On Eddie Cabbage: The Rhetorical Truth from the Rhetorical Redhead
I dubbed @eddiecabbage” #TheGodfatherOfInstagram” a long time ago as a joke. But soon, our inside joke became quite a fitting name…and so it stuck. I have been fortunate to have Eddie as a friend and colleague for the past eight months, and he has taught me so much about myself, my writing process, the joys and evils of Instagram, and the rapidly-changing writer-world we live in. I’ve witnessed so many other writers praising Eddie for his honesty and Truth-seeking journey, while other writers verbally gang rape him both publicly and behind his back. It’s a funny culture we live in, where immediate gratification is celebrated and constructive criticism is damned; Eddie holds no shame in calling writers out when plagiarizing or proving “two-faced”–in short, he holds the Instagram writing community accountable. And honestly, you can’t argue with his logic. I’ve noted that most people who hate and/or verbally bash Eddie just don’t “get it.” And by “it,” I mean The Big Picture. Sure, earlier on in our friendship I questioned if I should be backing this unfiltered, no-muss no-fuss, fearless, outwardly raw, and brutally honest writer. Sometimes his blunt nature shocked me and/or made me feel uncomfortable…but he was always right. His intentions were always pure and his points were always valid. So when I questioned his motives or his actions, I found him guilty of nothing other than being truthful and open in a society that thrives off manipulative personas and false/instant success.
Out of all the #WritersOfInstagram, (or any writer I have met thus far) I have yet to see someone doing what Eddie does–he writes EVERY DAY. No, not just sitting at his desk and drinking and typing by his lonesome and posting–anyone can do that. This man takes his typewriter and desk out into the streets of Asheville and writes #PoetryOnDemand on the spot for real people, sometimes dozens of people…he goes to events and bars and businesses and types and types and types. And makes BANK because he’s GOOD. He pays his bills with improv poetry. That’s it. No other income. He’s a genuine busker and poet. Those who criticize him for his lifestyle and his candid poetry…I don’t know, it blows my mind to see how many people can point fingers and criticize someone for doing what we all wish we could do with our writing. Jealousy? Sure, I can see that. But spite? Hatred? WHY? Listen, if his words make you uncomfortable or you find yourself getting defensive, chances are you’re guilty of the very thing he is “calling out” in his prose. Check yourself. He never looks to pick a fight or publicly humiliate people (though it may seem that way), but rather, he simply holds people accountable for their questionable character or for their offense to writing/literature. He’ll be the first to admit he’s a straight-up asshole. He knows this, because he believes in nothing but the Truth. Always.
This man wakes up, bleeds at his typewriter for 12-24 hours, sleeps, and wakes up to do it all over again. His life experience is unparalleled…take a moment to converse with him and, lordy, the stories he will tell you. He’ll probably hate me for divulging that he’s really a big, fluffy teddy bear with a soft heart under his writer exterior. *squeeze* I’ve made and lost dozens of online writer “friends”…but he is the only one that has stood the test of time. His friendship is priceless to me, and his words are a beacon for all writers who seek to go about this lifestyle, this career, the RIGHT way. His morals and ethics surrounding his writing are flawless–they cannot be argued. He believes in building an organic following, in ignoring the numbers while still being intentional with your audience, in writing your own experiences rather than carbon-copying someone else’s, in being genuine with yourself, in taking risks, in connecting with the real people around you especially in your community, in supporting other artists (not just writers), and in committing yourself wholly and passionately to the one thing that drives you. Simply put–I respect and admire this man. And even though he can be rough around the edges at times, and *knows* how to ruffle my feathers and rouse my temper, I will always support him because he is one of the only people whom I truly look up to as a writer (who’s not dead). Cheers, Eddie. For you, my typewriters will always bleed and ding Chaos and Truth.
(Eddie Cabbage now works solely through his website on WordPress, http://eddiecabbage.wordpress.com/. He continues to type Poetry On Demand, and is looking to begin working on short pieces of non-fiction which will be available for viewing on his blog. He continues to manage an Etsy Shop, where you can find his original poetry for sale, as well as request a custom poem, if you wish.)