Vintage Verbiage

28 05 2008

Q. What’s worse than a plagarist?

A. A time-traveling plagarist.

Close friends have been reading countless drafts of my nearly-complete debut novel, American Emperor, a pseudo-pornographic odyssey through the last years of the 20th century with an effortlessly awesome Manhattanite postmodern Caesar, Baligula (too obvious?  constructive criticism welcome), at its center.  And well they should re-read this manuscript in its myriad incarnations: it’s a burgeoning, blood-spattered masterpiece. The deposed and down-on-his-luck emperor resurrects himself as high society’s most divine pillar by establishing cutthroat professional “friendships,” ensconcing himself in über-expensive fashions to the point of obsession and gruesomely torturing those who may or may not have slighted him in the past, recording every tedious detail along the way.


Intellectual thievery, thy name is Bret.

All this work only to have the hacks at Random House tell me they see unmistakable echoes of a book published 17 years ago and want no part of the inevitable legal hoopla I’m inviting.  I suppose they mean my pending lawsuit against Mr. Ellis, who is recklessly abusing his apparent ability to hopscotch through history and, frankly, flattering himself by passing off my fictions as his.  I say: “fine!”  I will take this cad on by my lonesome.  How dare he re-write my happy ending!

Just the same, I have the feeling we might hit it off. 

—Caligula

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Sping Asleepening

29 04 2008

It’s with some embarrassment that I admit Caligula’s Central Park Festival of the Vernal Equinox 2K8 was an unmitigated disaster. Aside from being several days late (scheduling problems forced a weekend date), no one showed up. And well they did not to. My caterers had brought barely enough hobo blood for a party of four, and some sort of impromptu volleyball game had annexed the sand pit I had hoped to use for a three-legged race. I sent the wait staff home with all the leftovers and hopped my segway, heading away from the dismal sight: it was Uncle Gaius’ Liquorless Saturnalia all over again!

I remain infuriatingly helpless when it comes to the movement of Earth: