Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving Dose of Dangle

It's Thanksgiving school break of course and that means that Spongebob has been on non-stop around here when Oscar isn't playing Minecraft. At least Hae and I took him to the Berkeley Art Museum to see the Kurt Schwitters show. He thought it was dumb that the guy just glued stuff down but he enjoyed playing on the giant undulating sculpture installation. Climbing was allowed.

I talked to my dad. He's doing well, my Aunt Eileen not so well. She's been moved to the assisted living section of the retirement village where she lives. Last stop before heaven. My sister must've showed dad the picture of me in the little tent village at Occupy Oakland that Hae put on her Facebook page and he was shocked. He's a heavy viewer of financial news shows and the kind of media that has been deeply rattled by the protests. I told him that I completely agree with the Occupy movement. 

The violence by our increasingly militarized police is frightening. Mayor Quan in Oakland said that the Department of Homeland Security helped coordinate the police crackdown here. It's federal. Hae says when they crack down on people peacefully congregating we might as well be living in China.

Full disclosure: I'm too much of a coward to go there when the pepper spray is flying. I'm a YouTube protestor. And I work for The Man now and help prop up the one percent with my doodling. 

As you know, I have a new career, drawing for people on paper and whiteboards with markers, and my latest freelance feast continues. I've been taking on jobs three deep. Having become used the declining publishing industry sucking me down into the abyss for so long I can't believe I'm doing something now that's actually growing and gaining popularity. People in business have discovered that pictures are the way to innovation. Scribes like me are in demand at the biggest corporations. In my little niche the economy is picking up.

I've been on a media cleanse since April but now I'm beginning to ease back in. When you watch the media constantly you fail to see how strange, surreal, and propagandistic it is. Unplugging makes you feel doltish at times but generally saner and less troubled. Watching MSNBC or anything now is like taking a shot of grain alcohol after being on a diet of soup. I've been reading Wonkette for news. Taking the reentry very slowly.

My book is dead in the water again. I've been too busy to focus on it and now when I look at my pages I feel disgusted. There's a whole missing dimension to the novel that corresponds to an empty part in my soul. I've been skipping out on my writing workshops and everything. Terrible! I snuck out of the house the other night for a beer with Karthik at McNally's and he gave me a lecture about how you have to stop everything to write a novel and do nothing but immerse yourself. Otherwise you're a fool.


Blogger David Veal said...

I watched some great interviews on Charlie Rose with novelists. They talk about the trouble and the method of writing for themselves. How some projects languish for years while others write themselves. Through it all they find they must write something everyday. But there is no right or wrong way. Hee is a great interview (if your comments allow a link)

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Joel Mielke said...

It's amazing how conservatives wring their hands about the federal government's overreaching, except when the feds coordinate nationwide crackdowns on ordinary citizens who are publicly expressing opinions that are not informed by Fox News and CNN.

10:06 PM  
Blogger L'Atalante said...

People who don't write always seem to think it's a strictly linear process... you start on page one, go to page two, and so on until you write "The End."

In fact, when I'm between jobs, idiots will tell me, "Why don't you write a novel in your spare time?" like all I have to do is put up a new word document and I'll be off and running.

It doesn't work that way. It's more like putting together a jigsaw puzzle... things come into the work from all directions at once. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said you feel like there's a dimension missing. Even now your subconscious is on an overland journey to find that stretch of mental terrain. Just stay open and wait until xmas, as they say.

E. Yarber

4:21 PM  

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