Charles Daly


Category: Articles (page 7 of 7)

Switch to a Typewriter

I’m what you might call a born-again luddite. There was a time when I believed that I owed my writing life to modern technology. I learned to type on Windows 95 with Mario Teaches Typing, I used right-clicking as my thesaurus, and I penned my first short story on a first-generation Macbook. I once was lost, but now I’m found. I got saved back in college when I picked up a pre-war Underwood Portable at an antique store in San Diego. The machine was in good shape, and its vintage suited my great-American-novelist pretensions at the time. I oiled it, bought a new ribbon, and got to work. The words I pecked out of the Underwood were better than the ones on my hard drive, so I never looked back. By better I mean warmer, closer to the reader, flawed in a human way–any vinyl collector or guitarist with a tube amp knows what I mean

My typewriter thing is more like a fetish than a work habit. Something you either get or you don’t. I didn’t need reasons to go analog, but here are few that might encourage you to unplug:

To read the rest of my piece, which includes a typewriter buyers guide, go to  Broke Ass Stuart.

My new Olivetti 22

“I’m always home, I’m uncool.”

I’ll let the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman take it from here in that immortal scene from Almost Famous. 

The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.

The Myth of Sisyphus (feat. Donkey Kong)

8-bit Philosophy is the web series you wish you had in college. The series summarizes the major works of western philosophy using 8-bit, Super Mario Brothers style, animation.  


Camus + Donkey Kong :

Heideger + River City Ransom:

Reading Everything with Sarah Palin

In a now infamous interview, vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin was asked which newspapers she reads. Her answer: most of them. 

The hero of Woody Allen’s Zelig suffers a lifelong identity crisis that begins when he lies about having read Moby Dick

David Foster Wallace once asked a student, “have you read Anna Karenina?” To which the student replied, “well, not personally.”
There’s even a book on the phenomena, How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read.

This isn’t a reading problem, it’s a self esteem problem. It’s a fear problem, the fear of being found out. Left unchecked, this fear can make us talk like hateful politicians or like that windbag with the ponytail from Good Will Hunting. You don’t wanna be that guy. Just keep reading and get comfortable with the three liberating words: “I don’t know.”

Mass Reproduction in Dafen, China

Not that kind of reproduction..
Dafen Village, a suburb of Shenzhen, China, produces 60% of the world’s oil paintings. Thousands of painters, mostly struggling art school grads, toil long hours on an assembly line to reproduce well-known masterpieces. 

Photographer Susetta Bozzi has been documenting Dafen Village for some time. “I haven’t seen anything really artistic,” she told Wired. “They’re more like factory workers than artists.”

The assembly lines of Dafen are a reminder that competence is not enoughCompetence is the realm of the lowest bidder. A buyer who’s looking for an exact replica of Van Gogh will try to find it as cheaply as possible. The painter is irrelevant. Competence is faceless and replaceable

Did you work like a factory worker or an artist today?

Be yourself. Everyone else has been outsourced. 

How Many Conrads did you Write Today?

Author, Will Self measures his work in ‘Conrads,’ a unit equal to to Joseph Conrad’s daily word count. One Conrad is 800 words.
Self elaborated in the Telegraph:

“I write a first draft fairly rapidly,” he says. “I write in Conrads. Conrad wrote 800 words a day, on which he could support a butler, two maids, a chauffeur, a gardener and an under-gardener. On a good day, I write three Conrads, on a fighting day, four.”

  • NANOWRIMO writers challenge themselves to produce a novel of 62 Conrads in one month.
  • The rough draft of my latest project is 40 Conrads long. I’m looking for entire Conrads to cut.
  • Graham Greene limited himself to exactly 0.625 Conrads a day and stopped short even if he was in the middle of a sentence.

“Friendship in a Filthy Flat” –fiction by Oumar S. Mussa in Not Your Eyes

A newcomer to London’s Not Your Eyes, Oumar S. Mussa breaks out the typewriter in Friendship in a Filthy Flat. It’s piece that creeps up on you–a bit like Lee, your smackhead bestie–and finishes like the sound of racking a 12 gauge. A study in how “a true friend stabs you in the front.”

”Can’t blame yourself, mate. Beth was fit. All that running…’ 

‘…away from reality.”

Photo: Not Your Eyes
Find Oumar S. Mussa at:
 the One who Knocks

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