Thursday, May 03, 2012

Alert the Ministry of Irony.

A couple days ago, Stephen King cranked off another one of those "Tax me more!" diatribes that squizillionaires are turning out these days, apparently in hopes of not being confused with those other evil rich guys so please keep reading my books/listening to my songs/going to my movies/buying my stuff America. These get on my nerves like those songs that whine about the miseries of life as a rock star ("Oh the road it gets so lonely,/With all the hookers and the blow...") so I've had it open in a tab and finally got around to reading it this morning.

In the opening paragraph, he tut-tutted Governor Christie, commenting that "it may be a comment on the coarsening of American discourse that his brash rudeness is often taken for charm."

The subsequent three page screed is full of  gems like "Here’s another crock of fresh bullshit [sic] delivered by the right wing of the Republican Party," and sharp elbows and thumb gouges to Tea Partiers, Southerners, and pretty much everyone else he doesn't see eye-to-political-eye with.

Wow, Steve, just wow; way to elevate the discourse, there. I'd like to say that I'm all in a huff and not going to buy your books anymore, but truthfully, I stopped buying them quite some time ago. Back then, it was nothing personal: Once you got Too Big To Edit, I just decided to stick with your short story collections and avoid the rambling phone-book-sized novels. Now? Now I get to feel good about not buying your books. Thanks!

39 comments:

Joe in PNG said...

IMHO Joe Walsh wrote the only honest song about rock star problems.

Mark Alger said...

Poseur. If he wasn't frontin', all he'd have to do is shut up and write the check. But: NOOOOooooo!

AAMOF, I think that ought to be a new bumper sticker.

To Richie Rich: STFU and Write the Check.

M

staghounds said...

He even talks about being told to write the check, but he does not say why he won't. He talks about his tax deducted charity contributions, talks about how just a few checks from volunteers are not enough, and then says that charitable contributions don't really count because they don't cover things that government does!

He is a far more intelligent man and a much better writer than this tripe.

Tam said...

staghounds,

I read the whole thing and thought "If you want your charitable contributions spent on fed.gove stuff, you need to send them to the Treasury Department, not your local Fire Department."

Apparently this nuance has thus far eluded Mr. King.

TJIC said...

My favorite bit of High Minded Left Wing Nuance was when he attacked Governor Christy with a fat joke.

I guess being fat is low-class and pathetic, but spending 20 years so deep in a drug and alcohol daze that you can't remember that you wrote books in that interval (
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1178151/Stephen-Kings-Real-Horror-Story-How-novelists-addiction-drink-drugs-nearly-killed-him.html ) is, I dunno, sophisticated and worldly.

I'll take the political opinions of the fat man over the alky / pothead / meth freak / cokehead / two-pack-a-day / Listerine-drinker any day.

Also, King brags that he gives $4 mill a year to charity.

Why give that money to charity? It's almost as if he thinks people make better decisions than government, and that's clearly wrong - he should be sending those checks to the treasury! Sure, sure, he'd like his local FD to have the Jaws of Life, but how does he know that that's the RIGHT decision? Clearly a bunch of 22 year old interns in Washington DC should write some laws for a congressman to introduce and vote on, and if that means that the $4 million goes to foreign aid to Upper Jackassistan or to scientific studies of mole mating habits when Lady Gaga is playing, then the democratic process knows best, no?

libertyman said...

Stephen King has never left college. He was writing the same stuff 40 years ago in his articles for the campus newspaper. Why on earth should anyone pay him heed on matters of tax policy? I doubt he pays 28%, by the way. Perhaps he will share his returns on line? I doubt that, too.

og said...

But-but- if HE has to pay and the Evil Kochs dont have to pay MORE, why, thats not FAIR!

Wait....

Mike in KY said...

King lost me forever with the last two Dark Tower books. What a shame for a series that started with such potential to deteriorate into such a rushed, rambling, worst example of multiple deus ex machina insertions ever.

That was before he channeling his inner political Garrison Keillor.

Mike in KY said...

*started

Firehand said...

Reminds me of someone I know who lectures about how the death tax is only fairness in action, etc.; when I mentioned people losing the family business and such I got "All you have to do is fill out 'X', like my family did." Which made me think "If you believe that tax is fair and so forth, why are you working to avoid it?"

Anonymous said...

The Buffett/King logic escapes me.
There is no law stopping you from sending more money to .gov. Just right the check and shut up.

Gerry

azmountaintroll said...

There's nothing more obnoxious than a reformed drunk. He wrote better when he was stoned.

Nathan said...

Never read the guy. And now even more glad of it.

