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- Rick Perry leads Baal worshippers in prayer meeting By Pig Bodine M.Sc., Ph.D., BM2, BEM, MAD, MDMA
- A Film Too Far: The Battle of the Strait of Hormuz By Jim Chaffee
- Maurice Stoker quasireviews The Vicious Circulation of Dr. Catastrophe: A Polemical Ensemble by Kane X. Faucher By Maurice Stoker
- Boozer Allan Hamilton Justifies the Tea Party By Boozer Allan Hamilton
- Keith Olbermann Freaks Out Pig Bodine By Pig Bodine
- Saving California: Secession and the Reagan Scheme By Pig Bodine
- Maurice Stoker on Tom Bradley's Even the Dog Won't Touch Me By Maurice Stoker
- Two Glad Tidings from The Marshall By Marshall Smith
- Sarah Palin's Party of God By Maurice Stoker
- Double-Ended Dildos Manufactured at Cosmodrome By Kane X. Faucher
- At the Airport By Tom Bradley
- Building the Perfect Weapon By Thomas Sullivan
- CNBC Wins Pequod Institute Award for Excellence in High School Journalism By Pig Bodine, M.Sc., Ph.D., BM2, BEM, MAD, MDMA
- Pig Bodine's Funky Financial Cooze Network Topological Finance for Aging Bald Dudes By Pig Bodine, M.Sc., Ph.D., BM2, BEM, MAD, MDMA
- Un Mensaje Navideño del Director General Por Sandra Ramos Rossi
- Christmas Parades are a Deadly Derangement of Culture and other Seasonal Asides by Kane X. Faucher
- Euphotan, Protoplasmic Flash, and their Properties by Nail, with commentary by Chevy the Scientist
- Suggested reading, Universitatis Merdalina Literature 734.5, Advanced Topics in Mathematical Literature: Pseudo-British/American/Pidgin English Literature, Tensor Products of Novels and Poetry for Quasi-Conformal Plagiarism in Modern Genre and its Relationship to Sexual Identity and Morphisms by Maurice Stoker
- The Unexamined Life in Hell: Peregrinations Across The Diagnosis by Alan Lightman by Maurice Stoker
- Presidential Politics in the Year of the Toad by Boozer Allan Hamilton Ph.D.
- An Eleventh Tonkin Scenario by Donald Dickerson
- The Second Annual Howard Littlefield Boosterism Award for Economic Forecasting Awarded to Boozer Allan Hamilton by Pig Bodine, M.Sc., Ph.D., BM2, BEM, MAD, MDMA
- Maurice Stoker On Writing a Prize Winning Best Seller by Maurice Stoker
- ¿Study says lack of talent? by Pig Bodine M.S., Ph.D., BM2, BEM, MAD, MDMA
- US Cracks International Terrorist Ring by Maurice Stoker
- Pig Bodine Solves the US Immigration and Education Dilemmas in One Blow by Pig Bodine M.S., Ph.D., BM2, BEM, MAD, MDMA
- Maurice Stoker Anent Two Errors in Thomas Pynchon’s Mason and Dixon by Maurice Stoker
- Full PAM Archive
Maurice Stoker quasireviews The Vicious Circulation of Dr. Catastrophe: A Polemical Ensemble by Kane X. Faucher
For Tuli Kupferberg
Once again I am torn from my fairyland of gleet to review for the loutish Drill Press. On this occassion none other than Pig Bodine himself, wearing U. S. Navy enlisted dress blues (gabardine, not the issue thick wool cracker jack outfit) with insignia of BM2 and tar flap collar adorned with the doctoral regalia colors of his economics PhD lined in the glorious hues of his third rate university (or maybe just some afterthought from hell), an SP armband affixed to his right upper arm. How this lunatic escaped his asylum is anyone's guess, but he shows up and pulls me from the gloryhole in the Yokosuka O Club after whacking with his billy club a couple ithyphallic knot-hole protrusions, lovely boles both, to which I was in alternate attendence. Unceremoniously handcuffed, no less, and instead of a brutal sexual assault locked into a hotel room with a book (The Vicious Circulation of Dr. Catastrophe: A Polemical Ensemble by one Kane X. Faucher), a pad of cheap yellow paper and a handful of ecru wooden number two pencils with blunt writing leads.
And of course the waiting game: can they hold me long enough to squeeze out a review? Bodine is, if anything, infinitely patient. So, as if a host of Sadducaical foot-long-meat-pronged succubi travesti succour me in my need, beckoning from all the glory holes in all the pissoirs in all the world, Faucher walks into mine. Sucked into a vortex of schizoid diaretics (stet) to rival the likes of L. Ron Hubbard in his reincarnation as Stan Marsh (and be aware that Bono is the cultural reincarnation of Tom Jones (the singer, not the protagonist)), and remembering how much I enjoy the feel of implanted teats and their hard nipples on my back with a giant meat prong up my poop chute thrusting vigorously, I force myself to eyeball the printed words: alas, aught but the schizoid ramblings of a terminal diareticist (stet?).
