The Midnight News 11.08.04
hyatte | November 8, 2004 | Archive | 0 Comments
“In EMPATHY for her current numb-hand issues, I would like to announce that twice a day I lie down and put my FULL WEIGHT on my right arm… which makes my own hand completely numb… then I masturbate with the hand and, since I can’t feel my penis in the hand, close my eyes and pretend that Trish is giving me a handjob.”
I was at work reading this and literally laughed out loud. When co-workers looked at me to ask what the f*ck I was laughing about, obviously I couldn’t tell them about some internet guy talking about how he numbs his hand to feel like Trish gives him a handjob.
Welcome back, dipshit.
When you put it like that… I look like a real LOSER!
your last column sucked donkey balls, but dont ever take a break like that again because this site sucks without you.
I don’t think someone named “Katie” would write this… I have a suspicion that someone with a MOM NAMED KATIE used her e-mail box to write this letter!
“NOW WE CAN LAUGH WHILE THE CUBS… THE DAMNABLE CUBS ARE THE SOLE OWNERS OF THE TITLE, ULTIMATE LOSERS!!!”
If you wrote that with sincerity – go f*ck yourself.
If the Sawx fans start hating on the Cubs, you people will become NO BETTER than the ignorant Yankees fans – in my opinion, of course – and all of my cheering for Boston throughout my short life will have gone to waste because their fan base finally won a championship, and they felt like rubbing it in the face of baseball’s most storied losers.
Yeah; New York fans do that every year.
Am I jealous? Perhaps. It felt like losing a brother when the Red Sox won the World Series, leaving the Cubs in the dust with the only remaining “curse” in baseball (unless you count the White Sox being just plain horrible as a curse – they’ve gone 85 years without a Series ring).
We just want our suffering to end. We don’t want everyone looking down on the Cubs now that Boston finally won, and thus shifted the direction of the wind containing the rancid stench of suck in our direction. We want to accomplish what Boston accomplished, and the Sox ALONE proved that anything is possible this year, winning their final 8 games in a row against the Yanks and Cards.
But, we have a saying here in Chi-Town; there’s always next year.
Oh shut up… like Chicago… who are ALWAYS over-compensating for being third behind New York and L.A. when it comes to America won’t blow out their lungs tooting their horns if the Cubs ever win the series. Just keep quiet and let New England have out goddam moment.
Heh… Cubs winning the series… HA… yeah, that’ll happen… HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA
Batman can’t be gay!
Why not? His name is BRUCE for crying out loud
Besides, Joel Shumacher clearly disagrees.
Hey homophobes! I’m Chris and this is the Midnight News Alpha. Where was the column last Thursday? Still sitting up HERE in my head!! Why wasn’t it put on cyberpaper and posted? Umm…. I’ve been busy. Eat it.
To make up for it, I LOADED this column with junk… TONS of stuff… OVER-PACKED…. yeah! Off we go.
THE MIDNIGHT NEWS’ WRESTLERS OF THE WEEK
Oh why not… not like I got a ton of REAL news to gab on about…
TOP WRESTLERS OF LAST WEEK:
Raw: Edge – Some guys were just BORN to play a heel. Edge as a face just wasn’t working. He’s too damn precise with his words. He’s just too damn condensating in his promos. His smile is too devilish. Edge as a face seemed too forced. His natural state is to be an asshole. Besides being the heel is a lot more fun, ask Trish Stratus about that.
And Chris Benoit FINALLY has someone on his level to work with.
Smackdown: Josh Matthews – You know, he WAS one of the first Tough Enough kids and was never thrown out. Nice to see that even though he never really worked a match before last week, he still remembered his schoolin’. He gets the MNWOTW:SD award for not embarrassing himself.
TNA: Vince Russo – For chewing gum and handing over the paperwork/title of “Director of Authority” to Mike Tenay without any sort of hullabaloo. Russo’s attitude was “Great, this silly election bullshit is done with, here ya go and f*ck you’re hillbilly asses very much!” To the very end, Russo stayed consitent with what he’s been saying for years… that all wrestling other than his vision totally sucks… and when it comes to TNA, the sumbitch is RIGHT!!
There are yer your performers of the week!
THE ONLY VICTORY HERE GOES TO THE PEOPLE WHO DIDN’T ORDER IT
What a goddam joke.
This TNA PPV…. what a fricken hack ass JOKE.
Nash… Hall… Outsiders taking over… Savage… who’s in the limo… someone telling “the boys up North” that the fight is on…
They are copying NITRO when they SHOULD be doing whatever they can to emulate RAW when RAW was successful.
I say EMULATE… when in fact they are now RIPPING OFF WWE stuff.
Russo vs Rhodes… the FANS vote on who wins… yeah, this wasn’t done a couple of weeks ago, was it? THIS WASN’T CALLED TABOO TUESDAY JUST A FEW DAYS AGO, WAS IT???
I was THIS CLOSE to getting the PPV… but I chose to watch The Simpsons and Arrested Development instead.
Find me a fan… please… anyone out there PLEASE tell me, SERIOUSLY why this product is worth watching… not for the stupid “competition” argument… why is it worth watching on its own merits. Are there any hard-core fans of TNA? Just one? Please. God please, speak up.
Ridiculous. TNA is NOT helping me remember why I like this business.
WHAT’S THAT SMELL? PEEE… EWWW (DER)
Do I havevsome thoughts on this whole Angle/Puder “situation”? Suuuure:
First of all… you’re are ALL idiots.
