Monday, December 29, 2008

Seven

Here are seven things about me. I was tagged by Evelyn.

1. I was born outside of Columbus, Ohio, in Gahanna. My mom used to say: "If you can say banana, you can say Gahanna." For a while, I thought she was referring to Gehenna, which is a way of referring to Hell.

2. Sometimes I'm honestly a little uncomfortable with my admiration for Black Metal. But only sometimes.

3. In elementary school, a kid told me not to sit with him and his friends at lunch even though I was "a nice guy and all." I'm still sort of bugged by the fact that I said, "Okay," and got up and left. I even continued to be nice to that guy. (I even remember his name: Nate Elam.)

4. When I start to get stressed out before a flight, I think about Joe Kittinger to make myself feel more courageous. I am considering getting a Joe Kittinger tattoo.

5. Here are some questions I ask myself:



6. When I sit down to write, as I am about to write, up to the moment I begin hitting keys with my fingers or scratching on paper with a pen, I hate writing. It is only during the act of writing, and after I have spent a period of time writing that I actually like writing.

7. I try to update this on Mondays, but quite often I do it on Tuesday instead. This is because I am often tired when I get home from work, and never really want to finish the posts I work on Monday afternoon.

Seven people: Shane Jones, Ken Baumann, Shya Scanlon, Catherine Lacey, Travis Nichols, Ross Simonini, Gene Morgan.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Ontonagon

The village of Ontonagon sits, indifferent to it all.

Indifferent to it all.

Wooden peers just from its belly. It drums its fingers on them. It raps them with its knuckles. It runs its fingers over them, like a man playing a washboard.

Ontonagon begins to whistle. It whistles high, it whistles low. It waits and raps its knuckles, it whistles high and whistles low. It ignores events happening nearby—the violence, the screaming, the fires and the settling ash. Ontonagon recalls a day last year instead.

§

Ontonagon removed a long, narrow slab of the concrete of its shoulder. The narrow slab shuddered, surprisingly un-solid, indeed.

Ontonagon pulled a mirror from its generous pockets and used it to look into the newly revealed interior of its shoulder. Within, Ontonagon spied a family of bats. The bats were gnawing on root vegetables and worms.

Ontonagon explored its self-inflicted wound with a stubby finger. The bats, alarmed, grabbed hold of the finger with their pin-like teeth. Ontonagon pulled the finger out and held it up in front of his face. Coated in bats, it undulated with the flap of their wings.

§

Ontonagon rubbed the weird memory from its eyes, and decided to go to sleep.


Read parts ONE and TWO and THREE.

***


Lakeside - BLK JKS

***

The painter Rachel Howard.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Oconto

(Sorry. Sick yesterday.)

***

Oconto wakes up on the shore of Green Bay, and wipes the frost from her eyebrows and the fine, downy hair on her earlobes. Lodi is the patron saint of Oconto, and holds her no ill will.

Oconto walks north to see what she can see.

In time, Oconto finds the bodies of Ishpeming and Peshtigo, and she lights a fire. She burns the bodies and stands warming her hands. She little suffers the loss, but imagines that later it will hit her square in the chin.

It is unreasonably cold. Unreasonably cold.

Oconto sees a plane approaching, a passenger jet filled with people. An overbooked flight. It left six people behind. The people in the seats are crowded together and uncomfortable. And unhappy. They are antsy.

Oconto reaches out for the plane, and takes it by the fuselage. She shakes the plane gently, and the crowded, frustrated people are thankful to get their minds off of their uncomfortable seats. They, instead, concentrate on what seems to be their impending deaths. They offer prayers of thanks to Oconto.

Read parts ONE and TWO.

***



Reservoir Park - The Dutchess & The Duke


(Sorry about the ads.)

***

I was walking to work today and a man passed me and offered me drugs, saying: "Got that bud..."

I looked at him and said, "No. No thank you."

I did this because I believe it is very important to be polite. I believe in manners.

***

HAPPINESS IS

Fuck You, Penguin

Monday, December 08, 2008

Peshtigo

God realizes that his actions were reckless and melodramatic, and so he brings back the world.

§

Peshtigo, newly reborn, rises from the earth, his body a conflagration. Flames from his ears lick the passing clouds. They darken from the fire, they burn, they sprinkle ash into Lake Superior.

Lake Superior, an ash film over it, gets disgusted and begins to drain.

§

Lodi has returned to land, and she is walking from the edge of the Keweenaw Peninsula down to Hancock. Before she gets there, though, she sees Peshtigo on his knees before Lake Superior, begging it to stay.

Lodi pulls her rifle from her back.

§

Lake Superior sinks into the mud, through the mud to an aquifer. The aquifer welcomes Lake Superior, and the two getting along very well indeed.

Peshtigo, ablaze and filled with regret for driving away Lake Superior, begins to cry.

Peshtigo's tears are a petroleum product. They fall from his eyes like Molotov cocktails. They scatter northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. The crowds run for cover, but all the buildings are made of wood and dry, and they turn the upper midwest into a bonfire.

§

Lodi sees all this through her rifle scope.

Read part ONE.

***

Bon Iver - Woods

***

Gilbert

and

George



***

A new story by Ryan Boudinot.

UPDATE:

Ryan is now blogging about film at The Rumpus.

***

Another UPDATE:

I'm at Rain Fade.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Ishpeming

Ishpeming straddles Lake Superior to Marathon, reaches into the water, pulls out a clump of frozen hotdogs, breaks them apart one by one, rolls them between its fingers, heats them on the thigh of its corduroy pants, and throws them into the sky. Comets they thereup become. Ishpeming laughs like a frog.

In its lungs, cancer grows like educational dinosaur sponges. In its brain, cancer grows like soap bubbles under a flowing faucet. In its eyes, cataracts are solidifying.

Ishpeming teases the lanes of the roads apart with his fingernail. He grasps and gives a hard tug. Cars fly off into Minnesota. The sparrows in his ears are pissing Ishpeming off.

§

Lodie is a sniper, and kills cities for a living. She is on a raft in Lake Michigan. When she sees Ishpeming, Lodie pulls the rifle from her back.

The bullets are filled with mercury and shaped like little drill bits. And spin like little drill bits.

Lodie steadies the boat by steadying her breathing and then steadying the water around the boat.She dips a finger in the water, and it stops all it's God damned roiling.

The shot hits Ish's temple, and it burrows in. The mercury injects, hits the blood stream, runs around looking for the heart. When the mercury finds the heart, it coats the sides and dissolves the valves between the chambers. This leaves Ishpeming royally fucked.

