Writerly Absorption

People have been asking me this week if I have any comment on Iran/Obama’s DOMA screwup/what’s going on with Jon & Kate/whatever, but the answer is: not really, no, because most of my brain power is being sucked into the writing project, and when I’m done with it each day, my powers of writing long, thought-out pieces full of insight are kind of tapped out. I mean, I can give you a summation of my thoughts on each topic, if you like:

Iran: People’s votes should actually count

Obama & DOMA: Dude, pull your head out

Jon & Kate: Like I give a crap about these people

But if you’re asking for much more than that, there’s a better than even chance that my response will be “guh?” It’s not that I’m not thinking about these topics, it’s that when I sit down to write about these big, meaty topics, my neurons collapse into soup. And while that’s nice if you like soup, it’s not so good for thinkful writeamation, if you know what I mean.

I mean, I’ll try to keep up with these things. But I promise nothing until the writing project is done. Yes, it sucks that my brain is apparently making me choose between pay copy and blogging, but at the moment it is. And my mortgage tells me which way I have to vote. I’m sure you understand.

39 Comments on “Writerly Absorption”

  1. Well, I looked up who the hell Jon & Kate are.

    I’m poorer of soul for the effort. I think I may have lost a handful of IQ points as well.

  2. Your mortgage sounds like a thoughtful, helpful kind of thing, prone to giving good advice and kind consideration.

    Mine sits in the corner, flinging poo at the walls and cackling as home values plummet ever lower.

    Why yes, I do live in Florida. How’d you guess?

  3. I was going to go look up who Jon & Kate are, but after comment #1, it looks like I’m happier not knowing. Unless they’re somehow involved in DOMA or Iranian politics, I can’t see how they’d be two people I should care about.

  4. I have no idea who Jon and Kate are. And I refuse to search to find out. (but it would be so easy.) Not gonna do it. (15 seconds…) FINE.

    Reality TV. A couple with lots of kids. No wonder I didn’t know. Sarcastro: agreed.

  5. While I also have no desire to know who John and Kate are, in the last few weeks I don’t know how you could possibly avoid this information if you ever:
    1) turn on a TV,
    2) listen to a radio station (with an old-fashioned, live DJ),
    3) surf the internet, or
    4) look at a magazine rack, especially the one at the checkout stand of the grocery store.

    Suddenly and without warning they were EVERYWHERE, just like zombies!

  6. Shouldn’t Jon & Kate questions be relegated to the same folder as “Betty White Nude Photos” and Nigerian-generated business proposals?

  7. Okay, well then what about John and Krissy plus one?

    As to your writing, you mentioned earlier that you’re shooting for 2000 words per day. If you go a month, that’s almost enough for a nanowrimo novel (www.nanowrimo.org).

    When you get your brain power back, I think it would be interesting to read an overview of the whole process, including whether you are going to continue with this amount of writing. And if so, when can we start expecting 3 or 4 new novels per year? (Only 90 or so more before you tie Danielle Steele’s current output.)

  8. Dude, you’re a science fiction author and major blogger. How can you not have a detailed verbose opinion about everything going on in the world around you! That’s like completely wrong, in the kittens-being-killed-every-time-you-say it or archangels in the wind section tuning up senses…

  9. Let’s discuss the Iran thing in bullet points!

    -No, this is not as big as 1979.
    -Yes, the votes should count.
    -No, the violence and chaos isn’t as widespread as the American media is portraying it.
    -Yes, the electorate IS really pretty pissed off. And yes, they have every right to be.
    -Don’t forget the whole presidential election was essentially rigged from the get-go. How many candidates were screened out by the country’s Guardian Council before the election even started? More than a thousand I believe.

  10. Patrick: the pictures I’ve seen certainly make this seem as big as, say, Eastern Europe circa ’89 and as big as what I remember of Iran in ’79. Admittedly, I was only 14 in 79.

  11. Oh people know about them. (John and Kate) Just by name.

    See some video of a wife that just talks so much shit about her husband you wonder if he is neutered or has balls? Where she attacks hims for breathing…

    Yeah you saw that video. Now you know their names. Now back to shit that matters.


  12. Patrick, I’m with Steve Burnap on this: from what I can tell, this is comparable to 1979.

  13. I would be more than happy to guest blog on the whole Jon and Kate Plus 8 thing, John, if you need a pinch hitter. Granted, that would be coming from the point of view of someone who watched ONE episode, and said, “My God, what is this world coming to?” and not from the point of view of one of the fans of the show, who, presumably, enjoyed watching Kate yell at and disrespect Jon each week.

    By the way, The Other Keith (#7), it is ironic that I did indeed avoid the WHOLE scandal until I got caught in a long checkout line at a grocery store. In any case, if I had not fallen into category #4, apparently The Whatever is here to get me up to date on worthless pop culture information.

  14. Patrick: I would think that any violence towards a country’s citizens by their leaders is a pretty big deal when it’s officially sanctioned, not an isolated incident with extenuating circumstances, and with no hope of recourse.

    -Their media is shuttered or in cases probably imprisoned so that they don’t know exactly what has happened.

    -There have been disruptions in communications in Iran.

    There have been deaths. <- is probably the most important point due to martyrs being a big idea in that area of the world.

    I'd think it's a big thing indeed. Whether anything will come of it politically for Iran is dependent on what the citizens do now. Considering they have a very recent example of revolution against an established government in 1979 who knows what will happen.

  15. sillies, jon and kate are two guys who want to get married in iran.

    sheesh, keep up, wouldja?

  16. J&K = not intrested, no nothing and judging by the current comments, wish I knew less.

    DOMA flap and other recent WTFs = O dude, you’re a smart guy. Start acting more like a smart guy. If we had wanted a corporate run, Bush-light leaning suit we would have voted for someone else.