No, you are dumb f*cks.
Look, anyone who HONESTLY believes that the WWE dropped a HUGE money angle by blowing off this silly Daniel Puder/Kurt Angle confrontation simply… SIMPLY needs to stop taking David Meltzer as the gospel… and get out of your f*cking houses… and get a f*cking clue.
There are so many things WRONG with this NON-controversy… I… I… I don’t know where to even begin.
-Shoot Fighting… the MMA boards are currently LIT UP with people (and probably, if its anything like the typical wrestling boards, 15 people making 2000 posts a day) screaming that Daniel Puder almost handed Kurt Angle his ASS in the ring and EMBARRASSING Angle into ALMOST tapping with something (that no one heard of before Meltzer named it and pointed out that it was a real submission move so now everyone acts like they are experts), called the “Keylock”. Oh… Angle would have been SCHOOLED they scream!
Kurt Angle, with a broken neck, won an Olympic gold medal. No 150 pound “shoot” fighter is going to take him to school. Kurt Angle FORGOT more ways to get out of that move than any of you imbeciles, than any “shoot fighter” could ever dream of. Kurt Angle has a hunk of gold… two hunks, in fact… around his neck that says that only a precious few people in THE WORLD can go toe up with him on the mat… for real. You really think a KID… a SKINNY kid like Daniel Puder could’ve REALLY shown him up if the ref didn’t kill this quick? In fact, might it be REASONABLE to suggest that the only f*ck-up here was that Puder was too excited to be in the ring with Kurt to remember to get both his shoulders down for the quick pin?
-This could be a HUGE money making story!
Why? Why the FUCK are you listening to Dave Meltzer when the facts are this: How many hard-core shoot fans do you think there are? These shoot fighting PPV cards barely exist anymore… why? BECAUSE NO ONE BOUGYT THE PPVS!! Oh, sure… shoot FANS say that they don’rt run cards because no town will insure it… because it’s too DANGEROUS… well, yeah, that’s a small reason… but a BIG reason is that shoot fighting is BORING to the mainstream… and AWKWARD… and ENDLESS. If it made money, promoters would move heaven and earth to get shoot fighting in their buildings and on TV… but shoot fighting is like wrestling WITHOUT the excitement… it caters to an EXTREMELY small crowd… one that can’t support it financially. The news of Angle vs Puder would attract a non-profitable amount of new fans for a very brief period… who then would walk away pissing all over Puder for selling out. Mainstream media would completely ignore it… and someone would end up getting hurt for real, leaving the company hurting. No one wins
-Meltzer says they blew it! Meltzer knows ALL!
Meltzer knows a lot. Meltzer is also a f*ckhead. Dave Meltzer is too insular with his cultural thinking. That’s the problem with these big time dirt sheet and IWC writers… all they do is think wrestling, wrestling, wrestling day and night. They are so consumed with putting together their 35’000 word newsletters (without ever investing in spellcheck) that they never look at things logically. The WWE has MUCH bigger aspirations! They have WAAAAY bigger fish to fry than grabbing a bunch of shoot fighting fans who wouldn’t contribute more than a few bucks to the product.
-Puder’s gonna get screwed over now and will never win.
Then it’s his own f*cking fault. He should have remembered that there was some serious money ijn this for him. Now, because her tried to get cute with a professional (and anyone who REALLY thinks that Puder went “instictive”, as if he was some animal and not a rational thinking human being, might as well go shoot himself in the face now because the planet is better off without you), he’s gonna get booted. He wouldn’t like it there anyway…. because the boys in the locker room will NOT let him get away with this bullshit. Let him “shoot” on the Big Show… let’s see how bad ass he is then.
This is only a big deal because douchebags who don’t know any better told you it was. Meltzer started it and Bruce Mitchell, another useless cocksucker of epic proportions agrees… and from there, the snowball just kept rolling.
AN OLYMPIAN vs A FAILED SHOOT FIGHTER… this was NEVER a contest.
BURNING DOWN THE HOUSES
The PW Insider
Three places where all of you swear on. Three sites where most of you proudly brag about being the only places where you visit… the only places that MATTER
It’s 5 am Monday as I write this… and so far NONE of these super-awesome news breaking sites has told me what happened at the Raw house shows in Texas and Mexico over the weekend.
Why don’t you faggots find NEW Gods to worship.
In other news… at a Florida house show, they say Bob Holly injured Carlito Cool to the point where they had to change the ending of the match and the kid had to be carried to the back. With all these firings going down, and more promised… Hardcore Holly picked an AWESOME time to f*ck up ANOTHER worker.
Before they boot him, let him take a go at Puder… that’ll wake these shoot fighting fans up. Hardcore will shit in this kid’s mouth and then yell at him for not smiling as he swallowed.
I KNOW WHAT YOU WATCHED LAST WEEKEND
Top five movies of the week, daddio!!
1) The Incredibles: $70.6 million opening weekend. What drew the crowds? The hilarious, nuanced, broad appeal story that adults will love along with children? The awe of state of the art computer animation graphics? The total lack of competition? Or… ORRRR could it be that the lead character was voiced by none other than CRAIG T. FUCKING NELSON??????? Ohhhh, you silly, silly people… don’t you DARE laugh… don’t you DARE mock the drawing power of COACH!!!
