Just come back from Fantasy convention in Brighton. I’d been nominated for a Best Newcomer award for “Automatic Safe Dog”. Unfortunately no award for the Dog book but I did get to eat a lovely curry with a gang of weirdo writers and ride around Brighton on a sit up and beg bike chasing seagulls.
What I’ll do with a seagull when I catch one I’m not sure. Perhaps seagulls are a bit like homing pigeons and if you catch one you can tie a note above its horny claw and bid it adieu to the blue sky. I would write on my seagull note “Bring more tea.” or “Let me do cartwheels after the gym closes.” or “Books about Dog Furniture are the new literary novel. Wake up John Sutherland and smell the bonemeal.” or “Tell Jonathon Livingstone Seagull to get existentialist on my New Age Ass. ” Somesuch important message.
There have continued to be some good reviews of “Automatic Safe Dog” in the archipelagos of cyberspace. Such as this one from Fright.com
“ Obviously this isn’t your grandmother’s corporate satire. The novel will surely upset just as many readers as it enchants, yet in today’s economy-devouring corporate culture I believe Jet McDonald’s raunchy, surreal and altogether outrageous brand of absurdity is exactly what we need.”
This is what I will write on the haunch of my seagull when I finally catch one. And yet they always fly a finger breadth away , as I ride one handed down to the sea.
I told a story last night. It ended with me biting the sulphur head off a matchstick. The matchstick represented a deposed king, the puppet tyrant of a matchstick army. I gave everyone in the audience their own matchstick to take home, bite the head off and bury deep in the soil. But at the end of the night most matchsticks had been returned unharmed. What’s the matter don’t you like the taste of sulphur?
On Saturday the 26th May I will be performing in an old chip shop in Stroud in a collaboration with Ed Patrick/ Kid Carpet. The show is part of “Stroud Site festival” and we are fantastically lucky to be performing our show, itself based on dual identities, in an old chip shop. We were going to be in a disused railway shed but frankly “The Golden Fish Bar” right in the centre of Strouds shopping area was an opportunity too good to miss. Ed and I have written the show together and it’s packed full of charity shop songs and ideas. We will be performing three shows on the day and each show will be different based on what we’ve found in three Stroud charity shops. Ambitious? Possibly. Crazy. Perhaps. Entertaining. You got ya.
From 11am onwards Saturday 26th May at The Golden Fish Bar 1 London Road, Town Centre, Stroud, GL5 2AA. Look outside the fish bar for show times on the day. (NB the programme says we are in the goods shed but we have changed location to The Golden Fish Bar)
Second Hand Identity
An experimental performance
Saturday 26th May 11am-5pm
Brunel Goods Shed, Stroud GL5 3AP
Ed Patrick (Kid Carpet) and Jet McDonald
collaborate on a new performance
experiment. Second Hand Identity changes
with every show. Charity shops and car
boot sales are gleaned to provide all the
characters and props which are sold,
auctioned or somehow got rid of by the
end of the piece. One performance may
be about Princess Diana and located on a
chessboard, the next could be about
He-Man and set in Skegness. Somehow
the story and songs remain the same.
There’s a review of the “Where are We Going?” Anthology by Eibonvale Press at Warpcore Sf.
Ros Jackson the reviewer referred to my story “Wake with the Light” as ” a characteristic streak of craziness” which I think is positive. (Ros awarded “Automatic Safe Dog” her weirdest book of 2011 award. One of my favourite anthologies of recent years has been the “New Weird” from 2008- so maybe this is something of a trope for me. )
The time has come to blog. So for the one cat that is licking its arse in the corner of a second hand book shop in Aberystwyth (my core readership) this is for you.
Current developments in the velodrome skull of Jet McDonald include the publication of a story called “Wake With The Light” in anthology “Where are we Going” from Eibonvale Press . It’s set in Portsmouth near a concrete edifice that has long fascinated me called “The Hard Interchange”.
Whoever came up with the name “The Hard Interchange” should be knighted by a lexicographer and given a bag of toffee.The phrase sums up for me the whole of human existence and that cat licking its arse in Aberystwyth.
While you ponder these things you can be rest assured the Jet McDonald Corporation (yes the same one making hamburgers and aeroplanes) is working hard on behalf of the rest of your brain. Forthcoming projects include another article for Boneshaker Magazine, an experimental play/ musical / site event in Stroud, and ongoing performances at the monthly Folk Tales night which is touring this year to the “No Direction Home” and “End of the Road” folk festivals.
A short novel called “The Centrally Locked Mothers of America” is being nibbled at by bottom feeding catfish in a basement in Bristol.
Also cast an eye ( long reach back, flip rod over your head and let float in the Frome) for “The Woodlice” . The Woodlice are my “clattery folk pop” band and if you follow the link you can see some brilliant videos made by Finnish violinist and filmaker Virpi Kettu.
That’s it for the it. See you soon on the kerb / page / pixel / Hard Interchange / or in the corner of that bookshop in Aberystwyth.
Jet’s brilliant satire on consumer culture is out now in paper and hardback.
Love-struck minion at Pet Furnishings, Telby Velour, re-brands himself as “a bull in the creative china shop” in order to scale the giddy corporate ranks and impress the beautiful Ravenski Goldbird. Along the way, we gain terrible and terribly funny insights into a world that is a warped reflection of our own: where living animals are made into furniture in the name of fashion and human vanity.
Automatic Safe Dog
Jet McDonald has created a heady brew of volatile cocktail ingredients. Madcap surreal humour blends with vicious parody of the world of work, the vanity of “Creative” types, the torments of unrequited love, animal cruelty and the excesses of consumer society. Not so much a breath of fresh air as a snort of something industrial, read this book and become initiated into a rebellion of the mind that will leave you inspired and laughing with exhilaration
“…Automatic Safe Dog is a crazy story, but it’s madness with a barbed point. It reminds me a little of the film Brazil, although really it’s too unique to compare successfully to other works. Telby Velour is a great character, funny and incompetent and a real chancer, and he captured my imagination from the story’s shocking start to its stunning ending. This is a good read, which I like best for the way it takes aim at corporate leadership, marketing madness, and the easy acceptance of the dictates of people who wear suits, no matter how insane they may be.”
Ros Jackson “Warpcore SF”
“…Jet McDonald has a vivid imagination and he writes witty satire about modern way of life, corporate life and unrequited love. He’s taken a risk with this book, because writing satire is difficult, but he’s managed to write a funny and inventive book, which will appeal to readers who enjoy black and twisted humour. This book reminds me a bit of J. G. Ballard, David Sedaris, Chuck Palahniuk and William Burroughs, but it’s distinctively different from their works.”
Sami Airola “Rising Shadow”