Lodie turns away, and does not see the city fall.

§

Ishpeming falls. The ground shakes and then the ground stops shaking.

Someone opens up a bottle and pours malt liquor on Ishpeming's feet. That same someone walks for a long time in order to pour malt liquor out near each of Ishpeming's hands. The bottle is empty at the final thumb and someone is unable to take a memorial drink.

God, who lives in the sky, ignores the entire situation, instead concentrating on a new project. He has started a band with some friends, and is on the phone trying to hustle up a gig or two in the next couple of months. The band has been getting pretty good lately, and has been practicing twice a week. God doesn't think much of his singing voice, but the other members of the band are pretty keen on it. It's a good time for God.

§

The corpse of Ishpeming does not stink as it rots to pieces. The rot is not so much organic as it is mechanical. It is, like, entropy.

Or something.

The comet, still zipping around the heavens, tears through God's drummer's neck. The drummer dies. Blood is everywhere in God's garage.

Outraged by the death of drummer (the best of all the drummers who called God after seeing his flyer on a light pole) God destroys the universe.

TO BE CONTINUED

***



Temporary Secretary (1993 Digital Remaster) - Paul McCartney


***

Order Blake's book.

***

UPDATE:

Go here and read the top story linked, "The Behavior of Pidgeons" by my friend Gabriel Blackwell.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Pain

I can't remember when it was that I stopped crying when I hurt myself. Like when I was out running around and I fell and skinned my knee and started crying, right?

Remember that? How you used to get a scrape or a cut and you'd cry? And then one day that stopped making you cry? I get a cut or a scrape now and, really, I never cry. My eyes have watered from pain. I've hurt myself and gone on an expletive-laden tirade. I've gotten all red-faced.

Sure. I've done those things. Sure.

But I don't start crying.

Unless I'm in some sort of emotional pain. If someone important to me dies. Or—and this hasn't happened in a while—when I have some sort of girl-boy breakup thing. Crying might happen there.

But not when I stub my toe. Not if I break a tooth. Not if I slip when I'm out running and my knee is skinned and my iPod goes skittering across the pavement. I don't cry then anymore.

But I was thinking, maybe I should? Maybe I should make some adjustments to my way of thinking about myself and my different kinds of pain, and maybe I'll cry when I hurt myself and never cry again when I have some sort of emotional trauma.

I think if I can change my behavior, if I can think myself into a place where I cry when I stub my toe but not when my girlfriend tells me I'm an asshole and she never ever wants to see me again, I'll be able to carry on less stressful relationships with people.

I might even stop being an asshole.

I'll just be a guy who is openly crying, full-throated crying, unashamedly crying because he cut his finger when he was quartering potatoes for potato soup. I'll just be a guy who sniffles and winces as Bactine is applied. All that.

This is a good idea, I think. I'm going to have to look into it. If I figure it all out, maybe I'll blog about it.

Until then...

***

Zachary Schomburg. I will say something about him on HTMLGiant this week.

***



dlp 1.1 - Basinski, William


Disintegration Loop.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fog

An odd turn of events: I actually don't know what to blog about this week.

After a few years of feigning the inability to blog in order to constrain and confine my imagination hereon, I find that I sort of don't know what to do this week.

The Man Who Couldn't Blog just can't seem to blog. Or write anything, really. For a while now.

Shit.

Well, instead of blogging, I will post this photo I took. It is of a repurposed street sign. It now warns about people coming out of the fog.



***

Matthew Derby has a blog. Matthew Derby is a very good writer.

***

Shya Scanlon has a blog. Shya is a very good writer.

His most recent update says that Dawn Raffel mentioned his chapbook, Poolsaid. Dawn Raffel is a very good writer.

***

Someday very very soon, happycobrabooks dot something will be something. I swear. Any day now.

UPDATE:

There's something there, but it's not finished. Don't go to the Happy Cobra Books website yet.

***

UPDATE:



The Floppy Boot Stomp - Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band


Enjoy.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Dipset

Cam'ron of Dipset is the brand new spokesman—sorry, person—for the American Death Industry. He believes that this verifies to spokesperson-watchers—who are, we are all aware, legion and shit—that he is a man of great intellectual heft. Finally, he will be taken seriously. He wakes up every day with a renewed sense of self.

His new self engages in mirror conversation with the old, less-respected-for-his-gravitas Cam'ron.

A tree in the yard, privy to the nuances of the conversation, dies.

The soul of the tree reaches the center of the Earth, where its roots are plugged into the soul of the rest of the world.

The rest of the world survives an attack by the soul of the tree killed by the subtext of self-doubt that occurred during Cam'ron's conversation with himself in the mirror.

The soul of the world takes its revenge by destroying all trees the world over. As the trees the world over wither, Cam'ron boards a helicopter—an ex-military helicopter that was purchased by the American Death Industry to transport its spokespeople—and is flown to Providence, Rhode Island, where he meets with the American Death Industry and is shot in the face.

Dipset, motherfucker.

***

Blake wrote a bunch of pieces about famous dead people. I have been writing responses. Above is my response to his piece on Tupac.

(I have one left, Blake. Then we should find a publisher.)

***



Happy Pillz Featuring Aesop Rock - Murs


I miss pills. I stopped taking pills. I think I should start taking pills again.

What do you think?

***

Daniel Bailey's east central indiana. It is good.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Interviews



***

First, an interview with Lydia Millet.

***

Next, an interview with Michael Kimball.

***

And finally, an interview with Brian Evenson.

Also on that page, a story by me called Apple.

(And a story by my friend Blake Butler.)

This is a three interview post. Very exciting, I think.

***

I linked to my brother's new website last week, but only by making the change on the sidebar.

He said someone followed the link and looked at his site.

This is his new website. Everyone should go and look at it. He's a very talented painter.

***

Again, VOTE OBAMA. Tuesday. The fourth. Vote.

OBAMA.


***

UPDATE:

Hey. He won. Thanks everybody.

Thanks for doing what I told you to do.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Shillin'

Sorry. I'm a little late. I don't have much to say this week, so I will just shill.

Vote for Obama.

A shill is a person who promotes something for because s/he has a personal interest at stake in the thing promoted. It is, generally, a epithet.

I am embracing the word. I have a personal interest. I would like to spend four years not cringing every time the leader of my nation opens his mouth to speak. I would like affordable health care. I would like a sensible tax policy. I would like scientific literacy from the people whose job it is to make decisions about the wise use of science and technology.

