I keep writing and scrapping chapters and writing and scrapping and taking a few days off because I’m having trouble feeling like what I’m writing is good enough for people to read. And then I think to myself, “That’s why they call it a first draft.” Of course I’m a perfectionist at heart, so it’s hard for me to reconcile my ability with my ambition. I want everything I do to be the best thing I’ve ever done instead of realizing writing a book is a super-incremental process that requires having the sketch before the paint hits the canvas. I just continue to yell at myself that it’s not good enough.
At this point, I’m starting to get to the meat of the story, where the origin myths for these characters have been well into play and things are starting to happen in the present will shape how they are approached for the remainder of the time spent with them. I’ve been trying to do this in a way that doesn’t feel like the same old rote coming-of-age story and getting frustrated with myself when I feel like I’m doing something predictable. I’ve convinced myself that I have memorable characters, now I have to work on the memorable events.
A little girl asked me to be in her selfie at work yesterday.
This was one of the proudest moments to come along since I was at the Pitchfork Festival two summers ago and a kid pointed at me and simply said, “Swag.” I know I talk a great deal about being Martin Douglas the Proper Noun, probably ad nauseum. But the reason why I enjoy being me so much is because I feel everybody has the opportunity to touch other people’s lives in a significant way, and above all else, the times in my life where I make an impression on young people — whether it’s fleeting or everlasting — are where I feel like I’m really making a difference by just being myself. There’s a part of my ego that becomes really satisfied by people looking up to me, because I remember being a kid and searching for that sort of influence.
“So called ‘late-bloomers’ get a bad rap. Sometimes the people with the greatest potential often take the longest to find their path because their sensitivity is a double edged sword- it lives at the heart of their brilliance, but it also makes them more susceptible to life’s pains. Good thing we aren’t being penalized for handing in our purpose late. The soul doesn’t know a thing about deadlines.”—Jeff Brown (via thatkindofwoman)
“I think the average guy thinks they’re pro-woman, just because they think they’re a nice guy and someone has told them that they’re awesome. But the truth is far from it. Unless you are actively, consciously working against the gravitational pull of the culture, you will predictably, thematically, create these sort of fucked-up representations.”—Junot Diaz (via luciaferr)
Around this time two years ago, I was going through the breakup of my first (and at press time, only) long-term relationship. By the end of the summer, I was running on fumes, but never fully lost my confidence. Somehow within the next year or so, I went from “I AM MARTIN DOUGLAS AND MARTIN DOUGLAS IS A ROCK STAR” to “I’m not really sure about this.”
I’m not exactly sure what happened, but after all of the anxiety attacks for no reason, after the half-hearted suicide attempts, after my one-night stay in a mental health facility, after I sat in a hospital room with my family as the doctor told us my mom was dead, I feel like I’m back.
Martin Douglas is a rock star. Ye are all rock stars and Martin Douglas is your fan. Let’s all be rock stars and enjoy this shit.
“It’s not bourgeoisie to wonder if Mad Men would ever give Don a shred of hope; a chance to remake himself in a more profound and productive way. Nor was it hopelessly middlebrow to wish for Roger to save himself from ruin and reclaim some of his old spark and maybe some dignity, too. To wish for Peggy to end the show in the fabled catbird seat isn’t unreasonable. She’s given us so much to root for; so of course we would want her not merely to survive, but be vindicated. To win. To be carried aloft by fate to thunderous applause, or at least toss her hat in the air like Mary Tyler Moore. To watch any engrossing drama is to feel for fictional people the way we feel for real-life friends. Even when they piss us off, we wish them the best.”—Matt Zoller Seitz on Mad Men, a series which I often cite as not only my favorite show on television, but an inspiration in the way I write characters in my own work.
There are moments in life where the chip on your shoulder just weighs you down and weighs you down until you feel you can’t stand up anymore. And then you look into yourself and play through the pain even though it’s so painful, when everybody thinks you’ve gone soft, but when life has beaten you to the point where you can’t feel it anymore and you’re just screaming “COME ON MOTHERFUCKER” right in its stupid face.
In so many areas of my life, I feel like my back is against the wall. Thankfully, that’s when I perform the best.
I had a dream last night about my biological mother last night that really rattled me and kept me up for hours late last night. She was choking me to death.
Last week, she wrote me a letter, in reply to about twenty years of purged emotions. I obviously am not going to get into exactly what she said on Tumblr, but the tone of her letter seemed sad. I talked to my dad on the phone about the letter last night, so she must have been on my mind.
Regardless of my empathy for her — which came as a surprise as I was reading her letter — I’m still wary of her intentions, and this dream makes that kind of evident.
