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The Books A place to talk about Dirk's two autobiographies "Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy" and "And Then We Went Fishing" as well as Dirk penned articles and future writings.

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Old 03-25-2014, 10:18 PM   #1
ojai22
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Default KAMIKAZE COWBOY ll

Recently I found the old official DB website archived with 402 billion others. That's what they said: 402 Billion. The Introduction of Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy ll and Chapter One is still on that site, languishing in that cyber maze. Since it would be of interest to anyone stopping by this site, which is now the Official Site, I am moving them here to The Books section.

I actually worked for an hour to get all the margins lined up as they were in the originals and when I Previewed them, they were perfect. But when I posted them all the spaces headed back to the maze and I'm not going after them. Use your imagination. :-)


Happy Reading!


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Old 03-25-2014, 10:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: KC ll

CONFESSIONS OF A KAMIKAZE COWBOY II

by DIRK BENEDICT


MONTANA MEMOIRS: ESSAYS FROM A DANGEROUS WORDSMITH


Introduction

(Essay: An analytic, interpretive, or critical literary composition, usu. much shorter and less systematic and formal than a dissertation or thesis and usu. dealing with its subject from a limited, often personal point of view.)


To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men...that is genius.....A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the luster of the firmament of bards and sages.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (deceased)



"Einstein says E = mc2. Amen, says I. For, although I have not yet stolen a few hours from my crowded days and squandered nights to master the profundities involved in the contemplation of (no, not my navel) the clandestine relationship between matter, space and time, I will grant (St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas to the contrary, not-withstanding), for the sake of argument, that infinity has an end and eternity may last but a moment. Who cares? The point is I have adrenals hyper-atrophied, thymus atrophied, and the intensity of my existence is driving me to an early grave and a skimpy tombstone."

George Edward Niewoehner (deceased)



"The first thing writing must do is save your own ass."

Charles Bukowski (deceased)



"You ain't nobody 'til you're dead."

Billie Holliday (deceased)





FROM WHERE GOD ONLY KNOWS

Autobiographies are funny things. Once you start writing them it's hard to stop. I should know. This is my third. If it was up to me, it would be my last. But it isn't, for although the stories are entirely my responsibility (or fault), which is to say I have lived my own life (and God knows there are those who haven't), the sharing of them, in this my third confessional tome, is not. For I am just the typist, doing what the Voice tells me. Taking dictation. Taking only credit for page count and blame for typos.

It all started in the womb I suspect although the first outward signs, public manifestations, of my secretarial tendencies didn't appear until one morning before breakfast when I handed my father the letter I had taken in dictation earlier that morning and asked him if he would mail it on his way to work. I was four years old at the time and I knew many things. More, I suspect, than I know now. I not only knew that my father "worked", but that this work took place in a room he called his "office". I also knew that he didn't like this work but did it anyway because he was a grownup. So every morning my grownup father, a solitary suit and tie in a town full of boots and jeans, went to work at his office down town. I say "down" because our house sat on a hill, and "town", for although only 1,000 people inhabited it, in Montana, especially in those days, that was not only enough souls gathered in one place to deserve such a moniker, it could even earn you a stop sign or two. In fact, not only was it a town, it was the county seat of a county called Meagher. My father was the county attorney, although he referred to himself as a "Sagebrush Lawyer" because most of his clients lived closer to the sagebrush than the county seat. Certainly that is how I always thought of him, as a Sagebrush Galahad in a 1955 Jaguar XK-140 Sports Roadster driving the winding, country roads through the sagebrush in heat and sleet and rain and snow to some sheep or cattle ranch nestled into the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains of Montana.

My dad's office, on main street of our little cowtown, was directly across from the Phillips 66 service station, several doors down from The Melody Lane Bar, (one of eight in this one horse, one grocery store town,) and it is to this sanctuary of legal jurisprudence that he was headed when my four year old hands handed him the letter I had taken in dictation but that very morning. If he couldn't read the writing, for my scribble was neither horizontal nor punctuated, he didn't let on. He nodded, tucked the letter in his inside vest pocket (this impressed me terribly for I knew it was where he kept all things of importance), commended me on my early morning diligence, explained the necessity of stamps and promised to mail the letter on his way to work. I am quite sure that he did, for I now know, though I didn't at the time, that he too heard the Voice and understood, from painful experience, that what was crucial was not that my letter reached any particular destination, or even that it was read, but simply that I had listened to the Voice and written what it said. Destiny would take care of the rest. Which proved to be true, in the decades to come, as destiny did, in my life and his death, take care of the rest...