Bruce S. said...

The term "dance monkey, dance" comes to mind.

Angus McThag said...

This the same Stephen King who's the sole graduate of the Ayn Rand school of novelistic brevity?

Jay G said...

Looks like he's following in the footsteps of John Effin' Kerry. You know him, he's the richest dude in the Senate (gigolo'n pays well) who still pays the lower rate on MA income tax...

What's that, you ask? Well, folks in the Volksrepublik actually have the option of paying a higher tax rate to give the .gov more money.

And John "wealthiest 1%" Kerry does not elect to pay the higher rate, even though he espouses the "rich should pay their fair share" line.

Oh, and he docks his yacht in RI to avoid MA taxes...

Pakkinpoppa said...

Can't disagree with the Dark Tower opinion, Mike in NY...maybe he should have taken a sabbatical from sobriety to finish up that series.

And...I heard he's writing another book, like a book 5 and a half or something like that. Not sure I want to waste my time.

Ted N said...

Kings stuff was interesting while I was a teen, and still forming my own opinions and finding my own favorite authors. After this and the thinly hidden political gunk in some of his recent stuff, he can go piss up a rope.

TomcatTCH said...

damn Ted N, you might have something there.

I last read King when I last read star wars novels.

Neither have interested me in a long time. Hmmm.

John A said...

"King brags that he gives $4 mill a year to charity"

And if he would stop claiming deductions...

And he complains that the Koch brothers deduct charity so as to pay gubmint less, while praising W Buffet (and one S King) for doing the same. Huh?

He is correct that most people will not pay more tax than the gov forces them to, and perhaps he has a point about changing that so ge gas to pay more, I just wonder which lines he would draw and where. I suspect I would find them far-fetched.

John A said...

ge gas = he has

oops

DirtCrashr said...

King who? Is he King or what?

Ed Foster said...

Also realize that he can't write anymore since the other town drunk ran him over. He has to recite whatever to a nice lady with a pad and pen, as he literally (sorry)can't make letters come out the end of a pencil or computer anymore.

Take away the self-editing inherent to writing down something and looking at it as it forms before you.

Add the perhaps more discreet damage done to the old brain bucket by a 225/75R16 rolling over it.

Combine with the cumulative effects a few decades of serious chemical usage leaves behind.

And voila! Or perhaps Abracadabra, from the Gaelic for "From one thing to another".

Anonymous said...

Put up or shut up: https://www.pay.gov/
or
http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/resources/faq/faq_publicdebt.htm#DebtFinance

But then, that's not really what they want, is it?

jf

wv: liberal charity: when I give away your money

Erin Palette said...

As an ex of mine once said, roughly paraphrased due to time, "King was good until he had his accident. Then he wrote Misery, which was his magnum opus because it combined his fear of death with his real-world injuries and his insecurity as a writer. Everything after that was downhill."

JimB said...

King hasen't written a thing worth reading since he was run over. Who cares what he says about anything...

Steve said...

Never read him. Never will.

Ken said...

The best thing he wrote since The Stand was On Writing, which I still recommend. Buy it used, though.

Oh, and I kind of liked his cameo as a copywriter on an ESPN "SportsCenter" commercial. ;-)

Justthisguy said...

Dang, Tam, here I go again, going back on my promise to only comment on gun-nerd posts. I just can't help m'self, it seems. I whole-heartedly agree and concur with this post.

Nathan said...

Single-issue commenting is no way to go through life, Son.

Bubblehead Les. said...

What is it with that New England Water Supply? Seems like all it does is to turn Zillionaires and Lifer Politicians into Butt Heads. Sure glad I'm not drinking any of that stuff right now...... ; )

LabRat said...

Erin, is your ex aware that he had his accident in 1999 and published Misery in 1987? It is autobiographical, but it's about addiction, not the accident. One of the most compelling paragraphs in the book is the main character experiencing painkiller withdrawal because his captor has gone haring off on a depressive cycle and left him alone.

He's right, though. Almost everything he's published since the actual accident has been in some way about it, and his tendency to insert his politics has gotten more and more blatant and less and less self-aware. At least the author stand-in in Tommyknockers is damn well aware he's a crazy alcoholic.

I think his short fiction is still worthwhile. I bought Full Dark, No Stars and was happily enthralled, especially with the first story. I was completely unable to slog through Under the Dome, in contrast.

His kid is much, much better than his old man. I look immensely forward to each new trade volume release of Locke and Key.

The Jack said...

King's rationalization that he shouldn't voluntarily pay his "fair share" because it wouldn't make a difference betrays that he wouldn't pay any taxes if he thought he could get away with it.

