Saunders. That Tao Lin Fucker. Nachos? Chemicals.

Devastating Saunders essay.

Chicago Christmas

Devastating in its ability to convey what Saunders is trying to get at with his fiction. For a certain group of people, the dice are loaded. Have always been loaded. Will always be loaded. Etc.

He sees capitalism as–for most–a hole you fell into, and you ain’t getting out. Scramble, scramble…The ones doing well, in this system, were born on third base and thinking they hit a triple.

noah cicero (what a name!) would love this shit.

Also brings up the question of fiction versus nonfiction in delivering “truth.”

I wish I could link “400 Pound CEO” here.

I can link Commcomm

and Jon.

I suppose I am considering how an author uses her “material.” CNF vs fiction vs poem vs hybrid. And how those decisions affect the work.

Saunders is a Dickensian writer–he’s bringing a social message. He’s on a mission. Which genre better fulfills this?


Ok Tao Lin sometimes has great sentences. Can a man hold an opinion? Jesus. Leave me alone, people.

I love nachos.

I love windy grimaces.

And the number 14.


Damn, I am depressed. I got the black dog. I got serotonin leaking dubious baggage. Etc.

Why? I have so few ingredients in my fridge. I mean what can you do with these items?

Hope I think of something.


Back onto Saunders. I have been fired from 2 jobs. The first was my first, ever. The second I was making $$$ watching chemical train tankers unload. TDOP regulations–you must visually observe the unloading of these hazardous chemicals. That’s all. Hook up a tube, lock it in, and sit there in a folding chair, watch them unload, hour after hour. Be sure to pop the top hatch, though. If you don’t the suction from the intake tube will actually implode a fucking steel tanker. It took about 15 hours to unload one tanker. A teenager could read some novels, at 20 bucks a meaningless hour!

Then the early 90’s recession hit; and I was fired.

Back to the first job. I was 16, in Memphis. My mom pulled some church strings, and I got a job washing dogs at a poodle groomers.

I shit you not.

I learned:

1.) Chows will bite your ass. Chows. Avoid the purple tongue.

2.) Large people will steal smaller peoples’ lunch. This huge dude would just walk over and take my little lunch my mom had packed.Rip it right out of hands.

I complained to my boss and he told me, “So? You got to stand up for yourself, fool.”


3.) Dogs hate baths by strangers.

Well, the first day, I stand there as the owners greet the customers, and their dogs.

The customers cuddle their poodles. Hug them. Pull them out of purses! Bring them on rhinestone leashes. Call them names like Baby and Woodle-Woodle and Ryan and Little Macy-Paw.

And that’s cool. Whatever.

And I saw how the owners of the business, while in the front lobby, would kneel low, and lower their voices, do the toddler-talk: “Oh, this is little Woodle-Woodle? Oh, we gonna take care of little Woodle-Woodle..” (air kisses, big-ass smile, palm the check away into the front pocket)

THEN, as soon as the owner walked out that door, as soon as Woodle-Woodle was behind that swinging door, to our work area, full of cages of cats and dogs, full of antiseptic soap/wet dog/dog shit stench and hot roar of industrial dryer and buzz of razors and scramble of claws on metal and bark and scream and scowl–that same Woodle-Woodle puppy poodle was carried dangling off the floor, feet off the floor, spinning in a tight choking circle of whimpering spittle.

And when it whined? Pap! Slap upside the poodly face.

And when it barked? Slap. Upside the poodly face.

Upside the poodly face.


Dunk under water. Hold under water. Count to twenty.

“Now you gonna fuck wid me, dawg?! Fuck wid me!”

I’m just saying what I seen….

What’s my point?



EVERY SINGLE GEORGE SAUNDERS story–that’s my point. They are one big-ass poodle groomer.

(before you write anything, seriously, get a job)


“Before I start writing, I like to drink one beer to prime my engine.”    Mailer

Only one?


A story that maintains a high pitch throughout can be as boring as one that has no high pitches at all.








7 responses to “Saunders. That Tao Lin Fucker. Nachos? Chemicals.

  1. Watch out for that picante sauce! Could be dangerous.

  2. “Chicago Christmas, 1984” is fucking brilliant. Just fucking brilliant. Mucho thanks for linking it.

  3. i feel the black dog lately…don’t know why.
    fighting with it.
    don’t like the symbolism of your fridge man

  4. I love the nachos ingredients, all the saundesrs stuff, and the poodle story, although I feel you should shape it some, and you know- send it out.

    Also, I’ve been meaning to tell you that I think it is very, very cool that you run massive races. How are your knees with that?

  5. I like to have a shot of whiskey before I start.

  6. I used to be one in a long line of workers who sat on stools (headphones on, listening to indecent audio books) while airbrushing and hand-painting decorative duck decoys in a big tin barn. We were paid per completed duck. Wood Ducks. Canvasback Drakes. Mallards. Loons. Hooded Mergansers. The soap opera that carried on in this little place was amazing. It was a cushy job really.

    Thanks for the reminder of Saunders.

  7. Ryan, we should discuss this. I pretty much had to inject by this point. I did EVERYTHING else, including PT exercises, not running for months. I injured this thing March 8, during an ultra-marathon.

    The next step was surgery…

    I’ve had ONE injection. And it very effective. I’m hoping not NEVER inject it again.

    My foot is still kind of f’d, but the achilles is much better. I am able to train right now, though not seriously.

    I am ramping up.


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