1. Wednesday, March 23, 2005

    busblog friend and web icon Ken Layne 

    reviewed my book “How To Blog” today.

    because it’s so nice i have chosen to copy and paste it in it’s entirety here since he put it “below the fold” of his post damning the vice president’s trip to reno (“Good luck selling Reno on your make-believe Social Security fuckaround!”) and his props to Achewood’s new baby.

    as you know ken and i have been friends for centuries and i have lived in the apartment that he once resided. some historian may say that the entire busblog was written in the closet of the apartment that layne wrote some of his greatest works, but in truth half of the busblog was written on various computers at the xbi during my government mandated fifteen minute breaks and at lunch.

    I see my pal Tony Pierce is just about sold out of his “How To Blog” book. And this means I’ve failed to write a review in time to do any good. (I blame the baby.)

    Still, it’s a helluva book. I had to put it down for a while due to being overwhelmed by non-book things, but I just picked it up again last week and it’s a world of its own. Of course I’ve been reading Tony’s Web sites since about 1995, when he started Lick Magazine (the real one), and I’ve read a lot of the stuff that eventually went inside the book. No matter. Without the photographs, 5,000 links, crazy BusBlog mastheads, comments, etc., you just get the writing. And it is very good, very real writing … filled with great characters both real & imagined, so much East Hollywood atmosphere that I can almost smell the zankou chicken, and the buck-up defiance & bravado that keeps a man alive despite a stupid soul-sucking job.

    (It’s not just a chronological year’s worth of blog posts, as his last book was. And this is a real live perfect-bound glossy-covered trade paperback with nice pages and nice printing and a near-perfect selection of stuff that makes it much more of a short novel than a simple collection.)

    Thankfully, “How To Blog” offers no instruction on how you might get or maintain a web-log. (Such a book would be a single page long, with the text: “Go to that www.blogger.com and sign up for a free account, then post a bunch of crap, or not.”) That Pierce’s honest-to-god poetic prose first appeared on his Web site is the blogging angle, I guess. Well good. Blogging is the Latest Craze, I hear, and if anyone’s going to cash in on the craze it might as well be Tony Pierce, who has through sheer stubborn willpower managed to not cash in on any of the other Internet crazes over these last dozen years.

    Blogs are mentioned a few times, I guess. There is the character, “Bloggy,” and Tony often converses with this character. And there are mentions of the beloved closet off the living room of Tony’s East Hollywood one-bedroom apartment, the closet that gave birth not only to Tony’s BusBlog, but to my own bloggy. (I lived in that fine apartment in the year 2000. It really was the best apartment ever, except for the neighbor’s dogs and the crazy Scientologists doing construction all night on their horrible headquarters across the street.)

    Anyway, the book might better be called “How To Live,” but that would be ridiculous. “How To Survive,” maybe. “How To Not Let The Bastards Crush Your Soul” would be a good title, too. Maybe for the mass-market reprint, when the word “blog” is as meaningless & forgotten as “home page” is today.

    those of you interested in ordering a signed copy of How To Blog just email me

    thanks for the love ken and congrats to you and laura on your adorable lil son

    city flirting + alarming news + zulieka + i love it when flagrant has flootnotes