Thursday, February 24, 2011
My Facts (Includes true personal George Clooney and Jorge L Borges anecdotes)
I live in Montana and California but go to New York a lot to visit The Masters. Stuff that won't go into my novels or that won't pass the major media filters is what will go here. That big picture is of my girlfriend. The little picture is of me when I was her age. I have kids. I grew up in a Minnesota town of 500 where a noon siren sounded every day so people who worked outside knew what time it was. The town where I live now, in Montana, is pretty bombed out from the recession. I love to drive, no matter how expensive gas is. I drive a Ford. A hybrid Fusion. Great car but not in snow. My family is originally from the Cleveland/Akron area. I went to Princeton and wrote a memoir I'd like you to buy called Lost in the Meritocracy about how much I hated it. I loved Oxford, though. You just read a lot there and write little essays and stage amateur plays with your friends. The movie Up in the Air was based on my novel of the same name. George Clooney starred. He played me. In person he's smart and charming and extremely sincere about his Sudan work. He could have stolen my girlfriend from me and showed signs that he knew it, but he didn't. I think that shows class. In both of them. The movie Thumbsucker is based on one of my novels. It was directed by Mike Mills, is terrific, but is not as good as Mike's upcoming movie, "Beginners," which is superb. Of all the Hollywood people I've met, my favorite is Robert Downey Jr., who is a kind of shining psychedelic optimist and as verbally quick as any top-tier writer. I was very good friends with Clark Rockefeller, who was revealed as a fraud and one of the last few decades' greatest con men. He sure fooled me. I saw Samuel Beckett walking down the street once in Edinburgh wearing a long navy blue wool coat. It was like seeing a great British sailed frigate from the Empire days come knifing up a little river, that shocking, that beautiful. I also met, unexpectedly, Jorge Luis Borges once, long after I thought he was dead. It was 1985. It was like meeting Kafka. He recited a speech from King Lear (in English) and then explained how it might be improved. When he recited the improved version, I had to concede he was right. He reminded me of the caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland, all bent over and blind with a curled wooden cane.