Saturday, May 24, 2008

Q. Anni

To continue with this somewhat belated celebration, I shall, for one time only, answer some of the more interesting questions I've received from commenteers and e-mailers of late. But be warned: this shan't become a habit.

Dreary45 said...
When people ask my favourite colour, I always say you're my favourite Hugh.

Thank you. You may come to the picnic.

Flower said...
Do you ever consider the trail of human ruin your schoolboy provocations leave behind? To my mind, your desperate pursuit of infamy seems to stem from a deeply ingrained sense of insecurity pushing against an equally ingrained hunger for recognition. A hunger for recognition is, of course, the subtext of blogging, but you seem to aim higher and mightier, as if expecting distinction from outside the community — a Pulitzer, perhaps? Yet at the same time you seem highly self-conscious about coming across that way, and possibly even the notion itself, hence the knee-jerk callowness. What do you make of the argument that art is fundamentally an indulgence of its creator? Or that pretensions are prerequisites for all conscious art? Do you believe, as I do, that hyperselfconsciousness inhibits the creation of art?

Sometimes I look in the mirror and cry.

Petre said...
You're strange. But don't change.

I've nothing else to wear.

Jill Blomb said...
The strong erotic undercurrent in almost everything you write seems to me to be a manifestation of a repressed sexual condition. Are you impotent or just not getting any?

No, I'm just very liberated.

Kathryn said...
Does the word "apparently" carry any more weight than "allegedly"?

I think "allegedly" is the more skeptical of the two, so in terms of the speaker's belief, I'd say "apparently" would carry more weight, yes.

Big Boy said....
Best and worst post, stat.

Best: apologies, but I scrolled dutifully through the backlog (a rather dispiriting experience) and was unable to find a sole post that would warrant such a distinction. No false modesty — obviously I love myself deeply. But if you insist on pressing a gun to my head, I'd probably yelp a few of the better ones atop my head — Martha's Day, Milkhill Puppy, Herring George (on a good day), We're Not At Home To The Broke Of Heart, As Black As That, perhaps. Maybe even the sheer terribleness of the restored Things In Chairs, or the whorey clunk of The Fleshy Mexican Crowd-Pleaser. None would particularly leap out upon inspection, and my gun-totting antagonist would no doubt be disappointed, but them's the ones I dislike least.

Worst: tough one. Certainly I'd include the worst offenders of the Everyone Has An Opinion series: everyone's pretentious; boo to you, God; art rots, photos shoul' be real, film oh film et al; and, especially, It Was So Much Better Way Back When. Sickening, embarrassing, ugly jejune sludge, the lot of it. The mid-2005 one on blogging was particularly rank. If I had to pick one, though, I'd still say the first of the only two topical posts I ever did (the second is nearly as bad). Utterly detestable stab at, I dunno — irony? The sort of thing you'd paste in a very sane suicide note by way of explanation. In fact, I'm going to go back on my word and delete the two fuckers right now. No principle can sustain their existence.
And they're gone.

Roderick Summer said...
Your self-indulgence astounds me. Do you ever stop talking about yourself?

I pray the day will come, but right now it's the only subject I'm sufficiently versed in. I disguise it well, no?

Roderick Summer said...
No.

Oh.

BarBRA said...
Why is it that all the females in your posts are either prostitutes or elusive one-dimensional objects?

What can I say? I write what I don't know.

Wilbert Peach said...
What keeps you going?

The frightening realisation that I still haven't mastered punctuation.

64 comments:

Kathryn said...

You dodged a few of those questions, but at least you answered mine. "Allegedly" smacks of journalistic optimism.

So that really is you in the drug lord photo. A work friend of mine recognised you as one half of the Bucket Men. Fancy that, a blogger who exists in the real world.

Hugh said...

It was very briefly me in the drug lord photo, yes. Still, I am frankly flabbergasted that you have a friend who made the connection to Bucket Men.

Firstly, despite having a slight internet presence, the only people who know of Bucket Men are people who've had Bucket Men directly imposed on them; that is to say, in-person friends of mine.

Secondly, being not a real band in any sense, the only possible means of recognition is one outdated and somewhat inconclusive cover photo. Perhaps it was just the link on the side to Bucket Men, or said person knows me already. Either way, I must enquire.

Kathryn said...

Ah. M recognised you as someone she sighted at a gig. The Bucket Men connection was secondary, since she exchanged emails with you at one point. (I still find it rather mind-bending.)

Hugh said...

