Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Editor's Note: 1/3

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Editor's Note: 1/3

Article excerpt

If 80 percent of life is showing up, as Woody Allen said (probably a low estimate), then probably 90 percent of this job is waking up; waking up the brain to what's around, to new things and connections, then making them go splat on the page.

A friend recently stopped me, shook my hand and said, "Keep on writing things that make us think."

Huh. No pressure or anything.

Because I honestly don't think, much, at least not in the sense of slouching into a cracked-leather armchair, puffing an aged greyhound as my faithful meerschaum snores by the fire at my feet -- somewhat alarmingly, in that I don't have a fireplace -- and nodding gently while formulae and parabolas and, oh, coconuts, I guess, bounce through the noggin.

No, as described by the much-derided -- because he's had success and occasionally made sense -- Malcolm Gladwell, I generally just blink and get on with it. A lot of stuff rumbles on at the surface, or near it, if you'll just let it be. Most of life survives on the earth's crust, not deep beneath or far above, what with all the fire and freezing and probably mutant lobsters with pointy, pointy teeth. I'm not a scientist.

The arts enclose the world. There's nothing that can't be dreamed or laughed or cried about -- war, love, sex, love and sex, coconuts - - that won't be found somewhere in literature or paint or music or television or ... so on. So my beat leaves me pretty wide open to the world, and by that I mean inner and outer and imagined and left behind and possibly parallel, only with sinister goatees.

So if I want to write about a crush on Scarlett Johanson -- or on Jessica Chastain ... or Halle Berry ... or Rachel McAdams or -- what was I saying? I can work that into a rant about how we stole from Saturnalia because Loki and mistletoe, and Scarlett played Black Widow in the "Avengers" movie, so.... Yeah. Ninety percent of this column is making up. Stuff.

Once in awhile, I take from life, 'cause it's not dull. This year's been busy in the extracurricular way, from a handful of one- night-only bands cobbled together (including the 10-piece Infinite Monkey Typing Pool for a benefit garden concert, a Tuscaloosa- originated music trio for Heather Roberts' Dinner With Strangers culminating party, another edition of the Resident Evils for Monster Makeover . …

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