Sunday, November 25, 2007

You Just Can't Find Good Help These Days: A Review of Bad Attitude by Leopold McGinnis

by Wred Fright

Friday was no ordinary Friday in the United States. It was "Black Friday," the day after Thanksgiving and the kickoff to the holiday shopping season. Hordes of shoppers descended upon the shopping malls, strip malls, and malls disguised as the small town squares filled with shops that the malls killed off. Take it from one who once worked retail that day (at a K-Mart that no longer exists--damn you Wal-Mart!), though they'll tell you it's named Black Friday because of the traditional colors of accounting ink (red for debt, black for profit), don't you believe them; it's Black Friday because it's a horrible day to work retail. Instead, it's a much better day to stay home, buy nothing, and read the novel Bad Attitude by Leopold McGinnis. Ha! Ha! Of course unless your local public library stocks it or you can borrow a friend's copy, then you have to buy a copy of Bad Attitude. In the end consumerism gets us all, eh? Of course, we all have to consume to survive. It's only when consuming becomes something akin to a religion, done mindlessly of the economic and environmental consequences that it becomes a problem. And the problems of consumerism are what Bad Attitude deals with, using the perspective of those on the "front lines" of the consumer war: the workers of retail.

Bad Attitude tells the story of Jesse Durnell, a sales associate at Electronics Pit, a store that sells stereos, televisions, and any other electronic device guaranteed to make your life complete. However, unlike most of the other workers at the Pit, who either tolerate their jobs or even actively try to succeed in them, Jesse has a bad attitude about the whole enterprise and spends most of his time avoiding work, sabotaging the coercive tactics of management, and waiting for the consumer apocalypse, which he believes is forthcoming. As a former sales associate, I can testify that McGinnis has the experience encapsulated in the novel in all its absurdity, humiliation, and economic necessity (for the individual and society), and he's added an explosive ending which will warm the hearts of disgruntled sales associates everywhere.

Having enjoyed McGinnis's previous novels, I've been looking forward to reading Bad Attitude ever since he told me about it, and, unlike most of the products Electronics Pit sells, the novel doesn't disappoint. It tells a good yarn and critiques consumerism from an interesting angle. For a short book (only about a hundred pages), it has a large significance, particularly in this shopping season where peace on earth and goodwill to men (and women presumably as well) too often get trampled in the rush to find a good parking space. And, in the spirit of all the widgets that the characters in the novel sell, I must point out that the novel is very nicely designed. I particularly like the cover illustration in stark green and black of a grumpy sales associate. So the book makes a great stocking stuffer. Act now! Limited quantities! Batteries not included! Warranty sold separately! One day only! What a sales event! The more you buy, the more you save! Consume!

Though Wred Fright has never met Leopold McGinnis personally, he has corresponded with him often, and they've even engaged in joint-promotion for their novels, being both indie-lit types with no marketing budgets--in fact an ad for Fright's novel The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus appears in the back of Bad Attitude. However, Fright has no financial interest in the publication of Bad Attitude. He wrote the review for the simple reason that he thinks McGinnis is a great writer and more readers should be aware of his work. He also wishes you a cool yule!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Ohio Is A Strange Place: A Review Of Crossing Decembers: A Novel by John Booth

by Wred Fright

Recently, a friend wrote me to let me know that he had enjoyed reading my novel The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus because it had reminded him of his college days. I could relate because I recently read Crossing Decembers; A Novel by John Booth. Booth's novel centers around Bowling Green, Ohio, specifically Bowling Green State University, during the early 1990s, a time when I also attended college there, and Booth gives the reader a good feel for what that place and time felt like. He gets all the details right, among them, the loneliness of the campus on a break; the way the wind swept across the Great Plains and slammed into anyone crossing campus, even to the extent of bowling some over; the intense, though often short-lived student friendships and love affairs that could sprout almost overnight; and even the names of the businesses that made their living catering to the college population such as Pisanello's Pizza. Booth's eye for detail can result in a time trip for the reader, at least this one, but there's more to the novel than that. At first, the slim volume, about 110 pages in length, seems as if it will be an ode to a lost love, the college sweetheart who got away, which is pleasant enough, but unlikely to interest anyone not from their era and locale.