For some reason I am reminded of Rinako Hirasawa in the classic Paipan Juukan 2 in which she displayed sensual beauty to shame the likes of Angelina Jolie while bound and eating dog food from a dog dish on the floor (better than Nick Nolte, I might add, in that simply dreadful remake of Renoir's classic Boudu Saved from Drowning) and a range of emotions to shame Nicole Kidman or Anne Hathaway while learning to love two dogs. Personally I am unable to imagine what the dogs saw in that skank, but then she was slathered with a special sauce. McDonald's? Two dog weenies, special sauce, dog food, ropes, dildos, wasabi on a skinny kidnapped schoolgirl. Perhaps it is mine own sitrep: Bodine kidnapping me in shackles, laughing "If you keep that up, Maurice, you'll get a discharge..." nudging me "Get it?" Asshole; and then this schizophrenic multi-voiced show-off to read.
So let's get to it, then.
I understand that the author has some connection with universities and communications. Or writing. Well, Mr. or Dr. or whatever it is Faucher, the purpose of creative writing school is to teach formulaic techniques, the recipes to use with just a smidgen of creativity and no originality. I have attempted to illustrate the approach with a few embedded examples above. (See if you are clever enough to spot them.) The purpose of writing is to make money. If the work does not make money, it is a failure. And to be honest, only a few are qualified to write long works of fiction, since the amount of originality must be vanishingly small compared to the creative ability to reformulate and ape other works without violating copyright laws. There is NO place in fiction for innovation. All fiction must be like the neighborhoods of tract homes; the art of ficiton lies in applying the cookie cutter with just enough seasoning of creativity to avoid plagiarism (and copyright infringement, as noted above). But note that most fiction that sells these days is a product of software programs; we can cut out the unreliable physical author who is always slower than a computer and spells worse to boot.
Faucher does not follow the rules. The cardinal rule is that a work is not fiction if it does not adhere to the format of The Hero's Journey. ALL fiction must ascribe assidiously to The Hero's Journey. In fact, that is why John Barth's Gile's Goat Boy is NOT a novel: he intentionally trangresses the steps and formulae of The Hero's Journey. Bad move. That is why no one reads this professor nowadays and why such masterpieces as The Da Vinci Code will live forever, even beyond the end of the human race.
As an exercise I suggest using the model of Chris Offutt's short story Out of the Woods. Offutt stamps his story directly out of The Hero's Journey, localizing it just enough to make it his own. And to insure it is a short story, he follows the cardinal rule of hero's change of character; moreover, to be certain the reader gets the epiphany, he spells it out explicitly. This is a perfect work of fiction in that it does not show any sort of innovation, slavishly follows the cookie cutter rules and makes no demands on the reader. (I suggest that real talent in writing is found in advertising, particularly the nine-year-old mentality of television ads. One can, moreover, find marvelous science fiction in corporate proposals to DOD.)
For the ten or so readers who wish and are able to read this short book (which is not a product of any software programs of which I am aware: there are too many words used here that are not common; writers need to pare down the length of the words and sentences they use to the level of a US high school graduate, which is akin to a third grader from 1970, or they won't compete with automated authorship), I can only say that Faucher is adept at voices. He lets go with at least five of them, and so convincing is he that either he be multiple authors or truly schizophrenic. (There is also the possibility that he be channelling dead writers: see if you can spot other than Celine in this melange). Consider this bit of dialogue:
"No," I dismissed, "being patriotic is shopping... Your president said as much. He is an idiot, but he is right about that!"
This president was, I suspect, the second Bush, but could have been Obama. And of course, this is true. The US democracy does not function at the ballot box, where there is no choice, but at the shopping mall where one is confronted with the true freedom of the US: stuff. Hordes of stuff to choose. By voting with a buy, one supports the corporation of one's choice. Politicians are largely irrelevant except for implementing the spending and war schemes of the DOD-Defense Contractor overlords. And trying to make certain that debt is serviced by a massive make-work program which at the moment languishes.
This sort of bizarre fetish for truth-telling persists in this work. To be clear, it is occasionally acceptable to tell the truth in fiction, though not too much truth. Human readers do not appreciate truth, if truth be told. They love the embellished lie of glory, especially their own. For example, the glory of inane middle-class family life so that those who failed in the only acceptable goal of accumulation of lucre can be made to feel their lives were not wasted. Hence schlock like A Thousand Acres, romance dressed up to look like literature for functional illiterates. But remember, it is the functional illiterates who make up the nation. Indeed, who RULE the nation.
