David Walley (dvdgwalley) Mon 10 May 99 14:35
That makes some mutated sense to me Reva; and I"m sorry that I misquoted <silly>---but Heeeeeey, how could I forget the Christmas bombings, what better time to bomb than at Christmas. Do you think they'll have Christmas bombings this year in Serbia? I know that's kinda of black, but we're getting into the season of "peace is war" and "truth is lies" and everything else is foma--- and while I'm being oblique here, I think that there's nothing wrong at all with people who read Salon and think it's the bees knees. I am amused how the writers have been able to parlay that into writing for the NY Times, but that's something I'd expect the Times to be hip to. I mean forget about the LA Times as far as literary politics are concerned, the NY Times Sunday Literary Section followed up shortly by the weekly Arts section takes the cake (and the knish too!). I kow it's getting very heady in the editorial deaprtment when their writers are being blurbed by the publishers just like the movie critic from Rolling Stone. [you know when you get a blurb from Rolling Stone, it's very srious business indeed, almost the good householdkeeping seal of approval but without the small fish for desert)--- I've been following the accounts of the "Chinese mistake": everyone blames it on the CIA and there's no reason why they shouldn't! using old maps, how low canyou go, and next they'll be in DC asking for more money.
Harry Claude Cat (silly) Mon 10 May 99 15:22
In <251>, I wrote: | What kind of country club is The WELL? For hacker nerds and | fat girls who get straight As? In <311>, I wrote: | Okay, I apologize for my reference to weight-challenged young | women. Strike it from the record. Allow me to rephrase, | please. Is the WELL a country club for hip San Francisco | cyberjournalists? These questions don't pertain to Salon unless you believe that the WELL and Salon are the same entity. Do you think that the WELL's on the bad end of a merger? This new corporate entity could be called SWELLON.
David Walley (dvdgwalley) Tue 11 May 99 06:07
I don't think that the Well and Salon are the same entity---for some they might be though. Anyway, I'm still trying to figure out what a cyber journalist is? Is it the same as the old freelance journalist used to be? copyslaves to unscrupulous editors who want their copy yesterday but will pay you tomorrow? I think it takes a certain kind of guts to want to be a freelance journalist, or a freelance anything for that matter. I did that for a while with varrying degrees of success. I don't know the people in The Well. I used to like the Bay Area, but that's going back too many years for me to say out loud. I like the Bay area better that LA (but what's the big deal about that?). If I hadn't gotten a job offer at Columbia Records back in the late Seventies, I'd have been there now I suppose. But look <silly> I'm not going to censure you for calling fat people "weight-challenged", but if you're going to make such a statement it should be based on evidence don't you think. Anyway, when did this country become of weight-ist? and brain-ist?
continuing the thought at a second's remove (dvdgwalley) Tue 11 May 99 06:09
As for the question of whether the Well is on the bad end of the stick with the Salon merger. I guess you'd have to ask Gail Williams about it, and she thinks it's pretty good. The real quesiton is how much money exchanged cyberhands? was there a lot of cybermoney doled out?
Gail Williams (gail) Tue 11 May 99 09:38
Opinions are us at The WELL. Mine's only one, and right now it's time for me to be Quiet anyway. See the IPO link off the Salon.com page for a ton of details about the sale and the innovative Open IPO thingie. And the topics in the WELL Media/News confs for assorted astute and imaginative pundits.
David Walley (dvdgwalley) Tue 11 May 99 10:48
always depend on Gail for common sense. BTW, Gail did you see the piece in the NY Times Sunday business section on the down side of the acquisition?
switching gears in the infonety age and staying away from the bumpf (dvdgwalley) Wed 12 May 99 06:41
Since this is a writer's conference, has anyone out there seen the article about Joyce Maynard selling her letters from JD Salinger? Talk about scraping rthe bottom of the barrel. She wrote a book last year about her affair and I don't think that did very well, but maybe JD Salinger doesn't float anyone's boat anymore---people just don't read for pleasure anymore books like "Catcher in the Rye" or "Franny and Zoey". I mean when are we ever going to get out of confessional writing and back into the real deal. Joyce has been milking her life for years, literally eating herself. It's sad and somehow predictable don't you think?
Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Wed 12 May 99 07:31
Yes, she has always written about herself, pretty much (though wasn't To Die For based on one of her novels?). I don't know that I'd call that 'milking her life' unless there's any number of other writers to whom you also want to apply that term. As someone who's read her stuff since she was eighteen, I was interested in the Salinger stuff but didn't buy the book. If I run across it in the library or a used bookstore, I'd pick it up.
John Henry, the (steeldrv) Wed 12 May 99 11:48
She specifically said she was selling the letters just for the money. An education fund for her kids was more important than what the critics are saying about her. What about her own conscience?
Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Wed 12 May 99 13:20
Uh, are you saying she should put critics' opinions over the welfare of her kids? There's a zillion people who've made money out of "I Slept With So-and-So" books. What makes what she did any worse than any of them?
