Friday, March 12, 2004

Astonishing Tales

Like many, I've been following the adventures of America's Worst Mother (TM, TBogg industries, a joint venture of Nabisco and Lockheed-Martin). I'm amused at his snarky take on this strange, tortured, repressed woman and her lamentable children with names that make the Zappa kids sound normal. But today I actually perused Meghan Cox Gurdon's column at the National Review.

It's astounding. Like a opium dream crossed with an Oprah Book of the Month title (the old ones, when she was promoting single debased women authors with no talent instead of raping the corpses of the great writers of the 20th century, looking for pocket change). This week's column is centered around a mysterious white stone, some red-leather clad teacher dancing a tango and the children foaming at the mouth over fire breathing rabbits. Either this woman is feeding her children horse doses of LSD in order to record the results ala Tom Wolf, or else she's been spending too much time with a hookah pipe in her mouth. Either way, it's a frightening sight to behold.

It never ceases to amaze me when I'm confronted by the level of crap that gets published these days. What's even more astounding is that the "writers" of such shit get payed while I can't seem to find a publisher interested in my stories*. Apparently I'm not cloying, don't have children to exploit in some Dickensian fantasy gone horribly awry and still retain a shred a human decency. All traits that bar one from syndication these days, apparently.

*I received another rejection letter Wednesday, this one for some short stories I was hoping to have published, hence the undercurrent of frustration.

update: In retrospect, I realize that me grumbling about syndicated columnists and moaning about my umpteenth rejection letter may strike some as a bit childish. Generally speaking, I regard rejection letters as a badge of honor. Moby Dick was rejected numerous times, as was Ulysses and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was famously rejected by over 100 editors before it was published and it's now a classic. So there. But, It's been a frustrating week, what with grad school and my wife being in another state and on the most frustrating day, I returned home to find that little gem of a rejection letter waiting for me, so it was not exactly what I'd call a cheery moment. But in the future, I will keep the bitching to a minimum. I won't say it'll never happen again because, well, it's my blog and if I feel like moaning, damn it, I'm going to moan!


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