Friday, 2 October 2009

Well would you look at that? If it isn't the old internet requiring my urgent perusal

“Usually writers will do anything to avoid writing. For instance, the previous sentence was written at one o’clock this afternoon. It is now a quarter to four. I have spent the past two hours and forty-five minutes sorting my neckties by width, looking up the word paisley in three dictionaries, attempting to find the town of that name on The New York Times Atlas of the World map of Scotland, sorting my reference books by width, trying to get the bookcase to stop wobbling by stuffing a matchbook cover under its corner, dialing the telephone number on the matchbook cover to see if I should take computer courses at night, looking at the computer ads in the newspaper and deciding to buy a computer because writing seems to be so difficult on my old Remington, reading an interesting article on sorghum farming in Uruguay that was in the newspaper next to the computer ads, cutting that and other interesting articles out of the newspaper, sorting – by width – all the interesting articles I’ve cut out of the newspapers recently, fastening them neatly together with paper clips and making a very attractive paper-clip necklace and bracelet set, which I will present to my girlfriend as soon as she comes home from the three-hour low-impact aerobic workout that I made her go to so I could have some time alone to write.”

– P. J. O’Rourke, “Book Tour”, Smart magazine, 1989.

14 comments:

Martin Kingsley said...

Frrrrrrrrrmrrrrrhrrrnrrrr. In the common tongue, "my teeth, I grind them."

Martin Kingsley said...

Which is to say, darn that man! Darn him to Heck! All I've managed to do with what precious little writing time I had is slash myself fairly trivially with an obscenely sharp cleaver. While doing the washing up, no less. I have sorted nothing by width. Not a thing.

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

He's a republican. They specialise in thickness.

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

Sorry to hear about the close-encounter with the cleaver, though it's got distinct metaphor potential.

Here is perhaps not the place for this discussion, but - a thought - have you considered writing a parody of a psychotherapy session? With possible nods to Woody Allen? Whom you might treat as a sorta autobiographer? Or serial egotist?

Martin Kingsley said...

You ought take that schtick on the road, Baron.

And I have a theory that Woody Allen is, by keeping up his cinematic output and staying largely out of the limelight and out of sight of the American press, attempting to have the latter days of his life assessed as a body of work rather than easily-biographed moments of personality. Your suggestion intrigues me, especially considering I have been having less than no luck with my current approach (having written no words and lost a few CCs of blood in the process)

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

Except that he recently put his name to the "Roman Polanski should be allowed to rape children - he's an auteur" petition, which doesn't strike me as a wise move on any criterion.

Martin Kingsley said...

That whole...thing with the European aged creative community and Roman Polanski is bizarre at best and a little sinister at worst; insofar as I can tell, it's okay he plied a child with 'ludes and booze because A) it was aaaaaaaaages ago, and the past is a foreign country yadayadayada (apologies to the memory of L.P. Hartley), and B) he's aaaaaaaaaawesome.

Motherfucker.

genevieve said...

More of a daughterfucker, really, but anyways.
More importantly, what a shame PJOR is a republican when he is so darn amusing.

genevieve said...

...and I also meant to say, damn fine selection, Baron.

Jayne said...

What Martin Kingsley said.
Coz it saves me from typing it.

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

Thanks, G. I feel the same frustrations apropos P.G.O'R's politics. TimT of WillTypeForFood put me onto him. T is indifferent to a comedian's Republicanism, but I have been like a dog chasing my own tail ever since I first read him (insofar as my political dogmatism is my tail and my mouth is my sense of humour and they haven't caught up with one another yet but if they did there'd be bite marks on my political dogmatism and bristles in my sense of humour).

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

Just between you and me, sometimes I wish I were a dog.

Mitzi G Burger said...

Baron Lex, if you were a dog you'd be doing the crossword before delivering the freshly fetched newspaper. Nothing better than a well-pawed over crossword.

Lis said...

Alexis, thought I should comment. It enables me to avoid proper writing.