The Monkey King's Used Primate Emporium and Book Reviews

previous - next - random review

Nick Schou, “Kill the Messenger: How the CIA’s Crack-Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb”

. Posted 27 November 2010

Well, it’s been two years since I last updated, with the exception of the secret entry that probably five people saw, which ended in a cliff hanger that nobody got to read. Logging into this site, I realized I didn’t know the password any longer. And then there’s HTML, which I never really knew in the first place, but faked my way through it from the experience of days where I would post two or three book blogs daily. When you’re putting forth that much content, you tend to learn on the fly.

And then there are the books. I don’t know if any of you have heard of a Web site called Getglue, wherein you log whatever you happen to be watching, reading or thinking about, and it suggests other films, shows and books based on what you like. It’s absolutely pointless, with the only reward for charting out how pathetic your life really is being some stickers that they will send you, turning the entire experience into that one episode of Metalocalypse with the therapist handing out banana stickers.

But I digress. In any case, lately I’ve been utilizing the Getglue site, and noted when I was reading Killing Yourself to Live by Chuck Klosterman. One night, whilst faithfully logging in my every act of media consumption for the day, I logged the book, and received the notification that I had achieved a new sticker. I clicked the link to see my new prize. Could it be the Hipster sticker? The Michael Stipe Hair Club for Authors? The Chuck Wagon? (In case you’re wondering, no, none of the stickers actually offered are this interesting or biting.)

The notification read: “You’ve achieved the War and Peace Sticker! You’ve logged the same book for over a month! Keep going, you’ll eventually finish it!”

Killing Yourself to Live is 272 pages long.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Into a Netflix-fueled sense of lethargy, that is.

Of course, there are plenty of good reasons why this blog became stagnant. When I was editor on the paper, I was sick of words, having to deal with them on a sixty hour a week basis. After I was laid off, but still allowed to write film reviews, access to Netflix was like being in the bookstore. When I worked there, I was surrounded by books and thus, a lot of them came home with me. I got so many that it became the inspiration for starting this blog in the first place, a sort of motivational incentive to catch up with the 200+ books waiting for me to read. Now my workplace involves movies, and I’ve maxed out my queue. Same problem, different medium.

But I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’ve missed the books. I’ve missed writing about the books as well. Every tome I finished reading since I stopped writing about them in 2008 is still sitting on a separate shelf, in case I got inspired to start up the blog reviews again. I wouldn’t say that I’m inspired tonight, exactly, but I’m awake, I finished my film assignment earlier today, and writing for fun seemed more interesting than continually hitting the refresh button at the AV Club to see if there was something new to read while I waited for the Red Bull to wear off from earlier this evening.

And so this morning, from 5:15 through 6:50 at this point, I’ve been writing, except when I went outside to smoke. And I’m enjoying it, though I’m probably thinking too hard about it. I should keep doing it. And frankly, I think I was good as a writer, which is all the more frustrating, because lately I’ve been seeing a lot of these fucking movies based on people’s blogs.

Two stand out, though I know there are more, the first being I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell which was an awful movie taken from an awful book by an awful writer. I know I just used the same adjective three times, but nothing about the author is worth working good prose around. The other was Julie and Julia, which I expected to hate, and actually quite enjoyed (though I have read nothing from the actual blog itself).

But there’s a sad truth to life now: blogs are dead. Hell, I contributed when I stopped reading blogs, which happened at the same time that I stopped writing one. Besides, TV shows and films come from Twitter now, where you’re not allowed to express yourself in more than 140 characters. Perhaps you haven’t noticed (or forgot, because it’s been so long) but I tend to ramble. My text messages have 20 more characters than Twitter allows, and I regularly us up the allotment from a single message, mostly because I won’t kowtow to the Orwellian Newspeak of Text Messages. I only recently upgraded my phone to allow for unlimited texts, but even before, it was worth the 15 cents to correct spelling and grammar from people who were too lazy to use three out of the five letters necessary to spell “you’re.”

Yeah, I don’t know why I have so many friends either.

Digressing again. So yeah, anyway, I should keep writing, and wish I wrote more. But the sad truth of the matter is that it’s pointless to try and continue writing on this site. When I was first convinced to start writing here on Diaryland, it was when blogs were big. Newspapers ran stories with sidebars featuring tell-tale signs if you spend too much time in you’re life thinking about blogging. Now, after finally figuring out what my login password was, I see that every one of my subscriptions, save one, has not been updated in “three months or longer,” meaning I’m not the only one who has abandoned my blog (said in a Daniel-Day Lewis vernacular, just to bring back the context of seeing too many movies).

So here’s the thing: My subscription here at Diaryland has expired. Last time I renewed, it was $50 for two years, just for the privilege of putting up the occasional photo and allowing one slot for when the book was read and another for the final rating (which, after posting, I see still shows up, but I can't edit). I don’t think it’s worth it to renew here, as Diaryland seems to have gone the way of Friendster and MySpace. Tucker Max, an untalented hack who ruins good Vodka by mixing it with Red Bull, has made millions because he had a memorable name and set up his own site. If I’m going to continue blogging, and putting money into it, I may as well have my own site. I don’t think there’s a chance of it succeeding, but it would feel more personal, and that’s what would keep it important.

But there’s a problem: I’ve also reached that age where I can’t figure out how to set the clock on my VCR, and the fact that I’m still talking about VCR’s proves that point. I don’t know how much it costs to have your own URL, but I don’t figure it’s much more than what I was already paying. So then, what I’m wondering is if somebody could set up a simple homepage design, similar to this one, which I’ll load up the content and maintain myself. Like owning your own home, I think it might inspire me to continue with the upkeep. I still have plenty of stories, and weird stuff has certainly continued to happen. My band, officially broken up for 15 years now, played both with the Misfits and Dead Kennedys for example, and that’s just this year. And hell, I get paid to write movie reviews and pour drinks. I’m like a blessed magnet of the weird.

So, Web geniuses, there’s the idea. Let me know if you can help. If not, I’m sure I’ll still continue writing in some fashion. But really, how many times can you read a review by me saying the Saw franchise sucks?

Rating: Worth new.


Rating:

previous - next - random review