I wish I was wrong
about that. Actually, I hope I’m wrong about that. But I have
to be realistic...
I’m probably right.
months ago I was reading an interview with Penn Jillette… that
taller, talkative half of the duo Penn & Teller. He said two
interesting things during this interview.
me a side note first… as a would-be, have finished one complete
rough draft with NaNoWriMo, but have never been published novelist,
I have a special story that I have been working on. About halfway
to two-thirds through that story, there are two characters that
I have already decided would be perfectly played by Penn &
Teller. I hope that within the next five years, I can appear on
all the television and radio talk shows and tell you how fortunate
I was when the powers that be fulfilled that one request of mine
and got these two talented performers to agree to be in the movie
version of my best-selling novel.
back to the two interesting things…
first interesting thing attributed to Penn involved alcohol. Apparently,
he doesn’t care for it. He begrudgingly accepts it as an evil
of the business he is in. But, if he were to join you for a casual
dinner and alcohol was being consumed, he would likely leave.
understand that I consider Penn to be one of the few unexpected
geniuses in the world today. I don’t claim that he is a genius.
I don’t claim that he isn’t. I say this intending the term to
mean that he is a smart, incredibly well-spoken individual, and
if given the time you would respect him even more by listening
to his views… regardless of whether those views agreed with your
own personal opinions or not. I firmly believe you could have
a civilized, tremendous conversation with him on an amazingly
diverse set of topics, and he would consistently surprise you
with his candor, his humor, and his intelligence. An unexpected
genius. In the entertainment industry the only other person fitting
this definition that comes readily to my mind is the late Frank
Zappa. I had the pleasure of hearing Zappa speak at Syracuse University
about fifteen years ago or so. Wow. Tremendous evening.
back to the alcohol comment…
don’t mind drinking. In fact, occasionally I have been known to
spend some time in front of a blender myself. Make no mistake
though… I have no problem with drinking, but drunking is another
matter entirely. I don't drink to get drunk. Long story, no long
explanation right now. Enough to say here I don’t really drink
for the alcohol. I drink for mudslide mix blended with vanilla
ice cream, a shot of Chambord, and an Oreo cookie with whipped
cream on top. Maybe a cherry too, but I don't think I have any
of those in the refrigerator right now.
I read that comment from Penn, I filed it away… when you get to
have have dinner with him, don’t order a drink…. don’t order a
drink… don’t order a drink…
actually started questioning alot of things for this web site
a few months ago. I had just finished reading Al Franken’s book
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced
Look at the Right. I was trying to prepare a review of the
book, was working on my own political views, and was failing because
I’ve never really considered myself a Republican or a Democrat.
So when I finally finished the review, I basically found myself
questioning my beliefs at all levels of politics. Beliefs which
had seemed fairly clear when I wrote the essay “Please Mr. Gore,
don’t do me any favors” almost four years ago.
I wrong about Al Gore? What would I have done if I had been that
close to winning the election?
didn’t know what I'd do.
needed someone to talk to.
wanted to talk to Al.
the reality is I may never get to speak with Al Franken. I don’t
have his cell phone number, can’t automatically get an e-mail
to him, and can only hope a letter eventually finds its way to
his hands and that he is willing to speak with me. And even then…
I don’t know that this smart, very funny man will end up being
can only hope.
brings us to my Playboy essay, and finally... (Did you
forget?) the second interesting thing Penn said. I eventually
came to the conclusion that I couldn’t focus my writing on any
general target audience. I was being silly not writing certain
articles or making certain comments because I might want to try
to get something published or have a chance to speak with someone
that could find those words offensive. Heck, just look at President
George Bush and his White House staff waving pay stubs and dental
records at the Democrats, paperwork that is thirty years old,
to show he was in the National Guard. You can see what I mean
about things coming back to haunt you.
my children’s story doesn’t sell because Hugh Hefner eventually
publishes one of my essays, I might have to learn to cope with
that. If Al Franken won’t meet with me because after careful thought
I decide I’m ok with what I said about Al Gore, I suppose I’m
ok with that too.
what Penn Jillette said as a second item in that interview, while
I was thinking about drink orders… but I did include this thought
in the Playboy essay… was that realistically, you only
need to reach 1% of America to be a glorious success. Three hundred
million people. If one percent… three million people... decide
to buy my book then it has a chance to be a true success.
can’t believe I agreed with Spike Lee, because while I respect
him, I almost never agree with anything he says. At least not
completely. But after the Super Bowl he noted, and I’m paraphrasing,
about what a shame it was that shock value, or doing something
extra that had nothing to do with talent or the performance, had
become so important in entertainment today. It didn’t matter anymore
if you could sing, dance or entertain… the important thing is
how many people you could get to talk about you and how long you
could keep them talking.
hope someday to meet Al Franken. Maybe interview him for my site.
Maybe exchange e-mails or phone calls with him on a regular basis.
I hope someday to meet Penn & Teller for longer than a few
seconds after one of their shows. Maybe interview them for my
site. Maybe exchange e-mails or phone calls with them on a regular
realistically, I have been working on this web site for almost
a year now. I’ve been happy with the results so far. But I want
to improve on what has been accomplished, and in order to do so,
I believe I need to make a few changes. It may not be too noticeable
in the end. But it will require some modifications, some growth
on my part. I simply can’t worry about who I’ll meet and when
though… truth is I can be successful without the celebrities or
by publishing everything I write. However, I won’t be successful
any time soon if I remain concerned about pleasing everyone.