I was reading one of my free online articles in The New Yorker Magazine titled, “Who Does David Duchovny Think He Is?” It seems the former TV and movie star now writes novels from his Malibu Beach house. His fourth novel, Truly Like Lightning dropped this week. It has six reviews on Amazon so far, all 5 Star Reviews. Good for David. I have not read the book but it sounds intriquing enough. A promo snippet:
‘For the past twenty years, Bronson Powers, former Hollywood stuntman and converted Mormon, has been homesteading deep in the uninhabited desert outside Joshua Tree with his three wives and ten children.”
Duchovny has the education one might expect from a traditionally published novelist nowadays, an undergraduate degree from Princeton and a Master of Arts degree in English Literature from Yale University. Nice pedigree for literary work. His publisher is Farrar, Straus and Giroux, an imprint of McMillian.
A lot of thoughts went through my head as I read the article. The foremost being it must be nice to write a novel from a Malibu Beach house, with some millions in the bank, even if some of the time was spent in a railroad car on the property as he worked on his house remodeling project. Jealous? I hope not. Envious, a little. He has earned his stripes and his right to become a novelist, whether it be as hobbyist or professional.
I know of Duchovny because I am a baby boomer. There are whole generations out there whom may never have heard of the actor, yet decide to buy his novels anyway. And that is better for the point I am meandering to get to. Our eyeballs are a commodity with a limited vision and a seemingly unlimited supply of choices for what those orbs and ears are able to see and hear. This blog, which will turn eight years old in mid-April of 2021, is just a small example of the thousands if not tens of thousands or more likely, millions of choices out there vying for our attention.
When Duchovny is asked, perhaps hypothetically, who does he think he is, becoming a novelist, he has a fine retort:
“Who does anyone think they are?” Duchovny asked, “You have to have an ego to think you have the right to publish anything. It’s a fine question to ask: Who the fuck do you think you are?”
I think he is spot on, particularly about that last question, “Who the fuck do you think you are?” It IS a fine question to ask and I find that I ask it a lot these days, of myself and others. What direction the question gets tossed depends on my level of introspection versus my level of annoyance.
Nowadays, people don’t read novels at the same rate as before so many distractions came before us. In their stead you can now find Podcasts, Webcasts, Ted Talks, and TikToks. Twitter feeds, Facebook walls, Netflix and Amazon Prime also vie for our attention, with the help of high paid social scientists and psychologists. Everything from ultra-marathons to a 5 meter dash can be found competing for our attention.
The bottom line is, we all think we have something to say from time to time, if not daily or hourly. We all have a need to say it, in some form or fashion. Some more than others, obviously.
Regular readers of this blog, (I’m an optimist by nature) will notice there is no Thailand angle to this piece. After almost eight years this blog may have run its course. Hell, blogging may have run its course – it is well into the 21st century. I’m quite content with my blog as a body of work and I am thinking of going in another direction. Putting it in moth balls so to speak. If i do, the new blog will likely emphasis bite sized chunks of media as opposed to boulders. Few people have the time or the desire to lift boulders anymore. Put another way, if you can’t beat them, join them.
I’ll leave you with this bite-size bit of proclaimed wisdom: the next time the question comes up, “Who the fuck do you think you are?,” contemplate this possible truth: someone who thinks a lot like you do.
Happy 2021. My first blog post of the year. Like the airline pilots of today, I’m clearly a little rusty. The truth is out there. But it doesn’t seem very easy to find if, like me, you have distracted and manipulated eyes.