To the Point

There comes a time in every epoch when pragmatism simply evolves into extreme acquiescence and surrender to the forces of apathy and do-nothingness, a guarantor of the status quo in all of its easy, democratic criminality--its fortress of greed.--TL Simons

Friday, June 10, 2016


A year ago this month CounterPunch published the title essay from my collection, Alt-Everything, the first piece I sent off to the online magazine as "A Brief History of the Counterculture."

Today my editor, Jeffrey St. Clair, published my twelfth piece, which doesn't sound like very many over the course of a year but nonetheless surprises the hell out of me.

The savvy editor has ignored a couple of other pieces that were perhaps too personal to fit into the design and purpose of CP, which is understandable. Years ago, when I started thinking about trying to publish my work, I read Writer and Writers' Digest, and the first and best bit of advice those publications invariably offered was "know your audience."

Know your reader.

Thus I figured something out as I started contributing to CP.   Its readers aren't interested in me personally; they want a point-of-view--meat, no potatoes. They want affirmation of how fucked up and bizarre politicians can be, or conversely, how bright and merry and dedicated to the public good they claim to be but seldom are. They want to know what you think about things--and what else do you have?

They may not agree with you, but that is why they're there, to mull over things that seldom get play in the mainstream press, twists in the story you might say.  Another view.

Here's the big deal for me, then. I fit in with the crowd of writers at CP, though many of them blow me away with their writing ability, breadth of knowledge, and political experience.  Some of  them are seriously funny folks; others are just serious.

I found a place that makes sense without having to go all mainstream and shit, which I've never been able to do anyway. (Look there, just now, I used the word shit.  Why?  Because that is what I see most of the time from the corporate media.  I could have used another, better word, but I didn't feel like it. I used the best word for me. Fuck the corporate media for not letting me use the word shit.  Those bastards would make me use "excrement." "Feces," maybe.  But more likely, "waste matter!")

Let me try it out. Politicians are waste matter!  Does that sound better?  No.

I'm not lying about anything or being self-deluding when I write my pieces. Whatever else they are (my waste matter?), they're basically my own situation room, my editorial opinions about the way I see things. So much waste matter is out there that it's hard to miss.

As my good buddy CD said the other day, "Opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one."

To which I always say, "You know something, you're right, and I'm one of the biggest assholes in the world."

But enough waste matter, enough scatology, enough boasting, enough about me!

Finally, in terms of visibility for Round Bend Press Books, which draws more visitors now (if few buyers), it's been fortuitous good luck that I've become a semi-regular contributor to a forum that I found engrossing from the moment I started reading it years ago.

If I think of something else that I'm capable of shaping into a reasonable piece, I'll submit again.   Maybe my good luck will continue for a while.

Hey, it beats trafficking in narcotics and weapons systems, though it is not nearly as lucrative.


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