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Chatting with author Neal Pollack
wigglesatire: Where's Neal?
Neal Pollack: Right here.
Administrator: Welcome to the latimes.com chat with Neal Pollack!
Neal Pollack: How may I be of service?
Administrator: Can you tell us about your panel appearance this afternoon?
Neal Pollack: Sure. I'm going to be on panel about "humor and attitude" in memoir writing.
Neal Pollack: It's going to be a crazy sex party.
LAreader: Are you going to be involved in the film?
Neal Pollack: So you should all come. So to speak.
Eric: i'm there!
Neal Pollack: The film. Well, I wrote a version of the screenplay...
Neal Pollack: For which i was paid. And that version was then discarded.
Neal Pollack: But they have a hilarious writer, Dana Gould, on the project now...
LAreader: What's the worst magazine you've ever written for?
wigglesatire: Do you have any bad feelings about that?
Neal Pollack: So I'm optimistic about Alternadad: The Motion Picture.
Neal Pollack: Not at all. That's part of the game.
Neal Pollack: As for the worst magazine for which I've ever written, well, The New Yorker is just a huge pile of crap.
Neal Pollack: Actually, I've never written for The New Yorker. But I assume that it would be a tremendously unpleasant experience.
Eric: how is chicago noir different from la noir?
Eric: finally! how refreshing! the new yorker really is wretched
Neal Pollack: Now then, back to the movie: Dana Gould is one of the funniest persons on the planet, so I feel good about the whole project...
Neal Pollack: He's writing it as a Martin Lawrence vehicle.
wigglesatire: Cool. Who else will be in it?
Neal Pollack: Chicago Noir is a little more "literary" than LA Noir. But they're both great books.
timesbooth1: So muc paenting stuff out there now -- books, blogs, magazine columns -- is for and by moms. How has your daddy's perspective been received?
Neal Pollack: The Akashic Noir series is great because each book really reflects the character of the city in which it takes place.
Neal Pollack: The LA book is full of greedy bastards.
Neal Pollack: Times, I feel like my "daddy" perspective has been received relatively well.
Neal Pollack: I have a lot of mom readers.
LAreader: What do you think about the state of satire? Are things better today than they were in the past?
Neal Pollack: The roles of father and mother are losing their distinction. Increasingly, we're all just parents.
Neal Pollack: The whole idea of "parenting" is crazy to me. My parents didn't "parent". They just threw us in the back of the station wagon and took us to Shakey's.
Neal Pollack: The state of satire is excellent. The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, 30 Rock, Hot Fuzz...
Neal Pollack: To name just a few examples.
Eric: What makes a book easily adaptable to the big screen? When you're writing, do you ever think about how a scene might appear on film?
LAreader: Are you any relation of the painter?
Neal Pollack: For the "written" word, you have the Onion, and onward. It's a lively time. Satire thrives in apocalyptic times.
Neal Pollack: LA Reader, I am no relation.
Neal Pollack: Eric, as for adapting to the big screen, I do sometimes try to write dialogue as I think it might actually be spoken. That's a radical concept, I know.
Administrator: How old is your son Elijah now? What are his current interests?
Neal Pollack: I need to work on story structure. That Robert McKee book gives me a headache.
LAreader: Who -- beside you -- is the greatest living satirist?
Neal Pollack: Elijah is four and a half. Right now, he's interested in superheroes and animals eating other animals.
Neal Pollack: And animals eating superheroes.
Administrator: What superheroes and what animals?
Neal Pollack: Well, he has an imaginary world of superheroes. I call it the Elijahverse.
Eric: where are you from in arizona?
Eric: did you hate it there?
Neal Pollack: The heroes and villains are too vast to even mention.
Neal Pollack: As for animals, he likes a Youtube video of a lion devouring a wildebeest. There's also one of a jaguar killing an anaconda. And an octopus eating a shark. It's like the NCAA tournament of predatory behavior in our house.
Neal Pollack: I grew up in Paradise Valley, Arizona, which is a suburb of SCOTTSDALE, for god's sake.
Neal Pollack: So I didn't exactly know privation.
Administrator: How much of an effect does the city you're in affect what you're writing? You lived in Austin for a while, right?
Neal Pollack: My family is so Jewish, though, I might as well have been growing up in Jersey.
Neal Pollack: We never went hiking, but we ate a lot of lox.
Neal Pollack: I hated it at the time, but in retrospect, I appreciate the comfort, particularly since I haven't lived in a "safe" neighborhood since 1988.
Neal Pollack: City affecting my writing. Well, it mostly has to do with the availability and quality of marijuana than anything else.
Neal Pollack: My writing really suffered in Philly.
Administrator: Ever live in Vancouver?
Neal Pollack: Was decent in Chicago, good in Austin, and is freaking GREAT here in L.A.
Eric: Philly is wretched
Neal Pollack: No, but I visited Vancouver last summer.
Neal Pollack: It's the most beautiful city in the world, and has one of the most wretched skid rows that I've ever seen.
wigglesatire: What do you mean by "safe?"
Neal Pollack: I bought a "pipe" from a guy who'd lost his right hand in a boiler explosion.
Neal Pollack: As for "safe," I mean a neighborhood where I can walk with my kid without us getting attacked by scary dogs or hit by runaway windowless vans.
Neal Pollack: Time to stop living in "transitional" neighborhoods.
Eric: what is it about LA that makes your writing freaking great?
Neal Pollack: Here I go, complaining about money again.
Neal Pollack: I was sort of joking, but LA is an inspiring place for a writer. You never know who's gonna be behind the door when it opens.
Neal Pollack: Also, there are people who pay you money to write here. That's news to me.
Eric: yes, the hollywood money spigot.
Administrator: Can you define "rock and roll novel"??
Administrator: Are there others out there? Or just yours?
Neal Pollack: Yes. It's a novel about rock and roll.
Neal Pollack: But I also write Never Mind The Pollacks in the spirit of a great punk album.
Neal Pollack: Fast and dumb.
Neal Pollack: Full of poop jokes and mindless screwing.
Neal Pollack: Just like my life.
Neal Pollack: Most rock books try too hard to be "literary."
Administrator: Have you read any of the 33 1/3 books?
Neal Pollack: I read the one by Sean Nelson...
Administrator: Thank you for joining us for Neal Pollack's chat! And thank you, Neal!
timesbooth1: Thanks fo supporting
Neal Pollack: My pleasure!