And so began our daily, pre-breakfast ritual as I handed my early morning dictations to dad, addressed and stamped, and he tucked them into the breast pocket of his suit. As far as my four year old eyes could tell, it all seemed perfectly normal to him that I should be carrying on such a large correspondence at such a young age, which was good, because it also made perfect sense to me. Nor did it bother me that I never got an answer to any of these hundreds of letters. In truth, it never entered my mind, for I was four years old and I knew that you only got answers when you asked questions and I knew what was in the letters and it certainly wasn't questions. And anyway, that wasn't the point. I was simply doing what I was told.

At age six, with the unavoidable intrusion of school into my literate life, I was surprised to discover my dictation was coming out on paper in the form of this new language my first grade teacher, Mrs. Holmes seemed so determined to teach me how to write. English, she called it. If the Voice didn't mind, it was alright with me. One language was as good as another as far as I was concerned and I couldn't help being impressed with the quantum leap forward in my secretarial skills that had come, as a by-product, from all off Mrs. Holm's reading and writing lessons. Lines became horizontal, margins manifested themselves, punctuation appeared, paragraphs, page numbers...and so too the world around me became linear and marginal; days punctuated and numbered...and destiny took care of the rest as time passed and dad died and I grew and my skills increased. And the sadness grew and the pain increased and through it all the Voice continued. And so the dictation never stopped.

Once a secretary, always a secretary.

I became bigger. The letters became longer. The days and pages piled up. I learned that the piling of days one upon the other was inevitable and called "living" and we all did it, more or less, while the other, the daily scribbling, I was told, wasn't for everyone. For it was creative and called "writing". But I knew better. It wasn't "creative" for what I "wrote" didn't come from me, but through me. I simply recorded what the Voice said. I'd been doing it for years and would have stopped long ago if it had been up to me. But of course, it wasn't.

Once a secretary, always a secretary.

And then it happened. With the passing of my father and the years, the dictation no longer got stamped or mailed but simply stacked in a suitcase and thrown into the corner of my apartment, or my hotel room. Into the corner of my life. But not far enough into the corner, for inevitably they caught the attention of others who wondered who was responsible for this suitcase full of scrawl. No longer in possession of a four year old's wisdom, and assuming everyone heard the Voice, I not only confessed but allowed them to be read.

"What is this?"

"Well...

"This about you?"

"Well...

"You keep a diary?"

Laughter.

I didn't know what to call it for the Voice never told me and anyway, it was never, meant to be read much less explained. I was at a loss.

"Well, more like an...autobiography." I say.

Guffaws.

A book? About yourself?"

"Well..."

Laughter and guffaws.

It was biographical and it came from my pen but I knew I hadn't written it and it certainly wasn't a book. Un-mailed letters maybe, due to the death of the mail man, but I knew better than to go into all of that. I'd learned to live with the Voice and it's intrusion into my daily life but I was reluctant to reveal the extent to which I was at it's mercy.

Calling it autobiographic didn't help matters. It seems the autobiographical impulse, normal in the elderly, is considered perverse in the young. Was I the only young man whose spare time was not his own? I had better find a more remote corner in which to throw the evidence...

"If you gotta write something, write a novel." They advised, finally recovering from laughter and guffaw. (Oh sure, that'd be a cinch.)

"But I'm not a writer." I protested.

"Write a screenplay!" Meaning, I assume, that you don't have to be a writer to write one of those. "That's where the bucks are. But an autobiography? You gotta be famous to write one of those."

They'd grown up in America. They knew what they were talking about. They'd seen Entertainment Tonight, read People Magazine, idolized Madonna. They knew what they were talking about. My dictated missives were discovered in the corner of my suitcase in the corner of an apartment in a place called Hollywood and Hollywood is no longer a town, but a state of mind. A descriptive adjective describing the process by which one realizes the American dream. They knew what they were talking about! And the message was very clear. Write a screenplay. Get famous. Get rich. Then write an autobiography. Isn't that the point of all the scribbling, of all scribbling anywhere? Fame and fortune?

That no one knew, in fact, if I was capable of a novel or screenplay didn't seem to bother them. They were very certain, that at age thirty, any life I could have lived was not worth the telling. Of course they didn't know the life I had lived. That I had grown up in a foreign land called Montana during it's last heyday (hayday) before it was ruined by television and fast food and shopping malls and the second homes of the rich and famous (with and without autobiographies); didn't know that my father had been murdered when I was eighteen; that I had cancer when I was twenty seven. They knew none of this or that it wasn't really me that wrote down what I had lived, but rather the Voice. But they did know I was wasting my time with this compulsive scribbling of days gone by, call it what you will. And they knew what they were talking about. Or did they?

