Thursday, November 3, 2011

To a Pulp

'I'm sorry, did I break your concentration? I didn't mean to do that. Please, were saying something about 'Best Intentions'? What's the matter? Oh, you were finished! Well, allow me to retort.'

Whenever I get stuck in life, I seem to fall back to Pulp Fiction or Star Wars.

At least, lately I do.

And why not? Two excellent sources of Truth if there ever WERE.

So...yeah, it's me again. But a different kind of me, and with a different slant. And there is a reason for that. Although, anyone who reads my useless shit, or has, for the past couple of years won't see this as anything 'different'.

Let's get down to brass tacks, gentlemen. If I was informed correctly, the clock is ticking, is that right, Jimmie?

Just what in the name of FUGGIN' HELL am I trying to say?

Find out after we get to Monster Joe's Truck and Tow.

So I can't even remember how I even first heard about Fruitless Pursuits anymore. I probably could if I gave it some thought.

Not gonna do it.


Needless to say that when I saw an opportunity to join in some frolicky fun with some old pals and play in the sandbox of Luke Milton, a man I deeply admire and want to sleep with, I wanted to cut loose and let Well, you know what I mean.

I have a very stressful life as a Special Needs Dad. Very stressful. Made even more stressful by lack of meaningful employment, being locked into this town because of my son's crazy benefits, a bunch of other stuff that I won't go into here, but I go into LOTS of it in my own personal space. That's why it's there.

I saw this place as the kind of place where I could touch myself. Wait...I mean, reach back in time and GET IN TOUCH with a little of the OLD me, the Ken that used to be online, but also the me that used to be a little racier, a little more irreverent, a little less concerned about watching what I say because of all the Mom's that I now have who read the things I write.

After all, when you are part of a charity foundation, you have to be a bit more...cautious.

Or do you? Jury still out.

'I'll just be Jules, Vincent; no more, no less.'

So I start posting, and everything seems to be going well. And I do have a Master Plan, and it takes some time to get the Master Plan going, because of some gigantic Tonsil Stones that force me to get a Tonsillectomy, but eventually I heal up and start Master Plan initiation.

See, the way I figure it, I have to make my mark, because there are some real heavyweights over here.

And they cover a LOT of territory.

So how do I stand out? How do I stand apart? What can I do to be a little different that what is already being done?

I start organizing my thoughts, and I put together a grab bag of folders and come up with a scheme that will allow me to manage posting something every day, so I can provide some content and lots of it, but not strap me for time, and also allow me time to get my personal shit in order AND also post daily on my own blog and in the charity blog.

It was a masterful work of Excel strategy, with some cross-pollination, but not too much, with some quickies and with some longies, but it would have worked great. I put together some folders, did the banners, and was in the process of having 2-3 in each one so that I could have fallback. You always want buffers when you start something like this.

And I wasn't about to rush into it either. I wanted the stuff to LOOK good too so I was taking as long as I needed to. I always try not to half-ass stuff if I can help it.

'I don't need you to tell me how fucking good my coffee is, okay? I'm the one who buys it, I know how good it is. When Bonnie goes shopping, she buys shit. Me, I buy the gourmet expensive stuff because when I drink it, I want to taste it.'

So it's time to launch, and I figure...what the fuck, why not launch with something that will REALLY get people's attention?

I go with Guess-The-Booty, a farcical, stupid, very ridiculous way for me to get rid of some of the junk in my basement. BOTTOM line (hee hee)? I really just wanted to give stuff away. But I thought it would be funny to do something with butts.

I figured I MIGHT be skirting some guidelines, so I checked the Publishing Guidelines on the Google Docs, and made sure I wasn't in violation, and I wasn't, so I put it up and hit Publish. Thought nothing more about it.

See, I know myself and my heart. I am not sexist.

I adore women. I respect their struggle. The contest was less about objectification and more about schoolboy antics and shenanigans, like a lot of things. Take Howard Stern for example. A lot of people misunderstand who and what he is. Most people who do? Do not listen to him. They have a gut instinctual reaction and think that all he is about is lesbians and porn stars.

There is nothing farther from the truth than that.

Anyway, the GTB contest apparently created quite a stir amidst the flock.

Clearly he was uncomfortable with bringing it up. I was uncomfortable, too.

'Don't you hate that?...Uncomfortable silences. Why do we feel it's necessary to yak about bullshit in order to be comfortable?'

I thought I had let down my Main Man. I felt like SHIT about it.

But I didn't hesitate. Without a second thought I went to the site and took down GTB, and killed the concept and several others outright. I figured, no big deal, it is just a post, and besides, I came here to play in Luke's sandbox, not take a big fat DUMP in it.

But then...something happened.

'Butch: You okay?'
'Marsellus: Nah, man. I'm pretty fucking far from okay.'

When I went back to post other things, about OTHER topics, I found that I could not.

I was locked up.

I felt...constricted. Confined. I could not figure out why.

It went on for weeks, and every time I tried going back, I felt the exact same way. I wasn't entirely sure if I was EVER going to be able to come back.

Then I started giving it some thought.


And it finally dawned on me.

I felt like an Outsider.