2) Ray: $13.8 million ($39.8 million total). What did I say when I was getting a blowjob from my date while watching this movie? I said “AHHHH AH AH! AHHH AHH AHH… OHHH OH OH…. OHHH OH OH… AH AH OH OH AH OH… BABY PLEASE DON’T LET GO, BABY PLEASE DON’T LET GOOOO… BABY PLEASE DON’T LET GO BEFORE I BLOW A LOAD YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU SO WHEN YOU SWALLOW ME WHOLE!!”
3) The Grudge: $13.5 million ($89.5 million total). Oh Buffy Michelle Gellar… you can hold a grudge against my wang ANYTIME!!
4) Saw: $11.4 million ($35.7 million total). As per my mini-bitch-fest against the continued employment of Cary Elwes, I received the following letter:
How dare you criticize Cary Elwes? This is the star of Robin Hood: Men in Tights and The Princess Bride! Think about a world without Robin of Loxley and the Dread Pirate Roberts and tell me if that’s a world worth living in. Who would then red-hot Alicia Silverstone have thrown herself at in The Crush? In conclusion: Cary Elwes a bad actor? Inconceivable!
Cary Elwes has three facial expressions, and they all belong in the world of community theater where he could enjoy a long, thriving career banging young, dumb wannabe starlets who fall for his boyish good looks and suave charms… BUT HE DOESN’T DESERVE TO BE ON MY SCREEN!!!
5) Alfie: $6.5 million opening weekend. And then there’s Jude Law… who is the British version of Cary Elwes with only a SMIDGE more talent. This movie, his FIRST starring vehicle is another bomb… the SECOND with his name up top IN A ROW! Between this and Sky Captain the silly-ass little femmy fag (who names their kid “Jude” for chrissakes?) should be in for a ROTTEWN Christmas! GOOD! BUENO!! BAH!!! BAH!!
In DVD news, go to your local DVD seller and blow $110 dollars and pick up the Ultimate Oliver Stone collection. No, for 100 pigs you get Salvador, Platoon, Wall Street, Talk Radio, Born on the Fourth of July, The Doors, JFK, Heaven and Earth, Natural Born Killers, Nixon, U-Turn, Any Given Sunday and a couple of bonus things. That’s a LOT of shit… and most of them include audio commentary from Stone… and unlike most “as you watch” play by play, Stone offers a relaxing, insightful, thoughtful series of notes and musings as the movie goes on. He’s nice to everyone, but doesn’t hide who he wanted for certain roles (Richard Gere and Warren Beatty were offered the roles of Gordon Gecko first), and he comes damn close to a full fledged rant at the end of JFK… but it’s money well worth spending if you want to watch the evolutiuon of a director… plus it’s funny to listen to him explain himself for Natural Born Killers.
Here ya go… clean and nasty
THE INSIDE PULSE BOOK-OF-THE-TWO-WEEK-CLUB
Flea: Only three writers in the world have ever meant anything, Cas-Tr8
Hyatte: Oh yeah, which ones?
Flea: Stephen King, George Orwell…
Flea: (takes a long, drawn-out, desperate pull from his bong… followed by a nice, generous sip from his glass) and… whoever.
Hyatte: Who the f*ck is whoever?
Flea: When you know, then you’ll know
Two weeks? HA!
Writing! That is, the craft, the actual business of sitting down and writing a full, professional, non-embarrassing story is a scary task.
How scary? Scary enough so that known writers looking to make a few quick bucks put out books on writing and watch their bank accounts grow.
It’sa the ultimate ego boost, especially when bad writers (hello!) are asked for tips and hints as to how to bang out popular columns! (The only advice I have ever given is: How the f*ck should I know? I’ve been coasting on reputation and this outrageous confidence for YEARS). Indeed, anyone else notice how Scooter Keith gets a WEE bit more pompous whenever someone asks him for writing advice and he puts it up in his blog? Can’t blame him, really.
Anyway… the fact is, the only way for you to be a GOOD writer is to do two things: read and write… a lot. Work that craft, boys and girls. Practice, practice, practice!
But there ARE good books on writing from very successful authors that can assist you. One of them is from Stephen King, which I’m pretty sure 99% of you people who haven’t scrolled down to the next segment have already devoured a few times. But King’s book is more of a starter kit… a primer. A Writing book for Dummies, as it were (which is proably more serviceable and a better read than the actual “Writing for Dummies” book, if it exists which I’m sure it does). But there is another book about writing out there, from a author of CONSIDERABLE more literary repute than King. There is a book from one of the most “important” writers of our times. You know, the kind of writer whose books are dissected in University courses, who writes of generational ideals. Who writes of BIG ideas and CULTURAL philosophies. In short, writers you only go near when there is a course credit on the line.
The Spooky Art: Thoughts on Writing is from Normal Mailer. THE Norman Mailer. Who is Norman Mailer? Well, he wrote The Executioner’s Song and a few dozen other huge books that you probably have no interest in. But he’s considered a giant. His is a name that is is muttered in the same breathe as people like Vonnegut, Irving, Wolfe, and Updike. His name is up there when people bicker about who is the current “Greatest Living Writer.” And since he is in his 80’s, it won’t be long before he keels over and is placed in the pantheon on legends with such names as Twain, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Tolstoy. Mailer is a heavyweight. Someone who can dispense advice that any aspiring writer can certainly use.
