A Teenage Suicide – Ebook and print on demand – Oct 4th, 2013

Latest

20 (real) pictures from Montreal…

Please forgive me for this will come out as cynical… but I am a bit fed up with all the “ohhhh, Montreal is so cool” articles, blog posts and such. Don’t get me wrong, I love this city and I wouldn’t live elsewhere, but all that “patting ourselves in the back” over how supposedly great our city is completely overshadows the urban reality we live day an night.

*quick add… this is probably why y’all “pat yourselves in the back caus we’re so cool crowd” keeps fucking LOSING ELECTIONS!!! I’m talking to you Project Montréal et Québec Solidaire*

(all pictures from google street view)

First, what about the FINE state of our infrastructure

great infrastructure

And of course, bridges you just can’t wait to get under.

 

bridges you just can't wait to get under

 

But don’t worry because we’re, getting to it thanks to our FINE engineering and efficient management. (almost a decade now)

almost a decade now

 

You can always apply for a job in one of our many factories (sorry, closed)…

economic decline

 

A demonstration of Montreal’s strong economy

Montreal'S healty economy

 

And the beautiful heritage it has left us

city incinerator

 

Because we just have THAT many good jobs to throw away…

Cause we have THAT many good jobs to lose...

 

If you are new to Canada, you can always enjoy luxurious housing at affordable prices in one of the city’s signature establishments.

living the canadian dream

 

because we don’t have “hoods” in Canada…

pie-9

 

Or projects

frontenac

 

Na-Ah!

we don't have projects in Montreal

 

Alright! alright! Maybe one or two in the East end. (modern playground included with rent)

east-end hood

 

But don’t worry, we keep the poor and the rich separated here.

the fence between the rich and the poor

If public housing is not your cup of tee, feel free to squat.

no vacant spaces

 

Or spend your life savings on Montreal’s new delightful architecture

pointe-aux

 

If you immigrate to Montreal, you’ll get to chose between a telemarketing job or an illegal garment sweatshop.

chabanel

But don’t worry, your kids will be able to attend schools with very low dropout rates.

very low drop out rates...

That are beautifully located (James Lyng, that’s the Turcot exchange in the background)

beautifully located public schools (that's Turcot exchange in front of James Lyng)

And then rent rooms within walking distance of Loyola College.

lodgings withing walking distance of Loyola College

I know this all looks bad, but don’t worry, you’ll get to pick whichever Church you want to pray to while getting your car washed.

pick a church (and a carwash)

 

Take all of this with a grain of salt, but will you all cut the “oh, montreal is so great because of all the festivals” bullshit.

 

Take care,

 

Ian

Why I Wrote A Teenage Suicide

Why I Wrote A Teenage Suicide

I wrote A Teenage Suicide for various reasons. First and foremost, it was a story that was just in me and I had to get it how somehow. I don’t think there’s any other way to write something. It has to be in you and harass you until it’s out on the page. It’s not that I intended ATS to be my story per say but I wanted it to be about where I was from, about how teens (and young adults) feel growing up from my perspective.

I also wanted to address this issue that is teenage suicide but I didn’t want to sound like a research paper, you know like, “Deconstructing perception bias inherent to the sociological analysis of self-inflicted mortality among young males in the North American context: a case study in five steps based on the Frankfurt school of though.”

I had to read these kids of papers during college and I don’t see how they could reach their supposed target audience. It’s not that I want to insult anyone’s intelligence (mine included) but I’m guessing you had to read the sentence three times for it to make sense. I didn’t want to do something like that.

On the other hand, I didn’t want to “cash in” on a sensitive issue by writing a “controversial” novel. It was difficult and I struggled at first to find a way to tell this story that was meaningful and compelling, yet respectful of the difficult situation(s) the novel portrays. The only way I found to do that was to be as realistic as possible.

The situations, places, names and locations of A Teenage Suicide are all real, all the bands I mention exist or have existed. L’x was a true venue (it since closed/moved). The colleges the kids visit and the administrative procedures they have to go through are real. The factory in L’Assomption is in fact closing down and the student riots in Montreal were as good/bad as they sound in the novel.

The dialogues are also as truthful as possible. I didn’t want to preach to people either. I wanted the characters to have a voice real people could relate to and that implies contradictions, confusion, uncertainties, good intentions, bad ideas and (sometimes) ill-conceived hatred towards adults or authority. I think (especially since I’m a father myself) that we, as adults, forget incredibly quickly how teenagers and young adults think, act, feel, love, care and don’t care about life. I wanted those aspects to be as truthful as possible.

