Friday, April 29, 2005

Attention: Amateur Thief At My Place Of Business -- Your Jig Is Up 

To: Ms. XXXXX XXXX, pathetic amateur thief
From: Will & his cube neighbor

We just wanted to order some Pizza Shuttle. We were so damn hungry. All we wanted was our BLTs with fries. Why did you have to make it so uncomfortable?

I don't know how you found out we were ordering, but you did. Being the nice guy that I am . . . . Scratch that. Being the kind of guy who can't say "No", I agreed to put your order in with ours. I gave you the menu. You looked at the menu. You saw the prices, I know you did. Then YOU placed the order.

You thought you were pretty smart, didn't you? Didn't you? You just sent Donny back to my desk with your $10.00 and a note saying the bill was $34.53. Now, Ms. Thief, I am a fool in the ways of many things. I know not what makes the world go round. I know, let's be honest, precious little 'bout lots. But I know this. I and my respected cube neighbor did not purchase $13.00-BLT's. Unless these BLT's were to come in wrappings of gold, they were to be the usual, $5.00-BLT's.

You see -- we were willing to go it alone. But given your hunger (I saw you drooling at the menu), fine! Fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, fine. You ordered with us. And hey -- we were willing to put our cash in for delivery and tax. But that didn't mean a thing to you, did it? Oh, no. You had to go one further, didn't you? Didn't you? You just had to order a sandwich, full nachos, and a shake. And then when I came to your desk to tell you that your order was . . . oh, just a tad more than that measly $10.00 bill you sent our way, you summoned up the audacity -- you even looked me in the eyes as if I was breaking some cultural more -- to tell me, "Oh, really? I only have a 'ten'. I can pay you back some time."

The Actors Studio could have learned a thing or two from the surprise and inflection you gave your voice on that "Oh, really?" And I liked that "some time" you added to the end. As in, "some time" my dog might grow wings and fly around the block, shitting on my next-door neighbor. As in, "some time" I might go out back and actually plant that money tree of mine. As in, "some time" Rush Limbaugh might decide he'll support Hillary in '08. As in, "some time" you might think to remember to bring in a couple, three dollars to pay us because we paid for you to enjoy fucking full nachos, burger and shake!

Therefore, let me re-state: Attention, Ms. Thief -- we are not your food whores. We don't even sit by you. We don't even know you. So stop acting like we are your food bitches. We are not your food bitches. We just wanted BLTs.

I'm just presenting the facts, stating our case right here, right now, so that you know that we know that you know.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Cover Your Ears 

Goddamnit, they're back.

New album, tour. Ah, hell. I guess I thought their ship had come in. That they would take it silently into the night with all the other emo-boys. Guess not.

As before, you can count on wrfarah.blogspot.com to handle the criticism of their latest album. Don't come with any expectations of unbiased journalism. You won't get it.

I guess I could make some smart comments about their new website, but you know what? I'm not. I'm just gonna let it sit. I'm gonna let this shitty news of the day sink in and fester a while. And then, some day, once I hear that unmistakable mess of pretty-boy angst emit from the speakers again . . . I'll be here to chronicle every horrid note.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Rust On The Beginning 

With nothing to say, I'll keep typing away,
Nothing too clever, never say ever,
Everybody's rockin, key pushed the lock in,
Stevie wonders, looks for the covers,

The lights have been out at work the last few days, which brings a nice calming effect to the proceedings. I gotta say, though: I wish people would stop talking to me all the time at work. Don't they see I'm in the middle of something? They just come right up -- even if I am two inches from the screen and my headphones are one -- and ask me about that deli menu or the attendance policy.

I'm at 4900 for the songs in my iPod. There's probably room for another 100, but I'm getting skimpy with what should go on there now. It's real tight. At first, it was just a flood -- I was letting everybody through. All sorts of quality or lack thereof was getting let in the door. Now, I'm inspecting songs, looking for cracks, reading reviews. "Essential" is subjective at 100 to go.

I have to finally come out and say I think it's bullshit the way Neil Young marketed his Greendale album. He came out in some interviews and described himself as just some old hippy, singing about peace and environmentalism. Which is a bunch of shit. This "hippy" is the same guy who wrote a song lyric about how he "wasn't going back to Woodstock" again. This is also the guy who refused to be filmed at Woodstock, who, after the performance, stated that he didn't know what he was doing there, that there were all sorts of people there and that he didn't feel like he belonged.

