The Next Republican Nominee for President

The  Republican National Committee announced today that they’ve decided to skip the middle man and nominate as their candidate for the 2012 Presidential election noted Somali Pirate, Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse. “We’re tired of the small time grifters, the closeted sanctimonious hypocrits and backwoods cretins,” said RNC chair, Reince Priebus. “For this election, we needed a fresh face. Someone with leadership skills and a twenty first century idea of entrepreneurship. That he also knows how to handle an assault weapon is just a bonus!”

Mr. Muse came to prominence back in 2009 when he and his crew of desperate pirates took control of the Maersk Alabama, initiating a five-day hostage standoff that ultimately resulted in the death of three pirates and the freeing of Richard Phillips, the captain of the Maersk Alabama. Since then, Mr. Muse has been keeping a low profile, but the republicans feel that he has the qualities that are necessary to fulfill their plan for America.

“He’s already seen the future that the Republican party has in store for America,” said Newt Gingrich at a fundraiser for Mr. Muse this past Saturday. “Somalia is it. A land of complete lawlessness, a government so hobbled by corruption as to be practically nonexistent. They have no messy regulations whosoever. It’s a free market dream come true!”

“I grew up in extreme poverty,” said Mr. Muse of his humble beginnings. “I got my hands into something that was more powerful than me.”

Rush Limbaugh addressed Mr. Muse’s lack of US citizenship on his radio show,”At least we know where Mr. Muse came form. We still haven’t seen Obama’s real birth certificate!”

Sarah Palin elaborated, saying that,”Mr. Muse at least believes in the American dream and is willing to do what it takes to pioneer a small business and make it grow through hard work and dedication and that’s all the qualifications you need.”

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Unemployed. In Greenland! But let’s back up a few months here and frame this story properly…

Back in December, I was informed that the University would not be renewing my contract and so I would be leaving my position at the library come the end of the fiscal year, June 30. A week before Christmas is a hell of a time to get that kind of news.

And who tells someone they’re fired 6 months ahead of time? Because let me tell you, that colors the way you spend those last 6 month. And we’re not talking rainbows and sunshine neither. (True story: 3 months ago I thought I was having a heart attack. At 33. From the stress. Turned out it was just indigestion. From the stress.)

I had 6 months to look for new jobs and did. Things were looking up as, a week before my job ended, I scored an interview for mid July, doing my old job only for more money and hey wouldn’t that be great, because I’d get two weeks of vacation, during which my folks were here. So Ducks in a row is what it was.

Except that I didn’t get the job. That was kind of a blow, I don’t mind telling you because I nailed that interview. We’re talking Gold Medal dismount. Or so I thought. Plainly it was lacking in something as they went with someone else. But that’s fine. I didn’t want that crummy job anyway. *Sniff*

Because really and truly, I’ve been looking forward to being unemployed. Which is weird to say but let me unpack that a moment: Did I mention the stress? Of working someplace that doesn’t think you’re good enough to keep around long term but clearly thinks your adequate enough to keep around for half a year? Mind games would be fun to play after 6 months of that fucked up situation. So yeah. I’m not loosing any sleep over being out of that job. And I mean that literally. I haven’t slept so good in the last 3 years as I have in the last 3 weeks.

Also I’ve been wanting time to write and focus on my novel since I got to Oregon 3 YEARS AGO. I sort of fell into a job right away, which was unintended, but a bonus.

But the gig is over and now, while I look for gainful employment in the worst economy since the Great Depression, battling a hundred other overqualified librarians in a thunder dome lined with razor blade covered books, vying for the one position, I have a moment to focus and actually do what I love, which is write. And so long as I don’t fritter it away, I can finish my novel in a month or two, while I look for other jobs, and maybe, if I’m lucky, back into a new career getting paid to write for a living. Even if it means a pay cut (and it will) even if it means moving to a smaller apartment (which is likewise very likely) because I won’t have to go up against fucking Master Blaster just to work at a fucking library.

