A few months ago, my dad gave me a copy of a James Michener book called The Eagle and the Raven. "Read the introduction," my dad said. "I think it will speak to you."
He was right. The introduction was all about how Michener saved everything he cut out of his novels, and described how the book I held in my hands was born from material he'd cut out of a different book he'd written years before. I never throw away anything, and it was spiffy to read that one of my behaviors as a writer is mimicked by someone who probably cut more words out of his novels than I'll write in my entire life. I thought about this earlier today when I came across a file called introduction.odt, which I assume it was going to be an introduction to something, at some time:
When I was twenty or twenty-one, I read an interview with Joel Hodgson, one of the creators of Mystery Science Theater 3000. He was asked about the uncommonly high number of obscure references and jokes that were lost on a large portion of the audience. Those obscure jokes were one of the main reasons I loved MST3K so much, so I paid very close attention when Joel said that they didn’t ask themselves, “Will anyone get this joke?” but instead they said to each other, “the right people will get this joke.” That philosophy was and continues to be a very strong influence in my writing, so
and then it just ends. I can't remember where I was going with this, or what it was for (I didn't check the date stamp on the file before I reflexively saved it after opening it this afternoon) but it remains true: MST3K was a huge influence on me during some of my formative years.
No one was saying, "Don't put that in, no one will get that." We had a very open architecture in the writing room. The only person that could remove any joke was basically an individual who said, "I have a problem with that joke, it offends me." And then we would throw it out, no questions asked.
I'm doubt that Joel or anyone from MST3K will see this, but I want to publicly thank them all, not just for entertaining me during the exciting rock climbing portion of my youth, but for inspiring me to never worry about trying to be all things to all people.
Oh, while I'm talking about MST3K: People who can make this happen, please get Lost Continent and Rocketship X-M onto DVD, mmmkay? I haven't seen them since 1990, and after waiting all this time, my lungs are aching for air.