Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Six Or Seven Fairly Large Pieces
I've been waiting a few days before I got into this because I really really wanted to think long and hard about what I should say about it.
I'm talking about this thing with Oprah and James Frey, the guy who got her to recommend his "memoir" to millions of her readers which turned out to be a pack of lies.
Lies lies lies!
This is something, obviously, that hits very close to home for me as I too am a writer who quite often peddles lies to his adoring reading public. So I've been following the story very closely, although I haven't gone so far as to actually read the man's book. Remember, I'm a writer not a reader. Real writers never, ever read. If we do, we run the risk of having our own genius polluted by the small ideas and poor execution of lesser beings. It's the same way the great actors never take acting classes for fear that the "instruction" by someone who isn't good enough to be a working actor and instead is forced to teach will cramp and retard their obvious natural brilliance which can currently be seen on display as Lieutenant Brannigan in Guys and Dolls at the Orkney Falls Community Theater and Steakhouse. Try the potato cakes, they're out of this world.
Although I admit that I will sometimes embellish some of the details of my life in order to make this crap readable, I have on occasion given you all glimpses into the reality of what it is to be the real me, the man behind the Pops, Korvath Ganymede Macleish Horrington III. Inspired by Mr. Frey's difficulty, I feel it is time for me to come clean about some of the details of my past. I'm just going to lay it all out for you people here and let you be the judge(s).
I was born on a little beet farm in the hills around San Jose, Costa Rica. My father was one of the many Americans who had come south of the border looking for menial labor jobs, chasing the opportunity to nearly starve to death doing jobs most Costa Ricans wouldn't dream of doing, yet still needed to be done. My mom made her money as a surrogate mother for wealthy Costa Rica society matrons who wanted kids but not the accompanying stretch marks. She gave birth nearly 30 times at about 80,000 Costa Rican colones a shot. This works out to roughly $11 US.
I was imprisoned at the age of three for the attempted murder of the visiting President of Panama with an exploding teddy bear. Nothing will make you grow up faster than 20 years in a Costa Rican prison. Inside I learned the hard way about what was important in life: decoupage, macrame, leather tooling, bead work... they had a very extensive crafts program on the inside. It came back to haunt them when I knitted myself a parachute and leapt from the roof.
My months in the jungle were eased by my companions, other fugitives from justice, men I happened upon as I fled. I will never forget my blood brothers Manuel Noriega, Oliver North and Donald Trump. I don't want to get into too much detail (my Non-Disclosure Agreement prevents me even if I wanted to), but I will say sharing a meal of raw boa constrictor bonds men together.
I melted into Central American society for a while, making my fortune with my prison-gifted skill at flower arrangement. Eventually I found my way back to America where I sowed my wild oats for a while. You can only go through so many starlets and pro football cheerleaders before eventually you wake up next to Anna Nicole Smith; this is what's known in Hollywood circles as "rock bottom." Seriously, her ass is that hard. You wouldn't know it to look at it, but it is.
At some point in a man's life he's got his Nobel Prizes for Physics, Medicine and Peace and he wants to settle down. Then he turns down proposals of marriage from Angelina Jolie and Nicole Kidman and opts for someone of substance. If my wife reads this, she will think that means I'm saying she's fat, which I'm not. And now I'm going to let this part of the story be so as not to get myself in more trouble.
What does a world-conqueror do when his life enters the raising-children phase? He blogs. And he does some international assassination work on the side. Old habits die hard; they're quite unlike world leaders in that respect.
There it is. It's all out there. What have I learned from the James Frey debacle? The lesson is: if you lie, Oprah will be mean to you. But only after you've made millions of dollars in book royalties. Balance that against what happens to you if you go on Oprah's show intent on telling the "truth" from the outset: you end up looking like crazy-ass Dave Chappelle, who famously does not have $50 million.
I know which one I'm choosing.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.0