Hooching With Hemingway
Prologue & Disclaimer: The tail wagging the damn dog.
My facile mind is squirming like a legless toad. I continue to have these thunderbolt grandiose ideas concerning postings here on HH. I do meticulous research, & then I write up brilliant fucking pieces ( & I never lack in either humility or hubris).
So as you read this post, if indeed you find yourself doing so, be completely aware that it was never my intention to be either judgmental or sanctimonious–it is just important to point out, to verify that Hooch & Art have been holding hands, going steady, and copulating–cherishing & complimenting each other ever since the first drops of alcohol were distilled from fruits & grain. Herein, the thematic & integral nature of alcohol, in terms of the overall cosmoses, thrust, & energy of this site, I contend, is both literal & metaphoric, burning your brain & setting your soul aflame. So read on if you are/are not shitfaced or faint of heart.
It is an interesting fact that of America’s seven Nobel laureates, five of them are confirmed lushes. This incredible site may be the very first one to illustrate that hooch may, in fact, contribute to the clarity necessary when one is reviewing Sci Fi, Horror, & Splatter Cinema. We present this alternative reviewing style not as an advocacy of alcoholism, God forbid, but rather as a way to share the whacked-out fucking adventures of movie reviewers, who are not afraid of messing with the Red Bull, & are experts at dodging the horns.
So on a rare serious note, perhaps, I cannot help but notice while researching the works of Famous Writers, that hooch has played a prominent role in Literature. Most of us realize, interacting with alcohol is like having sex with some hot sensuous bitches that are capable of morphing into demons with ease, almost without provocation–and most of us, much like an inebriated snail crawling along the edge of the sharp blade on a straight razor, have to stay focused–in order to stay safe.
So looking back, drenched in fascination & alacrity in equal measure, we can take a few moments to study the lives of some literary giants, and find out what they may have said about Hooch, or in some cases what Hooch has said about them.
“Writing involves fantasy, alcohol promotes & intensifies fantasy. A writer needs self-confidence, alcohol bolsters confidence. Writing is lonely work & alcohol numbs the self-imposed pain.”–Donald Goodwin.
ERNEST HEMINGWAY (1899-1961)
“An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk in order to spend time with fools”
“Always force yourself to do sober what you bragged about doing drunk–it will help you learn to keep your mouth shut.”
As many of you may be aware, Tyler’s father, Adrian Sparks, has been deeply involved in the Hemingway mythos for several years. In Los Angeles, in 2005, he starred in a one-man show called PAPA. He received rave reviews,
LOS ANGELES TIMES: In this near perfect fusion of actor and material, Sparks is unfailingly brilliant, capturing the vulnerability under the bluster of a genius in sad but valiant decline.
and so found funding to take the show out on tour, not stopping until he found himself in Istanbul for several months,
making a couple Turkish movies while he was there.
Last year a new screenplay was written, using the play as mainspring. Of course, only one actor could be counted on for portraying Hemingway–Adrian Sparks. He leaves to return to Cuba tomorrow, to finish filming in Hemingway’s actual house, on his actual boat. The people of Cuba have welcomed him like a returning prodigal.
Author F. SCOTT FITZGERALD (1896-1940)
“First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.”
WILLIAM FAULKNER (1897-1967)
“There is no such thing as bad whiskey–some just happen to be better than others, but a man shouldn’t fool with booze until he’s fifty; and then he’s a damn fool if he doesn’t.”
JOHN CHEEVER (1912-1982)
Often called the Chekhov of the Suburbs, a Pulitzer Prize winner, he suffered from extreme alcoholism, struggling with issues of confidence & his bisexuality. His therapist described him as “neurotic, egocentric, friendless, & deeply involved in his own defensive illusions.” Later in life, he sobered up, began living with another man, & his writing slid into a dull less creative place.
CHARLES BUKOWSKI (1920-1994)
“For me drinking is both emotional & spiritual–it’s like a cheerful form of suicide, killing yourself daily, & then being reborn with each new day. I guess I have already lived like 1500 lives now.”
TENNESSEE WILLIAMS (1911-1983)
Thomas Lanier Williams III once said, “Mendacity is a system that we live in. Liquor is one way out & death is another.”
DYLAN THOMAS (1914-1953)
“An alcoholic is someone you don’t like, who drinks as much as you do.”
TRUMAN CAPOTE (1924-1984)
Forever the recovering alcoholic, he was never sober more than a few months at a time.
“Finishing a book is just like you took a child out in the back yard & shot it.”
JAMES JOYCE (1882-1941)
He was a binge drinker & a tavern brawler, and he said,
“Primarily through drinking a man’s errors become his portals of discovery.”
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW (1856-1950)
“Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operations of life.”
He admits to “writing shit-faced” for years. He doesn’t remember even writing CUJO at all, & THE SHINING was “written from inside the belly of obsession”.
EDGAR ALLEN POE (1809-1849)
“I take no pleasure in my drinking–it’s not a pursuit of pleasure. I drink desperately, attempting to escape from torturing memories, insupportable loneliness, and the very real dread of some impending doom.”
JACK KEROUAC (1922-1969)
“As I grew older I became a drunk. Why? Because I discovered I liked the ecstasy of the mind.”
JACK LONDON (1876-1916)
“I was carrying a beautiful alcoholic conflagration around with me. The thing fed on its own heat, fanned its own flames. There was never a time when I didn’t want a drink. I would take a drink after I had written 500 words; then it became 100.”
HARRY CREWS (1935-2012)
“Alcohol kicked my ass. Yes, we had many memorable times together. We laughed, we talked, we danced & fucked at the party together–then one day I woke up & found that the band had gone home, & I was left lying in broken glass with a dress shirt full of puke, and I said, “Fuck, the ball game is over.”
FREDERICK EXLEY (1929-1992)
“After a month’s sobriety, my faculties became unbearingly acute, & I found myself unhealthily clairvoyant, having damn insights into places I’d as soon not journey to. Unlike some men, I had never drunk for boldness, courage, charm, or wit. No, I used alcohol for precisely what it is–a depressant to check the metal exhilaration produced by extended sobriety.”
RAYMOND CHANDLER (1888-1959)
“Alcohol is like love; the first kiss is magical, the second is intimate, & the third is routine. After that you take the girl’s clothes off.”
One literary critic wrote, “Faulkner’s prose & Kerouac’s poetry seized up with sclerosis, while Hemingway sank into unbudgeable mawkishness.”
Oh yes, not a very pretty picture regarding friend Hooch. My own personal favorite bit of this research data, though, has to do with a great novelist/poet who lived along the Straits of Juan de Fuca here in Washington state:
RAYMOND CARVER (1938-1988)
After a pile-up of emergency rooms, courtrooms, & detox centers, he got himself sober in 1977. For a year he wrote nothing, just sat around “playing bingo, & getting fat eating donuts. I couldn’t convince myself writing was worth doing.”–but then he remarried, and he went on to write some of his best work, even becoming nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
“So I changed my ways, found a good woman & quit drinking; and the rest? After that it was just all gravy–every minute of it.”