3 December 2010
I'm still working on the serious thing, but I had to return with some impertinent information. My God, isn't it funny? The thing at the airport? That's funny, isn't it? Well, isn't it?
Catherine and I were going to fly to Vegas for our 29th. You think we are now? Can you say Prius among the trucks?
17 February 2010
It’s possible that you know about my attempt at a one-person thing, a play that I wrote and tried to perform. Well, it didn’t work out; but that’s not the end of it. It has become apparent that the end of the play is not the end of the subject. It’s still at me, and I’m going to have to do something about it. And I'm not talking about a psychotherapeutic exorcism or prefrontal lobotomy.
I’m not going to give it a name yet. I suppose it could be a memoir—everyone’s doing them. Or it could be only four, five thousand words and stand alone or be an introduction to…a memoir. But it won’t be another play or a revision of what I've already written.
But whatever it is, it won’t be published here. I wanted this site to hold my version of humor, and a few times I’ve succeeded ( I think). But while this other thing is at me, humor has become a bit of a slog and getting more so.
All of which is to say, Thank you very much for reading. Once again: Thank you very much for reading.
8 February 2010
I am still working on a piece for the next issue, a piece relating to Alabama. I was born in Gadsden, Alabama in 1938 and moved away forty-five years ago; but Alabama is still after me. Anytime I try to write just something about Alabama, everything about Alabama comes up. But I'm winnowing, culling, thrashing; and I'll have the piece soon. This trouble I’m having indicates that a much longer piece about Alabama is due, and one of these days I’ll have to leave this page and write it.
The Los Angeles International Pen Show runs from 11 February through 14 February in Manhattan Beach at the Marriott, and this year I was planning on buying a Japanese pen. I've been avoiding Japanese pens out of being born in 1938 and remembering World War Two. Nor am I fond of the Japanese aesthetic—maybe the two are connected. But pen people I trust have been telling me that the Japanese make excellent nibs, so this year I had decided to forget Pearl Harbor and buy a Japanese pen.
Then this thing with Toyota came up with the business of how the electronics of their cars can cause uncontrollable acceleration; and I thought what if I bought that Namiki pen that I've been looking at and what if it had hidden electronics? And what if I started using that Japanese pen when writing in my journal, my precious journal? And what if I was making an entry in my journal using my new Namiki pen and all of a sudden the pen’s electronics went haywire and instead of writing an entry about my angst (and all of my entries are about my angst) I began to draw anime cartoons, those ugly big-eyed things, faster and faster, out of control? And the faulty electronics wouldn’t let me stop and the nib really wasn’t that good and caused so much friction on the page that the paper began to burn and the burning paper caught my special writing blanky on fire and the blanky caught the bed and the bed the apartment and the apartment the building and there was a gasoline truck parked out front, and, and…
So I’m not going to buy a Japanese pen , but I will go to the pen show and buy an Omas, an Italian pen. Because the Fascists didn't bomb Pearl Harbor.
I have revised “I Had To Get Away,” the series. In fact, I’ve revised the series out of existence.
The idea for the first (and now the only) piece, “Hello, You Must Be Going” came from a casual remark that Catherine made over dinner with friends. You know how that goes. The clank of silverware and glasses and the waiter says, “Who gets the aloo parantha?” And then the sharing (hell, it’s L.A.) over dinner about married life and living together for so many years. A friend asks a question. “Yes, sure” Cathy says. “You know, there are times when I’d like to be alone, in the apartment. You know? Just to have some space. Visit with the cats by myself. Some time alone. Sure.”
Shocking. No, really, her casually mentioning that it might be nice to have some time alone. How could that be? How could she? I had thought, in my innocence, that she always wanted to be with me, every waking moment, every sleeping moment. Forever, until death did us part. But here she was, telling our friends, over gobhi and mango chutney, that she’d like to have some time alone. How could that be?
So I thought about it for a few months—stewed, mulled, sulked—and finally wrote a paranoid fantasy of abandonment: “Hello, You Must Be Going,” out of Cathy's casual comment over maullingtawny soup. That piece was all that was required of that moment in the Indian restaurant—not a series.
