his "Autobiographical" Second Novel
revolve around a Relationship between a Twenty Two Year Old Man and a SixTeen Year Old Girl Respectively named "Haley Joel Osment" and "Dakota Fanning"
despite his Detractors
out of the Generation
that grew up
a Spoof of
and he knows it
Tao Lin has created
Tao Lin must be feeling Pretty Good about himSelf Right now
there Must be Times
Some inEvitable Event
I was Twenty Years Old
Tao Lin was
Yes, Tao Lin was riding that Edge
if Ultimately Justified
But was it Really about the Tattoos, Tao?
a White Fucking Savage
the Way I danced
letting All my Feelings coming out my Body
while they shuffled around in their
"Semi Legal Club"
trying so Hard
to get their Finger
on the Pulse
the Opposite of that
like Crazy Fun
What Total Dullards they were
I was an Adolescent Cougar
( where is it on Google Images, yo? )
and I didn't
Yeah back then I was Totally unkNown
and I Totally sucked
or maybe that was just that
Thought I’d be gettin'
in no Time Flat
but thas Okay
iz Mine now
is an Article
arguing that Tao Lin
so this here is why you should All
but that Take
( my Subjective Opinion of his Work )
fails to account for
than his Books themSelves
are what is so
and that All together
A Book’s Literaryness can be said to be in Direct Correspondence to its proFunDity of inSight into the World.
It is also understood
of an Other Breed
Commercial Writers write for the Masses in a Prose that does not accomplish the Verbal Variety and Poetry for which the Literary Writer is Best Known and Most Easily recognized. In Commercial Novels, the Xcitement of the Plot compensates Both for the Utilitarian Prose and the Work's Consequential Lack of Literary Depth ( proFunDity ). Which is to say that -
If the Way the Words are put together in the Sentences is the Most inTeresting Thing about the Book, it is a Literary Book.
As Bret Easton Ellis said about Raymond Carver in VICE’s Issue 17 : 5 -
with his distinctive, consistent, and much imitated minimalist prose style
for the Most Part
chatting on Gmail
talking to a Person
or doing a Drug ).
Tao Lin's is "Commercial Literature" - Literature that is More Commercial than Literary in the End - but still Qualifies as Literary as opposed to Commercial Fiction.
Here's why :
We know Literary proFunDity is xpressed in Poetry of Prose, Timelessness of Plot, and Realism of Character. But, the Larger Part of the Weight of the Question "is it a Good Literary Book?" falls onto the Poles "is the Prose Poetic?" and "are the Characters Realistic?" I ask mySelf, in judging the proFunDity of a Literary Book - just how Well does this Book capture the Complxity of being aLive? Often, our Lives don’t have Plots - More like ... Emotional Catharses separated by Mundanities. In this Sense, Plot is Often frowned upon by Literary Writers, especially minimalists, who prefer to keep the Plot to a Series of Mundanities in which there are Emotional Catharses - the Better to show off the Depth of their inSight into the World via the Poetry of their Prose and the Realism of their Characters. Tao Lin is here included - his Prose is More Poetic and his Characters are More Realistic than his Plots are they Eventful.
Personally, I think Tao Lin's Literary Works are a meta Jokes ( Literary Books that aren't Really Literary Books ) created by Tao Lin to support Tao Lin's Fame-Seeking ( and there will be More about this Later, too ). But, there is anOther Way of looking at this : Tao Lin, in his Want to become the Leading Young Literary Writer of his Generation ( as displayed in his Self-Aggrandizing Personal Promotion Material
) decided to universalize, in Literature, the Millennial Xperience and he did this by reducing his Literature and his Generation down to what he considered to be its Most Essential Elements.
Tao Lin has done to Contemporary Literature what "Modern" Art did to Art - he has reduced it to Shape and Shade
Because he so Clearly and unChallengingly portrayed them, Tao Lin has become a SomeThing of a Literary Pop Star among Millenni-Geni Webbies. The Similarities between Tao Lin and anOther Alt Pop Web Phenomenon like Lana Del Rey go Deeper than that, however. For Tao Lin has not just reduced his Art down to its Most Essential Elements ( a Very East Asian Approach to Aesthetics, as Well as a Very post Industrial One ) -
"embody our creativity- the creative potential of all the exploited- purchased from us, concentrated and sold back."
Tao Lin has made his Literary Style into a Commodity - a Product to be traded on the Market.
Tao Lin is not commoditizing Books here
He is commoditizing Punctuation and Tone
He is turning them into a "Brand"
Tao Lin has taken an American Literary Style developed by Bret Easton Ellis
( and Due, at its Source, to Hemmingway )
Minimalist Prose + Consumer Consciousness + Emotional Nihilism
( Have you read that Article by Kurt Anderson where he points out that American Culture has Barely changed in Twenty Years? )
concentrated it into an
'easily recognizable meme'
and is marketing this Meme to Millennials via his Books and Muumuu House, which publishes writers who write like Tao Lin
as the ForeMost Literary Style of their Era.