As with most things I’ve written so far, I tried to avoid moral judgements. I didn’t want to single out one factor or one person. I think a lot of people expected ATS to be a story around abusive parents, cyber bullying or a combination of modern ills. I think a lot of people would rather read a story about an extreme situation rather than to look at the overall flaws of our societies and the problems of our daily lives. One of my hopes for the novel is to bring a new light on these issues.

When I was growing up, I thought about suicide many times and for certain periods of time, it was all I could think about. I never did kill myself (obviously) and later in life I realized that I was thinking about death a lot, but I wasn’t thinking about dying, which is also one thing I wanted to explore/explain.

When I was younger, I wanted to understand why people, cultures, societies, states… did the things they did. I turned to political science, philosophy and literature and that took a lot of maturity we can’t expect all 15, 16 or 17 years old to have. If ATS could become a reference to a younger generation, to give them some sort of direction they’re not getting elsewhere, then my job would be done and I would be a happy man,

Because I believe that being young and confused is no longer tolerated by our societies, it’s looked down upon by generations of adults who are quick to label this confusion as “being spoiled.” It’s like we expect a 16 year old kid to know EXACTLY what he or she will want to do for the next 70 years of their life. Often we expect even younger kids to know what they want to do in life.

Just here in Quebec, for example, you have to decide in 9th grade if you are going to take advanced math, biology and physics. The classes are not necessarily that hard, the issue to me is that you have to pick in 9th grade. Those advanced classes are mandatory to get into science-preparatory in CEGEP (some sort of community college/preparatory school everyone in QC goes through if you want to get to university.) and then you need the science-prep if you want to go into medicine, science, physics, computers or engineering.

So you have to know in 9th grade if you want to be a fucking nuclear physicist, otherwise you have to get extended credits, re-take classes or take additional classes before you can get in, which will make you “late” in comparison with the other students your age and only adds a freaking load of social pressure most kids could do without.

It’s gotten so bad that I fear that we, as a generation (I’m talking millennials here) have internalized that social pressure and as I/we get older, we have to either live with them or battle them through most of our projects. Like “how will this project relate to things I’ve done before and will it show continuity or confusion and nobody will hire/work with me anymore.”

(I’m sorry. I feel that I might be going down a slope here, and I do try to avoid the whole “generational debate” but I’ve been reading too many “millennial bashing” articles lately not to address it.)

I hope A Teenage Suicide can act as a credible example of millennial upbringing and goals. I think this transpires in the way I address the issues. I try to show paths rather than “solutions.” I don’t think there’s a single solution to a problem such as teenage suicides. I can only trust in the spirit of youth. I can only trust that if you teach people how to be aware/self-aware and independent, they’ll survive anything. I also don’t think there’s a simple solution to relationships and human interaction. There are numerous types of relationships in ATS and all of them are complex, all of them are valid and I think it’s a beautiful thing.

Now, about the suicide itself. I didn’t want to write it. I didn’t want it to be graphic. I didn’t need that. I felt I needed to show the emotional turmoil that surrounded it, but I didn’t deem necessary to describe the actual death or the body and such. I think that using gore in the context of the novel would have had the opposite effect I wanted to achieve. I don’t think you can convince depressed kids that death is not the option by “scaring” them into not committing suicide. My goals were better served by not showing it graphically while addressing both the roots of the tragedy and the emotional toll on the community and friends.

When I really think about it, the novel doesn’t speak about suicide all that much. It is a central point, a pivot around which the story evolves. It’s definitely not a beginning or an end. It was more important to show these teenager’s realities and the reality is that if you live in or near a large city, your kids will end up in bars, clubs, shows, streets and situations that you (as a parent) are not aware of. There’s also nothing you can do about it. Kids will fuck up and kids will learn.

Every situation I describe in the novel is either something I’ve lived and known or that friends around me have lived. It’s not always bad and it’s not always good. When you’re young, I don’t believe you really think about good or bad all that much: you’re still learning.

I wanted to “allow” these kids to fuck up and that’s why A Teenage Suicide is very much a “coming of age” story that remains completely different from most of the best seller list these days. It addresses the good and the bad realistically, it has its romantic sparks and it’s not so glorious moment. I wanted it to be about kids making decisions and kids making mistakes and I like to think I’ve achieved that.

I could go on for a while but I’m going to force myself to stop here. It’s probably enough to process already.

Thanks for reading.