22 January 2010
You might have noticed that this site has seen some work. New banner font, scattered attractive devices. The handsome fonts you see here come from Emigre in Berkeley, California. I’ve used their fonts since the days of our magazine, country CONNECTIONS in the nineties. In fact, the new font for this site's banner is called Journal by Emigre and was the font used for the country CONNECTIONS banner.
There could be information about the relief effort in Haiti that you have missed. Please see the following news item from Reuters and ABC in Australia. A link is provided in case you believe this item to be satirical.
Solar-powered Bibles Sent to Haiti
As international aid agencies rush food, water and medicine to Haiti's earthquake victims, a United States group is sending Bibles.
But these aren't just any Bibles; they're solar-powered audible Bibles that can broadcast the holy scriptures in Haitian Creole to 300 people at a time.
The Faith Comes By Hearing organisation says its Bible, called the Proclaimer, delivers "digital quality" and is designed for "poor and illiterate people".
It says 600 of the devices are already on their way to Haiti.
The Albuquerque-based organisation says it is responding to the Haitian crisis by "providing faith, hope and love through God's word in audio".
The audio Bible can bring the "hope and comfort that comes from knowing God has not forgotten them through this tragedy," a statement on its website says.
"The Proclaimer is self-powered and can play the Bible in the jungle, desert or ... even on the moon!"
Tens of thousands of Port-au-Prince residents are living outdoors because their homes have collapsed or they fear aftershocks following Wednesday's quake.
And in other ungodly news about Haiti, I heard one poor Haitian soul say on a TV news clip: “If God wasn’t there there’d be no Haitians left.” And what was the question? How could God let this happen? Where was God? “If God wasn’t there there’d be no Haitians left.” Folks still making excuses for God, still not getting it. Haiti. Who would want anything to do with such a God?
I’m sure you agree that news on TV is entertainment, designed to sell stuff. Anderson Cooper, Sanjay Gupta—no matter their purported heroics in Haiti—they’re selling stuff. Katie Couric, kneeling next to a person in an outdoor hospital, looking concerned, the clip shown in promos. Sales.
Immediately following one particularly horrific report from Haiti I saw an ad for Dr. Scholl's® massaging gel insoles and inserts. You know, “Are You Gellin’?” Those TV ads always show a moment of stress—car being towed, traffic accident. And then a happy guy, not bothered by whatever has just happened to him. Because he’s wearin’ Dr. Scholl’s and he’s gellin’. So Scholl's is looking to sell some gellin’ to folks who are stressin’ over Haiti. Sales.
With the next issue on 5 February there will be a piece on the madness of Alabama football. It was promised for this issue, but I had to finish the San Francisco series.
Thanks for reading.
8 January 2010
The nation has recently experienced a major sporting event as televised from a concave depression in Pasadena, California. What's important about that? My granddaughter and a friend came out from a southeastern state to watch the game. And my niece and a brother and his wife. All that was good, and I'll write about it in the next issue: 22 January 2010. Say, do you remember the phrase, “Pasadena with that”? Just wondering.
18 December 200
Year end matters. I think it was kind of a joke, my using the editorial “we” in writing here, using the third person plural in talking about something that is so clearly first person singular. I can’t imagine the we usage being merely rank pretension. Pretentious, moi? So no more we. Most of what I write here is very personal. No, all of what I write here is very personal, even when it’s humorous. First person singular: I write here.
Which brings me to another matter of usage. And that is why I don’t call this biweekly effort a blog, and don’t think of myself as, god forbid, a blogger or like to hear Impertinent Information referred to as a blog. It’s an ugly word. That’s all; to my ears blog is an ugly, slangy word; and I say that knowing that serious writing is being represented on the internet within the framework of b**gs, but it’s still an ugly word that I won’t use except to explain why I won’t use it. Web log, whence b**g isn’t that great either. Maybe for a webmaster, keeping track of outages—and then either word would be acceptable. So let it be an outage word. I see a clipboard attached to rack of servers when I see the word, with entries made in pencil! I even researched the Latin for what this page is not: “Non est blogus.” “It is not a blog.” And I thought about using that Latin phrase as the motto of the page until the catchier “The Essential Biweekly” came along. That’s how pretentious we were until we thought better of it.
The next issue will be published on 8 January 2010. Thank you for reading and Happy New Year!
