Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sometimes There Are Words That Stick In Your Brain Like Peanut Butter to the Roof of Your Mouth.

I pulled that other bullshit post into a draft, because I'm embarrassed that I wrote it. Everything I write embarrasses me lately, and I regret posting it an hour after it happens, and I feel all defensive before anyone comments, like I'm creating criticism in my head.

When did I start doing that? Writing bullshit, sad, preachy business and commentary? I fucking hate commentary. I don't like reading it and listening to it.

I sure as hell don't like the writing voice I use in it.

I turn into a goddamn thesaurus when I think about commentary.

What about my stories? Where did all the stories go? I had this whole plan for a story about a wedding this weekend and camping, and there was dialogue and shenanigans, and instead I went on a rant about fucking steampunk? I don't know anything about steampunk. I never followed steampunk or sought it out, but after seeing all this shit on Etsy and stuff, I started looking it up online. I was like, "This looks like it came from those books I used to read. Fucking awesome." And then I discovered it was this entire genre of wonderful crap that all these people were crazy obsessed with, and then, I shit you not, my loser ass read about it on Wikipedia.

For the past year or so, Steampunk turned into my Word. I started looking for it everywhere, seeing the genre's influence on style. Seriously, I mean think about it: it's a cool fucking word.

Kind of like how in 2005 my Word was dystopia. Everything was dystopian, everywhere I looked people were reading books about a dystopian future and I watched V for Vendetta over and over again. I never talked about it other than in my own head, really, it's not like I walked around trying to start discussions about horrific alternate timelines and the fall of civilization. Because shit like that should stay there, in your head.

But every once in awhile, I would drop it into a conversation. "What, are you afraid of some irrational dystopian future? This isn't Brazil," I would scoff. Oddly, Brazil is both dystopian and steampunk.

You know what? I don't even like most dystopian stories. Well, Watchmen, of course (which I think is really what connected me to steampunk literature, even though at the time, I didn't know what it was called). But seriously, they're grim little bastards of a plotline.

I think it stemmed from an urge to be impressive, to be good at this. I thought that I could show the thoughts behind my actions, and I still sound like an ass. Stop talking, okay.

...

16 comments:

Kitty said...

I saw the coolest steampunk getup a couple of weeks ago and have a photo of it here: http://twitpic.com/gmnmj

That guy's hat had some amazing steampunk timepieces on his hat but it is a bit too blurry to see that.

Sid said...

Dystopian??? Great now I'm going to google and wiki the word.

daisyfae said...

the post was fine, but did seem a little forced... i've gone through weeks/months where i was doing it just to maintain the discipline, but what i wrote was pure 'blechhh'... and i know it the moment i hit 'publish'. i feel like a douche.

you seem to be at your best when you're jacked up about something - funny, angry, sad... maybe you're just in a temporary lull. it's there. you'll get it...

Kono said...

i learned a new word today and yes i went to wikipedia to read about it, which led me to wonder if Thomas Pynchon's novel Against the Day loosely falls into the steampunk category.

Logical Libby said...

I think it must be the change of seasons. Everything I write lately seems to suck too. Of course, there is always someone who sucks more, so I take comfort in that.

Jacob said...

I can relate with the looking it up on Wikipedia comment. I caught part of a late-night Aussie Rules Football match on Setanta about a year ago and between it being 4 in the morning and the chaos of the game, I felt like I was high, so I researched the game to figure out what the hell was going on so I would stop feeling like I dropped acid before watching soccer or something.

I now find myself dropping references to the fact that the sport was started to keep cricket players in shape during the off-season and how that relates to the oddly shaped field into casual conversation.

And I almost forgot what I was going to post here, but I had the sudden urge to say to someone, "Your mom is dystopian" and I was unable to think of anything else for about 30 seconds.

thecheekofgod said...

Oh my god, the number of posts I've NOT posted because I don't want to appear stuck. But there it is. I get stuck.

As for Pynchon, definitely . . .

I remember getting into some steampunk around the gaming table a few years ago. The setting reeked of it, and was designed to do so. Not really my style, but it was fun for a spell . . .

Meagan said...

I do commentaries all the time. I've given up caring if I sound like a loser, because I figure I'll never write anything if I just worry about how good it is all the time. Although if I really believed that, I'd get off my ass and start submitting my formal short stories and essays to magazines... any day now. Really.

Betsey Booms said...

What you did do was get me thinking about steam punk and how much the term pisses me off.

Evidently, that's a lot.

What I am going to do now though, is hold my husband hostage until Scott Bakula gets a new show or they remake Quantum Leap.

Also, they better start reanimating Ernest Borgnine, because Airwolf... Yeah.

Ellie said...

You're not here to win any awards. You're here to write what you feel in the moment. Stop being so self-critical (though when you are, feel fine about writing about it!). This is your place. You write. Some will be great; some won't. It will all be snippets of you, and you change. If 'we' don't get that, fuck us. Keep going and don't be embarrassed. I love you.

renalfailure said...

Oh man, I missed the steampunk post? I was looking for an entry point into that genre. Now I'll never know its joys.

Is this the liver still fucking with you?

Schmee said...

ummmm so where is the cool story from the wedding and camping?? adf;sfkd;as just kidding. But I think you totally need to blog about when you went in for your ultra-sound. love the metaphor in the title by the way...

A Free Man said...

I love 'dystopia'. And 'byzantine' - that's one of my favorites.

The problem with stories is that at some point you either have to veer into fiction or you just run out of stories.

Chris said...

I'm making circuit boards out of wood, but I don't have a cool name for it, so I'm just a doofus with tools. keep whacking at it. Eventually you won't feel like you suck anymore.

The Ambiguous Blob said...

Steampunk was the topic of conversation over lunch with the ladies at work today. For approximately 7 minutes. When we returned to the office, one of the ladies sent us steampunk images over the internets.
So whether your post sucked or not, it was discussed. And mulled over.
You create thoughts and conversations with your -what did you call it? Commentary. All over the world.
Work it.

Bobbay said...

I wanted to hear what went on at camping after I left...did I miss much? I missed you, so I guess that's a "yes"...