Friday Roundup



Hey, how’s everybody doing? A little glum lately, fellow Americanos? Yeah, me too; we have a president who is an apologist for violent white supremacists, which is utterly horrifying and unacceptable, and I don’t know how we as a country will be able to move past this point. 

The dearth of regular posts around here will, I fear, continue for a while longer. Perhaps indefinitely; I’ve been toying with the idea of discontinuing this blog entirely and moving on to something new and different. But no decisions have been made yet, and so this website, as with many aspect of my life right now, is in a bit of limbo right now.

Seattle continues to be lovely. The coffee and doughnuts are consistently excellent; the parks are filled with evergreens and totem poles (see above). Three months in, I’m still looking for steady work; I’m currently waiting to hear back from a cool-sounding job as an editor. Fingers crossed.


So… I published the Duranalysis book on April 20th, right? It’s been four months, and in that time I’ve sold… hmm, let me run the official figures. There it is: I’ve sold seventy-seven (77) copies.

Seventy-seven. 


That’s really bad. Super bad. Kind of hilariously bad, if you want to look at it that way. Downright disgraceful, especially when you factor in how I’ve given away eighteen copies for promotional purposes, which is a pretty terrible return-on-investment. I’m trying to remain upbeat, but I’m having a really hard time putting a positive spin on this. It’s fair to say I’m not a dynamo at self-promotion—it cripples my soul, just a little, to ask people to buy my work—but I did try to sell this one. A bunch of extremely cool people—Ernest Cline, Martha Quinn, John Henson, Melissa Joulwan, Elisa Lorello— wrote some very kind words about it. I sent copies to various websites that review this sort of material, but none opted to review it. (Duran Duran’s management company and their social media strategist both requested and received advance copies; I didn’t hear anything back from them, but I wasn’t slapped with a cease-and-desist, either, so I’m considering it a net positive.) Self-publishing is an uphill battle, I know, but even still, I’m proud of the book, so it’s tough to feel good about this result.

Brighter subjects: I wrote a curmudgeonly piece for A.Side about how the soundtrack for Atomic Blonde, while loaded with kick-ass new wave songs, ultimately failed the movie. You can read it here.


Also at A.Side: The always-great Sarah Kurchak, whose name has been mentioned in hushed, reverent terms on this site more than once, wrote a tremendous article about Duran Duran fandom (with a particular focus on the jubilantly bonkers Arena (An Absurd Notion) concert film), in which she refers to me as, ahem, “the Duranie’s answer to Roger Ebert.” I am bursting with pride at that.


The trailer for Ready Player One, Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the best-selling book by Ernest Cline, dynamic guru of all things eighties-related and all-around awesome guy (he contributed the great cover blurb for my Duranalysis book), debuted at Comic-Con last month. If you missed it, here it is in all its dystopian-future-drenched-in-eighties-nostalgia glory: 



My hair was becoming a tangled, comb-snaring mess, so I hacked it off this week. This is my very scientific haircut methodology, which is a technique I have faithfully followed my entire adult life: Look in the mirror, pick up the scissors, and chop until roughly the same amount of hair is on the ground as is still on my head. Here’s the result:


Here’s what my trashcan looked like post-haircut. Pretty sure there’s a Tribble in there:


I did a “Do You Believe In Shame?”-themed Duranalysis cartoon last week for Duran Duran Appreciation Day:


Song of the week: A friend with exquisite taste in music, knowing of my fondness for Duran, introduced me to the music of Japan, the David Sylvian-fronted new wave/glam rock band from the late seventies and early eighties. Here’s “Fall in Love With Me”:




Until we meet again, please stay well and happy, everyone.

Comments

Ingrid Richter said…
No mention of your fabulous Mort's Pie recipe that you've been making in Seattle?!? From the Elemental Pizza in Tacoma: Mort's Pie is garlic oil, Italian sausage, bacon, cream cheese, sun dried tomatoes & sliced jalapenos. So delicious!
Morgan Richter said…
Ingrid -- my ability to recreate Mort's Pie from scratch has been my most significant accomplishment in recent weeks.
amanda panda ...are there any other lowercase people around here besides me? lol said…
you just found out about japan? wat (in the corners of durandom i run in, duran/depeche/japan is the holy trinity of new wave bands, the ones everyone at least knows of)

which leads to my next point. i am probably going to send you a huge email tomorrow or sunday so we can talk about this weirdly fragmented fandom and how hard it can be to find the niche you're looking for, but the tl;dr version is: don't feel bad about the book not selling a lot. you didn't penetrate tumblr (which can be weird and fickle anyway), i think i've seen your stuff reposted on instagram maybe once, and those snotty forum people were write-offs anyway. and those are just the branches of durandom i'm aware of other than facebook and twitter.

