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rednecks with pouches

There was a major snafu with the Ambien last night, and today I feel...well...it's a fine combination of sleepy, seasick, and pissed off. I woke about 4:15 and couldn't get back to sleep. I took a second Ambien and got up and tried to work (shouldn't this land me in Guinness under "most stupid act"). I spent the next hour and a half or so reading "Valentia" again and beginning work on the book's index. Finally, about 6:17 (I looked at the clock), I noticed that the words I was typing weren't "real" words and that the keyboard had a distinctly velvety sheen to it. "Go the hell to bed, you silly bitch," I said. Which I did. And proceeded to have riduculous, horrific, hilarious, Kafkaesque nightmares. I woke a little after eleven, feeling like this. Better living through chemistry. Hell, yeah.

Thanks to everyone who took time to comment or e-mail about the revisions to the stories that will comprise To Charles Fort, With Love. Though I must remind you that art is not a democracy, that it is, instead, a tyranny, a butt-ugly little banana republic filled with drug lords, vampiric catfish that swim up your urethra, and muddy tracks of deforested rainforest. Half the time, round here, they'll shoot you just for opening your mouth, then leave the carcass for the feral pigs. Nonetheless, I listened to what was said. And I have decided to leave the stories essentially as they were originally published — compounderations, sentence fragments, missing commas, neglected hyphens, and all. I think I was at last swayed by a couple of e-mails comparing my actions to George Lucas' constant dicking about with the orginal Star Wars trilogy. To quote Mike Bracken, "Changing them [the stories in my collection] now isn't much different than George Lucas screwing around with Star Wars." So, okay, fine. Point taken. Besides, I wouldn't want all those frelling assholes who've spent so much energy and time whinning about my unconventional use of the English language to feel like maybe they're getting through to me.

And speaking of things that people say, or, the be more perspicuous, have said, here's a beauty from a moderately recent Amazon.com "review": "I've never read Poppy Z. Brite, so I can't compare this to her books..."

...what? Is that like a prerequisite now or something?

It put me in mind of a discussion I chanced across a while back. I don't recall where it was. Some website somewhere, and people were comparing me to Poppy and Poppy to me. There seemed to be three camps. Poppy's better. Caitlín's better. They both stink. I searched in vain for the camp daring to suggest that these two things, the Caitlín and the Poppy, are really very, very different beasts, now more than ever, and all this comparing was almost entirely an exercise in missing the point, of conflating apples with oranges, insects and birds, the Lower Triassic with the late Eocene.

Anyway, some reviewer once compared me to Dean Koontz, which was far more riduculous. So, I suppose it could be worse.

Maybe I should puke a few times and then start this entry over. I think I was way more more awake at 4:15.

Today, I'm going to pack up the iBook and go hide somewhere there are no telephones, somewhere I cannot check my e-mail, and work on editing this collection and on writing it's preface. Someplace quite. With better heating (though, to be fair, we're expecting mid-sixties today).

Oh, here's something I found very amusing yesterday, so I'm quoting it. I'm not sure how serious robyn_ma was being, because I never am, with her or with anyone else. But hating LJ/pager/IM-speak as I do, this warmed my foul, misshapen heart:

What is it with LJspeak? LEARN FUCKING ENGLISH. I mean, when I use it, I do so ironically. Most of the people on my friends list do, too. But when you seriously go out of your way to type 'teh'? And it's not for ironic effect? THE WORD IS 'THE.' TEE AITCH EEE. What's next, 'eht'? And what the fuck is up with DOZENS OF EXCLAMATION POINTS WITH THE OCCASIONAL 1 AND THEN 'ONE'?? I KILL YOU AND THEN SLAP YOUR CORPSE, YOU SILLY ILLITERATE ENGLISH-RAPING NO-EDUCATION-HAVING HAT OF ASS

Thank you. It's still frelling funny.

I sent Chapter Two of Daughter of Hounds to my editor and to my lit agent yesterday.

And that pack of Camels I bought back in early January, when the book was stalled on me? I smoked three and tossed the rest of the pack. I'm pleased to say I'm still quit.

Comments

( 17 comments — Have your say! )
wishlish
Jan. 26th, 2005 06:10 pm (UTC)
But...but...without using LJSpeak how will people know that when I say "George W. Bush is the suckiest man on earth" that I'm really being kewl...er, cool? It's much better to say "bush is teh suck".