Being a librarian pays the bills, but it’s not my dream job. And weirdly enough, being unemployed in the Second Great Depression is liberating. I don’t have any more excuses and if no one’s going to pay me to do the career I’ve built up over the last 8 years, then fuck it, I’ll write my books for a living. If I’m going to live under a bridge and starve to death, might as well do what I love.

But the card board Manse is a little ways off yet. The government teat of Unemployment is a sweet, sweet cushion between here and there. And for a few months at least, I can work at making my dreams come true. There are worse things in the world, like working a shitty job I don’t like, for a university that doesn’t appreciate all the hard work I did for them.

So that’s where I am: all I have left is the dole and a few daydreams of respect. But it beats dying or working for the man, which is just dying, only slower and from the inside out.

So. How’d you spend your summer vacation?

I Guess China Needs Books That Badly…

A Chinese publisher stripped Darren Di Lieto’s website–interviews, illustrations, the whole enchelada–then printed the whole thing as a book:

Last week a British illustrator called Jonathan Edwards informed me that he had come across a book that contained his illustrations along with other illustrators work. He contacted me because the book is also riddled with interviews that he recognized as being the interviews I conducted for the LCS.Today I received a copy of the book (costing me $100) and to my horror it has plagiarized the art blog. This has left me deeply upset!

This has not only hurt me… The book is available online and in book stores and every image in it has been stolen from my community website and the websites of the illustrators featured – with the interviews being the backbone of the publication. Before anyone asks – the internet is publicly accessible not public domain, copyright still applies.
The images file-names on the CD have not even been renamed in anyway, so you can see exactly where they were taken from. The interviews are word for word with all the typos and switching between English and American grammar. Also according to the Book the interviews were produced by the Art Director Bernadette • J with no reference to the LCS.

Personally this has hurt me as I’ve spent the last three years building the archive of Artist interviews on the LCS. But what has really made me angry is that all that work included in the book has been stolen from the illustrators involved with some of them even being credited for work that is not their own. I am sure some of them won’t care much, but others will and will want retribution. Someone has made a lot of money from this book and it wasn’t me or the unknowing contributors. So please do not buy it!

And the ISBN is fake, too.

If you have a website or blog, you an help by spreading the word. You can also throw a little support towards one of the illustrators whose work was scraped, by buying Luc Latulippe’s work legitimately.

Link via Warren Ellis.

Outlaw Clockmaker’s Restore Cultural Heritage In Secret

Guardian Unlimited:

Four members of an underground “cultural guerrilla” movement known as the Untergunther, whose purpose is to restore France’s cultural heritage, were cleared on Friday of breaking into the 18th-century monument in a plot worthy of Dan Brown or Umberto Eco. [Though, as pointed out in the comments at CT, it’s more in the vein of a Pynchon novel]

For a year from September 2005, under the nose of the Panthéon’s unsuspecting security officials, a group of intrepid “illegal restorers” set up a secret workshop and lounge in a cavity under the building’s famous dome. Under the supervision of group member Jean-Baptiste Viot, a professional clockmaker, they pieced apart and repaired the antique clock that had been left to rust in the building since the 1960s. Only when their clandestine revamp of the elaborate timepiece had been completed did they reveal themselves.”When we had finished the repairs, we had a big debate on whether we should let the Panthéon’s officials know or not,” said Lazar Klausmann, a spokesperson for the Untergunther. “We decided to tell them in the end so that they would know to wind the clock up so it would still work.

“The Panthéon’s administrator thought it was a hoax at first, but when we showed him the clock, and then took him up to our workshop, he had to take a deep breath and sit down.”

The Centre of National Monuments, embarrassed by the way the group entered the building so easily, did not take to the news kindly, taking legal action and replacing the administrator.