As do I. I don't recall having exchanged emails with anyone for a long while. But I thought for a bit and eventually realised it could only be one person.

I remember two things from that brief encounter, aside from its gig-related impetus: writing particularly bad emails (usually why I avoid it) and something about K-mart. Bloodcurdling, I'm sure.

And you had me all excited that someone I didn't know knew about Bucket Men. Still, that's quite the coincidence.

Kathryn said...

Bad emails? I find that rather hard to believe.

Hugh said...

I'm far too terrified to excavate my inbox for examples, so you'll have to trust me. Not any preposterous admissions or propositions (at least, as far as I remember), just a general reminder of why my then-self wasn't suited to email. I'd wager most of my emails, at least from when I actually had one or two semi-regular contacts, could safely be regarded as sludge, overwrit and icky.

Kathryn said...

Hmm. And your now-self?

Hugh said...

You know, I'm really not sure. One hopes one learns. Either way, it's sure to be incredibly unpithy.

Not Quite Yoda said...

And so the legend grows.

Quick, make Party Animal available to the general public!

Hugh said...

Good lord no.

Kathryn said...

I second (not quite) yoda's suggestion.

Signed,

a member of the General Public

Hugh said...

How about anything-but instead?

Kathryn said...

What are you offering?

Hugh said...

What are you proposing?

Kathryn said...

I asked first. :p

Hugh said...

I've hit a blank. Propose something and I'll offer it.

Kathryn said...

I'm guessing Party Animal is a song. What other creative output could you offer?

Hugh said...

Absolutely anything, I'm afraid. I've got more pies than fingers.

Tom said...

Party animal is pure genius. If Hugh doesn't make it available to the general public, i'll put it on the internet for him.

The world needs to hear it.

Hugh said...

Whatever is proposed, I'll double it. They're only building it up because they know it's terrible. It was just a hastily written mock defence for my treachery that has no significance outside the incident. Moreover it's... terrible.

Kathryn said...

Hmm. Well the Bucket Men slices of pie are already up on MySpace and Blogspot. What happened to The Jack Nicholsons?

Hugh said...

The 'up' Bucket Men slices are foul, unsung and antiquated, although preferable to that song. The Jack Nicholsons, whose novel status almost makes Bucket Men seem like a real band by comparison, can be endured in all their non-cognitive glory here.

I prefer them to that song, too.

Kathryn said...

Are there Bucket Men slices that aren't 'up'?

Non-cognitive, but there's something appealing about the title track (despite the repetitive yeah-ing).

Hugh said...

Despite the repetitive yeah-ing? Gasp!

There's positively hours of Bucket Men slices that aren't up. These days they're mostly half-cooked birthday albums, but once upon a 2003-onwards, we'd make quite the haul, most of it ill-recorded juvenilia geared towards masochists, but not always without a certain impotent charm.

Kathryn said...

Gasp indeed.

So, the other pies?

Hugh said...

Anything you care to name, I'm sure I've had a deluded stab at. Obviously that's not going to be strictly true, but it's more fun to guess.

Kathryn said...

Linocut? :p

More seriously, have you written any short fiction?

Hugh said...

I've done both a solitary school linocut and some short fiction, although neither very completely or satisfactorily. Really, this place is just (very) short fiction pieces. I like — indeed prefer — doing it in this format, and it's great practice.

Elsewhere, I've had too many nigglings to buckle down and properly write any prose, but back in high school I wrote silly serials in people's diaries, and have written quite a lot of back-and-forth nonsense with Ben. Including novel false-starts and other bits and pieces, I've written a fair amount, but there'd be very few I would call genuine complete short fiction works, and none I'm very proud of, although by virtue of my height, every fictional thing I've done could be called thus.

Goodness. My apologies. This isn't even email and look how much I write. Succinct I ain't.

Kathryn said...

Shame, I was hoping you might have something to share.

I know exactly what you mean about false starts. My stories rarely survived beyond the first paragraph or two. I have the will to write but lack the perseverance.

Hugh said...

Nothing of much worth to share, no. Similar case with me, although my will is clouded by said nigglings.

Despite false starts, have you anything to share?

Kathryn said...

I might find the courage to post some existing work as my next blog entry. (Although I highly doubt my fumbling attempts are any better than yours!)

Hugh said...

Splendid. And so it grows...

Tom said...

He say's that to all the girls

Hugh said...

Really? Does it work?

Kathryn said...

Are you asking me, or Tom? :p

Hugh said...

[Searches in vain for a middle-ground.]

Um... Both!

Kathryn said...