I am a shill.

***

Errol Morris is a really interesting filmmaker. He made this. It shills for Obama.

***

Shepard Fairey is a really interesting graffiti artist and designer. He made this:


Barack Obama x Z-Trip x Shepard Fairey x Fresh Pressed from Barack On! Obamathon on Vimeo.

It shills for Obama.

***

My folks don't usually vote for Democrats. They live in a very small town. They put up an Obama sign and some kids ran it over and threw a rotten pumpkin at their house.

They put up another sign.

They are shilling for Obama.

***

A friend of mine has big hair and glasses. She made this blog.

It shills for Obama.

***

Justin Dobbs came up with a Facebook group called Moose for Obama. After Sarah Palin became John McCain's running mate, others jumped on the bandwagon not realizing the bandwagon already existed.

Moose shill for Obama.

***

Blake Butler sold his very good book Scorch Atlas to Featherproof Books.

Sadly, he does not shill for Obama. I like him anyway. And can't wait to see the finished book.

***

Shane Jones, one of only two people I have let guest blog for me, has a chapbook from a new press.

I hear it is going fast, and you should order it now. And Ken Baumann's. And Jimmy Chen's. And Blake's. And Brandi's. And Nick's. All of them.

I am unclear on the "shilling for Obama" status of these people and would love to hear about it from them.

***

Drunk person shills for Obama.

Frankly, if I had known there would be drinks at the call centers, I would've volunteered.

***

That's all. Vote Obama.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tidal

What's that all balled up and thrown down the memory hole, anyway? Gotta be something we tried to remember, right? That's the point and all that. But balling up and chucking a memory into the memory hole is a sure way of misremembering.

It's like: I spent some time, some time ago, in a quiet, special part of the world. And I loved that place, that quiet, special place.

And I love it so much, I put it all down to memory. Every little thing about it. The nice familiar blue color of the sky when it was early in the afternoon. The loud sounds the trees made when they scraped against each other as they swayed because of being pushed and jostled by the wind. The old man's beard that dropped from limbs of big, tall, wet trees and slithered against my cheeks and naked backside. The way that everything, everything, everything smelled like Pepsi Cola gone flat.

Man that was a good time. You know?

So I put down all that stuff to memory. And then I stuffed it in my bag.

And it got all balled up, right? All wrinkled and balled up.

And I put it in the memory hole.

And fuck it if the Pepsi Cola didn't slither. And my backside wasn't afternoon blue. And the trees didn't smelled like scrapes of my old man's beard. And I didn't sway so much I got positively seasick.

I just don't know how that happened.

Or how it happened again, because here we are, looking at a balled up memory in the memory hole.

I'll have to check on it, and tell you what's in there. I'll get back to you when I do.

Maybe then I'll be able to blog properly.

***

I really enjoyed tidal. Read it.

***

The Ghost Train



***
If a person ever puts a gun to me head and says, "Rap. Rap an entire song by a hip hop artist, start to finish, or I will kill you," I will be able to do this one:

<
Butter - A Tribe Called Quest


I will live.

***

I used to go see my friend Michael play shows in Seattle, and he played this song all the time. I don't think I ever get tired of hearing it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Kitty



+



=




***

I interviewed the amazing Lydia Millet.

***

It's Mean Week at HTMLgiant.

***

Last week, I discovered that The Internet Archive has the original website for my old band, the nurses. You can see the original page from 1997 there.

The nurses were a noise band. We didn't make music. We just made a big racket. And I hopped around like an idiot, screaming and yelling into a microphone.

We played live a few times. We'd play a whole bunch of noise for twenty minutes or so, and I'd scream and yell and jump around like an idiot. And I'd wear myself out. And then I'd drop the microphone and I'd go shake hands with everyone in the audience.

And then I'd go outside and walk around for a little while. We played shows almost all our shows in Green Bay, Wisconsin. In winter. So I'd go outside and it would be really cold. And my throat would be sore. I'd walk around for a couple of minutes.

And the next day, I'd get a bad cold from screaming and yelling and jumping around like an idiot until I was exhausted and hoarse, and then going outside in the cold.

Those were really good times.

I have tapes. Someday I will make mp3s of the tapes and post them.

I take back what I said. Sometimes we'd make music. Last week, I linked to a song called The Primeval Stomp. That was us. We made that. That was my friend DanDan and I who made that. (DanDan used to put together a really funny zine called Blipvert.) We made a bunch of other things, too. We made a concept album about living underground. We made a song that included phone calls we accidently picked up on a 6-band radio I got from my Dad. DanDan even made us a video game, wherein you dropped bowling balls on Morlocks.

This link has some broken links on it. "Catch" works, though.

"We Plant, we hunt" works.

DanDan's Pac-Man works.

Oh, look! The Devil! The Devil is somewhere.

There's a lot there, if you click on every link. Even some of my early creative fiction, which were all attempts to create an elaborate fake history for the band.

I used to do lots and lots of things on the internet, apparently. As Blake Butler pointed out on HTMLGiant, I am old.

Enjoy!

***

More episodes of Over the Edge, the Negativland-produced radio program about which I spoke quite fondly for The Believer, are now available from their website.

Some are even free. "Complex Numbers" is very good. "Illumination" is nice and creepy. Both are solo shows—Don working his live audio mixing magic all by himself. "A Piddle Diddle Disneyland" is an incredibly good group show.

I'd love to know what others think about them. If you download one, please comment.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Television

The drug of the nation. Breeding ignorance. Feeding radiation.

—Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy

Or something like that. Or maybe not. I'm not much for this blogging. It's hard. And too hard, too. I've been thinking maybe what I should do instead is start my own pirate television broadcast.

And use that pirate television broadcast to get my message out there to the people. My message. My important message. My highly important, very personal message. That one.

That's the one I want to get "out there." And I'm thinking television is the way to go to get it out there.

So I'm thinking of investing in some technology that will allow me to do something other than all the "not blogging" I do all the long day long. I'm investing in some other technology.

Some mechanical television.

Mechanical television is better than all that other television that you are used to because mechanical television uses a wheel. Wheels are a very early, very successful piece of technology. The wheel is one of the first pieces of technology. And it's still around, even though it was invented by some sort of caveman guy (or girl!), or maybe some sort of angel.

It's still around, which means it must be good. Only good things hang around for a long long time. Good things like the wheel. And bipedal movement. And inside the body skeletons instead of outside the body shells for big creatures like us.

That's why I'm going with mechanical television. It's older and better and wheeled.

