Posted on 3 Comments

William Gay is a genius

Crowd at sports arena

A literary one at least.

The deceased author William Gay, that is, not the former professional football cornerback William Gay.

Well, William Gay the cornerback may also be a literary genius, I’m just not aware of it.

But I am aware that Nic Pizzolatto is too a genius, at least of the screenwriting variation, as is evidenced by his hugely popular HBO series True Detective.

I watched season one of True Detective as soon as it was released, what… nearly ten years ago now.

I liked it. Maybe not as much as many seemed to have at the time, and certainly not as much as I like season two (I know, I know… I’m woefully in the minority on this one – I have never been much of a fan of Woody Harrelson’s acting, and I thought Matthew McConaughey character was a bit over the top), but I liked it enough to dig into the particulars of its development.

Which is when I discovered Nic Pizzolatto.

And which is when shortly thereafter I discovered Thomas Ligotti

As this highly misanthropic madman (both literally and literarily) genius author was a huge influence on NP and his creation and development of MM’s forlorn and highly misanthropic character Detective Rustin “Rust” Cohle.

TL is so down on humanity he wrote a hatefest about it in a less-than-joyful book called The Conspiracy Against the Human Race.

Come to find out there is an actual philosophical movement, however slight (hopefully), that actual believes that, for the sake of humanity, I guess, humanity needs to be disappeared.

Apparently, NP was so influenced by Tl that some/many believed he plagiarized the immensely pessimistically nihilistic author for much of MM/Cohle’s dialogue.

I can understand why (while imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery, I do not condone plagiarism of any stripe), TL’s short stories are some of the most awesomely horrific stories I have ever read/listened to, and I truly appreciate NP for turning me on to the human depressant…

Although, to date, I have not yet been able to make it all the way through his anti-humanity book. It’s too depressing, simple as that.

Incidentally, during Joe Rogan’s last interview with Elon Musk recently, I was surprised to discover, seeing how well informed they both always seem to be, that neither of them seemed to be aware of TL or of his influence on NP or of the whole down with humanity philosophy as they first heard about the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement in a less than recent New York Times article entitled Earth Now Has 8 Billion Humans. This Man Wishes There Were None.

Rogan probably has heard of it before but as much dope as he smokes and as old as he’s getting to be, he probably burned out the brain cells responsible for recalling that information.

Anyway, long story short…

Or have I missed that bus already?

Anyway, for some reason I forget, a few weeks ago I mentioned to my son that I enjoy season two of TD much more than season one.

(Season three isn’t even in the discussion as it is immensely forgettable. And from what I’ve seen of the upcoming season four, it looks equally immensely forgettable.)

My son was shocked at my (poor) taste and went on to pan season two and praise season one, as do most.

So, I figured, since I’ve already watched season two three times, I might as well give season one another shot, seeing that it’s been nearly ten years since I last watched it.

And I recently finished rewatching it.

And I still enjoyed it, probably more because this time around I was familiar with TL and his work and the insight from it was appreciated.

And though I still prefer season two, I still liked season one enough once again to once again look up ol’ NP to see if he has been up to anything new.

Didn’t really discover anything new by NP that interested me, but I did discover this old Buzzfeed article that interested me greatly, as it lists all the literary influences of NP’s that went into the development of season one.

And it was from this article that I discovered William Gay.

The author, not the cornerback.

And I cannot believe I have never heard of this good ol’ boy literary genius before.

And by good ol’ boy, I mean that was one dude whose neck was severely reddened. Crispy, if you know what I mean*.

The good ol’ boy literary genius

I just finished listening to his collection of short stories called I Hate To See That Evening Sun Go Down.

Never had I read/listened to a collection of short stories where ever single story is as completely fantastic as these are. Especially in a collection written by just one author.

Because my eyes are shot because of the side effects from my bone marrow transplant of so long ago, I listen to books now more than I read them.

Consequently, I have a pretty good ear for great narrators. Great as defined by me anyway.

The narrators for this collection are Christine McMurdo-WallisTom StechschultePete Bradbury, and Richard Ferrone, and they all are pitch perfect for their respective stories.

