greygirlbeast: (wookie)
[personal profile] greygirlbeast
In my forty-seven years, I have been around for the breakup of innumerable rock groups. Hell, I can clearly remember when the Beatles called it splitsville – a complicated, litigatious affair, that began in 1970, but was dragged out in courts until 1975 (so, from the time I was six until the time I was eleven). But I don't think I've ever been so affected by the breakup of a band as I'm being affected by the breakup of R.E.M. I came to the band fairly late, in 1986. I was in school in Boulder, CO at the time, and my first R.E.M. album (the first I encountered) was Fables of the Reconstruction, after which I immediately sought out Life's Rich Pageant. Eventually, by the sheerest happenstance, I came to live in Athens, GA in 1994, and running into and speaking with members of the band was a fairly frequent event, if only because we hung out in a lot of the same places. "Buck Berry Mills Stipe" managed to speak of the South in a way that few others ever have, with an authenticity, power, and beauty to rival prose authors such as Faulkner, Williams, and O'Connor. I cannot stress too strongly the influence their words and music has had on my own writing. They said it true. And I think they've now done the right thing. After all, thirty-one years is a long time, and their's is an amicable parting of the ways, and for the right reasons. But I cannot help but feel a pang of loss. And, I should note, if you're in the mood to do some R.E.M. bashing, do it elsewhere, please.

Yesterday was spent adding about eleven thousand additional words to the "Back Pages" section of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. And then proofreading them. As Peter Straub said upon reading the manuscript, "I don't think I've ever seen a novel where it was so obvious the author didn't want to stop writing." He was, of course, right on the mark. This book is probably a quarter the length it ought to be, just as The Red Tree was about half as long as it should have been. And yes, publishers do give me word limits, both minimum and maximum. Plus, I have to factor in how long I can afford to spend working on any given book, as paychecks matter, as I was not blessed with, say, a trust fund.

Today, I add a little more. Then I try to take my hands off the thing, and I try to leave them off it, and look ahead.

Speaking of which, looking at my schedule again yesterday, I realized that there's no chance of me taking a "vacation" any time soon. Somehow, I thought there were three free days that don't exist. Probably, this is because I've spent so much time on the CEM for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. So, no Maine. So, no unplugging.

---

Yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] docbrite asked to see a transcript of me poking that Facebook idiot with my pointy stick. I didn't think Facebook logged such things, but I was wrong. You may find it behind the cut. I'm omitting the name of the idiot. Not because I'm nice. Because I'd rather not have some jack-off whining at me. Also, note how this guy began trying to get me to speak to him way back on July 14th (the spelling, capitalization, punctuation, etc. is exactly as I received it):



July 14th, X: hi can i be ur frend? Hi catlin Hiii

July 30, X: Hi

July 31, X: Heya

August 11, X: Hey caitlin...met ur friend linda..*

August 24, X: Nice pic

August 29, X: Happy bday caitlin**

September 8, X: Hey dere , hope u free today??

September 21, X: Ny is funn...m lovin it..U been ???

Caitlín Rebekah Kiernan: There's this language called English. Clearly, you've never been introduced to it.

X: Well I think that was very rude of you.

Caitlín Rebekah Kiernan: Oh, it was. Undoubtedly. But at least I didn't sound like an idiot in the bargain.

X: And there is something called manners , that the person am talking to is empty with..

Caitlín Rebekah Kiernan: Empty with? Really? Did you look that up? Okay, yes. I am tactless. I have no manners, but at least I don't bother strangers.

X: Well not at all interested in ur waste talkin..

Caitlín Rebekah Kiernan: "ur waste talkin"?

X: "Your waste talks"!!

Caitlín Rebekah Kiernan: Sorry. You were a momentarily amusing diversion. Like a dying bug. But now I have a life calling me. Also, my waste has yet to speak.

X: Adios



Meanwhile...well, frankly I don't know. How is one expected to follow an act like that?

Radio Free,
Aunt Beast

* I have no friends named Linda. I don't think I've ever had a friend named Linda.

** It is, of course, common knowledge that the day of my birth is May 26th.

Date: 2011-09-22 06:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jenjen4280.livejournal.com
Wow. Just...wow. Maybe English isn't his first language? Even that is giving him too much credit.

As for R.E.M., I'll miss them making music together. I have fond memories of rugby parties (women's rugby) in the early 90's with R.E.M.'s music featured heavily in the party soundtrack.

Date: 2011-09-22 06:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Maybe English isn't his first language?

I considered this. But I'm not sure it's a valid excuse. I've seen worse from English-as-first-language speakers, and I don't think "adios" can be given much weight.

