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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Potential Libel Action Contemplated

Now my friend Joe is famous, to me, because I've seen him on stage on more than one occasion and know his acting skills, and I have an inherent admiration for anyone who has appeared in a Mickey Spillane novel, and I've got to say it really galls me when someone criticizes him unfairly, as Thomas Bernhard does in his recently translated debut novel Frost:

" 'As knacker and gravedigger one is an important figure, a man they can't treat like an ordinary Joe,' he says. Often he [the knacker/gravedigger] has a dog that was run over by a train in his rucksack, but he might just as well pull out some completely out-of-the-way item he found in an attic somewhere, like the pair of carved wooden angels he set up in the middle of the table yesterday, to drink a toast to."

An "ordinary Joe"? Lesser in status than a knacker/gravedigger? What the hell is that supposed to mean? Joe isn't ordinary, he's a gifted actor! Plus he appeared in a Mickey Spillane novel where he was explicitly referred to as "important looking." I'm going to have to write to Bernhard's publisher.

And what the hell is a "knacker"?

Frost (New York: Random House, Vintage, 2008), p. 63.


RED said...

Hi.. a knacker comes and gets the bodies of dead livestock, particularly horses, to render them useful (hair, glue, dogfood, etc.)Gross.

Joe Schmo said...

Thanks, Red. I wondered what the hell they were paying me to do that for. The money was good but the work stunk.

Now, why did they pay me to dig up the human remains? Same reason, hair, glue, dogfood, I guess. Money was a whole lot better though.

Thanks Red,

Joe Schmo said...

I know, Rick, thanks for noticing. It's the Story of my life. I've always had to prove that I was no "Ordinary Joe". Once I proved I was no "ordinary Joe", I had to shed the title of "Joe Blow", then strip off "Joe On The Street", then erase "Your Average Joe", then "Any Old Joe" I was always being stereotyped, labeled, lumped in with all those other Joes and had to fight the prejudice, and bigotry, that goes with joeism, and misjoethropism all my life.

Now, I'm working on shedding the "Joe Schmo" image, cant’ seem to shake it. He's no ordinary Joe—OH! Damn!

RED said...

Yeah, as I said, Gross! Tho I guess if you did need to hire a grave-robber the local knacker would be a good starting place! :)