The problem I have with a broken-up band called the Gear Daddies is that whenever I hear someone describe them, I hear the same thing: "They were some late-80s, early-90s band that came out of Minnesota. They had some great songs. They even played on Letterman. Then they broke up." That mention of playing on Letterman is like a badge of respectability. As if any non-Midwesterner who watched Letterman that night now remembers the Gear Daddies. As if they even played well that night. As if Letterman even knew who they were. That's the peak of their worth? That's a reason people speak proudly of them? If anything, it's a sour point: so you idiots broke up even after having an opportunity to earn national attention. What fools you are. What opportunity you pissed upon.

The house got reassessed this week. We went up almost $23,000. Nice. Thanks, city of Milwaukee. Thanks a fuckin lot. Guess that tax freeze doesn't mean a damn thing if you're willing to continue bending us over like this every year. Might as well just reassess us to the point where we can't rent the house out anymore. Better-- how about you just take the mortgage off our hands, and our monthly payment will just go straight to you? Given we're paying you more than the mortgage company, that seems to make the most sense.

Damn, the song I got on now sure isn't worth its place on the iPod.

Damnit, Nolan's getting big! 16 lbs, 15 oz. He's sitting up already too. Not long now, and we'll be able to strap him into the drum seat. I've already got the little-guy drum sticks. Wife's gonna love us.

I'm writing about a downward spiral now, and it would be easier if I didn't have to write so much character. But I do; I'm introducing two new characters, building up two old ones, and adding more to two others. It's a lot because it's all on a calendar, which would be easier if I actually plotted it out, but I'm too lazy for that. Plus, that'll be a bit too stale. Some of this is OK, simply because the characters are all quite different, but filtered through the same present tense, first-person narrator. But I look forward to the chapter when they will all go away and I can focus on the psyche, literature, and religion this book is about.

I've been doing an awful lot of "outside" writing for people lately, which I've got to stop. And if I am going to do any more of this sort of thing, I'm going to have to start getting paid for it.

It's all about to fall apart soon . . . we'll be in that definite "summer" portion of the year, which -- got to be honest -- I can't stand. I need to move to Maine. Or Canada. Just for May - August. It's just too hot here. I wonder how I'd do in a place like Louisiana. I'd probably just handcuff myself to an air conditioner.

"All we need is our lives in a suitcase..."

Monday, April 25, 2005

The Class Ring 

It was with grudging, disappointed approval that I agreed to my mother's imploring insistence that I get a high school class ring during my senior year. I remember it coming in the mail. It was royal blue, tremendously large and customized. At the time I thought there was something strangely unseemly about having a class ring that was customized. After all -- it's a class ring. Shouldn't the class all have the same thing? Guess not. Mine had some logo for drums (that I played only outside of school) and another logo for running.

I wore it a while. It always hurt my hand whenever I shook hands with people . . . mainly because it was so damn big. At some point, I stopped wearing it. I'm not sure when that was, but I know it was by the summer after I graduated. It was best that I stopped wearing it. There was no reason to wear it. I hated high school and had no pride in mine or my experience there. I got talked into the ring. What can I say? I have a low resistance to a sales pitch.

What I can't understand is these ads on television advertising a high school education through the mail. One of their big selling points is "you even get a class ring when you graduate". Huh? What the hell does that signify that the diploma does not? Does the class ring magically manufacture memories of a "class" you didn't really have because you took classes through the mail?

I've met a few people -- guys, my age or thereabouts -- who still wear their class rings. Consistently. I've learned a few things about these guys:
1.) They are very confident of themselves. Cocksure. Extremely secure.
2.) Know-it-alls.
3.) Will talk your ear off.
4.) Have some scheme for making it big in a market or business you never thought of.
5.) Are well-dressed.
6.) On the Id-Ego-Superego spectrum, fall easily into Superego.
7.) Seem to have an inordinate amount of sex, in comparison to the rest of the world.
8.) Always have a story to top yours.
9.) Are always, always, always busy, busy, busy, in a rush, rush, rush.

I don't trust these people. They're nice guys and all. Really. I'm sure. But I don't trust people who enjoyed high school enough to wear it on their hand ten years later. And the size of those rings! They're not exactly subtle -- I mean, just what is it are these guys trying to tell the world, other than that they loved high school?

Friday, April 22, 2005

Against the Beach Boys 

I guess the question I have for all you Beach Boys fans is . . . just how many times can you listen to "fun fun fun ’til her daddy takes the T-bird away"?

