For the Record

Last week, I’m preparing my resume for a new round of job searching and as is always a good idea, I google my name. Everything is looking normal until I get down to the bottom of the first page of google hits and find that, along with my usual public pages there is a Myspace page for a “Keith K. Kisser.”

This is not me.

I shut down my Myspace account two years ago. Also, my middle initial is not K for reasons that I hope are obvious.

I contact Myspace and ask them to pull the page on the grounds that it’s offensive, thinking it’s a prank or joke in bad taste.*

Turns out, “Keith K. Kisser” is a legit account and the bald gentleman in the pictures who emblazoned Kay Kay Kay across his Myspace page is in a punk band. Myspace won’t take down the page.

For the record: my name is Keith E. Kisser. I am in no way affiliated with Keith K. Kisser.

Also for the record: Myspace is well past it’s sell by date and should be shunned like lepers.
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*Last month, I had a troll on my blog write a three part rant about how I was racist because I was opposed to the censoring of Huck Finn by replacing the N word with “slave”. I assumed at first it was this troll, trying to punk me.

What’s Wrong With the World Today, Part Eleventy Billion

People keep asking how we got here. How we, the noble citizens of a once proud nation, came to find ourselves in a situation where demonstrators in Wisconson have to protest in order to keep collective bargaining for unions. How we can find billions of dollars for two land wars in Asia, but can’t find a few million to provide universal healthcare.

I’ll tell you how: because we’d rather build a statue of Robocop.

What started out as a joke on Twitter, turned into a Kickstarter campaign that, in less than a week, has raised over $60,000 to build a statue of a fictional character in one of the country’s most beleaguered cities. I could think of a few dozen things to spend 60K on in Detroit and statues aren’t on that list. But getting web-enabled irony overdosing hipsters to shell out $5 a piece for a statue of a gun toting robot is cool. We can do that. Feeding people is hard work. Employing them in jobs that are meaningful and allow them to live with dignity, even harder.

That’s 21st Century America for you. We’ll blow thousands on a statue, billions on a war but nothing to actually help people in need. We’ll redefine rape, try and and provide fetuses with human rights while stripping them from their mothers, but donate to your local library? Fuck that. Some kid might read Huck Finn and see the N word. A young woman might read something other than the Bible and get ideas in her head that she is more than just a walking womb to be fought over by men. Jesus may have liked the poor but extending unemployment benefits? That’s taking things a little too far don’t you think? I mean, symbolic gestures are alright, since they take almost no time or thought to complete and make you feel righteous. But helping someone in need? That’s communism, buddy. We don’t do that sort of thing in the US.

Not anymore.

Beware of This and That

I meant to post this a few weeks ago, when it was still on the front page of 3 Quarks Daily, but it’s one of those timeless essays that you can enjoy even after the Internet ADHD has kicked in: What We Talk About When We Talk About the Weather, by Alyssa Pelish. You’ll never think about random comments about the weather the same way again.

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The Found Objects blog describes itself as a hauntological dumping ground, which is as apt a description as any for the likes of the Number Lady:

Title sequence to never-broadcast TV series. Filmed by Southern TV in 1975, and abandoned for reasons that have never been fully explained (though all sorts of rumours abound). Even the subject of the series is unclear, some claiming it is a straightforward drama about shortwave number stations, and others that it’s a supernatural story about a a boy who can communicate with ghosts that have been trapped by pylons in a field near his home.

Either would be amazing and make Lost look like the paper thin soap opera we always suspected it really was.

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Speaking of blogs full of interesting, discarded bits of culture: If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger, There’d Be a Whole Lot of Dead Copycats is about stuff. Also: things. It’s web archaeology with impeccable taste.

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I don’t know what to make of this. Maybe you can figure it out.

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And if you want to be a better writer, or just a better person, you need to bookmark this page on Wikipedia, describing the most common misconceptions. It’s got a little bit of everything, from Archimedes’ death ray and how it could never work to why Napoleon wasn’t really all that short.

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The weather has been rather peculiar today. Woke up to big fat fluffy snow falling like doomsday. Shortly before lunch, the sun came out. Then it got cloudy and hailed for almost an hour, covering the street outside my house with a fine blanket of ice. Now the sun is back out. But remember: global climate change is just a leftist plot against capitalism.

Do Not Adjust Your Set

I’m doing a bit of site clean up and redesign so things will be…indeterminant for a while. Should be back to normal soon.

Update: Well that didn’t take long at all. WordPress has done a bang up job making site updates and maintence a breeze. Only thing left to fix is the header image. I’m not entirely sure who that is wandering the lanes of the British countryside, but I’m thinking I need a different image, something a bit more approrpiate and thematic. Until then, Enjoy Mr. Darcy and the sheep.

The Hardest Part About Writing A Novel

Hypothetical people who only exist in my head are constantly asking me, “Keith,what’s the hardest part of writing a Novel?” Well, HPWOEIMH, you’d think it’d be coming up with an interesting plot, or not repeating yourself with descriptive passages or even coming up with evocative but naturalistic dialogue. But you’d be wrong.

The hardest part of writing a novel is sitting down every day and writing. Meeting that quota of new words on the page, taking the time, every day to write a few hundred or thousand words further on into the story than you went yesterday. That’s the hard part. Because, honestly, as much as I enjoy writing and finding that transcendent moment where I’m not wrapped up in my skin and life but instead, living in the world of the story, getting there is not exactly like going tot he grocery store. You can’t just jaunt there on a whim. it takes work and more than anything else, dedication. You have to sit down and try when you’re not in the mood, when you’d rather go play Rock band or just watch a movie. Especially then.

And there are days when this is easier than it sounds. When you can’t wait to get to the keyboard because the words are coming out of your fingertips and you want to catch them before they get away. And then sometimes, the words don’t want to come at all and you have to sit there and strain and think and force yourself just to finish a sentence.

But–and this is the important part–you need to know when it’s not working just as much as when it is. Enjoy those days when the words are flowing easily and you can knock out 2000 words without trying. But also, you need to know hen the ell is dry and then just walk away for a day or two and come back at it fresh another time.

Which is the long way around saying that I was going to spend today trying to make up for the lousy writing week I’ve had but instead, I’m going to hop the Max and go see Patton Oswalt at Powell’s. The best way to re-energize the writing battery is to go look at books, read, relax and take the day off. Sometimes the hardest part of working is knowing when to do nothing.

The Moons of Jupiter

You meet a man on the bus who offers to sell you half a pint of colloidal silver and a chance to wring the necks of prized geese belonging to a man you once hated for some irrational but completely understandable reason, now forgotten. His daughter attended university with your cousin and you met her once, at a party down at the mill. It was a warm summer night and the cicadas were buzzing and there was a bottle of beer in your hand. She came in with her friends and your two distinct groups orbited one another all night, like the moons of Jupiter. The man on the bus asks in exchange for this dubious business transaction, that you give him a the contents of your left pocket. You produce a handful of change, a cough drop and an assortment of pocket lint. He throws away the change, unwraps the lozenge and pops it in his mouth then pockets the lint. He hands you a mason jar filled with a cloudy gray liquid and tells you where the geese are but you forget as soon as he leaves the bus, which is at the next stop. Later, the daughter of the man you once hated gets on the bus and makes an effort not to make eye contact with you. That night, you will have an erotic dream about her and wake up all of a sudden, remembering that you left the jar of colloidal silver on the bus.