The False and the Furious

I have not written a proper blog post in what…2+ years? But I’m back now for two reasons: I have a new book to promote (more on that in future posts) and I just couldn’t stand the nauseating proliferation of hack writers out there claiming to be everything they ain’t. I can’t go to Huffington Post’s book section without seeing at least one article either by or about some hack motherfucker who should be washing dishes for a living or at the very least have the common decency to live off his daddy’s trust fund and leave all of us real writers and readers to the stuff of actual life as it is lived by REAL PEOPLE. Yes, I’m looking at you James Frey, you hack fuck. I mean, when I stepped away from my Writer’s Desk in 2009, he’d been eviscerated by Oprah and all but declared legally dead by everyone that matters to any writer or artist trying to make his voice heard above the multitude of chattering wannabe professional masses. But then I flip open my brand new $200 laptop (Jesus, I have been in a cave) and the guy has a new book out that he has exclusively published with some art gallery and is now flogging THAT shit on a two-part Oprah where she’s proclaiming him her life-long friend?? And this prick is America’s “literary badboy”? Kerouac and Miller are spinning in their graves. There is absolutely nothing dangerous or authentic AT ALL about this fuckin guy. And he isn’t the only one. He’s just the one who has made the biggest ass of himself in service of the Almighty Dollar. I mean look at this picture (courtesy of The Guardian UK):


What a fucking prick.

I’m not saying the guy hasn’t had his share of struggle because, hell, being human is in and of itself a perpetual struggle for our own souls among the detritus of a black, empty universe, right?

But I personally have never understood how it is that somebody can basically whore himself just so he can have the nicer house or the faster, shinier car. I have more respect for a jackasshole like Ryan Dunn, who, while displaying no discernible talent, endeared himself to tens or hundreds of thousands of people worldwide simply by doing drunk tricycle stunts with Steve-O, and through such endeavors was able to buy a Porsche just as bangin’ as James Frey’s. That he bought the proverbial farm in said car while drunk and going 130 at 2 a.m. in bumfuck Pennsylvania only substantiates his authenticity.

But what’s the point then, if all the guy was going to do was waste whatever good will he had by literally crashing and burning? The point is that he was REAL and maybe lived just a little TOO close to the goddamned edge for his own good. Now, in the words of our great Animal Mother in Full Metal Jacket, “Doc J and 8-Ball are wasted.” And we’re left holding our dicks in our hands, wondering where everybody went….

So let’s look back for a moment at James Frey and his literary legacy (so far). He burst onto the scene in 2003 by giving a name-dropping one-man shit-fest interview to the salmon-colored New York Observer (remember when a brand could be differentiated merely by having a differently-colored background?—I still have the purple Raekwon Cuban Linx cassette tape). In this interview, handsomely summed up by Salon.com (no salmon color paper—or any paper at all—for them!), Frey slams Dave Eggers, David Foster Wallace and presumably all the other Daves He Knows.

Upon later reflection (post-Oprah enrichment, of course), he said that he was past that or only saying it for the shock-value or what-the-fuck ever. I leave it to you to research the veracity of this yourself, as I’m done looking up James Frey links, as I have recently (in the past 20+ minutes I’ve spent spewing this blog on all of your eager/bored/accidentally stumbled-upon eyes) grown re-disgusted with everything he represents.
You remember how

and his cronies all went on Fox News during the waning days of that horrid presidential “administration” and performed their pathetic excuse for damage control by saying that history would prove that the unilateral bullshit wars they’d shat upon the world were both just and necessary for all of us to move forward into our Brave New World? Yeah, that’s the kind of bullshit that powerful people, people with money, do when they see that everything they’ve done in order to line their own pockets is total shit. But far from it being some kind of introspective wake-up call, it’s more about them discovering that the great majority of the populace is FINALLY on to their game. So they take to the airwaves and proclaim future righteousness, the Copout Pricks. As though they could give two fucks about whether or not the future will be their “final judge.” What they care about is that they and their children and their grandchildren, etc will never have to worry about putting food into their mouths or keeping gold-and-diamond encrusted roofs over their heads. This is the mentality that has infiltrated EVERYTHING we see in our daily lives. And it has never been more clear than it is now. The economic disparity has never been wider in this, our magnificent First World Beacon Of Democracy and Equality. And because of that disparity a great many of us have decided that we are going to do whatever it is that we have to do to keep up with the Big Dogs—the James Freys of the world, who already had everything they needed and decided to fake some shit so that they could have even more. It’s people like James Frey and J.A. Konrath (I’ll dig MUCH deeper into that hypocritical fuck soon) who have bastardized The Authentic and sold us a false bill of sale.
But I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be like that. I’m here to tell you that there are people JUST LIKE YOU out here who are fighting the good fight, who are living True, Authentic lives and aren’t selling themselves out for a buck or two here and there. That still exists. I am living proof of this reality. YOU are that proof. We are ALL fucked up. But that doesn’t mean we have to resort to the games of charlatans and poseurs. We can scrape by and keep our wits about us and still strive to make our lives better via sweating and tearing and bleeding. That is our legacy. We are made in the fucking stars. And I am going to prove it to you.

