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Goodness knows


1. People who don't like memes.
2. People who have already seen this on my Facebook.
3. People who miss the days when I wasn't too busy to post real content.
4. People who like things that are interesting and/or funny.
5. Everyone else.


1. No one.


1. It drives me near madhouse when someone says they have lived a life without regrets. It’s a good thing to keep moving and all, and we all like that song by the pretty little French dame, but if you can really say you have no regrets you’ve gone through life without paying any attention. Pay attention, you lick.

2. Three things that make me despair for all humanity: the way people drive, the way people carry on around money, and Laundromats. Three things that make me have hope for all humanity: good parents, people who are straight up in love, and the banjo.

3. We crossed a dangerous line when we started asking athletes what they think about things.

4. I sure do like me a good soda pop. Hats off to you Mr. John Stith Pemberton.

5. Similarly I enjoy drinking alcohol. Once I was a beer snob but that shit catches up to you in terms of efficiency and heaviness so I have since moved on to hard liquor. There is no fucking around with that content. I cannot drink wine because it makes me feel like bringing up a burrito, but you sit me someplace where I can get some whiskey or a good martini and you will find me a loyal friend.

6. Once, I wrote down what I thought were the five dominant themes in the kind of fiction I enjoyed writing as well as that I enjoyed reading. I can only remember two of them, which are “the uses of violence” and “the impossibility of perfection”.

7. It’s very easy to get me to want to go someplace if it can be described well in prose. I’ve moved to at least two places just because I liked the way someone set it forth to me in print, and almost moved to one more. I don’t even particularly cotton to Los Angeles, but I still occasionally find myself wanting to go there just because of one Mr. Raymond Chandler. Of course now I live in a city that no one has ever described as anything.

8. Women sure are pretty to me. Sometimes I think they will never stop being so.

9. I have affection for both dogs and cats. I would not kick either one of them off of my living room rug. But more and more I think I like cats better, on account of they will be very affectionate to yo when the mood strikes them but on the whole, they are all well fuck you then, I’ll see you at dinner which you better have ready on time or I am going to so turn my bitch lights on you. A dog meanwhile, a dog you have to always ask, well what more do you want from me?

10. I don’t think I am going to live forever. This has allowed me to do all kinds of hurtful things to me like drinking, pills, and eating far too many tomatoes.

11. When asked to compile a list of 25 interesting things about myself, I can be counted on to take a restlessly ridiculous approach to the task.

12. Here is something I read somewhere that turned out to be pretty wise: a reasonably intelligent person can look at any decent piece of contemporary art, a movie or TV show or novel or what have you, and seriously consider having created it themselves.

13. Here is something else I read somewhere that turned out to be pretty wise: smoking a cigareet gives you something to do with your hands.

14. There is at least one thing in my apartment that could get me sent to prison. Maybe more.

15. I am somewhat proud of my ability not to take disagreements over culture personally.

16. I didn’t get my first tattoo until I was 30 (I have nine now). I didn’t grow my first beard until I was 39. I didn’t get high on zoot until I was 25.

17. I ain’t really into the whole idea of foisting off the various fucked upperies of one’s life on your parents, but I have a lot of theories about how family shit can really put the zap on your head. Most of these theories are stupid.

18. Contradictions: I am pretty heavy into the idea of animal rights, but I love to eat meat. I don’t like drunks, but I like getting drunk. I hate gun owners, but I love guns. I love to watch and play sports, but I generally hate sports fans. I hate what car culture has done to our country and our environment, but boy do I love to drive.

19. I spend a lot of time inside my own head, making up a world that’s different than the one I live in. Not better – just different. One way or another, I’m going to be someone’s God.

20. The whole self-loathing tip I’ve been on most of my life, I know that’s not much of a tip and it only makes you more of a schmuck in the eyes of them that matters. I try not to make that my tip so much any more. But I do say this: there are them that are going to their grave thinking that they’re good people when they’ve been spending their whole lives acting otherwise. My only goal in life is to not be one of those people.

21. When I was a kid, my dream was to be a sitcom writer. Come to think of it, that’s still my dream.

22. The first computer I ever had was a Texas Instruments that hooked up to the tee vee. I also had a Commodore 64, and an Apple IIc, and one of the very first Macs. And after all that, what’s the most I ever learned how to do on a computer? You’re lookin’ at it, sporto.

23. I spent my prom night sitting in the back of a truck with a guy named Schmidtsky getting drunk on bad beers and chucking the empties at all the kids who were happier than I was. That’s a metaphor right there.

24. I used to play pretty good baseball. In college I struck out a future All-Star on four pitches.

25. All told what am I good for? Not a lot but sometimes people miss me when I’m gone, and I tend to have a pretty good line on somebody when they’re shitheadin’. Worse can be said.


