Tag Archives: Stephen King

Review of “Gerald’s Game” by Stephen King

At first, it might seem odd why a young man, with a critical penchant, would decide to subject himself to a story in which, no doubt, the subject matter would be ripe for critique. Why does a man subject himself to something he hates, only to complain about it? It must be that he actually enjoys the complaints. But that’s not the full story here.

No, this story has some personal history with me. I first started to read “Gerald’s Game” as a kid. I forget the specific age, but it was somewhere between the ages of 10 and 14. My father was a frequent reader on the pot (the shitty kind), and, one day, while on the pot myself, I discovered this book. I don’t even think I realized that there were handcuffs on the cover. In fact, I don’t even think I realized what they were until I had already started reading the book for the second time, this year. I’m an odd combination of attention to detail, yet a lack of contextual awareness.

At any rate, I first began to read this book at a young age. I think that was a very significant act which has, believe it or not, gone a long way to shape my philosophy today. That might seem like an exaggeration, but I do not believe it is. For I believe, if my memory serves me correctly, that it was this book, that I first began to read as a child, which made me realize that one can make a conscious decision to put “controversial” things into writing. This was the first “adulterated” book that I had ever attempted to read. I do not recall how far into the book I got back then, but I know I didn’t finish it. But I remembered reading about a woman handcuffed to a bed, and a man, with an erection, getting kicked by said woman, and dying. And I recall reading about a dog eating said dead man. From when I was a child. And I was hooked. It was so graphic that I was hooked. I wasn’t scared of it, but I had this weird fondness for it. There was a bravery to writing something like that. I greatly admired it, even back then. I wasn’t disgusted, but impressed.

Fast-forward several years later, when my desire to write for myself grows, and so does my desire to read more often. My history with reading is a pretty complicated mess, but suffice it to say that I have recently desired to go back and reread some stuff that I had either completely read or partially read from my youth. And this was one of the books. Here is the official “review”.

I was hooked by the concept. As I reread, I recalled what I had read before. Was it more captivating back then than it was now? That’s hard to say. My youthful inexperience may have made it more captivating back then, but I still enjoyed the concept this time around. I really loved the concept. As I was reading, I was fascinated by thinking of how he could keep this storyline going for so many pages. I don’t like the way Stephen King writes. I don’t like how he writes. I don’t like his “voice”, I guess you could say. His “ebb and flow” is very clunky. But I liked the overall message. I liked the “impression”. A woman is handcuffed to a bed. How does she get out? I like that idea. I like the fact that it goes on and on and on and on. What in the Hell is going to happen to her? I was hooked, despite the writing that made me want to grit my teeth from time to time. I enjoy what happened in the book, just not how they were told. Her struggle to get a glass of water. Her flashbacks to her childhood. There was a theme to the book that I found quite humorous.

To the dedication of the book: “This book is dedicated, with love and admiration, to six good women: Margaret Spruce Morehouse, Catherine Spruce Graves, Stephanie Spruce Leonard, Anne Spruce Labree, Tabitha Spruce King, Marcella Spruce”. The following page provides a quote, as King is one to do in the few books of his that I’ve read: “[Sadie] gathered herself together. No one could describe the scorn of her expression or the contemptuous hatred she put into her answer. ‘You men! You filthy dirty pigs! You’re all the same, all of you. Pigs! Pigs!’ – W. Somerset Maugham, ‘Rain'”. I suppose this is “sexist” of me, but my first instinct to realizing that this was going to be a major theme in the book was laughter. I couldn’t help but think of modern feminism. The book credits King’s copyright to 1992. Being born in that year, and being raised in the 90s (but mainly in the early 2000s), I believe that I can say that the current feministic trend is stronger than ever, but was growing even during my childhood. Words are annoying, and tricky. They can mean different things, and unraveling them is annoying. Truthful words are only valuable to those who value truth. But modern-day feminism is a disaster. And I couldn’t help but think of this as I started to realize what a major theme of this book was going to be.

However, I also understand that a man can dedicate something to influential women in his life without being a “cuck”. I’m cynical, but not that cynical. King wanted to dedicate something to the women in his life. Ok, I’m fine with that. Let’s continue with the story.

There’s an interesting reference which runs through the book of a certain “smell”. The main character of the book, Gerald Burlingame’s wife, Jessie (before any feminists get their cum-stained panties in a bunch, “Gerald’s” name came first because his name is actually in the title of the book), gets emotionally uncomfortable around a certain smell. Gerald and Jessie are in a lakehouse, spending time alone together. Jessie associates lakehouses with this certain “smell”. The damp smell of the lake. But it also brings to her mind the smell of semen.

For, you see, when Jessie was a little girl, her family spent the summer at a lakehouse as well. The family (Jessie, her brother, and mom and dad) were going to meet up with some other people to witness the eclipse that was going to happen, but her father wanted alone time with Jessie. The mother was reluctant, but, ultimately, it happened.

The father tells Jessie to put on this tight dress because it makes her look pretty. Jessie, being young, feels good that her father compliments her because she loves her father like children do. He tells her to sit on his lap, he gets an erection, and ends up cumming on her butt. He then tells her to go clean up.

She, obviously, is confused. She goes to remove her clothes and take a shower, and her distress grows as she realizes something smelly on her underwear. As she’s changing clothes, her father comes into the room. Jessie doesn’t want to tell her mother about what happened, and her father manipulates her by making sure that Jessie doesn’t want to tell her mother.