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13 Comments

Filed under staying true, we are all fucked up, writing

13 responses to “The False and the Furious

  1. Dearest Frank,
    It seems that you have a bit of resentment and bitterness towards Mr. Frey. I feel it is important that you own your feelings and opinions regardless of their truth in the overall scheme of things. I also think you, and I , and yes, James Frey too, should own our hypocrisy. While not all that you have written is untrue, I think you might have forgotten a few important details regarding your relationship not only with the author himself, but with those of us who were introduced to you and ‘Futureproof’ via that same man. For one, you are a damn fine writer and no one will deny or argue that who has read this post. But is it really fair to criticize the downfall and rise back from a serious public stoningYes.
    of someone who once, at the prime of his career, offered you a helping hand. Not to sound, well, like an asshole, but..he didn’t have to do anything for you at all. That was out of kindness and some sort of general compassion for other writers. The point is, we are all the same, brother. We live and die and fuck, and fuck up. You said it yourself. So if we are all the same, and you are talking about James Frey, you really are talking about yourself aren’t you? I mean, we are all driven to better our lives in any way possible right? Given the opportunities, are you positive you would not take the same road as Frey. I know what I say I would do, but do we really, truly know? When it comes down to it, I think your writing is amazing and I think James Frey is amazing. So, my dear, in all respect I find your rantings childish, but understood. I hope you can find your place in the top of the literary world the way you should, with your work.

    Peace & Love Always
    Drea

    • nfrankdaniels

      Drea,

      I respect your opinion, but disagree with the main point you seem to be making, which is to say that since James Frey posted two links on his blog pushing my book back in 2006, it immediately makes him untouchable in the realm of honest, forthright, rational thought. I was one of his biggest supporters even after he all but admitted to LYING about his life so that he could get not only a book deal, but the endorsement from the inarguably biggest king-maker to have ever existed in the realm of books and authors. I supported him. I publicly talked about how bullshit it was that, during MAYBE less inarguably biggest lying presidential administration this country has ever had, Oprah was publicly scourging a writer about whether or not he’d honestly had a root canal done with no anesthesia. And I still believe that. My personal problem with Frey as a writer and self-proclaimed Greatest Writer of Hi Generation is that he has used this chain of events to puff himself up as the Baddest of Badasses, and someone who has changed the world of letters for the better while not doing anything that I can see for anyone else’s betterment except himself. He’s gone from doing what you acclaim him for, and helping other writers such as myself with getting their names more well-known to a larger audience, to preying on these talents to fatten his own pockets. http://nymag.com/arts/books/features/69474/ So he’s NOT authentic. He’s only about becoming wealthy. And if that doesn’t fly in the face of everything he claimed to represent when ALL OF US fell in love with him, than maybe too many of us are still drunk on the Kool-Aid. Thanks for reading Andrea. I hope you’ll stick with me. I’ve got much more to say and appreciate your feedback.

  2. I like how passionate you are. But… he is an entrepreneur and performance artist as much as he is a writer.Maybe, more so. Does that make him a whore?

    His autobiography and his posturing do make him a liar, and they do make him a bad boy, so, in that sense, the article is right.

    Please, realize that I am not defending him in any way, but I am trying to understand why such a stream of vitriole at a man who thrives specificially because he’s hated. Even the subject matter for his second book is, I think, controversial for the sake of controversy. It is his bread and butter. Are you out to feed the beast? :)

  3. Lizzi mills

    Your passion reminds me of ‘V’ for Vendetta – your points are valid but you risk losing credibility by sounding so angry on a personal level. Your arguments seem to come from an internal as opposed to an external point if view. For a while there that anger alienated me as your reader. I applaud your vigour, but take pity on your international cousins who are maybe not as au fait with your topic as you are. Bravo, though for standing up and being counted.

