September 28






Big Blonde on the left, me on the right.  This is a detail from the Bil (that’s right, one ‘l’) Stout album cover of Firesign Theatre’s “In the Next World, You’re on your Own.”


Thanks to RobberG’s suggestion, I’ve opened a new section in the sidebar to the right with stories and I’ve started with “The Precipice of Angels.”  I hadn’t looked at it in a long time and I’ve been so much writing about the American West lately that I’d forgotten that the kind of Euro style to it works.  You’ll notice that I’ve drifted away from Good Writing.  That last sentence is, as I’m sure John McCain would say, a doozy.


It’s suddenly Summer up here on Mystery Island.  After three months of pretty constant rain, the sun is out again.  It’s been three weeks in a row of great weather.  We’re insane up here. Let the country collapse in sub-prime despair.  Let the credit cards not work. It’s nice outside.  By the way,

“You can put all the lipstick on John McCain you like,

  He’s still John McCain.”

I said that.

6 thoughts on “September 28

  1. Phil:

    You have become something of your own writing on the wall, then? A Drifter…from ‘good’ to ‘bad’? (Reminds me of Reb Zimmerman’s line: “I came to a high place of darkness and light: the dividing line ran through the center of town.”) ‘Good’ or ‘bad’ (or both), I think the drift of your drift is that we get the drift, in this case, the case of your narratives, a so-to-speak Continental Drift, from Europe to Old West to the New Wild Hollywest. You recall, I am sure—and you once stated it in a post on this very Blog of Unknowns, that you had resolved to that from now on it was no more Mr. Good Writer; you were to become, to use your words, “a bad writer”. The ‘drift’ is, again my opinion, in what the Narrator (who trusts himself to make anything he writes make sense) needs to tell the story that he first saw coming at him as “a speck in the distance”. Where he and it are ‘coming from’ he does not know, only discovers, once he and it get there. Hence, again, the ‘drift’.

    Elias Canetti knew how bad the bad can get and why it must. ‘A writer is a man’s best dog,’ he might have said. I re-quote:

    “…the true writer, as we see him, is the thrall of his time, its serf and bondsman, its lowest slave. He is fettered to it on a short, unbreakable chain, shackled to it as tight as can be. His lack of freedom must be so great that he could not be transplanted anywhere else. In fact, if it did not sound a bit ludicrous, I would simply say: he is the dog of his time. He runs across its grounds, stops here and there; seemingly at random, yet tireless, receptive to whistles from above, but not always, easily roused to a fury, harder to call back, driven by some inexplicable viciousness. Indeed, he sticks his damp nose into everything, nothing is left out, he also returns, he starts all over again, he is insatiable. Otherwise, he sleeps and eats, but that does not distinguish him from other creatures. What distinguishes him is the uncanny persistence in his vice–that heartfelt and thorough enjoyment, interrupted by running. He never gets enough, and likewise, he never gets it fast enough; why, it is as though he had learned to run especially for the vice of his nose.”

    The Bad Writer’s got it bad. And that’s good.

  2. Howdy! I figured out how to get WordPress to like me. Many times I am slow. Just got back from surgeon confirmation of the old torn rotator cuff. God never puts more on your plate than he expects you to finish in time for being dearly departed. I was this close to that other thing… now I will have plenty of time to read Chapter 20.

    Phil Silverlinings

  3. Hey, Mark:

    For some odd reason or other, I didn’t seem to get an email confirmation of this note from you. Would you mind making another comment here so I can see if it comes through to my email the way it should?



  4. “Even when a nonrenewable resource has been only half used, it is still only one interval away from the end. Ecologists like to make this point with the French riddle of the lily pond. At first there is only one lily pad in the pond, but the next day it doubles, and thereafter each of its descendents doubles. The pond completely fills with lily pads in 30 days. When is the pond exactly half full? Answer: on the 29th day.” E.O. Wilson

    When I read that I actually said “wow.” I’m thinking this must be about day 27ish for the world. How’s that for a pick-me-up? I’m not really in a grumpy mood, honest.

    Glasdon Haffull

  5. Testing the Range of Danger has always been in question.

    Blame it on Bradshaw this time. He’s had it too easy . . .

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