Then the novel gets strange. On its trip down memory lane, it makes a wrong turn into the Twilight Zone. Fortunately, that's a right turn for the reader. What otherwise would have been a sweet paean to Booth's alma mater, and the natural surroundings of Northwest Ohio in general, becomes a literary mindfuck when the narrator finds himself not just caught up in his memories but actually caught up in the past. Or is he? Is it time travel? Is the narrator mad? Has he just imagined a possible life with his college sweetheart but without his wife and daughter? Just as the reader has to question herself or himself as to what actually is going on in the story, the narrator must make some major decisions himself as he embarks on a quest to rewrite the past, present, and future. The novel's short but lingers in a haunting manner.

I don't know if Booth tried to publish the novel with a larger publisher, but if he did I can imagine a typical literary agent either not understanding it ("Make it more like Harry Potter" "Don't make it so confusing") or wanting it set in a more bustling geographic area than Northwest Ohio ("Why not New York? There are trains there." "Make the characters go to Harvard. People like to read about the Ivy League."). If so, let's give thanks he resisted watering down his vision and didn't turn it into another generic thriller, and let's give thanks something like Lulu exists to make the book available in print for $9.99 or electronically for $1.56. It's also available electronically for free through Wowio but advertising's included (maybe for Pisanello's Pizza?). Just about anybody from Northwest Ohio will enjoy the novel for its geographic setting alone, but its well-written weirdness should similarly appeal to readers much farther afield as well.

John Booth can be found online at FieldsEdge.Com and Cornfield Meet. Wred Fright can be found at WredFright.Com. Yes, Wred went to college with John, but probably wouldn't even recognize him on the street now, so you can rest assured dear reader that this review is more or less unbiased. Go Falcons!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Novel Quest

GAME QUEST by Leopold McGinnis

(A Review by King Wenclas.)

I wasn't raised with computers. I grew up tinkering with cars. Computers were a strange mystery to me. The question was how to enter into them-- how to grasp, unlearned, their codes, symbols, and language?

I've never played a computer video game.

Game Quest is an excellent novel, likely the best novel yet written about the computer gaming industry, but I had a difficult time entering its narrative-- like trying to navigate on-line when you don't know what you're doing.

This novel's strength is narrative, yet author Leopold McGinnis wastes the first three chapters failing to leave a proper thread for the reader to enter that narrative.

One can see his strategy. The book opens with computer gaming talk designed to appeal to computer gamers. Non-Gamers are alienated.

"The Sea Hag stands cackling at the cave entrance, her green knobbly hands clasped together with evil, arthritic glee.

"'You'll never find Princess Shareen now! Ha ha ha ha!' The sorceress has just spirited her away to the palace. . . ."


(What is this: Harry Potter?)

It's clear McGinnis is trying to give a sense of what video game playing is like. In retrospect it works-- but not when a new reader is first encountering the book.

For me, the second and third chapters didn't do it either. I found nothing there I wanted to read.

Only with Chapter Four, after numerous tries, did I discern an entrance into the game. An employee at Madrea, THE major game company, sits at a meeting having been up all night playing a product of their major competitor. Personalities around the table become identifiable. Possible conflicts, rumbles of dilemmas, appear at the table. The narrative begins to take shape.

The book quickly develops two main narrative threads. They're good ones.

Most compelling is the on-line romance between Heather Roberts, daughter of Madrea's founder, and a young wonder-kid from another company. McGinnis uses Walter Scott-style tricks of hidden identity updated to the 21st century. No, it's not a disguised Ivanhoe at a joust, but it's very exciting.

McGinnis's characters, especially Heather, are believable and appealing, NOT flat video-game simulations.
* * * * * * *
As an art form the novel is the greatest video game, a journey into the mind; the most complicated and compelling adventure. The quest of the novelist is to take readers through pathways of his knowledge, memory, and imagination, and in the process, hopefully, tell us about life, the world, truth, and people.
* * * * * * *
The other plot thread involves Heather's father, Will Roberts, in battle for control of the company he founded. As his daughter Heather's young life reaches a climax, so does the life of Madrea Games as it faces an attempted takeover by a larger corporation. ("Tray Cool," a consultant examining Madrea and its staff for coolness, is a deadly and hilarious characterization.)

The novel of narrative is like a chess game. It should begin with a strong opening then quickly lay down its strategy, setting up moves which won't appear until much later in the game.

McGinnis is a master at the middle game-- keeping his material together, weaving his plotlines into the general flow, maintaining momentum, slowly but steadily increasing the drama.

While the finish is anti-climactic, it's logically derived from what went before. The author never loses control of his material (as so many popular novelists like Michael Crichton regularly lose control, wasting good scenarios in flurries of ridiculous and illogical climaxes).