I checked the local book stores, the city, the county, the university libraries, only to be met with a veritable dearth of autobiographies written by anyone of my age. Mozart had composed universal harmonies, Mickey Mantle had rewritten the record books, Alexander had conquered the world and Orson Welles Hollywood, all before they were thirty. But not one of them, or a legion of other notable characters of history had bothered to write about it. They left that to others. Maybe they didn't hear the Voice? Or maybe the urge, to say nothing of the ability, to write one's life was mutually exclusive to the urge and ability to live it. Maybe my friends were right? They certainly had the precedents, or lack thereof, to back them up. So I followed their advice. Went into very deep denial of my secretarial tendencies, locked my scribbling in the darkest corner of my closet, sold my typewriter, burned my notebooks and pencils, took no dictation for ten years and searched desperately for other compulsions to quiet the Voice and fill the void.

But the Voice wouldn't go away and, finally, at age forty, it became too much. There was dictation to be taken and if I didn't take it, it would take me. I was gagging on my self. The choice was very clear. Un-gag or be gagged to death. So I came out of my writing closet, screwed my courage to the ballpoint, my ballpoint to the paper, gave my life full Voice, and the pen began to move. And the pages to fill. And pages became books and people read them and destiny took care of the rest.

Did the telling, the scribbling, improve as a result of ten years of muzzled silence? Or would it have been better when the memories were fresh, the Voice loud and clear? No one, least of all me, will ever know. Nor do I care, good secretary that I am. I deny nothing. Un-gagged forever.

Why is it that some (most?) people can live a hundred years and be hard pressed to find anything in their lives of autobiographical note, while others can live but a few brief moments and write volumes? So much so that to them the instant of a sunrise; the fall of the last leaf from an December tree; the cry of an Osprey; the pang of unspoken love; can be explored unending with the infinite probe of their curious souls. And fascinated by the universal implications of it all, and burdened with a mysterious need to share it beyond their ability to let it go, they set pen to paper. And a book is born. Perhaps it isn't the life that isn't worth the telling, but rather the writer who isn't capable of telling it?

In the inhale and exhale of a living thing lies the mystery, and perhaps also the secret, to the Universe; for no moment is without the possibility of miracle, and life is simply a line of these miraculously fertile moments strung together with the struggle and pain, the grit and grizzle of daily experience. It is our responsibility, if we are to have peace and harmony in this lifetime, to realize the truth of these paradoxes: that the inhale is born out of exhalation; that we can only awaken if we have been asleep; that living is only possible through dying.

Inhaling/exhaling in the miracle of every moment.

Waking/sleeping in the miracle of every day.

Living/dying in the miracle of every life.

With each moment, each day, each life, there are born stories to be told. My "stories" are not told by one incapable of life and the living of it; but rather by one incapable of not writing and the sharing of it. Where this incapability, born of it's own primordial volition, comes from I suspect is the DNA, which is to say, from that part of us we cannot fathom. So that in a very real way what is written comes not from the heart or brain but from Before. From Beyond. From the Voice of the Infinite.

Any writer worth his writing soul knows in his heart and brain that he is merely one of God's secretary's and all is dictation. If this is true, and my typing tells me it is, then they are all worth the telling, these stories of life, for in their unique and personal narrative lies the paradoxical and universal journey of Everyman. And solace.

Having learned from following it more times than not, I now know that all advice is bad. So I have rid myself of the vice of following advice. Especially from those who believe in Hollywood; believe that you must be moneyed to be rich, rich to be powerful, young to be beautiful; believe that you must be of a certain age to be capable of autobiography or of anything, for that matter. Who believe in intellect and logic; story-lines and plots; literary trends and marketing strategies; statistics and polls.

I follow my instinct, my primordial urge. I do what the Boss tells me. When the Voice beckons, like all good secretaries, I take dictation.

Four years old or forty, in Gibberish or English, scribbled or typed, the words keep coming through me.

From where God only knows.
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Old 03-25-2014, 11:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: KC ll

DREAM


Chapter One


The line is long and my fingers are tired but I refuse to quit. Once you've treated your own prostate cancer and lived to write about it, you know that the human body's power to rejuvenate and endure is miraculous and merely a matter of faith. And faith I have. In spades. And I've shared it all in Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy. The cancer took eight years to treat, the book two to write, what's a few more hours autographing it for the long line of people who know in their carcinogenic bones that they too could have written this book. If only...if only they had listened to themselves instead of all the experts?