The Spooky Art: Thoughts on Writing isn’t linear. A little research on my part suggests that Mailer is pretty much done with publishing a book start to finish these days (he’s too old, you see, to pound out the sort of massive literary masterpiece that his reputation would not tolerate anything less than). It’s a streamlined collection of essays he’s done over the decades about the art of writing. He tells you right off the bat that this book is for SERIOUS writers, writers who are already well on their way to earning a living with words that people want to read. He doesn’t want any newbies to waste their time on this. I still read it anyway, because I have been debating whether or not to try the guy’s fiction… and figured getting into his head a little with this book is a good way to start.
One ting I got out of this book is that Mailer is more practical with his advice than he probably intended. The book is structured nicely. Oh, sure, when you are a big time heavyweigtht literary icon, you do tend to get lost in your own musings… and Mailer does ramble on with $50 dollar words and long ass sentences, but there is good meat here to grab insight on. If you know how to put sentences together and know how to tell a good story with plots and sub-plots and narrative flows and well-formed characters, then you can get a lot out of this.
However, my favorite part of this book is something I tried real hard to use for an exceprt, but simply couldn’t find a decent enough section that wouldn’t take up pages and pages of quality column real-estate. It is his review of the movie Last Tango in Paris and his complete dissection of Marlon Brando’s performance. A literary giant talking about a cinematic giant is the very defintion of toe suckling… and one of the best damn pieces on Brando’s work that I have ever read. Even if you have no interest in his writing tips, go to the bookstore/library and read this section. It starts on page 211 and ends on page 225.
Anyway, to give you a better sense of how a big time writer likes to ramble, I’m giving you an extra-long two chapter excerpt to bore you with. But I’m being nice (and saving this segment from being 100% scrolled out) by choosing two chapters that I feel are most appealing. The first is Mailer talking about how a writer must experience that what he writes about, or at least come damned close. It also tells of how he came to write Tough Guys Don’t Dance under a really strained deadline. The second is a more simpler examination of the pros of cons of telling a story in the first person and telling a story in the third person. Nicely detailed, if not frustratingly winded… but hey, like he said, this book is for people LIKE him… and who probably know his work already.
Actually, I’m being too cruel. It’s actually a pretty good pair of chapters from a really good writer with a large vocabulary at his disposal. Check it out:
(Social Life, Literary Desires, Literary Corruption)
One of the cruelest remarks in the language is: Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach. The parallel must be: Those who meet experience, learn to live; those who don’t, write.
The second remark has as much truth as the first – which is to say, some truth. Of course, many a young man has put himself in danger in order to pick up material for his writing, but as a CEO, politician, engineer, trade-union official, surgeon, airline pilot, chess master, call girl, sea captain, teacher, bureaucrat, Mafioso, pimp, recidivist, physicist, rabbi, movie star, clergyman, or priest or nun has also emerged as a major novelist since the Second World War,
What with ghost writers, collaborators, and editors hand cranking the tongues of the famous long enough to get their memoirs into tape recorders, it could be said that some dim reflection can be found in literature of the long aisles and huge machines of that social mill which is the world of endeavor – yes, just about as much as comes back to us from photographic insufficiently exposed in the picture-taking, a ghost image substituted for the original lights and deep shadows of the object. So, for every good novel about a trade union that has been written from the inside, we have ten thousand better novels to rewad about authors and the social activitied of their friends. Writers tend to live just as automotive engineers congregate in the same country clubs of the same suburbs surrounding Detroit.
But even as we pay for the social insularity of Detroit engineers by having to look at the repetitive hump of their design until finally what is most amazing about the automobile is how little it has been imporved in the last fifty yearsm so literature suffer4s from its own endemic hollow: We are overfamiliar with the sensitivity of the sensitive and relatively ignorant of the cunning of the strong and the stupid, one – it may be fatal – step removed from the good and intimate perception of the inside procedures of the corporate, financial, governmental, Mafia, and working-class establishments. Investigative journalism has taken us into the guts of the machine, only not really, not enough. We still do not have much idea of the soul of any inside operator; we do not, for instance, yet have a clue to what makes a quarterback ready for a good day or a bad one. In addition, the best investigative reporting of new journalism tends to rest on too narrow an ideaological base – the rational, ironic, fact-oritented world of the media liberal. So we have a situation, call it a cultural malady, of the most basic sort: a failure of sufficient information (that is, good literary information) to put into the centers of our mind we use for assessment. No matter how much we read, we tend to know too little of how the world works. The men who do the real work offer us no real writing, and ther writers who explore the minds of such men approach from an intellectual stance that distorts their vision. You would not necessarily want a saint to try to write about a computer engineer, but you certainly would not search for the reverse. All too many saints, monsters, maniacs, mystics, and rock performers are being written about these days, however, by practitioners of journalism whose inner vision is usually graphed by routine parameters, Our continuing inability to comprehend the world is likely to continue.
Being a novelist, I want to know every world. I would never close myself off to a subject unless it’s truly repulsive to me. While one can never take one’s imperviousness to corruption for granted, it is still important to have some idea of how the world works. What ruins most writers of talent ois that they don’t get enough experience, so their novels tend to develop a certain paranoid perfection. That is almost never as good as the rough edge of reality. (Franz Kafka immaculately excepted!)
For example, how much of the history that’s made around us is conspiracy, how much is simple f*ckups? You have to know the world to get some idea of that.