I realize that presenting one Beach Boys song as evidence here does not a comprehensive argument make. I know that. But more than any other band, the Beach Boys . . . make Beach Boys music. Sure we know a "Van Halen" song or a "Rush" song or a "Pink Floyd" song when we hear it. But damnit, a "Beach Boys" song is instantly recognizable. It's like everybody's heard their whole catalog . . . even if they haven't.

Come to think of it, everything about this band, I dislike. I don't like the name. "Beach Boys" -- they're not boys anymore. They weren't boys when they originally made the music. It's kind of like "Boys 2 Men" -- who have been men for just about all of their career now. When does it become embarrassing? When do you rename the band? It's almost as bad as the Jerry Garcia Band trying to carry on after Jerry's death.

Moreover, the surviving members don't get along anymore. Why the hell not? How can there be ego in a band so obviously billed as "fun-lovin'"? A band called the "Beach Boys" has ego? Come on.

And don't give me this business about Brian Wilson being some sort of genius. My brother-in-law went to see Wilson, who opened for somebody else a few years ago. He told me he'd been looking forward to hearing Wilson based on all the climax-like reviews of the "Pet Sounds" album he'd read. So I asked him, "Was it good? Or did he just play Beach Boys songs?"

"Yeah! That's exactly it! He just played Beach Boys songs! I don't know what the hell everybody's talking about! They were just Beach Boys songs!"

I just don't get it. To me you can't put Pet Sounds next to Sgt. Pepper. Not even close. Not even on the same shelf. Not even in the same room. Put it next to Barney's Greatest Hits. Where it belongs.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

On Going Further 

Two people, no matter how fond they are of each other, no matter how long they've known each other, remain acquaintances until they make it through their first fight. Someone once told me she never fought with her husband . . . until they were on their way to the courthouse to get the marriage license. That's frightening to me. I'd much rather have it right out there to begin with. Set your ground, scope out the enemy position. What a shattering feeling that must have been for her, getting out of the car after the fight -- because they still had to go in and get the license. Her whole concept of the perfect marriage and the perfect relationship must have been destroyed, yet, she still had to go on, wondering if she was making a terrible mistake.

Acquaintanceship is safe, familiar . . . but also cloying. Just how much can two people agree on?

Monday, April 18, 2005

Heat Enough to Rend 

Finally, finally, finally finished chapter five of my current book. I had a hard time titling it, and the title is a bit ridiculous (see above), but it sounded good and it was close to what I was writing about . . . so that's good enough for me. I think I started this book last July, and this chapter, which is really more than anything, about build-up, seems to have taken like five and a half months. Worse: it's not very good in that regard. But it tells the story, and I wrote through to the end and can fix and improve in later drafts. The important thing is the story is still alive -- more now than ever -- and there's plenty of material for chapter six, which will be much shorter.

Getting, getting, getting there . . .

No. You're not.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Fake Passion 

Here in Wisconsin, the big story of the moment, which happens to be the same type of story that always makes us look like blathering idiots to the rest of the nation, is we're killin' cats! Now, I know you are all wondering what side I come down on with regards to this compelling issue. And I regret to say that my position is the same as it usually is: I don't care.

But Jane cared. I'm going to have to be careful here, but let's just say I see "Jane", as I'll call her, on a regular basis. First, some background. Last December, Jane saw an advertisement about the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. She decided we would all respond to this ad and send all sorts of supplies, food, and gifts to the folks fighting. Fine. A list was made. People were contacted. Debates were held. Tears were shed. And promises were made.

Nothing was ever sent to the troops.

Now, the cats. The day before the vote to kill the cats came up, she passed around a petition. When it came to me, I told her -- politely, I might add -- that as a dues-paying member of People Against Ridiculous Protests, I would not be signing my name to any such petition. So be it. The vote failed. And Jane's face was practically on the floor as she broke the news:

"It lost. By one vote. Now they're all gonna die. All the kitty-cats."

I tried to add some sense to the discussion. "Jane, I don't think every redneck from South Milwaukee to Superior is going to be running outside with a machine gun to whack the nearest stray kitty."

Utter dismay and annoyance: "That's what you think, Will. Like you always do. This is gonna turn out just like deer hunting! A slaughter!"

There's no reaching people like this. Jane didn't care about the cats a month ago. She didn't care about them a week ago. She's someone who wants to care about something so deeply, but when it comes right down to it, that's not so convenient, is it?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

On Stasis 

There was an article in the local paper this weekend. I'm not going to link to them because I'm just plain sick of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Sick of 'em. It's been enough. I've read enough of their drudge, I've written enough letter to their editors, I've had it. I'm not linking to them.

