IRISH WRITERS’ UNION STATEMENT ON THE INVASION OF UKRAINE

I stand in solidarity with our Irish neighbors, Americans, and international writing communities, in support the freedom of expression, liberty, and safety of people in the Ukraine and throughout the world.

25-02-2022 – The Irish Writers’ Union Statement

War is a disaster. Today we stand like many others shocked and dismayed by the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian army. We oppose this invasion, oppose this war and stand for Ukraine to live as an independent country, determining its own destiny.

People who know Irish history know how much we value our independence and freedom. The Irish Writers’ Union offers its solidarity today to the Ukrainian community, to its writers and writers’ organisations.

Many people and members of the Irish Writers’ Union will recall the huge mobilisations that took place across the world in 2003 against the US backed invasion of Iraq. Predictions were made at the time about what might happen to Iraq when a war machine as great as that of the USA’s moved against it. Those predictions all underestimated the deaths, the injuries and the sheer destruction that the US war bestowed on Iraq. Today, like so many others, we can only look on as this new disaster unfolds. We know that it will be ordinary people who will suffer the most because of this invasion. But we do not know where this war will go, what it will lead to, or how much damage it will leave in its wake. We can only look at history and know that no good will come from what has just happened.

As writers we cannot do a great deal at this time other than to speak out, but we want to do so as loudly as we can. We stand in solidarity with the writing community across Europe and with the European Writers’ Council in condemning this war. End it now!

A Feverish Visionary Dream: “Memoirs and Misinformation,” by Jim Carrey and Dana Vachon

In an interview with New York Times reviewer, Dave Itzkoff, Jim Carrey explained his latest book, “Memoirs and Misinformation,” co-written by author of Wall Street satire, “Mergers & Acquisitions,” Dana Vachon. “It’s the end of the world, and we have the perfect book for it.”

“Not the end of civilization,” he continued. “Just the end of a world, the selfish world. We’re getting over the Ayn Rand, ‘you can be a jerk and we can all live in a paradise of jerks’ thing. That’s what we’re going through.”

Photo: Linda Fields Hill

Part autobiography, part fiction, Carrey and Vachon draw disparate parts of experience together to pull off an unconventional memoir/farewell letter to civilization as they know it.

It opens with the broken, bed bound, paranoid, messy version of Jim Carrey. Apocalyptic and soulless, Los Angeles serves as a backdrop for his mental state. Visceral ruminations follow, treating Hollywood as a trope for civilization teetering on the brink of extinction.

This Jim Carrey trusts no one. Reality is fickle. Celebrities are phonies. Even time is a “trick.”

Alrighty then.

If it weren’t for Carrey’s brilliant humor, and Vachon’s taut, lyrical prose, I might not have been able to take this grim version of Hollywood culture. Jim Carrey, Drama King, is an apocalyptic persona within an apocalypse. He exposes the underbelly of acting, agents, celebrity, and privilege, while yearning for friendship, romance, and meaning.

No one is safe passing under his purview. Least of all himself. While watching a television show explaining how Cro-Magnon annihilated the Neanderthals, he falls apart, drawing parallels to his fear of “total erasure.” He asks, is the “value of an existence as part of a species forever looping between horror and heartache…?”

Lonely, restless, narcissistic, he looks to his guard dogs and a computerized security system, that speaks ”in the voice of a Singaporean opium heiress who summered in Provence,” for affection.

He’s in mourning for the world, and for his lost “self.” Terrified of life, terrified of death. The thought of John Lennon’s final portrait taken in the morgue, sends him into a self-grooming frenzy, just in case he dies and fanboys at the morgue sell his photo to the highest bidder.

Flashback to the beginning of the end.

This Jim Carrey is on top of his game. In a darkly comedic scenario, he’s at a banquet celebrating a whopping box office success. Surrounded by grifting dignitaries (investors), he charms them with an absurd guzzle from a bottle of expensive wine. Further laying the groundwork for a sleazy, black comedy of Hollywood culture, Carrey and Vachon go on to describe his early (fictionalized) career, poking fun at Nicolas Cage, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Tom Cruise, and the celebrity addiction to cosmetic surgery.