It also has poor reproduction. It calls attention to the fact that it is reproduction. It does not pretend to be anything other than an illusion.

All this television we have now is so clear and lifelike, it competes too successfully with reality. That's what I think. We need less definition on television, not more. Less. More definition on television will only lead to one thing: people falling in love with the people on television. And this is not a good thing.

So mechanical television, with its poor reproduction of the image it is reproducing is the way to keep people from falling in love with the people on the television. That is to say, once I figure out how to get my mechanical television pirate broadcasts up and running, the image of me that you see on the screen will be of such reduced quality, it will be unlikely that you will fall in love with me, ruining the whole point of the broadcasts, which will be to make you think about stuff, not to make you in love with me.

Which would make me uncomfortable and unable to continue broadcasting ideas that could possibly cause you to think.

Good for me to do that, I think.

***

mechanical television





***

I'm in the new No Posit.

***

The Neil Diamond Disease by Jason Boog.

***

HTMLGiant is going strong.

***

I am reading at the Richard Hugo House tomorrow (Tuesday) night at 7pm. If you are in Seattle, you can attend. It will be very nice. Here is the Hugo House description:

"Seattle magazine celebrates local writers and artists on the rise!
Innovative writers showcased in the October literary issue, including Stacey Levine, Brian McGuigan, Richard Farr and Matthew Simmons, will be joined by the Spotlight Award Winners featured in our September issue: filmmaker Lynn Shelton, sculptor Diem Chau, cellist Paul Rucker, performance artist Lucia Neare and choreographer Zoe Scofield. The theme of the evening is "debate," so writers and artists will face off with presidential flair! (Better yet, they'll give us their artistic take on debate.) Arts & Culture editor Brangien Davis will moderate, Paul Rucker will provide musical interludes and audience members will have their own chance to participate in a spirited debate."

***

I'm pessimistic.

***

UPDATE:

The Primeval Stomp. Explanation maybe next week.

Monday, September 29, 2008

HTMLGiant

It's been and gonna be been bored along the fences near my house this time. We have and will have more to be said on this when always as we go, the shift changes and the time counts up and down and up and down.

Hey, but then, the readings of the bones that get themselves thrown from out of the cup have always been of that sort to me and maybe also it would seem so to you if you were like me or something.

You can be like me or something, too, with less and least of all effort than you might not only imagine but describe to some other person or peoples sitting in a half-circle around you. This is what it is.

And this is also not what it is. Hey, howzabout that, then? Really?!?!

My wrist is of an aching quality that seems to come from too much tightness of the watch and of the armbands. You know? Rude, I think it all is. Rude as all that isn't.

Men form catchy little rhythms when they walk. They putter a beat or two beats or four four times depending on the number of legs we give them.

Is this, also, how you feel the world? Can you romp about it? Stomp about it? Blog about it?

Me, neither, Little Sister. Me is neither.

***

You can read lots of things here.

***

I will be reading at the Hugo House on October 7. I think I will be reading an essay on jury duty.

Re recent events at the Hugo House, I have no comment.

***

I'm in Seattle Magazine. Also, Matt Briggs, Stacey Levine, Rebecca Brown.

I am, as you can see, out of my depth.

***

Tried By 12 (Original) - East Flatbush Project



***

I interviewed Joshuah Bearman. Here it is.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sorry

UPDATE:

I will continue updating this post for the next few days with things I stumble upon and enjoy. For example:

Min Oh.

Like that.

***

Things will normalize again next week and there will be Monday updates. A couple of weeks behind on some things, and had jury duty to contend with this week.

Near the courthouse, Brandon made me a free cup of coffee. Thank you, Brandon. I did not come back the next day because I was released.

***

A thing you could do this week is go here and download Shya Scanlon's chapbook Poolsaid. It is very good.

You can also spend time on his website learning about him. He is very good.

Very good.

***

Very soon you will be able to go to the Underland Press website and read an interview I conducted with Brian Evenson. And there will also be a short story by me there, too. I will tell you when.

***

I get mail sometimes. Last week, I received NO COLONY. It is

very

good.

I also got a letter and a chapbook novel from Adam Coates. Thank you, Adam. I will read it soon.

***

I apologize that this post is informational instead of "enlightening through the power of art."

***

Esvape Earth - Diverse



***

This is beautiful.

***

I wrote this. It's okay.

***

A better thing I wrote is this thing. It's an excerpt from my Wabash Fiction Award story, "Saxophone Lung Explodes."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Something

Okay. Fuck. Fuck it. I have something to say.

There's this written in the wake of the suicide of David Foster Wallace. It was inspired by this.

One could respond with anger.

I prefer to respond like this:

The great genius of David Foster Wallace is seen in this response. Three years ago, Wallace's power to both observe and accurately render the portrait of this tiny, tiny man left a huge scar across the tiny, tiny man's psyche. He has carried this pasting with him.

He has carried it and carried it. And he has held it close. He has held this pain very very close.

And only when the tiny, tiny man was confronted with a situation where the man who hurt him so very deeply—by seeing through right to the core of him, seeing him for the tiny, tiny man that he is—only when that man could no longer respond did the tiny, tiny man choose to stick his tiny, tiny head out of the tiny, tiny hole in which he has hidden—hidden from the much greater man—and respond.

Of course this is cowardice. But pity the tiny, tiny man. He was written about by David Foster Wallace. He was the subject of an honest portrait from David Foster Wallace. You, too, would still be smarting, if you were in his position.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Nothing

I haven't got a single, God damned, mother-fucking thing to say this week*.

***
























*

Monday, September 08, 2008

Ross

UPDATE:

Jaded ladies and desperate gentlemen, the Stwallskull.

***

There is a new Hobart update that includes lots of stuff related to issue #9. Which you should really buy. Now.

The update has three reviews of games you can play online. They were written by me and Gene Morgan.

Dinorun

Ninja Hunter

Rose and Camellia

Soon there will also be an interview I conducted with Joshuah Bearman. We talked about kill screens.

***

Ross Simonini has a blog.

***

One should not be under the impression that exceeding really, really low expectations is success.

One should not be under the impression that sarcastic, shoddily fact-checked remarks delivered in a deeply unpleasant nasal twang is inspiring oratory.

Obama for president.

***

Work It Out - Willie Evans Jr.



