D. A. Blyler
D.A. (David Alan) Blyler (born July 13, 1967) is the author of the expatriate novel Steffi's Club (BurnhillWolf, 2003) and two published works of poetry, Shared Solitude and Diary of a Seducer (a collaboration with painter and filmmaker Marcus Reichert). A political and cultural satirist, he has written for many international and online publications, including Bangkok’s The Nation, The Korean Herald, Democratic Underground, and 3:AM Magazine. His essay "The 7 Vices of Highly Creative People" is among the most widely read pieces ever published by Salon.com.
The Jaded Generation
Blyler is among a new generation of expat writers, which the author labeled The Jaded Generation. Described by the Midwest Book Review as a generation of "thirty-somethings who have fallen through the cracks of parental, academic, and worldly expectations," this group is given voice in Blyler's debut novel, Steffi's Club, set in the subterranean streets of Plzeň, Czech Republic, several years after the Velvet Revolution and the fall of Communism. In a 2003 interview with Dave Reidy, Blyler talked about the role that music played in forming the psychology of this generation born on the cusp of the Baby Boom and X Generations (1964–69):
Music plays a hugely important role in the psychological development of many, if not most, people. This is especially true of thirty-somethings, who in the 1970s were the last generation to grow up listening to music by pressing tiny AM boxes against their ears. These transistor radios were an intimate and almost secretive way for a child to be initiated into the adult world of popular music. And when such songs are characterized by highly sentimental depictions of tragic love affairs and early deaths ("Fire and Rain," "Billy Don't Be a Hero," "Run Joey Run," etc.), and enveloped in catchy, easily remembered lyrics, it has long lasting resonance. In Steffi's Club I tried to intimate this ripple effect on the psyche, especially as it pertains to the main character Daniel Fischer. I'm quite certain that he isn't the only one who memorized all the lyrics to "Seasons in the Sun" as a seven or eight-year old in the early 70s and thought that he or she too would die young.
In August 2004 Blyler launched the op-ed column "American Abroad" at The Raw Story. The column's mixture of biting humor and informed analysis of the Bush administration and American culture quickly established Blyler as a weekly must-read among many young liberals and progressives in the run-up to the presidential elections. Shortly after the victory of George W. Bush Blyler retired the column, acknowledging that he'd been wrong and that Bush was the greatest politician and artist of his time:
Unlike dreary politicians who never soar above the level of misrepresentation (and actually condescend to argue, prove, and discuss), W flaunts the temper of a true liar, with his frank, fearless statements, his superb irresponsibility, his healthy, natural disdain for proof of any kind…Weapons of Mass Destruction? Who cares! Osama Bin Laden? Not my concern, anymore! Budget Deficits? No big deal! New York Times Report? Don’t read newspapers! Protect the Borders? Manana, Manana! How damn refreshing! Only artistic genius like W could have realized how unhealthy a thing like thinking is to the average "red" blooded American, who eschews prickly thoughts as the bulwark of their happiness.
In August 2005, Blyler appeared again at The Raw Story to offer an answer to a literary mystery surrounding the death of Gonzo writer Hunter S. Thompson. Before committing suicide, Thompson had typed the single word "Counselor" in the center of a blank page. Prior the publication of Blyler's essasy, journalists and friends of the author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas expressed confusion as to the word's meaning, comparing it to the mysterious "Rosebud" of Citizen Kane. Citing the strong, and often overlooked, influence that the Bible had on Thompson's work, Blyler argued that "counselor" referred to the 14th chapter of the Gospel of John:
“16 And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you.”
A professional educator, as well as a writer, D.A. Blyler left the United States in 1997, after attending graduate school at Appalachian State University. He taught writing at the University of West Bohemia in the Czech Republic from 1998–2000 before eventually moving to Thailand to teach at Rajabhat Rajanagarindra University in the provincial capital of Chachoengsao. Blyler later moved to Sakon Nakhon to become a faculty member of Kasetsart University, where he began writing a comprehensive "thinking skills" textbook for Thais. In 2007, he developed the reading content and test material for SpeedBook, an advanced reading and learning system used by students across South Korea.
In 2006, Blyler designed and built a plantation compound in the Isaan province of Sakon Nakhon, where he lives today with his wife and two daughters. Today, he works as an education and business consultant, and a freelance writer. He is a regular contributor to Solitaire Pro, Asia's leading luxury trade magazine for fine watches and jewelry. Blyler is also co-founder of TMD Communications Ltd., a Bangkok marketing and communications agency that employs a narrative-based branding method to introduce Southeast Asian companies to Western markets.
- The 7 Vices of Highly Creative People at Salon.com
- W's Renaissance at Rawstory.com
- Hunter S. Thompson's Counselor at Rawstory.com
- Website for TMD Communications Ltd.