I know it's fashionable among wingnuts to call Jeff Goldstein a genius for the silly little "creative writing" entries he squeezes in between his (brazenly fascist) political posts, but I mean to tell you nothing that easy could be genius. On the contrary, it's wanking. But the novelty of anything creative being in close proximity to wingnut screeds must be too much to bear. Therefore, the gushing. For wanking. Wanking.
The following wankery, for instance, I've written the last three nights [redacted]. How little do I care about it? Well, I didn't do any research, and it's all off the top of my head. The point is not that it sucks (though I think it might have potential to not suck), but that it takes such small effort to accomplish. Garden variety blog posts are much more difficult.
I Am A Greek God! (I)
No, clod. That's it. Yeah.
Look at all this wrecked statuary here and yonder -- oooh, there's a headless bust! And that Kouros there is missing his fruit bowl. Vandals, they'll take anything. No, not the Vandals -- they won't be around for another 800 years. But you know what I mean.
I have to deal with shit all the time. Literally. Birds shit on me, like, daily. And what do people do? FEED them! Fucking ingrates.
But that's not the worst. The worst is when some retard gets a commission to clean and repair me. Like that jackass Socrates, who does restoration on the cheap. One day, mark my words, that ponderous blowhard with drink some hemlock -- oh, who the hell am I kidding? With my luck, he'll live to 80.
What's that you say? I don't look Greek? Well, okay, you noticed I was circumcised. Unusual. But it's the wave of the future, I'm telling you. There's this tribe south of Phoenicia that... well, never mind; you'll find out. Anyway, Demeter -- and what coltishly athletic legs she has -- said that Apollo has given her a smegma-enhanced dollop of God goop for the last fucking time. And now she's looking in my direction. Why, just last Thursday in the pantheon she had Mercury pass me a rather adhesive note that said ..well, a gentleman God doesn't give details, but let's just say she wants my -- circumcised -- cock, and wants it real real bad. Who's stupid like a fox now, ya dog dicks?
And "what's with the red-blonde hair and its straightness? and the pale skin?" Well, I am made of marble, fucktard. It's meant to be pale. As for the other shit, well aren't you quite the little stereotypist? You know, there are these people called Scythians, a bit on the pasty side, they're of Magna Graeca, as well; and they need Gods too. I'm representin'. Oh don't be a total asshole: if you call me an "affirmative action God" one more fucking time, I'm breaking off one of my arms and throwing it at you.
And the scars aren't from acne, but acid rain. We don't have an EPA God yet, but we're working on it. But it's hard work. Wouldn't ya know that the oligarchs and priests are total reactionary ratbags.
Anyway, if I may move on now, goddamn it (oh, it gives me such a thrill to take my name in vain), I was saying...
It's hard being a God when no one gives a shit about you anymore. Just look at all this. In 2,000 years, anal-retentive jackasses who painstakingly study this area will swear that what they find is "ruins". I'm gonna be here to tell them, no, fools, it always looked this way. Just imagine if your McDonald's served shit in ceramic containers, what the sides of your highways would look like!
So get this: the other day, Phideas (he carved me; I am the Cadillac of sculptures) was over on the other side of the temple tink tink tinking away on some new demi-god, and I heard him say, "fuck those homo Spartans and the horses they rode in on". Now we are pretty open with our sexuality here in Greece, which is why I was slightly started by the homophobia and vehemence of his remarks. On the other hand, our punishment for adultery is shoving a large radish up men's asses -- to make them feel fucked. We're confused, I admit it. So.. what was going on? Why the fear?
Then I heard (because these athiest bastards never think I listen) that there was a war brewing -- with Sparta! Jesus Christ! Spartans are like the Michigan Militia of Greece! Minimalist, militaristic, misogynist -- how dreary. I resolved at once to inspire a play which would ridicule these Spartans into submission.
I chose Aeschylus to write an anti-war play, but wouldn't you know it, Ares, by a great margin the most humorless wanker in the pantheon, checked me, and in the most awesome way imaginable, I admit. He caused a great eagle to pluck a turtle from the shore, and drop it from hundreds of feet in the air perfectly on luckless Aeschylus's head! Deader than fried chicken! Aeschylus now joins in Hades Sisyphus, Achilles, and the balance of the silent majority. I hear it's quite cold there.