In a world where even reality TV is fake, Jim Carrey continually asks himself, What is real?

Dana Vachon and Jim Carrey. Courtesy: wbur

He affirms in interviews that some passages were written from real life experiences. As a sincere seven-year-old, he definitely was desperate to bring a smile to his ill mother’s face. He truly does carry a torch for the singer, Linda Ronstadt, who he dated in his twenties. He is still mourning the loss of his friend Rodney Dangerfield.

And yet, he is quoted in a press release, saying that “none of it is real, and all of it is true.”

In the end, Carrey and other stars are battling an alien invasion, a slapstick finale that pokes fun at the book itself, as it correlates his misfortunes with Armageddon.

Ultimately, “Memoirs and Misinformation” is a feverish, visionary dream. It echoes Dostoevsky’s diary, “Notes from the Underground,” that opens with “I am a sick man.” Both books amalgamate fiction and non-fiction. Both expose illusions upon which society is formed, and the resultant effect on individual lives. And both are narrated by terribly clever, unreliable characters who emblazon the egotistical self struggling to maintain control over life rather than transform. #

JimCarrey #DanaVachon #MemoiresAndMisinformation #satire #visionary #VFA #transformation #philosophy #memoir #RobinGregory #apocalypse #Hollywood #culture

Nobel Prize Winning Interview with Robin Gregory

What fun! Interview with the UK’s notorious Jason Denness…

Gnome Appreciation Society

Hello everyone.  Today I have an interview with a lady who lives in a cottage made out of caramel, I got that info from the back of her book and I’m assuming it is a typo because what is a Carmel cottage?  Her book is on my gotta read list and when you see the cover you’ll want to check it out too, one of the most spectacular I’ve seen.

Please stare open mouthed at Robin Gregory.

Question 1: Give us a quick run down about The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman.

Thank you for the lovely introduction, Jason. The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman is book one of a trilogy. Moojie is introduced as an orphan whose unrestrained preternatural powers jeopardize his ability to fit in. He forms an unlikely friendship with otherworldly outcasts which threatens to shatter an already shaky connection to his adoptive family.

Question 2: Assuming…

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The wilderness experience. Every hero’s journey seems to include one.

matrix2.ambitious

Whether it’s Neo in The Matrix, Harry Potter at Number Four, Privet Drive, or Cheryl Strayed’s hike from California to Washington in Wild, I think the wilderness experience is a necessary part of character transformation. Especially in visionary fiction. It takes the main character away from familiar comforts, support, and surroundings. It challenges his or her power.

In (upcoming) book two of my trilogy, Halfkin, Moojie, now an impetuous, half-alien eighteen-year-old, and his unreliable guide from Pleiades, Abu, and are on a perilous journey to find Babylonia, Moojie’s lost love.

This scene takes place after Moojie impulsively befriends a vagabond in the desert. Despite Abu’s warnings, Moojie shares a meal with the scruffy stranger, who turns around and steals the horses and rifles.

Moojie thinks they will never get to their destination on time. He also believes they won’t be able to feed themselves without hunting rifles.

Undaunted, Abu leaves the campsite and returns with a burlap sack full of small game.

“Where’d you get those?” Moojie spoke in a tone of disbelief.

“Did I not tell you? Creatures in the wild sacrifice themselves willingly to feed hungry saints,” Abu said.

Moojie scratched his nose.

Abu opened the sack and presented two dead poorwills and a gila monster, as if performing a magic trick. Ta-da! He asked, “Did you hear about the angry magician?”

Moojie cocked his head. “What?”

“He pulled out his hare.” Abu held up a dead jackrabbit.

“Very funny,” Moojie said. “Is that an original joke?”

Abu shrugged.

“I didn’t think holy men had time for jokes,” Moojie said.

“Saints are stretched thin these days,” Abu said. ###

The vagabond experience causes Moojie to question his way of thinking. It challenges him to pause before acting, to listen to his intuition. It is a small step toward trusting life itself to guide him forward. A lesson for every hero.