To read: … Not that: That’s Too Much (the first part)
Oh, there would be more:
Hooray, at least people I don’t know offer their support & appreciation. Caught in a world of drolls, I suppose, the “I can identify a funny picture with 12 words or less” so that makes me “creative” & so “funny.” Added to the mix are the cloddish churls that offer their bullshit politics through half-ass & faulty logical comparisons between 2 or more points that are not interrelated. Then, of course, there’s the “I’ll show a slight glimpse of titties” types that are glorified for no other reason than perverted dudes want to use them as a fuck doll.
Is there anyone with an original thought? Anyone?
Nah, it’s just a me thing, I got ya. Goddamn, I hate living on planet fucktard. Well, ya best keep on with the same ol’ routine of attention whoredom, by all means– don’t bother with the likes of me. Besides, at this time, I don’t need or want ya– consider yourself barred, banned, or told explicitly to fuck off.
I should have never stopped drinking, in hindsight, that was a mistake.
Unmistakably, my anger was a result of disappointment in the lack of the familiar, native support. For whatever reason, I believed that my friends and family would be a tower of strength, champion level promoters– yes, they would have their “boy’s” back, right?
Initially, I expected the few selected folks in my life that matter to post my writings, to promote my work, and to be legitimately enthusiastic about my sincere pursuits.
Turns out, I was wrong.
Several folks would advise that part of the problem stems from my political viewpoints and writings that tend to rub some people the wrong way. Thus, they would add that by “turning it down” then maybe my creative endeavors would receive a growth in attention, support, and praise.
For me, a writer should never take advice from anyone that offers the “be different” than yourself as a beginning point. Just a self-belief, but the most important quality a writer possesses is their uniqueness, stories told in their way. Anything less than full-throttle is a waste of the written words, the tale, and most importantly the readers’ time and energy. Again, merely a personal belief.
Nevertheless, the key to finding the answer to my struggles would be found in an old interview. Not just any old transcript either, my clarity be gained from a March 4, 1975 chat featuring one, Mr. Rod Serling.
The discussion was held at one of Serling’s favorite restaurants. He would provide his thoughts about life, politics, prejudice, immortality, and of course, personal musings of a long and “successful” writing career.
The following are the excerpts that would comfort my internal savage crybaby:
Question: Do you think you can say more about topics of social significance through a contemporary drama or more through the framework of science fiction and fantasy?
Serling: I think you can say more obviously in the framework of an honest-to-Christ contemporary piece so that you don’t have to talk in parables, in symbolisms and the rest of it, but this is not to say that you can’t make a point of social criticism using science fiction or fantasy as your backdrop. We did that on Twilight Zone a lot, but there’s no room for that kind of subtlety anymore. The problems are so much with us that they have to be attacked directly.
Question: What contemporary issues are you most eager to write about but feel restricted by network and sponsor censorship?
Serling: I suppose there’s only one now and that’s politics. The…what do we call it—the Nixon mentality. I’d love to be able to write an in-depth piece of what causes men like Nixon and Haldeman and Ehrlichman and all the rest of them not only to run, but what causes us to vote for them.
Question: What do you think entering the television writing arena does for a writer’s sensitivities?
Serling: It probably bends them out of shape. It frustrates—makes him feel inferior. It makes him deathly preoccupied with his own value and his own worth, and if he is even normally sensitive, he will very likely weep the rest of his life and also wind up with a terrible, terrible lack of awareness of his own worth. Because people are put down in television now, not because they’re not qualitative, not because they’re not talented—but because there’s no room for them, and worse than that, there’s nowhere they can find exposure. Their own good talent may die of mourning, just for want of having somebody read what they’ve written. I don’t presume to say how we can best provide platforms for new writers to get read. I don’t know. But therein lies the major problem. I suppose it’s very much like actors and actresses who trod pavements and get doors slammed in their faces. Well, the writer’s no different. When he’s rejected, that paper is rejected, in a sense, a sizeable fragment of the writer is rejected as well. It’s a piece of himself that’s being turned down. And how often can this happen before suddenly you begin to question your own worth and your own value? And even worse, fundamentally, your own talent?
Question: And what do you want them to say about the writer Rod Serling a hundred years from now?
Serling: I don’t care. I just want them to remember me a hundred years from now. I don’t care that they’re not able to quote any single line that I’ve written. But just that they can say, “Oh, he was a writer.” That’s sufficiently an honored position for me.
Question: Then that’s what it all boils down to really?
Serling: I guess we all have a little vaunting itch for immortality, I guess that must be it.
Shortly after, the hand of fate would provide its own twisted unforeseen Serlingesque ending. A mere 117 days after the interview, on Saturday, 28 June 1975, at the age of 50, Rodman Edward Serling would be dead.
The March 4, 1975, Linda Breville interview would be initially printed as “Rod Serling: The Facts of Life” but has since become more commonly referred to as Rod Serling’s Final Interview.
Thank you, Mr. Serling. Your words of wisdom bestowed a new encouragement to keep doing what I want– writing. Also, as noted, it is imperative now– just as it was during your era to “attack” the problems of today– directly.
Ladies and Gentleman, slightly over 43-years have passed since Rod Serling’s death. It is my distinct pleasure to remind everyone: Rod Serling was a writer.