Saturday, March 26, 2011

Being published is better than not being published.

You know those people who say "Publication doesn't matter" or some variant thereof? They're fucking liars.

People who say this include:

  • Everyone who's ever been published.

Writing advice books looooove to reiterate this fact. Substitute "publication" with any form of success in any field, and you have similar results. Successful people like to downplay their success by pretending it's not all that great. They also like to pretend they've worked harder than everyone else, because of this insidious myth we cling to in America that hard work naturally and inevitably produces desirable results.


You may have worked hard. You may be successful. And you may even know people who are lazy and poor, thus strengthening your bizarre insistence that hard work and success are somehow positively correlated. But those are not the only work/success combinations that exist, and I haven't seen much evidence that either style of working leads to a predictable outcome.

I think published people downplay the wondrousness of publication for a few reasons.

  • Etiquette. It's bad manners in America to pretend you landed in your class because of circumstances as opposed to deservedness. Shit, it's bad manners to acknowledge the existence of class.
  • False humility. "Sure, I'm published, but it's really not that big a deal. No, no, really, don't fawn over me." 
  • False nostalgia. In this instance, the published have actually fooled themselves into thinking that things were better when they had to work at an $8/hour barista job so they could do their art in their spare time. They're convinced they've eaten from the fucking tree of knowledge and now that they know good and evil, boy, would they choose ignorant bliss, bub. It's kind of understandable. You get locked in patterns of stress and then once you achieve success, it's kind of hard to escape from those patterns, even though you don't have to stress so much anymore. You just channel the stress into weird new things. "Oh, the utter pressure to keep up with my former successes is damaging my complexion!"


Don't let these people lie to you. Until I have relationships ruined, I will stand by the controversial thesis I've always held:

Being published is preferable to not being published.

Here's why publication is better:

  • You're published. This is the goal of every writer. If they say otherwise, it's because they forgot how horrible it was to be unpublished, unread, unloved.
  • You're making money. Maybe. If you're not, you have cause to believe that people might want to pay you in the future. 
  • You're much more likely to get published again. This is incentive to write, and we write because we love writing, right?
  • People treat you differently. It's a verifiable fact. When I used to tell people I was a cook, they would get this look in their eyes like they were trying to think of something nice to say about my line of work. Then they would inch away in search of people with whom they could discuss their stock portfolio. When I tell people I'm a stay-at-home mom, they get this look of hate in their eyes and make snide comments about anti-feminists and how nice it must be to not have to do anything all day (these people have obviously never spent more than five minutes taking care of 3 kids, but whatever). But when I tell people I'm a writer (something I have only been drunk enough to pull off a few times), they look at me with reverence. They ask me questions. Advice questions. It's not like when I was a cook and people who weren't cooks would pretend to know how to cook better than me, because, you know, cooking is an idiot's profession (there are many idiots in cooking, true, but have you read some of the confessional blogs out there? Any idiot can write.)
  • I would have broken the above bullet point into 2 paragraphs, but fucking Blogger wouldn't let me.
Point being, once publication occurs, life is all daisies and unicorns and spritely woodland creatures. Try it sometime.

P.S. People with a lot of blog traffic are happier than people without. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Wikipedia-esque synopsis of Snoop Dogg's "Gin and Juice"

I stole this idea from the many anonymous pop song synopses which once peppered Wikipedia [for instance] but which seem to have been removed in light of their irrelevance. Rehashing the idea means that yes, I'm an unoriginal cunt, and yes, I've been told this before. 

The song opens with Snoop Dogg lamenting the sorry state of social affairs in his hometown of Long Beach, California, although he does not specify the nature of the trouble. Dogg affirms his determination to succeed at his musical career in the face of said ails. The song continues in this spirit, with Dogg emphasizing the importance of male friendship and seemingly simple pleasures as a way of coping with life’s tribulations.

