I’ve seen a few references to this piece on MemeFirst about Palahniuk’s audioblog coming out, on Bill Shunn’s weblog and others. I blogged about this right as it was happening, before the original audioblog entry was taken down. I don’t really agree with the Memefirst post and think it is needlessly negative, with pissy asides like “I can’t seem to access that message any more: maybe Palahniuk is trying to crawl back into the closet .” Chuck posted followups stating that the message was removed because he made statements about the Entertainment Weekly reporter that were untrue, and didn’t want to be spreading slander and because his more hotheaded fans were threatening her and he wanted that to stop. Maybe I just start from a different place, but I don’t think the original message was so much angry as sad and melancholy and awkwardly touching.
My undefinitive take (only Chuck knows for sure) is that Chuck wouldn’t have done this if he hadn’t wanted to. Maybe his (erroneous) belief that Entertainment Weekly was outing him affected the timing, but I don’t think it created something from thin air that he didn’t want to do at all. In the now gone original message, he mentions “saving a fortune in blackmail money” now that he’s gone public. All in all, I hope this makes his life simpler and easier.
It’s interesting how the take on this story differs. The Memefirst and similar pieces seem to be taking the tack of “Ha ha, look at how the hothead fucked up!” On the CP forum on his site, the discussion is more of the “We’re still with you, Chuck” form. I’m not sure if it is his reputation as an ubermacho writer of ubermacho fiction that is causing such schadenfreude from certain circles. I’m also not sure I agree with the premise that this is a fuckup. I suspect that once the furor over the manner this went down is over, everything will be back to the way it was except that Chuck will be able to be more candid and less guarded about the way he lives his life. Is this bad? All I know is that I’m going to start reading Fugitives and Refugees this morning and that I expect good things from it.
PS – If you see the Entertainment Weekly article, the photo of the people at the reading prominently features my friend and proprietor of Assclown Cockfight JonnyX and his girlfriend Jackie. That’s them, right up front and to the right of the photo.