It’s not advisable for a novelist, once he is successful!, to live in an upper-class social milieu for too long. Since it is a world of rigid rules, you cannot be yourself. There’s a marvelous built-in reflex in such society. It goes: If you are completely one of us, then you are not very interesting. (Unless you have prodigious amounts of money or impeccable family.) If you have any entree, it’s because that world is always fascinated with mavericks, at least until the point where they become bored with you. Then you are out. (Capote and Jerry Kosinski come to mind.) If you start accepting those rules past the point where you where you enjoy going along as part of the game, then you are injuring yourself. Capote played consigliere to New York society until he could bear it no longer and then he commenced his self-destruction with Answered Prayers. Koninski, who may have been the most amusing guest of them all in New York, committed suicide during an ongoing illness.
I remember saying in 1958, “I am imprisoned with a perception that will settle for nothing less then making a revolution in the consciousness of our time.” And I certainly failed, didn’t I? At the time, I thought I had books in me that no one else did, and so soon as I was able to write them, society would be altered. Kind of grandiose.
Now, the things I’ve stood for have been roundly defeated. Literature, after all, has been ground down in the second half of the twentieth century. It’s a gloomy remark, but consider that literature was one of the forces that helped to shape the latter part of the nineteenth century – naturalism, for example. One can fear that in another hundred years the serious novel will bear the same relation to serious people that the five-act verse play does today. The profound novel will be a curiousity, a long cry away from what great writing once offered. Where indeed would England be now without Shakespeare? or Ireland without James Joyce or Yeats? If you ask who has had the kind of influence today in America, I’d say Madonna. Some years ago, the average young girl was completely influenced by her. She affected the way girls dressed, acted, behaved. So far, she’s had more to do with women’s liberation than Women’s Liberation. I mean, for every girl who was affected by feminist ideology, there must have been five who tried to live and dress the way they thought Madonna did. They had their own private revolution without ever hearing about Ms. magazine.
Sometimes, you write a novel because it comes out of elements in yourself that – no better word – are deep. The subject appeals to some root in your psyche, and you set out on a vertinginous venture. But there are other times when you may get into an altogether different situation. You just damn well have to write a book for no better reason than that your economic problems are pressing.
Tough Guys Don’t Dance comes under that rubric. After I finished Ancient Evenings, I was exhausted. I also felt spoiled. So I did noi writing for ten months. Unfortunately, my then-publisher Little, Brown and I were parting company. (They weren’t mad about authors who took eleven years on a massive tome like Ancient Evenings.) Howver, there was one more book owed to them. And my feeling was, Well they won’t want the book right away even if they have been paying me good money every month to write it and I haven’t been doing the job. Reality had not tapped on any of my windows for all those months. if it sounds silly that a grown man could be that naive, well, we are all, you know, somewhat less than our sophistication.
So, on month ten, they said to me in effect, “Are you going to give us a novel or will you repay us the money?” Now, I had to recognize that if I ended up owing them a year of sizable monthly stipends, I would never catch up with the IRS.
The only thing was to come up with a book in sixty days! I couldn’t possibly give them non-fiction. The research would take too long – no, I had to do a novel that would be quick and comfortable. First thing, therefore, was to make a decision on whether to do it in first person or thrird. First person is always more hospitable in the beginning. You can give a sense of the immediate almost at once. It would be first person, then.
But where would it take place? New York seemed too complicated to write about quickly. Besides, given the constrictions of time, I had to know the place well. All right, it would have to be a book about Provincetown. At that time, in the early Eighties, I had been going there off and on for forty years. For practical purposes, it was all the small town I would ever have.
What should it be about? Well, I could take my cue from An American Dream, make it a story of murder and suspense. But who would the narrator be? An easy decision: let him be a writer. In first person, a writer is the single most cooperative character to deal with. Let him be between thirty-five and forty, frustrated, never published, bitter, quite bright, but not as bright as myself. After all, I had to be able to write this book in a hurry. Then, having subscribed to these quick guideleines, I thought if I had one poius bone in my body, just one, I would now get down and pray. Because I was still in trouble. Sixty days to produce a novel!
I set out. It’s one of the few times I’ve felt blessed as a writer. I knew there was a limit to how good the book could be, but the style came through, and that is always half of a novel. You can write a very bad book, but if the style is first-rate, then you’ve got something that will live – not forever, but for a decent time. The shining example might be G.K. Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday. It has an undeniably silly plot unless you invest a great deal into it. A worshipful right-wing critic can do a blitheringly wonderful thesis on the symbolic leaps and acrobatics of The Man Who Was Thursday, but actually, it’s about as silly as a Jules Verne novel. Yet the writing itself is fabulous. The style is extraordinary. The apercus are marvelous. The Man Who Was Thursday proves the point: Style is half of a novel.
And, for some good reason, unknown to me, the style came through in Tough Guys Don’t Dance. The writing was probably, for the most part, as good as I can muster. The plot, however, was just as close to silly. That was the price to pay for the speed of composition. The irony is that the book did not end uyp at Little, Brown. I was able to pay off my debt because Random House wanted me, and I have been with them ever since.
I suspect we are now ready to talk about the writer’s daily work.
(First Person Versus Third Person)
Third person and first person are at least as different as major and minor keys in music.
In the first person, you gain immediacy but lose insight, because you can hardly move into other people’s heads without using a few devices, usually dubious.
The Deer Park underlined the difficulty. At one point, the young man who was telling the story stated that he was shifting from first person to third. He was now old enough, went his claim, to understand people he had not understood before. Because he now had more of an idea of how they think, he would write about them in third person. I believe it had worked, but I would not swear to it.
