Sunday, August 28, 2011

Taking back the blog!

Sort of. Mr. Lovecraft has had this blog for many years now. But he and I must make a new deal - from time to time, Chrispy will hold center court.

News: Status of my proposed books. I am 2/3 of the way through the tentatively titled "Lovecraft's Grandfather: The Business Life of Whipple Van Buren Phillips". It is not peer reviewed, but I have showed it to one or two people. Their feedback, believe it or not, was that it was worthy of publication (I have a publisher if I finish by the way) and if I proceed to make it scholarly, I had flubbed the footnote formats badly. It has been many years (decades) since college term papers, so I admit I am very rusty. I am a scientist, but I am not an historian, nor a biographer, so I am learning new skills in order to attempt this. Wish Chrispy luck.

I am completed with "Young Lovecraft" to mid 1892. It is not to my satisfaction, but it certainly shows that what has been said about Lovecraft's first 2 years has much more to be stated. I can never praise Mr Faig enough, but by others these critical first two years have been given short shrift especially in light of new primary documents that have come to light on Miss Guiney, the Auburndale, MA. speculative real estate development between 1888 and 1893, and Winfield's expansive sales trips per his hotel announcements.

Don't hold your breath. Things could go south on these books. I am currently 55 years old, and this is very much a part time development that has to fit my very limited time. I have determined that if I do publish, it will most certainly not be for financial gain - unlike other Lovecraft endeavors. The sheer lack of interest in these subjects (perhaps 2,000 people out of 7 billion?) means that this is a labor of personal interest and for scholarship, though I hope some money might eventually be made and given to some charity or other. It is payment to Mr Lovecraft for the hours of entertainment he has given me since 2002.

What else is Chrispy doing?

If you don't see me on Facebook, or playing some Zynga game (curse you psychologist-demons of Zynga) that meas I am at work, church, or blogging over at Miskatonic books. I am rapidly losing touch with my old T-12 gang and old Horror Mall friends who are deeply into their own endeavors in and out of horror. I wish them good luck!

I am not writing horror as much as I used to, and I already see that my skills are rusting. So I may start up again. I have dozens of unfinished projects that would take me into my old age if I choose.

I feel toward our US government much as I do toward the governors of Kentucky. Each election I say, "How can we get worse candidates than these? How can any governor be this bad?" Yet I have watched wacky governors and presidents (of both parties) enrich themselves and their friends, while doing nothing to stop inevitable disaster. All I can say is I suppose we are getting what we deserve, and I will continue to complain, but expect no better.

This leads me to my next diatribe. I am no fan of Richard Dawkins. Today, I saw that he had his own pontificating windbaggish lambast of America, Texas, Republicans, and specifically governor Perry. Perry was clearly baiting political targets, and Dawkins fell for the bait, though one wonders why? He seems not to "have a dog in the hunt" in American politics, but loses little opportunity to sell his books. Or should I say one panderer should recognize another?

Ivory towerists never see the real populist reasons for things. It has been a while since I took biology, thank you, and I did major in chemistry, but if I recall Darwin's ideas, they were specifically stated in a way that I might paraphrase: When natural environments change they cause biological organisms to rapidly adapt to them.

I know almost no creationist, scientist, molecular biologist, or even CSISCOP's to object to this. We see it every day in every way, particularly with new dog breeds and Franken-crops. However, there is much to object to the catch-all term 'evolution', particularly as usurped and practiced by the British elites, Nazis, American medical staffs, and others who proposed social-Darwinism for political and elitist gain. Why one must denigrate people of faith - Buddhist, Muslim, or Christian for the sake of selling books on a THEORY I don't understand.

There are millions of scientists and engineers who are people of faith and practitioners of hope, love, and charity. They seem not to have an issue with living their lives peacefully, and do not get in the face of their brothers and sisters, grind axes, or descend to calling names. If only ivory towerists would do the same. And this should apply to name-callers on either side of this issue.

Lastly, what is wrong with horror?

I can sort of summarize my feelings a few ways. First, high expectations. We might think a return to the Stephen King/Anne Rice days is normal. THAT was the aberration. We are in a very normal sales volume for horror based on 20th century norms.

We insist of horror being in novel form. Horror is best practiced as short story. So what happened? Corporations pay by the word for some insane reason, so today's writers pad their works to get maximum gain for the least effort. They must type a minimum of three novels a year to maintain their B-list rankings, and be able to pay bills. Or they must hire assistants to type their books form outlines they provide and hope the imitations are sufficient to maintain their minimal fan base.

Please, bring back short story horror and pay a living wage to writers for it.

Alas, I fear that the days of Poe and Lovecraft writing a few short stories of quality each year, or even Charles Schultz doing every word, every line, every drawing, and every ink is as passe as, well, playing defense or the two-point shot in basketball.

Horror is corporate, and corporations - this may come as a big surprise - maximize profits at the expense of the least amount of outlay to employees. Karl Marx had the wrong solution, but he stated the problem correctly. Profit is good, but greed is bad, and absolute greed corrupts absolutely and is what we have today.

This is precisely the battle between E Hoffman Price and H P Lovecraft. Price stated that only in writing was the amateur held up as better than the professional. Lovecraft countered that selling stories for only money will always end up in mediocre work and hack work. They talked past one another, and neither made very much money. The middle ground ends up one of two ways. Very lucky talented writers write what they want and the audience finds them and supports them. Very unlucky talented writers end up poor and their stories in the garbage after they die.

I will guarantee there are wonderful, talented, horror writers you have never read because they did not attract a corporate backer, were unable to advance through the hurdles placed before them, and gave up. Or they chose to write something else to pay bills - say like Max Brand writing westerns, or Conan Doyle writing Sherlock Holmes. I guess that is back to natural selection.

Horror is a two-way street. You must meet it half-way. We have the worst economy in our lives, and the real unemployment is closer to 20%, and we have no confidence in anyone. We have to stop the merry-go-round and break the cycle of mistrust. If you are lucky enough to have a job, and inspired enough to enjoy horror, find a wayward writer and support that person. Take a chance on someone new. Buy their book, or support a trustworthy publisher (there are a few left) who is trying to help new talent. Do your homework, and while you may purchase a few duds, you will find a writer who resonates with you in the independent press.

OK, Mr Lovecraft, thank you for letting me have these few minutes on the HPL blog.


Creature said...

Hey Chrispy:
You're lucky H.P. let you get a word in edgewise. I'm still out here reeling from the loss of "The Mall" to those dad-burn zombies. Just to let you know though I do read what you put in here and enjoy it all. Also, you can count on me for those two books if and when they are done.
Anyway, I'm still writing and still makin' movies, oh, and still doing field work with reptiles. I still say that if I were to ever go (at least in the nnext thousand years or so, lol) I would want you to get all my notebooks. I think you work wonders with even just snippets of info.
Keep up the good work and...Have a Great Day!!!
The "Creature"
P.S. I'm sure Lovecraft is wandering the Dreamlands, approving what you do. Cthulhu Fhtagn!!!

Magister said...

Those books you mention working on have me bouncing up and down with pleasure and anticipation, even though I know better than to hold my breath. Good luck, Crispy!

rpk said...

I agree with Magister, and am particularly eager to see the book on HPL's childhood. I suppose that makes it 2001 people?


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