***

Recently on Blake Butler's blog, there was a discussion of Punk and punk and The Clash and NOFX and stuff. I have finally crafted my response:







Monday, August 25, 2008

Uncanny

I flew to LA last weekend. This is how I did it:



Take Pills - Panda Bear



***

There's this thing called the Uncanny Valley. It's not really a valley, though. It's not really a place. It's a reaction. Or a feeling. Or something.

It's this: when we make simulated people, we get close, and then we get closer, and then we get closer, but we never quite make a completely accurate simulation of a person. And it freaks us the fuck out.

That's the technical slash academic way of referring to how we react. "Freaks us the fuck out."

Like, robots. And computer-animated people. They start to look like us. They get close to looking like us. And the moment they start to look close-but-no-cigar close to us, we start to stop being sympathetic to them. In our positive feelings to things that appear like us, there is a sudden dip. A valley.

The sense we have is called "the uncanny."

While I was in LA, I went up to Santa Monica, to the beach, where I walked in the surf, and went up to the pier. During my walk in the surf, I had a strange emotional reaction. I couldn't quite figure out what was going on.

It wasn't a sense of the uncanny. It was kind of the opposite. I felt like I was in a familiar place, but that this familiar place was "correct," whereas the place that put this place in my head as a familiar place was "incorrect." Close-but-no-cigar incorrect.

I stood with my camera, and took a spin, and filmed the beach. And a police vehicle drove by. And I felt like stealing it.

And I figured it out.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has a beach location that is, holy hell, an uncanny version of the actual Santa Monica beach. The simulated beach prepared me for the real one, but prepared me in such a way that I had this odd, sympathetic reaction to the real place that included a retroactively "uncanny" experience; all the hours I've spent playing Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas were suddenly loaded with a new sensation.

Is this a "canny" hill?

***

There is a new Happy Cobra Book. It is called Young Revolutionaries. It features Chelsea Martin, Catherine Lacey, and Ellen Kennedy.

(Chelsea and Ellen: yours are on their way. I am finishing up the printing, and sewing them together in my off hours.)

If you want copies, you should get them from the authors. I will be sending almost all of the 50 copies to them.

***

Also, I'm pleased to have discovered this iMeem embedding function. And so, the Mother.Fucking Gaslamp Killer:

Aduet feat. Gonjasufi - Gaslamp Killer



***

UPDATE:

Go here to watch Shane Jones read my piece from NO COLONY.

And then BUY NO COLONY, a bad ass journal of new, odd writing.

And then buy Shane's book I Will Unfold You With My Hairy Hands.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sunburn & Bloggers

UPDATE for New Yorkers:



***

For the first time EVER there are two titles for a post here on this blog. This is an important day. In honor of this important day, click here to learn the wop.

***

SUNBURN

I have sunburn.

I was in LA, at a short film festival, watching a movie made out of one of my old stories (a long story that I will tell some other time), and while I was there, I went to the beach and got sunburn.

I enjoy sunburn.

I don't enjoy serious, painful, horrible, peeling, can't sleep, can't sit down in a chair, I think I really hate myself and want to die sunburn. I enjoy a nice, moderate sunburn.

I like it when I put my lips on my arm at the line of my shirt, on my arm at the place where the sunburn has been halted by the fabric of my t-shirt, on my arm where I can run my lips down from light pink skin to deeper red skin, and feel heat. I like that I can pull my lips away, just a little bit away, from the hot, red skin, and feel a little more heat than usual radiating off it.

I like that if I move my arms, and my shirt rubs against the sunburned skin, I can feel a tender spot. A very tiny, prickly ache. I like that it's sort of like my arm saying hello to me. I like that it's like my arm is reminding me that it's there.

Thank you, sunburn. Thank you for connecting me to me.

While I was in LA, I met Ken Baumann. Ken Baumann doesn't have sunburn. It is entirely possible, though, that being in the presence of Ken Baumann gave me sunburn.

If this is the case, then I would like to say "Thank you," to Ken Baumann.

Thank you, Ken Baumann. Thank you for giving me sunburn. Thank you for connecting me to me.

Fire in My Bag has written a song about sunburn. It is called Burned. To listen to it, go to the band's Myspace page.

***

BLOGGERS

Lots of bloggers have written about other bloggers. There are links in the text below. I made all the text, even the links, black so you can read them. They are there, though. Click links:

Blake Butler writes about Mike Bushnell
Brandon Gorrell writes about Colin Bassett
Chris Killen writes about Ken Baumann
Colin Bassett writes about Chris Killen
Connor O'Brien writes about Tao Lin
Gena Mohwish writes about Sam Pink
Gene Morgan writes about Noah Cicero
Jereme Dean writes about Blake Butler
Jillian Clark writes about Kathryn Regina
Justin Rands writes about Matthew Savoca
Kathryn Regina writes about Kendra Malone
Ken Baumann writes about Jereme Dean
Matthew Savoca writes about Gena Mohwish
Mike Bushnell writes about Zachary German
Noah Cicero writes about Shane Jones
Sam Pink writes about Justin Rands
Shane Jones writes about Jillian Clark
Stephen Daniel Lewis writes about Two Tears Boy
Tao Lin writes about Gene Morgan
Two Tears Boy writes about Connor O'Brien
Zachary German writes about Stephen Daniel Lewis

Brandon organized this. Nice job, Brandon.

***

UPDATE:

There is information about a new chapbook from Happy Cobra Books on the Happy Cobra Books blog.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Umlaut



Ryan and I went to Crüefest. Ryan wrote a story about Mötley Crüe, and someone heard him read it, and that someone knew Mötley Crüe's tour manager, and that someone called that tour manager, and that tour manager decided to give Ryan tickets and backstage passes, and Ryan decided to call me and ask if I wanted to go, and I decided I wanted to go.

