Hermit crab

I’ve left the house four times in the last sixteen days. I went to a Mexican restaurant with my family where I was mean to the boy. I went to my accountant’s twice. I’m pretty sure I was mean to her as well, especially yesterday when she told me what kind of check I would be writing this year. Last night, after two weeks of being a hermit and rather crabby about it, I ventured back out into the world of other people for a weekly poker game. I was crabby there, too.

That, hopefully, serves as explanation for my lax posting schedule and general tone. It also, hopefully, explains why I have a hollow look in my eye and have grown a beard. If not, I have come up with a list of excuses.

Top 6 Reasons I Have Grown a Beard

1. I’m trying to teach my kid what strangers look like
2. I’m going undercover at a porn convention
3. I’ve started noticing changes in my body and hair in places I’d never had it before. Otherwise, I have no explanation.
4. I’m upping my efforts for Locks of Love
5. I misunderstood my gay friend when he said he needed a beard
6. I’m adding spice to my marriage by teaching my wife what strangers look like

I’ve actually taken to the hermit lifestyle very well. I have several manifestos in the works. I’ve researched mountain cabins where I can wait out the government. I’ve also started making a list of people who deserve to be poor and embarrassed.

  • Stephen Glass
  • James Frey
  • Laura Albert
  • Ruth Shalit
  • Jayson Blair

    Can we all agree that fictionalizing one’s life or the lives of others and passing it off a nonfiction is the cheapest form of art?

    The easiest way to get people to like something is to tell them it’s real. I really liked the movie “American Gangster.” I probably would not have liked it any less if I’d known the movie was about 95% fiction. However, being told it was a true story and then learning it wasn’t leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    I am endlessly fascinated by people who pull off grand hoaxes. I am not, however, impressed by people who decide their real writing and real life are too boring, so they create a fictionalized world and pass it off as reality. If caught, they call it performance art or a dramatization.

    I’m on the rant now because of 90 Day Jane. Google her if you like, but I’m not linking. The concept behind the blog is Jane, a skinny, bob-headed twenty-something who quotes Fight Club, is going to kill herself in 90 days. In the meantime, she’s blogging her daily exploits for the masses and making You Tube videos of her picking out her “death dress.” My favorite crime blogger, Steve Huff is also a bit of a web sleuth and is pretty good at solving web mysteries like this. In this case, unlike the case of John Twelve Hawks, I don’t give a diddly damn.

    Oh, screw it. Hereya go.

    I’ve spent the past two weeks working my way into a local cult that believes dentists are evil and the only way to defeat them is growing a beard and brushing our teeth with OCD regularity. There are two end-game scenarios within the cult. One, we all kill ourselves with sharpened toothbrushes and try to pin it on the dentists. Two, we all get our own reality show on FOX.

    Either way, it looks like we’re gonna be famous.

  • Brad Willis

    Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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    6 Responses

    1. Technically, the beard is growing itself. Therefore, theoretically no reason on your part is required.

      But I’m sure Waffles appreciates #5.

    2. Oh Otis, you’re such a bear. Er, cub. Welcome to gay stereotypes. Wait, you’ve been there for years. Welcome to me!

    3. Couple of titles for the TV show:

      “Death by Floss”

      “Molar Murder”

      “I Can’t Believe Its Not Fluoride”

    4. This post made me laugh.

      Watch Mr. Untouchable…if you want to see the guy before Frank White. All this took place two city blocks from my place…holla!

      It is like that movie, Goodfellas…everyone is good until Henry Hill looks into the camera and is like…we hated being a shlup like the rest of you…we took, stole and got what ever we wanted…if you didn’t like it, fuck you. haha!

      As for that girl…awesome!!

    5. …huh? Is it guy’s night out time?

    6. Peter says:

      By no means do I agree that “fictionalizing one’s life or the lives of others and passing it off a [sic] nonfiction is the cheapest form of art” (I assume you mean “cheap” figuratively, since inexpensive art is in many cases superb, although it generally goes unrecognized by those lacking refinement of taste). Stephen Glass, Ruth Shalit, and Jayson Blair, of course, were journalists, and as such should not be held to standards of “art” beyond a basic clarity and readability of prose, although in their cases, yes; factual accuracy is a requirement (although as I recall, Shalit was a plagiarist, not a fabricator — a significant distinction in this context). Then again, it’s fair to suppose that the standards for truthfulness should be even stricter for, say, scientific researchers, and yet by doctoring his results, Gregor Mendel correctly formulated the principles of genetic inheritance.

      J.T. LeRoy and James Frey are authors, not journalists. Frey’s book, of course, was a purported “memoir,” and as such we might reasonably expect it for the most part to be based on real events. But as Robert Evans observed in his own widely disputed memoir, there are three sides to every story — my version, your version, and the truth.

      As for J.T. LeRoy, the idea that creating an imaginary persona through whom to write constitutes some kind of “fraud” is just breathtakingly stupid. Literary history abounds with such “frauds,” some of our most cherished masterpieces were written by them. Edgar Allan Poe created “Arthur Gordon Pym” from whole cloth, and swore in both names to the truthfulness of an adventure at sea that was proven scientifically impossible within ten years of its publication. It is rivaled only by “The Fall of the House of Usher” as his greatest work of prose. Borat didn’t have to explain his true identity to anyone. Neither did Tony Clifton. Do we hold it against Dr. Seuss that he wasn’t a doctor?

      The only “frauds” here are the people whose opinions of Frey’s or LeRoy’s writing changed because of factors completely unrelated to the work itself. And anyone who finished “A Million Little Pieces” without realizing that drug addicted halfwits do NOT emerge from brief stints in rehab as spiritual guides to their own counselors, undisputed alpha-dogs over violent and predatory inmates, while winning the love of the cutest girl on the premises, acquiring extraordinary legal guardian angels through their wit and charm, and becoming the adoptive sons of organized crime figures so powerful that the mention of their name reduces menacing tough guys to quivering milquetoasts — while everyone who could possibly vouch for any of this conveniently dies within a month or two of the story’s conclusion — oh; and somehow our protagonist sheds his addictions without experiencing any symptoms of drug withdrawal to speak of — well, as I said, anyone who needed a news story to let them know this was rubbish has no business reading in the first place.

      And if you only enjoyed J.T. LeRoy because you were fascinated by his eccentricity, and thought less of his work knowing that “he” was a woman in her thirties, same applies. You have no business reading. And certainly no business throwing around words like “hoax” or “fraud.” I can count the number of American novels from the last ten years that rank ahead of “Sarah” on the fingers of one hand. No thumb. If you give a damn who wrote it, you judge paintings by their signatures, you judge wines by their labels.

      There; I got it out. Go Obama!

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