A: Well, should we have a drink, gentlemen?
W: You know what time it is?
(We walk into the Green Mill)
A: 5:20, if that clock is correct.
(William talks about we probably wont go to the Hancock, which Scott would really like to get some shots of them there in the restaurant at the top, from which great views of the skyline are afforded. William has to return to Urbana for his radio show, and were clearly running late. Adam talks to Dave, the owner.)
A: Is it true that Al Capone used to own this this joint at one time?
OWNER: No. No, he hung out here, but Machine Gun Jack owned it. He worked for Al Capone.
A: Oh, okay, right.
OWNER: Its true that he hung out here all the time, but he never owned it. Machine Gun Jack owned 25% of it, during Prohibition.
A: Right, right.
OWNER: So, thats the official scoop. Cocktails?
S: Ill have a Jamesons on the rocks.
W: Ill have a . . . draft beer. What ya got?
OWNER: Schlitz, Bells, Guinness.
D: Guinness, or you know what Ill have a Bells. Guinness sounds a little heavy right now.
OWNER: You wanted Bells.
OWNER: And whatd you want?
D: Ill have a Bells, a Coke, and a glass of ice water, please.
A: So have you ever been in a slam here, Scott?
S: I actually read here a couple times when I lived out here.
W: Ive only been in a slam at Weeds.
S: Slams are alright, I dont know, but once you start taking yourself seriously as a writer, its hard to do.
A: Ive seen some pretty good people at the slams though. Ive seen some really good poets.
S: Yeah. I have too but
A: Ive seen some really bad poets as well.
S: Its really more of a performance thing though, than alike Dirk at a slam would bealthough actually Dirk Ive seen him do some performance type stuff, but most of his stuff wouldnt translate real well into a slam environment. Or Williams poetry for that matter.
W: I dont know.
(We drift into a conversation about Cannibal Cheerleaders on Crack. An offensive play William hated when we saw it. It was a pretty bad production.)
S: William is a conservative, actually. He comes from the country, ah, South Carolina.
A: You dont say?
S: He was on the ah, Jesse Helmes re-election campaign.
W: The good old days, when people tried to make plays about things. Content.
A: The good old days.
S: You want content in plays?
S: What the hell is that? Were all about spectacle, man. Why else would we be the kind of people who plant grass with kids, at the same time as were writing a hypertext novel thats almost sure to be damaging to the youth of America? Because of all the drug references.
W: We can use BBEdit to go back and replace the drug references with health foods, cant we?
S: Yeah, but that would be selling out, man. We dont wanta do do that.
W: I think if we can apply the concept of selling out to something thats distributed worldwide electronically for free, then weve probably already sold out. By the sheer arrogance of many of, most, pretty much all, of the pages.
S: Yeah. Its pretty much sold out. It is pretty much about turning us into, uh, Millennial literary superstars, which is kinda self-indulgent.
A: Well, its all a hype factor. I mean ultimately in the United States now it seems like the cult of personality wins out over trying to doing something the hard way. Ultimately its the people who hype themselves up the best, you know, are the ones who come out on top. Its bizarre.
W: Youve put your finger on the heart of our project. Weve been
A: Youve gotta do it.
W: Weve been writing well-done stories for years and years, now its time to work on hype.
A: Work the system.
S: Rebuild the system, really, is ultimately what were trying to do.
(The hour has grown very late. It is nearly certain that William will miss his radio show. We talk for a while about hats. We discuss the real reasons William doesnt like William T. Vollman. Somehow we get into a long discussion of Krass-Muellers work, from The Dust-Buster of Anarchy to the little things hes published since In Cold Jest. Dirk pretty well unpacks the whole corpus, and we debate his conclusions. We speculate, accurately, on what Krass-Mueller will next publish, and how the whole media blitzkrieg has affected the eccentric young author. But this was a long and convoluted conversation that most people would have zero interest in reading. We eventually get out of the bar, and pose for one more shot before we head back to my house, and the boys head out of town. Goldblatts.)
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