Here’s part two. Inside the mind of Gordon Flanders. Don’t miss part one. Go on, read it then come back to this.
So, who the fuck is Gordon Flanders?
Shit, I had a rationale at the time. I came up with it [the name] when I started my third blog. I didn’t think the blog would go very far but then I ended up connecting with some people and was hooked for a couple months. I decided to just publish whatever I wanted, where before I tried to create content that added something to people’s lives. I had to come up with a pseudonym because my wife and family are civic minded people, and also because I trash a lot of people and I don’t need to waste time feeling bad about it and saying so in long letters of apology. Usually an online persona is thought of as being crafted and presenting a selective view of yourself to the world, but for me that’s more like my real life. I tell almost no one what I am actually thinking ever because 1. no one is listening and 2. I don’t need to waste a lot of time convincing people I’m not suicidal. If there’s one thing I hate it’s wasting a lot of time.
What’s the most transcendental, soul-searing sexual experience you’ve had?
I was standing in the bar at Ceibu restaurant in Washington DC when the hostess looked at me for three seconds and then she smiled and looked down. Second place was when I had sex with my future wife after I told her that I didn’t want to have sex anymore for religious reasons, and third would be that time Antonio Banderas crossed himself with a sawed off shotgun in that church in Mexico.
A lifelong, still-unfulfilled desire has been to?
Do the right thing.
Complete the sentence. The world would be better if everyone in it immediately stopped…
Breathing. First thing that comes to mind. Or if everyone stopped not drinking. How about if everyone stopped acting like they had any idea what the fuck was going on. You don’t know! Stop acting like that. Or if everyone stopped everything for five minutes.
What was the last thing you googled?
Pirates of the Carribean 5. Jesus how much longer do we have to wait? Before that, Donald Trump telling Jorge Ramos to “sit down!” Ha!
What are your priorities? Or passions? I don’t like using that word, it sounds irrational.
You sound irrational. I’m passionate about apathy. It takes a lifetime to get right and you’re always learning new things you don’t care about. I’m passionate about drinking, I really enjoy it. Going out drinking and staying home drinking. I don’t do it as much as I want to because it’s not socially acceptable, and I’m not that rich, and I really can’t get anything done when I’m drinking. And if I am passionate about something else, it’s getting things done, so that I can drink. I like thinking and trying to figure things out. Not concrete things, just vague things. I really like to read. I like hanging out with people that are good listeners and have a good sense of humor so that I can drink with them and they can laugh at my stories.
In reverse chronological order: Gary Shteyngart, Douglas Adams, Hunter Thompson, Kurt Vonnegut, Ernest Hemingway, Fyodor Dostoevsky.
What was the last book you read?
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. I thought I could create some good habits by reading it but I just ended up sticking with my habit of reading self help books really fast and then being disappointed, and glad I checked it out from the library instead of buying it. I am almost finished with my second reading of A Farewell to Arms and halfway done reading Bleak House for the second time, although I might not finish since somebody told me that Charles Dickens is lame again and I will probably believe that for a year before remembering that he’s the greatest novelist of all time, which is an exaggeration. I read books twice generally because I read too fast and miss most of the nuance because I want to know what’s going to happen next.
What writing habit works for you? I get something down in the morning and edit in the evening. Or the next morning if I’m too tired at night, which happens quite often.
I really like to write late at night, so I always go to bed early and watch TV until I fall asleep. Sometimes I wake up early to write and then I mostly write my dreams down and write about how I’m feeling. I write in the afternoon sometimes, mostly about how I have fucked it all up. Then around six o’clock in the evening, if I am alone, I write some good fiction sometimes. Then for weeks at a time I will take my writing everywhere and write on the train and on breaks. Then I won’t write again for a long time and when I do it will be a list of things to start doing and a list of reasons why I can’t do those things at all. Then I really get into a rhythm about six months in and write a good page of prose and so far I have thirteen pages that I think could become a novel someday. I love to edit things I wrote many years ago and I usually edit my writing by erasing extraneous words one at a time until all are gone except the word “virtue” which I generally keep. Usually if I let something sit around for any longer than five minutes it comes alive and leaves me. I like writing things by hand and I never edit them or show them to people because the logistics are fucked.
What’s the most irritating rookie writing habit?
I hate it when fucking rookies just keep persevering and showing people their work and it gets published and then they start to make a lot of money and they sit at home and write more shit and that gets published, too. Seriously, this shit’s got to stop.
One sentence you have written that says it all?
If there’s any other civilization in the universe that knows how to travel from galaxy to galaxy they’ll show up here by tomorrow afternoon and enslave us so they have enough fuel and supplies to go and do it again to someone else and they’ll all be like, “Ah, shit, here we go again, destroying another planet, fuck this shit, and we still have to wash these fucking dishes,” and if there aren’t any other civilizations trying to do that, well, all of our children’s children’s children will just be consumed by the sun anyway, or else they’ll escape and become a civilization that goes around looking for other civilizations so they can give them smallpox blankets.
Three words you want said at your funeral?
standing room only
Bit of logical reasoning: Travel into space with–Fuck–Be reincarnated as: E.L. James (author of 50 Shades of Grey), Carl Sagan, and Russell Brand
Traveling into space with Carl Sagan is my current goal in life, then when I’m reincarnated as Carl Sagan I will travel into space with myself all over again, and somewhere along the way I’ll have a three way with E.L. James and Russel Brand.
Photo credit: Gordon of the Flanders