"A Million Monkeys on a Million TypeWriters would produce Shakespeare?"
Well, Tao Lin's Literary Oeuvre, as opposed to being Monkeys on TypeWriters
is More like Hamsters in Cages on Wheels
( the Soul of the Book )
and sold for Profit
Megan Boyle - Writer / Performance Artist / X Wife of Tao Lin - from Twitter
Mock-up by Skeleton-Jelly
First his Own
( he is a "Brand" )
( now they are Tao's Band too )
This is not to say that Tao Lin is Part of an Evil Conspiracy ( though he is - the Evil Conspiracy of Capitalism ), rather that the Way Capitalism as an Ideology ( and it is Tao Lin's Ideology ) works ( see the Industrial Revolution ) is it takes People's Authentic ( Self Directed ) Work away from them, makes them work for Capitalism instead, and then, with the Money they make working for Capitalism, makes People buy back what was Once their Own to create and consume. The More Things Capitalism can commoditize - steal from People, concentrate ( for Cheap ) into a Commodity, and sell back to People ( for a Profit ) - the More Money it makes, the More Power it gets, the More Places it goes looking for New Things to commoditize - steal from People, concentrate ( for Cheap ), and sell back to People ( for a Profit ). It seems that, having commoditized the Physical World, Capitalism hopes to now do the Same for the Spiritual World. Tao Lin is our Evidence - his commoditization of himSelf and his Art is Authentic : he as "Authentically" sold to Capitalism as an Artist can be.
So Tao Lin's Literary Style, his Consciousness, his Soul, is reproduced by his Fans because that's the Way Commoditization works. With his Influence on Literature, Tao Lin is franchising. NoOne who copies his Literary Style will Ever be as Big as him, though. Capitalism is a Pyramid Scheme, allways with SomeOne on Top, making the Most Money / having the Most Influence. AnyOne who writes like Tao Lin after Tao Lin is not going to achieve his Success - Worse! Tao Lin is a Mediocre Writer like Subway is Mediocre Food. Tao Lin's Followers are Rubes. He is fleecing them of their Authentic Voices. All the Effort they put in to writing like him Only reinforces him, like All the Food we eat at Subway does our Culture and our Bodies Little Good, but lines the Accounts of Corporate Xecutives with Money.
This, then, is the Difference between my Self-Promotion and Tao's - the Difference between my Anarkism and his Capitalism. Where Tao Lin's Self-Promotion involves creating an Entire Company dedicated to publishing Work that Greatly resembles the Work of Tao Lin ( with Only Minor Distinctions, like the Difference between Regular and Salt and Vinegar Chips ), imagining I started a LLWAM Publishing Company, and you came to me with a Story "in the Vein of Andrea Coates," if you copied my Prose Quirks and my Particualr Attitude the Way Tao Lin's 'consumer minimalism' and 'muted depression' have been copied by his Legions of Followers, I wouldn't publish it. I couldn't. Because to publish Work that is an Imitation of One Self is Arrogant and Cruel. It is to see the Other Writer Only in so Far as they reinforce your Own Power and I cannot do that. What I want to see from Writers is Uniqueness. I want them to be themSelves to the Fullest Xtent Possible. What Tao Lin wants to see is Conformity that in no Way threatens his Authority.
One of the Most Notable Things about Tao Lin's Prose is that it's constructed out of noThing but Superficial, Surface Observations ( Words said / Foods eaten / Things done ); ie : there is Little to no Inner Monologue in a Tao Lin Work. Perhaps the Most Notable Aspect Tao Lin's Literature is the Lack of Emotional Depth and Range. Tao Lin’s Protagonists are Patrick Bateman with Less Money and Less Rage - they are Patrick Bateman as Broke, Listless Vegan. Like Patrick Bateman, a Tao Lin Protagonist's Self-Awareness is Totally outward - he is Constantly thinking about how he appears on the outSide, Pointedly obscuring, in this Way, what is going on on the inSide. Millennial Hipsters are meant to see themSelves in Tao Lin's Protagonists, but Really, Tao Lin’s Protagonist's IdEntities are not inhabited - like a Blank T Shirt from an American Apparel is meant to be worn by SomeOne Other than Dov Charney but to notheLess point to the Supremacy of Dov Charney.
- "Be a Hipster," say Tao Lin’s Books. "Here’s what to read / how to be" just like American Apparel says, "Be a Hipster. Here’s what to wear / how to be."
