Monday, 12 October 2009

How To Become A Postmodern Genius

Technique A

Order a taxi to Dave Eggers. Once you reach Dave Eggers, scoop his brains out with a dessert spoon. Using the remnants of Dave Eggers’ scooped neurotransmitters, create a washing line and suspend the brainstrings between two buildings. Hang undies and tights on the brainstrings.

In a few months, the undies and tights will be mossed to the gusset in postmodern genius. Ideas to sink ships. Brilliance too sizeable to stuff inside a piper’s pouch.

Taking these ideas, write a sentence. Show the sentence to Microsoft Sam and ask him for a ranking. If the microchipped mook rates it below five-and-a-half guineas, show the sentence to me.

Having read your sentence, I will pass it on to Harold Pumiceous, a leatherbound tsotsi who fiddles tiddle-tots in nurseries, then distil it through the essence of Lydia Millet: postmodern authoress du jour.

Once Lydia’s essence has infected you, pray for the mercy of genius to cease, lest your talent engulf Australia.

Technique A

Spread your completed MS across the floor. Grease your German wife in sauerkraut fat. Get your German wife to writhe over your MS until each page is grease-shamed. Send your German wife outside for a few weeks.

Now, re-read the MS and rewrite the entire shebang using only the non-greasy words. If by some dint of depression, your fatty wife has larded every word in her sour-Kraut ooze, try again with a cousin or neighbour.

You should now have a grease-free work of magnificence, and are ready to approach a publisher. Send one word to Penguin Books with the following missive attached (in blood):

Hark! Pretty Penguins! The futur is myne [sic] & you preshured poo-cees are in luck! Gettouttathaway!

Technique A

Ask Martin Amis around for half a crumpet. Boil his legs in a beef stock while conducting a discussion about the use of defamiliarization in the eisegeses of Baptist Reformers as a method of blurring fiction with cabbage. Sing him the chorus from the Sex Pistols’ hit ‘Seventeen’ – “I’m a lazy sod, I’m a lazy Sid, I’m soooo laaaaaaazy! I can’t even be bovvered!”

When he enters the dazed fortress of the Spooked Croissant, raid his cupboard for words. Steal a ‘boomerang’ here, a ‘truckle’ there. Rob his blog ‘The Haecceity of Veracity’ blind. If his wife comes in, ask her if she has always been that ugly and could she kindly trundle her sluggish spinster arse back out the door, thankya verymuch.

Go home. Slap an ape. Then begin that novel. Title the novel ‘WHEN’ and choose an illustrious typeface, such as GungsuhChe or Wingdings. Open with the following sentence:

‘What is Man? What is there left for Man when the dark nights tear away our immortal souls, wrenching the bloodlust from our lazy legs, sealing the creosote canals in our boxcar hearts? Oh, Björk! It’s oh so quiet! It’s oh so still! Why can’t we start another BIG RIOT?’

Flush the MS down the toilet four times then eat it. Send the publishers excerpts in the form of double-spaced poos (not forgetting page numbers, the title, and your name on each page!)

Technique A

Rent slum accommodation in Görlitz. Invite round a balding sailor named Wilhelm. Ask him a series of questions.

– Do you like Mexican strippers, Wilhelm?
– What’s your position on the canapé, Wilhelm?
– How tall is the average burglar, Wilhelm?
– Which cross-section of Oslo hoards the crepes, Wilhelm?

Wilhelm is your character. Spool his opinions into your novel. Write 4000 words per day. Over the course of three weeks, you’ll amass enough words for a satisfactory MS. Kill (the real) Wilhlem.

Other characters include: Noel the Gnome, Jenny the Janitoress, Klutz the Independent Financial Advisor, and Franco the Rather Obese Nick Cave impersonator. Kill them all when finished.

Send your text to McSweeney’s Offline Tendency: a red-bummed alcoholic swigging Vermouth in a pedal bin. Have a discussion on how you preferred Smog with the brackets. Then shoot him.

It ends here. Enjoy your life as postmodern superstars, friends.


  1. I like this. I'm supposed to like it so, god damn it, I do. I can feel little neuron crunchers digging down to the locked vaults of my mind, opening drawers, rattling racks, toppling boxes of filed inspirations and buried traumas. I'm inviting Martin and Dave over to watch Two and a Half Men with me. My wife is boiling sausage as I right - no, the other write.

  2. I particularly like Technique A.

  3. This started an intellectual debate in my house. That was worrying because I live alone and never talk to myself.

    I say ‘was worrying’, I watched Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and realized that it was my painting of the hunch backed old Chinese man that was debating with me.

    It went a bit like this:

    Me: So what is the quintessential….
    OCM: Even a Hero has to bow.
    Me: But surely the theocratic…
    OCM : In a storm, every leaf gets wet.
    Me: I know the metaphysical…
    OCM: Even the finest brush does not lead the artist.
    Me: I like Technique A
    OCM: The water flows over Technique A, Technique A cannot flow over the water.
    Me: Fuck you!
    OCM: I’m just a painting.

    Nice work Mark

  4. Nice comment, Mike. What I really want is to look like Dave Eggars or at least find a photographer that can make me look intense and edgy instead of the big dumb farmer I was raised to be.

  5. Derek: Take up smoking. Pot. Write 1000 book reviews in the Boston Chronicle and chase 12-year-old virgins. The intensity will come.

    Chris: Hello! Are my leaping lupins ready yet?

    Me: Thank you for the comment, Mike.
    Mike: What do you mean by that?
    Me: I adore your drapes.
    Mike: Get your own flippin' drapes, eh?
    Me: Can I suck them?
    Mike: No, but I have something else you can suck.
    Me: Good day, Sir.

  6. I've just downloaded iStripper, and now I enjoy having the best virtual strippers on my taskbar.