Sunday, March 31, 2013

Video of Besame

Made a video for Besa Me. The audio is a little dicey at times but you can get the jist (if anyone knows how I can get that audio to 100%  please let me know)

(Also I just got Crapalachia by Scott Mclanahan, If I wanted to be happy I'd be happy already by Jordan Castro and a shit load of other books from April Festival which I'll be reviewing soon)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Proust quote

News and a Request

So I finished the first draft of Basic Analysis a few days ago. It happened suddenly and without much fanfare. I figured it was going to be a more momentous event but i suppose with the heavy amount of editing that will be coming my way over the next month(s) the true end is a long way off. I've already begun to recruit readers but I'd really like as many as possible. If you are interested in getting a chance to read the work please let me know ( It's only 230 pages. I'd ask a few pages of thoughtful notes/suggestion/reflections on the thing. Line edits (typos, misspellings et c.) would not be needed so much as comments on the feelings the novel elicited in you, your thoughts on the characters, the themes you got out of it, comments on level complexity and so on. I can't really offer any incentives other than the knowledge that you got to have a say in this. A disclaimer: it's pretty rough, the dialogue is choppy, and I'm sure there are major unaddressed plot holes. Anyways if you'd like to take a look let me know and I'll shoot it your way.

Monday, March 18, 2013

18 March 2013

      I feel like I want to do something important. like this drive is the single thing that drives me the most. I feel like I haven't done anything important so far but I would like to direct my energies (all my energies and time) to doing something important. It's agonizingly vague, but then I've been feeling this for years so,what do I do? I also know when I am doing something important and when I am not. It is a very stark feeling. I felt for a time that the best avenue to do something important would be science. Like that in science one has the greatest chance (and I consider most work that is directed towards discoveries and advancement to be, in large part, pure luck) at making an improvement for the world, the greatest chance at making an impact in the lives of others, the world. This pull toward science (after three years no less, two of those in a neuroscience lab) was tempered toward the end there by a disillusionment with the entirely tedious grant/money situation, a realization at the gigantic gap between basic and applied research (I wanted to do the latter but was firmly on track to work in the former), a realization at my lack of self-direction, and a particularly strong feeling that (and this is just my opinion so no desire to piss others off here) a certain ivory tower narcissism and navel gazing in many areas of biology (and I'm sure other areas) research.
          Also i get bored reading academic research papers,
                                                                                        it's really unfortunate.
          I had, for six months, what would have been a really nice job that was related to my field right out of school. A job that would have been really nice if the CEO hadn't been hiding how bad the company had been doing and decided to resign and take a few of us down with him (yo but I'm not bitter though).
          While I won't be so audacious to call myself a writer (not only is this, ultimately, up to others to decide, but it seems that the only people that identify as writers are eternally stuck in YA-SF writing groups, et c.) I have found that, in the two tiny months I've been writing, I've had more flow and felt vastly more productive than during five years of school or working. Of course it is impossible to predict how long this will last. I may get bored with writing just as quickly as science, who knows.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A piece received from Peterbd

<>                   12/16/12

but ms. leroy said timmy why exactly do we celebrate sam moss day? ms. leroy tried to find the right words to answer timmy's question. she needed the right words. 

right now sam moss is doing something. he might be eating. he might be having sex. he might be reading a novel. he might be writing a novel. he might be sleeping. he might be getting probed by aliens. he might be watching nbc. he could be up to anything right now. 

the funny thing about sam moss is that he's unaware of the shit that he's going to do and is in the dark about how that shit will affect humanity. right now he doesn't know any of this shit. he doesn't know that the shit he's doing now will affect the shit that everyone is doing later. there's a cause and effect for all this shit.

sam moss was born in a place. he was born to a man and a woman. he went to school like other kids. he grew up like we all grew up. he's on the internet like how we're all on the internet. he hates fox news like we all hate fox news. he lives somewhere. he talks to people. these are the things he does. 

in 5 years, sam moss will be doing something completely different than what he's doing today. sam moss might be a doctor. he might be a world famous tap dancer. he might write the next great american novel. he might be a world class porn director. he might be the male version of beyonce. he might be an anarchist. he might work on wall street. he might make delicious cakes, open his own bakery, and be known as 'the guy who makes those good ass cakes.