This is a serious novel, artistically sound, knowledgeable about the business world, addressing in an exciting way the real-world issue of the monopolization of business and culture.

Are takeovers good for creativity? Game Quest shows one instance when they're not.

At the end of the tale, McGinnis presents the other side of the debate-- the monopoly point-of-view. We realize the question isn't black and white. The reader is more sympathetic with Will Roberts, the original entrepreneur. At least I was.

Roberts's vision created Madrea, yet it's this vision, this instinctive knowledge, which is dismissed by Johnny-Come-Lately know-it-all outsiders, who assume they know better than he how to run his creation.

Are they wrong? The narrative says, about the company, "You have gains and you have fallbacks." Was Madrea merely at a temporary flat spot-- or would the outsiders' predictions of decline and failure have come true? The reader will never know.

Game Quest is a fascinating look at business in the postindustrial era. Leopold McGinnis understands the essence of the novel, seeing the big picture, holding that picture in its totality in his head and not allowing the structure, the form, to fall apart. McGinnis isn't a stylist-- his prose is clear and serviceable, but not spectacular. He's a novelist. The long form is his metier. He shouldn't stray from it.

It's a cliche to say this about a young novelist: If he can write a novel this good, he can write a better one. If he can improve his openings. . . .

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Janissaries of Lit: An Essay

BACK in the days of the Ottoman Empire several centuries ago there existed a vanguard of willing soldiers always sent first into battle by the Turks to battle their foes: Janissaries. The Janissaries were Christians recruited or stolen in youth from conquered populations in southeastern Europe.

John Stoye: "Educated as Moslems, drafted into the army or the administration, they were the well-paid servants who upheld the supreme power in its miraculous, isolated splendour."

After conversion Janissaries received modest perks, but were cut off from the seats of real power.

Stoye: "They were themselves cut off from the social order which they helped to control."

The literary establishment today maintains itself through the use of consciousness-warped Janissaries. There aren't ENOUGH true aristocrats on the order of Moody, Minot, Miranda July to maintain the system. In a hierarchical layer beneath them stand their obedient soldiers.

The ULA's toughest, angriest foes have been those working or lower-middle class writers who've been bought out.

The classic example of a Janissary is Joyce Carol Oates. From a poor rural background, in her late teens Oates was taken into the academy and has never left. Over the years Oates has presented, for the edification of Overdog readers, microscope slides which they can study from a supreme distance: distorted pathologies of lower class life. Oates herself has been socially neutered; a pampered house cat rescued years ago from the gutter, now maintained with ribbons and bows; staring outside from behind the window glass of the house and imagining what life out there is like, drawing for her impressions on vanishing memories. She's not OF the outside world, would never survive if thrust again into it. Her work reverberates with a dark stereotyped shuddered fear of ever going back.

She has gone completely over to the other side-- witness her promotion of the likes of Jonathan Safran Foer. The transformation was irreversible a long time ago. As the world she came from finds its authentic voice of literary rebellion, Oates stands as an absurd relic in the halls of Princeton; an anachronism.

A problem for the ULA in Philadelphia is that much of the local literary scene is subservient to New York. Most of them are Janissaries. Their literary world-view since their college days comes from INSIDE the walls of the literary castle. They have little understanding of the untamed barbarians camped outside their gates. Too many of them have surrendered their artistic minds to sameness, which means they've surrendered, period, to the stagnation of the status quo. They've surrendered any notion they may have once momentarily held of literary rebellion and renewal-- real renewal, not a simulation of it.

We see throughout the country laudatory reviews of local manifestations of the Same-Old Same-Old; of utterly stale MFA-style periodicals which mimic the New Yorker-Paris Review produce of New York; whose entire body of work could've been published forty years ago without disturbing a soul: a well-crafted bland kind of poetry and fiction which was boring then and remains so.

Monday, May 28, 2007


anticipate! Gonzo bending critical lapses here on this spanking new organ of the ULA...

An amazing recent published book of poetry by one of best contempoary poets writing in anglish in the 21st century from the post-Industrial metropolis of Manchester, UK; the autobiographical novel of American Theravadan Bhuddhist monk, Bhante Yogavacara Rahula-- it doesn't get more underground than this, comrades!-- of the Bhavana Society forest monastery in West Virginia; and a review of the first issue COMICOSMOS, a beautiful DIY art/literary tome built around Wm. Blake's "The Marriage Of Heaven & Hell" by artist Elizabeth Haidle who resides now in northern New Mexico, AND the amazing albeit unholy new Side-show/Circus "zeen" of outsider literature including poetry and essays, ALIVE ON THE INSIDE!


