Hustlers, Resentment, and Syntactical Errata

I am not working. I am not even thinking. I am a vegetable. Possibly a turnip.

Turnips are very cute, but does anyone actually like them? I always think that there must be something tasty that one could do with turnips, but no, every recipe I’ve ever tried turns out nasty. Fie on those nasty turnips!

I should have something to say, right? There’s all this stuff going on, out in the big, bad world. Mitch McConnell made an ass of himself in the Senate. John McCain made Susan Rice the most famous UN Ambassador in the history of US Ambassadors to the UN. Seriously, if it weren’t for him and his kooky obsession, no one would know the woman’s name. Good job, John!

We’ve got gay marriage and legalized marijuana, and the world hasn’t ended. I doubt there will be an apocalypse next week, either, although I could be wrong. If I am, that would solve my financial woes, which are dire. DIRE, I say. (Send money!)

I failed to complete 50K words for NaNoWriMo, by a lot. I’m okay with that. I’ve had shit going on. New meds, old problems—getting older every day.

Really, all I want to do is play Farmville2 or read the trashy novel I checked out. How trashy? “Kiss the Dead,” by Laurell K. Hamilton. That trashy. I don’t even know what number this is in the Anita Blake series, but at this point, I’m rubbernecking. The accident has happened, it was horrid, so why don’t I pull over and watch the bodies be carted away, right?

I just started the book, so there hasn’t been an orgy, yet, but I expect one at any moment, because that’s what Hamilton does. She writes incredibly unsexy sex scenes, which are also incredibly unimaginative. At least Tom Wolfe was able to come up with interesting euphemisms. They might have been terrible, even repulsive euphemisms, but they were interesting. I skip Hamilton’s “sexy” bits, because it’s just bodies slamming together until someone (usually the heroine) screams, like a naked mosh pit.

There is a certain pleasure in reading bad books. And by “bad,” I don’t mean trashy, or popular, or whatever. I mean limited vocabulary, no plot, wooden characters, grammatical and syntactical errata. BAD. Think late Anne Rice, after she decided that she didn’t need an editor. (Note: EVERYONE needs an editor. I need one for my brain. Life would be so much nicer if everyone had an editor. Alas, most of us make do with self-editing, with predictable results.)

But bad books are reassuring. We know, deep in our hearts, that mediocrity often rises to the top. We suspect politicians are fools, that CEOs are lucky bastards, born rich, and that the talking heads on TV are drugged-out zombies, but we don’t know for certain, usually, just as we don’t know that Christian Conservative mega-preachers are hypocritical assholes until they are caught on tape smoking crack with an underage hustler.

Bad books prove the rule. They are right there, being bad in print, no apologies. Bought and sold several times over, from the moment the publisher purchased the rights until the tattered paperback copy lands in our hot little hands. Bad books stroke our egos. If some turnip can make a living writing total crap, the half-assed presentation I resentfully slammed out isn’t a moral failure. Right? We get paid for our half-assed crap, one and all, and the few shining gems of genius, the moments of greatness, go largely unnoticed and unremarked. Leading, of course, to more resentment and half-assery. It’s a vicious cycle.


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