While at Crüefest, I:

paid $.50 an ounce for beer

watched kids who were on a small stage playing the game Rock Star, while yards away a bunch of real rock stars were on a much larger stage also sort of playing rock star

took photos of Buckcherry's gong—because there's a band? called Buckcherry? and they have a drummer? with a gong?

walked away from my seat before having to listen to Buckcherry

did not take a picture of the girl in the t-shirt that said simply "rock" who was walking around having her picture taken with fans

wondered if she was a representative of all of rock music, the apotheosis of rock come down to slum it among the rock fans; a famous northwest DJ of some sort who worked at a radio station that was not only the home of the rock, but also the favorite rock station of all the rock fans who wanted their picture taken with her; or just someone with breasts that were large enough to fill out the "rock" t-shirt, and large enough that people who went to Crüefest wanted to have their picture taken with those breasts

got a pretty significant contact high, and noticed that the audience used 1) the beginning of Mötley Crüe's set and 2) the opening chords of the song "Dr. Feelgood" as cues to smoke pot...there was steady use throughout the show, but those two moments were accompanied by the largest mass drug use

went backstage and took a photo of Nikki Sixx's Caesar salad and toothbrush

briefly met the stripper who brought Vince Neil his acoustic guitar before they played "Girl Don't Go Away Mad, Girl Just Go Away"

learned that the term "runner" means that members of the band leave the stage and run out the back to their cars to return to their hotels immediately

learned that Mötley Crüe does not often have a full-band "runner" after a gig, but for some reason, did so after playing at the White River Ampitheatre

pardon me, briefly met the "dancer" who brought Vince Neil his etc, etc.

got a packet of "souvenir" spearmint flavored Stride gum

wondered how I could ever go about blogging about all this, and decided that maybe I just shouldn't so maybe I won't

Monday, August 04, 2008

Antz

UPDATE:

Up top, this update. It's important. Go read THE WOMAN DOWN THE HALL It's the new Lamination Colony book. It's by Lily Hoang.

***

Titular Journal publishes stories that take their names from films, novels, and television shows. I wrote one, taking the name of an animated film about ants called Antz. Enjoy.

***

BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY REALLY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY BUY NO COLONY

***

A poem about Michigan.

***

Andy Warhol, Eat.

***

Morbid Anatomy.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Xasthur

This is Xasthur.



Xasthur is a one-man Black Metal band. The man who makes all the music calls himself Malefic.

I can be sure of none of what follows, but I will swear to its accuracy if pressed.

Malefic's concerns are not so much Satanic as they are astral. Malefic spends his time pushing his consciousness out, not considering the limits of human freedom and will.

Because of this, Malefic spends 19 or 20 hours a day asleep. Or nearly asleep. In that mental space between consciousness and unconsciousness is where Malefic spends his time searching.

Malefic owns a house, but he spends all of his time in the basement. His bed is down there. He has a small bookshelf down there. Upstairs, a thin layer of dust covers everything. He has never been to the second floor of his home. Not once. He can't remember where the stairs are. He has forgotten how many rooms are up there.

Because Malefic spends so much of his time asleep, or nearly asleep, he must rely on others to create his music. In his basement, he has a host of tiny, green creatures. The tiny green creatures live only to create music. It is their evolutionary imperative. They live on blast beats and droning, hypnotic guitar riffs. They live on washes of reverb and delay.

In a way, they are like a Black Metal making equivalent of the Doozers from Fraggle Rock. Seriously.

They look a little like this:



So, Malefic sleeps. And the creatures make music. And as he sleeps, the creatures keep a microphone next to him. And in his sleep, as he travels the outer limits of his brain, and searches for a crack in the barrier between his brain, and the massive, possible "world brain," he sings.

This is how Xasthur records are made.

Maybe.

I'll keep looking into it. Maybe I'll be able to blog if I figure it all out.

***

Also, holy fuck I loved these guys.

***

Shit shit shit. I forgot to talk about NO COLONY. Blake Butler and Ken Baumann have a journal called NO COLONY. Here is a list of contributors to issue 001.

I'm in it. But a lot of other really fantastic writers are in it, too. I would list some favorites, but I really like things I've read by everyone on the list, so I won't single anyone out.

Jereme Dean is giving away copies at his blog to people who comment. It's a contest. Comment well, and he'll give you one. He has six extra copies—I bought three for him for the giveaway. Go comment. Get copies of NO COLONY.

***

Another little update:

I'm at Titular Journal.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Striborg

This is Striborg. It is a one-man band from Australia. He calls himself Sin Nanna:



I imagine Striborg. I often find myself thinking about Striborg.

Sin Nanna lives in a treehouse in New Zealand, I think. Sin Nanna stays up late and gets up early. Sin Nanna rejects the weakness that is sleep.

Sin Nanna's treehouse is fitted out between white pines. Sin Nanna gets up early to watch the sun rise, and it breaks over the trees, and Sin Nanna thinks about the way the sun can dry a green leaf to a shrunken brown.

Sin Nanna stays up late and watches a storm roll in from the east, and sees lightning bouncing from cloud to cloud, and thinks that all life begins with a spark, and that a spark is something that destroys.

Sin Nanna likes the moon. Everything there is gray. And quiet. And dead. And spinning. And if you make a little hop, you hop very very high.

Sin Nanna to pull all the mids out when he plays his guitar. He likes to turn the reverb all the way up. He likes the warmth of the analog echo. He likes his tiny tiny home studio. He likes the chords piled up and crisscrossing—like the twisting of vines—all around the floor. He likes to sing from across the room. He likes to set up the microphone outside in the grass, and likes to walk away from it, to hide behind white pines, and sing from there.

He likes to clatter around on the drums.

Sin Nanna likes to dig his feet into the dirt, bury himself to his ankles, and he likes to wait and wait to see what happens.

Sin Nanna likes high winds, and he likes to climb to the highest point possible of one of his trees, and he likes to lash himself to the trunk, and let the wind batter him.

At least, I imagine all this about Striborg.

Maybe I'm wrong, and shouldn't blog about it.

***

Music, not so harsh.

***

Alice Cooper on Soupy Sales.

Monday, July 14, 2008

OTE

I'm in the new issue of The Believer. So is Blake Butler. I wrote about Over the Edge, a radio show produced by the band Negativland.

Many years ago, I had a radio program on Iowa City Free Radio. It was a rip-off of Over the Edge.

This was my theme song:





I played two different versions at the same time, so to properly simulate what it was like listening to the beginning of my radio show, press play on both those videos at the same time. Sometimes, stop one or the other, because I did that, too.

I taped many of the shows. In the next couple of days, I'll try to put together some edited highlights of the shows and post them.

Blake Butler wrote about Jingle Babies, a holiday record made, apparently, by squeezing little babies.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Holiday

I went on vacation.

***

"It includes the butterfly and the rat, the shit
drying to chalk, trees
falling at an angle, taking those moist
and buried rootballs with them

into deadly air. But someone will
tell you the butterfly's the happy ending
of every dirge-singing worm, the rat
a river rat come up from a shimmering depth,

the shit passed purely into scat one can read
for a source, the creature that shadowed it one
longish minute. And trees, of course they
wanted to fall. It was there time or something

equally sonorous. And wind too knows its
mindless little whirlpool's not for nothing, not
nothing—that pitch and rage stopped. How else
does the sparrow's neck break."