The line stretches out the door of The Midnight Book Store, down Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade and past all of the fast food cancer stations that line it, up Broadway to Fourteenth St., turns left and winds it's way past the Santa Monica Hospital, temple of doom for the sick and dying who haven't read my book and never will, stretches across Wilshire Blvd. and Sunset and turns east, heads for Pomona, Banning, Palm Springs, Blythe, crosses the great California desert and the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains and soon winds through Appalachia and up and down the east coast, past countless elite who hide in their intellectual boxes behind their secret language designed to keep the common man in the dark, just as they are in the dark of their own narrow field of vision, and the line is endless and my fingers grow tired but I continue to sign...for I have a dream.

And I sign for the sixty five year old Grandma who was given six weeks to live after two years of treatment of her leukemia at Stanford University's Oncology unit; who read Kamikaze Cowboy and went back to Stanford a year later to show them their prognosis for her demise was severely premature and they conduct their tests, just to assure themselves she is still alive for only through tests can they be sure even though she stands and breathes before them, and their tests say yes she is alive and her cancer is gone and she asks them if they want to know why. And they don't, but she tells them anyhow and she mentions Kamikaze Cowboy and they throw her out. And she stands in line with tears in her eyes and I sign.

And I sign for the computer salesman from Texas who couldn't get out of bed without a pill, sleep without a pill, couldn't live without a pill and then he read my little book and discovered what it really means to "just say no to drugs" and he's off the pharmaceutical merry go round and wants to spread the word, and I warn him it might be dangerous but he doesn't care and so I sign for him.

And I sign for the overweight diabetic teen age girl from Iowa who had been an insulin junkie since she can remember but is now sugar free and nearly off the needle too and goes to sleep with the Kamikaze Cowboy under her pillow and is slim and beautiful and wants to know if I'm married and I say no but she can do better, and I sign for her.

And I sign and I sign and I sign and my fingers are tired but my spirit strong for I see my dream coming true and I know I will sign forever if need be, sign the book of every soul awakening from the nightmare of living so long at the beck and call of the experts. The specialists. The powerful, educated elite who keep us forever afraid of trusting our own uneducated instincts about our selves. Who keep us distrustful of those voices of common sense who would bear faithful witness to the confusion and misery of the common man forever at the mercy of America's powerful elite as they practice their efficient manipulation in the glorious name of progress and technology.

"And I sign my name and look up...and the line parts and through it emerges a figure with limbs of burnished steel and platinum skin, with neon lights and laser-like eyes and he tells me to put down the pen. Tells me my signing days are over. And I laugh. And his lights grow brighter.

"You must stop all of this common sense." He says.

"Nonsense!" I say.

"If it were nonsense, I wouldn't be here. Nonsense is the brightest jewel in the crown of the rational elite. Nonsense is why men go to war and give their lives. Nonsense is big business and politics and Mickey Mouse. Nonsense is selling people what they don't need. Nonsense, you moron, is what keeps the wheels of progress turning. But this garden variety stuff, this common sense just will not do. It is making people think."

"You think so?" I say, assuming this is a practical joke arranged by one of my friends who is an Assistant Senior Vice President at Sony. The figure doesn't laugh. His colorful lights flash even brighter. Whomever, whatever this is, it's getting itself very worked up over my little book signing and my small attempt at levity hasn't helped.

"You can not be allowed to continue. Your book is making people remember." I sense this is no practical joke from Sony. Maybe I can just brush him off and get on with my signing. My dream.

"It's important that we remember. Without memory, we are at the mercy of the present. Like children with no life experience upon which to build and increase the depth of their understanding, the strength of their character."

"Precisely," says the flashing neon figure as the rest of the line begins to back away, "precisely. Memory breeds doubt. Nonconformism. Individualism. We can't have it."

I put my pen down. I can see the platinum lad is quite serious and void of any sense of humor, common or otherwise, and he's beginning to piss me off. I decide to engage.

"I thought that's what made America great. At least that's what Thomas Jefferson used to say."

"Times have changed."

"But people haven't."

"Who do you think you are?"

"A faithful witness."

xxxxx"Witness? To what?"

"To the world and all that's in it. To Everyman...and who or what, may I ask, do you think you are?"

"I AM PURE INTELLIGENCE. INTELLECT. I AM THE SON OF RATIONAL THOUGHT...."

"For a minute there you had me worried, what with all the neon and flashing lights, the platinum puss...I was afraid you were going to say you were God."

"God? GOD NO! God is emotion. Sentiment. Blind faith, void of reason...God is unscientific."

"Couldn't prove it by me."

"A faithful witness, eh?"

"One who writes."

"You're not a writer. James Joyce was a writer. Marcel Proust was a writer..."