In first person, the style has to be altogether tuned to the man who’s telling the story. (Only once did I have a woman as the narrator. And that was Marilyn Monroe in Of Women and Their Elegance.)
When your prime character is a man, the key choice is not how bright he is, because however smart, he can’t be more intelligent than you are. That’s easy. You dumb him down to taste or bring him up to your level. The real question is, How tough is he? Do you have the inner sanction to create a man who’s braver and tougher than yourself? The answer is yes. Contra Hemingway – yes! You can do that by exercising your critical imagination. It must not be wish fulfillment! You are entitled to guess how you might act if you were that much more of a hero.
I don’t know how to pose the question for an author who’s female. Can she, for example, write about a woman who is more sensitive than herself? Probably not. She could write about a woman who uses her sensitivity and sensibility more than herself, because she can then key on all the frustrated times in her existence when the sensitivity and sensibility she possessed were not appropiate to a harsh occasion. Following question: Can a woman write about another woman more passionate than herself? Probably. Or a woman who’s colder than herself? Without doubt.
In the third person, there’s a different set of difficulties.
With a full use of the thrird person, you are God – well, of course, not quite, but, one way or another, you are ready to see into everyone’s mind. That is never routine. There is, of course, an easier approach – point-of-view third person, where you remain in one character’s mind but are still viewing your protagonist from outside, and usually from above. In the classic vein of third person, however, where you enter each and every one’s consciousness, it is not routine to get over the emabarrassment that you are able to accomodate certain characters’ minds with considerably more skill than you can with others’. This Olympian third person, this Tolstoyan presense, needs experience, confidence, irony, insight, and lordly detachment. When it can be done, hurrah. Most of the great nineteenth-century novels achieve just that tone. Today, it’s usually up to the novelists who write best-sellers. In their case, God is always ready to offer an adjective adequate to their means. Teeming excitement, unendurable suspense, delightful joy, grim jisery, dogged courage. But let me not froth at the mouth. There was a time when I used to do that myself.
First person point of view, however, remains a fine tool. You can get to places you don’t arrive at any other way. of course, you can also injure your writing hand. As an instrument, it’s double-edged. Hemingway had a marvelous sense of its limitations and used it to create his style. he dramatized its first edict: Do not talk about things that could prove embarrassing. They don’t feel right in the telling, not when the “I” stands at the head of the sentence. So there’s a tendency, most marked in Hemingway, to keep his revelations at arm’s length. As, for example, the famous last sentences of A Farewell to Arms.
We live in a time that is astonishingly more open, but the edict, adjusted, still remains. First person cannot be as free as the separation between author and protagonist offered by the third person.
It was not until I struggled with Advertisments for Myself that I began to recognize how curious it was to be working in the first person. Now, many writers good and bad have been employing that mode for centuries, but I had to come to this remarkable conclusion on my own. The first person was not all that available a way to write. It proved to be a very interesting and exciting mode of literary presense, with large limitations, and you really do have to understand it as such – especially if you’re dealing with your own presense. Nothing is more difficult than to become comfortable writing about yourself in the first person. It’s highly unnatural, because “I” makes up only about a third of the consciousness of any human being. “I” may be the prow of the ego, but you get into all sorts of other places where you want “one” to talk about different aspects of yourself. And then there is even the second person, you, employed as if is first person: “You get up, you brush your teeth, you feel lousy this morning.” (In the first period of awakening, you can indeed feel like a vague entity slightly outside yourself.) And there is also the third person when used as a substitute for “I” – for one, the character named Norman Mailer in The Armies of the Night. Using the third person in this manner may be a special condition of first person, but it is legitimate. There is a part of the ego that is superior to ourselves – that person who observes us carefully even as we’re ourselves – that person who observes us carefully even as we’re doing bizarre things, that special persona, possessed of immaculate detachment, who is always saying, “Oh, are we really doing well right now?” A wonderful voice. Because it enables you to treat yourself as one more character in a field of characters.
Nonetheless, I have considerable regard for the first person. Once I even dared to cross the line with it. That began on a given night, in a small Paris hotel room, when I couldn’t sleep. The room was tiny, the double bed took up almost all the floor, and you could break your toe trying to walk around. I didn’t want to go rummaging in my suitcase for a book, so I picked up a Gideon Bible (in English!) on my bedside table and started reading. I hadn’t looked at the New Testament for thirty or forty years, but I recalled that a man named Fulton Oursler once sold over a million copies of a book called The Greatest Story Ever Told. Now, with the bona fide Gospels in my hand, I thought, Well, this may be the greatest story, but it is certainly being told abominably. Sayings popped out of the New Testament that were worthy of Shakespeare, but much in the double columns was poorly described. An ungainly prose pronged with golden nuggets. I thought, There have got to be a hundred novelists in the world who can do a better job. I’m one of them.
The notion was intriguing. When I thought of all the hypocrites and corruptibles and power seekers who had been living with the Gospel for centuries, standing foursquare on any gnomic chunk of text they could use to abet their aims, I decided, Why not just tell the story? It is, in fact, a fascinating one. The narrative keel is mind-boggling. We are dealing with a man who is obliged to recognize through the evidence itself that he is the Son of God. The difficulty of such a book would be to write about a man considerably nicer than myself. That is never easy. To fashion a character who is meaner than yourself – a piece of cake. but to do someone who is better? Jean Malaquais once remarked that you can write about any character but one. “Who is that?” “A novelist more tlaented than yourself.”
