Friday, January 30, 2009

Unless & Until Update - MAJOR

For all who have expressed interest in the Unless and Until project, there is now an information website that will be updated as the different portions come into being. At this point, all of Volume One - paintings, text, and music - are available for your delectation! Volume Two will probably be completed within a month or so. Keep checking, and I will post updates here!


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Twittered MASH Season 1

MASH1,1 Combat surgeons raffle weekend in Tokyo with dishy nurse to raise money for their house boy to go to US college. Chaplain wins!-

MASH1,2 The docs make a deal with local black market boss: Henry’s antique desk for stolen Hydrocortisone. Chopper flies desk away!-

MASH1,3 Trapper must box ringer to keep nurse from transfer. Docs fix match with ether-soaked glove. Ringer passes out atop Frank&Hotlips.-

MASH1,4 Hawkeye made chief surgeon, sour grape Frank goes to General. General learns 4077th is fine, Hawkeye the best, despite hijinks.-

MASH1,5 Sergeant keeps girl as a possession. Hawkeye eventually cheats at cards to win and free her, and she resists independence.-

MASH1,6 Hawkeye prevents propaganda documentary of 4077th, reshoots it with Groucho mustache, realism, & includes gory wounds and death.-

MASH1,7 Hawkeye wants R&R, acts crazy. Shrink says 2 wks obs. Docs tell shrink “Hotlips wants you.” Shrink attacks her & is sent away.-

MASH1,8 Chopper pilot w/minor wound tries to kill Henry for not sending him home. Docs save Henry by telling of letter from pilot's wife.-

MASH1,9 Henry gets citation, transfer. Frank in charge & out of control. Radar fakes ill. Seeing Frank-in-action convinces Henry to stay.-

MASH1,10 A rash of thefts leads to a poignant reveal that Ho Jon wanted cash to bring his family from the North.-

MASH1,11 The docs secretly siphon Frank’s blood for a N. Korean casualty, then learn Frank must have Hepatitis. Hepatitis hijink hilarity!-

MASH1,12 Being stationed on foreign soil in a “police action” is never more charming than in Hawkeye’s Christmas letter home to Dad.-

MASH1,13 When the nurses pull a Lysistrata to get Nurse Eddie some action, the men draw straws, and Hawkeye endures his “win.”-

MASH1,14 Radar gets dumped by his girl. Docs engineer new romance, keep Hotlips from meddling and coach him on music/poetry.-

MASH1,15 The docs’ fake doc helps orphans with his pay and medicine. When a General arrives to honor him, he “dies” most tragically.-

MASH1,16 The docs, with Radar’s help, use alcohol, hijinks, and naughtiness to keep a high-casualty-rate colonel from the front lines.-

MASH1,17 Ron Howard symbolizes all GIs who should get purple hearts & be sent back home, Frank doesn’t. Hawkeye’s pal dies under knife.-

MASH1,18 Dear Dad, Again. Business as usually. Hawkeye getting naked on a bet, Frank in the doghouse. But- Radar cheating on a test?!-

MASH1,19 All covet Hawkeye’s new longjohns during a coldspell, and everybody has them briefly.-

MASH1,20 TV of Army/Navy game disrupted by unexploded shell. How does one defuse a large shell that is actually full of CIA pamphlets?-

MASH1,21 When patient ails, Hawkeye is self-doubting and sulky. 2nd surgery proves 1st had been extra tricky, even Frank thinks so.-

MASH1,22 Docs actually have to scheme to KEEP Frank & Hotlips, & resort to the old “make someone think there’s buried treasure” ploy.-

MASH1,23 Leaked word of a cease-fire leads to misplaced generosity & Hawkeye pretending to be married. No cease-fire = short party.-

MASH1,24 USO in camp, everything's topsy turvy. By the end, Henry’s wife has a boy, Trapper & Chaplain save patient, & Frank gets to prank.

Hey! I was linked!

I couldn't be more tickled. Hello, folks from Play and Prophet, and your blog "Think About It Harder" - I am all in favor of thinking, though I lean toward thinking with just exactly the right amount of pressure. Thinking harder is not always thinking more effectively. Or else that's just me being a smartass, which happens sometimes. But I love the Shakespeare twitters, and I love that someone liked them enough to link.

Regardless - Thank you for the track-back! If I weren't sick, I would probably look into trying to get a job with you guys. If it were easier to figure out who put the link up, I would offer that person a free copy of Tiny Bedtime Stories.