"Nobody reads Proust anymore. And no one ever read Joyce."

"That's literature."

"It's unreadable."

"it's not meant to be read, you moron."

I promise myself that if he calls me a moron one more time I'm going to turn the homeless loose on him that line the Third Street Promenade outside the book store. That'll give him a taste of common sense he won't soon forget...him and his abstract gibberish. But I can't help myself...

"What about Baudelaire? Zola? Voltaire? Swift?"

"I'd be careful who your idols are if I was you."

"Well I've already written the book so stopping me from autographing it is like spiking the cannon after the mortar's been fired."

"You're the living proof. Without you the book's just a bunch of words. Easily marginalized. We have expert spin doctors who will take care of that."

"They killed Jesus Christ. Didn't stop the Bible."

"Who says?"

"Big hit. Or hadn't you heard?"

"Your not as smart as you look." At least he's stopped calling me a moron. "And you're certainly no Jesus Christ."

"Wasn't pretending to be. Just making a point..."

"We've spun the Bible damn near to death."

"You mean The Book of Revelations in the New Testament."

"Not nearly as smart as you look."

"Oh yeah? John of Patmos claims to have channeled Jesus Christ then goes on raving for pages about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the Seven Seals, the whores of Babylon, dividing the world into good and evil and undermining completely Christ's careful, and one would assume deliberate, avoidance of painting fanciful pictures of heaven and hell to satiate Christian imaginations. And the earliest manuscripts of this Patmos John are in Hebrew. Quite different from the other John, John the Disciple, who wrote in Greek and during a different time but still gets continually and conveniently blamed for the Wildman of Patmos and his so-called Revelations. 'Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.'"

There's a pause and I know the latin riff has got him. I let it get him for a moment, enjoy watching pure intelligence feel stupid, and then, just when it looks as if he's going to pop his platinum skin, I twist the riff..

" 'What can be asserted without proof, can be denied without proof.' Where's that pure intelligence when you need it eh?"

"Latin's a dead language."

"So's English, thanks to you and your ilk, but that's a whole other discussion."

"I don't have time for this."

"Nor I. I have a life to live. Books to sign..."

"No you don't. You're finished."

"Are you kidding me? Didn't you see the line outside? Looks to me like you could use a little common sense. Maybe all the glitter and facade of your glorious intellect has you blinded? Line stretches from here to everywhere. Just because you ignored the line, doesn't mean it isn't there."

"It doesn't exist! Except as a momentary aberration of doubt in the sea of certainty that we, the keepers of rational thought, have created and that is essential to measured progress of civilized society."

"Who are you anyway? I mean really. All kidding and pure intelligence aside."

The burnished steel legs take a step closer. For all his flash and shiny grandeur it strikes me that he has no 'presence.' From the tip of his burnished steel toes to the top of his platinum dome he is all abstraction. Maybe that's why I am not afraid. Nothing in the abstract is real, not even fear. We are eyeball to eyeball. Iris to laser. I resist an almost uncontrollable urge to reach out and touch the platinum. His lights switch wattage and I know he's about to give me the bottom line.

"I am the system. I am reason. I am the keeper of the secret." He pauses for effect. And to let the full significance of this sink in I presume and then before I can answer...."And you are a pain in the ass to the American Medical Association." He says and lights begin to go off in my head.

"That's who sent you?"

"Amongst others. Like the makers and sellers of armaments. The manufacturers of pharmaceuticals. The junk bond dealers and political power brokers and stock market manipulators and multi-national corporate structures and..."

"Wow."

"About time you were impressed."

"No I mean wow, they've read my little book?"

"No, no. You moron." I remember my promise to myself. To hell with the homeless, they've got enough problems, I'll handle this alloy boy myself. I throw a left hook. In the abstract. It goes over his head. And he continues...

"THEY didn't read it. They never read. They had the literary scientists read it for them."

"And..." I say with the knee-jerk reaction of all writers. And my mind, always susceptible to a tangent, takes one...

Writer's and their compulsive need for a good review. Even Der Fuhrer was not immune, for it is rumored, that during one of their 1939 lying fests, he gave Lord Chamberlin a copy of Mein Kampf. (Looking for an English publisher one would assume.) Some months later, the Author called to tell the Prime Minister that he had changed his mind and was going to blitzkrieg Poland and if he didn't keep his British nose out of it, he might also bomb the shit out of merry old England. 'I should have known,' said the Prime Minister with a sigh, 'I read your book.'

Pause..

'And....?' asked Hitler.

I wonder if Hitler's editor, he must have had one, didn't suggest to him at some point, "Adolf, I think if you just took out the stuff about the jews..."