And though there be an eensy place for the odd modicums of truth in miniscule doses in real fiction (remember to choose the cookie cutter carefully), there is no place for any truth in US nonfiction. Consider, for example, Tom Brokaw's bit of hubris based on the Hollywood mythical retelling of Hitler's defeat, The Greatest Generation. It is not clear whether Brokaw is educated enough to know the factual history of WWII in Europe, but if he did he clearly was aware enough of his audience to avoid it. No one in that generation wants to hear that the US and British armies faced four German divisions while the Soviet Red Army was overrunning and mangling the bulk of 140 or so divisions. Nor do they want to learn that their vaunted heroic ventures such as the Battle of the Bulge were the likes of mopping up against an ill-equipped, demoralized, undermanned and nearly defeated army only too glad to avoid the desperate fighting on the Eastern Front. To learn the lesson, I suggest reading Paul Fussell's Doing Battle: The Making of a Skeptic as an example of a book that didn't sell. Fussell tells his own experience in The Big War and it ain't pretty, as they say of Sarah Palin. But no one wants the illation of reality smacking them down. Lies are the ticket. And then to be told that their returning to a white racist nation with jobs for those of correct color in the beginnings of the credit-fueled Ponzi scheme that is the US economy was as well an act of heroism, well that is how one sells books. Or sold books. It won't work now, given the grand-progeny of those dying codgers are no longer able to read such with comprehension.
At any rate, Faucher's poor old Doctor Catastrophe gets tied up with that oxymoron the American criminal-justice system and is, of course, followed by a displaced Frenchman, a malcontent living in New Orleans where he unkembs a mangy lawn and disheveled self to the chagrin (or maybe not) of neighbors. And to play to the irony of Brokaw's book which found a large audience among those whose egos he stroked but has been lost to the totally illiterate motley now inhabiting the nation of free and brave, a motley our Frenchman describes as people who "shit in their brains and speak as if it is all coming from their assholes," we have, also from our Frenchman, the sign on his door:
"GO AWAY! IF YOU DO NOT GO AWAY, I WILL STAB YOU! MY DOGS WILL EAT YOUR FACE!" To which he adds as an afterthought, "But I knew that this country could not read, even their own language, especially their own langauge." And of course, this latter is also too much truth to put into a work even of fiction, and certainly never in a work of nonfiction (note how well unpublicized has been the testing that shows the US population of recent college graduates cannot read with comprehension at any but the most basic of levels, that is, on the level of the old Dick and Jane books which could now serve as college text for bonehead English. Perhaps too challenging, but...).
I am not interested in Faucher for a gloryhole tour; it is doubtful it would help his sales and with his potential schizophrenia he might go from the mania of his former crooner to the aggressive paranoia of the Frenchman and pull a Helen Garp, removing a third leg as on Michael Milton. Brokaw would be more appealing for such a tour (I send many of my fledging fellators to study with Bobbi Bliss as "heterosexual" males seem better able to swallow this from a woman tutor with hanging, flattened dugs; I admire Bliss for her excellent (for a female, no matter how ugly) schlong-engorging abilities. Perhaps the greatest grace God shed on the US is its female felatiatrices, the best in the world and one of the few places where the nation excels though so far as I know Monica Matos of Brazil remains the only mainstream video felliatrice with equestrian interest; besides which and after all, chopping wood is really a man's sport, now isn't it?). Brokaw has perhaps seen the catch-22 of his place in history, given he has moved to his next project, the Baby Boomers, with a visual/oral presentation, television specials instead of books, all based on interviews with people who like him have confounded their history with Hollywood history of the period. Hollywood history is US official history. Nor did anyone interview Eddie Sanders or Tuli Kuperferberg or any of the Fugs. Selling Hollywood history, a legacy of officially cleansed and mythologized history, presented in Hollywood format as if documentary. Perhaps Brokaw might be interested in televising himself in a tour of the gloryholes along Route 66?
Faucher presents more narrators with more hyperbolical ellipses, but the author(s?) explains it all away in the end as a sort of lark in what is clearly an attempt at a postmodern trick to hide his schizophrenia (or as a joke on the reader or even a postmodern anti-postmodern satire of postmodernity). Whatever. Don't let it fool you. Besides which, all my pencil leads are now dulled to inutility. And did not anyone notice that Kane Faucher is Dirk Cheneys spelled backwards (when the appropriate decryption key is applied)?
The book is The Vicious Circulation of Dr. Catastrophe: A Polemical Ensemble, Enigmatic Ink, London, Ontario, Canada, 2010. Chances are you will be unable to read it, so don't bother; but if you must, look here first:
Kane X. Faucher
August 3, 2010