In other news, an Unless and Until website is in the works, not live yet, but it will be soon. Expect an announcement here!

It turns out I was also linked by Coudal Partners, as @ceebee very neighborlily pointed out! Oh, the occasional failures of Google Alert to tell me everything ...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

All the Twittered Best Picture Synopses

1928: Fighter pilots become friends despite rivalry over hometown beauty. One mistakenly kills the other, then finds love w/ girl next door.-

1929: A basic love triangle plot set backstage on Broadway is enlivened by songs and dances.-

1930: Patriotic recruits lose enthusiasm as they learn war is terrible & it is difficult to avoid death or dismemberment. They die.-

1931: Intellectually driven Wild-West hero & his fiery wife champion enlightened views & the growth of capitalism in a growing new town.-

1932: A flexible plot device allows all kinds of things happen in a Grand Hotel where people played by big stars happen to be staying.-

1933: Rich Londoners share their view of 30-odd years of world events.-

1934: Heiress marries unsuitably, has many adventures prior to consummation of marriage, then marries even more unsuitably.-

1935: Oppressed and enraged by naval discipline, sailors mutiny and seek paradise by settling on a tropical island.-

1936: Florenz Ziegfeld produced some great shows, and some examples of his brilliance are presented.-

1937: Emile Zola was friends with Cezanne and a public voice for justice during the Dreyfus affair. He also wrote some novels.-

1938: Alice quite reasonably doubts her wacky family will get along with her love’s family. Wackiness ensues, and triumphs.-

1939: The downfall of a decadent and degrading slave-owning caste-based society is presented in the most romantic light possible.-

1940: Crazy housekeeper obsessed with dead first wife drives new bride to doubt husband and her own sanity, then burns the house down.-

1941: Life is hard for a mining family, as recalled by a man as he leaves town.-

1942: Resolve and good will sustain an English family at the opening of WWII, despite losses. The sermon sums up everyone’s feelings.-

1943: Not everything is negotiable in times of deadly uncertainty: a kiss is still a kiss, and they will always have had Paris.-

1944: Father O’Malley sings just like Bing Crosby and does very well in his new parish.-

1945: A drunk fails to completely alienate all his friends, despite best efforts. Eventually, he cleans up his act and starts writing.-

1946: War veterans return home and struggle, but do adapt to post-war civilian life. One wife cheats and is replaced.-

1947: A journalist is shocked by antisemitism in society and in his girlfriend. His article is well received and he himself is not Jewish.-

1948: A middle-aged guy portrays Hamlet and everything else is pretty much like the Shakespeare play.-

1949: A politician gets everything he wants but loses everything he had. Hangers-on engage in diffident alcoholic romance.-

1950: A scheming young actress gains fame and fortune through manipulation, con-artistry & blackmail, but she’d better look out.-

1951: A painter sings and dances about ex-pat life in Paris. All the women want him and he gets the one he wants.-

1952: A basic love triangle plot set backstage in a circus is enlivened by circus acts & by Jimmy Stewart as a clown.-

1953: All the good guys get killed by their own military brethren almost before Pearl Harbor even happens. Two women both love one of them.-

1954: A longshoreman throws a fight at the insistence of a mob boss. This, plus all the killings, drives him to fight the mob's power.-

1955: Unattractive man meets unattractive woman. Things could be great. His family and friends put her down, but he makes the right call. -

1956: An English gentleman circumnavigates the globe on a bet. He & his valet have adventures. Arrested on return, he barely wins the bet.-

1957: War methodically builds and explosively destroys two men and one bridge.-

1958: A delightful girl raised to be a courtesan deserves and achieves honorable marriage. Narration and songs by Maurice Chevalier.-

1959: Hero has epic adventures in ancient Rome, meets Jesus, and learns the glory of forgiveness.-

1960: Good man lets bosses use his place to have adultery. He grows a spine, loses job, gets girl. Fred MacMurray plays a jerk.-

1961: Kind of like Romeo and Juliet with singing and dancing. Male lead and others die, female lead lives. Feud is ended by her love song.-

1962: After his death, we learn more about a man who had lived and fought among desert peoples for as long his country found him useful.-

1963: An orphan’s good heart sees him through many adventures. The truth about his birth helps bring about a happy ending.-

1964: For intellectual self-gratification, an emotional cripple teaches a poor woman fine speech & manners. Oddly, she comes back to him.-