Kidding. Actually, LJspeak never bothered me. I've read enough bad business memos in my life to realize that language will always be mangled. While it's fun to play grammar dictator, I've given up on the idea that society as a whole will ever value proper syntax.

Besides, is there really a difference between LJSpeak and your compounderations? Both subvert the English language for nefarious purposes. Nothing wrong with that.

Weirdly enough, I don't think I've read much of Poppy's work. That's not because I think it's "teh suck" or anything; I'm just not reading enough these days. I'll get her books into the queue one of these days, I promise.

Did you save the index with made-up words? I want to see that...
greygirlbeast
Jan. 26th, 2005 06:37 pm (UTC)
Besides, is there really a difference between LJSpeak and your compounderations?

If there is not — and I believe there is, I'm just too ill right now to explain — then I shall reverse my decision not to remove them from the stories.

Did you save the index with made-up words? I want to see that...

I did, but corrected all the made-up words so that they are now "real" words.
wishlish
Jan. 26th, 2005 07:12 pm (UTC)
I think the difference is the intent and the maturity of the writer. And PLEASE don't take the compounderations out of your stories- I like them! (And everyone on the blog will kill me.)

I think the presence of LJSpeak is a good screening tool; after all, how many blogs that use LJSpeak do you actually want to read?

My bigger pet peeve is people who refuse to use the shift key when blogging (and some of my dear friends are guilty of this). These people will write beautiful, grammatically correct entries but won't bother to use the Shift key, leaving the whole thing an unreadable mess. Use the Shift Key. Hell, back in the day, when I'd spend a night in a cybersex chatroom, I'd still use the Shift key, one-handed at times (pink finger). If I can do that, anyone can.

(Sorry for the too-much-info, Caitlin and all.)

Hope you feel better. And I'm glad you chucked the pack of Camels.

stardustgirl
Jan. 26th, 2005 11:42 pm (UTC)
LJSpeak reminds me more of, ohmigawd!!, Val-speak...or maybe a more written-rather-than-verbal example is El33T d00d speak... kind of a trendy, silly thing, and usually a good indicator of the maturity / credibility level of the writer.

Caitlín's compounderations strike me more as an artistic-license kind of thing. They're sprinkled throughout her work - unexpected gems of description that add to the feeling of the story. They seem to slip quietly into place rather than jumping out like "TeH kEwL" (gads... I just twice tried to mis-type "the" as "teh" and couldn't do it! And I screw up with "teh" and "adn" all the time with my dyslexic typing skills).

Your observation that LJSpeak is a good screening tool is a very good one. I tend to ignore a lot of those writings.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 27th, 2005 12:47 am (UTC)
LJSpeak reminds me more of, ohmigawd!!, Val-speak...or maybe a more written-rather-than-verbal example is El33T d00d speak... kind of a trendy, silly thing, and usually a good indicator of the maturity / credibility level of the writer.

Same here. I mean, it wouldn't stike me quite the same way if this were only, or even primarily, verbal, if there wasn't the concerted effort of writing all this silliness out. I mean, what is the possible semantic function of misspelling "the" as "teh"? But the suggestion that LJSpeak/AIMspeak/El33T d00d speak somehow corresponds to art? That's a load, plain and simple, if you ask me (or even if you don't, since this is my journal).
lethecerulre
Jan. 26th, 2005 06:10 pm (UTC)
I'm in that "You can't compare authors because they are each unique beasts" camp. I enjoy both Poppy's and your books, as well as dozens of other authors, but none are better or worse in my eyes (except those Harliquin type book authors *groans*). I also think that if someone can't attempt to remove all preconcieved thoughts about an author or genre and go into reading a book of any sort with an open mind, they tend to miss the enjoyment of just reading a book. It's how I feel about most forms of artistic expression.
lady_lillith
Jan. 26th, 2005 06:15 pm (UTC)
Besides, I wouldn't want all those frelling assholes who've spent so much energy and time whining about my unconventional use of the English language to feel like maybe they're getting through to me.

No, you certainly should not allow them to get to you. What od they know about your word-smithing anyway? You wrote it all like you meant it the first time around, didn't you? Of course you did. : )
docbrite
Jan. 26th, 2005 06:17 pm (UTC)
Pinheads, every one.
oneirophrenia
Jan. 26th, 2005 06:32 pm (UTC)
LJspeak is one thing...but AIMspeak is even worse. U have no idea how much i loathe teh fact that "AIM shorthand" has become so prevalent that its now even showing up in student papers!!!11!! I told my classes this semester that any should I discover any semblance of AIMspeak in the writings they hand in to be graded, I will drop their final score a full ten points (which equates to an entire letter grade) for every bloody instance of "u" or "i" or "b/c."

