Albany Journal – 8/3/12

Gore Vidal has expired, and so we are left with his great works, most of which I haven’t read, but I intend to read them at some point.  Right now, the dominating force in all coumminication for me is the visual image, which, I suppose, factors into the equation for those well-enough to constantly watch things – the observation of people walking down their own avenues of despair and redemption, the irresponsible advertising that makes shiny and happy people seem as if such a monstronsity is the norm of our every day lives, and for many reasons that go way above my understanding, is that these things that we just have a superficial sense of are worth paying attention to, as life ought to be that simple and that perfect, as though we belong in movie and television la-la land.  More so than watch television and go to movies is the willingness that I have to read books, even though I can only concentrate on a couple of pages before falling asleep – or at least getting so aimlessly fatigued that I need to take sleeping pills and wake up much later when times are much better for the whole lot of us.  And so my troubles with reading continue, simply because I grew up with movies and television as the glut in my arteries that will lead to my disfigurement eventually.  Anyway, enough about myself.  How’s the world feeling, yo?  At least we’re not that dead yet, just going through the motions of living in a coma unless someone smacks us out of it.

At any rate, an important part of writing is to make sense, and certainly the pull and the general direction of the United States are the inability to make sense of anything – or at least this is what happens when one grows older.   I would say that we need to find heroes of our own generation and not stumble into the trap of following people who have already expired.  William Buckley, Jr., and Gore Vidal were both exceptional minds in their heydey, and one really does know that when Harvard and Yale go arguing and wanting to kill each other, then I guess we’ll have to be shipped out to war – the whole lot of us.  I don’t mind war so much, just so long as I don’t have to go through basic training.  I would insist to the Military top brass that people are just as effective not going to basic training.  The winner is on the side of passion these days, and the less we tend to disturb these things that ought to have remained in Pandora’s box, the better.  I don’t think we’re ghosts just yet, but slowly we’re becoming so, and really I would much rather remain in ignorance and bliss than go news junkying into every video, into every newspaper, into every blog post.  We must learn about this “ignorance and bliss” concept before we are eaten alive.  But you shouldn’t worry too much.  I will change my tone of fear with that of love, and when the pendulum swings the other way, you can be certain that there are many who will follow the military’s example.  And so I have taken a vow of silence – to write and to read and watch television news, until such times a better for us – that and keep going with the nicotine, caffeine, and ibuprofen as a part of my treatment.

I apologize to both Ryan and Ben, as this doesn’t make any sense whatsoever, but the editor’s task is to sort these things out, and as a writer living in fantasy land, this is something that I have never been able to do myself.

Harvey Havel is the author of five novels. This past spring, Stories from the Fall of the Empire, his sixth book and his first collection of short stories, was recently released by Publish America. Later this summer, Two Tickets to Memphis, his sixth novel, is forthcoming from Publish America as well. Havel has previously taught Writing at Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey and also at SUNY Albany and the College of St. Rose, both in Albany, New York. Born in Lahore, Pakistan in 1971, Havel now resides full time in Albany, New York.