I Am A Greek God (II)
So I was saying (and I am the most subreferencing, sideways-talking, meandering God in the pantheon, am I not? I swear that, though my biggest following is in our colony at Nike, I'm not really all that Frankish or Gaullic or French or whateverthefucktheycallthemselves, in my sympathies, so I don't know why my style is so digressive) I was thwarted by Ares in my plan of inspiring an anti-war play. And poor Aeschylus is dead. So, I've had to lower my standards: by inspiring a comic.
Just look at the poor sod. There he is, bitter, vituperative, reactionary. Yet he writes jokes, often successfully. Not to say that he doesn't drop a cricket-chirper now and then: some of his references are so obscure that, when they come up in his plays, they are doubly destructive in that they slow the rhythm of the piece as well as elicit distracting whoops and guffaws from the three or so crackpots in the crowd who actually get the joke. His name is Aristophanes, and I'm really dipping in the bottom of the barrel in selecting him. But beggars, as they say, can't be choosers.
I can't help but think I'm selling out by doing this. The guy's basic schtick is the tirade of the old, heard since time immemorial: "it was better in my day." But I'll be damned if he doesn't polish this turd of an argument better than anyone has in my memory which, I'll remind you, goes back to when the Dardanelles Natural Damn broke, flooding the Greater Caucasus and inspiring all sorts of silly "universalist flood myths" from the drunken nudist Noah to the Brokeback Ziggurat stylings of Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Would that this place were flooded in the same way! This country needs an enema.
Anyway, so Aristophanes is my choice: I'll have to live with it. Now, what is the conduit I should choose, through which I deliver to him his divine inspiration?
Before you ask, isn't that the job of the Muses? Well, let's just say that those bitches haven't bothered reporting to work in years. I'm told one is waiting tables in Thessaloniki, though that's just hearsay. And isn't it obvious they've been AWOL for some time by the quality of work going on around here? Just look at this Corinithian shit all around me! So ostentatious it's vulgar; give me Dorian simplicity anyday. And Sophocles? Hah, I'm not responsible. Haephestion slipped him some drink from Cerberus's triple-dog bowl, which should be a clue to the true moral value of his "art". But it's not like he's alone in his depravity and wrongheadedness: everyone's a fatalist around here. Hasn't anyone heard of Geddy Lee? "I will choose Free Will". Wait, that's the future. Nevermind. Regardless, thank God (so to speak) that I'll be long forgotten here by the time Freud gets hold of that hack Sophocles.
So, uh, yeah. How to get Aristophanes inspired. I'm thinking of something base or cruel, since I don't particularly like him. Shit, this "moral calculus" thing is difficult for a God (I can just imagine what it must be like for a human). I -- I'll be honest -- despise Aristophanes, yet war to me is even more contemptible. Choices. Gotta do it. So.... might as well have a little fun.
Look! There he is with a courtesan. Horny old bastard. He just doesn't get how horrified she is of his ratty old beard, which he thinks makes him look sagacious, like the fabled Druids of the North, but actually makes him look like a sheepherder from some god-forsaken redneck hellhole like, say, Macedonia. Eww. Christ, there's even bugs flying out of it. An idea strikes me...
Tomorrow, I'll make sure the hucksters in the market have "accidents" which greatly benefit Ari's favorite hooker. She'll be better able to stand up for herself when she's got plenty of groceries in the cupboard. Ohhh ohh yes this will work nicely. The irony! She, perpetually victimised, will show the haughty clueless old fart the real power of women: compromise, or make love to your hand permanently, writer-boy! And he'll get the principle and.. yes, yes.. this is gonna be sweet.
I Am A Greek God! (III)
Current mood: silly
So, my plans for Ari: let me fast-forward a bit in the future (because I'm powerful like that). Wow, the whole earth's a computer! Oh, shit, nevermind, I held the button too long. Anyway... Yeah, here it is. Here's where the kernel of inspiration should slip into his drunken, horndog mind if he'll just let it.
Whore: It's you again. Sigh.
Ari (fluffing his beard): Yeah, you're my favorite. Pour me some wine, nymphette. Hypollita, Hypollita, love of my life, lyre of my groin!
Whore: Oh, please. (rolls eyes) How droll. I may have to stroke it, but that doesn't mean it's music to anyone's ears but yours. And to tell the truth, as I don't really need the money this evening, I'm not too keen on plucking your strings, as it were.
