Living in NJ means I have to deflect vitriol and chides deriving from the thing called Jersey Shore. As if I gave the thumbs up on that show, as if Jersey Shore applies to the entire state; funny, I donâ€™t hear such things involving Brick City. Anyway, Snooki is in the news again, this time garnering $2,000 more than Nobel Prize winning author Toni Morrison. Personally, I think the news is a non-starter: Snooki got $32,000; Morrison claimed $30,000; meanwhile, Iâ€™m here blogging instead of wringing out my bank account to pay bills; either way, theyâ€™re both winning [remember him?].
My immediate reaction was to flip it into a sounding post on the devaluation of literature. But I have to remember my audience: well-read writers who have no beef with Morrison and may, occasionally, watch Jersey Shore–guilty pleasures and such. Besides, itâ€™s Friday, April 1st. Hopefully, Spring is here as Winter takes his crabby ass back to Canada. Tis the season for writer conferences, workshops, retreats and rejections; itâ€™s that time of the year when dudes wax their cars and roll down the road, music turned up, leaning to the left, looking mad for unknown reasons.
I canâ€™t wait to get my car detailed. My black 2008 Mustang canâ€™t be bothered with snow and salted roads. When I got it last year, I figured other Mustang owners–fellow pony riders [pause]–would show me love as we passed. A hand wave, a horn honk, an engine growl: no dice on all accords.
Maybe I wasnâ€™t doing it right; maybe I needed to lean harder, drive faster, wear darker sunglasses. When I pass another Mustang, I canâ€™t help it–I stare at the driver waiting for camaraderie; hell, I even initiate. Wave. Mouth yo. No response as they whiz by.
I should flip this into how writers treat other writers, but fuck writers. I mean to say–we need to relax. Take a moment, watch a movie, make plans to find, to use the Philadelphia colloquialism, a summer jawn to cuddle up with when it gets warm. I know, I know–the Great American Novel waits on your hard drive; all play and no work makes for a weak author platform.
But when you step outside, leave it all behind. Donâ€™t stare at your plate of BBQ food thinking, â€œMy supporting character would eat this.â€ Enjoy the sunshine, enjoy the summer anthems from hip-hop stars, come to the Jersey Shore and see if it matches the show [it does]. From what Iâ€™ve heard, the world is coming to an end in May–before Memorial Day–which sort of sucks because my Great American Novel isnâ€™t done and I need more publication credits. But hey, few people read now–fewer people will care about books come Apocalypse time, so remember to have fun.