Friday, October 01, 2004

The McSweeney's Saga: The Fan Base

Chapter Three.

The Great Innocent! This is how our young hero, strutting chanticleer, sought to portray himself to literary sprites of groves and standing lakes. Saint Dave. (Yet behind the veneer of innocence was intense calculation.)

He knew well his audience of MFA types who believed their education made them special. They would never admit this, but in the down deep dark pit of their curfewed souls they believed it, consumed by ambition not to write-- they had nothing to write about-- but to BE. To be what? To be writers, yes, but more than that, to be Special. This is what young David gleaned. This is what Saint Dave's memoir and lit journals would shout to them: "I am Special. YOU are Special!"

But the story is getting ahead of itself. (Never just tell the story. Point to it. Announce that you are telling a story. "I, Saint Dave, am telling you a story. There will be no intelligence in this story. There will be an imitation of wit in this story. Most important, there will be ME in this story!")

(To be continued.)






Anonymous said...

The pricing structure looks right Mr. Wenclas. I would never spend $25.00 for Mcsweeneys. I might buy Lit Fan in the same way I might drop a buck in the hat of a homeless man.

Bill Walton

Jeff Potter said...

Dropping those bucks makes most of the actionpacked world go round. You think those folks are beneath you? I'm more thinking of the buskers. Those doing something for that buck, playing some music, say, as the King mentioned elsewhere. Some do right well. But it's a tough life. An old busker of some 50 years on the road stopped by our house last week. He was also a merchant marine. A wandering minstrel. His last freelance gig, at age 65+, was teaching English on a destroyer headed to Kosovo. A bit more action than most ever see, right there alone. I carried his dobro into our house from his 25-yr-old station wagon. Did you know they weigh about 20 lbs? He said "Try lugging that thing around a few decades." Slim McElderry. He's written some great tunes, ones that will last. I'll have his stuff up at my website (again) shortly. He's 70 now. He said he might start doing some marketing finally. He said he really could've gotten some selling done these past few years if he'd only had a phone. "Heck, if I'd only had electricity!" That was funny. Did you know he was carrying on the Steinbeck legacy down in Panacea, Florida, the past decade or so? Wrote a few good novels. Anyone else in Letters dare claim such a mantle? He must be crazy. So is his neighbor, Jack Rudloe, the operator of the only independent marine lab on the Gulf Coast. He's no Ed Ricketts. They're both crazy. Sure, Jack started the Gulf Coast conservation movement, but they can't hold out against Disney. They're crazy! And anyone who thinks the relationship that McElderry, Rudloe and Jack Saunders (novelist of cultural anthropology) have had over the years is anything like that of Steinbeck, Ricketts and Campbell, they're crazy, too. Legacies are meant to die, for profit. --Live on, in real people, what, are you not only broke, getting dollars in cans, but nuts, too?