    • nfrankdaniels

      Hey Lizzi,

      Sorry. Didn’t mean to risk alienating you, or anyone else (sorry to you, too, Ken). But I’ve been gone a long time and have had a lot of pent-up…energy. :) I’ll try to soften the blow in the future. Just keep reading.

  4. All the cursing is like throwing a big Fuck-you-stop-sign into the middle of
    your argument. You are less mad at Frey and more angry at the pub-
    lishers and readers who by this crap – tabloid lies sell. Frey, and others,
    are train wrecks in progress with book publishers and seller’s -and Oprah-
    selling tickets to the show. You are coming out of the cave? I am going
    back into the cave!!!

    • nfrankdaniels

      Ken:

      I’d agree that I’m more irritated with publishing in general than I am with any one person specifically such as Frey. But with all the new avenues for publishing without the help of these corporate titans, it isn’t so much their game anymore as much as it is ours for the taking. So that makes it easier to piss on a Frey or a Konrath or a James Patterson. That said, I beg of you to stick it out a while longer with me. Don’t go back to the cave just yet. We’ve got some enlightening to do!

  5. Frank,
    Of course I’ll stick with you ;) You are brilliant in my eyes. We just seem to have different ways of viewing the world. Who knows, that might make you write the way you do. Just had to say my piece. Keep on sunshine.

  6. LAC

    You’re an awesome writer, Frank, keep working!

  7. LeftyJones

    N. Frank….you’re a goddamn pansy. Jericho brown would never respond to a readers comments with kiss ass phrases like: “Drea, I respect your opinion….” or “Sorry. Didn’t mean to risk alienating you, or anyone else (sorry to you, too, Ken). ”

    my god. what a douchetard. Own up to your anger. Alienate everyone. Spew like a righteous motherfucking geyser of truth…..or just sit there and throw yarn balls at each other……….weeeeee….isn’t that fun?

    So listen up N. Frank Daniels….I respect MY opinion and I absolutely do intend to alienate you and EVERYONE else.

    I’ll bring the pen packed with vinegar and spite….I guess you can lead the group hugs and make sure everyone feels validated.
    and hey….if you see Jericho Brown….tell him I said hi.
    and let him know…..
    LeftyJones is back……(and all the demigods people said…”Amen!)

    • nfrankdaniels

      Jesus f-ing Christ (yes, I’m also trying to cut down on the profanity at the behest of what seems like every commenter save yrself), if it isn’t my old partner in crime/ fuse-lighter/ catalyst for various internet shenanigans circa 2004…I gotta say, you sorta piss me off with this re-emergence, seeing as it ain’t like I haven’t missed you and have been trying to drag you outta the wood-work (albeit kicking and screaming) for the last …4 years? And this is how you decide to make yr Grand Entrance? By telling me I’m pussying out because I don’t knee-jerk react to the first sign of pseudo-ill-will tossed my way by those not in the know as to just how misanthropic I’m capable of being? Well here’s the Wake-Up Call: Bushtard ain’t running the shop any longer, and these people are OUR people. I aim to be an Agent of Change from now on. I’m done with the pissing and moaning (hint hint), save the occasional overly-long diatribe aimed at those who would (continue to) attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of my brothers and sisters in Stars. I have faith now. I didn’t before. I still believe in Change. I still believe in Hope. And unlike before, I know I now have the tools to enact those changes in myself and therefore those who decide to plug into what I have to say, to look behind the curtain and see how the Show really works. We have the fucking power now. And goddam it feels good. So get on f-ing board, man! I need you. WE need you. Cause I got plans. And you were nothin if not down for a good plan, especially one that could produce results. So….here goes. With or without you. You fucking douchebag. ;)

  8. LeftyJones

    Fine. Consider me on board…..but keep an eye on me in that rear view mirror cause I’m apt to take the steering wheel whenever you’re not looking.
    These people….OUR people…would probably be best served by asking What would Lefty Do? and then proceeding to follow in disciple-like fashion……but let’s see what they come up with. I’ll give them their moment.
    And I KNOW you need me….that’s why I’m doing this. That and I’m not comfortable with your groveling…..or with the picture of you following me around and singing” With or without you……………..

    So carry on my man. Now…..to the next post. …….

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