🔝 Freud by Ralph Steadman
Her tail flies high, waving at full mast. My cat, I’m talking about, my little friend, probably my only true friend. Sad but true.
Her name is Bella, a common name among pets, as my wife Susan’s name was common among women. An ordinary name for an extraordinary woman, as I’ve written on these glass pages — if anyone is reading.
Blogging is an ego trip, the most basic and simplest form of self-publishing, and self-publishing is often looked down upon, even scorned by many. A retired English Literature professor I know Upstate told me he would never self-publish a book. He said it wouldn’t mean a thing to him if the decision to publish his work didn’t come from someone other than himself, someone in the publishing business.
Not that my professor emeritus* friend has to worry about self-publishing — he’s had several books of poetry and memoirs published by legitimate publishers, so in his case, Bob’s your uncle** — which as fate would have it is actually his name: Bob Baxter, or on his book covers, E.R. Baxter III, the ‘III’ indicating he is the third man in the family to bear that formal name — Ernest (as in Ernest Hemingway), Robert (as in American poet Robert (‘The Road Not Taken’) Frost, and Baxter (as in Jack Lemon’s character in one of my favorite movies, ‘The Apartment’ — C.C. Baxter.)
So (where was I?) blogging is a form of self-publishing and to say there’s no conceit in it would be wrong — there’s conceit and egotism… which brings me back to my cat, who doesn’t give a flying tail about conceit and doesn’t even know what egotism means. Cats are into one thing and one thing only: creature comfiture — I made up the word ‘comfiture’ because that’s what you can do on a blog, you can make up words, you can write anything you damnwell please, no rhyme or reason, you can even write yourself into a corner as I apparently have now — a dead end, nowhere to go — try and get away with that at Random House!
*(Herewith ‘the aesthetic evil of the footnote,’ as J.D. Salinger put it.) Professor emeritus is a high-falutin word for a retired professional who gets to keep his job title as an honorary salute to his service (the word’s Latin origin was used for soldiers who completed their tour of duty).
**(Wow, two aesthetic evils!) The exression ‘Bob’s your uncle’ is said is to have originated in 1887 when British Prime Ministe Robert Gascoyne-Cecil in an act of blatant nepotism named his nephew Arthur Balfour as Chief Secretary of Ireland. Balfour thereafter referred to the Prime Minister simply as Uncle Bob.