Feb. 3rd, 2009 03:06 pm (UTC)
Good, thoughtful list.

I would find #12 extremely depressing if I thought it were true, which I don't.

#15 is why you are such a good critic.
Feb. 3rd, 2009 03:13 pm (UTC)
Do you really not think #12 is true? Not that I insist on its universailty, but one of the things I've noticed with the majority of sharp people of my acquaintance is that after taking in some piece of art, movie, music, whatever, we'll get to talking, not that oh, we could have done it better or even come up with the idea ourselves, but how it relates to what we try to do in our own art, how we might possibly have done it differently, what potential it awakens in us or what divergent possibilities it suggests.

For me it hearkens back to Barthes' advice that a good reader reads not like a reader, but like a writer -- like he or she is co-creator and not just a receiver of the text. See also Derrida's belief that people should take a position of ownership towards a text, treating it as something that they've made (or at least taken part in making) rather than something they consume.
Feb. 3rd, 2009 03:19 pm (UTC)
When you put it that way, yes, I agree. That's not how I read the initial statement.

Feb. 3rd, 2009 10:01 pm (UTC)
That second part of what you just said - that's something I teach in every one of my writing classes, along with its inverse. Of course, writing as a reader - considering one's audience as one writes - is more obvious in its purpose and more easily done, in my opinion, but no more valid and necessary to the process.

This is sometimes hard to communicate to ESL students who often think that if they can just get all of their verb tense and vocabulary problems behind them they'll finally be good English-language writers.
Feb. 3rd, 2009 03:29 pm (UTC)
I am in the exact same hypocritical situations you are with #18, or at least I would be if I had actually gotten around to buying a goddamned car so I could also enjoy driving. (Within a year I hope to have a mid '90s AWD Audi sedan -- or even a wagon -- which will be one of the few Audis ever manufactured to have Boris and Flying Lotus pumping out its speakers.) I almost hesitated on the thing about sports fans until I remembered the last time I viewed a comment thread on Deadspin. And then compounded that with the last time I viewed a comment thread on the Star Tribune's Twins site.

Also, you must've told me before, but I forgot: who was the All-Star in question?
Feb. 3rd, 2009 03:36 pm (UTC)
Bret Boone.
Feb. 3rd, 2009 03:58 pm (UTC)
14. There is at least one thing in my apartment that could get me sent to prison. Maybe more.

You don't still have Rush Limbaugh's brain in a pickle jar, surely?
Feb. 3rd, 2009 04:10 pm (UTC)
No, but I keep pickles in Rush's hollowed-out skull.
Feb. 3rd, 2009 03:59 pm (UTC)
I found that interesting and entertaining, so what does that make me? Also I share #21 with you, care to collaborate?

And, those kids at the prom, they really were not any more happy that you were. It was the most boring farce I had to live through, I would have much rather hung out with my real friends in the back of a truck than with a bunch of my classmates.
Feb. 3rd, 2009 04:11 pm (UTC)
Re: hm
Bean! How the hell have you been, kid?
Feb. 3rd, 2009 04:22 pm (UTC)
Re: hm
I've been OK. A few regrets though. Would send you an email but aint got yours.
Feb. 3rd, 2009 04:24 pm (UTC)
Re: hm
leonard dot pierce at g mail dot com is how you do it.
Feb. 3rd, 2009 04:36 pm (UTC)
But I do say this: there are them that are going to their grave thinking that they’re good people when they’ve been spending their whole lives acting otherwise. My only goal in life is to not be one of those people.

That used to be my goal in life too.

But at some point I realized that the only person in the whole world who gives even a little tiny crap about the accuracy of my self-evaluation is me.

So if lying hugely to myself that I'm a good person fools me into actually being better as a person, even fractionally, then it is a win.
Feb. 3rd, 2009 04:37 pm (UTC)
What if lying to yourself that you're a good person just maintains the status quo of your being an asshole, though?
Feb. 3rd, 2009 04:41 pm (UTC)
Well, different people get different effects from lying to themselves! I am just talking about me here. When I am honest with myself about whether or not I am being a good person, I get depressed for days. This causes me to mope and drag ass and be a jerk and generally make life unhappy for all around me. It is not of benefit to anyone else. I am pretty sure they would rather I lie to myself and manage to get through the days cheerfully.


flavored with age
Gun-totin', Chronic-smokin' Hearse Initiator
Ludic Log


Leonard Pierce is a freelance writer wandering around Texas with no sleep or sense of direction. If you give him money he will write something for you. If you are nice to him he may come to your house and get drunk.

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