Getting into the building was the easiest part, according to Klausmann. The squad allowed themselves to be locked into the Panthéon one night, and then identified a side entrance near some stairs leading up to their future hiding place. “Opening a lock is the easiest thing for a clockmaker,” said Klausmann. From then on, they sneaked in day or night under the unsuspecting noses of the Panthéon’s officials.

“I’ve been working here for years,” said a ticket officer at the Panthéon who wished to remain anonymous. “I know every corner of the building. And I never noticed anything.”

The hardest part of the scheme was carrying up the planks used to make chairs and tables to furnish the Untergunther’s cosy squat cum workshop, which has sweeping views over Paris.

The group managed to connect the hideaway to the electricity grid and install a computer connected to the net.

Klausmann and his crew are connaisseurs of the Parisian underworld. Since the 1990s they have restored crypts, staged readings and plays in monuments at night, and organised rock concerts in quarries. The network was unknown to the authorities until 2004, when the police discovered an underground cinema, complete with bar and restaurant, under the Seine. They have tried to track them down ever since.

Via Kieran Healy at Crooked Timber.

Proof That The Internets Are Truly Grand

Via Warren Ellis, via Xeni Jardin at Boing Boing, and for your Sunday morning reading pleasure, comes the amazing story of Karl Rove’s father’s solid gold cock ring:

Louie loved his piercings, they made him smile. People who are pierced will understand.So there on the floor in his library, amid teaching videos on piercings and piles of [Piercing Fans International Quarterly], I listened to one man’s account of his travels through the Los Angeles piercing community in the 70’s and 80’s — the “piercing parties” with folks getting pierced on coffee tables in private homes, nurses that helped, and a guy named Jim. I knew about Jim. I had both my nipples pierced at The Gauntlet.

Louie and I exchanged gifts over the years. He really liked those stainless ball weights and I like gold jewelry … so I have a 14 karat gold cock ring that once belonged to Louie, and he had a bunch of ball weights that belonged to me.

So who cares about one man’s journey into piercing? For me it is not about a gossipy story, though some people will take it that way. It is not about telling secrets or things left best unsaid; it is about a little piece of history. Perhaps in telling this story someone else will be able to tell a better one another day.

The “Jim” in this story is the Jim Ward who started the piercing industry. Louie is Louis Claude Rove whose adopted son’s first name is Karl. Louie died quietly in Palm Springs as his very secular, not-believing son ran President Bush’s campaign for President of the United States that energized the Christian evangelical base around the wedge issue of gay marriage…

On a tangential note, I read Warren Ellis’ new novel, Crooked little Vein on the plane ride to Sweden and it is the greatest filthiest most fun detective story I’ve ever read. Karl Rove’s Dad’s solid gold cock ring should be in the sequel.

Not Really Pining for the Fjords, Just Visiting

Elvira and I are off to Sweden (yes Sweden!) on a vacation (yes, a vacation!) for the next week (a whole week!). We don’t leave until Sunday but lot’s to do; I have to squeeze all our toothpaste into a tiny tube so the TSA won’t think I’m a terrorist form the future, where magic liquid explosives are often used in lieu of toothpaste. I’ve left Rupert in charge until we get back, when I’ll have a full report (yes, a report!)

Watch this space.

Zombie Jesus

After much frittering and sillyness trying to find a way to set up an online print shop to make Zombie Jesus Loves You T-shirts, I’ve decided to go the quick and easy route and just post a large version of the image, a very big, high quality JPG that you can copy to your heart’s content, print out onto whatever kind of iron-on paper you like and make all sorts of cool Zombie Jesus Loves You shirts, totes, underwear, what have you. For free. I’m not in this for money. What I do ask is that you send me pictures of whatever you make and I’ll post them here.
Other fun, blashemous images and such to follow shortly…

Mystery Meat

I get a lot of spam. I mean a lot. How much is a lot? Try over 5000 pieces of spam in my inbox, per month. That’s not counting the between a dozen and forty spam comments I delete out of the blog every day. So I know my spam, can smell it at fifty paces. But lately, some of the messages I’ve been receiving have had an almost literary quality to them. Take for example this one I received the other day:

A literary ghost is, I think, a new departure in the psychic world. Im almost sure I saw Sillerton Jacksons head in one of the windows, just behind Sabina Wessons. Now they gain no inspiration to carry them through. For my deep pity is excited-that this intricacy of mind is placed in this dim age of toilsome work. Well, its over: here are the firemen coming out again, someone said at length. It was all in keeping, and all presented a practical and tradesman-like appearance. This is so obvious that it fails to amuse me. To contact Project Gutenberg of Australia go to http://gutenberg. Appendix IVC opy of a Communication received at the Ouija Board through Mrs. I am a shadow and the life here, the shadow of a shadow. Here I find a mind in whose intricacies I should like to plunge. Perhaps you would teach me something about the present time. For my deep pity is excited-that this intricacy of mind is placed in this dim age of toilsome work. He gets so restless, being shut up with these long colds. The lady who was not in evening dress paused. No, the lily is mine, not his, he writes. But here I am confined and the rich day is hidden from me. Granny, did you wear feathers in your hair in the daytime? Did Grandpapa wear a white tie at two o’clock in the afternoon? For my presentation was probably too preposterous for an age of realism. The whole theatre wore a useful aspect that night when I saw it through your eyes. The men of the family said nothing, but I saw Hubert Wessons face crimson with surprise. Well, ma’am, the minute he heard the fire-engine, off he rushed like a boy. Nothing was sacred to Kate, and she feigned not to notice Grandmammas mild frown of reproval. I think my pleasant rector was not a horny person. The men of the family said nothing, but I saw Hubert Wessons face crimson with surprise. But here I am confined and the rich day is hidden from me. She rested her hand quickly on the hall table. Hazel dean and Henry Prest coming out of the Fifth Avenue Hotel together. Messages from the dead are usually very vague as to work and interests on the other side. But no one listened even to Sillerton Jackson. I am a shadow and the life here, the shadow of a shadow. Im almost sure I saw Sillerton Jacksons head in one of the windows, just behind Sabina Wessons. In Intentions we have The white feet of the Muses brushed the dew from the anemones in the morning. The whole theatre wore a useful aspect that night when I saw it through your eyes. Perhaps you would teach me something about the present time. He gets so restless, being shut up with these long colds. The later writings have been longer and more continuous.

Now, I don’t know who this Sillerton Jackson is or why his ghost keeps popping up behind Sabina Wesson but there’s something to this. It reads like a poor man’s William S. Burroughs, with a little too much stream in your consciousness but some lines have an almost haiku like quality. I’m especially fond of “The white feet of the Muses brushed the dew from the anemones in the morning.” That’s pure Basho. And sure, the adds for cheep Viagra and The Best Mortgage Rates, Ever! are in the attachments, so they’re still trying to sell me shit I don’t need but at least they’re trying to raise the intellectual milieu a bit while doing it.

Atlanta Bound

I’m headed off to Atlanta for a couple of days on Double Super Top Secret Library Business,* so now posting until at least Thursday night. in the meantime, here are a few fun links to hold you over til then:

Belle Warring has a great little post over at Crooked Timber regarding our iminant train wreck with Iran. You’l laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll drink yourself into a stupor just to have respite from the cringe inducing shenannigans of the Bush Administration. It’s fun!

Amanda Marcot over at Pandagon talks about why all us pissed off Lefties are so pissed off and how that’s a good thing, contrary to popular belief (and by popular belief, I mean Right blogosphere disgruntlement over the fact that we haven’t all submitted naughty-puppy-like to their stern rolled up newspaper of fascism).

And there’s always Boing Boing.


* The Atlanta Campus of my Unnamed Southern Art School is tripling the size of the library due to the recent acquisition of an entire other, smaller Art School, including their library of 30K volumes. The Executive Librarian and I are going to check out the space, confer with colleagues and meet my Atlanta campus doppleganger.