- Both Tao Lin and AA are Popular with American Consumers between the Ages of EightTeen and Thirty Five
who are Nonetheless made Secondary Citizens the Way they are Consistently presented as the Faddish Objects de Fascination of the More Successful Men who created their Scenes
- Both Tao Lin and AA are criticized for the Narcissism of their Lead Man
Every Time I have read SomeThing by Tao Lin / stepped into an American Apparel ( Curiosity summons me, I suppose ), my First Thought has been "I wish I was as Popular / Recognized as this Person / these People," and my Second Thought is, "Wait a Minute, if I surrounded mySelf with as Many Cliquey, Shallow Sell outs as these Eels I wouldn't be a Great Writer, I would be a Hipster. Thank God I missed that Failure Bullet." And out I go.
Tao Lin’s Characters wander around talking, yet noThing happens to them, not Really. NoThing is completed. NoThing is learned. NoThing is achieved but a New, Thin Book, like a Short, semi-Satisfying Masturbation you can sell for Money onLine to buy More Things with / get Some Other Hipster to recognize you as being Totally Hip for having done.
In Tao Lin’s Books, Other People are Things to talk to on Gmail Chat / txt / Occasionally see. Spending Time with Other People consists of saying Meaningless Things that are Vaguely Funny and feeling Vaguely unComfortable / turned on but not Really knowing what to do about it Xcept what People are understood to do with their Time on Earth under the Rule of Consumer Capitalism : go to their Jobs / School, walk around, eat Things, make Small Talk, attempt Relationships, and take Drugs to make themSelves feel Less Awkward / depressed. For this Reason - their overIdentification with Xternal Products which is a Result of growing up in a Culture of Commercial Consumption - the Characters in a Tao Lin Novel are inDistinguishable from One an Other but for their Names, Outfits, and Genders. Every Girl in a Tao Lin Novel could have been "Dakota Fanning." Every Guy in a Tao Lin Novel is an emo / ennui on-lit Writer. That his Characters are Realistic in their Conformity does not save Tao Lin's Novels from the Fact that they are Boring for the Same Reason.
Tao Lin's Books show but a Meager Degree of what it means to be a Live toDay. But, because the Degree he is showing is the One Most Twenty SomeThing subUrban College Students who read Books can relate to, and because People living under Consumer Capitalism are so aLike ( Consumers of Capitalist monoCulture ), they think he's got Life in the Millennial Generation Totally nailed.
Tao Lin’s Real Talent, then, is not his Writing, which is Only Original in being so like a Mass Produced Consumer Product, a New Trick for Literature, if not for the Rest of the Arts ( Tao Lin is like a Sxually repressed Andy Warhol ) - it is his Marketing of his Writing as the Most Emblematic of his Generation.
But Tao Lin is Aware of this, to a Degree : he knows he is being a Cheap Knock Off, and so he makes Fun of this by drawing our Attention to it.
In his Books, Tao Lin makes it Clear he has the Elements of Classical Literature Totally figured out ( Angst / interActions between People / Movements from Place to Place / Objects and preOccupations that Define an Era ), but he has no More than this, and this is why his Books are All so Short. He has Bones, but no Meat.
Marketing yourSelf as the Great Writer of your Generation Only goes so Far - I should know. Despite his Popularity, despite creating a "New Prose Style" based in Commodifcation and Meme Theory - create a Relevant Product Such as a Self-Consciously Shallow Prose Style and reproduce it as Many Times as Possible - Tao Lin is rejected by the Literary Establishment because his Books - with their Conscious Lack of a Deeper Spiritual Meaning than "I wrote a Book about a Person like me and you, you should buy it" are Only Half as Interesting as the Hype he’s created around them via the Same Technique - Commodification + Meme Theory - create a Relevant Product Such as a Young, InterNet-Based Writer and reproduce it as Many Times as Possible - which works Better in Sales, which thrive on Consistency, than it does in Literary Writing, which thrives on Variety, no Doubt.
This is where Tao Lin’s Corruption as an Artist becomes Evident : Tao Lin acts, in his Public Persona, that Absolutely Necessary Counterpart to his Written Work, in a Way that contradicts the Very Message of his Literature. His Theme, buried there, under All its Author's Attempts to pound it out, is the Truth of where Tao Lin's and his Characters' Drive to Emotional Nullification, to Surface Infatuation to cover their "sever depression," comes from. IRL, Tao Lin acts as if he does not know his Own Literary Theme - and if you ask me, a Writer who does not yet know his Own Theme is a Writer who had not yet found a Meaningful Voice.
The Characters' Emotions do Subtly manifest, however, just like Tao Lin's Theme manifests despite his ( Apparent ) Ignorance of it - "Haley Joel Osment" becomes "More Controlling" the More "Dakota Fanning" Self harms. Sam steals from AA and goes to jail for it. But this is All Tao Lin will let on to - now the Book Ends. We Never know how Things work out between Haley and Dakota or what happens to Sam ( my Guess is they continue about their Boring, Normal, depressed, Consumer-Oriented Lives Xactly as they have throughout the Book ). The "Barely there" Progression of a Tao Lin Plot would seem to confirm this Hypothesis : Things stay the Same, like the Dull Drone of a HydroElectric Plant, like Hamsters in a Hamster Mill running Purposelessly on Wheels into Eternity.