1965: A governess and her new family teach the world that love and music can win small but emotionally powerful victories over Nazis.-

1966: A great man’s conscience holds firm against a determined king. He is beloved by the people, but executed for his inflexibility.-

1967: After a rocky start, intelligent police detectives overcome serious racial tension, learn to respect one another, & solve the crime.-

1968: An orphan’s good heart sees him through many adventures. The truth about his birth helps bring about a happy ending.-

1969: Successive yearned-for promised lands deliver worsening degradation and despair for young men who have only each other.-

1970: Biopic provokes question whether a great general is necessarily a great or even a good man.-

1971: Cops nail most of the bad guys after some exciting chases and show-downs.-

1972: A powerful crime family keeps having to postpone any transition to totally legitimate business practices.-

1973: Elaborate cons are especially entertaining to watch when the leading men are this good-looking.-

1974: A powerful crime family continues to postpone a transition to totally legitimate business practices. This time w/ prequel flashbacks.-

1975: A madcap squeaky wheel does indeed get the grease.-

1976: Underdog writer/actor wins Best Picture with inspiring story of underdog boxer with a shot at the championship.-

1977: Woody Allen.-

1978: Childhood friends pledge bond to each other before joining up but nothing can mend what breaks inside them during the war.-

1979: A rough custody battle ends unjustly in the courts. Victorious but shaken Mom relents and returns custody to Dad.-

1980: Dad and the remaining son in an affluent family are able to reach each other after some counseling and then giving up on Mom.-

1981: Some old-timey athletes are just incredibly inspiring.-

1982: Epic biopic shows one man’s part in India’s non-violent move to independence and violent reaction to partition.-

1983: A standard family drama plus romance is turned into a standard tearjerker tragedy by cancer.-

1984: The possession of genius is a terrible burden for the possessor and for everybody around him.-

1985: It’s bound to end in tears, but she does it anyway. Fabulous costumes and spectacular scenery.-

1986: A platoon in Vietnam is divided by death, dismemberment, differing philosophies of war, and internal violence.-

1987: A child deity survives the fall of the empire that worships him by growing to be a man.-

1988: A good-looking but emotionally stunted salesman improves when he learns to love his new-found autistic brother.-

1989: A rich but emotionally stunted white woman improves when she learns to respect her new black chauffeur. -

1990: A strong but emotionally stunted white man improves when he learns to respect members of indigenous tribes he had been fighting.-

1991: A brilliant psycho exchanges information for advantage in a disturbing pas de deux with a green FBI agent hunting a serial killer.-

1992: The strong kill the weak and also each other in the Wild West, and there is no moral to the story.-

1993: One well-connected man in the right place at the right time has the will to do right and saves many lives.-

1994: A cheerful but emotionally stunted American populace improves when it learns to love a mentally disabled everyman.-

1995: William Wallace provokes an uprising and then galvanizes followers for the Bruce by getting betrayed and beheaded.-

1996: Certain people are ruled almost completely by their passions, no matter what their facade might suggest.-

1997: A scrappy survivor finds love on the greatest ship in the world, then drowns. The ingenue finds a new life with his inspiration.-

1998: Wow, what if a bunch of Shakespeare’s plot devices were, like, inspired by wacky real life events, and Gwyneth Paltrow was there?-

1999: True happiness is startling, peculiar, and difficult to find among the temptations and beauty of suburban life.-

2000: A hero cast into slavery rises to prominence in the arena and gladly trades his life for vengeance on a wicked emperor.-

2001: Taking the bad with the good is difficult for Nash, his wife, & his imaginary friends & tormentors, but he does win a Nobel Prize.-

2002: Actresses dance and Richard Gere sings surprisingly well in this film adaptation of a Fosse show about bad people.-

2003: The good guys win despite grueling conditions and increasingly bad hair, and some of the good bits of the book are left out.-

2004: Loners come together, find hope and family in each other, then are parted by death under a circumstance of tragic necessity.-

2005: Apparently racism still exists, there is crime and poverty, and it sure would be good if we could solve some of these problems.-

2006: The barrier between self-identifying as a cop and self-identifying as a criminal is vague and permeable, esp for Moles. Body count.-

2007: The moral is: Don’t mess with bags of money from drug deals unless you are the one doing all the killing.-

Friday, January 23, 2009

Nothing yesterday, again. Sorry!

