Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Author is an Odd Animal

The Author is an Odd Animal
-William Hay
The author is an odd animal. Instead of living life he or she chooses to write about it. Alone he worships a blank page or screen until a God or muse fills that very space with words. Whether these words have meaning or validity isn’t terribly important. Like the Pentacostal whose ‘talking in tongues’ is interpreted by diviners, writers have critics, or better still a postgraduate English student who “interprets” their otherwise incoherent doggerel into high art.
A psychiatrist observing authors would declare them isolative and anti social. That they sometimes deign to hang out with other authors is just primitive tribalism. Gangs of authors who gather together around books are very little different than gangs of motorcyclists who gather around Harley Davidson’s. The latter have overt tattoos while the authors more discretely place their buttock expressions of ‘ex libris’ opposite their flamboyant heart tattoos containing the names of their first publisher’s.
The most hebephrenic of the lot, readily named psychotic by any sane shrink would of course be the poet. What writer claims more to depend upon the ‘muse’. These grandiose babblers talk in rhyme and clang associations. The most obsessive of their lot count syllables to the magic number of 17. Others beat and still others chant. The worst add music to their words and calls these noisy poems, songs.
No worse lot of writers lived. The lot would to be locked up were it not for the grace of warriors who drunk on victory throughout history have demanded poets celebrate their carnage in poetry and song.
It’s bedlam the way these folk meddle with words and make mockery of language. Some won’t even use punctuation. There’s no end to the madness of poets.
The novelists are little better. Liars, the lot of them. Anti social tale tellers and gossips who sometimes stoop so low in social depravity that they use pseudonyms to disguise their works.
They write as if they were somewhere when they weren’t and mess with time and place continuously Sometimes they don’t even bother to call their utter fabrications historic or futuristic. Some are so damned lazy they don’t satisfactorily end their works and leave the conclusion to the swindled reader.
They’re big on detectives, not surprising given the way they steal the hearts and minds of their readers. From Sherlock to Mallory to Alex Cross they’re inventing characters and making them do the most unbelievable things. But at least that lot tries to maintain some semblance of sanity. The writers of fantasy are quite simply over the top.
The worst of all are the children’s writers. They should be banned outright. They even babble like the children they write for. Such extraordinary tales about talking fish and flying children. They pollute the minds of pre formed citizens. The very worst steal authority from the august medical profession and claim that blathering of green eggs and ham are a doctor’s pronouncement. Children should learn accounting from a young age and be limited to spread sheets and facts while this lot would have them caught up in spider webs and magic spells

Prose writers are pretentious and pompous. The historians lie by selection and exclusion. They claim objectivity when they’re obviously biased or would not give a crap about the matter they’re writing about. They bring up all sorts of muck and re fight wars their side lost long ago. They make much of research but what they mostly research are other authors. Authors quoting another authors ad nauseum.

The journalists are a particularly depraved lot. They churn out words by the thousands. They only slightly vary their formulas because the readers quickly forget what they wrote the day or week before. As often as not they change their opinions 180 degrees without any one noticing.
Some of these journalists even claim to be investigative but it’s clear that they are just looking for a story. They’ve got nothing of their own. Empty vessels desperate for someone else to give them their lives. The very worst give up writing all together and get on television. They’re especially fond of wearing clean well pressed clothes and pretty hair in front of scenes of war and poverty.
At least some journalists are a bit honest. These are called gossip columnists. The deceitful of this lot call themselves biographers. The biographers put a lot of this drivel together and compile books, but it’s really no difference. They’re all just identity vampires.
Just as some authors have no identity of their own others have multiple personality disorders. These ones only escape diagnosis because of the enabling of their fans.
The playwrights and screen writers have hundreds if not thousands protecting them from incarceration in the asylums. People point to sales as if the opinions of groups of stupid people with excess cash had anything to do with what is clearly a most severe form of mental illness.
They call the dirty authors erotic while the downright depressives are viewed as deep. The manics start off writing prophecies only to later get their own television shows as televangelists.
At the very bottom of the barrel are the comedians for sure. There I rest my case. A group of grown men and women making adolescent fun of bodily processes. I’m certainly not going to fart on stage to make my point.
Nothing is more subversive than the comedians. They actually make fun of the authorities. They mock prime ministers and presidents. They make potty jokes. They even stoop to swearing again and again while their audiences laugh and laugh at such contemptuous behavior. Nothing is sacred. Like a dog chewing on it’s own leg, they even make fun of themselves. Now that’s sick.
The latest in the constellation of writer’s, the bloggers, simply don’t bare mention.
The only thing good to be said about authors and writers is that, were it not for them, good and decent respectful law abiding obedient CENSORS would have a no means of making an honest living.

-presented at Canwrite 2010 conference Victoria, BC

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