An Effect of this ( Self enForced ) Emotional Neutrality is an in Ability to Connect with People. Tao Lin’s Protagonists are Consistently Isolated, a Lone and Lonely ( a Condition of Life under Consumer Capitalism, which would see All interActions mediated by Technology it can profit off of ). Then, when they Suddenly do spend Time with Other People, instead of feeling the Other Person out based in Unique and Internal Traits, a Tao Lin Character notes the Clothing the Other wears, the Facial Xpressions they make, the Words they say, the Food they eat, as if these Surface Facts, in Aggregate, would amount to the Same Thing.
Tao Lin’s Characters are Sad Characters whose Obsession with the InterNet, Xtreme Self Consciousness and Use of Prescription Anti Depressans cancels the Sadness out, creating a More Sustainable "Ennui." The Characters' Shallow Evaluations of themSelves and of One anOther mimic the Shallowness of the Culture they live in - Consumer Culture. Characters' Relationships with Food, the Most Fundamental Form of Consumption, therefore, are their One True Comfort, the One Way they xpress a Morality, and the Main Way they ( the Lady Characters eSpecially ) outWardly display their inTernal Emotional Issues.
And yet, as we know, in a Tao Lin Novel, noThing changes. NoThing gets Better. The Static Prose remains. The Static Characters remain. The Static Plots remain. It is Pure Monotony from Start to finish and this is meant to be Funny, or Witty, or Poignant - Mostly because the Characters SomeTimes say Funny, or Witty, or Poignant Things. But they don't do AnyThing. This is summarized Perfectly by the Scene in Richard Yates where Haley Joel Osment and Dakota Fanning contemplate running and high-fiving but then Haley Joel Osment says, "It's better just to have thought about it."
Isolated in his Consumer Identity ( to the Advantage of the Owner of the Means of Production - the High Level Capitalists, the Oligarchs and the InSiders ), Tao Lin's Hamster Soul has no Idea how to be with his Fellows ( Xcept in so Far as he's using them to build his "Personal Brand" - as Consumer Objects representing his "Self" ). Richard Yates opens with an Anecdote about a Hamster eating its Own Babies. This is what Animals do in Captivity. They appear without Empathy, but in Fact they are sparing the Nxt Generation their Condition. Haley Joel says that when he saw the Hamster eating its Babies he wanted to give the Hamster a High Five. With this Scene, Haley Joel Osment is displaying his Own Deep Inner Wounds. If he had known he would have been born into Captivity, he would have preferred not to have been born at All. Poor Dakota Fanning should have recognized the Warning for what it was - but she does not, and so, because the Capitalist Cage has failed to provide her with Authentic Xperience, and Haley fails to relate to her Feelings because he has been so numbed to himSelf by the Same deSensitizing Environment, Dakota pukes up her Food, her Body's subConscious Protest against the Cage, just like stealing from AA was Sam's.
And what is the ReAction of Haley Joel Osment to Knowledge of Dakota Fanning’s Bulimia? He becomes More Controlling, More Possessive - just like the Power Structure does when People begin to rebel. Haley Joel Osment is a Man in Emotional Denial. A Passive-Aggressive Misogynist who dates a SixTeen Year Old, I think, because no Grown Lady would put up with him. Emotional repression is his Technique for Dealing with his Feelings of Anger and Sorrow at being held Captive, and so he pressures his GirlFriend to do the Same. Because he has repressed so Much he has no Idea why him and his TeenAged Girl Friend feel so Miserable and Stuck, though they discuss it Frequently. Perhaps, if viewed from an Xistential Perspective, it is Even Funny, their Misery and imMobility? The Source of a Witty Book, Perhaps? Tao Lin has absorbed, into himSelf, the Perspective of those who keep the Cages he and his Friends live in, therein justifying his Captivity to himSelf. And so he becomes a Narcissist - the Self is the toughest Cage to break, though it can break All Other Cages.
Consumer IdEntities trap us within them, use us to perpetuate them, and then destroy us when we have given our All to SomeThing that can give noThing back but Consumer Products. Capitalism raises us in a Cage of Consumerism wherein Every Action must be mediated by the Market. Capitalism feeds off us at Every Turn - we work for it, and in our "Spare Time," we buy Things from it. Capitalism co-opts our proFunDity as Beings by making us its Slaves and then convinces us, via School, Advertisement and the Media, to reproduce its Memes of Production and Consumption in our Identities in Order to perpetuate it, and so, Tao, Lin, that's Xactly what you do : EveryThing about you screams : Brand. The Truth is, it is you who has been branded - by Capitalism - and now you are its Slave.
