Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Three Stooges, Sarah Palin, and a Good Book

Sean Penn is out as Larry in the Three Stooges Movie. Anybody surprised? Penn’s a talented guy. I’ll give him that. But he ain’t funny. You have got to be funny if You’re going to be one of the Three Stooges, baby.

Word on the street is Paul Giamanni may be the new Larry. I can dig that. Paul Giamanni is a funny guy. Our tentative line up of stooges includes Jim Carry as Curly, Benicio Del Torro as Mo, and Paul Giamanni as Larry.

Paul Giamanni, mind you, is not officially in. If Paul doesn’t work out, I have a nomination. It turns out the Alaska fishermen were kidding about Sarah Palin making the buddy picture with Jack Black. This means she’s wide open if the price is right. I’m telling you, Sarah Palin just might be our Stooge.


Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried is a profound book about the Vietnam War. The book is also about writing, truth, and reality. The stories are based are based on the author’s experiences as a soldier in Vietnam.

O’Brien points out that writing is a form of dreaming. Ain’t that the truth? And when you get right down to it, we are creating our own stories when we dream, aren’t we? The author also blew me away with the concept that writing about the dead allows them to live again.

O’Brien writes “...the story-truth is truer sometimes than happening-truth.” I love this concept. The longer it takes to write the story down, the more ambiguous the truth becomes. Do you remember James Frey’s book, A Million Tiny Pieces? It’s a riviting story of a man’s experiences in a drug rehabilitation center. Oprah Winfrey promoted the book on her show and Frey sold millions of copies. When it was discovered that after marketing the book as a memoir, the author had stretched the truth from time to time, Oprah lambasted the guy on network television for lying. It worked out OK for Frey; the ass chewing prompted millions of readers to buy his second book. But dog gone it, Frey should have told Oprah, “You simply don’t understand writing, lady. As Tim Obrien aid, the story truth is truer sometimes than the happening truth.

Sorry about the digression. Tim Obrien’s The Things They Carried is one of the best, most unique, and quite possibly the truest books I’ve read.


The John Wayne story is finished At 3,400 words. The story entails John Wayne showing up at my house Christmas night asking for a drink. The two of us end up playing a grueling one on one basketball game that lasts until dawn. I seem to have this thing about putting myself in my stories. Wish I knew why I wrote the thing. Sigmund Freud would have his hands full figuring out why the hell I wrote this thing.

The problem is I haven’t been able to sit down at the computer for more than a couple of hours at a pop. I can’t seem to establish any kind of rhythm. The summer production stands at three stories and 8,500 words. I'll keep slugging.


beFrank said...

I wish I could get into a rhythm with my writing too. Keep working at it. It'll happen.

Anonymous said...

Bryan - Some days it's like fishing and some days it's like pulling teeth - my own teeth.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous was me. The technology's screwing with me again.

David C. said...

I took a writing class a couple years ago and one of our first assignments was to read the story "The Things That They Carried." O'Brien's comments are interesting. I believe he changed some of the stories after the first edition--similar to Walt Whitman and Leaves of Grass.

#167 Dad said...

O'Brien's take on writing absolutely blows my mind. I'm looking forward to reading more of his stuff.

As for Whitman, didn't Leaves of Grass continue to evolve for a couple of decades?