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A POSHy Review

POSH by Lucy Jackson

A Review by K.I.N.G. Wenclas


FRANKLY I'm tired of trying to play the game with all these bland mandarins ruling and ruining literature with their constipated attitudes sending me their shitty refined books produced for shitty refined mandarin sensibilities hanging around their condos or mansions with Muffy the Cat on their laps dictating to us out of their refined constipated phony-British-accented mouths the definition of "Literature" capital L should be capital B for Bullshit which is what they've turned fiction and poetry into the last thirty years refining it through their kitchen strainers eliminating life relevance meaning leaving orange pulp puke remains and coffee grounds packaging this garbage between glossy slick glowing vomit green covers and charging twenty-four bucks for it.


This is a shitty sloggy nearly unreadable novel produced by a pseudonym-wearing widely celebrated hideously out-of-touch literary dilettante "acclaimed short story writer and novelist Her last novel was a New York Times Notable Book Her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker Best American Short Stories and many other magazines and anthologies " etc. etc. etc. yet the person has hardly a speck of writing ability, is unable to create a narrative thread can only pile on scene upon precious scene of phony stiffly-emoted characters wandering mechanically like outdated Manhattan robots through phony cardboard set stages it reads like an early silent movie circa 1905 shot with static cameras as eternally boring as an Andy Warhol movie.


Most hilariously the fake author "Lucy Jackson " has a character on page 177 comment about literature --"highlighted one passage after another that she recognized as sentimental and poorly written, dutifully taking note of all the characters that seemed like nothing more than ciphers and the dialogue that seemed so painfully stilted"-- when this sentence describes her own book exactly.


It's taken me several months to write this review because every time I tried I had to run to the nearest toilet to vomit from anger and disgust at the ridiculous boozhie class of posh people who control literature and produce warehouses of phony upper-class garbage shit novels like this if you buy the book you're crazy thank God it's vanished though more like it keep being cranked out by conglomerate literary assembly lines the author should shove her pseudonym up her pretentious upper-class ass and retire permanently from the scene doing real literature a favor thereby earning hosannahs of praise from future generations excuse me I'm still nauseous from reading the thing I'm beginning to gag where's the toi--


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Flawed History

Reclaiming History by Vincent Bugliosi


by K.I.N.G. Wenclas.

Famed former prosecutor Bugliosi has issued a mammoth book (1632 pages) about the 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy. In his Introduction he presents the book as the definitive word on the subject. He affirms the Warren Commission report, and claims to answer conspiracy theory questions to the extent that no credible debate on the subject will any longer be possible.

Well, maybe-- but in a cursory examination of the book while at a bookstore I found, in a brief time, a fair share of unanswered questions.

1.) While first claiming to answer all conspiracy questions, Bugliosi later remarks that he won't answer questions which "can't be answered." He gives as example the idea that America is run by semi-secret organizations like the Council on Foreign Relations.

Now, wait a minute. This isn't just any old conspiracy theory. It's THE conspiracy theory; the main one; granddaddy of them all. The most believed and in some ways the most credible conspiracy theory; at least the hardest to disprove.

To eliminate THE major conspiracy theory, Bugliosi ties it to flying saucers and aliens from outer space! Which enables him to dismiss the question in total, without examination. He erects a flimsy straw man and casually, with scarcely a breath-- with a handful of words-- blows it over.

This fundamental dishonesty discredits the book, especially because in the Introduction, Bugliosi makes a point of attacking another pro-Warren Commission author, Gerald Posner, for not being fair to the other (pro-conspiracy) side of the matter.

Bugliosi assumes for himself the posture of objectivity and fairness. Then, as I said, knocks over that credibility and fairness with a puff of air.

2.) A major, if not chief, role in "New World Order" conspiracy theories is played by the Federal Reserve Bank. Given for many years (I heard it often on Detroit radio shows) as a possible reason for JFK's assassination is the notion that Kennedy was about to substitute the use of Federal Reserve Notes (upon which we taxpayers pay interest to use) with United States Notes owned not by a private corporation, but by the government itself. In other words, by us; We the People. In his comprehensive 1632-page book, Bugliosi doesn't address this question. Has he never heard of it? Not likely. Not credible. Not possible.

The interesting parts of Bugliosi's book are those points he fails to address.

