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the latest waddle:

good morning, wordpress - 10:36 a.m. , 2009-07-03

elaborate murder attempt - 2:56 p.m. , 2009-07-01

building a tractor in the basement - 10:42 a.m. , 2009-06-19

ask no questions tell just a few lies - 3:17 p.m. , 2009-06-09

my long lasting flavor really lasts long - 1:10 p.m. , 2009-06-04

2002-04-18 ... 1:49 p.m.


I am not very good with standard girly compliments. Friends and lovers of both genders have noticed this---I secretly enjoy hearing those sorts of things but it sends me into a spasm of self-consciousness and freak-out (I have been known to literally whimper in embarrassment) if you tell me that I look nice or attractive or whatever. That said, I finally have heard a compliment that I can get solidly behind, that I in fact wholeheartedly endorse: I was having an e-mail conversation with a friend about personal style and how we are perceived by other people, and he said that I have a certain "detached and skeptical postpunk sluttiness." I have no idea what that means but I like it a lot.


Tiny amounts of money are cluttering up my life. I got my cell phone bill and it was $0.38. (I never use my phone, and I think I accidentally wrote them two checks for the basic service.) I also received a check from my old ISP for $5.48. In terms of my time and aggravation, neither is the bill worth paying nor the check worth depositing.


Pen spinning instructions.

OK, if you are hopeless with the pen spinning (as I am), maybe you can still amaze your friends with your deconstructionist wizardry.

What are you going to wear to the Missouri Gourd Festival?

Nice try.


What has happened to my usual emotional pendulum of googly-eyed glee and hard-drinking cynicism? Who knows. For whatever reason I'm not feeling the love from the universe today. The things I am cranky about today are not the usual things I'm cranky about (such as public-transit masturbators, boring emo music that refuses to rock, ever-more-frightening anti-choice legislation), but a more general free-floating anger about media and expression. Almost everyone knows by now, after the TimeWarner/AOL merger, that there's only a couple of movie studios left, but many people still have a romanticized view of publishing and literature as The Last Great Bastion of Old-World Deals, a place that is full of stock characters---from the up-and-coming whiz kid who reads through the slush pile and finds the gem, to the crusty corduroy-jacket-with-elbow-patches, three-martini-lunch, ah-yes-I-remember-the-young-Saul-Bellow curmudgeon/mentor. Bullshit. Bullshit bullshit. "Serious" literature is a marketed product like any other, and any publishing company with a long illustrious history you care to name is owned by one of these same media giants. Little, Brown? TimeWarner/AOL. Doubleday and Randomhouse? Bertlesman. HarperCollins and Ecco Press? NewsCorp. Scribner? Viacom.

I'm not postulating some publishing juggernaut, and that we all have to helplessly watch it roll over creativity and the distribution of ideas blah blah. I am frustrated with people who bitch and moan with that defeatist attitude. But I'm almost MORE frustrated with people, who shall remain nameless for now, who put together an "alternative" that is not a true alternative: that uses the same tactics and angles and underlying assumptions as any faceless media corporation. Things like this have a tinge of OK Soda about them to me.

Now I really am just ranting. Let's wrap this up, shall we? Get ready for pithy summary, courtesy of everyone's Angry Young Strumpet, Mimi Smartypants:

Propaganda that is against propaganda is still just propaganda.

If you make an angry music video full of quick jump cuts and heavy-metal rap and semi-articulate anti-globalization slogans, you are still making a music video, which will appeal to a certain sort of young lifestyle liberal who likes quick jump cuts and and heavy-metal rap and semi-articulate anti-globalization slogans. A hip ironic book or fashion magazine article for "fabulous girls" about the new rules for dating is still how-to-land-your-man prescriptive literature. And "edgy" performance poetry slams where everyone salivates and froths in their oh-so-cool clothes and generally begs for attention like a spoiled 3-year-old turning cartwheels at the grown-ups' party, are still...well, I think I summed that one up pretty well.

It cheers me a bit that other methods of distribution (that have been around for years), like the internet and mail-order and zines and making your own music in your basement because everyone else's is boring, are gaining much wider followings. There are good people doing good things, so I don't mean to sound crabby. But there are also too many people who seem to think that DIY art is easy. That you don't really have to have an interesting or original idea because it's already edgy. I mean, it's gotta be edgy, right? I got it off the internet/out of a mail order catalog/it's only available in Germany/etc. Those people make me want to go smashy-smashy.

So who wants to give me and my friends several hundred thousand dollars? We've got plenty of media projects up our collective sleeve and we will change the world.

Just kidding.

Oh, and if I ever use the word "edgy" again in these pages please stab me with a spork.

---mimi smartypants is having some fun now.


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