I don't have much to share right now, and it is looking like a full day. Best regards to all, and I will have a full post up sometime this weekend.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I am greedy

I want more people to set Twitter challenges. I want people to send them to me specifically. I have fun doing things like bedtime stories and "50 L Tweets" in less than 140 characters. Now I need to figure out how to make this happen.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tired day

Perhaps from so much Shakespeare yesterday. Now I can't stop trying to think of more fun things to Twitter. The syllabus of a great works course? Hitchcock's oevre (HT @andreakremer)? Now @russmarshalek has me thinking about RPGs and trading cards as vehicles for novels. So many fun things to think about. But now for bed.

Monday, January 19, 2009

All the Twittered Shakespeare Synopses

Here they are:

CofE: It takes a surprisingly long time for two sets of twins to figure out they are being mistaken for each other. One family is reunited.

TotS: There is no clear winner in this battle between the sexes, but at least one couple probably ends up having good sex.

TGoV: Two guys overcome both temporary exile from somewhere and their impulse-control issues and marry their long-suffering sweethearts.

LLL: Men make a big deal out of the life of the mind & living rough, but court pretty women anyway. The women say “Maybe” and leave.

AMND: A love potion straightens everything out and several couples end up happily together. Rustics are mocked. Watch out for fairies.

MoV: A greedy lender loses out due to a poorly-phrased contract, women practice law in drag & w/out licenses, and lovers are united.

MWW: A physically unattractive freeloader gets what he deserves for trying to sully the virtue of happily married rich and clever women.

MAAN: Trickery breaks up 1 couple and makes another. Love prevails, with a wedding and public shame for faithless lovers & jealous meddler.

AYLI: Exiled rich people live in the forest and fall in love with each other. Later, the deposed duke gets his dukedom back as he likes it.

TN: Shipwrecked sister dresses as a man. Bizarre love triangle is resolved when identical brother is found and genders are disclosed.

T&C: A Trojan man doubts his Trojan lover, Achilles eventually goes into battle, and Hector is defeated.

AWtEW: A doctor’s daughter saves a king and gets an unwilling husband. She tricks him into bed, gets pregnant, and then he comes around.

MfM: A lazy duke puts a pious jerk in charge. Things get out of hand, the duke takes the reins, the pious jerk sees the error of his ways.

---- the Histories

HVI1: King Henry accidentally starts the wars of the roses and gets engaged to a French girl. Incidentally, Joan of Arc is captured and killed.

HVI2: King Henry marries his French girl. Royal catfights end in impasse. The men battle at St. Albans and King Henry’s side doesn’t lose.

HVI3: Tension over succession, Queen declares war on Yorks, graphic violence ensues. Lancasters fall, Edward IV weds unwisely, takes power.

RIII: Edward IV dies, a caricatured villain usurps, murders innocents, & dies on a battlefield in sore need of a horse. The Tudors win.

KJ: King John won’t back down from King Phillip nor the Pope, nor many confusing goings-on, dies of poison. Magna Carta not mentioned.

RII: Richard banishes noblemen and then seizes dead uncle’s property. Banished son of uncle comes back in force and becomes Henry IV.

HIV1: Henry spurns supporters, who then side with the Scots. His no-good son makes good and kills the rebel leader. More Yorkists threaten.

HIV2: Prince Hal works on his kingliness. Falstaff droops poignantly in-between exploits. Henry IV dies, Hal becomes king & spurns Falstaff.

HV: Bad-ass Henry V kicks France’s butt with a rag-tag army, many long-bows, and excellent speeches. Henry then marries a French princess.

HVIII: Queen Katherine is justly & legally divorced, Anne Boleyn is legally married, the future Queen Elizabeth is born. Courtiers suck.

------ the Tragedies

TA: TA turns down empire, is surrounded by horrible violence, tricks his enemy into eating her sons’ flesh, kills and is killed.

R&J: Boy meets girl, boy kills girl’s cousin&gets banished, girl fakes death, boy thinks it’s real, kills self, girl wakes & kills self

JC: General with anxious wife gets assassinated for seeming ambitious. Opinion turns against the assassins, but stage is set for empire.

H: Mommy issues are just the beginning for a prince with a murdered father and new Uncle/Step-dad. Most everybody ends up dead.

O: Great man is tricked into killing his wife. Trickster is exposed. Great man kills self in remorse. Trickster is hauled off.

KL: Old king learns too late that two of his kids only wanted power. He and most main characters die. One just gets his eyes gouged out.

M: Kingship is just not in the cards for an ambitious and superstitious Scotsman.

