Thai Thoughts And Anecdotes Part 395
WHENCE DOES CREDIBILITY COME?
The printed word with an author’s name attached in a prestige magazine like The New Yorker? What greater credibility? But how much of our acceptance is based on props? The printed word on a page in a prestige magazine that you can hold in your hands with a well known author’s name attached? What if the same text ideas had been presented on the Internet by an unknown writer? Same result? Same acceptance by the readers? No. Props always augment credibility. The clothed man gets more respect than the naked man even though they might both share the same moral-ethical core and have the same worthy insights and entertainments. The hat on the head helps.
Example: In the November 21, 2011 issue of The New Yorker magazine on page 122 there is an article by Martin Amis titled Laureate of Terror. Cue instant respect. In the Introduction (two long paragraphs), Mr. Amis approaches with examples the idea that:
“When we say we love a writer’s work, we are always stretching the truth: what we really mean is that we love about half of it. Sometimes rather more than half, sometimes rather less.”
Depending on your enthusiasms you might not share all of Mr. Amis’s conclusions regarding great author’s works but the props will carry you along. You will read the Introduction and nod your head in agreement. But what if I, a literary nobody, had made the same remarks on the Internet? And would Mr. Amis ever consider sending in his essay to the Internet rather than the prop heavy magazine?
My point? My point is almost a sidebar rant but not quite. To wit: where are the heavy hitter writers on the Internet and why don’t they want to play? In many ways the Internet is the new front line. At the battle of Thermopalae 300 Spartans held back the Persians. Every Spartan died. But every one of those Spartans did not die at the same time. The bravest and the most noteworthy were in the front line. Others had to wait their turn to win historical honor. Why are the Martin Amis writers hanging back on the Internet? Why aren’t they in the front line?
Many men go to Thailand to engage in the sometimes life altering pleasure of holding a beautiful smiling naked woman in their arms. Some of these happy foreign male participants must surely be book reviewers, poets, screenplay producers, playwrights, and writers in their own countries. How come we never hear about their Thai pleasures on the Internet? Where is the writing about your Thailand experience Mr. Famous Writer? I know I saw you looking at my Fa on the boardwalk in Pattaya and a couple of days before that I saw you throwing ping pong balls in the Electric Blue bar on Walking Street. Nothing to say? The experience did not have an effect on you or stay with you? I don’t believe it. I think ‘famous’ writers not making contributions to the Internet is a kind of fraud. They want by their lack of participation to sell an idea that is a fraud. You made a trip to the Kingdom and no part of the man-woman experience was life enhancing? You are a liar.
Don’t want to throw the dice in our game? Don’t feel we are qualified to read your writing? Don’t want to be in the front line? It makes me wonder how much we are losing about the farang-Thai experience because so many opt out of participating. It is a loss to the the genre not to be regained because time is linear and the past unrecorded is forgotten. I know of one prolific farang-Thai arena writer who is sometimes pilloried because he writes ‘so much’ about Pattaya and adventures therein. Well, who else is recording the present that will someday become the not forgotten archived past? If not him, then what other him? Unrecorded history fades fast, maybe he is doing history a favor by writing and recording. Anyway, one of Pattaya’s recorders won’t be Martin Amis on the Internet, that’s for sure. He’s too busy waiting for his message machine to record the next editor’s message from a fancy magazine:
“Dear Martin: a very thoughtful, well researched essay. We just need to make basic changes to the beginning, the middle, the end, the font you chose, the margins, the concept, the tone, word count, number of paragraphs, references (too many), polysyllabic words (too many), facts (too many), and alternative points-of-view (too confusing). Also we are going to eliminate all historical and religious and literary references as well as the interior story that happens in Albania (nobody cares about Albania). We are very glad you have decided to come on board Fancy Pants Magazine as a part-time, unpaid, freelance famous author stringer. Don’t even consider sending this story into the Internet. Nobody there reads or would understand your brilliance.
Bye-the-way, your next assignment should you accept it will be to examine writers on the Internet. Since there aren’t any real writers on the Internet, we expect you to do an in depth hard hitting overview in about 800 words.
Best regards, Mortimer Limpdick”
Conclusion? Hey, Mr. Famous Writer, do you manage to mention at every August cocktail party on Nantucket that the whole writer thing is just beyond you, you are just a leaf on the wind of compulsion? And do you then let it drop that you couldn’t finish Norman Mailer’s The Armies of the Night because it was too . . . and then you use a French word? And is this bit of New York cleverness followed by the unasked for information that you bought your red yachting pants in 1968?
Hey, I’m just the little waiter guy in a white jacket with brass buttons serving you fish paste on Ritz crackers but I love the act. I’m high fiveing you in my mind and giving credit where credit is due. You are one Woody Allen alpha male. Of course I never see you body surfing at Madaket beach but that’s because you are molding and sculpting text art at home. Sure you are.
So, how about showing us a little of this gifted-from-God writer compulsion on the Internet? How many people read The New Yorker magazine? Now, how many Internet viewers watch videos of a moose with his foot stuck in a bucket? I think I have made my point. So let’s try to be nice to the current writers on the Internet who are making contributions in the farang-Thai genre. They are in the front line and soon we are all going to be dead. How about you? Isn’t it time you made a commitment and threw the dice with us?