James Franco is an author writer with mad ninja skills

I’d like to begin this with a sincere attempt at not apologizing if this sticks a very unfortunate song in your head, but this is my blog, my therapy, and I need to paste it somewhere other than in my head.  So, there.  Um, yeah.

But since this may not be enough, I drop this into the abyss of my blog as well:

There.  All better.

James Franco wrote a book.  No, really.  I might be imaginative, but even I have my limits.  It’s a collection of stories, which I imagine amuse him greatly, and probably only encourage him to think even more highly of himself.  No disrespect to Sir James, he was a passable Goblin Jr.–although the self-destructive, delusional, running weed joke that was Pineapple Express stole a bit of my soul before I sent it back to Netflix with a note that said, “No!  Bad Netflix!”–but I can’t help imagining him writing this book, pausing at each sentence with that damned half-smirk of his to admire how awesomely awesome  it was.

I am so freakin' awesome...

Yeah. That one.

Apparently, according the guru of all things hip and importantly pivotal to a world unprepared to acknowledge his vast and deeply essential understanding of hipness, Russ Marshalek, there is a sentence that reads: “When would things begin mattering? he wondered. Now, now, now.”

Wow. I am sufficiently moved now.  And yet, strangely compelled, in that Apocalypse South, kind of way to read this.  I may print out the picture above and use it as a bookmark just to be reminded of how awesome Sir James thinks he is, so that I fully appreciate it for myself.  Or I might just burn the photo, along with a collection of the movies he’s been in, so that I have enough light to tear out each page as I read it, smother it in mayonnaise, and eat it.

It’s a toss-up.

Franzen vs. Giant Platypus

Tomorrow is August 31st, 2010, which under normal circumstances is only of note because it’s Debbie “Deborah” Gibson’s birthday (and nobody really cares about that since the unfortunate Playboy incident, though Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus did scare up more fans than the Electric Youth album, as will the forthcoming Mega Python vs. Gatoroid!).  But this is 2010.  This is the electronic age of internet-viral-type greatness.  This is the release date of Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom, which is hitting the ground running with more literary momentum than any book in quite some time.  You will want to buy it.  You will want to opine.  You will want to share it with your friends.  You will want to be the first person in the world to run into the streets yelling, “Dear God, what is this book about, and why can’t I stop reading it?”

Or something like that.  I don’t know.  I’m not reading it.

All I know is that he’s being heralded as a literary genius, the next great American novelist, and maybe that’s true, and maybe it isn’t.  But this is his first novel in eight years–first since the Oprah shunning–and I don’t think any author should be elevated to that type of status based upon a couple of books.  Patterson kills bugs, true, but the fact remains that mainstream America doesn’t give a flip about literary credibility.  There was a push a few years back for Thomas Pynchon’s book, Against the Day, which was replete in reviews hailing it broadly as the next great work of literary fiction, and maybe it was, but now it’s tipping bookshelves over, or holding doors open, and you won’t get much more out of someone who read it than, “Hey, that was that book with that telekinetic pug, right?”

Thus ends my mini Franz-a-rant.