I still think most of these would be whiskey, not coffee.
(h/t to Mark Victor Young.)
According to the semi-famous writer, fake expert and shiller of Mac products, John Hodgman — not to be confused with John Hodgeman, inventor of alligator pants — there are six essentials that “every writer must have at his command.”
Far be it for me to quibble with a writer of his vaunted semi-fame and success. (I hear he has his own high-speed zeppelin, and everything.)
As I have neither a zeppelin, nor a theme song, you may feel it presumptuous on my part to try and correct him in any way, but I feel he is wrong on two counts. In most respects, this is an excellent list, and though I desire a theme song, the lack of one has yet to prevent me from writing. When I have reached his level of success, I assume that a theme song will happen to me, as a matter of course.
On the subject of hackneyed stationary, complete with an image of a quill, typewriter, or any other kind of writing device (I hear J. D. Salinger had a chisel and mallet on his letterhead), this is completely absurd. We’re living in a digital age. Nowadays, writers should have a website with an image of a quill, or typewriter. (Monkeys will do, but only if a significant portion of your writing is humorous in intent, if not actual fact.)
Hodgman’s list is woefully inaccurate regarding the important subject of silly hats. This is de rigueur for every writer who has any aspiration of ever being successful. I suspect he left it off his list because of his extraordinarily large cranial circumference, which makes it difficult to fit a silly hat of any kind.
Though if he is still looking for one, I believe he would do well with a fez, or perhaps a bellhop hat. (Both can be perched easily on the swollen melon of a giant-headed writer.)
I would also add that the ability to count is irrelevant.
And yes, the gent pictured above is sporting a spectacular Partial Napoleon III Imperial, with Faux Friendly Chops (using the Dreickland swoop, of course). I knew you’d get it.
“With the collapse of totalitarian empires, we believed that living together, peace, pluralism, and human rights would gain the ascendancy and the world would leave behind holocausts, genocides, invasions, and wars of extermination. None of that has occurred. New forms of barbarism flourish, incited by fanaticism, and with the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, we cannot overlook the fact that any small faction of crazed redeemers may one day provoke a nuclear cataclysm. We have to thwart them, confront them, and defeat them. There aren’t many, although the tumult of their crimes resounds all over the planet and the nightmares they provoke overwhelm us with dread. We should not allow ourselves to be intimidated by those who want to snatch away the freedom we have been acquiring over the long course of civilization.”
~Mario Vargas Llosa
“In Praise of Reading and Fiction.” Nobel Lecture, 2010
24,000-22,000 BC: chunky fertility goddess statues (pictured at right: notice the prominent and large brains.)
10,000 BC: cave painting
4,000 BC: ziggurat construction
1480-1700: Witch burning
1500s: homoerotic sonnet writing
1600s: pirate singing
1760-1762: spreading syphilis
1900-1914: being optimistic about the future
1919-1922: cutting up pieces of paper and pulling them out of a hat, also, painting
1925: jazz music
1927: soap-based radio
1933: burning books (mostly in Germany)
1951: find-the-commie (kind of like peek-a-boo, but with Senators)
1964: screaming (usually Beatle-related)
1977: DIY pet rocks
1982-1988: taking odds on Reagan-related nuclear holocaust
1987-1997: making answering machine messages (see below)
1998: web sites about your cat
1999: cappuccino drinking (related to dot-com bubble)
2000: looking forward to the future (this didn’t last as long as the previous fad in this genre)
April 2008: Twitter
2009 (Jan.-Aug): talking/writing/broadcasting about Twitter in MSM.
2009, Sep. 15: Blogging (again, briefly, but only about Dan Brown’s latest “masterstroke of storytelling”
2010 (Jan.-Feb.):getting really excited about the release of the iPad.
2010 (Mar.-May): trying to remember what all the fuss about the iPad was all about.