Must Great Artists Act Like Bad People? Joan Didion Had Some Thoughts

She was unquestionably a GREAT writer. So, then, what is that special quality that separates the good, even the gifted writers, from those who works will be read 50 and even 100 years from now. Didion felt quite sure – and was happy to talk openly about it – that quality is ruthlessness. She was, with admirable frankness, unambiguous about expressing this idea. She referred to writing as an “act of aggression,” and added, “there’s no getting around the fact that setting words on paper is the tactic of a secret bully, an invasion, an imposition of the writer’s sensibility on the reader’s most private space.”

A Letter For Those Who Feel Lonely At Christmas

And the bonus is, it wasn’t written by me, but by someone much better, and better still, now long since gone past the point of copyright concerns! Besides, the letter is written to someone named Kappus, which I repeatedly misread as Krappus, so that’s comic gold right there… Rome, 23 December 1903 My dear MrContinue reading “A Letter For Those Who Feel Lonely At Christmas”

Lend Me Your Ears And I’ll Sing You A Song, Or At Least Unpack a Nine Hour Documentary

I’d not planned on posting in depth about “Get Back,” but after a couple of people expressed disbelief that I hadn’t, I realized, “Hasn’t my entire life on social media been leading up to this?” Fair point. So, having had some time (not enough, I’ll be returning to and unpacking this behemoth for a whileContinue reading “Lend Me Your Ears And I’ll Sing You A Song, Or At Least Unpack a Nine Hour Documentary”

Things No One Has Ever Said To Me

“You make it look so easy.” “Could you tell us another piece of trivia?” “Eyes were bigger than your stomach, eh?” “What should I invest in?” “But you dance so beautifully!” “You have a mind like Aristotle’s, only funnier” “Please, just ONE more song!” “Your eyes…I can’t describe them precisely, but have you ever beenContinue reading “Things No One Has Ever Said To Me”

Nothing is Nice (In a Good Way)

Trigger Warning: this post has no content. Not literally, obviously. I mean, the very words “this post has no content” proves that there IS content. I mean, there’s nothing in this post in terms of, well, anything. It’s a blank canvass, minus the blankness and the canvass. This piece is pure Zen, but without theContinue reading “Nothing is Nice (In a Good Way)”

Parenting: The Little I’ve Learned in Over 20 Years

In my younger and (seemingly) more vulnerable years as a parent, I had assumed that taking care of a child through their infancy and youth would be the most demanding part of parenting. I certainly expected some bumps in adolescence and in between, but I felt confident there would reach a point at which IContinue reading “Parenting: The Little I’ve Learned in Over 20 Years”

Some Cliched Advice About Avoiding Cliches

Back in the waning days of the Coolidge Administration, I was but a young lad training to be a Shakespearean actor in London. We were taught by a man who presented himself in a way that suggested God decided to see just exactly how brilliantly quirky, quirkily brilliant and eccentrically, quintessentially ENGLISH a theater artistContinue reading “Some Cliched Advice About Avoiding Cliches”

I Didn’t Read The News Today, Oh Boy!

Why No News Is Sometimes Good News In my experience, there is only one true way to tackle a diet: failingly. This perhaps explains why I am becoming the answer to the seldom asked philosophical question, “What would Orson Welles have looked like if he weren’t a genius?” Having said that, I’m happy to reportContinue reading “I Didn’t Read The News Today, Oh Boy!”