Hemingway, Salinger, Mr. Whipple

“If everything is permissible, there can be no value,” said Nietzsche

“Heh heh heh heh. Heh heh heh heh. Eees so reee-deee-kew-lous!” replied Ricky Ricardo

“My god, Mr. Whipple, what are you doing? I’m calling the cops!” screamed the innocent bystander accused of shopping.

It’s too much, this free-fall collapse of everything always, I’m starting to crack. Ain’t nearly as tough as I thought I was.  Got the following message on that pain-in-the-ass Linked In ‘social networking’ site (with networks like these, who needs enemies?):

Campaign trails

Bobo Rebeezo

February 6, 2015 5:40 PM

Hi Adam, as I’m sure you know and may have experienced, now and again we have to go on a campaign trail to request support from fellow writers, friends and connections. My novel, The Putrid and the Glop, is participating in ScAmazon’s Kindle Scout program, with a publishing contract at stake. If I do get a contract, you get a free copy. Would you take a couple of seconds to nominate the book? It’s just 2 clicks: 1 on the link, and one on my little blue box:). I hope the link works without having to copy and paste.


Thanks so much, and all the best for 2015.

Gadzooks! There’s a publishing contract “at stake.” I leaped from the tub – naked as the day I signed off on my first student loan — ran to my desk, booted up my laptop, and hastily replied:

Hemingway, Salinger, Mr. Whipple

Feb 8, 2015

Wow. I wanna be a real writer one day! It sounds so exciting! Writers get to go on genuine campaign trails and get support from fellow writers and PARTICIPATE in fun stuff like the ScAmazon Kindle Scout program. Scouting and camping and hiking just like Hemingway! Some of these ill-literati even have gen-u-Ine publishing contracts at stake! But it ain’t a life for the selfish, the inane or the ridiculous! No way. Some of these folks are willing to give away FREE COPIES of their inspired, original, mind-bending novels in order to secure a contract, just like Gertrude Stein! Well, too bad I can’t put two sentences together or I’d…I’d write me one of them there books and be a genuine kindle scout! But even an imbecile like me can participate in the thrill of the creative process by voting on a book to demonstrate freedom and imagination and individuality and all the wonderments of modern literature, just like J.D. Salinger used to. And get a free book besides. Gee, I hope it’s a paper-back…it’s real hard to wipe your ass with a Kindle…

To which Ms. Rebeezo replied:

Re: Campaign trails

Bobo Rebeezo

February 8, 2015 12:01 PM

Adam, a sense of humor is one of my strong points. It’s got me through the kind of tough you’d probably sneer at.

Being a real writer? It’s not exciting, it’s hard. Sometimes we make mistakes when we reach out to people we don’t know in pursuit of meaningful connection.

I regret approaching you; it wasn’t my intention to impose or inspire a rant. Come to think of it, I have no idea why you connected with me at all.


Golly. Gee. Am I supposed to feel bad?  I wonder what kind of ‘tough’ she’s gotten through that would provoke a sneer?  The absolute corn, the meta-corn about the ‘real writer’ — I remember hearing that phrase in the movie, The World According to Garp, in 1982 — being ‘not exiting, it’s hard’, makes me think perhaps I should feel bad, like maybe I picked on a disabled person (hence the sneer?).

Or maybe it’s the ‘sometimes we make mistakes’ as in ‘we, the writers’ (what a loathsome bunch!) ‘reaching out to people we don’t know in pursuit of meaningful connection.’  I dunno.  Capital One Bank and her own publisher, ScAmazon, ‘reach out’ to me all the time with the same pretense of ‘meaningful connection,’ as if my ‘liking’ or ‘voting’ for a book I’ve never read so this woman — assuming she actually exists; after all, we’ve never actually met, and I don’t ask many questions on the first Link — can land a ‘publishing contract’ with the ‘patron of the ill-literary arts’ that, in conjunction with some other outfit with a lot of server space, is offering ‘readers’ the chance to download up to 800,000 books for less than $20 (tuition for Evelyn Wood School of Advanced Speed Reading Studies not included) exposing all us ill-literati to the slack of jaw and gape of tooth bared by the confused, the vulnerable and the ridiculous.

No. It’s this: the Corporation, which knows all, sees all, sells all, has probably figured out that the old game of smashing, hustling and manipulating people while giving them no recourse to ‘meaningful revenge’ cause screaming — via phone or email — at an indifferent fronts-person at ‘Customer Support’ might get you a refund of your money but not the psychological damage of having no one to blame for the  indiscretions of The Machine,  is wearing thin.  So The Company now recruits marks and rubes to sacrifice their humility — humanity? — for the good of The Machine by throwing themselves between you and The Machine, bearing the brunt of your righteous indignation stoically, with ‘a sense of humor’ then twisting what the definition of ‘is’ is so radically and cruelly as to pretend that your rage against the Machine is not righteous at all, but rather the cynical denial of an ‘artist’ who took the risk of ‘reaching out’ in order to find a ‘meaningful connection’ with a stranger (Uh, that’s you, Bub) only to suffer the slings and arrows of a heartless philistine (that’s you again!) too cold and indifferent to ‘real art’ to ‘click the link,’ so ScAmazon  can mine its data (and your own business) and toss you this moron’s novel for ‘free’ and no hard feelings, we’re all good, it’s for the greater cause of ‘writing’ after all (whatever happened to literature, or just plain reading?).

Could I have ever imagined this when I was sixteen and reading Shelley and Byron and listening to the Beatles, Dylan, Jefferson Airplane and the Doors in earnest, though ultimately futile, attempt to both have my mind blown and “know some stuff,” or more accurately, blow my mind by knowing stuff?

What does it mean when the reality of the present is far more horrifying than the sum of all past fears, real, dreamed or imagined?

Adam Engel lived for your sins -- and he lived well! -- in Fear-and-Trembling, Brooklyn, one of the last gangrenous toes of NYC not yet severed and replaced with a prosthetic gentrification device. Engel has traveled the farthest regions of cyberspace, where Dark-matter meets Doesn't-matter; and Anti-matter, despite its negative connotation and dour point-of-view, excercises rights of expression protected by Richard Stallman's GNU/Free Software Foundation and CopyLeft agreement, if nobody and nothing else. Having spent many years studying Boobus Americanus (Summum Ignoramus), allegedly the most intelligent mammal on earth -- after its distant relative, Homo Sapiens -- in various natural habitats (couch, cubicle, bar-stool, ball-game -- televised or 'real-time') -- Engel has thus far related his observations of and experiences with this most dangerous of predators in three books -- Topiary, Cella Fantastik, and I Hope My Corpse Gives You the Plague (the combined international sales of which have reached literally dozens, perhaps as many as seventy, with projected revenue to top three digits by decade's end! Truly a publishing phenomenon). Engel is Associate Editor of Time Capsule Books, a division of Oliver Arts & Open Press, published in limited editions for a tiny, highly specified, though eclectic, target-audience: people who actually read books. He can be reached at adam@new.dissidentvoice.org Read other articles by Adam, or visit Adam's website.