Thursday, April 10, 2008

Mentors for Everyone

The other day a religious studies student approached me in the park and asked if he could interview me for a class assignment. One of his questions was, "If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?" Tough one. End starvation? End war? Rid the world of the internal combustion engine? Why not?

Then, this morning, I thought of a far simpler request, and within a half hour it was a bumper sticker in my mind: Mentors for everyone.

I reckon David Mamet would make a good mentor. Here he is, putting it straight to writer Alex Pappademas in the current issue of GQ magazine:

"Y’know, I grew up in a different generation. I grew up after World War II, and boys did different things in those days. You went camping. You went hunting. You boxed. And the image of a writer, to someone starting off in those days was not some schmuck who went to graduate school. It was Jack London, Nelson Algren, Ernest Hemingway. Especially coming from Chicago–a writer was a knock-around guy. Someone who got a job as a reporter or drove a cab. I think the reason there are a lot of novels about How Mean My Mother Was to Me and all that shit is because the writers may have learned something called ‘technique,’ but they’ve neglected to have a life. What the fuck are they gonna write about?"

-- David Mamet


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem is either that you are using the term "writers" too broadly, or our culture just isn't producing any. This is your call - the cycle is sure to come around - start writing.

9:03 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home