Tom Stescschulte has been a longtime favorite of mine and this to me is the best work he has ever done.

So, yeah, once again I must thank NP for turning me on to yet another amazing author.

And I hope I’m wrong about season four. I’m a fan of Jodie Foster so I hope she pulls it off.

So, that’s the short story long of it.

Oh yeah!

Since I’ve already missed the short bus, let bring up one last thing…

I’ll make it fast – punctuation be damned.

If you are a fan of audiobooks like I am but are not a fan of Audible’s expensive subscription like I am – the only reason I started my subscription back up recently is because I was offered and I accepted a one-month free promo (which they are betting I will forget to cancel but which I marked my calendar so to hell with them I won’t fall into that expensive trap) – then you must be estatic like I am that Spotify is now offering audiobooks for those who are subscribed with a premium membership like I am and all the books I have on my audible wish list are available on spotify as are many many more and my TBLT (to be listened to) list is so long now I probably won’t finish it until I’m in my eighties, which, sadly, is almost as close as my forties are far away…

Yeah…


*Apologies for the stereotype but, dagburnit that dude is one countrified dude. Not that it’s a bad thing, it’s just, well, you know how the stereotype goes…

Posted on 4 Comments

Cue the Rocky theme song…

Boxing gloves clipart, illustration psd

The ultimate nepo baby, George Dubya Bush and his Good Ol’ White Boy (mostly) Club O’ Iraqi War Criminals drove me from the once honorable (if you go back to Lincoln anyway) and still somewhat sane (at least before unrecallable Reagan) Republican Party, and Trump, the antepenultimate nepo baby, of course coming just before his first two nepo offspring (and not counting Eric, who would, or the other two (as far as we know) burgeoning and relatively unknown (thank god) offsprings), and his dangerous cult drove me, not only from politics as a whole, but from any engagement online with anyone who might be maga-inclined, meaning I stopped posting entries here and I deleted all my social accounts.

And it was a good thing I did…

Continue reading Cue the Rocky theme song…
Posted on Leave a comment

Sunday Songs to Spark the Spirit and Summon the Mood of the Dance

Doing a reread of Big Will’s Titus Andronicus so what better way to summon the happy dancing spirits today than by rocking out to a song by, you got it, Titus Andronicus…

If only ours was a union even a little more better…

#letsdance

Posted on 4 Comments

Realm of the Divine

pile of fire woods

It isn’t always easy doing the things we have to do.

Unless it’s one of those happy occasions, as rare as they may be,

when the thing we have to do, is something we want to do.

But whether we want to or not, we do these things anyway.

Because we have to.

That’s just the way life is.

And the way life is…

Continue reading Realm of the Divine
Posted on Leave a comment

No matter how bad it gets…

grayscale photo of explosion on the beach

And it has gotten extremely bad lately…

I guess there is some comfort to be found in knowing…

That it could always get worse.

Yeah…

Not sure if I have the imaginative capacity, or fortitude, to imagine how.

Hope I don’t.

But, still, here we are, despite it all, moving forward…

Even if it’s just at the most timid and extremely infinitesimal pace.

Because we must.

And we shall.

So yeah, in the midst of all this, all this being our latest global nightmare of ___________ [fill in the blank]*, I finally managed to do something I have been wanting to do pretty much since the onset of the past global nightmare of ___________ [fill in the blank].

Continue reading No matter how bad it gets…
Posted on 3 Comments

Filed my taxes yesterday

And no matter how many times I’ve filed them (I’m old so a lot), and no matter how sophisticated and whizbang the tax software gets, I always get a bad feeling when I’m done, that I haven’t done them correctly.

It could have something to do with my lifelong fear of any number greater than a single digit, I suppose.

Mostly that bad feeling is to no avail and everything works out fine. At least the feds haven’t come down on me yet.

But this time that bad feeling was spot on because seconds, seriously, mere seconds, after submitting my return I got an email from the tax filing service stating that my return had been rejected by the IRS.

The rejection turned out to be for a silly, easy to fix reason, but the experience left me wondering, if the IRS already knows the math, why do we have to bother to solve for the solution…

I mean, why in this whizbang day and age do I even have to do my taxes?

