Especially when you zap your inbox changing email providers, your gut packs it in due to stress, your kids go into lockdown mode, your from-hell oven gives the Thanksgiving turkey an afro, your home-business and sole source of income stalls due to a packaging snafu that leaves you covered in powdered dextrose, there’s no hot water in the kitchen, there’s no kitchen, your son’s room comes with an ensuite, the rest of you have to use the outhouse, which is just great for your gut-rot, the incumbent cat-lady’s fleas have mutated into Portugese jumping biting THINGS, the flight path has been diverted to directly over your house, and just to get the hell-ball rolling, the removalist is DRUNK and abusive and you have to pay him just to dump your stuff in the back yard and leave.

Then it rains.

Vale David Foster Wallace

David Foster Wallace

David Foster Wallace, author of Infinite Jest, The Broom of the System, Oblivion and other works  committed suicide on September 12, 2008, after a long battle with depression. The NYT’s A.O Scott describes him as an “ally and an influence, a link between the giants who inspired and enraged him and whoever comes next.” I bought Oblivion about two years ago, but didn’t get around to reading it. The day David Foster Wallace died, I read a story calledIncarnations of Burned Children.” When I recovered I read through the collection. One perfect story after another. (For an excellent review of this collection, see Adrienne Martini’s article on Bookslut.) Incarnations blew my mind. It singed my brain. It changed me. Not only because of its subject matter, but also because of its perfection. Like the sky on a clear night. It’s perfection made me feel small and that it was alright to feel that way.

David Foster Wallace
David Foster Wallace

Songwriters are writers too.

Elvis Costello, Rosanne Cash, Kris Kristofferson and The song writing process sounds familiar to writers—nine-tenths perspiration and one-tenth inspiration. Too bad more top writers won’t step down from their ivory towers and confab like this. Our profession could use this kind of cool. Maybe the decreasing chances of what we think of as “success” has led to a kind of over-protectiveness. A slyness or shyness about sharing any tiny crumb with our fellow travelers. Continue reading Songwriters are writers too.

Bob Hawke still rocks.

Bob HawkeHe may have been a tad intimidated but Andrew Denton managed to keep his cool for most of a spellbinding confab with that wiliest of politicos—Bob Hawke.

Hawke remained pretty tight-lipped throughout. Denton had to had to dig deep— in other words he had to hope his subject had soft underbelly and that it was still accessible after all these years by the Forth Estate. Hope lies eternal, Andres. But what about the rumour that Bobbie’s mum always knew he’d be PM? Did his beloved dad, Clem, really once claim that “Bobbie had a magic flowing out of him?” The Rodes scholar’s guarded answer to both? Yes: he’d had a happy childhood.

What about the demon alcohol? Continue reading Bob Hawke still rocks.