Friday, April 07, 2006

Ash Tree

There are blogs that actually do what they set out to do and Henry Baum's Ash Tree is one of them. This informative and easily maneuverable culmination of a writers life, ethos, pain, boredom, culminating everyday in the form of an entry, is a joy to read. And if you've ever had a romantic secret wish to be a writer, to live the writerly life, this might cool you down a bit. There is not much romantic about it and you can wait 20 years just to find an ear in the publishing industry which is now focused on sucking up to every whim of the lowest common denominator, just like TV.

Henry Baum and his blog are beyond refreshing, and his writing style is what I will call a creeper variety. It doesn't spring out at you, set your teeth with suspensful trickery, boggle your mind with a blitz of bombast, it just kind of flows along comfortably and then, before you know it you have read a thousand words. And they are good, important words, timely words, words that can, if not save us, make us imagine the possibility of being saved and say "wow, there's actually somebody thinking about this stuff out there" before you melt into a haze of apathy while watching a girl eat worms on television... Here's a quote from one of his very first blogs in 2004 that shows you what I mean about his writing style:

"I believe Americans have a death wish. The worse the economy gets, the more Americans want to go to war--to take out their aggression and depression on someone else. There is a collective hypnosis regarding George Bush. The economy is tanking, the rich are getting richer, we went to war based on false pretenses, we’re in bed with oil, the man cannot speak and does not read, and people seem to forget that 9-11 happened on his watch. Yet Americans are so hate-filled and isolationist that they want an ignorant dictator for a President. America is a culture that prizes blind worship: in our celebrities, religious symbols, and Presidents."

Good shit that. And not only are we taken for a really amazing tour inside the head of struggling, talented writer, Henry has some good links you can click on. Like his Bukowski link. This site actually has signed copies of poems straight out of the typewriter and genuine FBI files. Can you imagine an FBI agent following Bukowski around?

Can't wait to hear the music Baum has written, stacked in an orderly MP3 column to the right. I'm saving that for dessert.

This blog gets an A.

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