4 December 2009
We explain below, in the entry dated 27 November, why we didn't publish a full issue on 27 November (just "Notes") and didn't warn our readers that we wouldn't. Poor planning. But now we know our schedule.The next issue will be in two weeks, on 18 December and that will be our final issue for 2009. We'll see you in the new year on 8 January 2010, and that's because it wouldn't do to publish on New Years's Day. Please see below where we explain our holiday publishing philosophy, if you could call it that.
We're now in our fourth month. And they said we wouldn't make it past three. Thank you for reading.
27 November 2009
A new issue is due today, and we are not publishing. How could that be? When we have promised a biweekly publication and have stated such on the masthead? “Published biweekly, frequently on Friday, except when Friday falls on a pagan holiday.” That’s what it says.
So let us at this time revise that statement to read, “Published biweekly, frequently on Friday, except when Friday falls on a pagan holiday or during a period associated with a major U.S. holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas when readers will probably be out of town so why should we bust our hump writing something if people aren’t going to be home reading and certainly won’t be reading if they have gone over the river and through the woods to grandma’s house and are blind drunk out of the presence of family members who are avoidable most of the year.”
We’ll work on that, but you get the idea.
One other matter: Today, 27 November 2009, is called by some Black Friday. We don’t call it that. Do you call it that? Were we asked if we wanted to call the Friday after Thanksgiving Black Friday? No, we were not asked. There are those who believe that any legitimate worldview must accommodate the worldview of commerce—profit and loss, in the black or in the red. Others feel otherwise. Count us with those who feel otherwise.
We are compelled to make that clarification out of a possible association of the term “Black Friday” with some pagan holiday, and we mention pagan holidays on the masthead and believe in pagan holidays. Black Friday is not a pagan holiday. No self-respecting pagan would run down the aisle of a big-box store screaming, “Where are the iPods?” Or, “I want my flat screen!” “Uggs! I want Tall Uggs, and I want them now!” And such. Unthinkable for a pagan. Black Friday is not a pagan holiday.
We will return next week with Dr. Faux and a story about our trip to San Francisco, with photos. What would a story about San Francisco be without photos?
Happy Holidays from the Editor & Publisher and His Staff. And what would a holiday greeting be without photos?
13 November 2009
Why would I return to Abbot Kinney with its fashionable boutiques and Mystic Journey, that bookstore with the idiotic flyers in the window? Okay, for the light; Cathy wanted to take photographs there. And there's a place that does good coffee, Intelligentsia. Or, Intelligentsia!
We're walking the street after having coffee, looking for light, and in attempting to cross that fashionable and mystical street I was almost hit by an old black pickup truck. True. I had to run across the street to avoid being hit. As the truck passed I screamed, "You goddamn son of a bitch! What the fuck do you think you're doing? You almost hit me."
What was I supposed to say?
The truck stopped and parked. Cathy is concerned, has stopped looking for the light and is now seeking the shadows. I approach the truck and its driver, who doesn't look like the type of guy who would drive an old black pickup anywhere but Abbot Kinney.
"Don't you give a damn about pedestrians?" I said.
And he said, "Try anger management."
And I said, "Yeah, yeah. Of course you'd say that." (I must have meant, Because it's fashionable to say that.) "Sure, sure," I continued. (I'm really good at this kind of thing.)
Blackie then said, "Or death." (as in, "Try anger management or death") and walked into Intelligentsia for his coffee.
All right! And to that I say, Hell yes! That snippy addendum brought him way up in my estimation. I'm proud of that fashionable fellow. That's the way to do it. He should have added, "You old fuck; I'll kick your ass!" That would have been even better. But "Or death" was good, really good. That's the way guys should talk. Not this fashionable anger management crap. I hope he enjoyed his latté.
8 November 2009
One more thing. And the Contents page is now the Issues page. (But not that kind.)
7 November 2009
Mid-Biweek Correction. The layout has been simplified so that I don't have to worry that gray frame that was once seen around the page. My hope is that the adjustment will make my site more accessible to dread Internet Explorer users (the browser, not the users). IE is omnipresent of course because it's Microsoft but is not supported for the Mac so I can't see how it reads. My thanks to the IE user who called my attention to an IE anomaly. I-E, Eee-Yi, Oh! In more layout news, the Links page is now called Links & Misc. I'll place interesting words there and whatever else comes to mind, like Vaudeville is Not Dead. I'm introducing the revised page with a photograph taken by my dear friend from Gadsden, Alabama, Robert Royal. The photograph is of his daughter Adeline and Ogonek, the cat. I think that I've used that photo in all the versions of whatever it is that I'm doing. Bob and I used to sit, scandalously late at night, in the Mexican Chilli Parlor on Broad Street in Gadsden and speak of travel. He is now in Madrid and I'm in California—much happier without the gray frame.
