6/01/2005

Art Ghoul


Art is exported awe. I've mentioned this before.

Why should anyone be motivated to encode their awe into an artifact? There are many possible motivations, but personally I do it because I am a ghoul.

I feed on the thrills and chills of others.

You see, I get such a kick out of having thrills and chills generated inside me by riding art that I am driven to attempt to reproduce the experience, by constructing artifacts which cause others to experience thrills and chills so that I may vicariously enjoy the feelings all over again. To inspire wonder in someone else is almost as good as living it first hand, if you're halfway good at putting yourself in somebody else's shoes. Like a vampire, I drink.

I explain this to explain why the world's response to The Darth Side has meant so much to me...why it has been like candy to me.

Thousands of people have by now dropped me a line to tell me that they will never be able to watch Lucas' saga without hearing my Vader's voice in their heads, and that in the end they were caused to feel real pity for him. Hearing this is like crack to me. That is exactly what I wanted -- to use comedy to lull people into my Vader's heart, so that they were moved when the time came to be -- standing at that railing overlooking Endor and his shoulders sank as Luke left him. I always knew that's where we were headed. I always knew it had to end there, in the thick moment before death.

My instincts about the moment were right. So many of you have told me so that I have now given up any hope of ever replying personally to each. I have never received so much mail in all my life.

For me there is nothing like it. It makes me feel like the web is one big campfire, and a story has just been told that made everyone gathered around the pyre collectively shiver.

That collective shiver is my cocaine.

The touching, articulate things people have troubled to write to me are overwhelming. Mere farts in the pan from enthusiasts were there only a dozen, but instead I continue to receive dozens of such messages every day. (Also, for the record, I have never had so little negative feedback on something I've done -- ever.) They take a moment to tell me what a nice time they had, being transported away to Vader's world for a spell. They say, "Thanks." They say, "Where can I get more?"

The point is not "look how wonderful my blog was!" because, really, in the big scheme of things it's just a few week's worth of error-ridden romantic tripe. The point is that as a content creator having confirmation that I was able to encode an ounce of transcendence into the work is the greatest reward possible. I admit it: sometimes when people write to tell me how they've cried, it makes me cry, too.

So I just wanted to say "thank you" to anyone who's still paying attention. You've made my month. You've made my year. Your enjoyment of and participation in this telling has been the highlight of my personal Star Wars experience, and I will never forget it. It has also been a milestone in my growth as a creative typist, and has lent me the impetus necessary to hit the ground running on a proper novel.

This wonder-ghoul is addicted. I swear I will move you again. And drink it hot.

14 comments:

Danny said...

I've known the feeling from my own writing workshops, though never with the same kind of unadulterated joy that you managed to inspire. Definitely one of the sweetest highs. Just to add my own voice to the chorus, the opening to the last post you did for Darth Side, "My name is Anakin Skywalker. I was born 49 years ago..." definitely inspired a rush in this reader. Something about that first person Al-Anon opening style manages to set the tone just right.

NolaPete said...

You are as much an inspiration as you are inspired. Not only with Darth Side, but with all of your writings you have prodded me to dust off my desire to write and begin to write again and write better. Your philosophy about life and how you handle other people, shown in your writings about your wife and daughter, are refreshing in this fast-paced world of ME! ME! ME! Thanks again Cheeseburger Brown for just being you.

evie said...

Add me into the "Thanks, where can I get more?" category. I really enjoyed The Darth Side and am one of those that will watch ROTJ with your "Vader thoughts" in my head.

Spirit Of Owl said...

Ah, a little cheeseburger relish. You deserve it. Vamipiric ghoul, some time soon, rip out hearts our again. Kudos.

Anonymous said...

Days after the Darth Side finished, I continued to check RSS to see if there might be more to read... alas it's over, all good things come to an end.

Keep on writing, and I'll keep on reading.

Vancouver,BC

Jill said...

After having read "Darthside," I've read more of your online writing, and have been moved yet again. I was especially touched by the stories of you and your wife's courtship, your wedding, and the birth of your daughter.

As others have said, if you keep on writing, I'll keep on reading. Thank you for sharing your world and your words with us.

Demosthenes said...

It truly amazes me the responses you received on your most famed blog. TRULY AMAZED... 711 posts??? Appealing to a huge fan base is one thing... but this? Whether or not I'm just jealous or feeling the vibes of talent or both I can't be sure... but I may be back. We will see.

grape said...

I dunno, man. I still think the highlight of your career was the "ice" chair. But hey, the writing thing is sweet, too.

Anonymous said...

what can i say, but that it was amazing, thought-provoking writing? and when compared to episode III, it works :).

xmichra said...

reading the darth side was one of my most enjoyable reads, and I have since been hooked on your every word. You are a great writer, and like many before me have said.. you keep writing and I will keep reading. You are awesome.

Anonymous said...

The Darth Side was one of the best things I have ever read, whether it be print or electronic. I posted about it and had a link on my site and I checked it every day. I have the pdf saved on my machine and read it again and again. Thanks for taking the time to write it.

Clark Oliver
http://croliver.blog-city.com

Shahriman Latif said...

You should rightly bask in the glory of a work well done. You've inspired innumerable people, what else can be said?

The Darth Side was truly a great work. But I'm sure it's not your magnum opus. I'm sure you've got more up your sleeves. And we will be waiting for it.

The Darth Side was perhaps THE most wonderful read of this decade. Thank you, good sir.

the prophet said...

your darth side blog was unbelievably hysterical. i couldnt stop laughing and could not beleive how well you played the character. it was amazing. you did it so well you could almost hear vaders voice in a dream sequence bit reading your words. beautiful my friend, b-e-a-utiful.

littil j

Lilaena said...

As others have stated perhaps more eloquently, The Darth Side is brilliant. It started with a laugh, and ended with a tear - which is a fitting story arc for the man who was responsible for neurotic C-3PO and the death of his beloved wife.

Simon in Space is fantastic as well, I expect I'll be checking it every day in hopes of something new. Keep up the good work... please!