Is it really just so I have some skin in the game, as the silly mostly right-leaning politicians like to say?

Okay, I can understand large corporations and extremely high earners having to be obliged to keep intricate records and be in close communication with the feds…

But why must a poor swine like myself? Surely, it must cost the government more money than it makes to track the anemic, trickling cash flow of someone in my tax bracket.

And while we’re on the topic, doesn’t it seem a little immoral and against the laws of nature to tax the fruits of one’s labor?

I mean, I’m not against taxes, I understand their need, but it just doesn’t seem right getting taxed/penalized for what we earn to make our living, for our efforts to be constructive citizens.

Why not tax the hell out of us for what we consume like most of the states do? I’m all for a sales/consumption tax, provided it’s not for the purchase of basic needs that people smarter than me would have to determine what would qualify as a need, basic and/or otherwise. And for sure tax the complete hell, every speck of it, out of luxury items.

Again, I’m no numbers guy and I’m not saying an income tax isn’t the best way to fund our federal needs, and I know there’s the whole thing about taxes needing to be progressive and all that, I’m just saying an income tax just seems such an unnatural, immoral way to fund our societal needs, that’s all I’m saying.

Anyway…

Until next year.*


*Sure hope I don’t end up getting audited for this. And speaking of income, don’t forget all my books are free today! I need the reviews, yo!

Posted on 2 Comments

Rainy Season, AI-Imagined

I’ve always wanted to write and illustrate a graphic novel.

But that would be a lot of work.

Too much for someone as uninspired and unartistic as yours truly.

So I figured why not give one of the AI machines a shot at illustrating some of my writing since they seem to be all the rage lately…

Which also seems to be making all the human artists rage lately as well.

But hey, if you can’t beat ’em might as well join ’em, right?

I mean, hey, better take advantage of the tech now before it takes complete advantage of us as our AI Overlords, right?

Right?

Rich from Rainy Season as imagined by Mindjourney

Anyway, I fed some of the characteristics of Rich and Miko, the two main characters of my novel Rainy Season, into the AI engine Midjourney, and this is a little taste of what it came up with…

Miko of Rainy Season as imagined by Mindjourny

I must say, I’m pretty impressed. Just the vibe I was going for when writing the novel. There are other cool renditions of the troubled couple, as well as some beautiful renderings of a rainy Tokyo night filled with the hazy glow of neon, just like the story’s setting calls for.*

Pretty nifty.

And a little scary.

But hey, maybe the awakening tech might just allow me to release an illustrated edition of the novel.

Sure would be a lot easier than having/trying to draw all those illustrations myself.

I guess if I’m going to do it, I better hurry before the AI becomes fully aware…

And finds itself less interested in rendering unto us silly pictures from silly stories…

And more interested in having us render unto it our complete and total carbon-filled, mushy-hearted fealty.

Yeah.


*I tried using the same defining terms with the DALL-E AI machine and the images it rendered were lame compared to Midjourney’s.

Posted on 1 Comment

Sunday Songs to Spark the Spirit and Summon the Moves of the Dance

You probably know that Steve Earle is a world-renowned folk/country/crossover singer-songwriter…

And maybe you know that he is also an actor, having appeared on The Wire, Treme, and other productions, his characters mostly mirroring his life as a musician, as in Treme, or as a recovering heroin addict, as in The Wire.

But did you know he is also an author?

And a damn fine one at that?

Yeah…

Dude’s def got it going on, I must say. Obviously, I’m a big fan.

His book I’ll Never Get Out of this World Alive is named after a Hank William’s song. I listened to the audiobook version, of which Earle performed. It’s great. The main character is a down-and-out, disgraced doctor, and an addict, who angelically performs illegal medical services for the locals of his unruly hood, particularly for the at-risk sex workers. It is a sad, touching, funny, magical, hallucinatory/ghostly tale (Hank Williams plays a critical role… or at least his ghost/Doc’s hallucination of him does) of which I highly recommend.

Anyway, have a listen of this little ditty of Earle’s from when he was a much younger human, and tap a toe or two while you’re at it…