Jessie has these flashbacks as she remains handcuffed to the bed. The majority of the book is her talking to herself. A great concept. She goes through ebbs and flows. A dog comes in and starts eating Gerald. She starts battling thirst, and tries to get a glass of water that is left on the bed to drink. And that’s about it. She’s handcuffed, the door to the house is banging open and shut by the wind, she’s thirsty, and there’s a dog. And flashbacks, and her own thoughts. I liked the concept. She keeps talking to herself and talking to herself. But she talks to herself as other people that have existed in her life. There’s a feminist that she went to college with who was her “strong” side, who motivated her to try to figure out ways to get unhandcuffed. Her mother. That was the main point of the book: just her voices in her head, and what was going to happen to her. It was “ok”. I cared more about her situation than the voices in her head. I like the idea of one talking to oneself the whole time while in a situation like this, but it just felt forced to me. It felt like forced, annoying feministic crap. Perhaps I’m too cynical, partly because of the time in which I live. But it felt forced. “I love you, women in my life! You’re powerful!” Eh. I might be able to tolerate that a little more if King was a better writer. But my thoughts on King’s writing style is “Eh. Clunky.” Felt that way about “It” as well. But, as I said, as I was reading this, I realized that I’m a little jaded. It’s fine for King to dedicate something to the women in his life. And, I’m sure, he was influenced by stories they have told him throughout the years. They probably had strong feminist friends in college, and that influenced him. But it was just annoying to me, especially considering today’s climate. And the way King Tweets.

Just as an aside, at one point, more than halfway through the book, the passage of fictional time is about 21 hours. And the book is 445 pages. Yeah. I won’t say “typical King”, however. After reading the 1,000+ pages of “It”, this was a relief.

There’s this strange thing that comes into the room at night and Jessie isn’t sure if it’s her imagination or if there is something there. It’s got unnaturally long arms and big hands, and it opens up this bag to her and has golden rings and fingers in it and probably some other stuff I’m forgetting, like nipples. She isn’t sure if it’s real or her imagination but she decides, after a few nights, that she isn’t going to wait around anymore to find out. She breaks the glass after she’s drank all of the water, and uses a giant shard of it to cut her hand so that her blood can provide lubrication so she can slip out of her cuff. Nice. I liked that. I like fictional gore. There’s some drama, and eventually, she gets out of the house. The long-armed thing is chasing her and she’s still not sure if it’s completely real or not but she assumes it’s real, gets into the car and has trouble starting it (of course). But it finally starts, and she’s driving away. Slowly. Something whispers in her ear and she looks in the rearview and sees the creature in the backseat (I might have that order swapped) and she ends up crashing into a tree.

Turns out the “creature” was real, and it was this guy who dug up corpses and fucked them and took rings off of their fingers and kept body parts as well. Anyway, he gets caught, and she goes to his trial in secret, as people in town know about her story. Can’t remember if it was from the cops talking to the paper or if she wrote about it herself. Maybe both. I don’t really care. She sits right behind him, gets his attention, and spits in his goofy, aloof face. Then, she documents what happened to her. And that’s it.

This story really strikes me as “difference between the sexes”. I could see women liking this book more than men. But it’s written by a man (King, no less), so how much women are actually going to be able to relate to it is uncertain, to say the least. Once again, I can appreciate that King loves the women in his life, and wanted to really write something for them to show them he cares about them and appreciates them. But, it’s King. The writing style leaves a lot to be desired, and it came across to me with a significant amount of feminist crap. I suppose I’m contributing to rape culture, as I’m not emotionally invested and siding with a woman who gave in to her husband’s fetish against her better judgment, but this story isn’t very good. King’s writing still annoys me, the “feminist” twinge, for lack of a better term, annoyed me, even though I could also simultaneously appreciate it, but I liked the idea. I like the idea of someone being trapped in a helpless situation for a long time. That’s a good idea for fiction, and I can definitely see myself being inspired by this in something I may write down the road.

Basically, I guess what I’m saying is that this is very obviously a book about women written by a nerd. And that, like many things in life, makes me laugh.

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Review of Stephen King’s “It”

It’s too damn long. Part of the problem is seeing the movie before reading the book. I knew there was going to be a spider, so I wanted to get to that part. That probably diminished some of my enjoyment of the story. Not entirely, however. I like King’s horror and gruesomeness, but I didn’t like many of his similes and metaphors in this book. They made me cringe throughout.

You can tell Stephen King grew up in the ’60s. “Far out, man”, and whatnot. Didn’t really have a problem with it, per se. Just chuckled. It was fine. It always stood out to me like when I witnessed it.

There’s a lot of themes in the book. Friendship. The romantic situation was very interesting. Not clear-cut at all. Everyone thinks Bev is pretty but Ritchie never really makes any moves on her and Ben loves her but she’s more into Bill but Bill is more consumed by getting revenge for Georgie even though he likes Bev as well. At first, I didn’t like it. But, thinking it over, childhood (hell, even adulthood) is confusing like that, isn’t it? The complicated love triangle was a nice touch. Very funny to contrast that with all of the gruesomeness throughout.

Interesting how they all leave each other after the horror of their childhood and Bill ends up with a woman that looks like Bev. Then he cheats on her with Bev? Ok. Then, at the end, he ends back up with her, and they live happily ever after? Is he ever gonna tell Audra or not? Ok.