Now, I have no real qualms with such shorthand when used in its proper environment: instant messaging--because ultimately, IM systems are nothing more than a more instantaneous descendant of the oldskool telegraph, and their main purpose is to let people communicate *quickly* and simply. So one would *expect* a certain shorthand to evolve in such a milieux, especially considering that most of the people using it won't have the grammatical savvy the gods gave a cockroach. So it's OK in its proper place...but COME ON: how dull must one be not to realize that there's a qualitative, *obvious* difference between academic writing and quick info-squirts directed to friends?
greygirlbeast
Jan. 26th, 2005 06:39 pm (UTC)
info-squirts

I love that!
fantom07
Jan. 26th, 2005 09:20 pm (UTC)
If I may join in...
I now refer to it all as "internet shorthand" which is not to be confused with l33t sp34k. However, the two are combining into one big abuse of the English language which is abused enough as it is. We don't need to hurt it any more (however, this does bring up an idea of language is always evolving, who are we to stand in the way with our rules?).

But anyway - I have found internet shorthand creeping into the formal world. I receive emails from computer consultants. Every now and then, I do receive and email that says "Here is my resume, plz get back to me ASAP thnx."

I am not joking.

This saddens me. Granted, there might be a time and a place for such shorthand, but by over using it shorthand becomes common place an acceptable. And this makes my word processor cry.
robyn_ma
Jan. 26th, 2005 07:28 pm (UTC)
'I'm not sure how serious robyn_ma was being'

I find such language ('l33tspeak,' I believe it's called) amusing, because it's goofy, but I don't see it genuinely used all that much. Like I said, everyone on my friends list uses it for ironic comic effect. But it also makes me think dark thoughts about the future of language. I actually feel more strongly about abuses of spoken language, like 'I'm going to the store. Wanna come with?' or 'Thank you muchly.' I always want to say 'You're welcomely. By the way, "MUCHLY" ISN'T A WORD, YOU SPITOON.' or 'Do I want to come with who? You? Can I buy a pronoun?'
scarerica
Jan. 27th, 2005 12:57 am (UTC)
In honor of this post, I mangled my last journal update subject line royally. :)

You know what bothers me far more than shitty online shorthand?

That El Presidente cannot say the word "nuclear" correctly.



remipunx
Jan. 27th, 2005 02:16 am (UTC)
That El Presidente cannot say the word "nuclear" correctly.

Oh that made my sides hurt! LOL. That is too true. He says so many things that make me cringe.

To Caitlin: As for comparing two authors, I really feel like it is never a really good idea. It usually leaves the person hearing the comparison with false ideas on the writer they have not read. I think that you both are lovely writers, but I would not really recommend you to the same people.
lomer
Jan. 27th, 2005 03:37 am (UTC)
Ambien is fun. Ever notice that if you stay awake too long after taking a pill, you start having waking dream type images? One night I took Ambien then stayed up too late talking to my boyfriend in bed and I swear we were on a boat in the 17th century and it was all very lush and gorgeous and highly embarassing the next day when I realized I had talked to my boyfriend through the entire experiance "the sea is so pretty, isn't it?" etc. Oy. Ambien is definately an exciting sleeping pill if nothing else.

As for net-speak, I abhore most of it. I don't have a problem with things like :) or *g*, even *lol* and such... but r u str8? and the like drive me crazy. How you speak on the internet is a clear example to everyone as to how you really are. I've seen 13 year olds come off as more credible and more mature then 40 year old "cool" internet geeks. For gods sake people, we don't ask for MLA format essays instead of emails, but is it really so difficult to type out the words "you" and "are"?

Anyway, yes I agree with everthing you just said.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 27th, 2005 04:31 am (UTC)
Ambien is fun. Ever notice that if you stay awake too long after taking a pill, you start having waking dream type images?

Oh, yes. Most definitely.
setsuled
Jan. 27th, 2005 08:36 am (UTC)
Thanks to everyone who took time to comment or e-mail about the revisions to the stories that will comprise To Charles Fort, With Love.

Er, oh yeah, I meant to comment on that, too, but I got caught up in robyn_ma's rant game. Basically, I agree; don't make the corrections.
( 17 comments — Have your say! )