Why Johnny can’t write gooder

Following a link from James Wolcott, pointing out that themanwhocreatedmoseswine  is every bit as sketchy about literature as he is about film [Ed: Isn’t he a  novelist and screenwriter? Me: Yes, he is. Ed: Why are we doing parenthetical asides to ourself like Roger does? Me: I don’t know. But have I ever mentioned what a droll wit you possess? Ed: Oh, do go on you smooth talker, you…] Anyway, following the link, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a guest appearance at PeePee Media by Learning Annex Teacher of the Week, Mary Grabar.

For those who are not Grabarheads, may I direct you here and here.

I’ll wait….

Hmmmmm…hmmmmm…..trains and boats and planes took you away
But every time I see him I pray
And if my prayer can cross the sea
The trains and the boats and planes
Will bring back you back, back home to me, whoa…oh… 

Oh, hi.

So..where were we? Oh yes, Mary Grabar. Her. Yes indeedy. Grabar’s stock in trade is bitching about "liberal" academia and tenure and students and women professors who are all conniving bitch feminists who hate Mary’s love of the classical canon and… Well, let’s just cut to the chase: she can’t land a regular gig at a good school and the prospects for tenure somewhere someday is about as likely as a Maxim cover shoot. Oh,  and it’s everybody else’s fault.

But then I thought: what if it isn’t something about Mary? What if it is other people’s fault? What if the Mary who is trapped in the vicious cycle of semester-to-semester teaching contracts where she is forced to teach Comp 101 to apathetic, if not hostile, slack-jawed juco yokels who don’t know Derrida from their derrieres…why, what if that Mary is another Norman Maclean with one great book incubating and growing inside of her; threatening to burst out through her chest like an alien who bleeds acid that melts metal ( your own analogy may vary).

So, with the help of modern technology and this thing that they call the "internets", I "clicked" on one of the "hyperlinks" that I found at Mary’s "website" in order to "read" (or "surf" as the kids say)  her "short story" Roosters.

An excerpt:

The red and green feathers shimmered in the sun, and I saw that they were roosters. They looked like the figures lining the gift display of the Café Latte, a place to which I was headed, and I walked there with eyes straight ahead.

I was setting down my heavy bag by a little table in the front when the pink-shirted Harley man passed by on the narrow sidewalk on the other side of the window. He didn’t need to in order to get to the Auto Zone next door. Two layers of glass separated us. Then he disappeared.

I walked to the back. I had already had too much coffee that morning, so I ordered a cinnamon steamer from the boy playing a computer game behind the counter.

  The three other men, two black and a skinnier version of Harley man stood around the rooster crate lighting up cigarettes.

Café Latte was devoid of the weekday conspirings of retirees and local activists, and of teenagers intertwined on couches, or ear-muffed with headphones pecking away at laptops. I recognized a woman from PTA, who had brought in a basket loaded with bills, cheerfully writing out checks.

—It’s the only way I’ll get them all done at once, she said.

The other customers were two women whose heads bowed intently. They were trying to keep their voices down. It was a conversation I recognized.

It kind of goes on like that, sort of Raymond Carveresque after having been translated from sort of crazy Moonman language, filtered through Mad Libs and then dropped onto the page like pick-up sticks. Which is to say that, while academia may not welcome her with open arms, she may have found her metier cranking out columns for PJ Media.

It has to beat teaching Milton to Raylene and Bubba Bob…..



Yeah. Like I would tell you....