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Date: 2011-09-22 06:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] readingthedark.livejournal.com
There are very few bands where I remember where I was when I first heard them. Off the top of my head, NIN and Placebo are the only other two coming to mind.

New Year's Eve 1986, I was at a party and heard Life's Rich Pageant. I then proceded to make out with the woman who had put the record on, in between her dragging the needle back and playing the final track on side two, "Superman," over and over.

I doubt the other guests were as into the song as she and I were, but it was her party and her record player.

I don't remember her name, but I'll never forget how much R.E.M.'s albums have meant, and will mean, to me.

Date: 2011-09-22 06:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

There are very few bands where I remember where I was when I first heard them. Off the top of my head, NIN and Placebo are the only other two coming to mind.

I can recall where and when I first heard both of those, too.

New Year's Eve 1986, I was at a party and heard Life's Rich Pageant. I then proceded to make out with the woman who had put the record on, in between her dragging the needle back and playing the final track on side two, "Superman," over and over.

It is, truly, one of the most brilliant albums ever.
Edited Date: 2011-09-22 06:13 pm (UTC)

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From: [identity profile] marisa sandlin - Date: 2011-09-23 12:49 am (UTC) - Expand

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Date: 2011-09-22 06:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] captaincurt81.livejournal.com
I get new authors wanting me to review their books. I write the occasional review but I don't take requests.

Date: 2011-09-22 06:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I get new authors wanting me to review their books. I write the occasional review but I don't take requests.

You mean, they make these requests via Facebook?

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Date: 2011-09-22 06:17 pm (UTC)
ext_18153: (Default)
From: [identity profile] kirby-crow.livejournal.com
That is probably not your average n00b-pwning l33t talking there. It would be interesting if you looked up their FB profile to see if they were born deaf or born in another country.

Date: 2011-09-22 06:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

It would be interesting if you looked up their FB profile to see if they were born deaf or born in another country.

I looked. By all accounts, white and American.

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Date: 2011-09-22 06:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] humglum.livejournal.com
The use of "hey dere" makes me think he's from somewhere in the Midwest US. My mom used to go on about the use of "dese and dose and dere" by certain people in Wisconsin, where she grew up.

Date: 2011-09-22 06:24 pm (UTC)
sovay: (Rotwang)
From: [personal profile] sovay
X: Well I think that was very rude of you.

See, up until this point I would have been willing to believe the conversation was being conducted entirely by spambot.

Date: 2011-09-22 06:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

See, up until this point I would have been willing to believe the conversation was being conducted entirely by spambot.

Does short of tip the hand.

Date: 2011-09-22 06:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] r-darkstorm.livejournal.com
I laughed until I cried over the Facebook transcript. Thanks ever so much for sharing that.

Date: 2011-09-22 06:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

You're welcome.

Date: 2011-09-22 06:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] handful-ofdust.livejournal.com
R.E.M. are one of the only bands in my music collection to merit eleven straight albums, even though I'm sad to admit I've only listened to Up a couple of times. I think the first thing I ever heard from them was "Can't Get There From Here"; I definitely remember having Fables of the Reconstruction (of the Fables) on vinyl, and listening to it while I wrote at night, during high school.

A song of theirs which never fails to make me smile is "The Voice of Harold", which consists (I believe) of Michael Stipe singing the back cover copy of a Harold Montgomery and the Revelleers album to the tune of "Seven Chinese Brothers". I bought Dead Letter Office just for that.;)

Date: 2011-09-22 06:47 pm (UTC)
sovay: (Cho Hakkai: intelligence)
From: [personal profile] sovay
Michael Stipe singing the back cover copy of a Harold Montgomery and the Revelleers album to the tune of "Seven Chinese Brothers".

That's awesome.

Date: 2011-09-22 06:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

A song of theirs which never fails to make me smile is "The Voice of Harold", which consists (I believe) of Michael Stipe singing the back cover copy of a Harold Montgomery and the Revelleers album to the tune of "Seven Chinese Brothers". I bought Dead Letter Office just for that.;)

Alas, so much of my R.E.M. is on vinyl, which is all in storage. Dead Letter Office included.

Date: 2011-09-22 07:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jdack.livejournal.com
I'm only 31 but I've been feeling sort of melancholy since the announcement. I'm glad they survived all those years though, and came out in one piece.

Losing My Religion,
What's the Frequency Kenneth?,
Daysleeper,
Ebow, The letter.


So many memories tied up in those songs and the videos, back when videos were still a thing.

Now I wanna go home and listen to them and Vic Chesnutt all day.

Date: 2011-09-22 08:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I'm only 31 but I've been feeling sort of melancholy since the announcement. I'm glad they survived all those years though, and came out in one piece.

Indeed.

and Vic Chesnutt all day.

A lost acquaintance.