Why is Mike the one that stayed in Derry? Why didn’t “It” ever get him? What’s the significance of the fact that Mike stayed in Derry? Does it have to do with the fact that he’s black? Serious question. He’s used to seeing horror so he can stay? It bothered me that I couldn’t figure that out.

The tragedy in the book is terrific. I’m thinking of Bev’s father and Henry’s father in particular. So tragic. Children being raised horribly. I really enjoyed those parts of the book. Particularly Bev’s. Incredibly powerful.

I had a problem with the way King talked about their friendship, to paraphrase, “coming together”, “they felt the final cog click into place”. Please. You’re being way too obvious. Stop beating me over the head with it. Why did they need those “cogs” if one of them killed himself before the final confrontation? Was Stan really necessary? And what did I miss about the birds? What relevance did the birds have besides making an appearance? Stan’s character existed simply for one of them to commit suicide. I guess that’s fine. But that has to be the stated reason for his existence. Stop telling me that all seven of them are needed when they clearly aren’t. I did not feel as if he existed for any other reason than to create drama about their “unit” being weakened, and to really drive home the point that what they witnessed as children was so horrible that one of them killed himself because of it. I think I enjoyed the way I just explained it more than the way King explained it in the book. It was just annoying, because Stan just tagged along (he’s an introvert, I get it). But Stan really annoyed me. I guess his suicide was the best part.

I liked Ritchie as a character. Mike as a character. Ben, and Bev. Eddie was annoying. “He sucks on his inhaler. He sucks on his inhaler. He sucks on his inhaler.” I FUCKING GET IT. GIVE SOMEONE ELSE MORE PAGE TIME. Swap Stan and Eddie, or something. Sure, it’s great when you learn the inhaler was a placebo. But for fuck’s sake, I got tired of reading about Eddie’s goddamned asthma. Bill’s character was interesting. He grew on me. At first, I thought he was stale. But he grew on me. He kind of made me wonder why some of the other kids were really necessary. I know groups have “leaders”, but a lot of time was given to Bill. And I couldn’t figure him out as a character. Obviously, he was motivated by justice. But how much of his character would’ve been “serious” if Georgie hadn’t died? How much of it was his natural personality and how much of it was revenge for Georgie? It bothered me that I couldn’t figure that out. Not really a problem with King, I guess. Just something personal.

I get that Henry was the antagonist that needed the most page time. It makes sense. He’s a loudmouth. I didn’t have any problem with Henry Bowers. I liked his storylines. But man, was I disappointed when Patrick Hottstetter’s story was over as quickly as it was. That was one of my favorite parts of the whole book. Patrick’s killing animals and has them in a refrigerator? Holy fuck! That’s great! Slugs that jab into your eyes? Awesome! I’m not saying that Patrick should’ve been the main villain over “It”, nor did I have a problem with how much time Henry was given. But I was disappointed that his beautiful depravity was over with so soon. Henry being the leader of this fucked up kid, who was probably entirely capable of killing Henry. What an interesting character, Patrick Hottstetter was. Shame I didn’t get to see more of him. I’m glad he died, though. In the sewers. Apropos.

And everyone ends up fucking Bev in the sewer? Really? I mean, ALL of them? Stan, Mike, Ritchie, everyone? That part was hilarious. I loved it. I guess, looking back, it’s really tragic. What was Bev thinking? Did she become a whore because of an abusive father? Or was there truly something deeper that she did, in fact, share with all of them? I’m leaning more towards whore because of her father, personally. Women don’t just go around fucking all of their friends. That’s the only way she really knew how to show her love, because that’s how her father showed her love. Sweet, because she loves them. Heartbreaking, because she’s fucking them because of her own sexual abuse (I’m sure), and hilarious and disgusting because they are all down in a sewer when they fuck. King can’t be preaching about ANYTHING “in real life”, political, because of that. Well, it depends. King virtue-signalling about Trump is pathetic. But I’m not going to get into that here.

But the main themes of the book, about childhood and growing up, were terrific. The final couple of pages made me tear up. I loved it. Fascinating how the kids fought “It” by accepting that “It” was an illusion. Kids conquering their fear of the dark. That was very nice. But why did any kid ever die then? How can kids die from giving in to an “illusion”? At what point does the illusion become real? I really like all of the parts were King drives home that horrible things in one’s childhood fucks one up for life. All of them repressing what happened to them in the sewer as kids. Stan killing himself, Henry and Bev that I already mentioned, etc. What happened with the Hottstetter kid that made him how he was? Who knows. Enjoyable. The town ignoring the problems of the kids? Also nice. But I’m confused: why did only some kids die, and not all of the kids? Why was anyone allowed to grow up to become an adult? Why did “It” choose who it chose? That also bothered me. Maybe I’m a bad reader and all of this just flew over my head.

And what’s the deal with Pennywise? There’s something old. It manifests itself to what children fear. It’s an illusion. What is its “final” form? I guess I missed that, too. I wish that Pennywise wasn’t just some prop or tool, the “bait” form of It, I guess. I’m fine with a clown turning into a spider. But I was disappointed that the clown just goes around talking in people’s heads. I guess he doesn’t have to kill anyone. But it’s kind of a let down to me when Pennywise is around for the whole story but he’s (or that form of “It” is) kind of meaningless in the end.