Ari: Don't get huffy with me, woman. I'm the one who makes sarcastic remarks around here. Your job is to get me loaded, be supple, and let me relieve my frustration. Make no mistake: you're a semen receptacle, paid for in full; and spare me any idle threats about taking a portion of my guys over to the witch's cave. I don't believe in homunculi, and that witch, like the Crone at Delphi, is a quack. Now smile for me, and come over and comb my beard. You know, I'm thinking of braiding it, like the leader of those minstrels who play such atrocious music down by the barracks -- what's their name? -- Alikka In Chains?
Whore: You bastard. That guy is my favorite customer! He's actually good-looking and young -- unlike you! More to the point, he's nice! Definitely unlike you! I don't need your money tonight, and I bring in too much traffic to this place for the madam to fire me, so you can just whack-off tonight for all I care! And tomorrow night, too! Hypocrite! Calling the priestess names while writing god-awful plays that rail against blasphemers! (She pours the cup of wine into his lap) I'm not fucking you again, for whatever amount of money, until you reform yourself! Cut that nasty beard! Be halfway civilised when talking to me! You're an old coot, but I hope you fucking get drafted! Get out.
Ari curses her and leaves in a snit. Three blocks from his house, he slaps his head and says, "Eureka!"
Ari wrote that night, all night. And the next. He pushed three drachmas -- all his cash on hand -- underneath Hypollita's door three days later. I wish I could say I inspired that generosity, but I can't.
Two weeks later, the play The Lysistrata opened at Dionysus' Urinal, the local ampitheatre, to rave reviews.
A month later, the women of Athens, taking the play's message to heart, forced their blue-balled men to sue Sparta for peace. As the Athenians gave up some primo real estate (which they'd been eyeing for suburban development: all the oligarch creeps are sprawl-enthusiasts) in the deal, the Spartans agreed. For now.
Aristophanes was greatly feted throughout the city, but the miserable old bastard would never let himself truly enjoy it. Hypollita even fucked him again, but only for double-price, which the ass immediately agreed to pay, not out of generosity (Ari was the ultimate moral recidivist) but out of pride. I talked to Atropos the other day, and arranged it that Ari caught a particularly itchy pox in the process, which Hypollita found a cure for, but Ari never beat. Thanks for serving your purpose, old fart, but don't think I'll forgive your hypocrisy. So here's ya some crotchrot! Tee hee.
I have a bad feeling that I've reached my peak. By Zeus, I have the gnawing feeling that war will come again. And again. And there won't be much that I can do about it, even if I punch Ares in the mouth. Stupid humans, so.. well, god-like. And this trick with Ari: I know it'll never work a second time. I can see it plainly. It's a one time shot, because humans by nature would rather respond to reckless art than to the cautionary kind. Don't look at me: I didn't create them like that. All the blame goes to that pompous gasbag on Olympus with his lightning bolts and thunderclaps and shit.
Next time, if there is a next time, I'll tell you that story about Alkibiades' blasphemy against Priapus. Or maybe some other story. I gotta get all this out before the Midieval censors do their magic, and clueless asshats like Miss Hamilton (and don't even get me started on that Joseph Campbell character) set in stone (or, as you term it, "type") apocryphal versions of our cherished history, which you modern dorks then flatter yourselves by calling "myths".
Bye for now. You'll pardon me if I can't quite wave.
Wanking. It doesn't hold a candle to my Marie Jon' posts, or the Steyn entry, or anything you can read at Sadly, No! or The Poor Man's. That shit takes effort and skill. I'm not a snob, and, hopefully, as this post proves, I'll be the first to admit I'm a crappy writer. But it bothers me when something cheap easy and talentless is praised, even if it's praised by cretins whose tastes are obviously and spectacularly atrocious.
***Update: I wasn't clear (don't write in a delirium). I know this is better than Goldstein's crap; what I'm saying is, it still took no effort. His commenters treat his excursions into "creative writing" as if they're written by Borges, and it just blows my mind. I'm not saying that, if you like this post, you suck. I'm saying, simply, his posts suck, and in general this sort of thing (mine, his, whoever's) seems to be over-valued in the blogopshere. But I will say that at least mine contains some jokes.
You know who can do this sort of thing and make it art? Giblets. And that's pretty much it.