A&C: Glamorous lovers take on the world and lose, then welcome death.

Co: Elitist Roman goes over to enemies & threatens Rome. Rome sends his mom to make treaty, he does, then enemies kill him for it.

TofA: An overly generous man is let down by his “friends.” He subsidizes rebellion & whores w/VD & dies a bitter man, cursing society.

----- Romances

P: A prince on the run is separated from his young daughter in dangerous circumstances. Wise and virtuous, they are reunited in time.

Cy: A guy believes lies about his girl. All kinds of mistaken ID & silliness go on, followed by peace between Britain and Rome.

WT: A king who regrets causing the supposed deaths of his wife & baby daughter is joyously and improbably reunited w/ them years later.

T: Noblemen are shipwrecked on a magical island. The proper succession to the rule of Naples and Milan is settled. Everyone is set free.

TNK: After falling in love with the same woman, cousins become rivals. At combat, one wins but dies, one loses but gets the girl.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Unless & Until Update

I am very pleased to announce that Unless and Until proceed apace. There will be a total of four volumes, each featuring six chapters, six paintings and at least six songs. Volume I is completely written - the first chapter is preceded by the Abecedarian Prelude I read at Megan Volpert's book launch. The DVD movie of the Abecedarian Prelude is just a taste of what is to come as Julie Puttgen animates each chapter and Jim Carlson sets each of the songs and scores the recording of the text.

Hopefully, we'll have a chance to record Volume I before too long, so that Julie can get started on the animation. I have written the first chapter of Volume II and made a start on the second chapter.

In the interest of tidbits for all who might be interested, here are the lyrics of one of the songs from Volume I. Carl, a friend of Unless and Until, has come to visit, and sings them an old song about a woman who lives out in mysterious parts on the ocean.

The sky so bright so wild so high
Wondrous birds forever roam
Hespera Delia calls her birds
and when she calls them
they fly home

The sea so old, so dark, so deep
the mother of all wondrous things
Hespera Delia of the sea
gathers sunset
as she sings

The ocean floor is strewn with eggs
Wondrous birds in infant shells
Hespera Delia gathers light
to feed the birds
from ocean swells

The eggs at first hatch only feet
that grow to body, head and beak
Hespera Delia’s sunset light
first makes them birds
then lets them speak

The sea so old, so dark, so deep
the mother of all wondrous things
Hespera Delia of the sea
gathers sunset
as she sings

The sky so bright so wild so high
Wondrous birds forever roam
Hespera Delia calls her birds
and when she calls them
they fly home

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Nothing yesterday, little today, again

Sorry - the new meds are actually fine, but that means more involvement in non-internet life.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Today I really mean it

I don't feel well again today, and I am interested to see how the new higher dose of seizure meds plays out. The only thing I am considering post-wise are a couple of things that have come to mind in the aftermath of writing the 7 things post yesterday.

The first is that I was not really raised atheist. Not religious, either. There is not really a word for it. We did not attend church, but moral, civic, and societal obligations were deeply stressed.

The other is that there is one more thing I am irrationally frightened of - space. There is nothing you could do to get me to go up in a spaceship. And yet I am a big fan of most space movies, even a lot of pretty bad ones.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

7 Things You Probably Don't Know About Me

I have not technically been tagged, I don't think, but I am taking @Hello_Nurse 's and @trelvix 's queries as to whether I have written my 7 things yet as constructive tags to do the same. It appears that @texburgher has tagged his entire list of people he follows, which I think might not be in the spirit of the meme, but it is efficient!

This is an interesting and tricky enterprise. Most information I feel comfortable sharing directly is available below (in the "About This Person" post), and there is plenty more available indirectly at the opoyul~ pages and elsewhere. So, what is there that is both plausibly of interest and share-able?

1. In June, 2000, on an internship with an international law entity, I spent 10-15 minutes in the hugely echoing double-staircase marble entryway of the Peace Palace in the Hague in the dark, at night, with nobody there, whistling every song I could think of. It was marvelous. The coolest thing I have ever done and ever expect to do.

2. I believe that a desire for physical immortality, or even simple immortality of consciousness, is inherently immoral. I cannot say for certain whether this belief predates my initial diagnosis with brain tumor, but I know that I had well developed negative opinions on the subject in the early years, after resection surgery but before the first time I went on chemo. If you show even the slightest signs of asking me more about how I feel about this, I will tell you at length.