The tangent dead ends, my mind comes back to me and I find myself still waiting for a response from my amalgamous friend. I repeat the question.

"And...what did the literary scientists think?

"...None of them is pleased with all this common sense hoopla you prattle on about," says my platinum pal, "Suggesting that the uneducated nonprofessional masses can understand this complex world we live in without the assistance of specialists! And the AMA is particularly incensed with you and your proselytizing. You're hurting business! And you will stop."

"I live in this society and I mean to write about it."

"Not if you know what's good for you!"

"I don't write for me. I write for the people."

"The people?" He says with derision. "The people are only interested in fiction."

"You mean novels?"

"Bingo."

"Zola, Tolstoy, Voltaire, Dickens...all those guys you hate so much...they wrote novels. Stories about social reform, about the corruption of the establishment, the power of the individual to make a difference...they packed quite a wallop."

"Not anymore. I told you. Times have changed. Voltaire was alive today..."

"He'd be pretty pissed off to see what's happened to his Age of Reason."

"Too bad. He were alive today, nobody would read him. That's why we have television. To keep people from reading. To make sure some guy like him doesn't sneak through. We've diffused novels to the point that they're only value is as selling tools for the movies that are made of them. So if you gotta keep scribbling..."

"Actually I use a word processor. Microsoft...

"I'm surprised. Neanderthal like you. You wanna write, write a novel. Or write books about books. Or about how fucked up you are. And you are. All writers are. Otherwise why would you write? Except to share your misery?"

"Maybe we write to share our joy, our vitality?"

"Proust with his asthma and closet homosexuality..."

"I thought you liked him...?"

"Hemingway...alcoholic suicide; Joyce...poverty stricken and blind; Fitzgerald...alcoholic and impotent; Kerouac...momma's boy, drug addict and drunk; Burroughs...ditto...Tennessee Williams...ditto...you want the entire list of your joyous vital writers or do you get the picture?"

"Shakespeare?"

"An aberration. A freak. He doesn't compute. Thank God they don't live long..."

"Shaw? Lived longer than most elephants."

"...Or maybe they just know we can't make them famous, truly famous, until their dead? Take Raymond Carver for instance. Wrote harmless, twisted little stories about his peripheral little life. What a relief that now he's dead we can give him solace for all his "artistic" suffering. Recognize him for his "literary" merit. Even throw in a movie deal to show how "important" he was to us. The last thing we need are long-lived, "important" writers writing real books for the masses in simple language that every Tom Dick and Harry can understand. Heaven forbid. We can't have uncontrolled truths being circulated amongst the masses. They are nonprofessional people! You would do well to take some lessons from James Joyce.

"James Joyce!"

"The greatest writer of all time as far as we're concerned."

"James Joyce?"

xxxxx"The perfect example of what it means to be a literary giant."

"But nobody reads him. Or understands him"

"Bingo! Mention the name of Joyce and there isn't a soul who won't tell you he is a great writer. All without having read him. Which, as I already told you, is the point. You'd better wake up and smell the system. We live in a world where food is grown, packaged and sold not to be eaten, but to make money; where nuclear missiles are made, sold and deployed, not to be used, but to maintain "peace"; where fire, theft and car insurance is big business because statistically nobody needs it but the lawyers; where political leaders are elected not to lead and be followed, but to read polls to find out what the people want to hear and then tell it to them, while they do what we tell them to do. Writers would do well to remember Joyce and forget Celine and Dickens and Moliere and Tolstoy and Zola and most of all your Voltaire."

" 'All styles are good, except the boring.' That's what Voltaire said. And I agree with him."

"He was a dangerous guy. A real nuisance."

" 'God is not on the side of the heavy battalions, but of the best shots.' A real guerrilla writer if ever there was one."

"Yeah that's him. And you're gonna regret you ever heard of him. France had the good nonsense to throw him out. Unfortunately they sent him to England where he hooked up with that other rabble rouser Swift. Learned a lot of bad habits...satire, irony, ridicule of those in power. Voltaire was just mad cause he lost all of his money. If he had learned how to kiss the ass of Royalty, and believe me it wasn't because he didn't try, he would never have spent so much time stirring up the stupid citizenry. No one else would listen to him. Him and all his populist pamphlets on personal freedom and humanism. Took centuries for us to give him and his Age of Reason just the right spin. Thank goodness those days are behind us..."

"Voltaire wouldn't like it. Spinning the intent of reason until it is nothing more than dogma pretending to be solution to the very problems it has created. If he were alive today..."

"But he isn't. And we won't have the pathetic likes of you stirring up people's memories of those unpleasant times."