Date: 2011-09-22 07:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stsisyphus.livejournal.com
X: Well not at all interested in ur waste talkin..
CRK: "ur waste talkin"?
X: "Your waste talks"!!


Hah. If my waste talked it would be out of luck, getting a job, and contributing to the rent. I'm sure you'd demand the same of your own conservational, execretory products. It probably wouldn't be a pleasant roommate, but I've got a feeling you've had worse.

Date: 2011-09-22 07:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stsisyphus.livejournal.com
make that "conVERsational". Sorry. MY WASTE TYPES.

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Date: 2011-09-22 07:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wolfsilveroak.livejournal.com
by the breakup of R.E.M.

O.O I... got nothing. Wow. That sucks.

Date: 2011-09-22 08:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spank-an-elf.livejournal.com
"Ur waste talkin'" is hilarious. Sounds like conversation from my neighbors, especially the one who thinks reading too much creates brain tumors. Maybe that's who harassed you!

Date: 2011-09-22 08:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

"Ur waste talkin'" is hilarious.

And inexplicable.

Date: 2011-09-22 08:11 pm (UTC)
blackestdarkness: (Default)
From: [personal profile] blackestdarkness
I'm at work and trying hard not to laugh out loud at that Facebook transcript. Hilarious stuff!

Date: 2011-09-22 08:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] docbrite.livejournal.com
Holy shit, I didn't know FB logged such things either -- that was purely wishful thinking on my part. But thank you; it's hilarious! Is it unreasonable of me to be particularly pissed that he thought your birthday was on the anniversary of Katrina and the federal levee failure?

Date: 2011-09-22 08:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I didn't know FB logged such things either -- that was purely wishful thinking on my part.

And I only found it by accident.

But thank you; it's hilarious!

You're very welcome, naturally.

Is it unreasonable of me to be particularly pissed that he thought your birthday was on the anniversary of Katrina and the federal levee failure?

That one I'll have to ponder.

"Holy shit"

Date: 2011-09-22 09:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oldfossil59.livejournal.com
That's a god's waste talkin.

Sorry, I couldn't help that one.

You were going to enlighten us about one of your projects today-
the Arthur Machen Collection?

Re: "Holy shit"

Date: 2011-09-23 04:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

You were going to enlighten us about one of your projects today-
the Arthur Machen Collection?


Yes. I shall.

Re: "Holy shit"

From: [identity profile] ashlyme.livejournal.com - Date: 2011-09-23 05:50 pm (UTC) - Expand

Re: "Holy shit"

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Date: 2011-09-23 02:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lilith-333.livejournal.com
I did not know about the break-up of REM; it makes me sad but by the same time I respect the fact that they are choosing to go their separate ways than stay in the group and keep making music just for the money (from the link you posted, it really seemed like the members were in accord that they wanted to stop before their music got stale). So many of their songs are the soundtrack to my past; I especially recall "Losing my Religion," not because it was necessarily their best song, but because it was ALL OVER MTV in the dark ages when they still played music videos!

*Ugh* to the pesty chat person. I don't think I've ever tried to initiate a personal chat with someone I didn't know. Sadly, I can easily believe that the writer was a native English speaker. S/he displayed MANY writing errors and patterns of errors I see every day in my classes. (For example, note how when s/he was obviously trying to use standard grammar, comma usage and syntax was still incorrect.) I think it's partially because of the horrendous state of educational funding in this country and partially because many young people honestly don't UNDERSTAND why they need to sometimes communicate in a formal manner. I am not getting on my reading soapbox again, but if your primary source for the English language is television and the internet (especially blogs and social networking websites), you're going to be exposed to a lot of bad grammar and, moreover, fail to see why it's important to learn and use more formal grammar.

Date: 2011-09-23 04:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I remember when a friend of Spooky's, who teaches grade school, told her about getting papers wherein students were using l33t and such. And all I could think was, no matter how bad I think things are, they're worse.

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Date: 2011-09-23 02:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ceewayne.livejournal.com
"Buck Berry Mills Stipe" managed to speak of the South in a way that few others ever have

I never thought them as a "Southern Band". Now you got me punching up my REM on my iPod to listen to at lunch. Thank you

Date: 2011-09-23 04:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com


I never thought them as a "Southern Band". Now you got me punching up my REM on my iPod to listen to at lunch. Thank you


That's definitely where the roots lie, and it's much more evident in the earlier albums. But it's impossible to listen to Fables of the Reconstruction (a Southern reference) or, say, Document. And even when they obviously weren't writing songs about or set in the South, the songs were...gods, it's hard to explain. It's how I feel I'm now I write novels set in New England (since Daughter of Hounds), but that hint of the South will never go away.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

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