April 02, 2014 - 7:09 AM
'Cause I gonna make you see
There's nobody else here
No one like me
I gotta have some of your attention
give it to me
(Chrissie Hynde/Pretenders, “Brass In Pocket”)
Writers are, for the most part, a very bad lot. Full stop.
The only professionals more egregiously whorish and pimpish than writers are: politicians, hedge fund managers and professional athletes – but these Untermenschen will not be my focus today.
Writers, through their craven need for recognition, their wheedling manipulations of virtually everyone to gather up usable ideas upon which to pontificate, their inherent narcissism and hubristic sense of entitlement, are shriveled souls to be avoided at all cost. Writers give real pimps and whores a bad name.
And to make matters worse, writers will fill page upon page for others often for no money at all simply to see their refracted and warped reflections in the fetid pools of the media. Writers like nothing better than to read aloud their wondrous prose to their captive audiences at home; and then summon the nerve to submit their spoor to editors and agents in an attempt to inflict their mindless yammerings upon the public-at-large.
Local newspapers often refuse to pay their “columnists” because they rightly judge their outpourings to be vapid and misleading crap.
That’s right. Open the newspapers, if you will, to the smiling, sage countenances of our local columnists, and to a cheery apple-cheeked soul, and understand, they write for you all for free. And they are only too happy to do so because, after all, they’re writers and they love nothing better than seeing their names and their sterling commentaries in print.
You can therefore only speculate at my own excitement when Infotel News editor, Marshall Jones (another writer whose work I have actually read and admired over the years), contacted me through the genius of Facebook with sweet words that he was looking for writers with personality to launch as columnists in the Aether, at some place called Infotel News. And would I consider meeting for a coffee to discuss the wondrous possibility of massive exposure?
Well: “pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name,” Devil-in-my-ear Marshall Jones seemed to purr over his dark roast in a hellish café on the Westside recently. And like the reprobate that I am (I am a writer, after all), I fell for his sweet-talkin', slack-jawed conviviality with the promise that I would give it a shot on his promise that I could write once a week about anything I saw fit to bear witness to.
For you, gentle reader.
So let me introduce myself, friend. My name is Jeffrey Loewen, and I have resided in these parts for far longer than I could have anticipated. Through a series of missteps I have, like many of you, migrated to Lalaland from other parts of the country that are immeasurably more real and less parochial than the Interior. Trouble is once one lands here, it’s tough to leave. The place has its obvious charms. But let’s not get distracted by geography and get back to my Pledge to you, friend, my gentle reader.
To you, yes you, I pledge to: Tell the truth (from my limited perspectives) always; to attempt to bring to you hard-won opinions that you might not share but that will make you a better more nuanced person; to challenge you with more than the standard gruntings of syllables that masquerade as writing these days; to, when inspired, bring to you some heart-warming stories from personal experience that may make you actually emote with tears, laughter, and rage; to never, ever, sound like anyone that you have come across before.
Because, like my fantasy grrrl from the late Seventies, Chrissie Hynde, well knew (as a damned good writer herself, and a fab tunesmith and Fender Telecaster mistress)…
“I’m special. So special. I gotta have some of your attention. Give it to me.”
— Having lost his 2,500 volume library in the Okanagan Mountain Park Fire, Jeffrey is beginning to fill the void by writing his own. Reach him at jeff.loewen(at)gmail.com
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014