—Marianne Boruch








Monday, June 30, 2008

Hippie

What I like best about this patent is that it is clearly (if one is to assume that the accompanying image as clarification) it is meant to deter the Suicide Hippie.



For years, the desperate threat good people like you and me—well, you—are under because of the Suicide Hippie has been ignored as we have been distracted because of the threats of "Islamofacism" and "Nuclear Terrorism" and "Islamoterrorism" and "Nuclear Facism" and "Islamonuclearism" and all of that horrible stuff.

But, once again, an inventor has seen fit to return us to the great threat of the Suicide Hippie.

Look at him: the Suicide Hippie with his devil may care moustache.

Look at him: the Suicide Hippie with his wild, flowing headband.

Look at him: the Suicide Hippie with his hand outstretched in a false gesture of peace-making while his other hand sits in his pocket, switching between grips on his detonator and his libertine sexual organ.

Look at him: the Suicide Hippie preparing to make our lives all "groovy gravy" as he blows a split in our spines that will leave us permanently wheelchair bound.

Look at him.

Just look at him.

But do not fear him. He will be caught.



The Suicide Hippie is powerless in the face of "innovation."

***

I have linked to this before. Watch it again. It gets better and better.

***

Also Shane Jones introduced me to Little Robot.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Run

How was the run?

Good, I think. I ran more of it than I expected to run. (I am, recently, out of shape.)

My thanks to my many anonymous contributors. My thanks to my nonymous one, as well. I was able to raise a little money.

I was a little late, and unable to break away from the pack this time, so the view from the top of the viaduct was obscured by the many bodies of my fellow runners.

The following songs appeared on my iPod during the run:

This.

This.

This.

This.

This.

Others, too.

During much of the run, I was behind a woman with a very nice right arm. It was covered in tattoos. A sleeve of tattoos. She had a blond ponytail. Dyed blond, it looked like. She was wearing a pink, anti-breast cancer t-shirt. She stopped to walk fewer times than I did.

Also, at one point I passed a man in a Race for the Cure volunteer t-shirt. He was wearing long khaki pants. He was older, had graying hair. He was running very, very slowly. Running as fast as I usually walk. He was heavy-set. It looked like his knees were stiff. He was covered in sweat, too. His light blue shirt was almost entirely dark blue. I felt bad about the times I had stopped to walk short sections of the race when I saw him. I decided that he had run the entire thing, even though he wasn't in very good shape. And wasn't really wearing proper "running gear."

The run had an entirely shocking laxative effect on me, and I had to find a place to resolve the issue moments after finishing the race. I was sort of emotional—as I tend to get during a run—and then, also, in addition to that fragility, I had this other sense of physical fragility, this other not-at-all complimentary body-born need. In this state, I was handed a bag from Swedish Medical Center, full of the hospital's promotional materials.

In any other state, I think I would have ignored the people handing out the bag. In this state, though, I was particularly easy to influence. I imagine if I had been at home, and telemarketers had caught me in this moment, I would have changed my long distance phone service.

(The bag contained a package of Swedish Fish. I ate them.)

Yes, well.

***

On Friday, my band Fire in My Bag will be playing a long, quiet/loud/quiet set at a place called the School of Visual Concepts. We will be making a live audio collage for an art show. The show has a theme. The theme is "Slippery Reality." We will make noise appropriate to that theme.

It will be sort of like, but not as good as, an episode of Over the Edge.

Wine and food while it lasts.

***

Tonight, my friend Michael will be doing stand-up comedy at The Sunset Tavern.

(In Seattle.)

This is Michael.

So is this.

He's also in a band called The Way It Is. There is a link to the right.

***

Here's a Wordle of this post:



***

I enjoy Wordle, apparently. I used Wordle to make a Creation Stories t-shirt. The words are from the text of reviews people have given Creation Stories on GoodReads.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Peanuts

Last night, some friends and I went to dinner with a new novelist and editor. A nice guy. A funny book.

At some point in the evening, said writer and editor brought up the Charles Schulz biography, and everyone started talking about Peanuts. We talked about Schulz, and Peanuts, and the strips impact, and its themes. And the way Schulz approached it. Its tone. His tremendous sadness. His certainty of his talent.

The way the strip is Buddhist. The way the strip is Christian. The way the strip's Christianity echoes maybe Kierkegaard's. The way the proportions of the drawings influenced others.

And I realized that we were suddenly having this really interesting, really high level, really engaging conversation, and that everyone at the table was involved in it.

And I thought, man, we all know a LOT about Peanuts. We really all seem to know a LOT about Peanuts.

Sure, at a party, you and some people can be sitting around, and someone can come up with a topic. Then, what, maybe 50% of the people around can join in the conversation. And the others will sit and listen and learn. Maybe 75%, sometimes?

But in this case, we all had something to say. Everyone had something to say.

That never happens!

Have to figure it out. Later, blog.

***

I enjoy Burial.

***

Also Sunn 0))).

***

Also:

Monday, June 09, 2008

Ghosts

Oh, boy. This is where all the ghosts look in the window at me.

This is it. The window for ghosts. The place the ghosts look in when they want to spy. To Tom Peep. This is the window. This window in my bedroom.

Hey. High. Ho. This is the one.

The ghosts, they like to look in through this bedroom window when they all want to spy on me.

And they want to spy on me.

My life is quite interesting to ghosts, I say. My life is awfully, awfully interesting to ghosts.

Know why? Know why?

I don't know. That's just the thing. I don't know. I don't know why my life is so gosh darned interesting to ghosts, but it is. It just is.

I have, frankly, tried to make my life more boring to ghosts. I do all I can. I spend hours in front of the TV. I eat nothing but hunks of bread, and bits of cheese, and peanut butter. I sometimes play Katamari Damacy from sun-up to sun-down.

And yet, the ghosts, they stay and they watch and they won't leave my window.

I turn on my computer, check my email, check a blog, check my email, check another blog, check my email.

And yet, they watch.

I lie in bed all day Sunday. Every Sunday. I lie in bed and wait for The Simpsons to come on, and maybe then I get up. I lie in bed and listen to the radio all day Sunday. But they watch.

I'm trying. I'm really trying to bore the ghosts.

But nothing works.

They are watching me right now. Can't blog. Must be much much more boring.



***

Love Battery were the Great American Shoegazer band.

***

Les Thugs were something else. This video features a scene where they are running on a beach. Like The Monkees might. (Play loud.)

Monday, June 02, 2008

Reviews

Today I will review things. I don't usually do that here.