Dogg describes a raucous all-night celebration that he is hosting at his mother’s house in her absence. The party includes women engaging in sexual intercourse in the living room (it is unclear if they are having sex with one another while the men watch, or if the men are partaking in the orgy as well), and Dogg states his intention to have sex with one or more of the women. He also mentions that he and his friends are each in possession of an adequate amount (or perhaps even a surplus) of prophylactics to protect against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. The sex, he stresses, is to be purely casual in nature, as he does not harbor romantic or empathetic feelings towards the women in the room or, it would seem, any woman. Dogg also announces that he plans to smoke a large amount of an unnamed recreational drug (though it is reasonable to assume he is speaking of marijuana).

In the second verse, we learn that in addition to marijuana, Dogg is drinking Seagram’s gin. He expresses annoyance that all of the party’s guests are drinking the alcohol he has provided, yet few, if any, have contributed the fee that social protocol dictates they should pay. Although such a breach of etiquette is somewhat common, Dogg nonetheless explains his philosophy that everyone ought to contribute to the common good. In addition to opening his home to his guests and providing libations, he also offers musical entertainment and goes to great lengths to promote an atmosphere of fun and stress-free living.

As Dogg steps out of the house, perhaps to enjoy the warm evening, he runs into Sadie, the former love interest of a friend. She begins flirting with him. Loyal to his friend, Dogg converses with her for a bit before giving her the full truth: he has no intention of having sex with her. We do not hear Sadie's reaction to Dogg's rejection, but one can infer that this is a great disappointment to her.

Eventually Dogg’s friend Dr. Dre arrives at his house with a large amount of Tanqueray gin and some very potent marijuana. Dogg consumes so much of these two substances that he feels dizzy. Recognizing the profound state of his inebriation, he decides to temporarily cease the self-administration of intoxicating substances. However, his presence of mind is sufficient to allow him to copulate with at least one of the women who have accompanied Dre to the party. Once he has reached orgasm, he leaves the woman and returns to his friends, thus reiterating the theme that has run throughout the song, that of the importance of prioritizing male friends over casual sex partners. Women come and go, but real friends are the ones who matter. 

The song's narrative is interspersed with a chronologically unrelated, but thematically relevant, chorus, in which Dogg describes consuming drugs while driving in a car. Although this relaxes him, he can't help but feel preoccupied with financial matters.  


With so much drama in the LBC,
it's kinda hard bein' Snoop D-O-double-G, 
but I, somehow, some way
keep comin up with funky-ass shit like every single day.
May I kick a little something for the G's? 
And make a few ends
as I breeze through, 2 in the morning 
and the party's still jumpin cause my mama ain't home.
I got bitches in the living room gettin' it on, 
and they ain't leavin til 6 in the morning.
So what you wanna do? Shit, 
I got a pocket full of rubbers and my homeboys do to.
So turn out the lights and close the doors. 
But for what? We don't love you, hoes!
Yeah, so we gon smoke an ounce to this
G's up, hoes down, like you motherfuckers bounce to this.

Rollin' down the street smokin' indo, 
sippin' on gin and juice (laid back)
with my mind on my money and my money and my money on my mind. (2x)

Now that I got me some Seagram's gin
Everybody got they cups but they ain't chipped in,
Now this types of shit happens all the time.
You gotta get yours, but fool, I gotta get mine.
Everything is fine when you listen to the D-O-G
I got the cultivatin' music that be captivatin' he
who listens to the words that I speak 
as I take me a drink to the middle of the street 
and get up mackin' to this bitch named Sadie (Sadie?)
She used to be the homeboy's lady (oh, that bitch?)
80 degrees when I tell that bitch please
raise up of these n-u-t's 'cause you gets none of these, at ease.
As I mob with the dog pound feel the breeze, bi-atch! I'm just -


Later on that day, my homie Dr. Dre came through
with a gang of Tanqueray, and a fat-ass J
of some bubonic chronic that made me choke, 
shit, this ain't no joke, 
I had to back off up of it and set my cup down.
Tanqueray and chronic, yeah, I'm fucked up now.
But it ain't no stoppin', I'm still poppin', 
Dre got some bitches from the city of Compton to serve me 
not with a cherry on top,
'Cause when I bust my nut, I'm raisin' up off the cot.
Don't get upset, girl, that's just how it goes,
I don't love you hoes! I'm out the door.
And I'll be -