I like books that punch you in the face. Get under your skin. Disturb, offend, disgust, challenge. I’m not talking about art that offends just for the sake of it. I’m not an attention seeker. I’m looking for art with teeth. Art that dismantles cherished beliefs. Leaves a stain you can’t wash out. The two authors who can stain me anytime (I’m talking gay threesome if only I was gay) are Chuck Palahniuk and Bret Easton Ellis, with rising star Alissa Nutting, a close third. I hope I’m not a crude imitation, and it’s more like Ellis and Palahnuik helped me to hear my own voice; to realize what writing can be like when it’s stripped down and charged with dark energy. I don’t want to just be entertained by the books I read. I want to be in some way disfigured by them. Yeah, I know that sounds pretentious. It probably is. But there’s some truth here.
We can’t all be like those people who don’t take life too seriously.
It’s good for some of us to be in the grip of a permanent existential meltdown.
So this is me. I’m a cliché. A reactionary. I know I like what I like because of my upbringing. A daily diet of religious guilt and threats of outer darkness. I’m basically a rebellious teenager. Kevin Bacon but without the loose feet.
When I put on my human suit to go to work, I’m a secondary school teacher, delivering passive-aggressive philosophy lessons while walking a don’t offend anyone tightrope. I will fall off that rope one day…
It’s just a matter of time.