Saturday, July 7, 2012

An Interview With Author Crazy Carl Robinson


I've known Crazy Carl Robinson for a long time, and we're good friends.  We met when we both went to graduate school at Kent State in the 1990s (where he impressed me with various pranks such as by giving me a copy of Pro Wrestling Illustrated in the middle of an otherwise ultraserious Women in the Renaissance seminar).  His writing impressed me as well, and I published it in my drinkdrankdrunk zine.  Eventually, that road led us to both publishing novels with the Underground Literary Alliance, which we promoted by going on a book reading tour in 2007.  His ULA Press novel is Fat On The Vine, and its two sequels are Dead In The Head and My Parents' Medicine, which are excerpted in the collection Bloodreal.  He told me that he has a new book coming out, so I investigated further with this interview (and his answers are left in the traditional Crazy Carl style). 

1) What's this new book?

i actually have short stories coming out in two 2012 anthologies.....my story, "chasing the american dream: a chubby fan(atic) recalls his favorite professional wrestlers," will appear in "the facts of life, family ties and the real world: everything i know about myself i learned from television" from lexington books.....the article basically examines the pro wrestler as role model for overweight kids......my second story, "the brown washcloth," means exactly what you think it means and appears in victor thorn's new anthology, "outlaw rebels" from sisyphus press.....it's a bit risqué, but i'm sure clevelanders would enjoy the sections which celebrate punk rockers like dee dee ramone and g.g. allin as well as graphic novelists like r crumb and harvey pekar (although i'm not quite sure how pekar would feel about being sandwiched between george lincoln rockwell and ed gein)......i'd also like to think that i introduced victor to artists like ivan brunetti, julian beck and sam peckinpah ......whatever the fuck victor thorn is, he's certainly an american original....like all our friends' blogs regurgitate the same partisan crap whereas victor appears to be challenging the censor (and you know i like that)

2) Another combination of the literary and political was the Underground Literary Alliance. Recently, you got namechecked again in the essay/hatchet job about the group republished in Tom Bissell's collection Magic Hours. What did you think of Bissell's essay and of your experience with the group?

brother, you think i'm vain enough to pay $14 for a book that makes fun of my name once?---yeah, i think we all are....truthfully, i had no idea who tom bissell was in 2003 and i still have no idea in 2012......i tried to read the other essays in "magic hours," but all i really remember is a fairly dry article on "the big bang theory".....if that's what it takes to be a hipster in 2012, then tom bissell beat all of us by about 2 episodes.....as for the ula, i have quite a few rockstar memories, including our 2007 book tour.....my mama dresses me kinda preppy and much like the kent punk rockers, the ula never judged me.....they listened to what i had to say and treated me with the same respect that they treated you.....i know a lot of people in the past were intimidated by king wenclas, but if you had a beer with him in the tavern, I think you might become friends.....jeff potter might be the coolest dad in the world and has built an entire fantasy land for his kids in their backyard----and instead of posting pix of his cat sleeping or generic rants about stopping the tea party on facebook, he celebrates the lives/careers of meaningful artists like ed sanders and doc watson......tom bissell said in that article that the "crazy" in my name implied concealment and aggression, but if he had actually read my shit he would have realized that i just needed to get laid

3) Along those same lines, I had a conversation with you recently in which you said that too many people today were wrapped up in politics when they could be doing something more interesting.  What did you mean by that?

victor thorn (and mr crowley) would say: do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.....ultimately, if your favorite thing in the world is discussing politics, then i'm not gonna take that away from you.....me, i wanna get laid, be under-the-influence, eat, sleep, listen to music and play with dogs.....and i could break out old smack about the weather wanting you to vote for obama or about consulting the youngstown book of socialism before (not) buying your panties at target, but the truth is: we're all capitalists and the only "fact" that's relevant is who cut the check that sanctioned your truth....we have to ask ourselves that question whether we're watching fox news or cnn---whether the blog is endorsed by victor thorn or alan miller....wred fright, do you remember when we argued about whether antigone-the-cat would prefer another cat as a companion and you pulled that (human) book off the shelf as proof that you were right?---that was the big cat lobby, man....i was drunk though and needed a ride home.....more-to-the-point, the only thing that's real is what happens when i take a shit.....my friend susan lowers a person's "i.q. points" when we're driving and we see a house with columns and i have to say that i do the same when someone forwards me a partisan website as proof that they're right.....that ohio state professor didn't conduct his/her experiment for the love of humankind----he/she did it for money and fame....and as soon as i determine that the article i'm reading has a non author's shit-in-the-toilet agenda, i stop reading.....everything else is lemming ridiculousness

4) Speaking of ridiculousness, why is it 2012 and I still don't have Dead In The Head or My Parents' Medicine on my bookshelf?  Is there any hope of the followup novels to Fat On The Vine being published in their entirety?

the short/quick answer is that kids don't read anymore----they look at pictures instead.....i'd say that "dead in the head" has disappeared into the mist....i recycled parts of it for "bloodreal" (2010) and other parts will be included in "my parents' medicine".....if i'm being honest, "dead in the head" was the weakest of my planned trilogy.....i'm not much of an editor, but i've discovered that the 27th paragraph about what color panties my (fictional) students are wearing is pretty similar to the 1st...."my parents' medicine" is actually good-to-go....i got mad at someone last summer and edited it down so that the format is comparable to "bloodreal"---nice rationale, yeah?.....the art professor at my school offered to turn me on to one of her friends in madison whose a publisher, but i haven't contacted him yet.....perhaps your reader knows someone?

5) That's too bad about Dead In The Head.  I really liked it and thought it was even better than Fat On The Vine.  We actually have more than one reader on the blog, so maybe somebody can hook you up with a publisher (use the comments section, folks).  With ebooks and the Web, self-publishing is easier than ever as well.  The final question is the traditional one:  Anything else that you want to tell the world?

all the young corporate douches have an e-signature in 2012 that is designed to announce to the internet that they have retained their creativity as well as their souls.....i don't have one, but if i did, it would be 1 of 2.....the first is an old chestnut: if you're gonna drink and drive, don't forget your car....the second quote belongs to paul goodman: "in america you can say anything you want----as long as it doesn't have any effect".....cheers!

1 comment:

  1. Alas, kids only look at pictures anymore. Carl's right about that.

    However, I'm worried because I drive a car. There might be someone like Carl out there. Driving.

    ReplyDelete