"You mean memories of a time when a word meant what it meant and a book could give the Pope an anxiety attack or tumble a government or head of state?"

"Those days are gone and you better get used to it. Joyce was the first to get it right. 'Important' writers are not meant to be read. Except maybe at poetry readings or around the conference table. Writer's reading their own words to other writers. Giving themselves awards. Literary masturbation. That's what todays real writer's do to appease their creative tick. And they have the good nonsense to make their livings by teaching other would be writer's how to do exactly the same. How to take the danger out and put the literary in. Or they support their insular lives by writing reviews to pass amongst themselves; or by opening a restaurant or hosting a talk show or running for public office or writing screenplays or T.V. sitcoms. There's lots of work out there for today's writer, just so long as he understands the system. Or drinks enough. But there is no room for the writer who would..."bear faithful witness"...as you so quaintly put it. And in plain language! For the masses? Yech!"

"So the less people read you, the more important, the more 'literary' you are.

"Bingo! But only after your dead."

"Back in the old days the important writers were also the popular ones. Moliere, Shakespeare, Byron...Baudelaire said any book that doesn't address itself to the majority, in quantity and intelligence, is a stupid book."

"Baudelaire? Baudelaire? Aren't you listening? You better get your mind out of the nineteenth century and forget you ever read about it. Or him! We've got plenty, plenty of popular writers. Don't you ever go to the beach?"

"But they're not important, right?"

"Of course they're important. We sell their books in airports, drugstores, shopping malls...everywhere. Even book stores if we have to. Would we do that if they weren't important? They are the perfect distraction for your beloved masses. And they adapt well."

"The masses?"

"And the books. Into movies...T.V. mini-series. Everyone connected with them makes lots of money and they don't make anyone nervous! You and your Kamikaze Cowboy, on the other hand, make people nervous."

"Better that than putting them to sleep."

"And your book will never make a movie or a mini-series. And neither will any of Voltaire's, for your information."

"Pretty good company..."

"Well get used to it because Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy is a stupid, common sense, book and Voltaire was full of hot air and didn't know what the fuck he was talking about..."

"Watch it. You're Henry Miller is showing."

"...with all his writing of social reform, and that isn't all you have in common...you and Mr. Voltaire."

"No?"

"No. You're both dead."

xxxxxAnd with that this whirling, flashing dervish riveted me with his laser eyes. A stream of light shot from his platinum sockets. I felt beams of light penetrate my eyes and seep gradually into my brain, into the frontal lobe and then ooze back and down toward the medulla oblongata and then stream like warm honey down my spinal cord and into the epicenter of my creative being. I'd been laser-eyed. Mesmerized. Rationalized. I felt a letting go, a calm, out of which was born a strong desire to withdraw from the field of battle against the heavy battalions of dogma and deceit. I no longer felt obsessed to wave the flag of common sense in their face and "vex the world rather than divert it."

I had been disarmed of my dangerous ways and for the first time in my life I tasted what it felt like to belong. To be of the world and not out of it. I started dreaming of the screenplay, the mini-series I would write. Of the money I would make...

Amd I stopped signing. The line disappeared. And the book store, and even sunny Santa Monica, and I sat up in bed in Bigfork Montana, looked out across the frozen expanse of Flathead Lake and was heartened to realize the brightly-colored, flashing, neon figure was gone.

It was all a dream! I felt my resolution to be a faithful witness creep back into my brain, my blood, my bones. Voltaire would be pleased. It was only a dream and I was still an individual, still out of step with the institutions of conformity as they march to the edge of the cliff of despair and I felt, and was thrilled to be, out of this world.

I climbed out of bed. Got down on my kamikaze knees and began to pray.

"Dear God. Grant me the wisdom and the strength that I might someday write a book so grounded in reality and truth that no organized power can control it or make profit from it. A book so dangerous to the powerful elite that I will be crucified for having written it. Amen."

And I went to my writing table and began to write...

xxxxx"In a time of moral confusion, of social decay and violence, when, with the push of a button millions of people and perhaps entire civilizations can be dusted in one nuclear moment, still the most powerful weapon on the face of the earth is the bare word written fearlessly, with vigor and free of any debt to any established power structure of any kind. For there is nothing more terrifying to those in power than a dangerous wordsmith who uses his weapon...the word...with clarity and simplicity. Destroying the walls of intellectual obfuscation masquerading as knowledge and expertise with his battering ram of common sense made from the raw material of having lived in the real world and not in the fluorescent halls of beauracracy that house the technocrats of power...."

