It recently occurred to me that I should offer a Christmas gift to the wonderful writers at this site. I don’t have anyone’s address so I can’t mail out gift cards to the Olive Garden. So I’m going to offer a little writing advice (a $20 value, in rubles). This is probably like a fruitcake that you never asked for and will quietly throw away. But here goes anyway:
Yesterday I was listening to an Allman Brothers album. The song “Midnight Rider” came on. At one point Greg Allman sings “I don’t own the clothes I’m wearing.” I stopped scrubbing the toilet and thought to myself “That is totally unbelievable. Everybody owns the clothes they wear, even if they only cost $2.99 at Goodwill.”
So if we’re to believe this line, there’s only three possible explanations for this lack of clothes-ownership: (1) Greg Allman wore clothes that were on layaway; but when was the last time you heard of a rock-star whose wardobe involved a payment plan? (2) Greg was driving to Midnight Mass on Christmas eve, wearing a rented tux that he had no intention of returning because he was a total rebel or (3) He and his brother Duane shared clothes. This is the most plausible explanation. You could picture Greg saying “Hey, Duane can I wear your sleeveless jeans-shirt again?” and Duane responding “Yeah, but don’t you dare put it in the wash.”
Still a reach. But the Allman Brothers (who are supposedly retiring this year) played that song for 45 years. Meanwhile many serious artists creating true-to-fact art that “shows us who we are as a people” fizzle out after a few years. So the point is: No one wants actual reality because it’s boring and depressing. But passing off fictional, absurd, and totally unbelievable things as real is fine. That’s the real winning strategy. It’s how Sarah Palin and Snooki get onto the best-seller lists.
Merry Christmas everyone!