ConstantCommentary® Vol. XII, No. 174, March 10, 2011

Mike Jasper at 56



Why I write (part 2)

You know, I've licked some women lesbian, but I think this go round I licked one Republican.

Hi. Mike Jasper here, and welcome to my column, especially those of you who enjoyed last week's commentary about church and charity. Welcome, and please... feel free to bask in the love.

After I wrote "Why I Write" part one, some people asked me on Facebook and other disturbing social media sites, "Here's a better question. Why in the hell did you stop writing in the first place?"

Good question, and I've got a bad answer. Money. At some point I bought into the ridiculous all-American mentality that nothing is worthwhile unless it pays. And since I don't make a dime writing this column -- despite it probably being the one thing I do best -- I decided it wasn't worth my time.

It gets worse. I inherited some money, and then I became paranoid about being sued for shit I'd already written. That's when I decided to take down my archives. I've since burned through that money, so why are my archives no longer online? Paranoia, still. Now I'm afraid my relatives will read them and either keel over dead from the shock or get a hold of my contact info. Not good.

But I'm pleased to say money's no longer a consideration, thanks to some motivating words from that soon-to-be-Republican woman I mentioned earlier.

"If you're a so-called writer, what have you written lately? And why do you type so loudly? You do realize you slurp your coffee, don't you? Also, your dick's too small, you should really have a bigger dick. What kind of writer are you anyway?"

After going to the sex shop to buy a bigger dick, I thought it over. She had a point. What kind of writer was I anyway? The newspaper I used to work for could no longer afford to pay me, and doing hackie freelance gigs for online companies at $15 per article got old fast. I needed a better outlet for my craft or sullen art (that's a literary reference, sometimes called an allusion--in other words, stealing).

So I'm back. I mean it. I'll be putting one of these columns up every Thursday, barring the occasional short hiatus. No need for a mailing list, just go to every Thursday afternoon. I'll shoot for a noon eastern deadline, but don't Jan Wenner me about it.

Why am I willing to write for free again? Because I'm starting to believe that what I do matters. Also, I got a wake-up call from one of my long-time readers, Matt Wehner:

In 1999 I read your Columbine article (There is No Trench Coat Mafia) as a senior in high school. I had been reading your work for about a year at that point, when the internet was still mostly 'new.'

It was your Columbine article that stuck with me most, and to this day I still reread it from time to time for the pure joy of it. It has always stuck with me, in terms of written genius, and it always will.

In 1999 I went to college undecided, but eventually found my footing within the walls of the English department. In 2006 I returned to college to finally finish that degree, and in 2008 I had it in my hands. I honestly attribute a lot of that to your columns.

It's 2011, and now you're posting on my Facebook wall. You honestly have no idea how surreal it is, nor what it means to me.

It's been an awesome couple of years, but today was truly great.

Just wanted to let you know.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know what you're thinking. Printing Matt's flattering email was a self-congratulatory ploy if there ever was one. That's true. But I think you're missing the bigger picture here.

Holy shit. Did I help create an English major? I do not need that blood on my hands.


Fuck it, I'm going to keep writing anyway.

* * *

STANDARD DISCLAIMER: This column aims to be funny. If you can read anything else into it, you're on your own.




Mike Jasper is a writer and musician living in Austin, Texas.

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, he claims strong ties to Seattle, St. Petersburg, Florida and North Platte, Nebraska.


© 2011 by Mike Jasper, All Rights Reserved. ConstantCommentary® is published whenever Mike Jasper feels like it. All material is the responsibility of the author.