Because, hey, it wouldn't make a difference.

He's like a shop-keep demanding prohibition but won't stop selling the devil-gin until it's made illegal.

His excuses are much the same the whole "I won't make a difference" and the "If I do it and others don’t I’ll be at an unfair disadvantage because they’ll be getting more than me."

Course he's also an Anti too. He blames the school shooting that was done by a young man who had a copy of a book King wrote about a school shooting, on... you guessed it easy guns and the American culture of guns.

And to think I was momentarily tempted by his latest Dark Tower book, but then I read it was an insertion/retread and yet another flashback within a flashback.

Aaron said...

His really early stuff is quite good (Salem's Lot, Carrie, Shining)
OK... for all the haters or those who for whatever reason haven't read his stuff... at least try his short story "The Beggar and the Diamond" at the end of Nightmares and Dreamscapes.
Or dig up George Alec Effinger's story "Unferno" that outdoes anything of his by a long country mile.

Anonymous said...

Once upon a time, a girl named Carrie fell in with a gang of miscreants called Salem's Lot. They were quite a crew but one fateful evening, The Shining Rage that arose in them upon learning that they'd be stuck with the Night Shift, again, ended with the whole bunch in country jail nursing epic hangovers and fortified rap sheets.

The next miserable day in court, Carrie took The Stand earnestly in hopes of clearing her name and avoiding The Long Walk to The Dead Zone, but being somewhat of a Firestarter, she ended up getting hot under the collar and was sentenced to three weeks of community Roadwork where she ended up doing the Danse Macabre with Cujo the demon dog and The Running Man who begged for change in the parking lot of The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger who did security at the store solved the dog problem but otherwise was a quite a Creepshow in any of several Different Seasons. She was a real carload of horror. Christine was her name I believe...Anyway, Chrissie lived in a studio apartment across from the Pet Sematary and wore her monthly Cycle of the Werewolf as if it were a badge; The Talisman that would keep her Thinner than the Skeleton Crew of meth heads who roamed the aisles at The Bachman Books down by the mall.

I guess it was an ok mall as far as malls go, and The Eyes of the Dragon goth comic store was certainly among her favorite hangouts; much more than The Dark Tower II store which just opened up there. DTII was a pure Misery inducing experience. The Tommyknockers who ran it must have been hippies or something 'cause the decor gave her Nightmares in the Sky - Not the sunny side of dreams part of the sky with rainbows and unicorns mind you, but The Dark Half...At Four Past Midnight. Now The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands park store, was marginally better. Needful Things could actually be found there. It was mostly Gerald's Game but Dolores Claiborne contributed to its Nightmares & Dreamscapes motif which could give you such a bout of Insomnia that you inevitably Rose Madder than if you had been made to sprint The Green Mile in Desperation, trying to escape The Regulators only to fling yourself Six Stories from the roof of The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass store onto a Bag of Bones during the Storm of the Century...The entire franchise really sucked that bad.

Anyway, Carrie and Christine both thought they were The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, the only girl in fact. But Tom would have neither of them and left both their Hearts in Atlantis and kept On Writing conspiracy crap about Secret Windows 'n shit. Neither of them could expect any nurturing from The Plant nor could they weave their Dreamcatcher into his Black House. You see, with love, Everything's Eventual view ends up being From a Buick 8 feet away from yet another of The Dark Tower outlet stores.

They're inevitable. Like farts after frozen fajitas. Renderings as Faithful in every gory detail as The Colorado Kid recounting Lisey's Story of last weekend's drunken debauchery on his new Cell phone.

"Blaze away mon...Like they do on Duma Key, Just After Sunset." He'd say. "You know, Stephen King Goes to the Movies there Under the Dome where the natives Blockade Billy goats in the Full Dark, No Stars blackness on moonless midnight shows...It's Mile 81, 11/22/63 and Doctor Sleep can write you a script for Joyland SR." ...And you'd be lucky for not having reard a thing.

Matt G said...

It must feel awesome to be generous with other people's money in the name of charity.

MickHavoc said...

He should stick with his rock band

gnholb said...

King's ON WRITING is a good read. Still have it and may read it again.

As far as his other stuff, I know not, nor will I ever.

Of his movie adaptations, I've seen one: CHRISTINE. I was about seventeen and thought angry cars with tail fins were cool.

gnholb said...

King's ON WRITING is a good read. Still have it and may read it again.

As far as his other stuff, I know not, nor will I ever.

Of his movie adaptations, I've seen one: CHRISTINE. I was about seventeen and thought angry cars with tail fins were cool.