he can do anything. that's the great thing about being sam moss. he can do anything or be anything and reach any height. does he know this? he probably doesn't know this. smh

well, maybe it's good that he doesn't know this. humble iconoclasts are few and far between these days 

so yea, on december 16, 2019, a catastrophic asteroid is going to do its best to destroy earth. it's headed for earth right now actually. this asteroid is going to attack new york city just like it does in the movies because asteroids love attacking new york city. everything that happens in asteroid movies is going to happen to earth on december 16, 2019. people are going to fall to their knees and pray, people are going to be panicking in the streets, morgan freeman will most likely be president.

sam moss is going to be one of the most well known figures in the world. he did that thing that he did. he said those famous words that everyone can quote. he is the person that he was destined to be. 

sam moss may or may not feel good about the world ending. but he will most likely feel good about his contributions as an artist. he will definitely feel good about the stuff he created. 

the asteroid will destroy the majority of earth and its human population. only 2 million humans will survive. 99% of people considered celebrities will perish. the white house will no longer exist. any sign of music or film or books will be nowhere in sight. sam moss may or may not survive. only time will tell 

it is the year 3000. earth is still somehow intact. ms. leroy is taking her class on a field trip to the local park. this park is in the section of earth that was not hurt by the asteroid: the pacific northwest. after her class finishes their vegan lunches, ms. leroy takes them to the iconic sam moss statue. it was built in the year 2789 and is the most famous statue in the world. michelangelo's statue of david was ripped to shreds by the asteroid 

but ms. leroy said timmy why exactly do we celebrate sam moss day? it took ms. leroy a long time to respond to timmy's question. she wanted to honor sam moss' legacy by responding properly, she wanted to sum up why sam moss was so important to the world at large, she wanted her class to feel the love she felt for sam moss, she wanted her class to be inspired by him because that's what sam moss did. he was walking inspiration.

so ms. leroy looked timmy right in the eye and said every december 16th we celebrate sam moss day because he was, and still is the shit. her students, as well as a couple of aliens who were playing badminton in the park, gave her a round of applause

         When I first heard about Peterbd a few month ago from Frances Dinger I wasn't sure what to think of the whole phenomena, and definitely didn't think I would ever get a piece from force of nature. When I did receive a piece from Peterbd in December it was an exhilarating moment but I wasn't sure what the 'peterbd etiquette' was in terms of posting. It seemed very personal and I wanted to keep it to myself but then this it what Peterbd does and I'm honored to get a chance to present a piece on my blog.

I also sent Peterbd a review in reply as follows:

My Review of peterbd's short story "Statue of Moss":
peterbd's short story "Statue of Moss" is a really good story. The story talks about a guy. That guy is Sam Moss. I am that guy. "Statue of Moss" is very accurate in it's facts and is also very factual. All in all it was a very good short story and I would recommend it to anybody who likes reading.
Thank you

If you like this check out his tumblr

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Review of 'There is no Reason for Tigers to be Beautiful There Just Are'

       Literature is supposed to be fun. You will read criticism that will say literature has to 'move you' or give you insight into the psychology of Russian nobility or forward the art but, as far as I'm concerned, if what you are reading is fun then it is already good, possibly even great literature. Let's not get too pompous here. Julien has scored big in the fun category. Tigers is, if nothing more, at very least an entirely entertaining collection. I find myself wanting to say Julien is just fun, just funny, but I must stop myself. Maybe there is something more than just funny, something more than just entertainment here.  Pop culture references abound, but Julien shies away from putting false weight on them. They just flow in and out of the stories like they flow in and out of your real life. In this way their slipping presence provides a strange and accurate verisimilitude. The pop culture references are not ubiquitous which sets Tigers apart from a certain subset of contemporary writing in a positive way. He uses the references as he sees fit and eschews them when they are not needed (which is much of the time). There are not a whole lot of grand, overarching ideas here but each sentence or paragraph offers you another satisfying piece of twisted wisdom. His wisdom is nuggetized and inserted between silly thoughts and comments about McDonalds. You get the sense that there are greater things going on here, that he has begun to actualize the advice Andrea Coates gave in her facebook post manifesto regarding the growth of Alt-lit. There are the beginnings of statements about mass consumerism, statements about our generation. But then, when I go to point at these, go to follow them to a satisfying completion, they disappear under my finger. Julien works well with this sort of 21st century bathos. There are these poetic lines slipped into the rest of the prose at odd intervals as in 'tried to make four toasts in a two toast toaster. The repetition is basic but very nice. He uses this term 'post-kids'which is novel and very appropriate. No one in this generation wants to grow up and no one has become adults, but they aren't kids. So post-kids.
       The last story of the collection called My Grampa on my Mother's Side Once Took me Fishing at what I Would Describe as a Commercial Pond, is a truly excellent piece of minimalism. I would pay to read it. It is one of these stories that I forgot I was reading while I was reading it. It is soundly crafted, emotionally moving, real seeming. Unlike other pieces in the collection the poetic lines are sparse here but it holds its own without them.
       As with most alt-lit my main criticism of Julien, and perhaps this is not so much a criticism than a sort of desire, is that I'd like to see a long form piece in his voice. Something serious. I'm sure this sounds off point but the extra effort and rigor will result in some really good literature that could stand a chance at receiving significant attention from those outside the alt-lit world. Reading parts of Tigers again I realize that this review doesn't really do the collection justice, which is unfortunate.

