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Mon, May. 24th, 2010, 05:14 pm
You miss 100% of the rejection slips you don't apply for.

To begin with, my computer is fixed and I would be recording music again if I had time. I have not had time. I have been busy transcribing speeches and interviews from any number of bottomlessly terrible people ranging from a representative of the Monsanto Edible Abominations Against God and Nature corporation (NYSE: MEAAGN!!!) to one of the Bush administration's many draftsmen of global economic ruin, Hank Paulson. I suppose it's reasonably ironic that my dreams of one day being able to sell out my ideals by licensing one of my original songs to an ad campaign for a gross multinational corporation for an absurdly large sum of money have been deferred by my immediate need to sell out my ideals by recording for posterity the pitter-patter of unchecked capitalist greed for pitiably less money.

And for further irony, considering the irresponsibly-difficult-to-parse nature of the previous sentence, I am speaking to you today because Adrienne has prevailed upon me to assemble a writing portfolio and I require your assistance.

Though it's not much in evidence lately, I do really love to write. And although mental health concerns led me to bow out of a couple of low-pressure opportunities to do so in my mid-20s, it's still probably the thing I'm best at and, as Adrienne pointed out, it's kind of dumb not to try to make something good happen as a result of that. As such, it makes sense for me to have a properly vetted bundle of clips handy, since I inevitably make poor choices if I'm asked to assemble a selection on short notice. (I can't remember the exact circumstances, but I have a distinct memory of realizing too late that I'd responded to a prospective employer's request for a writing sample by submitting a piece that contained an unfortunate deployment of the word dildo.) The problem is I really have no idea what pieces I've written might comprise a strong case that I have some sort of skill in that area.

The Soul Coughing primer I wrote for No Ripcord was apparently considered informative enough that it's been linked from Soul Coughing's Wikipedia page, but, as with most of the music criticism I wrote at age 22, it kind of has a know-it-all vibe that makes me cringe in retrospect. I do like that track-by-track review of The Best of the 80's Decade I wrote a couple months back. Maybe that's a contender?

I think my favorite thing I've ever written is The Disclaimer Adam Baldwin Review Archive, simply because it's an inexcusably silly project that gave me a lot of different things to write about, but it's way, way too long to be useful as a snapshot of my "talent" or "style." I guess maybe I could compile a few selections from the longer piece? Is that a good idea? (I also really like the fake news article I wrote about a fictional Jack the Ripper museum in Boston, but that's really just more silliness with no weight or purpose to it, and I'm leaning toward excluding that as well.)

I really am feeling kind of baffled about what I might include in this portfolio, uncharacteristically enthusiastic as I actually am about the idea of putting it together, so I am turning to you. Not that I expect anyone looking at this to have retained anything of mine they've read, let alone to have any sort of "favorites," but just in case there's a dangerously obsessive lurker out there who was intensely impressed by something I once said, now's the time to let me know of your existence by bestowing specific accolades upon me! I would also greatly appreciate any sort of feedback or direction the other seven of you might be able to provide (beyond "Don't let the Washington Post draw you into a life of indentured servitude").

Okay, back to typing up the many virtues of Monsanto's luxurious new breed of technologically blessed dairy cows. Eyes replaced by LED stock tickers! Udders emit pleasing bagpipe dirges when milked! 80% greater cognizance of the cruel, cruel cosmic joke their very existence constitutes!

CURRENT MUSIC: Winking Makes a Face by Tadd Mullinix.
CURRENT MOOD: Angry, almost always.

Mon, May. 24th, 2010 09:37 pm (UTC)

Most of the time I find myself digging (and being impressed by) your prose, I'm reading here, or in one of your many amusing emailed turns of phrase that are what one might call stylistic bons mots, the laugh accentuated and sometimes even prompted by the phraseology. These are the yous I read most. And then there's the Marcu piece, but that and similar in-joke hilarity are perhaps inappropriate for your needs here. Just I like them. The Marcu is maybe silliness with weight and purpose, but niche-y.

I suggest gathering all the possible nominees, brainstorm-no-filter, then constructing reduced portfolios in a customizing way, when you know the specifics of the occasion of sharing. I.e., e.g., how much "dildo" is called for. :)

And yes, you are quite the writer, and this Adrienne has a good point.

Mon, May. 24th, 2010 10:00 pm (UTC)

Ooh, the Marcu one! I may indeed use that. Thanks for the idea!

Thanks very much also for the kind words and encouragement, and the idea of coding the portfolios according to whether a job is "dildo"-appropriate or "dildo"-inappropriate. (Remove the quotation marks and you can imagine my CV as quite different!) That should also come in handy.
(Deleted comment)

Tue, May. 25th, 2010 06:13 pm (UTC)

Thanks very much for the feedback! I really appreciate it.

Maybe I should write an entire piece on the horrors of Monsanto. Any company whose name is immediately paired with the word "evil" in Google's auto-suggestion box is worth reading up on, methinks.