David Walley (dvdgwalley) Wed 12 May 99 17:26
NO, I think it's more the matter of how blatant she is (was). I remember her coming out in NY Times many years ago---very precious stuff. I mean she's a Frankenstein figure of boomer writing ( if I may be so bold). I don't know who's more the victim Salinger or her. Anyway, I don't think her confessional book "burned up the charts", though it did provide grist for the Timespeople who created her to write her about her some more. She never appealed to me, even as a confessional writer because I thought her slice of reality was rather thin. Actually what's so funny is the low evluation that the auction house placed upon the letters. I mean sheesh! letters of JD Salinger---it just goes to show you or shows to go you how devalued JD Salinger is in today's market. I mean he's just too Greta Garbo for me, protests too much. YOu know of course that the writer that James Earl Jones played in "Field of Dreams" was opriginally supposed to be Salinger but our JD sicched the lawyers on the writer. And all of this gets back to the question that writers like to ask themselves about fame, how important is it, whether postumous fame is better. In the cae of Salinger, he's as much a victim as anyone. And it's really too bad, because writers ought to be able to fail, that's one of the problems with making it as a young writer by young I mean under thirty under 25. Look at what happened to Jay MaCennery's Bright Lights Big City" or Brett Ellis Easton's "Less than Zero", or Tama Janowitz (sorry about the spelling Jay). Jay wrote his big book, and They called his the new Fitzgeralde and has been desperately trying to repeat it ever since; unfortunately he's taken them rather literally and has been drugging himself to death living the fast life and protesting too much about it--- I mean the critics won't give this beemish boy a break, and he to please them keeps trying to hit the same note instead of try another scale if you get my meaning here. Is really all about the fact that writing is a developing art. We all know that what we write today can always be better tomorrow. And when you doh't think that's true, then you truly become a victim of consumerism. Which is what is really going on in our commodified world, isn't it Sharon?
answering the question that was dropped, Sharon (dvdgwalley) Wed 12 May 99 17:31
I think there's absolutely nothing wrong with Joyce trying to hock those letters. I just wish she'd get some real money instead of the chump change the auction hose is thihking it will get. There's got to be still left out there some Salinger groupie who will pay for these letters. Anyway, if she still wants them she could always make photocopies, and only the technician would know for sure whether they were originals or not. If she had a conscience, she would have gotten over Salinger years ago instead of trying to milk it. But then again, that's her style, I just don't happen to appreciate it. But then again, that's me and there are others out there who applaud her courageous action :-))). I personally think she's jsut getting too old to play the ingenue, but then again everyone's got to earn a living and the ltierary world is funny like that. I mean look at Norman Mailer---
Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Wed 12 May 99 18:15
It sounds like you just don't like her, and so you don't like anything she does, and it still isn't clear to me why you have particular issues with her rather than with any of the other jillion people who mainly write about themselves.
David Walley (dvdgwalley) Thu 13 May 99 07:38
It's not writing about themselves, it's what they choose to write about themselves, how they write about themselves. It's not the act, it's HOW the act is done which is the basis for criticism, for likes and dislikes. That's how it works with writing and writers: either you like what they talk about, how they talk about it, and what they say or you don't. Very simple. That's what makes horseracing, that's what makes literary politics. I was observing that the literary politics in NYC are thus they she has her reputation, and for what is that: that she had an affair with Salinger, that it was over a long time ago, that it seems to be of interest to other people not herself, that, possibly, it's a way to capitalize on an affair which can be monetized. Which is just fine. I don't like how she writes, never thought it was special when she came on the scene in terms of unique insightful observations, even using herself as a mirror. At the time, I thought that way too much was made of her when there were far more insightful people out there (her age at the time too). In some ways its a case of peeaking too early and that's why I talked about Jay and Tama and Brett. But that's literary politics and those who make them have a tendency to keep them spinning if they're still in the game themselves. Maybe she's just part of that great literary critics band, and that's fine too. In the above post, I raised certain questions because you like to talk and think and write and I'm responding to that. You picked the least interesting or important part to comment on---which is your right, but you've been the one who's wanted to elevate this discussion more. GA
Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Thu 13 May 99 10:19
It seems to boil down to "I don't like how she writes." Do you have anything more specific than that? In the above post, you didn't really address anything I brought up other than to criticize what I was I brought up -- which is your right, but you were the one who was complaining that people weren't posting here any more.
David Walley (dvdgwalley) Thu 13 May 99 12:21
Here we go again, round and around. You said: "It sounds like you just don't like her, and so you don't like anything she does, and it still isn't clear to me why you have particular issues with her rather than with any of the other jillion people who mainly write about themselves." I reply: I don't like her period. It's a judgement I can't put my finger entirely on. I just don't like her. Do I have to? Do I get thrown out of the writer's club? am I supposed to check my opinions at the door. It's a feeling I get when I read her stuff, it just doesn't work for me, whatever she's trying to do. From my perspective, she's not a particularly trenchent observer, though I"m sure she thinks so and there are people who buy her stuff who think so too. And lord love a duck, that's good for her. Still, Iit's my right NOT to read her if I have no desire. So, no I don't have anything more specific. Why do you like her? maybe yhou can entice me into picking up her latest. What does she do for you? Obviously there's some sort of resonance, tell me about it.
Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Thu 13 May 99 15:31
>Here we go again, round and round. Fine. Have it your way.
David Walley (dvdgwalley) Thu 13 May 99 16:10
Maybe it's as simple as there is a whole country full of people who tought that Seinfeld was the bee's-knees, and I always thought it was stupid, nvvertheless that I thought it was stupid didn't change the minds of people who thought that Seinfeld was brilliant and well-observed. I lived in Manhattan for twenty years, lived on the Lower East Side in the Sixties and the Upper Westside in the mid seventies and early eighties (with some time off for bad behavior, my exile period in LA from 1974-1977). Thanks for letting me have it my way. BTW, what kinds of things to you write?
Thomas Armagost (silly) Sat 15 May 99 02:00
<scribbled by silly Sat 7 Jul 12 16:34>
Oh no, Auntie No-No not again (dvdgwalley) Sat 15 May 99 13:43
Duck's Breath Theater, I've heard of them, thank god that there are still heads around who produce material like that. And thank you for saving me from another "he said, she thought he said" dialogue. I'm glad you were lurking in the background. Funny, I"m always getting in trouble saying what other people want to say but don't. I take the heat and everyone else snickers to themselvbes while being politically correct.
Swan song for the swans in the audience (dvdgwalley) Mon 17 May 99 14:03
For all the writers out there in cyberland, take comfort; for all those who've been tur4ned down by Salon.com because they weren't hip and cutting edge enough Fame and the Artist by David G. Walley Once upon a time in a city far away there lived a struggling artist, a genius painter. His early friends were impressed, and so was he when he went to their openings and saw how his ideas had been adapted for commercial use. He didn't mind though since he was sure that some day his own time would come. One afternoon, a gallery owner, a friend of his friends, came by the studio and told him he should be rich and famous and offered to help him for next to nothing (%65). The artist considered the offer and decided to give it a whirl since it would be nice to make a living wage as an artist instead of a short-order cook at the local beanery. Within a matter of weeks, the artist was seeing his name in all the right places. He started spending less and less time in the studio and more going to openings and schmoozing the customers, a practice he had formerly loathed passionately. The few times he was actually in the studio, the phone rang off the hook with invitations which made work or sleep impossible. This must be the way it happens he thought when he had time. The artist adapted to the new regime and unloaded his back inventory, but although he had quite a stock from his leaner days, inevitably he ran out. Now the demand for new work outstripped his ability to produce it and feeling pressed he was starting to suspect that his gift would lead to his eventual destruction. While he was regarding the blank canvas and the silent phone with equal dread late one morning, he came to an illumination that fame was killing him for real and he was living in a nightmare from which he could not awake. It was bad enough he no longer had time to paint and spent most of his waking hours schmoozing the fast set, but worst of all, the attractive and cultured women of his fantasies were in reality social-climbing yentas looking to add his scalp to their collections. Museum trustees were only less honorable, and what was the use of that? Abruptly the artist withdraw from the fandango of fame and even stopped showing up at the openings of his new gallery. At first it was charitably said that he was Sick or Out of Town on A Commission. Eventually, his agent took him to lunch to inquire anxiously whether he'd done anything to offend? A week after that he was deleted from the "A" list. When Art News and Art in America ran a few speculative sidebar articles about what happened to him, his stock plunged in the unofficial Art Futures market. By then Fame no longer interested him. Leaving town, the Artist purchased a nice little farmhouse upstate with the profits from his fatter days and continued The Work. If you needed him, you wrote or called the General Store, they'd fetch him. His temperament and creativity improved, and his good patrons still sought him out, eager to see his work, even if it wasn't in the public eye anymore. When things got slow it still tickled him that some of his early work were in good museum collections. Although he never made as much money, whatever he made was all his. MORAL: Sometimes a little fame is all you really need.
Harry Claude Cat (silly) Thu 17 Jun 99 14:01
"it is glorious, but I have a dread foreboding that some time the same doom will be pronounced upon my own country" - Scipio Africanus the Younger, surveying Rome's destruction of Carthage, 146 BC Source: Encylopedia Britannica 1999 CD-ROM for Mac.
Thomas Armagost (silly) Fri 25 Jun 99 12:59
<scribbled by silly Sat 7 Jul 12 16:32>
poorly-contained perioxide accident waiting to happen (castle) Fri 25 Jun 99 14:02
What was being said about Reginald Denny?
Thomas Armagost (silly) Sun 27 Jun 99 18:27
<scribbled by silly Sat 7 Jul 12 16:33>
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