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Gulp Fiction

Beto gets busted for bad writing. I’ve been there myself.

Okay, I’ll admit—when it comes to a Mister Robert Francis O’Rourke, aka “Beto,” I’m not exactly what you would call a fanboy. I thought that the media obsession with him during his campaign to topple Ted Cruz from his Senate seat was unseemly at best, remiscent of the stalkerazzi at worst. As a candidate, O’Rourke also struck me as one of those ticket-puncher politicians who are all to common on the Washington scene these days, coasting on sizzle with no steak to be found. Gretchen from Mean Girls would’ve had better luck trying to make fetch happen.

Even so, I’m forced to take a teensy bit of umbrage at what poor ol’ Beto has gone through over the last few days. It seems as if he can’t jump up on the countertop of a small-town Midwestern diner without having to apologize for something. Whether it’s making lighthearted jokes about how his wife does most of the parenting or getting called out for his whiteness, the dude simply cannot get a break. Beto is just so hapless, my heart can’t help but go out to him.

Especially when it comes to his, um, writings.

I mean, I guess you could call them that—if your bag is angsty stories that go into lurid detail over subjects so morbid that even Morrissey would have admonished ol’ Beto to lighten up a little. Erick sampled just one of those ditties in a post from a couple days ago, so I won’t rehash any of it here—but suffice it to say, it’s just a teensy bit dark. Kind of like what a goth kid from the 80’s might come up with after binging on Jolt Cola, Bauhaus and Faces of Death movies for forty-eight hours straight.

But do I find any of that disturbing? Not particularly.

That’s because I’m a writer—and I’ve been writing fiction since I was sixteen years old. I’ve also kept every word I’ve ever written stashed away in some moldy, dusty corner somewhere, and I would hate to think of what people might think of me if any of that stuff leaked out. It’s all there: murder, mayhem, bad dialogue and the occasional bad sex scene. I’ve written characters that make Twilight look like Tolstoy and descriptive passages that make The Bridges of Madison County seem like tight, restrained prose by comparison. For God’s sake, I even Mary-Sued myself into a vampire novel.

So as you might imagine, I’m inclined to cut Beto a little slack on this one. He was a teenage writer putting whatever weird stuff popped into his head on the page—and for whatever he may have lacked in talent, he more than made up for in courage. If you don’t believe that, try writing a story and then see if your friends can get through it without laughing their heads off. That actually happened to me once.

As to dressing up like a sheep and murdering “Blitzkrieg Bop,” though, feel free to open fire. That’s a crime for which Beto deserves harsh punishment.


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