4 November 2009
I've edited the copy of Seeing A Sign On Abbot Kinney and removed the more colorful language. When I read the piece after a few days I found the eff-this and eff-that distracting. It wasn't that I thought, What would my mother say? I know what she would have said. When she cursed she would say, "Well, H, E, Double L." And at her most colorful she would say, "Well, peter, dick."
30 October 2009
Regarding last issue's carpet-baggers, I have no idea why I would want to protect Pro Carpet Care, its owner Mark or Andreas and Santos, the on-site thieves, and give them pseudonyms. But that's what I did in "The Old White Guy and the Carpet Screwing." The same kind of thinking that allowed the screwing in the first place would be my guess. Hell, we learn; I'm only seventy-one. Pro Carpet Care. Mark, Andreas, Santos are the real names and not the names I used in the piece. They work Los Angeles and do coupons, and you probably don't have to be an old white guy for them to screw you.
This has happened before. I wake up in the middle of the night (1:50 in this instance) and think, That's not right, not what I meant to say. So I get up and pull the piece and place an apology on the cover. But all is well now, the piece has been revised; and I've said what I wanted to say about the woo-woo that so permeates our culture.
23 October 2009
Mid-Biweek Correction. In our ongoing effort to keep things simple, we have added two (2) pages (Contents and Links), renamed two (2) pages (One and Two, giving us Feature and Dr. Faux), and have once again redesigned the goddamn navigation bar. We promised simplicity and ease of navigation, and by god we'll have them—no matter how complex the process. This is also the week we finally gave up football (college and pro) for football (soccer). It was a piece in "The New Yorker" that did it: "Offensive Play."
16 October 2009
Our negotiations were successful, and we welcome Dr. J. Jean Johann Faux to our pages. Dr. Faux requested that we use the marquee that you see on the cover; we trust that we will be able to continue to accommodate his requests. At this time we are seeking a beverage supplier that offers discounts.
2 October 2009
In dealing with matters of criminality, it is essential that the Hollywood Community be heard. In the case of Roman Polanski, the child rapist, we trust that newspapers, magazines and TV gossip shows will continue to disseminate the legal opinions of Debra Winger, Harvey Weinstein, Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese and whoever else in Hollywood is speaking out in support of Roman Polanski, the child rapist. These same celebrities should also be allowed seats in a court of law as Roman Polanski, the child rapist, faces justice. It's essential that there be no discrimination against members of the Hollywood Community as they gather with their fellow citizens to see Roman Polanski, the child rapist, sentenced.
Last issue we promised a new column, "Ask Dr. Faux."But there have been problems, illuminated here. We hope to be able to reach an agreement with Dr. Faux and publish his column in the next issue.
18 September 2009
This is not Veritas: Any Day Now; this is something else even though it is similarly staffed. I hope to keep it simple.
Veritas had become complex during its several years—new site plus Archives. My subject matter was all over the place. Pardon me: I mean eclectic.
Even though I might stray from time to time, I'm going to concentrate on my version of humor here when that is possible. We'll just have to see how it goes and what subjects appear from bi-week to bi-week.
Speaking of humor, if you know about the play I wrote ("Novocaine: A Love Story") you know that it was never produced. Two years. Many thousands of dollars, three file boxes full of various versions. One continues to learn, and some of what I learned was humorous, which is why I mention it here.
Thank you for joining me.
Stop the pixels!
It's only a few minutes before I publish the premiere issue of my new publication, and I have just been contacted by J. Jean Johann Faux, M.D. Ph.D., Ed.D., F.I.D.L., D.D., who has agreed to again write his provocative advice column, ASK DR. FAUX.
If all goes well and we are able to locate a site for Dr. Faux to park his Airstream (there were certain problems at his last location), we should have his first column in the next issue: 2 October 2009.