The title of this post is from a George Harrison song that had a very insistent beat. George, the best-looking Beatle in my opinion, wanted to convince people of things. He went beyond observation and statement. He really wanted to tell us!
That could be satire. On an earlier album, Revolver, he got stuck into the British government over its tax policies with “Taxman”. At the time the top marginal rate there was 95 per cent, and no doubt the Beatles’ advisors were hard at it avoiding that grim reaper. “If five per cent appears too small,” George sang, “be thankful I don’t take it all – cause I’m the tax man (yeah, I’m the tax man) and you’re working for no one but me.”
Once George got turned on to Hindu philosophy he went quite otherworldly for the most part, forgot about the tax man and kept badgering us about love, spending the rest of his life Hare Krishna bound. For me, this became a bit twee really, especially watching interviews with him where he was breathing spirituality through cigarette smoke. It killed him.
All the same, he had this message and he kept at it: “We were talking”, “While my guitar gently weeps”, “My sweet lord”. . .and that is admirable for its openness and its commitment.
I’m just not built like that. The stickability required for flower power and beads is absent. Sorry, life.
There is, however, stickability and stickability, and I’ve got some other forms of the stuff, even unto absurd proportions. For more than fifteen years I’ve been trying to make it as a novelist, in my own way, ignoring practically all advice including “you really aren’t very good at this are you, Steve?”
And I’ll keep going. There is something in me that makes me write – this kind of navel-gazing stuff, and fiction, and who knows what all.
Not only that, I want to be read! That may be an absurd proposition after all this time, but it is true. I’m not going to speak for other writers but for me writing carries with it that desire to communicate, if only to coax a grin or a tear on some far-away cheek, the belief of having something to say, about the world, about life as it really is and as it may be, about love and hate and all that amazing stuff that we fill it up with.
My latest book, The living end, is not actually – not the end for me. I won’t give up. This Don Quixote of the spiritual wastes has his lance and there is quite a beguiling number of windmills out yonder, waiting for me to tilt at them. And the pen as lance can be infinitely sharpened according to me. Tom Paine too. . .it really is mightier than the sword, even unto and after death.
My latest wheeze of attracting readers is to cut the price of my books, to the minimum allowed apart from giving them away: US 0.99. Yes, 99 cents – for you, dear reader of this blog! I’ll leave it it there I think. . .maybe a few of you decide to leap boldly with your credit card where you have not previously ventured. Go on – it’s ok. I promise. The worst that can happen to you is boredom.
Thanks for reading.