Suicidal Thoughts - Common to your Characters - are a Suitable Response to feeling as if you are a Slave - that your Life is not under your Own Control, but SomeOne else's, and to SomeOne else's Advantage Primarily. At Least your Death could be your Own. But - should Suicide be rejected as an Option - and it is More Often than it is not - the Nxt, Easiest, Option to ease a Life lived in Captivity is Conformity to the Power Structure, that Obedience might bring Favors - and the System suggests it will. To its Own Advantage, of Course - just like writing like you, Tao Lin, guarantees One a Place in emo / ennui on-lit Cirlces, if Never, for being Derivative, your Success as a Writer. Tao Lin, you have chosen, in Face of your depression, to conform to that which is eating away at you for whatever Meager Advantages it may offer, just like a Hamster in a Cage needs the Cage Owner to feed it and therefore dare not escape its Captivity, but rather keeps running, Endlessly, Pointlessly, in its Wheel, trying to Convince itsSelf its imPrisonment is Worth the Good Things it brings, like Food, or Fame.
If you sell out you will be Rich, said the FortuneTeller to Sam in SLFAA.
Well, my Fortune Teller, and that happens to be me, said, RESIST PATRIARCHAL COLONIALIST CONSUMERISM and you will ascended to the Highest Heights the Cultural Arenas of Literature and Philosophy in your LifeTime and beyond.
So, from the Looks of Things out here, Tao - from the Behaviors of you on-Line and the Characters in you Books - you are not helping to alleviate the Heinous Tragedy for Unique and Authentic Sapiens Self-Xpression ( Art ) that is Commodified Capitalist Consumption. You are watching what is happening, you are recording what is happening, you are getting a Little Bit upSet about it, but in the End you are doing noThing besides swallow your Misery, pressure your Imaginary ( Real? ) GirlFriend to do the Same, and keep on conforming ( sending out signed Copies of Will Farrel's Elf to Readers / putting AA's name on your Book / stickering BRITNEY SPEARS to the Door of a Lit Mag, etc ), in that, you are perpetuating the Cancer, Tao.
The Way People live toDay, in a Cage of Consumerism, is the Theme of your Writing, is the Biggest Problem with your Writing, and it is why you and your Friends have Such Bland and Similar Writing Styles. Comparisons are made to the Beats, but you are noThing like the Beats - the Kore Beats ( Kerouac, Ginsberg, Cassady and Burrows ) were Wild People. They were rebelling against Conformity, Tao Lin. You, rather, are rebelling against Literature by promoting Conformity. EveryOne from Muumuu House sounds like you and was chosen by you and you don't sound like Much of AnyThing besides a Drone. You have commodified your Literature and the Literature of your Friends for the Sake of Capitalist Comfort in the Moment, believing that this Indulgence of the Power Structure is "Ironic" considering your Position as a Literary Writer and therefore "Funny." It is Neither. It is what the Power Structure wants from you and it does noOne but those at the Very Top of that Structure Any Good. Not Even them, if Bret Easton Ellis' or Fitzgerald's Work is to be Any inDication.
Do you think your Veganism makes you Different, Tao ? Makes you Special? Makes you Better? It might mean you have a Healthier Body, Sure, but it's still just anOther Commodified, Consumer Choice in a Long, Super Market Line of Commodified Consumer Choices. It is still buying the Disease. It’s noThing but a "Hipper," "Healthier" Way of doing it. Eating Vegan Only proves you're a Slightly Smarter and therefore Slightly Better kept Slave than Some of the Other Ones - it Only proves you are a Member of the Educated Middle-Class.
Tao Lin - your refusal to denounce Consumer Capitalism - Truly the Greatest Evil of our Day - and the Cause of you and your Characters' depressions - the Very Fact that you seem Completely unAware that this is the Source of your Sorrows - or you wont admit it out Loud, even as it writes itsSelf into your Books - your reproducing instead its Memes - the Memes of Capitalist Commodification and Consumerism - suggests you are Naught but anOther Docile Slave to the Order of Money, like HollyWood, which is to say -
you are not
under these Conditions
could Never be
WRITER / ARTIST / ICON
just a Pretty Good One
Freedom from the oppression
even of their Own Language
Your Prose never breaks Free of itsSelf, Tao
It is Flawless
but it is All the Same
Tao Lin, you epitomize the Millenni-Geni Hipsters, who have been trained to see their Very Selves as a "Product," a "Brand," to be sold to the Highest Bidder, just like a Slave. In your Work, Hipsters see their State of Slavery reproduced and feel validated. Which is Fine, but Great Art, in its Greatness, is Refutation of Slavery. It is an Assertion of Freedom, an Xpression of Freedom pushed to its Limits. Great Literature qua Great Literature cannot be commodified or it would loose that Ecstatic and Miserable / Tremendous and Terrible / Sublime and Awful / unPredictable and unContainable Quality that makes it Last, as Great Literature, for Hundreds, if not Thousands, of Years.