I thought, This is analogous. A finer sense of morality is also a higher talent. Yes, the problems were interesting.
I decided my character had to be more of a man than a god, an existential man, dominated by the huge cloud that he is the Son of God. Jesus, as the protagonist, doesn’t feel worthy, but he is ready nonetheless to do his best every step of the way. Not in comand of every situation, but will do his best. And he does have his startling successes.
Moreover, I had to decide whether to travel in the first person of third. First person would have everyone saying: “That egomaniac. Does Mailer now think he’s Jesus Christ? What an over-inflamed vanity!” That’s the bad side, I thought, but at least I can avoid the larger mistake of doing it in the third person.Because that would soon get mixed up with the actual text of the Gospels, and the reader would wonder, Is this sentence from the New testament or was it added? That can only make for a squirrelly experience as one reads. All right, then. First person. Damn the torpedoes, first person. Play the Ace.
It became interesting. If it was too biblical in the beginning, I did have an editor who is totally irreligious, Jason epstein. he was appalled that I was writing this book. We’re friends, but he’s one tough editor. And he’s most often all too right or altogehter wrong. So, you have to make a quick decision. yes, the style was too biblical.
After which, it was relatively easy. The book was short enough for me to work up seven variations on the style. I had to find the balance between a biblical rhythm and a contemporary one – something that would not inflict a biblical grip on one’s mind yet would keep the echo. Before I was done, it took a year from that night in that much-too-small hotel room on the Ile St.-Louis.
As you can see, with the weight of being known as one of the more important writers of our time comes a certain sense of…. self indulgence?
In other words, the old fart can RAMBLE!
But there are a lot of things in The Spooky Art: Thoughts on Writing that you can learn from. Mailer covers style, genre, the business itself, psychology, philosophy, and offers his opinions of his fellow authors (he’s surprisingly kind to Stephen King). Mailer tends to overdo it at times, but remember that these are a series of articles/essays complied over the years, so each chapter serves more as a stand-alone piece – and Mailer earned every dime he was paid to do them.
Years ago, the net was filled with wannabe writers who were hungry for lessons and advice. I don’t see a lot of that these days, but if you… yes, YOU are an aspiring writer looking for nuggest of wisdom from one of the bigger dogs in the literature yard, might as well pony up $14 pigs and give The Spooky Art: Thoughts on Writing a go. Or if you’re thinking about checking out Mailer’s work, but are hestiant, pick it up and take a peak into the mind of a man who has earned the right to be rather arrogant.
Oh, and I’m currently reading Tough Guys Don’t Dance and am so far amazed that he could chuck something that dense out in just 60 days.
My name is Chris Hyatte and I will rape your momma if it’ll MAKE YOU READ!!!
TRIPLE H IS BETTER THAN YOU
I, for one, am so sick and tired of HHH bashing. Thus, I give you this ongoing gimmick.
Every week, I shall list one good thing Triple H has done that makes him a much better person than YOU, John Q. Geekface, who has never done anything for anyoneÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢?ÃƒÆ’¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦ and probably a fan of Ring of Honor too, you PERVERT!!
Triple H Is Better Than You Because…
You wanted Test gone? Well GUESS WHO FINALLY MADE IT HAPPEN???
THIS HAS BEEN “TRIPLE H IS BETTER THAN YOU” STARRING TRIPLE H! WRITTEN, DIRECTED, AND PRODUCED BY CHRIS HYATTE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
APRIL GOLDEN SHOWERS
A few weeks ago, I get this letter:
Comment on your May 3, 2004 newsletter.
Who did [April Hunter] cheat on Slyk with? What other stories do you know between these two?
Well first of all, this isn’t a newsletter.
Second of all, it appears that SOMEONE is enjoying the Midnight News at 411!
Third of all, I implied that while April Hunter was at OVW, she shagged a WWE wrestler rotten… I IMPLIED that it was Sean O’Haire… and she had since vehemently denied… so I stand corrected. April Hunter did NOT get monkey-busy with Sean O’Haire.
April Hunter, by the way, is a long-time Indy superstar who, along with her decidingly BLACK (and we’re talking Wesley Snipes black) boyfriend “Slyk” Wagner Brown, provide professional, QUALITY matches to independent shows around the world. She’s quite nice to look at too.
HOWEVER… since someone asked for stories between those two… I might as well piss her off and spread ANOTHER little piece of gossip a low-level web God like me tends to pick up here and there.
Back in 2001-2002, the WWE used a small little territory called ECWA as a developmental farming/training branch… and double-chinned Kevin Kelly either ran it or was the on-site WWE representitive.
Well, April was booked in the ECWA and lasted three whole shows before being sent away…
AND while she was there, she tried real hard to get her boyfriend booked…
AND… well, April would do ANYTHING for Slyk’s advancement…
AND… well, remember when the Rock used to call Kevin Kelly a “hermaphrodite?” Umm… that may not be altogether true.
I don’t believe this for a MINUTE… it just goes to show how sick and SORDID the tongue waggers who want to hurt hard workers for the sake of a few GIGGLES will go to achieve damage to people’s reps.
April and Slyk are two young lovers in a SERIOUS relationship. And I don’t see that chubby, mousy, weak-chinned Kevin Kelly breaking this couple up! NONSENSE… PURE CRAP!!
Disregard this rumor… RUMOR, I SAY. It just goes to show how PATHETIC some people’s imaginations are!
