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richardderus

Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud

Editorial - Arthur Graham Rating: 4.25* of fiveThe Book Report: Did you ever wonder, standing there in front of your bookshelves, “Self,” you have to call yourself “Self” to make this work, “Self, what would happen if Virginia Woolf in full Orlando mode sat at a table with a bottle of Boodles and collaborated with Samuel Beckett and Bret Easton Ellis to rewrite Naked Lunch?”You don't need to, actually, Arthur Graham did. He called the resulting...writings...Editorial: The Bizarro Press Edition.My Review: I thought bizarro, the literary genre to which this novel (?) belongs, was juvenile, kinda like the showoffy po-mo nonsense that poseurs like Rick Moody and his unbearable Purple America or David Foster Wallace and his aptly titled but clearly misinterpreted Infinite Jest goof on pretentious literary snobbery, only not afraid to say Dirty Words or discuss Naughty Things.And the years flow past, each of them as unremarkable as the next, as unnoticed as nanoseconds, in fact, not even long enough to contain anything noticeable – centuries just barely registered as moments in space/time. Soon the millennia are passing by at a modest rate of 47 per minute, and of course all manner of things noticeable and not-so-noticeable occur along the way (though most falling into the latter category). Naturally there come periods where lying is greatly rewarded, followed by periods where lying is greatly punished (our poor unlucky editor!), along with every other conceivable and inconceivable reversal and re-reversal of standards, and…Wait, did anyone else just hear God yawn?So I started reading this book, provided to me by its author in the Satanically twitchy, horribly inconvenient PDF format, without a lot of expectations. Short hits of bizarro, like poppers, can enhance the momentary pleasures of reading. More often than not, I'm fine with the literary equivalent of fast-food sex, the warm glow passes soon enough, but hey don't cry because it's over snigger because it happened, and this afternoon I was in a fast-foody sorta mood.And slowly it dawned on me. This guy isn't pointlessly showoffily using the fashionable conventions to obscure what is otherwise a fairly average and not so terribly interesting tale (see the two titles I've chosen for whipping above). This guy is, in his vulgar, potty-mouthed way, making a point that might actually be worth thinking about, like about perspective and perception:Florida was like a pathetic, flaccid cock unable to work it up. Meanwhile, Cuba sat waiting like a big, wet pussy, not even a hundred miles out.Not an original thought, necessarily, but a thought presented in a way that cuts through the fog of ideology and politicking and associated foofaraw to present a multi-layered image that both defines and illuminates a geopolitical reality, while revolting the delicate and amusing the coarse. Well played, Mr. Graham!At the end of the story comes the philosophical payload that you just knew, from word one, hadda be coming. The surprise to me was how succinct and unwrapped the payload was, a bareback mindfuck:Then it hit him: On a long enough timeline, not only did all things become possible, they eventually became inevitable. … So, given that so much is happening every moment,and given that the interpretations of each moment are as numerous and varied as the uncountable beings (sentient and “nonsentient”) experiencing them, and given that history repeats itself over and over again in seemingly infinite circular variations while at the same spontaneously generating and shifting from one species, paradigm, and reality to the next, and given that on a long enough timeline not only did all things become possible, but in fact became inevitable, then why couldn’t {his} clienthave been everything AND everywhere all at ONCE?At the quantum level, ladies and gentlemen, all times are now and all places are here. The same strings that vibrate to create rocks, vibrate to create thee and me. And this, I think since I didn't ask him, is what Graham's nonsensical tale of the weresnake destiny of humanity is more or less about.Or not. Who cares. If you don't like the quotes, you'll hate the book, and won't buy it. I think you should anyway. Read it to keep your reading bowels from getting blocked.