I really miss David Letterman, but I can't sketch him worth a damn.
I really miss David Letterman, but I can’t sketch him worth a damn.

I awakened this morning, and my mind was alive. It was aliiiiiive. Like Frankenstein.

Then I staggered into the living room, and before I even put on some coffee, took my meds, and answered the alarms in my innards, I grabbed a pen and a notepad and wrote “appeasement” before my racing mind left it behind, and I just had to use the bathroom. I had to loose my innards quickly, lest I lose my inspiration, or vice-versa, as many people on Facebook think.

By Monte Dutton
By Monte Dutton

I found inspiration in the timeless words of Hedy Lamarr. Oh, sorry. That’s Hedley.

My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives.

Then I waited until I could check the Internet Movie Database so that I could complete the modernizing of Blazing Saddles with the response of Mister Taggart:

Goddamnit, Mr. Lamarr, you use your tongue prettier than a twenty-dollar whore.

Harvey Korman and Slim Pickens are no longer with us. Someone has to keep their inspirational words alive.

The sun also rises. Supposedly. (Monte Dutton photo)
The sun also rises. Supposedly. (Monte Dutton photo)

The opportunities are endless. When I started writing, I would have either had to go to the library to write the preceding six paragraphs, or the books on the shelves here at home would not be covered with several layers of dust. All I had to do was click a few times. It took me less time than it took the coffee to cool.

As the information becomes ever more easily acquirable, less of it is used, and too much of what is used is selectively acquired, and, still, people get dumber and dumber like lemmings marching into the warming seas.

 (Monte Dutton sketch)
(Monte Dutton sketch)

“Appeasement” is a term notoriously associated with British prime minister Neville Chamberlain, who flew off to Munich in 1938 to meet Adolf Hitler and came back declaring “peace in our time.”

A beast cannot be appeased, as Mister Chamberlain learned.

This isn’t about politics. Politics is at a stopping point. It’s a nice, quiet time while we await further horrors. It’s when we shrug our shoulders and say, “Well, maybe it will be all right.”

Language is being corrupted by people who communicate by pecking on phones. At the rate we are going, the Great American Novel will begin:

Imma do sumpin bout dis, bruh. Nowumsayin? I be tired dat shit. HMU.

The chapters will be untitled. The above is a chapter in itself.

(Monte Dutton sketch)
(Monte Dutton sketch)

One of the negative reviews of my novel Forgive Us Our Trespasses claimed that white characters talked too much like they were black characters, to which I thought, Sir, just how many white kids do you know? but, even though I thought it an ironic retort to racism, I actually wrote something polite.

Instead of recognizing what has changed, and making the best of it, we must invest in our problems. Our schools need infrastructure as much as the transportation system. Throw in our brains by extension.

(Monte Dutton sketch)

Everything is appeasement! We are catering to the short attention spans when we should realize that if they get much shorter, our ruination is assured.

Everything is too long. What must we do? Oh, I know! Ooh! Ooh! Call on me. We’ll make everything shorter!

Or, we could teach the children patience by nurturing simple virtues like reading, writing, and playing guitar (all of which, coincidentally, I do, but, oh, piano would be great, and castanets would be better).

We change the rules to increase the scoring. If the fans appreciated the scoring we’ve got, it would be simpler and might just cultivate the love of a game that isn’t video.

But noooooo. That would take more than polls and focus groups.

Let me admit, at this sorrowful point, that I have a conflict of interest.

(Monte Dutton sketch)
(Monte Dutton sketch)

I write and have discovered, by trial and error that it is as futile an endeavor as, oh, being able to spell. In spite of the fact that I enjoyed a rigorous liberal-arts education that was supposed to make me able to complete lots of tasks well, I find myself, at age fifty-eight, unable to do anything but write. The only reason I never walk out in the front yard at dawn is that I’m afraid I’ll see Mount Vesuvius erupting there.

Still, I write every day. On a typewriter. No, not really. I like to write using a program that makes my laptop sound like a typewriter. It’s clicking now. I have written five novels and a collection of short stories. I have blogged at a dizzying pace, and even though I am an avid user of social media, where I habitually bug the hell of people to buy my books, sometimes I tweet in haiku because, well, Twitter is otherwise just too easy.

(Monte Dutton sketch)
(Monte Dutton sketch)

I’m grievously overweight. I have arthritic knees. My fingers still work fine. I overwork them. They’re all I’ve got. They’re all I’ve got left to lose. I’ve got lots of experience, which effectively eliminates the possibility of a job that pays regularly. I write lots of free-lance stories, most of which are about the consequences of how balls of various sizes and shapes bounce. Thank God I enjoy watching balls bounce and humans bounce them.

As more and more write, and less and less read, not only does the marketability of writing diminish, but the quality does, too, because people who do not read end up not writing well.

I’ve no patience for appeasement. I’ve no time. My only hope is to confront the beast. He’s a monster, but, by God, I’ve got a slingshot.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

I’ve written five novels and a collection of short stories. I’ve also written a number of books about sports, mostly about NASCAR. You can find most of them here.

Crazy of Natural Causes is on Amazon sale all month for $.99.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

The Kindle versions of my books, where available, can be found above. Links below are to print editions.

My new novel is a western, Cowboys Come Home. Two World War II heroes come home from the Pacific to Texas.

I’ve written a crime novel about the corrosive effects of patronage and the rise and fall of a powerful politician and his dysfunctional family, Forgive Us Our Trespasses.

I’ve written about what happens to a football coach when he loses everything, Crazy of Natural Causes. It’s a fable of life’s absurdity.

(Melanie Ryon cover design)
(Melanie Ryon cover design)

I’ve written a tale of the Sixties in the South, centered on school integration and a high school football team, The Intangibles.

(Joe Font cover design)
(Joe Font cover design)

I’ve written a rollicking yarn about the feds trying to track down and manipulate a national hero who just happens to be a pot-smoking songwriter, The Audacity of Dope.

I’ve written a collection of 11 short stories, all derived from songs I wrote, Longer Songs.


(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)
(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)

Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing), and/or @wastedpilgrim (more opinionated and irreverent). I’m on Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Instagram (TUG50), and Google-Plus (MonteDuttonWriter).

(Design by Steven Novak)



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