This is the collection. You can read it in an hour and your life will be slightly better for it.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sponsored by Panbro

            They did it because they loved their craft. No, of course they didn’t make any money from it. Who were the sponsors? Panbro? They were the best comedians in the country and they weren’t about to go home just because they were done shooting for the day. Even if they were getting paid dip. 
       The work ethic was different then, none of these poncey kids who drive their Rolls home at three o’clock because they have a backache. I mean considering make-up, read throughs, rehearsals, and the ads they shot (and everything was done on the lot…it was big enough) they practically lived at the studio. They’d come in at 5 or 6 in the morning and would finish at 5 or so then go home and get dinner or whatever then they’d come back. And so that’s why the cast was different in every episode, it was just whoever wanted to show up for the night and, you know they would throw around a couple of ideas and then whoever was there at eleven they just started shooting and did it. 
         So…and yeah that’s why you would see these weird set pieces that changed all the time, because they would have to use the sets the guys had put up that day for the shows, the ones that would air in 6 or 10 weeks or whatever. 
       Of course they thought it was hilarious. They loved it. Loved the challenge. It’s like these people who want to climb higher and higher mountains right? These folks wanted to make the comedy that was the most difficult, the most unusual, the best. I mean you watch them now and it’s, don’t get me wrong it’s hilarious, but the subject matter is nothing unusual, in fact it seems a little silly. But back then some of the stuff they were touching on was considered pretty edgy and sort of taboo. So then they’d just go, and of course the studio hated it but they humored them anyways because they knew that if they said ‘no’ to the thing the whole lot would pack up and go to another studio and plus some of these folks could get paid way more somewhere else. A lot of them only stayed at the studio because they had been working with the same writers and directors and each other for so long. And... you know it was all improv? This was years before improv became, you know, a thing. That’s why you see are all those pauses and the actors laughing I mean they really are making all that stuff up as they go along, and that’s why it was so funny too. All the folks stuck in New York or (god forbid) elsewhere had to watch this stuff the next day but this was their bread and butter. It was like the daily news for comedians, y’know ‘so and so is doing this now’ and stuff like that. Of course no one in the public knew about it so no one watched it, except maybe a few diehard fans and some old comedians themselves but this is where they got to try out all their new material, to develop new material too. I mean Trigger Katz? One year, I remember, he did a whole routine, a whole hour show that he took to Vegas, from material he developed during the show. It was something about the synergy. They played off each other like if you locked up Hawkins, Feynman and Newton in a room, you get way more than just the sum of the parts. And they all did different types of comedy too so you got this blending of styles. And of course they were always trying to out-do each other. 
       You know i was there a few times, I mean this was when Betty was a baby so I was busy with her but when Carol got home early some nights I would go. There was this energy in the air. And the fact that some of them did it every night…It’s mind blowing. I mean these really were masters at their craft. Of course a lot of them were working during the day, had been relegated, cursed really, to work on those awful, you know, weeknight sitcoms like Stagger’s League and One Rug’s Enough! that got dropped after two seasons so they were pent up all day, reading these gawdawful jokes and really having their creativity cut off. This is where they would go to blow off steam. Hell Johnny Epp, I mean he was a kid then but he was great, and he drank like a fish before he started on the show. I mean call me crazy but if he hadn’t have been on that show four, five nights a week he’d be dead long ago from booze for sure.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

