Wednesday, October 29, 2008
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
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:
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
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.
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
—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.
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."
The Primeval Stomp. Explanation maybe next week.