3. Although I do not self-identify as part of any particular religious or non-religious group (raised atheist, educated Presbyterian, friends and relatives of all different faiths), I pray daily. That prayer consists solely of "Thank you for this beautiful day." I started praying more than ten years ago, and it took a while to figure out what I had to say, but eventually it all boiled down to simply being grateful for existence and for this beautiful world (as horrible and ugly as life and people often are).

4. I smoke Marlboro Reds. At least a pack a day. Suck it! Too bad! Not going to quit. I will probably continue to want to want to quit, because my smoking distresses my loved ones. If a day arrives when I do in fact just want to quit, I will quit. I have quit a couple of times before, once for a few years, but the day came when I didn't want to be quit anymore, and started again.

5. I don't see movies in the theater anymore, and almost never watch them on dvd. I have stopped watching TV, too. Pretty much the only books I read now are ones (A) I have read before; or (B) are guaranteed to blow my mind with awesome information; and (C) are fun. This amazes me sometimes. From my teens up through most of my twenties (I am 36), I was fairly committed to staying on top of what were the actually good movies and books coming out, and I did a reasonably good job of it. No more Pynchon (bums me out), no more Nabokov (ditto), leery of all the McSweeney's folks too, now that I suspect them of planning a New Yorker coup and simply becoming the new boss, just like the old boss. Now it is not so much that I can't be bothered but that I have an actual aversion to finding these things out unless its by cheating and reading reviews and keeping up with the Onion AV Club.

Almost there!

6. I suspect that I have some psychic powers. All the evidence for this probably boils down to well-trained intelligence and highly intuitive thought processing, except for the way I can usually tell which elevator in a bank of elevators is going to open its doors, even when there is no display of what floors the elevators are on. I do give pretty good Tarot readings, but there really isn't anything paranormal about it. On this general subject, I will say that Ouija boards are wicked, if only in that they invariably bring out the worst in people.

7. Things I am irrationally frightened of: two that I can think of right this second. The first is water, mainly the ocean. Drowning. I nearly died being born (breech birth, one leg caught up, weight 1/10th my mother's entire body weight), and there might be a correlation. The second is engines, or anything running on a gas tank. This has mainly been a problem with lawn mowers and camping stoves - I just can't deal with them.

There are my 7 things, all of them easier to share than my ambition, occasionally alluded to on this blog, of having a hand in tearing down and rebuilding the decadent state of Western literary culture.

Now that I have written up my 7 things I will just totally copy @texburgher and tag these folks.

Nothing yesterday, little today

I have some stuff to do, and not feeling well. I would like to respond to this post from Lee Stranahan that he mentioned on Twitter, but that will probably wait for another day. Need to see what I can put together that vaguely resembles an actual accounting of myself as a professional poet.

Addendum- I didn't even do that, but I have rested well, eaten properly, worked on Unless & Until, and did the 7 Things post, above. Can't commit, health-wise, to some things.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Here is a Post for Today:

A post for today.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Wonderful Evening

The reading went really well. The folks at Wordsmith's were great - totally supportive and enthusiastic - and the audience had amazing energy. I don't read my work publicly very often and it was a boost to get so much positive feedback. The disc with the video of the Prelude to Unless and Until did not play quite as well in performance as it had on the wall of my apartment on the practice run-throughs, but that is always the way of it, and everybody seemed to dig it the most, glitches and all.

Laurel Snyder read beautifully. I really enjoy her work and it was a great performance - need to see her more often!

Megan I see very often, as we are near neighbors, but last night she was in fine fettle, full performance mode, and put on a hell of a show. Her new book, the Desense of Nonfense, is hot stuff, and she read selections from each section to give a sense of the whole collection.

Here is hoping there will be news of an Unless and Until website, more Anomity, more OPOYUL~, and more that is due for subversion to be identified at this blog in the future. For today, a recap is what there is, but it was a good show and worth recapping.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I almost forgot -

But didn't. Here is a post for today!

I have been occupied today primarily with preparing for the reading tonight at Wordsmith's on the Square in Decatur at 5pm. I am going first, then Laurel Snyder (Lara Glenum is unable to read tonight), then Megan Volpert launching her excellent new book - it will be a good show - and it will probably start right on time, so if you want to see my bit, get there at 5, then go have a beer at Brick Store after the show.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Not so much calling bullshit as, what -

Interesting post up at Kevin Kelly's Technium blog - "As if..." - [as if there isn't always an interesting post up at that blog.

