Banned by LinkedIn

In an annoying comedy of errors, I just got kicked out of the Writers Hangout of LinkedIn. I wrote a piece for their short story contest. Because of the assigned mandatory first line, I was forced to describe a variety show. I chose to write a fact-based story about English comedian Max Wall being banned from BBC TV back in the 1950’s. But because the story was titled “Banned By The BBC,” some LinkedIn idiot figured the story should be banned from LinkedIn too. And in classic overkill I was also barred from posting any messages unless they had been cleared by the forum moderator. This wasn’t the first time innocent people got kicked out of Writers Hangout. So now the writers are trying to decide whether to shift the contest to Facebook or some other venue.

Of course, I can write anything I like on my own blog. So the story I’d submitted to LinkedIn will be my next story here (see above).


Image result for pictures of woodcarvings

I wrote my autobiography recently. But nobody wants to publish it.  Nobody really wanted to read it either, and that’s why the publishers show no interest. A few of my closest friends read it, because they didn’t want me to feel rejected. However, when they read it, they became addicted and couldn’t put it down.

Apparently, people only want to read about celebrities.  But I’m not a celebrity, I’m a woodcarver.  These days, woodcarvers don’t become celebrities. Perhaps they did back in the days when people were building lots of churches, castles and large estates, and when furniture was ornate instead of being functional kits from IKEA.  Today, woodcarvers are as rare as blacksmiths. Most of the items they make can be simulated in plastic materials. Computerized three-dimensional printing may be the final nail in the woodcarver’s coffin.

Of course, there is little hope of me becoming a celebrity and thus creating a market for my biography. These days, celebrities are all wealthy.  They don’t need to have any specific talent—just the good luck to be in the right place at the right time.  At one time, many celebrities were movie stars.  But Hollywood got tired of paying big salaries for actors, so more and more of the TV stars perform in so-called reality shows—such as “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.”  One of those New Jersey housewives is currently serving a one-year jail sentence, and she will be an even bigger celebrity when she gets out. With most of the newer celebrities it is difficult to discern any significant skills or attributes. For example, Kim Kardashian’s major attribute appears to be a big butt. But her father was a wealthy though shady lawyer (he hid OJ’s golf clubs before his trial), thus she had money to spend promoting her large butt.

One way to get my autobiography published might be to turn it into a fictional novel–don’t let the truth obstruct a good story.  A recently released movie named ‘The Woodcarver’ had a fictional script. But the plot was less interesting than my real life story. In the movie, a troubled youth vandalizes a church and winds up in a close association with the woodcarver whose work he destroyed. Then they carve wood together and pray together. It was a so-called “faith based” movie.  Most independent reviewers hated it. They said, “A corny Christian movie…” and “Don’t choke on the message being rammed down your throat…” However, it got high ratings from most viewers–presumably faithful Christians.  So the movie illustrates another way to build high readership—appeal to a captive audience with a specific religious faith or political ideology.

In my story, my mother died in an accident when I was very young.  My father wasn’t around much. He joined the army in WWII, but deserted while in Italy and lived with an Italian girl for a while. After the war, he served a year in jail at Leavenworth.  And when he was around, my father frequently beat me if I annoyed him. I had no brothers and sisters, and other kids weren’t allowed to play with me because I lived next to a remote lighthouse. I got way behind in my school work because of poor eyesight. Then I had to wear horn-rimmed glasses, and kids bullied me. After I dropped out of school, a judge gave me the choice between going to jail and joining the army–which shipped me to Germany.  I got into a lot of fights with other GI’s.  After I returned to the US, I got beaten up by a cop after a false arrest. So many beatings throughout my life caused severe depression when I grew older.

My only self-expression is in my craft. My wood carvings and sign paintings are all over the Northeastern US—from Bar Harbor, Maine, to the Connecticut shore. But with no outlet for my life story, I’m just an anonymous woodcarver.