E pluribus suckum


pinkladyandjeff.jpgConan O’Brien once remarked that it takes many people working hard over many hours to put on a terrible TV show.

He was pointing out one of the many quirks of the entertainment industry. About 3,000 pilots are pitched each year, of which about 300 are shot, of which about 30 make it to air, and maybe three survive to another season. Those 30 on the air mostly awful and unwatchable, which says something about the 270 that don’t even make it that far.

The same can be said of movies and CDs: It takes countless hours and dollars to produce what essentially is crap.

Which is why I like the (mostly) solitary endeavor of writing: Its utter failure can be traced back to me and me alone.


It’s amazing how many hands are involved in making a disaster: writers, producers, directors, actors, editors, set designers, engineers, costume designers, camera operators, sound and lighting specialists and the list goes on. These are paid professionals who know what they’re doing.

And yet, crap. Utter, total crap.

Call me a glory hog, call me a control freak, call me a hack, but I like the solitary voice emanating from my pen. I can write a story, column, poem, screenplay or novel and feel good that it was all me. Feel free to turn it into a movie or TV show (after a nominal licensing fee), but leave me out of the production process.

I’m lucky to be able to translate crazy visions into written material. I have no interest in composing music, acting, directing or other creative processes. Writing is hard enough.

That’s what I’m sticking with for now. In my head, I can see most of it clearly. On paper, it’s a close approximation.

The rest is up to the readers.


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