dark am i, yet lovely, a lily among thorns, majestic as stars in procession

dark am i, yet lovely, a lily among thorns, majestic as stars in procession

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Embarrassing Absurdia

VOICES FROM THE OTHER SIDE is a ‘black writer’ anthology, and good. Read it a couple of years ago and it’s almost time to go back. Mainly to reacquaint myself with Ricky Windell George, author of the contribution Good ‘Nough To Eat, about the touching and hilarious insecurities of a male stripper hung like a horse. Truly mesmerising content! Probably in my top 3 fav short stories ever. Couldn’t put it down, devoured in one sitting, yadda-blah-blah-yadda and so on (as you would expect with all short stories, I suppose).

Like all the best efforts, they kind of change you. They challenge you. They almost intimidate you. But, importantly, you learn from them. Because it's an education. And you're better next time. Perhaps you're better than them. Creative practitioners are constantly leapfrogging each other. It's the name of the game, and not important, because it's all about personal progress (never compare yourself to other people!). This story in particular was like the Dumb and Dumber of literature, like a stupid movie in the text of a book, but serious, sad and horrifying at the same time, making it a real adult gem. (A chipped gem, it must be said.) Chuckling out loud while leafing through pages is a reserved form of humour, and different to other laughs. It takes a lot of knack to make people do that. Or a natural funny bone (some comics have funny material, and some have funny bones). A book has no visual power whatsoever. All print looks the same. Black on white blocks. Line after line. Uniform. But within it is the author’s psyche (if he or she is any good), delivered into your brainspace, and that particular author’s psyche may be very visual indeed. The reader may be a visual person too, and when they both interact in this way, then a splendid meeting of minds might just take place...

Is Ricky Windell George really writing about this?? I thought to myself. It was kind of unbelievable. Like watching a laugh out loud comedy with no television. Reading can very much be like watching telly, except you choose all the locations and actors. You’re in total control of interpreting the writer’s message. The farcicality of bold stories like Good ‘Nough To Eat actually rub off on you. The funniest laughs are those laughs when you shouldn’t really be laughing. Embarrassment has a lot to do with it, you know. As an author, how far are you prepared to go? How much of yourself are you prepared to reveal? How red must your face flush before you have to think twice about where you’re heading? I believe there are no boundaries. On the screen, there are. But on the page, no (not on that illimitable screen in your mind). Push them. Break them down. But you have to know yourself first. Or maybe not. Perhaps knowing others is enough. When you mix yourself and others you get a new character.

The most preposterous scene ich recall ever writing was a flash piece called Spell Pinocchio (1300 words). It took place on a plane. Among other strange goings on, a woman had kept the liposuction juice from her hospital operation and was squirting it from a water gun into the hair of other passengers, saving only enough to make pancakes for her husband.

It’s called absurdia, and it’s the future. Think of Jim Carey and Jasper Carrot in a script written by Harry Enfield and Lenny Henry. This is why the blog has a trick up its sleeve waiting for Mr. Ridiculous to come out. What’s the point in living without laughter? Soes anyway, well done Ricky, gunna read you again soon. Some things you just have to experience more than once. Like Michael Jackson’s Beat It video, and oriental sushi with coconut yogurt mashed together on a folded pineapple pizza...no other toppings, not even cheese and tom, just pineapple...like a Hawaiian without the ham. Spell Hawaiian. 
 right though aren’t I though

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