And why Derry? Why nowhere else? What was it about Derry which made “It” reside in the sewers for so long? No big city at all? I thought “It” was going to be a metaphor for evil as a whole. But it only resides in Derry? News crews from major cities come to Derry afterwards? Why did “It” choose Derry? I get it. That’s the “mystery”, I guess. But it annoys me. I liked the parts that talked about Derry. The small town life, the people around. It was funny to read about people going down to fix the sewers when they overflowed. Interesting. But why does “It” live in a sewer in a small town? Sewer, fine. But why Derry? “That’s the whole point, that’s the mystery”, blah blah blah. It annoys me, personally. I like shit to make sense. I get that entertainment doesn’t have to make sense, but in times like these, it is going to bother me, and I am going to say so, because that is how I am. Lol (And I’m not just saying that it has to be in “bigger” towns and not “smaller” towns, but why only one small town? Why no other “small town” but Derry, Maine?)

And I’m fucking glad I’m probably never going to see the word “Kenduskeag” ever-a-fucking-gain.

I’d definitely recommend “It”. But, in my opinion, it is overrated. People love it for the gruesomeness. Which I agree with. But I have a lot of problems with this story. There’s way too many problems and not enough good gruesomeness in this one for my taste.

And I think I would enjoy it more if it was cut in about half.

Review of 2017’s “It”.

Review of 2017’s “It”

Saw the movie “It” yesterday. I knew it wasn’t going to be as good as the first miniseries, so I wouldn’t say that I was disappointed. It was a CGI shitfest. Hollywood keeps churning them out because people keep buying the tickets. I guess most people enjoy the ugly patchwork of CGI “action” (or, at the very least, are willing enough to put up with it to buy a ticket for a story that they want to see). But the way CGI is used today produces within me a mental fatigue.

CGI can be a good compliment, but it was heavily overdone. I’ve heard this a lot from people who are more avid movie watchers than I. I’ve heard, for several years, the complaint that “There’s too much CGI in movies nowadays.” I understand their complaints. If you can’t make it look right practically, then use CGI. But at least make an effort. Yeah, I know it’s cheaper to use CGI. And that’s the problem. It’s cheaper and easier, so we get shittier products (as far as I’m concerned). Once again, I don’t watch a lot of movies. But I’m disappointed that CGI has become a crutch that is broken itself. One reason that I don’t watch a lot of movies is I find the CGI in the movies that I do watch too mentally fatiguing. My suspension of disbelief disappears so often when I see obvious CGI mixed in with “real life”. It can be done right, such as with creating aliens. (Whatever CGI in “The Dark Knight” is perfect). But so much CGI in movies that I’ve seen is just ugly. I’d have to give some examples of what I’m talking about at another time.

The “action” sequences in “It” involving CGI were very bad. Maybe it was just bad CGI. Maybe it could’ve been replaced with CGI that was actually GOOD. But I hated it. I’ve become numb to CGI, and I don’t enjoy movies that heavily rely on it. For the most part.

I was also disappointed with Pennywise. His look was fine. It’s hard not to compare him to Tim Curry’s Pennywise. Nothing can top that masterful performance. But my main problem with the clown was how he was used. There were way too many shitty jumpscares, in my opinion. He just rushes at the camera, from side-to-side. Such shit. Jumpscares are like CGI: I’m not completely against them, but don’t make the whole movie jumpscares. The original “It” was so creepy. It was very slow. There was a fantastic build-up. And Tim Curry could scare the shit out of you when he snapped: talking normally, and then the last word of a sentence, he sharply YELLS. Amazing. This movie did not have that creepy mood to it to me. It was a little too over-the-top. Too obvious. Georgie’s “You’ll float too, you’ll float too, YOU’LL FLOAT TOO!” pained me to watch. Some people in the audience seemed to enjoy it, but I hated it. It wasn’t creepy. It was just annoying. Like a shitty horror video game. That’s what it felt like: that they tried too hard, and made it too obvious. Not enough suspense to warrant the excessive loud noises and jumps at the camera. They basically substituted Pennywise’s personality for jumpscares. That really hurts. The personality Pennywise did have wasn’t strong enough. I didn’t feel enough of why we should be scared of him. Obvious CGI isn’t a reason.

I did enjoy some of the non-Pennywise CGI, however. The zombie or mummy, whatever it was, without a nose was nice and creepy. The painting that came to life was very creepy (it should’ve had more screen time somehow).

I didn’t like the teeth of Pennywise, for some reason. Yeah, there were rows and rows of sharp teeth, like there should’ve been. But I didn’t like the look of it. That’s the time you should use a jumpscare: when he BITES. But they instead decided to keep everything well-lit, and then, his mouthful of teeth come out so you can see them all. It wasn’t scary enough. It was more like “Oh, look at those teeth.”

One of the very first scenes, Georgie running into that caution barricade, completely took me out of the mood (when I saw that in the trailer, I was hoping to God that it was only in the trailer). It was nice and eerie up to that point. And that one moment of slapstick took me out of the mood. “Is it going to be a slapstick comedy? Or creepy?” I was very disappointed with that decision. It occurred too early in the movie. They didn’t take enough time to develop the mood (the audience’s expectation, considering how popular the story is, isn’t enough of a “mood” setter). The mood of “It” shouldn’t be slapstick. It should be fucking CREEPY.

