Saturday, February 18, 2006

An interview with Ken Foster: Lost and Found

There's an interview with me in today's Times-Picayune. You can read it here.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Canada wants to kill this dog


Rocky
Originally uploaded by kfoz.
Officials in Kitchener, Ontario, are chomping at the bit to kill Rocky. He's an eight year old American Staffordshire terrier, and he's in violation of their ban on pit bulls. He's never done anything wrong, and he lives very happily with his owner Tom. You can find a photo of them together here.

Ontario has a ban on pit bulls, even though they haven't quite decided which breeds are included, it apparently gives them the right to pick and choose. Even more outrageous: the decision to kill him was made by the local Humane Society. The decision was delivered to Tom Price's home on February 7th. He is attempting an appeal on March 20th. A petition can be found here: PLEASE SIGN IT AND PASS IT ALONG.

The most absurd thing about all this is that if Rocky were unneutered, he would likely be spared. There is a loophole that allows for pure bred dogs to be saved. But only if they are intact. So by doing the responsible thing, neutering his dog, and keeping it as a pet, Rocky's owner may have sealed the poor dog's fate.

Imagine what might be accomplished if the Humane Society actually spent time cracking down on abuse and encouraging neutering and spaying of the animals instead of putting dogs like Rocky to sleep.

Signing "The Dogs Who Found Me" at Faulkner House this weekend

Zephyr and I will be signing copies of "The Dogs Who Found Me" this Sunday at Faulkner House in the French Quarter from 11am to 2pm. 624 Pirates Alley (near the cathedral).

The first finished copies have arrived and they look great, except for one little thing. Someone revised my bio on the back so that instead of giving an email address to contact me (dogswhofoundme@gmail.com) it directs people to a website: www.dogswhofoundme.com. The trouble is that there is no such website and there were never any plans for a website. I have no idea who decided that this non-existant website would be the best way for people to learn more about me. But I've now registered the domain and will have something up shortly.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Meanwhile, while the New York Times continues to wring their hands over James Frey...

There's a collapsed house in the middle of the street a block away from my house. You have to actually drive around it. It has been there since September, and there is no sign of it ever leaving.

The US Post Office is quietly making plans to discontinue delivery of mail to homes in New Orleans. Permanently. We haven't had regular mail delivery since August--we get it about twice a week--and there's no sign that the PO plans to hire anyone to replace their displaced workers. Here's why: they plan to install suburban mailbox clusters throughout the city and stop delivery to homes altogether. This is the most retarded idea ever. There is no room for boxes on the sidewalk. And it would be a violation of the historic district code. But they are the federal government, and they don't care.

Apparently the police families that have been living on cruise ships since September are going a little stircrazy. Unofficial word is that there is a high rate of domestic violence between couples sharing windowless cabins. And a few days ago the entire ship broke free from the dock and went swirling into the Mississippi.

And thousands and thousands of perfectly reasonable people are talking seriously and openly about the fact that Louisiana should secede from the US, retain the oil rights that have been taken from them, and fix things on their own. It is clear that the rest of the country, particularly those in Washington, don't care.

A Valentine's Day excerpt from The Dogs Who Found Me

You can read about Valentino, the pit bull I found in a truck stop on Valentine's Day a few years ago, in an excerpt in this week's issue of The Gambit. But to get the whole story of what happened to him, you have to buy the book.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Answering the James Frey question

It is time to break my silence. Living in New Orleans, it is sometimes hard to discern what the real important news stories are, so when the James Frey thing broke, I didn't imagine that it would be the most important news story of the century. Even after the fifth or sixth editorial, I kept thinking somehow that the world would move on to something else. But no, today there is this. Because really there's nothing else in the world that might warrant a few more inches of press.

I can understand why the question of truth matters. And I'm limited in my position to comment on A Million Little Pieces because I didn't ever read it. I did read (and review) My Friend Leonard--skeptically--and loved it. What I found moving was the whole desolate mood of the piece, the sense of isolation and loneliness, and the way in which his friend, Leonard, almost seems imaginary for most of the book. And, of course, those pit bulls.

It was the pit bull connection that inspired me to send a copy of my book, The Dogs Who Found Me, to James Frey and ask for a blurb. And, months later, after Oprah anointed him, but before she brought him down, he sent a blurb along. So now I get questions.

Answers to most of these questions:
1. Yes, I do think it is a problem that much of his memoir was invented.
2. No, I don't think the world will end because of it.
3. Yes, I do find it curious that people are so enraged by this incident, but not so much by JT Leroy, who really hoodwinked people and has not come forward with any explanation or apology.

But what I find most curious can't be answered so quickly and that is this:
1. What was Oprah thinking when she asked his publisher "How could you have believed this story?" Hadn't she believed it too?
2. What was Oprah's staff thinking when she blamed them for her support of Frey and later urged Frey to take responsbility for his actions as the first step in healing?
3. What was Nan Talese thinking when she claimed that memoirs aren't non-fiction?
4. What the hell did Warner Brothers mean to suggest when they announced that the planned film of A Million Little Pieces might not be made because it no longer had the integrity they felt they had optioned? Are they known for never altering a story--even a true one--when they bring it to the screen?
5. How is it that Sean McDonald now says that he was misled just as everyone else, when a few months ago he was insisting that he had verified the story was true? In which of these statements is he maybe lying, or perhaps "misremembering"?

Well, now that I've alienated the entire industry, I think I'll shut up.

Still homeless in an Ohio shelter


Sweetness!
Originally uploaded by kfoz.
This is Jambalaya,the little dog I found on the streets in my neighborhood. She was transported to a shelter in Ohio in December and is still listed as available on Petfinder. If you know anyone looking for a great dog...here's her Petfinder page with contact info on how to adopt her.