All right, all right: I know it's a bit rude. This is, of course, the piece giving me my content for today, so I suppose the least I could do is link to it for the readers' benefit. And the writer -- I'm sure he worked hard on it. And at least it doesn't have a political bent like everything else in that rag.

All right, fine, then. I'll link to it. It's just that I feel I have to express my exasperation with the major source of "news" in this city. The Journal Sentinel is like an Alanis Morissette song: sounds OK at first, the words don't make a whole lot of sense, you get the idea the they're trying really hard to make a strong point, and they think very highly of themselves. Oh well.

Ha! In searching for the article, I've found the JS just copped it from the Wisconsin State Journal. I suddenly feel better about things. So in summary: Johnny Lechner (good name for a character, I might add) is 28, still in college in his 11th year of school. He's going for a 12th. Some key quotations:

"'I wanted to go to a school where I knew no one. I wanted to discover who I was.' Turns out he's someone who likes to sleep in, play basketball, write songs and party two or three nights a week."

"'We have no more courses to offer you. You've taken everything you can take.' "

"He's actually taken some classes over again, even though he got a 'B'. Lechner, standing nearby during this interview, smiles and shrugs. 'I didn't realize I'd taken them before.'"

"I've fallen into some sort of a comfort zone here," he said. "I think deep down inside I have a fear of getting into the next phase of my life."

I know how this guy feels. A lot of people do. But when I imagine myself in college, living in a house with posters and shoes nailed to the walls, drinking beer right out of a tap in the dining room, sleeping eight or nine hours a night, playing the drums and running every day, watching a movie every night after homework, spending every weekend plus Tuesday nights in a bar drinking dark beer and complaining about the music . . . . I think I'd throw myself off a dorm. To this day, when I go back to my college town, I prefer drinking in the "townie" bars rather than the college meat markets.

I'm constantly defending my philosophy major to people who don't understand philosophy, or only think of college from a perspective of how much money one will eventually glean from it; I certainly believe in "the learning experience", not only from an educational perspective, but a social one. But I think 12 years is overkill. Obviously.

I'm sure at some point it was really funny. But when the local hate radio station got to discussing him, a lot of people expressed pity for him. Lechner mentions how he started college "before the internet" in 1994. Given all the joyful abandon and excess he's experienced . . . imagine all he's missed out on. If he were to go to his 10-year high school reunion (I guess he actually passed it), what would he have to say for himself? And I hate to use that as an example, because that's really the problem with reunions, that they become this great competition to see who's most important or who's made the most money. And while that's all bollocks . . . I can't believe Mr. Lechner has not missed out on a lot.

The pat reasons people will normally mention will be: getting married, buying a house, starting a career, and growing up. But I can't place unlimited value in marriage or equity. And everyone ought to know that any sap under 30 in the American workplace is "just a kid" to everyone else. I think the real thing Lechner's missed is his opportunity to make his mark on anything. He's just sat back, like a king before his jesters, to be entertained. Makes you wonder if he now mistakes the laughter of his court, thinking they are laughing with him . . . .

Friday, April 08, 2005

Finding the Tower 

I just finished my first hour of fiction writing in I don't know how long. To say the writing on my current book has dried up since Nolan's birth would be . . . true. The truth is: it's hard to write fiction, especially of the subject matter I am, when things are going really well. That, and, afternoons have proven to be a terrible time to write. Actually, they're great for me. Nolan seems to object, though. And I don't want to mess with our nice morning routine. Which leaves me now.

It's been hard to bring myself up here after work. Usually, I only want to sit down and read or watch a movie. But I think it might work like this, working late at night, just an hour at a time every night, only me, the dog, the tapping keys, and the lone light behind the monitor. I may be able to finish it. More -- I've just finished reading Stephen King's Dark Tower series, and I feel I owe it to King, to myself, and to my unreadable, fucked-up manuscript, to finish it.

After more than 16 years, I've finally finished reading King's opus, and, aside from commenting on it, which most readers ought to, I think I owe it to his effort alone to get to work on my own book. If art cannot inspire me to create for myself, I don't know what else can. Now my comments. That means:


I've read an awful lot of reviews of King's final novel in the series, and for the most part -- the sweeping majority, that is -- these reviews are negative, disappointed, annoyed, and even angry. As you, dear readers, can guess, I differ from the majority opinion. First, the majority opinion in bullets, second, my response:

• The last book (perhaps even the last three) is rushed.

