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« Acoustic Sweet Spot | Main | Barney Fife, Mentor »

February 23, 2006

Comments

Danny, what a Technicolor (tm) life you have led...and continue to lead.

You really must write your memoirs one of these days...or a great piece of fiction -- short stories -- with some of these "real" stories threading their way through the fictitious ones.

Danny, even when I become a huge celebrity, you can still write about me, on the condition that you make me sound as dashing and Errol Flynn-like as possible.

Sample: If I were to say something like, "Oh, good afternoon, Danny. This is good coffee," you should write something akin to:

"The Retropolitan flew over the diner's countertop with the grace of an Olympian, landing squarely on the checkered floor in front of the beautiful waitress. He took her in his strong, muscular arms, dipped her slowly backwards until their lips met, and then he reached behind her for the coffee pot -- drinking the scalding liquid as if it were water! The tall, chiseled gentleman turned to me, and said with a wink: 'Oh, good afternoon, Danny. This is good coffee.'"

On a more serious note, there are a lot of stories that I won't be publishing at Tales to Astonish anytime soon -- the story I emailed you was the most entertaining, but there are a lot of more personal things that I try to keep out. In fact, a lot of my friends won't even read my blog, since they're afraid of 'learning too much'; some other friends have gotten into some trouble by being TOO candid with their blogs. (My insistance that TtA is not a "personal" blog like that doesn't sway them.)

I've even gone as far as deleting posts that were either too personal or too snarkily celeb-related -- I'm just terribly afraid of someone finding my posts. The personal posts were removed to protect my anonymity and the feelings of those who might find them, but the celebrity posts are more or less about the idea that they're not real people. Celebrities are so far removed from our lives and objectified by cameras and media to the point where (unless you know them) they seem like caricatures. Commenting on Paris Hilton is as easy as commenting on Sherlock Holmes -- both of them are fictional to the public.

It really takes a lot of conviction to stop thinking of them that way.

Remember Stan Mack's Real-Life Funnies? All Dialogue Guaranteed 100% Overheard? It was all the more brilliant for being intrusive -- but the intrusions were on the anonymous, not the famous.

I have no reason or justification for saying this, but instinctively it feels as though, if you can reflect positively on the famous, without being creepy, then you're not crossing the ethical line.

Positive but creepy would be, say, "Heather Locklear was seated across from me, talking to her divorce lawyer. She and this lawyer clearly have plotted out a brilliant legal strategy. Her soon-to-be ex is in big trouble, and I'm very happy about that, because she is still *hot hot hot*. "

Danny, you've worked with our rights department how long and don't know the proper answer to your question about correspondence???

Lisa, if I followed Heinemann's strict policies about permissions and copyright I'd be forced to turn myself over to the authorities immediately.

Hey Danny, when you two figure out where you're having breakfast, let me know, I'd like to eavesdrop (and then blog about it, of course)

Sometimes I wonder if I cross the line with dialogue and stuff in my livejournal...although generally those entries are locked (making them more like e-mails to a couple dozen friends). I actually removed some things in past entries because they crossed lines (as well as one or two things in my music blog.) It seems to me, Danny, that as a writer, you have a very strong focus on dialogue, and that's why you tend to pick it up so well. Plus, there's something fascinating about a bit of good dialogue that always needs repeating. (I decided to be a screenwriter rather than a novelist because I have the same focus on dialogue.)

Btw...my new goal in life is to become famous enough that you'd include a conversation with me on your blog. Seriously.

(ps: letter from Roald Dahl? Soooo cool! I read and commented on that entry...wow...)

"...if I decided to adopt some new ethical stance where I no longer make references to celebrities I might as well pack it up here and now."

No, Danny, you could write about the various thicknesses of telephone books and make it interesting. :)

The ethics question is tricky. Obviously you aren't just repeating conversations for no reason. (I find them fascinating, even though I have no idea who the people are half the time.) But would the person have spoken so freely if they'd known a blogger was eavesdropping? Maybe they're used to it and don't care - or do they just assume that they are always under scrutiny? Don't know.

If you have convinced Martha to make some more movies, it will all have been worth it!

Let us know when you hear from that Nina gal.

Interesting, as usual. And I think this subject matter is only going to become more and more important as blogging becomes more mainstream. How is the LA Times going to compete with bloggers who can pretty much write any crap they want without having to check facts? There is going to be a lot of pressure for reporters to be as "entertaining" and gossipy as bloggers -- if that hasn't happened already. Fiction has been getting mixed up with non-fiction since Tom Wolfe in the 1960's. The internet has quickened the pace.

You're not a journalist, so I'm not sure why you shouldn't feel free to write about what you want. But then again, what's stopping you from meeting me and writing online that I'm a total jerk. Nothing really. I'm not even sure I could sue you.

I guess the only limits are how far each person is willing to go. I've gotten into some trouble with Sophia by writing about her, but -- it's been worth it. But there are some personal things I probably wouldn't blog about --

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