I thought most of the characters were well done. Bill as a kid is always a hard character to do. It’s hard for a kid to stutter right. I wasn’t a fan of Bill in the original, and I wasn’t a fan of him, here. Mike’s character was great. Bev’s was fantastic. Ben’s was very good. Stan was forgettable. And Eddie and Richie were both very good. Aside from that initial stupid barricade moment, Richie and Eddie were the “funny”. Richie, as a character, is supposed to be “comic relief”. And he was good at it. The other characters had a seriousness to them that didn’t try to overpower Richie’s humor with humor of their own, so his one-liners actually worked very well: especially for a kid his age. Eddie’s “unintentional” humor was also very good. The parents of the children were fantastic. You could really see why Eddie was as nervous as he was. Bev’s dad was very creepy, and the moment she cut off her hair after her father touched it was very powerful. I found Bill’s father to be forgettable. I didn’t really like his character. Mike’s grandfather was a good character: very no-nonsense, straightforward. Actually giving wisdom, and killing the animal in front of Mike because they needed to sell the meat. The bullies were great. Especially Henry Bowers. His performance was very good. Very believable. Much like with Bev and Eddie, you could really feel how Henry was raised. Not much time needed to be spent with Henry’s backstory at all, but you just knew how his home life was (I think that’s mainly due to King’s storytelling ability, but the movie portrayed that well). That one moment where Henry’s father, a cop, shoots three shots from his pistol into the ground right in front of his son to scare him told you all that you needed to know. Fantastic scene.

The scenes where the kids are around the clown are weird. I realize the actors are children, but they weren’t scared enough of the clown for my taste. Even when you’re fighting the clown, you need to be able to show some fear. How could you not? Fighting a clown in a sewer? Felt like just basic fight choreography.

The blood looked fake as hell when they were cleaning it from Bev’s bathroom.

The decision for them to be kids in the 80s was a good one. Keep it more relevant for the audience. A nice update. I personally wish they would’ve been a little more obvious with it. You could tell when the music played that it was supposed to take place in the 80s, but there wasn’t much else that I noticed that made it feel like the 80s. Granted, the mood shouldn’t be something like “Saved By the Bell” (it’s “It”, afterall), but just a little more would have satisfied me. Maybe one perm, or something. There was an ’80s car, and Henry had a mullet. But I wanted just a little more. Maybe some pink and teal somewhere.

The nicer horror scenes (the ones that weren’t shitty CGI) were funny, as good horror scenes should be.

The movie definitely felt like they were just trying to hurry up and release it “27 years” after the original. Like they didn’t even start planning the damn thing until 2 years ago: “Holy shit. We have to make a new ‘It’ movie for 2017! Fuck! What do we do?!” I found it very bland. Not the way a movie like “It” should be. A below-average-to-average horror film. Not worthy of being associated with Stephen King.

The most entertaining thing about the whole experience was my best friend’s navigational skills on the way to the movie theatre. His sense of direction doesn’t involve looking at road signs. VERY funny.

(Disclaimer: currently a little over halfway through with the book. Slow reader, so I can’t compare the movies to the book. I was heartbroken when I saw the tower of kids in the sewer, as I haven’t reached that part in the book yet.

Also, every time I start watching the original “It”, I get tired of it because the thing is so damned long. Pennywise is entertaining, and I remember seeing the spider CGI when I was a kid (because my dad called me in cause he knows I’m afraid of spiders. Honestly, I think I’d prefer that shit CGI over what was done here). But I’ll try to remember to review the book when I’m done with it in a few years, and I’ll eventually go back and try to watch the original “It” miniseries and write a review of it (haha) as well).

Review of the book.

Some Personal Philosophies, 2/15/17, 4:33 AM

There has never been a better time in my life for me to write than right now. Everything is falling into place perfectly. I’m more mentally developed than I have ever been since I wanted to write (I know that may come as a surprise to many of you. I must’ve set the bar pretty low). I’ve wanted to write ever since I was a child. I had visions of aliens in my head. The physical act of typing itself makes me happy.

I’ve had my personal demons to fight. Many of them have retarded my writing throughout my teenage years. I’ve lacked confidence for a long time. I’ve always been afraid of appearing like a “smartass”. I’ve never had a good “support structure” to be a writer. In fact, I feel like many things have been stacked against me as a writer. A naturally anxious disposition. Religious upbringing. Living in a constant state of guilt for any self-perceived advantage I had over any other human being, including being able to calculate math, or write decently (sorry, King. I like my adverbs greatly).

But I have realized that the biggest hurdle I have had to overcome over the past several years was my education. After reading and listening to many very intelligent people for the past, at least five years now, (mainly political and economic thinkers), as well as developing my own personal philosophies, I finally feel like I have “some grasp”. Sometimes, it feels as if the majority of my youth was spent in boredom. I enjoyed play, but boredom bothered me more than anything else. There was seemingly never enough stimulation. At least, stimulation I was into. I’ve always been interested in philosophy. And no one is interested in philosophy.

My anger and resentment at my lack of mental stimulation bothered me all through my teenage years. I had thoughts, and things I wanted to say, but no real way to say them. I mean, who was to say that I wasn’t crazy? That I wasn’t wrong? I couldn’t bounce any ideas off of someone without them dismissing my ideas as “a waste of time for someone my age”, or any other dumb thing you could think of. So, I continued to wait, waiting for that appropriate mental stimulation that struck my fancy. Here’s some things I’ve written about reading.

Clearly, we all have personality traits that just seem to stick with us all of our lives. Yes, we all change drastically, from youth to geriatricy. But I think it’s safe to say that we are born with personalities beyond our controls. That we just have certain natural traits that we’re born with, and these stick with us forever.