I don't usually do anything here. I can't blog.

But today I will make a concerted effort to do so. So I can do some reviews.

First, I'd like to review this:



I think it's great that the lead singer of Iron Maiden got his pilot's license and might someday be the guy who gets on the intercom and says: "Well, folks. We're going to be stuck on the tarmac for another hour. While we wait, I'm going to sing a little 'Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter.'"

***

Next, I would like to review Mason and Dixon and Gravity's Rainbow by Chris Killen and Shane Jones.

In the book, a haiku dreams about one day becoming a an epic novel. It is, metonyminously speaking, the book itself.

That's not a dig. The book does not try to be something it's not. It is a series of beautiful little short pieces. And they, fundamentally, tiny wonders that in their secret depth, aspire to something larger. Hence, the names of the book. Short poems as grand, epic novels.

In other words, great work guys.

***

Last night, I went to see Caroliner at a little place in Seattle. Here's a review that:

Seeing Caroliner was exactly like seeing every band I have ever seen live, and every painting I have ever looked at, and every film I have ever watched, all at once. In a tiny room. With a bunch of people watching, too.

A while back, I reviewed the movie Old Joy for Hobart's blog.

I don't think I did much of a job as a blog-centered reviewer. I apologize. I'll try again, maybe someday. I'll practice. And then maybe I'll review. And blog.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Clamor

The extent to which this causes a clamor, that's the extent to which this matters to me.

And you. The extent to which this causes a clamor within you, that's the extent to which this matters to you.

This causes a clamor. And all that matters is the extent to which. Seriously.

Clamor, it has a spectrum along which it exists. And this, this thing that causes a clamor, it sits somewhere along that spectrum. It could be on this side or that side. It could be a Greater Clamor or a Lesser Clamor, all depending on how it feels to you, and the position from which you are observing this. And me.

I'm observing this, too.

We can triangulate—you, me, and the place where this sits on the clamor spectrum.

And the, oh how this will really, truly matter. Oh how this will finally have some sort number or some sort of letter or some sort of charted way (maybe a line or a bar on a graph) of being quantified in terms of how much it matters.

Really.

Truly.

Before we blog, though, we must triangulate. And understand clamor.

***

Click here to listen to the WTO protests in Seattle. This field recording was made by Christopher DeLaurenti.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sicker

As I said, I was sick all weekend and couldn't blog.

Couldn't blog.

(Wouldn't blog? Hmmm...maybe. I do requests.)

But couldn't blog.

Could sleep, though. Slept well. And lots. With the cat.

(I have a cat.)

Slept well and long with the cat. But fevered. Lots of dreams. Dreamt about, like, being a teacher and scoring tests. Dreamt about, like, being someone watching the actor/comedian Kevin Nealon, and then being Kevin Nealon watching, like, Kevin Nealon, and then just being Kevin Nealon.

Dreamt about, like, being crushed under the weight of dirt poured out of the back of a dirt-hauling truck. Being a flower, and being crushed under the weight of dirt poured out of the back of a dirt-hauling truck. Yeah.

But, also, the cat was there. Curled up against the fever-burning body. The sweating, shirtless, fever-burning body. (Don't fucking judge me...it was hot, so I was fucking shirtless! So fucking what?)

And so. (Sorry.) And so.

So I woke up after dreams and sweating. Cat curled against me. I woke up. He woke up. I stirred. He got up and stretched. I stretched and moved. He jumped down and ran off.

I woke up. Looked down. Cat gone. Sweat on chest. Cat hair on chest.

I woke up and had a manly, '70s-manly head of chest hair made of cat sheddings. In a big spot centered on my chest.

Getting sick made a man of me, baby.

(Baby.)

So. Yeah. Sick. Staring at self in mirror. With manly chest of faux chest hair. Of cat chest hair. Couldn't blog. Who could? Who would?

Really?

***

From comments, a recipe to cure sickness from Dr. John Synco (M.D. or possibly Witch Doctor or something):

"Half water, half hydrogen peroxide then gargle. Don't swallow. Never mind. Whiskey. Float cube of ice in Jameson or Elijah Craig. Gargle. Swallow. Repeat."

Did my damnedest, brother. Think the cloves got me.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sick

Been sick and unable to post. Please enjoy some work by the Royal Art Lodge and come back tomorrow for something else.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Apple

Matthew Simmons continues his interview with The Man Who Couldn't Blog:

So, any dietary restrictions?

I am, for the most part, omnivorous. I do have one edible item I prohibit. I don't even want them in my home.

It's the apple. I refuse on moral and patriotic grounds to eat apples.

Sure, you are probably saying, "Isn't the apple the most patriotic of all fruits?" Because that's what you are taught to believe. In schools. "As American as apple pie," is a thing people will say to you, for example. This is a terrible, un-American lie.

I'm not the first to point out that Johnny Appleseed, who went around the country scattering the seeds of an invasive species, was essentially an early bio-terrorist. But people seem to stop their analysis of the history of this man there. What about digging deeper?

I have.

Did you know the apple has its roots in Kazakhstan. Appleseed was around in the late 18th and early 19th century. When he was born, Kazakhstan was still a khanate. It, at that point, was on its way out, though. The Russian empire was approaching. It had to plan for its future somewhere else.

So, Appleseed scatters apples everywhere. People eat apples. People enjoy apples. People decide that the apple is, symbolically speaking, "American."

But it's not. It's from Kazakhstan.

You know what else is from Kazakhstan? The settlers who came to the new world and called themselves the Chapman family. The boy John Chapman. Johnny "Appleseed" Chapman.

I happen to believe that the apple was introduced to this country as a way of "familiarizing" us with the traditional fare of Kazakhstan. It's a political tool. A socializing tool.

The Kazakhs are coming. Are already here. They are taking over on the sly. Johnny Appleseed was the opening gambit in the building of a North American outpost of the Kazakhstani empire. Seriously.


That's an interesting theory. Are you crazy?

Some people seem to think so. But I have genealogy charts at home that I think prove all of this definitively.

There's more, too. The adage "An apple a day keeps the doctor away," is a part of this conspiracy. Medical school is a training ground for sleeper cells, for agents of the conspiracy. (I also refuse to go see doctors.) They push the pro-apple, pro-United States of Kazakhstan agenda.

This is what I believe. Researching all this information has taken its toll on me. I have no time for a social life. Not time for exercise. No time for blogging.


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If you are from The Elegant Variation, hello.

Please enjoy some Brainiac.