Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Green-Eyed Monsters

As is usual on weekends, I picked up a few books and/or multimedia items at my local chain bookstore, and was fortunate enough to snag a copy of “Candy Girl: A Year In The Life of An Unlikely Stripper” by Diablo Cody.

So far, I’m about halfway into the text, and am mesmerized by the author’s behind-the-scenes profile of the sex club industry, especially how “entertainers” are often hosed by scams run by their employers who (for example) will fine girls for failing to sell a t-shirt or other cheap souvenir to customers during allotted times.

Translation: for as much bank as a good stripper can make per night, their bosses have the edge of time-tested schemes designed to bilk their final tally. Or in other words: once again, the house always wins.

Let aside all this, as I flipped deeper into “Candy Girl” I felt a little flame begin to flicker in my chest. At first, I couldn’t bullseye the cause, but as Diablo Cody’s cutting, uber-hip prose continued rolling past my eyes, I finally figured it out.

I was jealous.

Jealous that DC (as I’ve decided to nick her) was writing such beautiful text whereas I often struggle to write a coherent sentence, or dredge up a salient plot point. God help me, I felt like Salieri in “Amadeus” as he struggles to pen the simplest melody only to watch his rival Mozart write dazzling symphonies while taking a leak.

Take for example, the following passage from “Candy Girl”:

“It wasn’t enough to be a nude girl, I decided. You had to be the nude girl. You had to sparkle, you had to coruscate, you had to bounce like the phantom cheerleader in the vault of every man’s memory. Your skin had to be oiled to reflect the purple strobes, your hair had to be coaxed into a voluminous Nashville tangle. You had to possess the vein and make the puppet rise. You had to make the average man’s wife look like one of Van Gogh’s potato-eating peasants by comparison. Coarse. Earthy. Plain. It was, I realized, a tall order.”


After taking this in, I was foaming at the mouth with admiration, gob-smacked by DC’s razor-like economy of thought. Immediately, I popped up from my bed, in search of a pen to crudely circle the passage with. I wanted it recorded as a benchmark to measure my own work against.

Granted, it’s not my goal to become Diablo Cody--I have enough trouble forming my own narrative voice—but were I ever to reel off a paragraph remotely as well-honed as the one above, I’ll figure to be in decent shape.

Until then, thanks to DC for the spark.

PS (7:27PM: CDT): Just finished reading "Candy Girl" not five minutes ago. Diablo Cody is a marvellously talented writer, likely the best I've encountered in years.

1 comment:

Junior Mad Scientist said...

Granted, it’s not my goal to become Diablo Cody . . . ,

thank god for that. no way i'd want to see you pole dance.