Yesterday’s highlight: I met Detroitblogger John, the genius writer behind the stories at Detroitblog and their dead-tree versions in the Metro Times. (The former publishes more pictures; the latter pays him money, so I always click both.) I’ve known his name for a while, having wheedled it out of a filmmaker working on a documentary based on one of his stories. (This one.) I looked him up online, saw that he’s employed as an editor at a newspaper concern that never, ever publishes stories like the ones he writes, and took momentary pleasure in my accurate guess when I first stumbled across his work online — newspaperman. I don’t know much, but I know a prose style.
I didn’t try to contact him otherwise, having once exchanged an e-mail with him in which he said he keeps an anonymous byline because of his employer’s prickliness about freelancing. Besides, I’d already expressed my fangirl love; what else would there be to say?
But yesterday, when I walked into my department chairman’s office and found him talking to someone, and was introduced to John Redacted, the first thing I did was to blurt out, “I know your secret!” What a tool. I could share a cab with Colin Firth and never feel the need to tell him how much I love him. But writers? I lose all self-control.
“I think most people know by now,” he said. Well, that’s good. A man deserves credit for great work. I gather that he’s reached a rapprochement with his employer over the freelancing, but chooses to keep his profile low. Wise.
Then I asked something that’s been knocking around my head for some time: “Do you think Jay Thunderbolt would be amenable to having a spec screenplay written about him?” Cuz, you know, nothing is quite as visual as a six-foot-five-inch chain smoker whose face droops to one side and always wears a black suit with a bulletproof vest underneath. And runs a strip club out of his house. He already looks like a taller, younger, more facially paralyzed Christopher Walken.
“Sure,” he said. “He’s all about self-promotion.”
Don’t none of you folks steal my idea. Although I’m surely not the only one to comprehend his awesomeness. I was trying to find that story a couple weeks ago, I ran across another — apparently MTV did a piece on him for one of their series. Money quote from the show hosts:
“The thing about Jay is he probably hasn’t left Detroit in 30 years. He hasn’t flown in, God knows how long. When we booked him a flight his first question was, ‘How many of my guns can I bring?’ His second was, ‘Could you get me a smoking seat?'”
When you’re as awesome as Jay, you don’t need to leave Detroit. The party comes to you.
So that was yesterday. It also included a bowl of carrot-ginger soup from Russell Street Deli. Win-win.
Before I leave today, I have an RFK — request for kindness. Or to make it even more low-pressure, call it a request for karma, or even a DOYITAWC (direction of your interest to a worthy cause). One of our number, who comments from time to time as Velvet Goldmine, has a daughter who’s been invited to a National Youth Leadership Forum program at Yale this summer. It’s pricey, a deposit has to be sent pretty soon, and the money isn’t in this month’s budget. VG — I don’t think she’d mind if I told you her name is Melissa, and she’s the sister-in-law of my trusted friend Lance Mannion — is in a cash pinch. I told her that if she had a PayPal account, I’d send her a few shekels, and I just did. If you feel like sending a few of your own, the linked e-mail is qwerty1017 at ay-oh-ell dot you-know-what. (You can figure that out, right?) One of the great things about PayPal is, you can send any amount. I look at this as the online equivalent of a kid knocking on your door selling candy bars to finance a band trip. I always give those kids a fiver or so, so why not someone in Connecticut?
I stress that this isn’t an endorsement, I’m keeping no records, everything is between you and VG, and if you’d like to ask her any questions privately, you can send her an e-mail.
And is that all? I think that is all. Have an outstanding weekend. We’re expecting freezing rain!