But, because I am not interested in spelling everything out for me or for you, I will call something other than bullshit on the conclusion in that post. Just a crude way of saying I disagree but can't be bothered to really boil it down to fibers and bullet points.

Here is a quote from that Mr. Kelly's post:

In this Age of Metaphor, love will be the signal of real. One of the ways we will know when a thing has passed from "as-if to is" is when it earns unalloyed love from humans. When a virtual place wins the kind of full-blooded love that a real place on Earth wins. When a toy pet earns the same love as a breathing pet. When a synthetic actor earns the same love as a human movie star, when a virtual economy incites the same passion as the larger economy, when a global superorganism gains the same affection as a hamster.

Then it will no longer be as-if and it will just be.
Up until about a third or half of the way through that post I was very excited about the opoyuliness of it all. I am giddy at all promiscuous layers of fake-ness and imitation, of which theme parks aspiring to Disneyland is a good example but my favorite example is extruded plastic wallets that are molded with leather grain and fake stitching. I also like architecture that copies Greek temples, where the molded bits above the columns are copies of copies of the ends wooden beams that used to stick out over the stacks of material that held the roof up.

So, Mr. Kelly was talking about the "As if" society and discussing when it becomes real. He says it becomes real when we as individuals love it. NO. Nothing becomes real. Computers or networks or such might become real when they love us, perhaps. When they are a "they."

Hey! I am going to name drop! After a decade or so of minimal and sporadic email correspondence, I finally met Mr. John Hodgman in person at his Atlanta signing for "More Information than You Require." I hope to buy him a beverage someday and have an actual conversation because his work and the emails we have exchanged strongly suggest to me that I would enjoy conversing with him in person. Even so, that might turn out to be untrue. Because, as we both agreed in the minute or so of interaction at the signing table, "E-people aren't real." Ten years of interpersonal awareness doesn't change that. Blogs don't change that. Twitter won't change that. Second Life and World of Warcraft won't change that.

E-people and E-things exist in our heads. Like mathematics, the platonic cave shadows they cast in our heads might be internally consistent and useful - whatever the internet equivalent is of calculating the specs for a bridge that won't fall down - but you are never going to know until you know. And, most of the time, most of what you will be knowing is yourself, whether you realize it or not.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Day 7 and all that

I am back home from Minnesota. It is cold there, and it just trips me out that so many people live in wintry places and just put up with it.

In lieu of anything really on point, it occurred to me the other day to write about two images I use in my head for my own convenience. One is the hopper. The hopper is the basket for topics I am ready to speak about. I suppose it is like the hopper on a pitching machine. The topic is in the hopper, and it will shoot out of my mouth or onto this blog. The other is the big lazy susan. Projects I want to do are on the lazy susan. There might not be one in front of me at the moment, but there are many out there, spread around the circumference, and when I think of something that goes with a given potential project I can just put it on the pile. If it comes time to do a project, just pull on the edge and pull the project to right in front of me.

On the lazy susan and hopefully soon to be in the hopper is my part as one of the opening acts for Megan Volpert's book launch this Saturday at Wordsmith's - on the square in Decatur - TIME CORRECTION - THIS EVENT BEGINS AT 5PM - And I am probably going first, because my bit is the only one with techie stuff.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Day 6

I am still out of town.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Day 5

I am out of town today, so there is no post.

Monday, January 5, 2009

It is probably the BAD angel

So, here it is Day 4 and I am posting. I am also going to pre-load posts for launch tomorrow and the next day because tomorrow and the next day I will not be posting in person.

The angel I refer to is one of the cartoon angels everybody has on each shoulder that tug in opposing directions. Usually the tug is portrayed as between good and evil, but that seems a bit two dimensional. There are probably at least 64 angels, if it is a binary thing. But, the angel in question is the one that occasionally pipes up about somehow getting a lot of public attention. Fame and fortune and everything that goes with it (hopefully, excellent health insurance and better possibilities for subverting American literary culture).

That angel says "You are photogenic, well-spoken, and you have a fascinating medical condition that will probably kill you without deteriorating your looks! Write a poignant meditation on the fragility and beauty of life and it is next stop, Good Morning America! First, we take Manhattan, baby!"

When I think about how many people I would have to talk to every day if I did that, plus all the other items on the very long list of reasons I have not done that so far, I get tired all over and just buy a lotto ticket. I had a long odds totally random bad thing happen to me, I figure I am due for a long odds totally random satisfying thing that could definitely include excellent health insurance and possibilities for subverting American literary culture.

