Our predecessors must probably shudder as they trod with their tripods and sit on their commodes, or better still want to crack their tomb stones into several pieces because of what has become of their great art. An art that took a dedicated consumption cum abuse of substances to attain ground breaking feat, an art that retreated them into a strange solitude and perpetually forced them to face madness head on just to be titled “Icons” decades after their demise. This same art that had sentenced them to the life of a destined pauper. Oh their spirits must contort in disbelief!!!!
Everything has changed now. If you say you are a writer, the reply tends to be a resounding “wowww” as opposed to “when are you going to stop bombing around and get a real job”. You are also likely to hear something like “I write too you know”. Of course the writing comes in different variants. From the monopolising of ones mundane and boring existence, chronicled as a “Dear Diary” on the internet, to constant whining of all your failed relationships and how you have now come full circle. You have uncovered that it was all part of the divine preparation for the new you.
It’s not that difficult to get your words into print either. Walking around Lagos, there is always an interesting character looking for how to meander into certain worlds and needs a legitimate ticket to be there. Most of the time the word “Publisher” becomes the V.I.P pass and as long as you can string two words together, you can very easily get a steady column in the esteemed publishers monthly printout and the remuneration for your supposed hard work are free tickets to just about anything going on around town. Before you know it, your face appears in a magazine with the tag line above that reads “Stars come out for new bed sheet launch”. Since we seem to run out of things to launch these days.
Thanks to the internet, Rock stars that straddle laptops as opposed to guitars are being churned out by the second. Your popularity is highly determined by how many comments you can generate per rant. As badly told as the stories are, eight out of ten times, you are likely to read a comment that says “Woww this is just fantastic”, “Your writing just blows me away”, “I really admire your courage” and the autonomous “nice one”.
It’s all a wonderful ego boost and when you get comfortable, you are likely to die in writing purgatory. Because actually popularity doesn’t mean you’re any good and facebook notes can simply epitomise non-quality controlled user generated content. And we all know there is always a groupie with the thumbs up sign ready to plaster it on a shitty note. It’s really the same in blogville. Just take a look at what im doing right now. This piece will probably be smeared with errors when I post it on the blog(dyslexia is a bitch), and you will read it and leave the comment “Brilliant…you have done it again”. The more times I do this and you tell your friends about my writing, the more it legitimises my writing status. Sooner than you know, you will elevate me to join the writing Rocker demagogues.
For now though, I will enjoy this hoax this me being a writer and hope that I don’t get caught anytime soon just before my decent from purgatory to hell.
Hopefully, I can get published in the New Yorker sometime soon and then I can claim that this piece was all part of my self deprecating sense of humour.