Me coming to terms with the kind of things she did to me as a child is the showdown that’s basically been my whole life in the making. If my behavior seems a little erratic (I mean, even more than usual), I apologize in advance.
For those of you wrestling fans who have never heard of Gordon Solie, I would enthusiastically recommend queuing up a few National Wrestling Alliance matches from the early-80s (Any Starrcade from ‘83 to ‘86 will do), as he brought an intelligence to wrestling commentary that Jim Ross would run with after he got a job in the booth.
Who is/was your all time favorite WWF(E) color commentator duo?
This is a tough (but incredibly good) question, because there are so many great commentators from the past that, had they the good fortune to have been matched up, would have been incredible. The pre-Jim Ross play-by-play guys were never really that great, but look at all of the great color guys: Bobby “the Brain” Heenan. Jesse “the Body” Ventura. Mr. Perfect!
But if we’re talking about the best duo who were actually a tandem, I’m gonna have to go with Jim Ross and Jerry “the King” Lawler. J.R. was without question the greatest commentator the industry had ever seen (with Gordon Solie in a reasonable second-place), and Lawler playing off of him matched up really well, even though his whole horny-toad shtick was played out after a while.
WWE’s treatment of Ross has always been one of the company’s (admittedly many) great indignities, and he’d be PERFECT for the company right now, because the roster from top-to-bottom is one of the best (if not the best) the company’s ever had. I’m not really a podcast guy, but I listen to his religiously. (Same for Stone Cold Steve Austin’s. I apparently can’t get enough of wrestling industry guys talking at length about the wrestling industry.)
Plus, it means Michael Cole would be calling matches on the B- and C-shows and I would never have to hear him plugging things and pretending that he actually gives a shit about wrestling.
“For me personally, Ultimate Warrior was one of my childhood heroes but as the years went on and the occasional ugliness of what he had become began to trickle out, I was content to ignore him for what he was. If I did remember him, I chose to remember him for his constant energy, insane promos and epic encounters with the likes of Hulk Hogan, Rick Rude and Randy Savage. The irony of his death is almost too crushing, though. Thus, I’m not entirely sure if it’s good or bad thing Warrior got to leave the earth after three of the best days of your life but it’s certainly mythic storytelling of the highest order. Even in death, the Warrior remained the perfect encapsulation of his comic book mystique. Regardless, I’m glad that he got a chance to load up the spaceship with the rocket fuel one last time.”—
I don’t consider myself a very nostalgic person; I actually consider nostalgia to be a disease most of the time. But seeing Warrior on Monday Night Raw on the night before he died, taking in all the appreciation for what he did for the wrestling business and being legitimately grateful for his fans, stands as a watershed moment for me in my particular fandom. He went to dizzying heights and took a long fall, only to climb back up that mountain and begin a new chapter in his career and life as a goodwill ambassador for WWE. And now he’s gone. But not before the fans of the business got to show him how much we all appreciate what he did for us.
There’s something in the Young Wrestling Mind that makes you think, after Randy Orton and Batista beat up Daniel Bryan, that Triple H would have come out in a suit and tie and point out that Daniel was too hurt to compete, thus having an angle everybody expected.
But when H comes out, he comes out in his wrestling trunks. He comes out to his wrestling music. And he’s ready to start this match. And you think to yourself, “Is this match really going to happen? Is H really going to become WWE Champion the night after Daniel Bryan won it, thus potentially recreating the same angle that’s been playing out over the past eight months? Are we going to see an train-wreck here?"
And then the shield comes out. And then there’s a loooot of tension. And then Roman Reigns spears Triple H. And what exactly is going on? Are we going to see a train-wreck here?
After an amazing night of wrestling, after what is historically the best WWE Raw of the year, that’s the big question I have on my mind.
I don’t think anybody would describe me as a poptimist by any means, but I think that rallying cry against poptimism that has been going around today (which I refuse to link to because there’s a part of me that thinks whoever green-lighted it saw it at least partially as link-bait) is an abhorrent way to look at any kind of music. Shitting on mainstream pop music is the kind of behavior that many people expect from music critics anyway, and it’s the very reason why we’re just starting to move away from the idea that music criticism is the province of close-minded heterosexual white dudes who use their privilege to pounce on whatever they deem as “lowbrow” or anything where they’re not the ones dealing the cards.
When I was a kid, music critics tried to do the same thing to hip-hop.
This the hardest shit you heard from L.A. this far And I’m this far from a discharge, but never will I dis y’all We all tryna ball, and when I got the rock, I’ll dish off Until that day, I’ll pistol-whip you posers ‘til y’all pissed off