Best regards to you all.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Yes! Third time is the charm -

I am hereby posting for a third day in a row. Haven't Twittered today at all (except just a tiny bit) because (1) I don't feel well; (2) I am preoccupied; and (3) the energy I have had has been devoted largely to Wii. Check me out! I am au courant!

With regard to the DIY book discussed in the last post- I am enjoying the section on music much more than the section on poetry, which was what set me off yesterday. There is some good information on pirate radio in the UK (more specifically, in international waters near the UK) and on the relationships between Zine culture and Riot Grrrl - showing that in many ways the public perception of Riot Grrrl everything was inaccurate. Interesting. BUT I think the author of DIY needs some brush up on American music history- there is a paragraph or so leading up to skiffle taking off in the UK that does not make sense, although the big picture is as accurate as really needs be.

Delusions of Banjer today, for the first time in a while. Thank you, Bad Livers.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Only Thing That is Difficult

The only thing that is difficult is putting your pants on over your head. In theory, it is possible and would even be easy that I could do at least one post every day for a year (excluding Jan 1st, which I missed).

It is calculated future disappointment for me to set out projects like this. If I do this one, several days will read "'Here Is a Post for Today' - A post for today." Just so you know.

What to say. OK. I read a book yesterday and am reading another one today that have me a little riled up about online communication. The one I am still reading has an obvious connection. "DIY: The Rise of Lo-Fi Culture" by Amy Spencer. The rise and evolution of 'Zines and other DIY anti-mainstream self-produced culture. It is pretty interesting stuff - tracing threads from Dada to punk to queercore to riotgrrl to crafting. I recommend it, at about 100 pages in.

The other book, the one I read yesterday is a less obvious candidate for "get somebody riled up about actively participating in communication online." The book is "Love All the People" and is a collection of all of Bill Hick's words - sets, interviews, notes, sayings, articles. Highly recommended. He was a fire and brimstone preacher/shaman who was visible in this dimension as a stand-up comedian. He is a personal hero of mine.

Well, the obvious connections between me and him are Georgia, religious upbringing, dedicated smoking, and terminal cancer totally unrelated to smoking. He had less than a year after his diagnosis (pancreatic metastasized to liver, advanced stage IV). I was anticipating less than five years at diagnosis (right temporal mixed glioma, low stage III), but that was almost eight years ago.

His modus of righteous fury and catharsis could never be mine, but it is tremendous and wonderful. It is not a matter of "agreeing" with everything he says, and I don't laugh at everything in his set, but he was righteous and motivated and true to his self. I hope I can be as well.

He did not understand why it was so difficult for the American media to grok what he was up to - his audiences were often totally on board. He was huge in England.

It was inspiring (and a little wearying) to read his work and be reminded so forcefully of my own abortive lunges toward more public avenues for attempting reclamation of some particularly noxious cultural waste. I had a recommendation lined up from Kenneth Koch for applying to MFA programs and then realized I would never write what I need to write if I went through academic channels for poetry. I repeatedly attempted in high school, college, and out in the world to get involved with video, writing, and comedy scenes and found that attractive women who did not want to date any of the guys there (and were funnier than the guys there) rarely get an invite to the next meeting. Many women do get into the scene, and I do feel that I have a personality issue that conflicted with the folks I tried to interact with. And yet, and yet, and yet. I still believe that American culture needs the cleansing fire from somewhere, and not nearly enough people are producing it.

I am trying to find them, they must be out there. It could be prose, it could be poetry, and there is probably a great deal of it in what is called (hilariously) comedy. I follow these guys on podcasts and Twitter and they are talented and funny, but they are guys (not adults), and it seems they are in a bit of a "Warmed-over-Bill-Hicks" rut, like they heard his words but never listened to what he was saying. I am not sure whether they are listening to anyone but each other. Makes me want to throw my shoes at their heads. Oh well.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Average Productivity + Public Appearance

I have been Twittering and not blogging. It is not unusual that I not be blogging, so Twitter is a plus there. Not much to report, except that I have at last completed the first of four sections of the big multi-media collaboration with Julie Puttgen and Jim Carlson. I will be presenting the prelude of the work at Megan Volpert's book launch for The Desense of Nonfence at Wordsmith's Books in Decatur, GA on January 10th at 2pm. Also appearing at the launch shall be Lara Glenum. Cool!