3.) The most fascinating theory I've read about the Kennedy assassination was put forward by Charles McCarry in his novel The Tears of Autumn. He pointed out that JFK was killed one month after the Kennedy-approved assassination of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem. Payback by the Ngo family? It's a logical possibility.

McCarry was a CIA agent at the time of the assassination. He'd been a CIA operative in Southeast Asia. His novel provides an absorbing look at what might've been the Agency's view of matters when the assassination occurred. Nowhere is McCarry's intelligent and thought-provoking novel mentioned in Bugliosi's book.

4.) The Head Shot. This is the most compelling sequence in Oliver Stone's movie, "JFK." Who can forget Kevin Costner's repetitive phrasing, "Back, and to the right," as the dramatic climax of the Zapruder film is shown?

Does Bugliosi fully answer this matter?

No. The most he can come up with is one example of heads remaining stationary when shot. But JFK's head didn't remain stationary. It snapped back. (This, as it was moving forward in space, in the car, as Oswald's bullet supposedly also moved forward, from behind.)

Bugliosi may be right on this question-- but his explanation is insufficient.

5.) The head shot is important because it's a major part of the physical evidence in the case, and Bugliosi uses the physical evidence to answer all other questions. You'll see, if you read the book, that time and again he closes discussion about matters by saying (I'm paraphrasing from memory) "Besides, all this is irrelevant because of the physical evidence, which is irrefutable." Bugliosi uses the physical evidence connecting Lee Harvey Oswald to the crime as a crutch. For him, it trumps all else.

6.) A huge problem with the book is Bugliosi's assertion that no one-- not the CIA, not the Soviets, not the mob-- would have hired Oswald as a professional assassin. Probably not. But in stating this, Bugliosi avoids a larger question. He behaves like a magician showing you an empty hand while his other hand is busy stuffing a rabbit into a hat.

What would a political assassin from today be like? Would he not likely be a psychologically disturbed individual programmed by psychological techniques or by drugs? This seems the most sophisticated way to operate: using an individual who DOES NOT KNOW who he's working for. It's the safest of all possible methods.

Did such ideas exist in 1963? Yes. This period, in fact, was the heyday of CIA testing of psychotropic drugs such as LSD on individuals. It was the height of internal government discussion of the uses of brainwashing-- the subject of the famous book and movie, "The Manchurian Candidate." (The movie came out in 1962.)

Bugliosi only briefly mentions the movie, and doesn't address its subject. (He's more concerned about an assassination movie, "Suddenly," which uses a hired professional killer as would-be assassin.)

Was Lee Harvey Oswald a "Manchurian Candidate"? This is a question Bugliosi doesn't ask or answer. Was there any possibility Oswald was brainwashed, whether in Russia, or when in the U.S. military? One thing Bugliosi does make clear is the enormous impact of the period of time Oswald spent in the brig while a soldier, subject to traumatic abuse. He came out a far more disturbed person. If a solution to the mystery of Oswald is to be found, it might be here.

7.) There's the problem of coincidence. Bugliosi affirms the presence of coincidence. And so, virtually everything in the case can be tied to the explanation of coincidence.

That Richard Nixon was in Dallas the day before the assassination was only a coincidence. That Oswald had been in the military, had been to the Soviet Union, had been involved with Cubans; that he had ties to so many players on the scene with possible motives was only coincidence. That JFK had embarrassed so many powerful individuals, had made so many enemies so swiftly as President (the mob; Jimmy Hoffa; segregationists; Khruschev; Castro; anti-Castro Cubans; the CIA; LBJ; etc.) was only coincidence. That shortly after the assassination Oswald was himself gunned down in what looked to all the world like a mob hit was, it turns out, mere accident: more coincidence.

Using coincidence to explain so much brings up the question of odds. Yes, Ruby's shooting of Oswald could've just happened, out of the blue, like a chance occurrence-- but what are the odds of that? What are the odds that two lone nuts acted against and successfully found their targets, through layers of protection, with no connection to each other or anyone else?

Multiply slim odds by slim odds and the probabilities only go down. To believe the Warren Commission report is to multiply coincidence by coincidence by coincidence. Its advocates live in a causeless universe of random bodies forever randomly bouncing around.