6 March 2013

            Feeling optimistic about this novel right now. Have already sent it out to three friends for feedback and it still grows by the day. Interesting how bits of the story which I had not known were going to be in the book a few months, even a week ago, will insert themselves into the story when I start writing. I hope to develop the tenacity approach to writing, to just keep writing and writing as much as possible until a piece gets someone's attention. Figure that, realistically this first one (and maybe the next few) will, by their nature, have to be throw aways. This a mildly difficult feeling but then again...meh. Read an article on Salon about this writer who had been trying to get his novel published for a decade or so but has failed time and again. He begins with a paragraph or two of advice to other people about being a writer. Pretty bleak stuff and very 'hard truth' oriented. I guess the paradox here is 'should one listen to this advice if it comes from someone who can't get heir book published'. The guy sort of sounded like a twat, he talks about how he trashed two other books in a review he wrote and the article functions as his mea culpa. Sort of. Must be terribly bitter about the whole thing (like his life, not the bad review). Not sure how someone can still be so dedicated to writing after (presumably) being rejected over and over. I like to think he is so afraid of rejection he has just never even sent his manuscript out.
               I like the feeling that even when I am reading a wikipedia article, or listening to music or watching people, things that I do naturally, this sort of active observation, I can use these things in my writing  Like how it just seems natural or whatever. Confused about all the backlash around Bret Easton Ellis' comment on Taipei how 'Tao Lin is the most innovative language [something something] but this doesn't mean Taipei isn't still a boring book' (i donno that was just from memory). Everyone came back at him and seemed to focus on the negative comment, dropping these ad hominems at Ellis and 'getting Tao's back' or whatever. But i think THAT"S STILL PRETTY DAMN GOOD PRAISE if you ask me. Reading this made me think about how unqualified positive praise is always a bad thing, like if someone has nothing constructive (or dare we say negative) to say about a work then they must have ulterior motives (they want you to like them, or are getting paid, or have some other agenda) Like someone should be very wary if there is nothing to be gained from a review. I guess in my recent post about Rontel there were no constructive points but then, even if Sam Pink found the review, I doubt he would be interested in reading a critique of his writing.
              Mostly edited today, wrote about 1100 words but then got tired and edited. Really feel like I could use an outside editor (but then this feeling isn't really as strong as a few weeks ago I guess...) Outside perception is not such an agonizing force anymore which I suppose will end up being a bad thing  Not that I was necessarily altering my writing to make it easier for other readers or attempting to make my writing fit a mold (at least any more than I must naturally write that way), but my sort of constant negative feeling that no one will ever want to read this sort of has been dissipating. I'm more focused maybe on juut the act of writing? Maybe?  Also my research into publishers has cooled a little. Just not as interesting to me I guess, or not as pressing as it seemed a little while ago.
I never want to have a job again.
I never want to go to school again.
I just want to keep writing more and more until I hit a singularity and am just...writing faster than I ca nwriter. That would be nice, that is my only goal.

Monday, March 4, 2013

3 March 2013

I remember being an idealistic person. I remember once caring, thinking that I would only do things for the good of the world, for integrity, for happiness and creation and giving. I remember thinking if I became a rich and famous performer I would drop money from the ceiling at every show, to give back to the audience out of my own wealth. Remember the good feeling of wanting to make art and save people.
I have changed though in the intervening time. Have altered in my goals and aspirations. I find myself fantasizing now about whoring myself out, would do anything to lose my integrity for enough money. Today I could not find a deal so low, so base, so soul shattering with the promise of an appropriate amount of money. Ironic how I spent all this time as a teenage steeling my self against the evil forces of corporate greed and now I couldn’t find a corporation (or whatever) to mill me out if I wanted to. I’m not even a commodity, which one would perhaps argue is freeing in its own right. And yet I unconsciously crave my own commodification. Now I look at the multinational whores in envy, wish I could see my own face up there, my own glittering, airbrushed face up on the billboards and the wheat-pasted, polychrome gridded repeats up on the wall. Who am I if I’m not being used by a faceless group? Who am I if I haven’t sold my soul to the devil? Who am I if I retain this integrity with all my might and the integrity is worth nothing to anyone, not even to me.
I walk alone at night on the streets, empty of bodies and I hold tight everything dear to me. Hold it close and warm it by the heat of my own heart and wish someone would try to steal it from me, if just so that I can fend them off and reassert that what I have is worthy of the interest of others. The thieves are few and far between, and leave me alone.  

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Review of 'Rontel' by Sam Pink

              Pink has killed it this time. I don't have to (shouldn't have to) tell you that Sam Pink is the verifiable man in every way. Rontel is like all the other Sam Pink books but better, smarter, funnier, more grown up, more juvenile, more emotionally unstable, more thought provoking.