It wouldn't get me killed but it was a beginning. The genesis of which...I reached for my Bible. Flip a few pages. Bingo. Genesis. Verse eleven...

"Once upon a time all the world spoke a

single language and used the same words..."

"Come let us...confuse their speech, so that they will not understand what they say to one another."

And then...with time, with the ebb and flow of generations and the fall from grace and the birth of good and evil and the flowering of dualistic thinking...with all of this came the scattering of the tribes and the flowering of languages, each created by it's tribe not to increase communication and understanding but to create division, keep control, keep secrets and gain power. And the glut of these many languages was called...babble; the place from which they came...Babylon.

And mankind has been babbling on...and off, more or less, ever since. Never more than here, in America, and now, in the dying days of the twentieth century. A time and place where society has the highest technology the world has ever seen at it's disposal; where computers are personal and everyone's a frequent flyer and facsimile's are electronic and endemic; where everyone has hundreds of channels with the remotest control and yet, in spite of all this scientific widgetry, it is a society of peoples incapable of communicating with or understanding one another. Because one people is from the tribe of Law, one from Medicine, one from Biology, one from Anthropology, one from Computer Electronics, one from Real Estate; one from Male, one from Female, and a whole pack of them from Politics. Each with their own, highly developed, brand of babble designed to keep those from outside in the dark and at their mercy.

The addictive beauty of babble is that it renders all words void of meaning so that paradoxically, as any politician could tell you, any word can mean whatever the moment calls for it to mean.

Even such simple words as 'freedom', 'health', 'love', 'sex', 'marriage', 'truth', 'peace', 'war', 'is' and 'alone', have been babbled into meaninglessness. And we poor speakers of these simple words, who depend on them for our connection to that better part of ourselves, who have not learned a specialist babble, are made to feel ignorant and illiterate by those who have. Living our lives forever at their mercy. Of which their is none. As any politician could tell you.

The times are dire. It's sink or swim. Obfuscate or vacate. The death knell of language is sounding. As a matter of survival everyman is now forced to learn the rules of the game once only known to lawyers, doctors, politicians and other members of the aristocracy of technocrats. We common folk must now learn how to fracture the pie. Divide and conquer. Learn how to be unreadable, unintelligible, as a sign of expertise and intelligence and as the key to control.

Any plumber worth his plunger can now render a heart surgeon mute by speaking in the babble unique to his Rotor Rooting Tribe.

But not me. I will not babble. Will not let simple words become gibberish and die to be shipped off to the morgue of dead languages, along with Latin, Sanskrit and Sioux, and have their significance autopsied by the ghoulish scientists of the Literary Tribe.

To obfuscate is to defecate on the divinity of human experience and I say it is time to flush it all down the toilets of Babylon so that we may all call a spade a spade, a truth a truth, a lie a lie and hold accountable those who would hide their hypocrisy and ignorance behind the facade of their boorish expertise.

Let us be done with the wordsmiths of the establishment who would castrate our ability to communicate by rendering language so hopelessly complex that it becomes not a means of communication, of exchanging our individual reflections on the world we live in, but rather a shield, used by those elite few who master it, to keep us from ever knowing the real truth of that world or the degree to which it has passed us by.

Let the only babbling we listen to be God's brook.
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Old 03-26-2014, 06:23 PM   #4
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*Love*
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:38 PM   #5
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Moving this thread up so it can be seen from the main page of the forum.
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:23 PM   #6
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I don't know why we have to bump threads up so much. Or why so few threads show on a page. I usually go to Dirk's Works and click on a topic, then go to the bottom of the page where it says Show Threads, and set it at Beginning. Only then do I find what I'm looking for. There should be more threads showing all the time. Thanks for the bump.
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Old 03-22-2015, 06:54 AM   #7
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An interesting, and at times challenging, read. Does anyone know what happened with this book? Has he considered self-publishing? Is he still writing?
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Old 03-25-2015, 03:13 PM   #8
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That's what many of us would like to know, Antimony . It's all in his hands.

There seems to be a hurricane inside that mind when he writes, so let's hope he decides to publish this or any other of his writings, because he has a way of writing that is not common, similar to that of Jack Kerouac or Hemingway in strength and rawness. Not many people write like that. Besides, Dirk, just like Kerouac, seems to be that kind of writer who thinks way too fast and has to write fast, too, which is fascinating because that gives everything a spontaneous feeling and as a result you get very visual books which are real and feel real and books from which you can steal something to add to your life. It's a powerful kind of writing. You don't merely read their books, you practically become them while you are reading.

I'd bet Dirk keeps writing. We should start a petition or something for him to publish more , even if he'd send us to hell for it.
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