. Anthony Burgess seemed to have only one famous book, Clockwork Orange, and he also seemed to have only one book he sort of loathed and wished he hadn't written. Yep. Oddly, I'm not so keen on Clockwork Orange either, so maybe I should dig out some of his other books. I wonder if one can find them anywhere. Maybe shelved in the closet of a dying bookstore somewhere next to Doyle's historical fiction. Mark Twain detested Pride and Prejudice, which I feel was one of his best books. Oh, really? Well, still, it's interesting, there he is, on about three million different subjects  the best quote by anyone ever turns out to be by Mark Twain, and then, from out of nowhere he totally misses the boat on Pride and Prejudice. Odd. Where am I going with this? I do not know. I cannot stop. Eons ago I saw the Kinks in concert. I was pretty sure they passionately hated Lola with every fiber of their being. But I suppose that could have been from the repetition problem. Like on that Joni Mitchell concert album, Miles of Aisles, where she actually complains to adoring fans who want her to play her songs. "No one ever asked Van Gogh to paint starry night again." She notoriously complains. Well, to begin with, at the time no one was the least bit interested in Van Gogh painting Starry Night in the first place. He toiled in near obscurity. I think maybe he had to work at a library to make a living! Imagine, a genius like that toiling in a library! In the second place, if we could bring Van Gogh back (not that he'd want to come) that is basically what everyone would ask him, some version of "Hey Van Gogh, could you please paint Starry Night again?"

"Sorry, man." He'd have to say, over and over "I'm into this more conceptual stuff now."

So what's the point of all this? Oh, sorry, I guess you didn't know. We don't do "points" on Sunday. It's casual day on the blog. I am free to ramble along the edges of sheer nonsensicality. And that is exactly what I have done in this blog post. But just you watch. I bet it takes the internet by storm.


  1. OMG, what a clever and engaging post today! Another clever and engaging post! You are the most brilliant blog writer in the vast firmament that is the internet!

    1. Hmm, I just found this comment while looking at old posts. I am sorry for the delay in my response. Your comment causes me, paranoid, to feel you are mocking me, probably because I agree with you so intensely.


If you were wondering, yes, you should comment. Not only does it remind me that I must write in intelligible English because someone is actually reading what I write, but it is also a pleasure for me since I am interested in anything you have to say.

I respond to pretty much every comment. It's like a free personalized blog post!

One last detail: If you are commenting on a post more than two weeks old I have to go in and approve it. It's sort of a spam protection device. Also, rarely, a comment will go to spam on its own. Give either of those a day or two and your comment will show up on the blog.