Category Archives: death

Dallas

kennedyThe 22nd, and it becomes inescapable: the Kennedy assassination, 50 years ago. A before and after, where-were-you event.

I was a very young boy. In fact, the assassination may be my earliest conscious memory. There’s a fine way to start off a life: televised murder and national grieving before you know what death is. And people wonder why my work has a dark sensibility.

Here’s how the political becomes personal.

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The New Thing


I’ve been away from the blog for awhile for (I think) a reasonable reason: I’ve been writing. Seriously.

I took the morning off from writing and spent some time reading my friend Jack Boulware’s very sharp and funny book Gimme Something Better: The Profound, Progressive, and Occasionally Pointless History of Bay Area Punk from Dead Kennedys to Green Day. You should check it out: it’ll make you want to immediately dye your hair green and stick a safety pin through your cheek.

I felt like I had the carte blanche to blow off the muse for the morning because yesterday I finished typing up Immaterial Matters, a new, full-length drama with which I am very, very pleased. I’m never a very good judge of my own work. First off, you’re always in love with a play when you’re writing it, even if it’s putting you through fits. Second, others often really like the stuff I end up a little indifferent to, and the work I become besotted with tends to be the stuff that generates an “eh” from others. I have no explanation for this, other than I have perverse taste. Sometimes, it ends up being vindicated; sometimes it just stays perverse.

But this one feels a little different. Writing’s generally hard, hard work, even when it goes well, but this thing was just a breeze from beginning to end. In fact, it was coming so easily that it began to freak me out—like I’d inevitably sit down with the notebook one day and be suddenly dry, dry, dry. Never happened. It was always there for me when I called upon it, which is a joy. It continually surprised me—another good sign—and, when I was typing it up (I write all my drafts in longhand, then type them, revising as I go), I’d slightly change a line, then pause and change it back to the original. This almost never happens.

So I don’t know. But I’m guardedly optimistic. As to the play itself: it’s set in 1880s, and it’s about a photographer, death, and a ghost.

And that’s about all I’m saying for now.


How Bizarre

At 3:00 AM this morning, they found Mitch Mitchell, drummer for the Jimi Hendrix Experience, dead in Portland’s Benson Hotel. That’s about a block away from where I work. Apparently natural causes. Sixty-one.

Jimi Hendrix’s drummer, Mitch Mitchell, found dead at Portland hotel

Strange. I guess when you go, you go…but who would have thought Mitch Mitchell would cash his check in Portland? (And Jimi being from Seattle.)

Well…rest in peace, sir.


I "Heart" Wonkette…or…Don’t Make Any Long-Term Plans

So, like, there’s this huge sattelite, see, that we put up last year, but, like everything this administration does, it doesn’t work for shit, and it turns out it’s going to, like, enter the atmosphere or something, and, like, the fuel tank’s full of this really toxic crap because, well, it makes sense to use really toxic crap when you’re putting up something that rotates around the world and burns up into zillion pieces if it re-enters the atmosphere because we screwed it up or something, and so the really, really simplest way to deal with it is the way Americans have always dealt with shit that goes wrong: we’re going to blow it up into a zillion million pieces on March 6th so all those pieces can re-enter the atmosphere like everywhere. This is called supply-side aeronautics (and that’s an economics joke, so nevermind).

Which normally would kind of upset me–the idea that burning hunks of space junk are going to be falling from the sky and we don’t know where–but the Wonkette and her readers are so absolutely cynical and funny about the whole thing that it somehow makes me feel better: kind of like the surgeons in the film version of M*A*S*H who could crack jokes while arteries are spurting.

The Lovely Wonkette

It just goes to show, snark will get you through burning hydrazine every time.