Conslusion: Bugliosi may be right in his arguments. Hard evidence is hard to refute. However, this is not the definitive work on the subject. Too many questions remain. Bugliosi's viewpoint is too narrow. He follows a line on the ground but not what surrounds it. As Shakespeare said in the play Hamlet, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

Sunday, April 15, 2007


We are all institutionalized, some of us are just products of lesser institutions than others. Institutionalized by Joe Schmoe and Fred Smith ("les noms de clavier" of Noel Guinane and Cassandra Helm) brings home the terrible awareness of this state to those who might otherwise be blithely unaware of it (unfortunately for many of us the horrible weight of the many institutions that have imposed themselves upon our person and psyche since a tender age cannot be forgotten even for a moment). The corporate culture satire has apparently become a sort of genre fiction (something that I wasn’t to aware of) and they seem to be mocking this phenomenon one could put it into the lesser category of parody but as it seems to contain many more direct attacks upon the phenomenon of corporate culture itself (and many of these attacks are hysterically funny) anyway people tell me that I don’t quite understand that sort of stuff so I’d say if it is parody it’s doing what satire should (inspiring scorn and contempt for its subject) do better than most satires and if it’s genre fiction it’s genre fiction that’s doing what what is called literature is now incapable of doing and as such its excesses can be if not forgiven at least justified.
These excesses are so frequent and excessive that they seem to have been calculated to give the effect of a grand guignolesque theater of cruelty played out in the boardrooms (one made up as the tent that one of the Napoleons [it’s not quite clear which one] took on a campaign somewhere [but hey didn’t those Napoleons invent that bivouac that’s how they won the battle of Plzen or Ceske Budevicke or something]) and offices (whose rundown state might seem to be the product of neglect but is actually calculated to have a certain psychological impact upon the employees). These hapless individuals are encouraged by a lack of air conditioning to drink more antidepressant dosed water that stretches their faces into a frightening rictus. Personality now being a product of analysis and modification is reduced to nothing more than stereotyped behaviors a series of tics and tocs but programmed tics and tocs that are designed to solicit certain responses. A slightly more human individual is introduced into this environment, Lance, who explains himself thusly:
"Yeah,……principles. Like it don’t matter if you own the laundromat or you’re just a pizza delivery guy. It don’t even matter if you’re president of the United States. You work hard. That’s the first. The second is that you ain’t gonna get nowhere if you don’t believe that you can. And like my old man said, there ain’t no reason not to. All you gotta do is look at some o’ the crazy people who made it in this world, like Fats on the corner right? He was dumber than dumb and now he’s got millions playin’ bad guys in movies….."
I imagine (or at least hope) that the author understands that within this very sort of hokey home spun folk wisdom, the naive optimism more simplistic than anything that might be presented in a film for national socialism or soviet Marxism were the seeds of the chaos that is now being unleashed. Ultimately this personage comes off as a sort of Jimmy Stewart of the ghetto come to midtown Manhattan. What the situation seems to be calling for is some sort of exterminating angel perhaps Charles Manson released from Corcoran prison after completing an on line MBA from the university of Phoenix. "You can’t sell SELL. You can’t buy BUY". They could let Squeaky out to be human resources director.
The protagonists are finally nothing but human resources being directed by an indifferent authority. There are often whole paragraphs filled with descriptions of their futile jests and wasted movements. Such a minute attention to detail becomes a bit like watching a film script written in the head of the person who is being placed before us. One comes across similar paragraphs in lots of recent fiction but where in other works it for the most part distracting here in "Institutionalized" it often serves to transmit the wretched desperation of the protagonists sisphysitc existences. Nowadays one meets so many people who seem to playing themselves in the movie of their life that is soon to be made that this style of would maybe be a close approximation of their thoughts, all of us just bit players in a formulaic film whose major roles are occupied by perverse cult adepts. There are so many books written to be made into screenplays (da vinci code for example) or written by people who’d probably rather be writing a screenplay that this style sort of imposes itself. The author of "Institutionalized" though obviously didn’t have this intention the book doesn’t follow the "rules" and the ridiculing of corporate cult think/speak might hit to close to home for some producers anyway there’s no spunky young career girl who just might change the world and find herself a nice husband.
Basically it’s becoming impossible to express anything that doesn’t conform to the Hollywood or Manhattan vision of the world (the two are more or less the same thing) and if you did no one would want to listen. Perhaps this is where America and its language has been heading since its inception. And it’s not just a condemnation of Americans but of humanity itself. I’m not saying that in each of the rest of you there’s a little American waiting to get out but that if you were subjected to the terrible force of such a system would you be capable of resisting? Anyway "Institutionalized" will help you to put your institutional ways behind you and strike back at your oppressors.

Sunday, April 08, 2007


This blog is being revamped. Target date: May 1.