Your free hit of juvenalia and alternative nineteenth-century U.S. history and letters

Dude, why can’t you do both?

Do you subscribe to The Writers’ Block podcast?  This is why it’s worthwhile:

Most of the book I wrote while watching music videos on MTV.  Yes, that’s how old I am.  Back then MTV still played videos.  Now, now doubt, you picture me wearing high-button shoes and rolling a hoop down a dirt road in, I don’t know, ancient Thebes?

Nobody ever had so much fun writing a book.  I’d be couch surfing with Alexander Graham Bell and Dolley Madison and watching Echo and the Bunnymen videos.  Abraham Lincoln would order us a pizza, and Bell would offer everyone hits of MDA.  That’s how far back this happened.  We didn’t call ecstasy “E.”  We didn’t even call it “X.”  Louisa May Alcott would be rolling us a fattie.  I’d shake my head no.  I’d whine, “Guys, I can’t get high!  I need to write my novel.”  And Harriet Beecher Stowe would say, “Dude, why can’t you do both?”

From Chuck Palahniuk’s updated version of Invisible Monsters Remix.  Also worth mentioning, since we’re in this mash-up of the nineteenth century, is Wendy McClure’s excerpt from The Wilder Life:  My Adventures in the lost world of Little House on the Prairie.  What stripe of fellow American do you think she meets in her quest to learn self-sufficiency in the fictionalized style of Ma and Pa Ingalls?  (I think you can probably figure it out.)


11 thoughts on “Your free hit of juvenalia and alternative nineteenth-century U.S. history and letters

  1. Love the Echo & The Bunnymen clip! PhysioWife and I had been discussing a couple weeks ago what the meaning of the lyrics of The Cutter is likely to be. There is a lot of speculation on the Internet, and I tend to agree that it is referring to the music business and that “spare us the cutter” means “please don’t decide that our music sucks and we aren’t getting a recording contract”.


  2. Was Alexander Graham Bell your connection, Squadrato?

    I missed out on all of the really fun stuff in the 1980s. I think I was the only teenager in North America who took Nancy Reagan’s advice and “just sa[id] no.” I thought it would compromise my brilliant high school career!

    PhysioProffe: The Satellite Radio channel “First Wave” plays a lot of Echo & the Bunnymen. A LOT! Also, a lot of the Cure, because one of the old Cure guys is a DeeJay for the channel. They don’t play enough Jam or Specials for my taste.


  3. Method of Divine Atonement was completely legal?!? It was all over Ohio at one point back when, but I don’t think anything was ever completely legal at that time?


  4. Wow. Echo and the Bunnymen. That takes me a way back. Notorioius is right, MDA was legal in the sense that it wasn’t illegal back in the day. I never tried it, for some reason. (A small error in my youth, the larger error being that I lived in California and never learned to surf. Of course if I had learned to surf, I probably would have never left California or earned a PhD, or learned how to play bridge, but that has nothing to do with MDA.)

    So wow. Echo and the Bunnymen. I haven’t heard them in a long time. I think I had that on tape… I wonder if I need to get Satellite radio… or if I should just see if I can find the CD to buy on line?


  5. Thanks for the intel on Underground Garage, CPP. I’ll check that out. First Wave (and the 1990s nostalgia channel, Lithium) plays very little women’s music, an absence that I clearly noticed. Lithium especially is all Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Stone Temple Pilots. Really? No Hole, Distillers, Breeders, Veruca Salt, etc.? Srsly.

    Glad you all enjoyed the ETB flashback. (Sorry–I can’t contribute at all to the drug conversation, but feel free to carry it on yourselves!)


  6. I finished a draft of my first book while watching the Menendez Brothers trial on Court TV. Or rather, I would get up early and work, my objective being the fact that the trial — which was in LA — started at 12:00 EST. Therefore, I needed to be on my couch with sandwich and beer in hand by that hour. After lunch I would skim various books and articles that needed to be worked into the next day’s writing every time there was a sidebar.


  7. Ha. I thought this was going to be a blog about overcoming writer’s block. I’m supposed to write while watching MTV? That is never going to work!


Let me have it!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.