Now I feel bad. Here, go to April’s site and watch the video “From Mexico with Love”. If April got any more hard-core, there would be penis involved. She comes VERRRRY close to showing off the nips… and the vag… it’s frustrating, really… JUST SHOW IT, GIRL!! JESUS!
And it MAY be time to lay off the juice. You’re starting to resemble a hotter, more female Chyna.
Anyway, since it’s been a few weeks… let’s wrap up with a few segments normally reserved for the Omega column!!
THE WORLD ACCORDING TO FLEA
Whenever we talk, I can always count on Flea to give his opinions on just about anything. And those opinions are usually extremely fascinating to listen to. It also allows me to go to the toilet or something while he lectures on.
So, I decided to grab a pen and paper and start jotting down his thoughts. Everyone likes Flea.
The following is 100% true… more or less:
WHERE DOES FLEA STAND ON…
…Fox NFL announcer Cris Collinsworth?
A cocksucker! He can go f*ck himself and he should be shot on sight!
Jeeze. Why would Flea have such anger towards a football announcer? I really have no clue.
And I don’t care either. Just the fact that he called for Collinsworth to be gunned down for no particular reason other than he doesn’t like the guy is endlessly funny.
And, since it’s been WEEKS since I educated your silly asses…
A FUN FACT THAT WILL MAKE YOU LOOK SMARTER
*Wyoming is given the most funding from Homeland Security because the Government allocates the money depending on how many miles of paved freeway each state has.*
And just like that, youÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢??re already a little smarter than you were 3 seconds ago!
Hyatte LIVES to inform.
A LIVE MIC = DANGER
Like the Flea thing and the fun facts, it has been quite a while since I laid down any wrestling quotes… so why not blow off the movie thing for a week and ctach up with some great lines from actual rasslers. This is, after all, a WRESTLING column… theoretically
Nice mix of good stuff this week. Old school, new school, and the FULL segment where the Undertaker finally got fed up with a building chanting “WHAT” after every line and gave them what for…
01): The problem with America today is that it doesn’t have a great leader. That’s the problem with America today.– Dr. Jerry Graham
02): I’m hotter than a 15 year old girl in a field hockey skirt!– Joel Gertner
03): 3) And how did I build this house? (holds up hands) These mommas right here!– “Dr. D” David Schultz, showing off his house on Tuesday Night Titans
04): You want some of this too, Tiger Woods?– HHH to Maven, Raw from last week.
05): Wait a minute, wait a minute, minute, wait a minute, wait a minute…why don’t we go back a couple weeks to Toronto, Canada, at WrestleMania Eighteen…– Undertaker
You remember that, Ric?– Undertaker
Do you remember me beatin’ you down and leaving you in a puddle of your own blood right in the middle of the ring?– Undertaker
And you must say honestly, it was probably the most pain that you ever felt in your life.– Undertaker
I tell you what, why don’t you say ‘what’ if you like to sleep with your own sister.– Undertaker, clearly pissed and frustrated: Raw ’02
06): Will you people shut up! I’m trying to remember my spots!– Chris Candido, shouting to fans: USA Pro Wrestling show, last September
07): NO! I didn’t like it, but in 1989 characters were in. I was told Vince McMahon could make anybody a star no matter the character…so I did it. I didn’t like it, but I did it. Why does everybody remember an 18 month run as the Red Rooster and forget the 14 year career as Terry Taylor?– Terry Taylor on being the Red Rooster – 1998
08): That goat is moving towards Howard Finkel for some reason!– Vince McMahon: King of the Ring ’96
09): Kurt, you wanted to see me?
Yes I di…
YOU CAN’T SEE ME! You know that!– Cena and Angle, Smackdown
10): SHANE’S A PUSSY!!!– Audience
That’s untrue!– Shane McMahon: Raw 2000
11): Come on Tony, you’re telling me you never bit anyone on the butt before?– Heenan
Yeah Tony, come clean. It’s PPV!– Mike Tenay: Bash at the Beach ’98
12): Now, speaking of sore-losers, how fitting is it that we are in the capital city of sore-losers: Buffalo, New York! Now, I’m talking, Superbowls, Stanley Cup Finals, O.J.! It ‘so’ doesn’t get more depressing than right here.– Christian
13): You call yourself a Gorilla, meanwhile you hee-haw around here like a jackass!– “Stone Cold” Steve Austin to Gorilla Monsoon
14): Samoan Savage is so ugly he has to get up early in the morning and ambush breakfast.– Jim Cornette: NWA TV ’89
15): Oh God. After seeing that I understand why everyone is so concerned. My God, I see the concern on all of your faces… my fans… I mean you’re all a bunch of rednecks, but you’re still my fans, you still count!– Trish Stratus – the GREATEST, HOTTEST, SEXIEST FEMALE WORKER IN THE HISTORY OF PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING – on the last Raw
Oh god… what I wouldn’t do with five minutes with that booty…
Five? I MEAN THREE HOURS!!! I ain’t no preemee ejactulator! I take my TIME, yo… build up anticipation! Work that thang!
Anyways, I’ll try very hard to get a column up for Thursday… and if/when I do, I’ll have updates on Bobby Billard, ROH, Scherer acting tough, some advice, the Smackdown spoiler chart, and I’m gonna rip Bruce Mitchell a new asshole.
And maybe a piece from Vince McMahon. I have something from him already, but it’s a few weeks old and I have to call his office to see if he wants it posted as is.
Oh I am NOT lying.
Anyway, I’m out. Feel free to go die now.
This is Hyatte