Monday, March 13, 2006

My List Grows Shorter

DAY: Monday
WEATHER: Weird. Rainy, flooding to the south, 3 inches of snow to the north, and here it’s about 40 degrees, with this strange fog that rolled in about 7:00 this morning.
ATTITUDE: Introspective
DAYS WEARING SAME CLOTHES: ½ of them for two days
CARTOON CHARACTER OTD: Yosemite Sam (because he’s feisty)
WISH FOR THE WEEK: I wish for my novel to be published, or a short story, or something I’ve written. I also wish for 23 million dollars.

Let me start by saying this: I am not jealous of writers who get their books published.

Now let’s look at that sentence, and then I’ll let you know why it’s important to me, and just what I mean by it.

I’m not jealous of writers…

WRITERS is the key word in the sentence, not jealous. While jealousy is a feeling I don’t normally harbor, never embrace, and have always had an indifference for, I’ve noticed that there is one place in my life where I AM jealous. It’s about published writing, but not about WRITERS who get their books published.

I am jealous of famous people who get their books published because they are already famous.

I have a list. It’s a list of lame-ass famous people who turned “writer”. Some of them don’t even write their own books. Some of them don’t even read the books that they’ve had written for them. I’ve compiled this list so that one day, when I’m a published writer, and I’m interviewed about writers, or the market, or writing in general, I will publicly speak out against those lame-asses and the fact that they are published writers.

I told you, I’m jealous of them. Jealousy is ugly. It’s not my fault.

But come on, do you really believe that Paris Hilton could write a stream of words that would not only make sense and convey some sort of meaning, but would also be entertaining to read? Well, maybe entertaining, but that would only be the mean kind of fun where you go through her book pointing out of how many times she misspells her own name, and uses the word, “like” in a sentence.

This morning, while I was watching GMA, they ran a spot about their upcoming interview with McCauley Culkin. He was there to talk about his new book.

I was immediately jealous, watching his face react to the things being said about him and his book.

While the commercials played in anticipation of the interview, I told my wife how much that sucked that fucking little McCauley Culkin has published a book. I ranted a little about my list, and how McCauley was being added to the list, and how I just couldn’t fucking believe this shit.

I followed her down the hall, detailing my fantasy future interview where I talked smack about McCauley, lumping him in there with Paris, and Pamela Anderson, Madonna, Leann Rimes, Billy Crystal, and all the other “celebrity writers” that real writers want to smash.

Then I sat down and watched the interview.

Within a minute I had removed McCauley from my list. McCauley, I am sorry to have judged you immediately, unjustly, and without provocation.

In fact, I think that McCauley Culkin’s book, “Junior”, will be the next book I buy.

I hear there is a quiz at the beginning, and if you fail the quiz you’re not allowed to read on. If this is a quiz about McCauley Culkin, I doubt I will pass. The last thing I truly remember about him is that scene with him in the tree-house in that movie, “The Good Son”. But I will break the rules, as I usually do, and read the rest of his book, even if I fail his quiz.

See, the beauty of it is—and this comes straight from the author’s mouth—I can read it from any point I want to. So I can just skip the quiz. Or I can PRETEND I skipped the quiz…

Listening to McCauley talk about his book, and watching him react to Charlie Gibson’s questions about the content, and the strangeness of its layout, made me absolutely want to read it. I trust that, even though I really don’t care about Culkin’s life, or his dad, or anything about him, really, that it’s going to be an entertaining read. And not just in that mean way I was talking about doing to Ms. “That’s Hot” and her “book”.

I think he’s taken a (oh man, excuse this, please) novel approach to writing a book. Celebrity aside, it sounds interesting. Certainly, it would have been a hard sell without his fame, but it’s pretty much ABOUT his fame, so it makes sense. He was certainly forthright today about understanding that the writing community is going to think he sucks for getting a book published, and apparently mentions it in his book. That alone would make me consider taking him off my list.

I never heard Pamela Anderson say that she understood that she hadn’t really become a “writer”. Madonna went so far as to say that there were no children’s books with lessons in them, and that it was up to her to produce a decent book. I’ve read her first book. It sucked. And I’m not talking about “Sex”. I’ve actually never seen that…

For McCauley to understand that he’s going to be seen as another celebrity using his fame to get published seems to be unique. At least in that he publicly stated it.

And his book may actually be interesting. It sounds interesting, from what Mr. Gibson read during the interview—most especially because McCauley answered for the passages honestly, and with humility.

I’m telling you, I gained respect for McCauley Culkin today. More importantly, I’ve decided I should probably prune my list. I shouldn’t add a name to it in jealousy, just because I find out that the celebrity has published a book. I should investigate before I judge.

I mean, Nicole Ritchie may very well be the next Jane Austen.

Sorry for the serious nature of this blog today. I apologize if I’ve offended my regular readers by not mentioning anything about earwigs, plots to kidnap me, and taking my car for a swim. I will get back to those things soon.


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