Some traits that I have seemingly always had is the desire to think philosophically; the desire to write; and the desire to make others laugh (I’m not going to go into the negative ones in much detail in this piece, but second-guessing is also a pretty strong one, as I reread this entire piece over for a second time). Maybe not every child is born a philosopher (although I’m not sure about that), but almost every child is born a scientist. Luckily, I grasped language pretty easily early on in life (thanks, no doubt, to my parents’ genes and patient laboriousness) and reading was fun for me early on. At least I’m not illiterate. I have wanted to be a writer ever since I was a child. But only when I was twenty did I ever really start. And that was five years ago. Yes, if you feel you must stop reading due to “how young I am”, “how pretentious I’m coming across”, or anything else stupid you feel you must say, then do us both a favor and stop reading right now. Why should you care what I have to say? You tell me. And if you can’t, then don’t bother reading this. It’s not my job to tell you the value you should find in my words. That’s for you to decide for yourself.

Language is a struggle for me. I often find myself not wanting to sound smart for fear of isolating people who will think I’m a “smartass”. But then, when I do want to write, it’s dumb and repetitive. But I don’t even really like communicating. I mean, I like this. But why? I don’t like you. I don’t even know you. I have no idea who is going to be reading this. So, in a sense, why should I care what you, the reader, think? And, therefore, why should you, the reader, care what I think? And thus, my philosophical nature I previously discussed becomes evident.

I sit and think about these things until my head starts to hurt, and then I pretend to be an idiot for my own amusement and bewilderment of others. Until that becomes too stale, and then I come back to this dreg. Once again, I am thankful that I’m finally old enough, and at enough of a mental development to at least organize these thoughts into words better than I have been able to do in the past. I’m pretty happy, things are good in my life for the time being, so I’m in a good frame of mind to write. And because I know this window isn’t going to last forever, I know I need to write now, right now, because I will never have an opportunity like this again. This may be the first time I’ve ever really realized this fact. But I’m not going to take any chances on the possibility that I’ve always had this time, but never acted upon it, and am instead going to assume that the only time I will ever have to do this is right now simply to make sure I get it all done.

I’ve been seriously writing for five years now. I wrote some really bad fiction that I need to edit, I’ve written some articles that I’m proud of, and I’ve written countless jokes that I love. And nobody gives a damn about any of that. And I’m finally able to accept that. I have wanted to “prove to the world” what I could do for so long that I’ve been stuck in a “me against the world” mentality that’s only left me angry and frustrated. Entitlement? Sure. Honestly, I think it was lack of organizational skills. I know I can write. It doesn’t matter if I’m not King or Rowling; I can write, goddammit, and it doesn’t matter what you, or anyone else says, I can fucking write. I’ve always believed this (although, as I have gone about writing, I have noticed glaring shortcomings), but I’ve spent a lot of time trying to prove to others that I could actually do it. Stupidly enough, this mainly involved not actually doing the fucking writing. Why would I spend so much time proving to people that I could write instead of actually fucking writing? Well, because the writing at the time was bad. Is bad. I know it’s bad. But the problem is that deep down inside of me, I know I have potential. And that scares the fuck out of me. I can’t afford to fuck this up. I have spent years and years developing personal philosophies to a point to be comfortable enough to write something like this. Thinking about readers, and how to deal with criticism that is either valid or invalid. How to deal with historical authors who I think were great, but who were overlooked, or misunderstood and miscategorized, and how I would react when it happens to me. I want to know these things, or at least think about them. Because I love doing it. But it’s hard to put these things into words when you don’t have the language skills to do so because you don’t like reading and you don’t like talking to people and you don’t like listening to people. It’s really hard to write when you’re like that, as I am. I don’t consider it a “problem”. I have just needed to find a way to do it that feels right for me, and that involves copious solitude, and reading and listening to people a hell of a lot smarter than I. And, after five years of doing the latter, and only recently being able to do the former, I’m finally ready to try to write something like this.

If you’ve read anything of mine before, you may think it’s repetitive. It probably is. I’m probably just elaborating a little bit more than I did previously. But, once again, I really don’t care if it’s repetitive. I really don’t care if you hate it. When I’m happy, it’s done, even if I think it’s shit later.

Why am I writing this when no one is going to read it? I want to discuss how my brain thinks about big subjects on a wide scale, but I’ve already written about that. Am I just trying to get the world to notice me? Clearly, that’s a part of it. But I haven’t completely developed my writing style yet. This is what I’m working on. Ok, let me write some things. Are they repetitive? Did I elaborate? Or regurgitate? The only way to figure it out is to just fucking do it, even if I’m afraid I’m adding nothing new than what I’ve already written at this point, so that’s one thing I’m trying to do in this piece.

Honestly, I do want readers to care. But, I don’t care if they care. Honestly, what I’m trying to say is so obvious that I don’t even want to fucking say it. It’s annoying. I hate unironically repeating myself. But, of course, I need readers, because I need money. I’m not good enough to get money yet, but I need to write so I can get better so I can get readers. So I need to fucking write. And, here we go. Here’s some of what this fucking dreg is all about. Practice. Goddamn, practice. Where are my thoughts going with this? Where is my editor? Somebody get this motherfucker back on track. He’s a trainwreck.

