Saturday, December 22, 2012

How I Discovered Martin Eden

One of my favorites books of all time is Martin Eden written in 1909 by Jack London. It’s considered the closest London came to any sort of autobiography, though that is certainly disputed.

Martin Eden is the story of a former sailor and self-taught man struggling to establish himself as a writer. He achieves success but struggles with self-acceptance and the pursuit of love. In the end Martin Eden commits suicide by jumping from a ship and drowning. 

I happened upon the book through a song, a pop song. More specifically a Tom Waits’ song called “Shiver Me Timbers.” 

The first time I heard the song I was confused by the line “And I know Martin Eden is gonna proud of me...” Who is this Martin Eden I pondered? I asked folks and no one seemed to know. That only fueled my desire to discover the real Martin Eden. 

Through Internet research I discovered that Martin Eden was a character in a Jack London novel. That’s all I needed to know.  With library card tucked in my pocket I hurried west on Los Feliz Blvd and south on Hillhurst Avenue to the Los Feliz library where I checked out Martin Eden

From page one I was immersed in the world of Martin Eden. Its a terrific novel. 

Later versions of “Shiver Me Timbers” say Joe Conrad instead of Martin Eden, and one version inserted Chris Columbus (yes, the same man who “discovered” America).  With each specific reference I think the song changes its meaning. 

Here’s Tom Waits’ beautiful version:

A great song. A great singer/songwriter. 

Without “Shiver Me Timbers” I would never have discovered one of my favorite novels. 

Thank you Mr. Waits.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Oh Angus No


 Angus T. Jones aka Jake Harper form “Two and a Half Men” has found Jesus.  I can only assume that unbeknownst to the rest of us Jesus had somehow gone missing; lost in the mountains after slipping off his sandals and wandering barefoot away from the designated path of true enlightenment.

Now that he’s found religion Angus T. Jones wants everyone to stop watching the filthy show he’s been part of for nine years which has earned him millions of filthy dollars.

"Please stop watching it," Jones said. "Please stop filling your head with filth."

I wonder if Angus T. Jones considers the millions of dollars he’s made off of penis, vagina, breast, and fart jokes so filthy that he’s willing to give that filthy money away to charity and truly cleanse his bank accounts? Something tells me no, though I'm certain his church, his new found religion,  has its devil eyes on the money.


"You cannot be a true God-fearing person and be on a television show like that," he said. "I know I can't. I'm not OK with what I'm learning, what the Bible says, and being on that television show."

Oh Angus no.

When the story hit the media Angus T. Jones issued a statement apologizing, backtracking, spinning the story so he doesn’t jeopardize his lucrative gig and get fired like cast mate Charlie Sheen.

Take the advice my good friend Jesus said to me when I too wandered into the arms of a cult and denounced suburbia as the playground of Satan:  Shut the fuck up and get over yourself.

Jesus then took me out for tamales and chalices of red wine.

Soon all was forgiven and the next morning, after nursing a major hangover, everything was back to its filthy normal self.