Tao Lin, your Prose, Plots, and Characters are Facsimiles of those which make Great Literature Great. With your Consistent Prose, your Generational Content, your depression, your Literary Friends, your Appearance of an Inward Search turned on its Head and made into an Ad for Nihilism, it is Easy to confuse you with Great Literature - but just because you look like SomeThing on the outside does not make you that Thing on the inside and Time, Time has an Amazing Way of weeding the Frauds from the Real Deal, Tao.
you are Only
on the Xterior
what I am
to my Very Kor
what I liked about you
back in those Brooklyn Days
was Xactly what Many People didn't
and still don't
like about you
That you act
like a multiMedia Star
when you are a Writer
Being One of this New Breed of onLine Writer - these - Blog-gers? via the LameStream Media … no - these Blog-niks? via SLFAA … uhgk - these Blog-ists? via me, Right now … yes - being One of these Blogists, I am aware that Literature, for All its Ivory Tower, could not be Immune to the Fracturing and interBreeding of the Medias as occurs onLine if it wanted to survive there, even qua Literature.
I am aware - as Tao Lin you Most Certainly are Aware - because I found out when I moved to NYC that you had beaten me to the Position I had hoped to attain in leaving Canada - Literature, Serious Literature, of the Kind who’s Death is allways being trumpeted ( its Only because its Authors come around so Rarely ) - needs multi Media Celebrity to refresh itsSelf from the Doldrums it has become associated with since the Invention of teleVision and Computers. Not the Kind of Promo Heavy, Product Vapid, subServient to Capitalist Order, Surface distracting from Inner Emptiness for the Sake of the Status Quo Pop Celebrity Music and Film have come to rely on for Cash and which you epitomize for Literary Writing Right now, Tao Lin
Any Literary Celebrity who does not achieve this in their Works is no "Literary" Celebrity at All, just an Other Commercial Writer cashing in on what's Popular for Glory and Money in the Moment.
You may think so, but there is noThing "Mythological" about your Books, Tao. Maybe there is SomeThing Mythological about your rise to Fame and your Relationships with your Various Friends, which is chronicled in your Books, but these are the not the Same Things. Mythology is All about Character - what drives the Character? - what Forces affect the Character? - and in your Books, as opposed to in your Real Life, on which those Books are based, the Character isn't there because the Catharsis isn't there. It is Empty, witnessing what is going about it, but not revealing AnyThing proFound about itsSelf or its Motivations besides its Continued Attempt to deny Any proFunDity of Feeling. This Lack of proFunDity makes your Work Mundane, Tao.
Trying to turn SomeThing Mundane ( AnyThing when witnessed through the Bars of a Cage - an Emotional Prison - is Mundane because you aren't engaging with it ) into SomeThing Mythological ( which xists in submerging the Self the subConscious Swirl of Archetypal Forces and Emotions ), as you attempt to do by marketing yourSelf as the Head of a Literary Movement
let’s just say that
I am ArcheTypical
Where you are Narrow in your Scope
I am Xpansive
I am Wild
I am Passionate
I am Sxual
I am Deeper than xpected
I am Strong
I show how it can improve
Where your Life, beyond your Celebrity, is Utterly Ordinary
Mine is Freaking unBelievable
Where your Prose repeats itsSelf
Mine is in Constant transFormation
Where you are a Conformist
I am a Radikal
Where your Work is Industrial and Material
Mine is Organic and Magickal
Where your Style makes Sense considering the proGression of American Culture
( towards Greater and Greater Commodification )
( though there were Signs )
noOne predicted mine
to tell you a Story
in a used Book Store
WHAT THE FUCK?
WHAT THE FUCK AM I GOING TO DO NOW?
My Man said
I Usually just start walking and see what I can find
So my Man and I
that inDecisive Pisces
about how Hungry he was
Let's walk down to the Water and sit on a Patio in the SunShine!
The Lotus Pond
which is this
LET'S GO HERE
but the Lotus Pond
According to the Sign
COME THIS WAY
and pulled me by the Hand
( he is Very Tall and walks Very Fast )
Two Blocks Over
to a Coffee Shop
which is like $10 in NY
leaning against the Bar
said my Man
which we drank outside
Very First Time
yo Psychic Powers
they be Real
Whose Literary Work comes off the More
In Richard Yates - his Second Novel - Tao Lin names Characters who start a Casual Relationship over Gmail Chat after preTeen Movie Stars Haley Joel Osment and Dakota Fanning.
These are Really : Tao Lin and Bebe Zeva, and if they aren't, Well, they could've been.
In S.i/S : - my First Novel - I name Characters who start a poly-Amorous Relationship over MDMA / Alcohol after French Xistentialists Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir.