I don’t even want to have anything to say right here. I just want to fucking write. I just fucking love it. I don’t give a fuck what I say. That’s why this piece fucking sucks. I don’t care that it sucks. God dammit, I just want to fucking write. Write, goddamn you. There is no better time in your fucking life to write than right now. Why in the fuck aren’t you writing, you dumb piece of shit. You have all the fucking time in the world to write right now, and you aren’t doing it. Because you know you suck. Because you know you aren’t very good. Because it’s hard. Weh, what a little baby. What writer didn’t have it hard, you whiny, entitled piece of shit? Holy shit, you’re talking to yourself in third person. The readers are really going to think you’re crazy now, huh Cody? Oh my God, you wrote Cody. Holy shit, you did it again. Now you’re writing a repetitive, annoying joke. Holy shit Cody. Where are you going with this? You better fucking make up your mind. You’re losing them fast- oh wait a minute, they aren’t there *cackles manically*
[losing my mind feels so goddamn good]
Now you’re interjecting your third person narration by breaking the fourth wall.

Once again, there isn’t really any point or direction with this. I know no one is going to read this. I can look at my reading stats and know this. But I don’t fucking care. I like it. It’s funny. It’s not King, or Rowling. But it’s literate. Maybe you’ll like it. Share it. “Oh man, have you heard of this crazy little kid writing?” “Man, this entitled shit thinks he actually has what it takes to be a writer. Wait until he’s 40 years old working at Walmart. He’s gonna wish he chose a different career.” “His writing has no coherency whatsoever. What in the fuck is he thinking? What in the fuck is he trying to say? Why in the fuck is he writing?! He could be doing something more productive. Learning a skill. This hobby isn’t ever going to make him any money.”

Once again, I know I’m not a Rowling or King (even if I can’t help but feel like, deep inside, I have something; some potential). But I’m a writer, God dammit. And that’s what I’m fucking doing right now, regardless of how fucking bad it is.

I don’t give a fuck anymore what you have to say about how bad it is. Any of you, hypothetical people, or “haters” from my past. I don’t care if you think I sound like Eric Harris. I just don’t give any fucking shit anymore. I have to write. And if I’m going to write, I might as well try to piss you off, so fuck you. I hope it does sound incoherent, and crazy. Makes you worry about my sanity. Because you’re a fucking moron, and I know this. So it doesn’t matter how little my words make sense to you, because you’re a fucking moron.

God is great, God is good, thank you for putting me in a shitty, small stupid town.

Confidence, Cody. You need confidence. You need practice. You need more thinking. Learning. You need it fucking all, Cody. You need more courage. You need to be more crazy, and insane, and loopy, and funny. You need it all, Cody. You need it all. You’ve been doing pretty good so far. Granted, no one knows who you are, and the people that do can’t stand your fucking guts. But you’re doing a pretty good job so far, Cody. Keep it up. You’ll show them all one day or die trying, and it honestly doesn’t matter to you which one happens first. And keep talking to yourself in third person: the readers love that.

…Damn, this was pretty fucking good, huh? And it felt so natural too. God DAMN humor comes easily for you! Good for you! No one fucking cares but you, you dumb little shit. You dumb little narcissistic, bipolar little shit.

Thanks for reading.

This is why I never fucking write and why I fucking love writing all at the same time.

How do I end this goddamn piece of shit, making sure I have said all I want to say.

God dammit.

I’m going out of my fucking mind.

…That sounds good.

Also, I’m socially anxious, and have no idea how I’m going to handle the fame that I’m going to have to have if I’m ever going to turn my passions into a viable career, so I don’t know how I’m going to handle that.

Just laugh at my problems please.

……….That sounds really bad.

End on a happy note.

Thank God it’s over.

(Wrote this in just a few minutes to brag. I mean, I guess it’s a selling point, so I’m going to use it. “You narcissistic, entitled prick!!!”)

Intellect Equals Cockiness?

Intelligence.

Highly Sensitive Mind.

Literature and Me

Devin Stevens Presents Literature

When I was a child, I read only a small number of books. The occasional children’s tale and scholastic bestseller, such as R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps, those attempts (successful I suppose) at introducing the horror genre to kids, or Dav Pilkey’s hilarious The Adventures of Captain Underpants, those mixes of funny narrative with even funnier pictures. In the fifth and sixth grades, I managed to read the seven Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, though the hidden religious meanings didn’t cross my mind. I just wasn’t smart. But for the most part, books didn’t reach me too often. I was immersed in the video game world of Mario, Sonic, and the first person shooter. Because my eyes were glued to the screen, I didn’t have time to glue them to the page. One of my first deep regrets as a human being.

When I was in elementary school, J.K. Rowling’s first…

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“But Yet, He Writes”

He’s no King
Or Rowling
But he writes

He isn’t heralded by the New York Times
Read by millions
Or making them

His writing isn’t very good,
They say
When they find him

But yet, he writes

He doesn’t follow proper form
Spits out when others carefully craft
Is juvenile, while others, refined

But yet, he writes

He has no money
No book deal
No idea how he’s going to get his work done

The only thing he has is a desire to write

And so, he does

He writes his insecurities
His perceived shortcomings
All out of compulsion

What does he gain?

A sense of catharsis

And a voluntary sacrifice of privacy

What of the insane man who writes?
What shall we make of him
And his elementary words?

When will he ever get a grip of the language,
And of his life?

Will the grips that bind him
Let go,
Leaving him to complete freedom?

When will his words fulfill their ultimate purpose?

When will it all make sense?