It wasn't really about the content at all. Or about the fact that I ruffled some feathers. I mean shit, people disagree about stuff ALL THE TIME. I don't think the post was sexist, and I don't think the Batboobies post, which was also apparently a source of contention, was sexist either. It was my attempt to sort of show that a video game about the World's Greatest Detective that was coming out was apparently about showcasing some of the World's Greatest Sets of Cans.

It was a (maybe-not-so) subtle indictment of the Comic Book Geek world of which I happily take part, and maybe a jab at the industry I attempted to join and which rejected me perhaps BECAUSE of the Boobalution that really killed it in the 90's.

Be that as it may, I simply felt as if I did not belong here. I didn't have access to this Secret Forum, and now that The Conversation had taken place, and no one had actually come to me directly about their concerns, something that anyone could have done, and SHOULD have done (it's what people do), I felt sort of like the Odd Man Out, the Last Kid Picked for The Team, and it seemed like I was back in Middle School, and I just didn't like the feeling.

And that? That's my problem. Not anyone else's.

'You feel that sting, big boy, huh? That's pride FUCKIN' with you! You gotta fight through that shit!'

A letter from The Chief went around a week or so ago about contributors contributions, and about providing content, something I had not done in a while. I realized that I OWED IT TO MY FRIEND to tell him how I was feeling.

Keeping these things to myself was not doing anyone any good at all.

So I wrote to Luke, and politely resigned.

I thanked him for the opportunity, told him how much I loved and respected him, which I do, told him how much I loved and respected what he and his buds have put together here, which I do, and just told him what I essentially laid out here for all of you. That my buttcheeks got clenched up over this whole thing, and that I had been meaning to write to him and explain the why, and I was sorry I had not, but his letter really motivated me to do so.

Here is an excerpt:

After the ‘Incident’, every time I sat down to try to write, I would find myself hitting walls. I would start editing, re-thinking, wondering if it was going to cause a problem. It was mind-blowing. I had never had an experience like it before. I kept going back to the Batman boobies thing, and the fact that it began even with that, and I started questioning everything. In the end? I just kept getting locked up, and fear kept me from completing anything.

Example? The new Batman game. After even STARTING to play it, the very first experience I wanted to write about was the sexual aspects of the game and how it influenced my son and his experiences with watching me play, almost from the get go, and my wife? Holy shit she hit the ROOF, particularly with the part with Poison Ivy and Catwoman and the suggestion of them making out. But Batman beating the shit out of people? No problem. There is an extremely…EXTREMELY…warped, delusional mindset in our species with the fact that how could anyone be cool with having their kid watch a guy continually beating people to a pulp or a dude with his face half-burned off but freak the shit out about having their kid watch two chicks kiss? OR EVEN TALK ABOUT IT AND NOT EVEN DO IT!?!?!

And I still don't get it. The thought processes are not even in the same ballpark.

'Ain't no fucking ballpark neither. Now, look, maybe your method of massage differs from mine, but you know touching his wife's feet and sticking your tongue in the holiest of holies ain't the same fucking ball park. It ain't the same league. It ain't even the same fucking sport.'

But I digress. SHOCKER.

Luke was very cool, as Luke is. He did not tell me one way or another what I should or should not do. He simply wrote me a few lines, offered a suggestion, and made me think. He does that. Challenges me. Always has. And I thought. And I thought some more.

And this was my answer.

I don't feel any less like an Outsider. But I decided to just embrace the concept. And the truth is, that is never going to change, and in this Summer of Lilliphanies, it is a lesson gladly learned and happily accepted. And besides, you can't FORCE a square peg into a round hole.

I AM an Outsider. Plain and simple. But that does not mean I can't stop by and participate. I just had to figure that part out. On this particular Island, I am not Jack, I am Desmond. I came in at the tail end of Season 2, and every so often I show up and fuck with the Space/Time Continuum and then I disappear for a while...Brutha!

I didn't clear it with Luke first, but I had an overwhelming urge to just open up and get this all off of my chest. It was the best way for me to get back to where I needed to be in my clogged up head. And I am hoping that this is what he and any others involved in inviting me here expected from me when they thought of my inclusion in this group. What was always expected from me from the very beginning.

For me to

'Vincent: Let me ask you something, when did you make this decision? When you were sitting there eating that muffin?'
'Jules: Yeah, I was sitting here, eating my muffin and drinking my coffee, when I had what alcoholics refer to as a moment of clarity.'



  1. Glad to see you making a comeback and looking forward to your posts!

  2. Also glad to see you back. The Lego Blogzilly is pretty awesome!

  3. DUDE! Well you put a LOT more thought into these posts than I do. That's why you're one of the *A* teammates and I'm a c-lister at best....

    I will tell you a secret though....I won't talk for everyone but in my experience, and definitely the case with me, all writers and artists feel like outsiders, even amongst their own.

    That is what drives you to create, isn't it? Certainly to write you need to observe culture and humanity and to do that well, you need to look at it from a detached *outsider* perspective, no?

    I guess what I'm saying is...don't sweat it man. You see some of the garbage I put up at Stryder's Dementia? And still people come back every week for more....

    Speaking of which I need to produce more here as well...

    In any case, welcome back man!