"And so it grows" is about as titillating as Viagra spam.

(Assuming that's what Tom was getting at.)

Hugh said...

Yeah, but the "Splendid" part... Oh boy.

Kathryn said...

*Fans herself* :p

Hugh said...

And I haven't even got to "Marvelous" yet.

Kathryn said...

Cunning linguistics, Hugh.

Hugh said...

Likewise, Moneypenny.

Not Quite Yoda said...

Oh, god.

It's an utter lie that if you look at my profile you'll find some of his prior fiction under the only listed blog.
The Bucket Men are notable for such wonders as Cheap and Familiar, Party Animal, and the entire Stephan the Gambler soundtrack.
40-odd messages is Too Much. You two should get on with the encountering each other thing already and blather in person.

Love, Y/B

Hugh said...

Oh, god.

Not that guff.

Nor that guff.

Also, please refrain from affixing a "the" to our name. It's just Bucket Men. It sounds hideous with a "the".

40-odd ain't Too Much. Popular blogs get triple figures, albeit with that many people actually hanging around. Molesting the comment system is as good a way as any, particularly with no present alternatives. Google won't mind.

Not Quite Yoda said...

Popular blogs get triple figures, usually from more than four people. "The" happily discontinued.

Hugh said...

Still, with the sparsity of comments I've had over the years, I'm certainly not complaining.

Kathryn said...

You utter liar! (Thanks for the tip, Y/B.)

Molesting the comment system is as good a way as any, particularly with no present alternatives.

Hugh has a point, and its his blog after all. :)

Hugh said...

Given that this is a Q&A post, it's also rather fitting. Perhaps, if there was any conversation left, we should relocate the long-off-topic Tom ones here, to preserve his sanity. (Before it gets to 40, at any rate.)

I believe Ben said something about something having a certain ring to it right below a comment that someone wrote and subsequently deleted... What was that comment?

Kathryn said...

"Question is, do I still possess the charm to say "Get a room" without seeming like (more of) a jackass?"

That was sent with love from Y/B.

Suits me. I think the conversation over at Tom's was already caving in. Speaking of which, I was making no such insinuation about your social life, embellished or otherwise.

Hugh said...

So I take it by his subsequent efforts to delete it that he did not possess the charm?

(Non-insinuation noted, though my misinterpretation of it seemed to form a quite valid theory.)

Kathryn said...

I guess not.

(I'm pleased we finally cleared that up; I can ditch this useless spade.)

Hugh said...

I do like that by the time we've finished discussing the 40-odd comments it's become 50-odd comments.

(For sentimental reasons, I'm keeping my bloody shovel.)

Kathryn said...

Ben will be so jealous. :p

(Are you really the sentimental type?)

Hugh said...

I haven't yet decided if I'm extremely sentimental or not sentimental at all. Probably a case of 'parts of me are, parts of me aren't'.

In other words, I have no good way of answering that. Ben?

Not Quite Yoda said...

I haven't had the good fortune to witness your parts and their contents, but thank you for asking.

(Okay, who didn't see that one coming? So to speak?)

Hugh said...

Well, me, for starters. I was rather hoping for you to mention that touching anecdote about the stray cat.

Not Quite Yoda said...

The one where I put an origami cat on somebody's fence (or whatever you call them brick wall yard-front thingies) and you asked me what I was making paper vaginas for?

Kathryn said...

Somehow I don't think that's what Hugh had in mind...

P.S. Nearly 60.

Hugh said...

No no, that's the one I meant. The sentimental part came when he rather touchingly gave me one of those paper orifices after a friendly, almost romantic, walk through night-stricken Melbourne, and I subsequently dropped and lost it in the dark, sparking much fumbling and mourning. Luckily, though, he left an earlier one in my room — pretty and orange. I keep it next to a leaf shaped like a love heart.

Not Quite Yoda said...

I'm not responsible for the leaf, mind.

Hugh said...

No; that was plucked quite randomly off an overhang.

Kathryn said...

Sentimental in an unconventional way, perhaps.

(Touching anecdote, a blend of poetic eloquence and sex-crazed immaturity.)

Hugh said...

"A blend of poetic eloquence and sex-crazed immaturity."

Oh, I'm quoting you on that.

Incidentally, I almost proved my sentimentality by way of waiting-for-bus lullaby, but reason triumphed.

Not Quite Yoda said...

IT WAS A BUTTERFLY.

You should definitely hear the waiting-for-bus lullaby. It's one of Hugh's most heart-rending moments.