In the scope of all seven books, in which the writing of the first began when King was in college, yes, the last three came very quickly. But does that mean they were rushed? Rushed assumes there was little characterization, lots of plot holes, and a general sense that something is missing. These three books contain a total of 1,972 pages. To me, that's not rushed. People may argue about the plot, but I think more than a few people would be hard-pressed not to create a plot hole in a 30-year, seven-book saga that aspires to write about all of existence.

• King overuses the deus ex machina.

This argument does not make sense. Either a writer utilizes deus ex machina or he doesn't. Readers can quibble over the use of this old tactic, sure. I -- and I normally abhore the god from above, coming down to save the day -- found King's employment of this not only appropriate, but necessary. He is not merely writing, as press releases like to describe, "a modern fantasy tale". He is writing about the concept of The Hero -- what civilization has put upon this figure. As most ancient heroic epics utilized the god in the machine, so should King.

• King's presence in his books is narcissistic and annoying.

I couldn't disagree more adamantly. King's presence in his books reveals a writer only hinted at in Misery: someone who acknowledges his success, but is intensely insecure of his own abilities. Given the sheer number of books he has published -- better, the number of readers he has affected -- this man is a voice for several generations. We can dicker over the quality of that voice, but it is clear this man has found a way to communicate with readers in ways more "literary" writers have not. Yet at dozens of points of the story, King derides his own work and persona.

While I find it easy to dismiss reviewers' claims of King's narcissism, I don't think I could form an articulate argument for why King's presence ought not be annoying. This is really a decision based on reader attitude, and I simpathize with it -- there are few books in which the writer partakes in the story. That is not easy to get used to. It draws readers' focus outside the covers of the book. And that is my point for how well done the metafiction is handled here: it is King's point to write an all-encompassing novel. What better way to do this than go outside the story. It was from the very first novel, The Gunslinger, when the Tower was described as the axle for the wheels of all universes.

• The deaths of Walter, Eddie, Jake and Oy are unnecessary, not "earned", and poorly written.

I did notice the character of Walter dim after the fourth book. I agree that I had higher expectations for him in the last few books. But I like how he served to build the Mordred character. Surely fans of The Stand will be disappointed in how he exits, but that also is a problem with any epic-length tale: with a story as long as this, the writer cannot achieve a major emotional high or low without that becoming artificial. I guess a better way to phrase this is: "What were you looking for? You took the Walter character to be a tremendous force of evil, even after the first novel, in which he clearly explained he was at least two steps from the Beast. So what would have pleased you?" I argue that nothing -- no suitable ending would.

Eddie's death, for me, was perfect. All through these books, these gunslingers have escaped impossible situation after impossible situation. They are like Han, Luke, Chewy, and Leia, running from the Stormtroopers -- Stormtroopers 15 feet away from them with lazer guns -- yet they are never shot, not even winged! At some point in time, for the Tower to mean somthing, for danger to carry any weight with a reader, the gunslingers had to die. Additionally, the dialogue for Eddie's death scene is some of King's finest dialogue ever published.

Jake's death was certainly earned, but for those who couldn't stand the deus ex machina, not earned how they would have preferred. It, more than any other death, advanced the plot. What was most revealing of Jake's death was what it showed in Roland -- he needed others. For the entire series, Roland has been diminishing physically. He may be dinh, but he is not all-powerful.

The complaint with Oy's death, from what I gather from most reviewers, is that it was predictable. This was the complaint given to Hitchcock when he revealed the secret of Vertigo before his lead character, Scotty, discovered it. I always defer to Hitchcock's opinion, and this case is no exception -- he thought it was more interesting to see how characters react when we know what is happening. We are watching ourselves without the shock of surprise to taint our judgment or thought process. I never, not for one page, thought King was writing a shocker novel; I never wanted to be surprised. And I never mistook surprise for fine storytelling.

• The character of Mordred is just a device.

And a fine one at that, given he is not only a thinly-veiled reference to the tale of Arthur, but also to the myth of Chronos. I agree, Mordred died rather quickly, perhaps even conveniently. But again -- this is not IT. This is not The Stand. Or Salem's Lot. The quest for the Tower is not to end in some all-out battle with a terrible, monstrous being of evil. (This is my same argument for those who decry the final battle with the Crimson King). The trials Roland and his ka-tet face all contain potential for failure and death, be it the escape from the slow mutants, the ride on Blaine, the battle against the Wolves, the firefight in the gas station, or the attack of Mordred. King himself says the quest for the Tower is about the quest, not the Tower. It is the race, not the finish line.

