I’ve had no success in getting my writing published. I am on my ninth novel now. Yes, nine completed novels and nothing. I’ve written six screenplays, two novellas, too many poems and articles, and this, my 757th blog post. And nothing.My publishing success is limited to a momentary sports column, a handful of advertorials for British Columbia Tourism and failed copy for a toilet company. Once, I posted a comment about the paparazzi the day after Princess Diana’s death and got a positive reply. Yes, 19 years later, and I still remember that one comment. My most successful blog – 1,200 hits – was due solely to the image of Bachelorette hopeful Jade Elizabeth posted along with it.
Over these many years, I have accumulated hundreds of rejections from literary agents – all kindly phrased – while friends have listened to my writing ruminations with fading patience. Acquaintances are more interested because they don’t know any better.
It’s not that I’m feeling sorry for myself. I’m just trying to figure out what I’m doing with all of my time. It’s a dream of something – recognition, immortality, dinner with the president, a night of naked adulation, an admiring smile. I am well aware of Orwell and Didion’s thoughts and agree that it must be in my nature and that I am my only I, but it doesn’t feel like that very often. Not today anyway. It seems more like I’m being stubborn or, more accurately, a dumb shit.
This blog, my bad side, receives an average of 70-100 visits per day. The aim of these posts is to intrigue visitors with brief and, hopefully, insightful reflections on writing and life – and throw in the odd image. All of that said, I am aware of what many virtual visitors are really looking for, and I even occasionally deliver on that. My post on Jade Elizabeth, of Bachelor/Playboy fame, underlines the parameters of this virtual world. From January 29 through February 17, the blog maintained its normal humble traffic, and then suddenly tripled in one day and triple again the next, to only dwindle down again a week later. Whether any of this surge of visitors stopped to read my “insights” is dubious at best.
I feed my guilty pleasure for The Bachelor not because I want to see anyone find “true love” nor participate in a drinking game based on the amount of times a character says, “This is amazing!”, but rather to witness the humorous and pathetic decline of American civilization. Last night’s episode (Week 8 of Season 19) was no exception. Viewers witnessed Jade Elizabeth reveal pictures from her Playboy shoot to Bachelor Chris Soules on her computer. Confused between arousal and indignation, Chris bumbled through a proclamation that he would stand behind Jade if he were to choose her as his intended…and then went on to dump her the next day. The Bachelor offers that unique hybrid of American television which attempts to straddle the impossible: trashy titillation and a wholesome Christian story. Girls get drunk, do various stunts in bikinis, act with spite and scorn toward one another and then reflect thoughtfully on their Christian values and what it is to love. As amusing as all of this might be, I do find myself getting irritated at the hypocrisy when it is so foully-craft as the broadcast last nightForgetting the fact that Chris, while promoted as true and pure, has at the very least indulged in porn-surfing and attended a strip club or two, no matter what he, his family, town or state might think of making money (or just expressing oneself) through nude modelling, it is inane to judge anyone on these standards. As it states in the Constitution of the United States, a document fervently cited by Republicans, Democrats, libertarians and capitalists alike, it is everyone’s right to exercise “the blessings of liberty to ourselves.”
An issue to consider instead might be the presence of guns in the household of potential mates. Indeed, what if it turned out that one of the contestants had a relative who had a treasure trove of assault weaponry in the home? Would the music turn ominous? Would the bachelorette scowl and flee? Or would she be forced to don her bikini and let her rip? As for Jade, I hope that the producers of The Bachelor have the wherewithal to select her for next season’s Bachelorette so that we can watch all the eager boys shrug off her so-called past “for all the right reasons.”