Goddamn money. It always ends up making you blue as hell.
—Holden Caufield in J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye
Summer is over. Vacation is over. The Royals are buried. One kid is in school and the other is in daycare. Things are normal.
Scratch that last one. Things are never normal.
Case in point: J.D. Salinger’s toilet.
I made the hideous mistake of watching television news this morning. A story about the place where the super-reclusive author of Catcher in the Rye once did his business somehow managed more airtime than the ugly suicide bombing in Iraq, the trickle-shallow “discussion” of mosque construction in the Big Apple and a study revealing that a mere 9% of African-American eighth graders in New York are reading at grade level. Less than one in ten.
A toilet that once graced the Salinger residence is now available for purchase via eBay. The folks who bought the Salinger home apparently decided that his desire for privacy need not extend past his living years.
The million dollar asking bid is downright goofy and I can’t imagine the porcelain throne will sell at that price, but the fact that someone is trying to sell Salinger’s seems as ridiculous to me as it would to Holden Caufield.
It’s like factory-producing environmentally destructive plastic items and calling them “Thoreaus”.
As I understand it, my contributions here at Freelance Writing Jobs are supposed to actually relate to freelance writing. You might be wondering what a heads-up about a toilet sale has to do with our shared profession.
Let me put it this way. Salinger’s toilet may be worth more than several book advances for first-time writers with amazing novels and the payout for a few Pultizer-worthy articles combined. The fact that some dipshit decided to auction off J.D.’s john is getting more attention today than every other single book published in the last century on television news.
Meanwhile, you might want to rethink a career dedicated to writing features targeting a young, male African-American demographic unless we collectively figure something out why school isn’t working for a rather large and important segment of our population.
It’s a grim day. Kids can’t read and a writer’s toilet is a lead-in television news story.
And I wonder what we–those who make a living stringing words together–are going to do about it.
Things are as normal as they get, I suppose.