I want to tell you a story about myself. Yes, I’m presently wrapped up in numerous projects simultaneously, and there is very little time for me to do anything outside of focus, wishing I could simply melt into the day sometime, no deadlines or professional (which lead to personal) anxieties, and slip into a page like a jigsaw puzzle, moving the words around until the pieces fit. Or I could just make some shit up off the top of my head, calling it fiction.
And so we come back to that story I promised you–
–and yet, perhaps the story I can tell is about the stories that I tell, really the only way one could crawl inside another person’s perspectives on life. Like reading a diary, sneaking a peek at texts on their phone and private e-mail accounts.
The attempt to find out who another person is requires both empathy, and an ability to accept all the crazy nonsense different people spout, preaching whichever gospel their Churches of Anarchy propose. Yes, you can discover a person’s fears and doubts. Knowing this will help your interviews, able to find out nearly everything you’d ever want to know.
Wanna know how you interview someone? You play dumb. You are there is listen. And so an interview, it’s really more of an improv act. The interviewer is the straight girl or man in this comedy duo, always being made to look foolish, or embarrassed. “You’re stupid too–whaddya think a–
All it takes. Those being interviewed have an opinion about everything once your crack the shell. This is their moment to speak! They are aiming towards posterity.
They try to teach you lessons, your subject (something which they inevitably always do, if not in answer to your questions). Sometimes they feel terrible about something awful they said to you the night before. They grovel back to you the next morning, perhaps brandishing more than one cup of coffee as a peace offering. Yet the job of an interviewer requires you not to let anything bother you, a stunned husk, absorbing everything you can, much of it shocking.
What I choose to write about the subject is very–
The story, yes the story! I mean, when I think about it I suppose I should add–
The tone of a number of my earlier pieces (here, at recordingeditorialhistory.com) were often far more playful than the dense, bleak and groggy political commentaries presently underway. I used to think I was funny, but came to realize it is only in the darkest, most depressing ways. My outlook is seeking the moment when everything is just too much and tragedy becomes hilarity.
I have been an author of apocalypse since I was ten years old and I undertook what I wanted to be my first book. Back in those days of more free time and better moods it was easy to make fun, flip little adventure stories out of otherwise grimly boring people capable of offering little more than a monotonous grunt.
–May I politely suggest and kindly promote one of those earlier pieces, a great bit of silly nastiness from me that led to my being banned from Twitter for life? Ah, those glimmers of celebrity. I call it Lou Dobbs: The Cartoon Prophet of Irrational Blindness. There is the revision from the original piece, itself published 11/26/18, featuring personal updates from my mini-spat with Lou Dobbs himself. I asked him a question very similar to this: “Did going to work at Fox News energize you so much that for the first time in 27 years you noticed your dick get hard? Oh! And your hair appears to have regained it’s color. That’s miraculous.”–this revision is from 6-12-19)
–so where was I? The tone of voice? The professional blathering about the nature of my current ongoing series, one that I am marketing outside of this website, seeking broader public exposure? I am very pleased with it thus far.
Now it’s time to promote What We Believe. The next commentary is going to be a rather long piece, beginning on the day prior to the last Democratic Presidential Debate before the Iowa Primary (2020). The entire series will follow the events up until the day after the Presidential election this November (and of course, should chaos break out over whoever wins the decision, I expect it to continue until the story simmers down).
The first two commentaries were brief introductory sketches getting the voice in order. I am telling the story of politics through the voice of an injudicious sports reporter. The Championship game is, of course, the Presidential election. But those Trump versus whomever debates is where the real battles occur. Currently Part Three is nearly completed. It is a little longer than the first two combined. I will shoot for a piece every week or two weeks, covering events with perspectives in What We Believe.
I am presently working on four distinct projects, aside from half time antics or the pre-game shows like this (What We Believe includes commercial relevant to some of the issues candidates can’t stop talking about–they are no more than 500 words. The first commercial is exactly 500).
Anyway, there is the biography, certainly my primary work for an extended period of time. Research is very time consuming, and interviews often veer into crazy places you have no idea how you got there, and you’re certainly not prepared. His is the story of a profoundly fascinating man. Sure, I’m saying that in self-promotion, but the truth is that I pursued this project for years with the subject. I pitched it as “I want to win you a Pulitzer Prize.”
There has also been a return to my opus, a book I have worked on and off on for the past thirty years. Of course the revisions are massive from the gruesome little horror story I began when I was seventeen. It is a novel of increasing complexity, an experiment with alternating styles of narrative.
This–this shit here–this has become a major personal project. But I’m a political junkie anyway, so this is far less difficult than some of the others. Since this is an opinion piece described as the sort of narrative journalism that has mostly gone out of style since newspapers in the 1970s, the research can be done by watching a variety of perspectives on TV.
Finally I am editing my friend’s novel–a very cool horror story than mixes delusional and paranoid people hallucinating alongside actual monsters, mixing in with the crowd of fake ones. It’s pretty long so I have to do it in spurts. Presently I am in a spurt.
And so the only story I can tell you about myself, boringly, is that lately all I do is work. This neglects my family; my dog is clearly pissed off at me. The cat has never really liked me. And me, the cook. (Sometimes I can go high-end, but most of it is the easiest possible recipe.) Dinner is getting later and later and we are spending far too much on take out.
Thank you for your tolerance of this snappish whine, justifying myself for self-imposed delays. Part Three is one of my favorite stories I have written for this site. I have worked terrifically hard on it, studying and listening and replaying and engaging, sometimes, in angry public debates. I rarely sleep anymore. I hope you enjoy. Please feel free to comment, or point out technical or otherwise errors I clearly overlooked.