These are Really : Some Teenagers from a Small Town in Canada, and if they aren't, Well, they could've been.
Andrea Coates' Literary AlterEgo is called Hap'e and her Last Name is a Different Representational Color Each Book - or Portion of a Book - indicating she is a Fulfilled and multi-Faceted Lady. Each Book - or Portion of a Book - Hap'e [ Color ] appears in a Universe corresponding to the Color of her Name.
Tao Lin wrote a Novella called Shoplifting from American Apparel that is about a Young Writer who steals from an American Apparel because he is … depressed? and ... Broke? or … Bored? Can’t. Really. tell. I think. the Book's. about. Capital.ism. causing. Emotion.al. Constipa.tion.
Not to be read while on the Toilet.
Not to be read if you want to maintain a Materialistic Perspective on Life.
Andrea Coates Books are Each Vastly Different in Structure, Style and Plot, proving I is a Creative Writer.
The Moment I moved back to Canada, however, the Site became … Totally iRelevant ... Sickeningly Consumer MainStream / Repetitive / Misogynistic / inSecure ( Carles strikes me as a Self-Loathing Sycophant - the Most Annoying Kind of Sychophant ), its Drop of Creative Lube rubbed to the Point of Uselessness. Not that it's changed at All.
Tao Lin, you, too, are the Same as back in my Brooklyn Days. Only, instead of More Consumer MainStream, you've gotten "More inTense"
and that's a Dare
There are Two Basic Ways to get Attention directed your Way as a Writer of Literary Fiction, Poetry, or Philosophy ( ie: there are Two Basic Currents to being Xceptionally proFound in a Literary Sense, or to giving People the imPression that you are ) -
This encompasses Most of the Great Fiction Writers - Most of the Great Philosophers - and Many of the Great Poets. This Style of Writing evokes of a Wide Range of Characters / Locations / Events / Themes.
Being Epic in Scope means an Author is Wise.
This encompasses Many of the Great Poets - Some of the Great Fiction Writers - and a Few of the Great Philosophers. This Style of Writing is Minimal but Highly Evocative.
Being Intense means the Author is Hip.
We can alReady see that Tao Lin leans More to One End of this Spectrum than the Other.
To get Attention as a Literary Writer, Tao Lin could have tried being Epic in Scope, but we All know that’s the Opposite of what his Writing is. As it stands, Tao Lin doesn't have a Great enough Range of Emotions / Characters / Sentence Structures to be an Epic Novelist of the Level of Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky or Faulkner or Joyce or Proust or Elliot or Dickens or James or Bolaño or Melville or Any of those, and besides, being Epic in Scope would mean giving up the Reductionist Shtick for which Tao Lin is Best known and Most copied.
Better, Tao Lin thinks, to attempt that Technique which has Most Often, Both Personally and Professionally, gotten Attention for a minimalist, whether that be a Writer of Spare Prose, of Short Novels, Short Stories, or Poetry - like Hemmingway or Bukowski or Ginsberg or Hunter S or Easton Ellis or Fitzgerald or Rimbaud or Baudelaire or Sartre or Shelley or Conrad or Woolf or Orwell or Pushkin or Kafka or Hesse or Any of those - being inTense.
So, in Order to intensify ( his Gimmicky Cuteness and his minimalist prose ), Tao Lin started "doing Drugs." He started writing a Column for Vice Magazine called Drug Related Photoshop Art.
also, for Good Meaure, as you can tell, my Literature is Epic in Scope )
What do you think?
Daniel B Roberts, in his Review of Muumuu House, calls you and your Followers Writing "Lazy" and in Deed, Lazy is a Good Description of your Particular Style. Posting on the InterNet, you don't have to try Nearly as Hard as when you're attempting to get your Work published via More Traditional Routes.
If you want to be a Great Writer, Tao, there can be no writing along the Superficial Surface of Society and Self, posting an out of Context Twitter here, depriving Words of their 'Meaning' there, sticking to defining a Narrow and Shallow Segment of being aLive to Day - no, you have to go Deep, Deep down into the Belly of your Species and your Self, and that's SomeThing the Drugs can't help you with, not on their Own, not without your iniTiative.
Ironically, an Ad for American Apparel
You might as Well be working for them, Tao
You may be a Writer of Poetry and Prose and as of Such have to shoplift to get by, or you Might see your Actions as Some Kind of Righteous, but for Real, when you then turn around and put a Corporate Name on your Book, just like Franzen ( for All his Flaws ) wouldn’t let Oprah do it his, you’re saying you're Okay with All the Obnoxious Capitalist Shit we the Creative Nature-Oriented People of this Earth suffer from on a Daily Basis.
That’s how you have an Opinion about SomeThing.
