Friday, December 02, 2005

Drink, Pray, Etc.

Recently I had a nice phone chat with my excellent friend and neighbor Joe Bageant. After chewing the fat for a bit (very nice fat, by the way, imported from Kinshasa), he hipped me to the book he's busy writing, tentatively titled Drink, Pray, Fight and Fuck: Dispatches from the American Class Wars. coming out next year from Random House Crown.

Bet they'll work on that title a bit before it hits Wal-Mart. Just a hunch.

He's halfway through writing the book, and is committed to deliver an MS by May of next year. This is, incidentally, why you don't see new issues of his sinus-clearing redneck commie dispatches at Cold Type, the Smirking Chimp and elsewhere; these days, he's saving it for the book. (The piece I linked to at the Smirking Chimp contains the genesis of his book, by the way.)

He told me some hair-raising things about ayahuasca, an Amazonian "healing plant" that will tend to make you very high. (Movie ref, anyone?) I asked him how he knew this sort of thing at firsthand -- where, for example, one would even get hold of a jeroboam or a dram or a lid or however the hell they measure these things.

In his gentle, amused drawl he said, simply, "Well, I know a shaman."

Ah, but of course.

Joe's put up a web site, by the way -- you should go check it out. Besides news about Joe and the book, there's a whole lot of memorably pungent prose to be had -- click "Essays" in the righthand rail and lean back for the show. Be sure you've got some SPF 30 on -- that stuff'll chap your face.

Enough water's gone under the bridge that this won't bore: Easily the most amazing coincidence I've ever experienced involved Joe Bageant.


Neil Shakespeare said...

Thanks for the tip, Neddie. Wonderful essays. I'd never heard of this fella, so it's a treat. And thanks for the great comment on 'The Oily Crucifixion'. I was watching one of those 'The Making of the Lord of the Rings' things on TV some months ago and they noted that Tolkein blamed the sorry state of the world on the invention of the internal combustion engine. Hard to argue with him on that. Oh, and good to hear you're feeling better.

Anonymous said...

in college daze, my friends and I ingested "ayahuasca", "ibogane", and other substances... whether they were or not well... we didn't get 'em from a shaman, but a Reed college student across the river...

love the blog...

(bonus points for ibogane political refrence)

H. Rumbold, Master Barber said...

"Aqui yage ayahuasca. Muy Bueno. Muy fuerte." from William S. Burroughs The Wild Boys.

I hope the conversation with Bageant touched upon Meester William, particularly The Wild Boys and Queer. Apparently everything looks blue (the color of junk and heavy metal silence). Not inclined to experiment, me.

BTW, thanks for the tip on the new Flashman, which I picked up today. Bookstore serendipity disease also caused Thud, the new Terry Prachett and The Human Fly, new T.C. Boyle stories to fall into my hand. We'll see which goes first, or maybe simultaneous triple-dipping.

H. Rumbold, Master Barber

Bobby Lightfoot said...

I kept trying to think of something to say because I really like his essays and also because I got this word ver.:

pukkapx. Which anyone knows is a military store that sells only bad shell necklaces.