Lots of paycheck earning labor to do to-day, so I’ve not aggregated much.

There was world cup action on to-day.  A flash of World Cups past at the bottom (under the fold?).

An interesting essay by a sex worker in LA.  Some of the commentators think this is about the human condition.  I think they probably live in LA.  This loneliness is total LA, and only LAites think it’s universal, so they can go on with their lonely selves.  Not that the LA condition doesn’t infect some/most of us outside of LA.  It’s a cultural capital after all, Paris’s Vichy.

Bruce Sterling’s keynote speech from The Augmented Reality Event.

Twitter feeds.  Let’s begin with LitCrit Hulk.  Here’s a sample:


It pains me to credit genius to someone, as there is then less genius left over for yours truly, but this is genius.  The the #TinyDeclaration hashtag.  People are tasked with in a single tweet summarizing the Declaration of Independence.  My not so brilliant entry:

We’re out. PS. King George, you suck.

Slate will compile their favorites and post it later (I’m guessing on the 5th, unless they take that as a holiday like everyone else.)

Sestina.  It’s a poetic form that seems really complex.  Natch, I feel compelled to try my hand at it.  It is really complex and it has managed to kill an entire Wednesday all by itself.

Not quite true.  I was hungover until afternoon, so it wasn’t completely the sestina.  And the game Spectromancer made by James Garfield and friends.  I have a slight man-crush on Garfield.  He has a big brain and uses it to make the world a more leisurely and fun place.  He has a podcast that is highly recommended, Games with Garfield. If I ever finish the sestina, a distraction unfinished due to other distractions?, then I will post it.  It’s based on a joke.  A good joke, unlike the kinds Nate tries his hand at.

The Blair Witch Project was an okay movie, even though it scared the bajeezus out of me.  Only The Shinning has had more affect on me.  There’s an interesting movie critic gimmick at The Rumpus called 10/40/70.  But the latest piece has branched out to also include House of Leaves, which is not a movie but instead a book about a movie.  It’s easily the most terrifying book I’ve ever read and at the same time one of the best.  I learned a lot.  Let’s just say this piece of criticism is…interesting.

A Bing commercial turned me onto this clip of a Dog Shark versus a Giant Pacific Octopus.  I actually feel badly for the shark.

And this flash from the past.

Entourage is back on.  And I have never been more bored.  Seven seasons and the guys are the same.  No growth or personal development.  There is no subtext, only jokes and gimmicks.  The jokes and gimmicks are great.  The show is entertaining, but oh so predictable.

This is the first book in The Rumpus’ Book Club.  I guess I will be sharing my thoughts as I make my way through it.  The back blurb:

There shouldn’t be a Citrus County.  Teenage romance should be difficult, but not this difficult.  Boys like Toby should cause trouble but not this much.  The moon should glow gently over children safe in their beds.  Uncles in their rockers should be kind.  Teachers should guide and inspire.  Manatees should laze and palm trees sway and snakes keep to their shady spots under the azelea thickets.  The air shouldn’t smell like a swamp.  The stars should twinkle.  Shelby should be her own hero, the first hero of Citrus County.  She should rescue her sister from underground, rescue Toby from his life.  Her destiny should be a hero’s destiny.

This blurb does not excite me.  There is too much nature.  There is too much heroism.  There is too much sentimentality.  Which is why I am excited.  Given the types of books produced by McSweeney’s and the sensibilities of The Rumpus folk, I suspect the book will flip on all of my impressions of the blurb.  As if a blurb for Californication had been

The story of a writer whose taste of success ruined his ability to create.  His career plummets and his relationships tumble.  The show follows the widening gyre of his life in LA.

Something like that.   The book’s design is not appealing either.  The cover is only shades of green.  Trees are intimated all around and in the distance is a small greenhouse with a boy, darkened in green shadows, trying to peer inside.  This is most definitely not a book I’d pick up at a bookstore.  215 pages is not at all daunting.  The typeset renders the 215 to about 170 normally set pages.  The paper is odd though, thick and slick.  I worry about the ability of my pen to mark it up without smudging, can’t see the words for the smudges.  Something like that.

Lauren Hart (“Who?” “Lauren Hart.”  “Who?”  “Fair enough.”) sang the national anthem at the Stanley Cup finals.  Oh wait, this about distractions.  She was not at all distracting.  Maybe that had more to do with her wearing a Flyers t-shirt and not about the quality of her singing.  Maybe.  I’m an asshole.

I’ve been receiving some feedback about the link to the piece about grandpa and a bird.  Speaking of The Rumpus, I will recommend you listen to episode 2 of Rumpus Radio.  It’s available through iTunes.  I am looking for a place to download it sans iTunes.  In any case, they’re friends but it’s still a combative environment and pretty entertaining once they are actually moving along.

I’ve been promised by Buttercup that a response to the covers contest is coming.  But, he is Buttercup after all.  I don’t think his wife gets the Buttercup joke.

Yea, no real distractions going on to-day.  And yet I have been een less productive than usual.  I’m off to NYC on Sunday, so if you have any suggestions for stuff to see, especially in Brooklyn, I’d love to hear.

I have been thinking about Facebook suicide for some time.  I already made the ‘no relationship status’ change and the response from ‘friends’ was shocking.  Between all the crap, the addictive waste of time I make it and my ‘friends’ from high school that now rant about every Obama-is-a-socialist move I can no longer stand it.  Or this:

“Your whole ass?”

Absurdity.  The word ‘absurd’ cannot capture the nonsense below.

Too many times people try to be cute.  Advice columnists rarely are ever cute, I’m looking at you Dear Prudence, but at least Sugar is funny.  This time he’s got it really really right.  And at a Creeper 5 rating.

For the challenge of cover songs started by Buttercup over at Woodenpickle.org, I re-exposed myself to Orgy’s “Blue Monday”.

Richard Hass, in an essay about a Lowell poem, provides a brilliant insight into not only Sarah Palin and the Tea Baggers but also to the nostalgic politics of the right.  “Nostalgia locates desire in the past where it suffers no active conflict and can be yearned toward pleasantly.  History is the antidote to this.” (330)

I have spent a lot of time lately following writers behaving badly.  Dan Kennedy in a Moth podcast tells a funny joke about a time in the 90s when he was not doing so hot.  He goes to a therapist (reminds me of a party at UNT where a guy tried to game a woman by referring to his roommate as The-Rapist, oops!) and the therapist asks, “how many beers did you have this week?”  “You’re right doc, it wasn’t a total wash, I did manage to have a few beers.”  Oops!  Therapist finishes the harangue, “you’re Irish, you’re last name is Kennedy and your heroes are all writers.  Let’s just keep an eye on the alcohol.”

In any case, writers behaving badly.  So, I’ve been watching some old Norman Mailer segments available on YouTube.  Great watching.  Here’s the best, where Norman squares off against Dick Cavett, Gore Vidal and Flannery O’Connor.

Hass, Richard.  (1997).  Lowell’s graveyard.  In J.C. Hallman, ed. (2009).  The story about the story: Great writers explore great literature (328-47). Portland: Tin House Books.