• The series is formulaic.

Writing something different, for the sake of being different, does not guarantee one fine art. Furthermore, formula work does not equate poor art. This may have a formula, yes -- the heroic epic -- but most art has some formula to it.

• There are many plot holes and inconsistencies.

Agreed. King bit off more than he could account for, even with as many pages as this saga has consumed, so plot holes abound. How do Ralph Roberts and Jack Sawyer fit in to the story? I don't know. The bottom line is there is nothing meaningful enough to drag the book down.

• King's attitude toward his readers is arrogant.

King's note to his readers at the end of the novel is strident . . . nearly bitter. It's as if he foresees the reaction the book will receive. Yes, we paid admission, I realize that. But the writer in me shrugs. The reviews I have read remind me too much of people's reaction to a movie sequel -- even if the sequel was good: they had their own ideas; the movie took another direction; therefore, it must not be any good.

• The ending, in which Roland is brought unmercifully back to the beginning, is unforgiveable.

This is the point on which the backlash against King is the strongest. Honestly, I have not yet read a review -- even a positive one -- in which the reviewer praised the ending. Why? The answer is simple:

It is a hard ending.

After years of searching for his Tower, Roland reaches the top, intent on discovering if the room at the top of the Tower really is empty. And when he opens the door, it is anything but empty. It is the opening scene of the first book, The Gunslinger, and Roland is drawn back in, to search for his Tower again, without memory, although King implies he may have done this many times before.

First, I ought to address the utter shock so many readers suffered. Did you really think it would end differently? Think about it. The guy wrote a book thousands of pages long. Thousands. With 13 pages to go, did you really think that King was going to begin a "journey through the Tower and to the top" so that Roland could conquer all, or meet Gan, or bring back the Prim? Beyond that, King peppers the books with the phrase, "ka is a wheel". How can existence, when compared to a wheel, end? Other readers wonder how can Roland be sent back to the beginning of the book if this was the "real world" where time only goes forward. I argue that the Tower is not necessarily sending Roland "back". King's saga is a fictional version of Nitzsche's theory of Eternal Recurrence, in which a universe is born and dies . . . and then reforms to create the exact same thing again . . . or maybe there will be differences. Different decisions. King also reminds us, over and over, that death is not drawn for Roland. He also makes it clear that Roland knows what to do, but not why he knows this. Deja vu. That readers were surprised by this is what surprises me most.

Speaking of different decisions: A number of reviewers have commented on how Roland's quest (at the end of the final book) may be different. King implies that all may be well -- Roland may finally achieve some redemption -- if only he takes his horn to the Tower, the horn lost during the battle of Mejis, set well into Roland's past. After first reading the references to the horn, I thought they were oddly placed and poorly explained. Now I understand: the horn is a red herring. Carrying the horn to the Tower will gain Roland no further rest or redemption than carrying the necklace from River Crossing. Furthermore, how is Roland carrying the horn any different than the tale as we know it? The end of The Gunslinger implies that Roland has his horn. If he does, the idea of losing it at Mejis is a plot hole . . . if the horn makes any difference. Folks, it doesn't. There is nothing Roland can take to the Tower that will perfect his quest. His quest is never-ending. This is King's point. This is the case of all heroes.

The reason I honor these books so, is they carry so many different themes. They are about The Hero, they are about civilization "moving on", they are about religion, they are about language, they are about culture, they are about communication, they are about literature, they about about personal demons, they are about conviction, they are about responsibility, they are about fatherhood, and they are about personal development. If we can allow King to make one statement, through all our ranting, let him make the statement that while all the rest of us are allowed to develop -- see Susannah, Eddie, Jake, Pere Callahan, Dinky, even Mordred -- The Hero, as we have crafted him through the centuries, who is not necessarily prevented from personal development . . . . must continue his quest. Roland's never-ending quest is a metaphor for our civilization's selfishness, but also a rather sentimental metaphor for the lasting quality of literature.

I know the books are not perfect. The writer in me shakes his head at several King-isms that usually get to me. But this is fine work. We are lucky to have seen it.

Thankya, sai King. Thankya big-big.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

All the Stars are Projectors 

The funny thing about an argument is that people rarely plan for it.

Leaving the house together with only fresh clothes, the scent of soap and perfume, and mindsets finally turned away from past and future, to present, who thinks about stomping in at the end of the night, doors slammed, words spat, brows furrowed?

Relationships would be easier if they weren't always vulnerable to a sneak attack.

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