"I just actually don't have opinions about society. I can discern that certain things have an effect on certain other things but I don't view those effects as good or bad."
if you wanna be a Great Writer, Tao
Without focusing on your Lower Chakra Issues - without Developing a Concrete Sense of Self and the Strong Personal Opinions this entails, along with Accessing the Mythological Realm of the Emotions - your Work will live and die with the Fads of the Era, Never proving itsSelf beyond the Generation in which it was "the Thing," and Later mocked as out of Date.
A Classic Novel continues to grow More proFound with Age.
InSight is Valid Era to Era.
Emotion is Valid Era to Era.
What will Richard Yates give us, One Hundered Years down the Line?
A Boring, repressed Narcissist on Gmail?
Who will care?
Succeeding at being a Great Writer is a Lot like succeeding at being a Great General, Tao
Attack that which needs to be attacked.
Defend that which needs to be defended.
Know how to topple Shit.
Know how to protect Shit.
You are a BillBoard, Tao Lin, yes, I can see that, but if your going to be a Great Writer too it’s Time to be a BillBoard for Some Thing More Substantial than your Fame. It’s Time to stand up for a Truth People can believe in, Tao. A Truth that gives them Hope of freeing themSelves from the Repetitive, Mundane, Hamster Wheel of American Culture in the 21st Century, SomeThing Realer than Fame.
Hamsters can live in the Wild, Tao. There is Hope for you yet. Use your Influence to organize those who are also in Cages. Use your Influence to organize an Escape.
Tao Lin nibbles his Vegan Snack
Even Worse, you perpetuate the Disease of Commodification through your particular literary style.
I don't Fucking think so.
Don’t you see they own your Very Soul?
Don’t you see that’s why you're depressed
your GirlFriends are making themSelves puke
your Hamster is eating its Own Babies?
Because their Lives are not their Own, Tao.
Their Lives belongs to the Cage
Their Lives belong to Capitalism
and until you renounce this Ideology
and go seeking Self-Xpression
you will not write a Classic Novel.
That's just what I think, but I know what makes me depressed, Tao. it’s the Society I am forced to live in, which has created itsSelf in the Image of the Factory, which demeans and oppresses Life in its Diversity and Spontaneity. It is being kept from Freedom that makes me Sad, Tao Lin. It is being kept, for Years, by School and Employment, from Authentic Self-Xpression. I refuse to give up my Honest Self Xpression, for AnyThing, and that is what makes me a Great Artist, Tao Lin. Great Artists are Constantly and Fully engaged in the Battle for their Freedoms, and when SomeOne tries to take those Freedoms away from us, we are the First to martyr ourSelves for them and the Most Dramatic about it. I don't see you rebelling, Tao Lin. I see you conforming to what the Oppressors want from you, your Very Soul, for Every Hour of Labor / Leisure to be making Money for the Oligarchy. You are creating your Soul, your Self, in the Image of the Commodity, Tao Lin, not in the Image of Art, and until that changes, you will not be a Great Artist.
So start getting
and Millenni-Geni deserves Better.
You've confused the outside with the inside. You can make a Fake Cover proclaiming yourSelf a Great Novelist and laugh over it and hope it’ll get you that Place via Association, the Trick of All Advertising, but keep on repeating a Single Simple Style of Prose, keep creating Characters Consciously devoid of Emotional Depth and see how Many People consider you a Relevant Literary Author in 20, 50, 100, 200, 300 Years.
As it stands, I don’t think you have the Creative Self-Understanding, the Life Xperience, the Depth of Soul, Even at Twenty Eight and on your Third Novel, to write Any Thing to compare to S.i/S: - and I’m Only Twenty Three and it’s my First Book. But we'll see, won't we? This is why I've done this, Tao : to sell my First Book, that we might compare our elves afterwards, that the Thought of Such a Challenge might spur you on to Greater Innovation and Achievement. EveryOne needs a Rival, Tao Lin. OtherWise, the Game ain't Fun. You're Lucky I'm Magnanimous. S.i/S: is Greater than AnyThing you've written thus Far, but there's Room for More than One Great Writer a Generation, Tan, there is Room for Many, and though I am the First to arise, I shall not to be the Last.
I am not a postModernist.
I am a Pagan.
from Burn the Tao Lin ( Bottom )
from Burn the Tao Lin ( Bottom )
I have said my Peace, now, Tao. It was Long, but I have no More to say, xcept this has been an Arena, and I’ve won, cause you, you couldn't write an Article like this about me, even if you had Several of my Books to refer to. You don’t have the Guts for it, and besides, I'm not that Easy to summarize - I don't have a Schtick. So, if you want to join the Great Writers, Tao, if my Suggestions are Worth AnyThing to you after All this, scrap yours. Look at your True Feelings instead, the Whole Wide, Wild Range of them, and write about those. Then we will be Friends.
Hipsters, you've been warned
( not its Last )