Take care,

Ian

blogtours probably aren’t worth your time… (a salvaged interview with Ian Truman)

Here’s an interview I did for a book blog that’s probably got zero hits a few months back. I’m not even gonna talk about the online book tour and how it went (it was bad)

 

anyhow, I hate to work for nothing, so I’m reposting the interview here.

 

What book genre of books do you adore?
I like all things noir, a bit of sci-fi, but smart sci-fi. I love graphic novels a lot but don’t read that much “comics”. DMZ is the perfect example of things I like as far as graphic novels go.
What book should everybody read at least once?
I can only sum up three of them.Thucydides – On Justice, Power, and Human Nature: The Essence of Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War.
Daniel Guérin – No gods, no masters: an anthology of anarchism.
We owe you nothing: The punk planet collected interviews.
The first one is to understand the world we live in. The second is to learn how to change it and the third one is to see it in motion.
Is there any books you really don’t enjoy?
All things Christian. I can’t do it. I believe in spirituality even though I’m a Catholic-turned-Atheist, but I hate organized religion. I hate it.
I read the Bhagavad Gita, only felt like half of it made sense.
I read Thich Nhat Hanh’s Heart of Buddha’s teachings and It made perfect sense to me. Christianity just doesn’t make any sense at all to me. Even a liberal interpretation of the bible doesn’t compute with me. I could argue about this for a long, long time, (we’d probably be here at the end of the week) but suffice to say that “Christian romance” as a category is probably as far from what I do as you can get.
What do you hope your obituary will say about you?
“He leaves behind him his daughter and two grandchildren.”
Just two. Maybe even only one. There’s plenty of people living on this rock, we need to make sure the one(s) we’ve got have everything they need and that we don’t fuck up the planet even more for the kids they’ll get.
Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?
I grew up in two places basically: the East end of Montreal and a suburb east of the island. Of course, like most young men my age, I moved back the the east end of Montreal as soon as I was old enough, but that didn’t happen until I was done with high school.
Both are working class places, pretty nice places too if you ask me. It’s not like there’s a crime epidemic there, people are not rich as in Connecticut rich, or Outremont rich. But everybody gets that they need as long as you have a work ethic and don’t spend too much on booze.
My Hochelaga years have been rougher though. There’s definitely more crime and poverty in Hochelaga, fights with Nazis, dealing with pusher and hookers and junkies. But I was a 21 years old guy, so it’s ok I guess. If I had to compare so readers can get a sense of what Hochelaga is, I’d say it’s probably like Dorchester in Boston, you know, that poor Catholic neighbourhood. Tough but not that tough. (Not like, say Detroit) And now Hochelaga’s been gentrified with hundreds of condos being built on every piece of available land there is. But to me it’s still a shitty place. I lived there when it was shitty and “I gave enough.”
I moved out of there when I met my wife, we manage (luckily) to score a place in Rosemont (a higher-middle class neighbourhood) for a price we can afford. A friend of mine just gave us her rent-controlled apartment when she moved in with her boyfriend. So we’re still paying early-2000’s rent, not the $1200 a month they could charge now. We’re thankful to her, otherwise there’s no way we could have afforded it.
I mean, I can leave my door unlocked and go to the corner store. How fucking rare is that?
How did you develop your writing?
University. I used to think I could write, but then I went to university and learned that I couldn’t write at all. And so I learned how to do it right and I got a diploma out of it. A diploma helps a lot to get a job in this day and age. And think about it, if education wasn’t important, why would they be trying to charge so much for it?
(On a quick note, some of the segments of A Teenage Suicide deal with the riots and the history strike against tuitions hikes here in Quebec. – End of parenthesis.)
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Everyday life and “regular” people. I have two types of work I like to do. Everything I’ve published so far is purely realistic. The Factory Line, Low Down and now A Teenage Suicide all portray a time and a place in a realist way.
These days I’d like to try and venture in more imaginary worlds. I like graphic novels and I’d love to do one someday.
Arts in general is inspiring, mostly street art, graffiti, tattoo art and some (some) contemporary art. I’ve been fucking around with “classic” modern art lately (say 20’s to 60’s), trying stuff like neo-constructivism and the such. Moving around in different circles helps keep the creativity going.
Music is always important. I play drums in a metal band but I listen to the softest music you could imagine. I mean, I listen to a lot different music, most of it in the “rock” category at large (from post-rock to trash metal and everything in between: folk, punk, indie, noise, doom…) but also some instrumental hip hop. I like atmospheric music in general. The lyrics get in the way of my mind. Sometimes lyrics helps, but most of the times they get in the way.
A few bands that keep coming up when I write : Mogwai, Irons (and pretty much everything Jacob Bannon is involved with), Neurosis for metal There’s this band called Bossk I really dig these days. Also, some Godspeed You Black Emperor! Is good. For folk it would be Red Clay River, Elliot Smith or Tim Barry. Punk I like Dropkick Murphys, Social Distortion or some really angry stuff if I need it for a scene (like the Casualties maybe) for hip-hop it’s things like The RZA, Sage Francis, Immortal Technique, Dr. Doom…
But in general, Mogwai does the job.