    Iran = Agree with Steve Burnap on this. I _was_ well over 14 at that time and from what I see and remember, both the scope and the magnitude are comparable. Given that most of the top people on all sides now were in leadership roles back then, this is not a suprise.

    This has multiple ways it could go and none of them hold good news for the status quo. Even the best outcomes for the powers that be contain seeds of change for the future.

  17. Jon and Kate: OMG, can you believe it???
    Obama: I had to google to find out who this guy is.
    Iran: I ran so far away.

  18. There ought to be some way you could get micro payments for each word you write deposited toward your mortgage. On second thought, maybe that’d suck the joy out of completing a project. And editing would suck if it made your mortgage balance go back up.

  19. Actually JS, I found your analysis of the Jon & Kate situation to be quite thorough. Concise, perhaps, but really you said all that needs to be said.

  20. Own a TV? Not if you paid me. then I’d hear about people like Jon & Kate, whoever they are.

  21. I’d be interested on John’s view of the whole Surreality TV phenom, both in the US and abroad, and what that has to say about us as a culture/society much more than anything he might have to say about J&K in particular. Interested, yes, but not so much interested that I’d rather read *that* than, say, John’s latest rant about whatever much more important issue/happening of the day that peaked his interest or just plain torqued him ballistic. Even if I don’t agree with his rant or take on any given happenstance or issue (and for full disclosure, I don’t agree with his view of a particular issue or happenstance about as often as I do agree) I’m almost certain to be entertained by the quality of the rant as a rant, and very often I’m enlightened at least to some degree, even if only in the sense that it makes me think through my own position or thoughts one more time.

    and re Jon & Kate I already know more about them via involuntary channel-surfing exposure than I’ve ever wanted to know about any couple (regardless of the number of offspring they enjoy) that I don’t actually know in real life and have no particular desire to care about.

  22. I see little difference in comments about “John & Kate” directly and oblique discussion on “John & Kate” disguised as smug commentary on our low-brow culture. Better just ignore people who aren’t worth noticing, as those two almost certainly are.

  23. I watched Jon and Kate way back for a couple of weeks…my excuse is that I just had twins nearly the same age as their sextuplets and I wanted to feel better about my craziness in mothering twins by someone who was even crazier having to deal with eight.

    So I cut her a lot of slack. Until she went through a dozen housekeepers because they wouldn’t get down on hands and knees and clean the floor like she did. And then I lost all sympathy. My floor may only get mopped once a week, but at least my kids aren’t being yelled at every time they drop a crumb on the floor.

    I predicted the eminent self-destruct of that family. Sad, though. The kids are cute. They need to go away.

  24. I have a TV, but I haven’t watched a cable or OTA broadcast since about April. Last media sensation I can recall being exposed to was octomom, so you can understand why I’ve stopped watching. Lots of international video on the internet, though. So J&K get a big “Whatever” from me.

    Iran: If Khameini is stupid enough to let the army loose on protesters, it’ll be “interesting” to see whether the reformists will try to fight. Otherwise I think it’ll peter out.

    Doma Obama: Lame.

  25. Oh. I know what happened. You thought someone cared what you thought about politics. We don’t brother.
    Now write some more books, got money burning a hole in my pocket waiting for my newest, favorite SciFi writer to get busy!

  26. *comes up for air*
    Iran: a powder keg of potential; could become either a Red army refusal to follow corrupt orders – or an atrocity to rival Tiananmen square.

    Obama & DOMA: managed not to hear thing one about this, despite 6-8 minutes of NPR input per day (like our host, have been head-down in project mode). Darn, now I will have to make Inquiries. A curse upon your offhand socially-relevant remarks!

    Jon and Kate whom?
     [ … ] 
    Really? <LM-B> “Wow, and I didn’t even vote for them.” </LM-B>

    *inhales roomful of air* *dives*

  27. @27 3% of the U.S. population watch that stupid show. Not sure how that reflects anything about our culture as a whole.

  28. Catherine@16: Actually, I think Whatever does a pretty poor job of keeping us up to date on pop culture.


  29. Garrett @33

    3% watch, but I’d say something like 70-90% know the names. I know the names, and I don’t watch any tv that hasn’t been released on DVD. (This is not a comment on television in general – I quite like television – rather a reflection on the fact that cable costs a lot, and if it’s worth watching at all, someone will put it out on DVD and I can rent it from Netflix) I can’t go grocery shopping without learning that Jon cheated on Kate on his birthday (he didn’t do it on HER birthday, so I’m not sure what the fuss is about) and the teen stars of Twilight are, or are not, dating. Plus, Nostradamus predicts that seven soap opera characters will die this year, but three will come back – read more to find out which ones!

  30. I had actually heard of J&K before the current bruhaha, but only because I watch one show (What Not to Wear – I like fashion make-over shows) on TLC (which used to be a good channel that talked about books and history and things of interest – now, not so much).

    My feeling about it all is, “Who gives a fuck?”

    Also, Kate’s hairstyle is very, very bad. That’s about my level of interest in the whole thing.

    Iran: Seems to me like this is a very big thing. I’m trying to keep up on events there – today’s protest, in defiance of Khamenei’s order to cease protests, is huge.

    DOMA/Obama: I am reduced to an incoherent scream.

  31. You know John, you still update your blog more than a lot of other people when you claim you’re too busy to.

    So I don’t think you have to apologize so much as others need to be more appreciative.

  32. With all due respect Matt, I show my appreciation with my wallet. And unless Mr Scalzi makes more money blogging than writing books…….it may be to his ultimate benefit to spend less time blogging and more time producing work.
    But I could be wrong.

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