If I could write like this every fucking day, I’d be set. But turning my brain off (somewhat) for extended periods of time is the only thing that keeps me sane. I haven’t learned to keep up with it yet, nor learn how to use it.

I’m on the stoop of literature. Once that front door opens, there’s no going back. Navigation will become a non-stop way of life, with only a vague destination in mind. Wandering the halls forever, of imagination, both internal and external. There’s no going back. There’s no escaping the escapism, once you enter. You’re trapped. You are admitted into the mental institution of fiction. You will talk to yourself, and talk to the voices in your head. And they will talk to you. Readers will call it “fiction”, but the horror is all too real. You have lost your mind. You are creating worlds and problems, only adding to your level of stress. You truly HAVE lost your mind. “Come on in,” the writers say, cheerfully, if only to keep a happy face in front of the interviewing camera to keep the world spinning. “The world of literature is WIDE and wonderful.” I’ll be damned if it is. I’m fucking talking to myself in a piece of quasi-fiction, and I know that this is only the beginning. If I continue to go down this road, I will never be the same again. The road less traveled is less traveled for a reason, and I think it may be a good one. A life of talking to myself? What madness! All for what? A good story? A happy heart? Is it truly worth the insanity? Is it worth the isolation? Is it worth the poverty? The headache? Physical sickness?

Why oh why must I be this goddamned writer! Why must it feel so natural to me, and yet so GODDAMNED elusive? Why is it on, and then off again? Hot and cold. Luke warm. It flirts with me, I tell you. “You can do it, Cody.” “I think you’re lying to me.” “Nah. Go ahead.” “Well, ok. Holy fuck, you’ve left me to drown in my own sea of ideas with no life raft.” “Here.” “No, I don’t want your goddamned ideas.”

Clearly for the better, you’re left inside your own head with a jarbled mess of incoherence, and, inevitably, resentment. Occasionally, God throws you a life raft of “common sense.” But when you think it will rain daily, there’s a drought. The gap is filled with unsatisfying nonsensicals. But goddamned if you’re going into insane land. By God, what have you got if not your sanity? WHAT GOOD DOES IT DO TO WRITE WELL IF YOU’VE LOST YOUR GODDAMNED MIND IN THE PROCESS, BY GOD!!!

What is it that you fear? Clearly, it cries out for you. What is the problem? A heart of stone? Too much thinking? What is it that keeps you saneWhat will rid you of it? WHAT WILL COMMIT YOU TO THE LIFE OF THE WRITER?!?!?! Why do you fear that life so? Is it the ridicule? The possibility of failure? Opportunities foregone? The fear of making a mistake? What prevents you from writing? From reading? Life-changing commitments are always difficult decisions. I suppose the fact that they are difficult just means that you value your life. But then again, why can’t it be easy? Oh, how satisfying success would be, though. An independent decision leading to good things? My, how fulfilling of a life. What is wrong with that? Are you afraid you’ll change your mind later? Are you afraid you’ll invest time and effort into something you later regret? And then what? What will you fall back on? Is the more important question: what could you possibly care about more? Could it ever be more fulfilling than this? Once again, why, oh why, do you fear so? Clearly, it is the ball and chain you were cursed to carry in this life. We’ve all got our burdens to bear…

The seductive mistress taunts you with her golden jewelry. My, oh my, how beautiful that jewelry is. So elusive. So comforting. We all must live before we die, musn’t we? Is it a mirage? Or is it actually waiting for you, as you, truly, deep down, believe? Will you die from dehydration in the desert? Or live as a king? What is it that makes you believe the latter? And what is it that makes you ignore the former, if not for the latter, and also the love of the craft itself? Truly, there is nothing else. No other reason. It is your IDENTITY. It is YOU.

But the mistress is not within your grasp. She’s just out of reach. Or, perhaps, further back than that. But is your perspective the problem? Do you not see happiness as an ultimate ethical virtue? What is wrong with being a little maniacal if it helps?

Back to reality. The desperation. The dreaming; the difficult independence; the uncertainty; the roller-coaster; the self-loathing, self-doubt, and self-confidence. Fighting through the brush towards the enemy, only because you are crazy. This war is widely unavoidable. But is it? For others, maybe. But for YOU? Can you truly avoid this war? Why does it burn within you so? Why does it fuel your hunger for belonging in this world? Why does it consume you, night and day, when others are at peace? Are they at peace? Or are they in the back while you are on the front lines? Are they looking for someone to lead the charge, if only because they are desperate to fight, but feel unable to? Are you the leader they need? Or are you the local schizophrenic rambling about fictitious wars and delusions of grandeur? Will you ever know which one FOR SURE?! AND WHEN, FOR GOD’S SAKE?!

…It yearns; lingers; burns. In the cave, it burns. Once the oil is added, it burns uncontrollably, and no one wants to deal with an ignited madman.

Isn’t that what you want, though? To be left alone? More than anything else, don’t you just wish to be left……ALONE?……

You aren’t truly alone. Many men have wandered the very sands, the very cement, that you desire to tread upon. They have looked for the same treasures, with success and failure. They have gotten lost in the cave, and they have never returned.

And maybe they aren’t saying it’s a good thing simply for the camera…………

Stoop kid is afraid to leave his stoop, but, with small steps, he will embark upon the sand, the cement, the halls, and deep down, he hopes there’s no way out. He hopes he becomes lost in this world. He hopes it becomes all he has, if only to feel like he has something that he actually wants…………

Getting Sucked Into the World of Writing.