Nothing Means Anything

X

 

We live from glorious moment to glorious moment.

From one achievement to the next.

No matter how small, how trivial.

We live by it, abide by it.

We break down at the sight of other people’s success,

We gloat at our own miniscule creations

and then we fade

with their fading glory.

 

We relentlessly fight our way back into the dimmest of spotlight

Like weeds in the shade of tall oaks.

We are desperate for sun.

We are biting our own tails.

Run in circles,

Climb up Jacob’s ladder.
So easy would our memory be erased.

So easily because we don’t build to last anymore.

We forgot how to.

 

We forgot the touch of the

wood

And the clay

And the steel.

 

Those who didn’t are feeling the diminishing return with greater pain.

 

We no longer know how to build a house, cook or grow food.

We are scared of trying anything ourselves,

Repairing anything ourselves.

We have been accustomed to this by waves and waves of

“Anti-materialistic values”of

“Anti-consumerism” of

“Staying free and not settling down.”

 

So we hire,

We rent,

Ready-made

And pre-package our entire lives.

 

We no longer settle to build,

We want to feel

And act

And go away at a moment’s notice.
In the middle of it all,

Our entire generation’s production

Will be dilapidated into

Wine and bandwidth.

 

Simple as that.

 

We will be left with nothing to show for

But the thousands of pictures of menial,

Meaningless acts of petty creativity,

Poor life-choices

And sub-par achievements

Erected as virtual monuments

 

But only for a handful of seconds

As the screen resets itself

And algorithms fail to kick in

Before the tides and tires

Of virtually meaningless achievements

Overcome our own.

 

I myself am not above such contradictions.

But if nothing means anything…

Then perhaps there is meaning in that as well.

The Quebec Spring

The Quebec Spring

 

Sleep

Fuck

Eat

Coffee

Bus

Coffee

No work

Punk rock

Write

Facebook

And others

Wastes of time

 

Christians

Muslims

Jews and

Charters

Language police

And Syrian civil war

On facebook

 

Eat

Sleep

Read

Layoffs

Cold snaps

No cash

Roads about to

Collapse

 

Coffee

Coffee

Coffee

Ups

Puro

Canada post

Fed ex

Canpar

Randmar

Ingram

Synnex

Apple

 

Piss

And turn to

Hardcore

Fuck The World

Coffee

Breaks

and “Fuck it fridays”

 

Joliette/Bus

St-Joseph stop

And pick the

Kid

At
School

Cook some

Food

Dishes and

Story telling

Then

Bored and

Boring

TV series

In series

 

Sleepy now

Piss

Shit

Brush my teeth

Tuck her in

Time to sleep

And repeat

Disfigured – Fuck God is DONE!

That’s right,

Disfigured - Fuck God web 5The EP is ready, so you go here :

www.disfigured.bandcamp.com

And listen to it (If, of course, you’re into trash-metal-hardcore and all things heavy or ungodly.)

Take care,

Ian

The Seven Universal Laws of Children.

The first three Universal Laws of Children define when a child will get up early.

1-      Your kid will always get up at five in the morning when you decided it was ok to go to bed after 11 the day before.

2-      Your kid will always get up at five in the morning if you were sick the night before.

3-      Your kid will always get up at five in the morning if you hoped to have sex that very same morning.

Inversely, the next three laws define when your child will get up late.

4-       Your kid will always get up late the morning you forgot to put on the alarm, thus making you late for work.

5-      Your kid will always get up late in the morning if you had something great planned for that very morning. (Sledding, the zoo, pancakes…)

6-      Your kid will always get up late if you hoped to give her a bath in the morning because she said she was too tired for one last night.

The Seventh universal law defines the only time your kid will ever get up when you want her to get up.

7-      Your kid will get up on time if, an only if, it is a fucking Tuesday and you went to bet at 9h30pm the “night” before after watching half (and only half) a shitty movie on Netflix. (thus, making your life a sad, sad little thing in the meantime.)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 83 other followers