(knowing this, no wonder the last duranalysis was... "perfect day". "i guess our tastes in duran interviews are just too different if 'perfect day' is preferable to anything on that list i made up a while back," was my first thought, and "now she has to go through and do notorious, right?" was the second one. :P i'd miss the site, and i'm sure team u.n.c.l.e. would, too. but if you feel like the current topics have run their course, then the ball's in your court.)

your atomic blonde article gave me the impression that they were going more for a halloween store-esque attempt at the 80s. you know, the "we're taking the part of the 80s we think everyone remembers and ignoring everything else, accuracy be damned" approach. (but in reverse, since the halloween costume 80s ignores new wave and goth-type things and atomic blonde 80s ignores the things i associate with the late 80s - taylor dayne, paula abdul, beastie boys...) the other thing i notice about it is that all of those atomic blonde songs are the 80s music that people my age and younger think is cool. (so... the part everyone remembers!)

i'm crossing my fingers, too! :)
Cindy said…
Wow! Morgan, I'm one of the 77 and let me say: the plan was this was going to be one of my two big fun (imagine a hyphen in there not a comma) summer reads. Handed it over to my dear (budding Duranie) teenaged daughters because we ALL know I'd be diving in way before vacay arrived! Took it to the beach and totally amused (okay, annoyed) the entire family: laughing out loud on the beach, interrupting them with "hey, you *thought* you knew this about Nick, but really he . . .", and generally just reading 75% of it out loud to them. SUCH a good read! Just as hilarious as the blog, but still different - loved the first chapters introducing us to your relationship with Duran; loved that the same humor is in the book, but the anecdotes are new.

I'm counting myself lucky to be one of those that bought your book. So glad, because otherwise I would have missed out. Kinda like I'm thinking I might feel if you end the blog, but you've gotta do what you've gotta do . . . :/

Oh, and that other book? Never made it past page 88 . . . (Thomas Hardy's "Far From the Maddening Crowd" never stood a chance. . . Maybe should've read it first . . .?)

Hang in there, Morgan. You're a great writer. Wishing you the best of luck in Seattle!
Theresa C. said…
Hi Morgan, I am one of the proud 77! Your "Duranalysis" book was hilariously funny and smart! I also enjoy reading "Preppies of the Apocalypse" for the same reason as your book: it's laugh-out-loud funny and intelligent. I plan to continue to enjoy your work until the day Nick starts buying drugstore cosmetics.

Best wishes,
Theresa Colbert
Morgan Richter said…
Thanks for the kind comments, everyone!

Amanda -- yeah, Atomic Blonde's soundtrack was very much a Greatest-New-Wave-Hits collection thrown together. Which doesn't really matter -- most of those are very good song -- but they just weren't used very well.

Cindy -- Thank you so much for buying the book! I'm glad it made for good summer reading (and yes, it's probably a better beach read than Far From the Maddening Crowd).

Theresa -- Aw, thank you. It really means a lot to hear that you enjoy Duranalysis.
Gina Gao said…
I was looking forward to watching Atomic Blonde, and although it wasn't a bad movie, it wasn't as good as I had hoped.


www.ficklemillennial.com
Nonny Maus said…
FWIW, I'm planning on ordering my own copy of Duranalysis with my Xmas money. ^_^ I'm looking forward to reading it!
Anonymous said…
Another one of the 77 chiming in! I bought the book on Kindle to amuse myself while recovering from surgery, and loved it so much that I bought a hard copy for my bookshelf. I then found your website and read all the essays on Duran Duran. Your writing has helped to make my post-surgery recovery period so much less boring! I still laugh at the part of the Duranalysis of 'My Own Way' about Nick chasing Andy with a box of blue hair dye, even though I've read it several times, because it's such a great visual!

And since Roger was my favorite as a 14 year old Durannie in the 1980's (Simon was the other), I loved the Planet Earth essay. He was (and still is to this day, I think!) smoking hot, and even cuter now in some ways because he's so smiley and chatty in interviews(he was so quiet and shy back in the day).

Thanks for sharing your writing and love of Duran Duran!

Thomas M said…
As a long time Man From UNCLE fan ( I was a child at the time the series was first broadcast) I want to tell you how much I appreciate your commentary on each of the episodes with such insight and wit. It is wonderful to see that it still resonates with people who grew up in an era of purely derivative and uninspiring pop culture.
The show captured the best of 1960's era escapist TV by using familiar elements such as the cold war and scientific advancement and transposing them into a parallel fictional realm depicting the struggle between the defenders of social progress and human rights (UNCLE) and the forces of heartless international corporate technocracy (THRUSH)
I also share your admiration for the late great Robert Vaughn as an actor and political activist.
Maybe you can use your UNCLE blog entries as the basis of another book
Sara said…
Aw, Chin up Buttercup!

For the record, I bought Duranalysis and I loved it! It was like a little time portal that took me right back to 1983 and my formative teenage years (I grew up quite near to Birmingham so they were very much 'our boys'). I have you to thank for my recent rediscovery of all things Duran, after stumbling across your blog. Ah, you never forget your first (music) loves...
Anonymous said…

Hi Morgan,
Came back here after months after having had to face a huge family loss and kind of losing track over that.

I was also one of the 77 who bought 'Duranalysis' and -boy- did this book make me laugh out out loud so many times. My poor husband had to suffer the 'read-alouds' as well (and he is really not a fan, rather enduring it by my side, even forced him to go to a show with me, the poor sod😂)
Morgan, I don't know you personally, but I feel sorry that you felt so let down... I thInk you are one hell of a talented writer!
I recommended you to all of my friends whose English I deemed well enough to understand your brilliant word-Origami (bought all of your other books as well)
I'll miss your Duranalysises a lot, they left me reduced to gasping laughing fits on my couch so many times... but when it's over it's over... and recognition from the band is not likely to happen, even if I think they should be proud that someone as talented as you thinks they're still relevant enough to write about on a regular basis- I love them to death, but they're definitely no Depeche Mode, still selling out huge arenas in Europe right now!
I truly hope to read from you soon... have to try stay tuned (as I don't like twitter or instagramm this could prove fickle)

Stay safe and happy
Love , asphyxia

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