Archive for 1997

Spirits Of The Calendar


31 Dec

neel6

Family Quaff

samplex

Date: Wed Dec 31 14:00:26 1997
From: Tim Shipman

I hope you clear your sniffles out soon. Regarding Darrell, I suggested he try and swing by on you on Monday since he said he was going to be in town. We all know how dependable he can be.

As for New Year's resolutions, I agree that different personal habits of drastic change from previously, will absolutely be necessary, and yes I would be interested in picking-up dollars, so we will most definitely talk about it in the near future. As for festivities eve, I do believe I will remain at home, and act as bastion and beacon for those who might find themselves at my door. I will of course, be flushing my system w/plenty of beer and high volume tunes—this is an invite of sorts. I'm leaving the office now, so any response you send won't be retrieved before Friday.

A Happy New Year's bliss to you and your kindred, Timothy Ess. Heard you were a couple of quarts low on the energy scale, and would miss Peter's all time favorite home band, SHINE, tonight. Yeah, me too. Laying low and mean this evening of parties anon, slayed with the sniffles and queasies and buttblisters to boot. Heard you hung with the Willis, yeah, the prototype for all our broken dreams, a few nights among the recent past. Supposedly the notorious tape in question (Sue's and my first wedding anniversary tape 9-13-85 at the Sylvan) is back in circulation, tapped away at the Norman Vandersluys but he's never at home, and well, I'm sick, and life is a gas. Also heard you made another bold resolution to cut back the supplies in an attempt to stow some money away. I've probably got a couple of hundred I could put in your pocket if you want to do some data entry for me. We should talk it over sometime soon. I've got a library to digitize...

Cutting back supplies is not going to be an easy task to master unless you fill the gaps of old behavior with new projects, new routines, new psychomechanical associations. But of course you KNOW all this already...

Best spirits of the calendar,

GT

Price Is A Big Factor


05 Dec

typesetter

Typesetter

samplex

Date: Fri, 05 Dec 1997 06:22:14

Hi Gabriel, thanks for writing... basically I was told by one of our authors (Jim Keith) that Len had submitted his book to Adam already typeset and on disk. However, Len told me that Adam had to re-do the project, but didn't explain why, so I don't really know exactly what the story is there.. I was trying to throw some biz to Len, assuming that it was he who did the typesetting. We're small and price is a big factor so I hoping that I would get a good price from Len for interior design. We have a good cover guy at this time.

That's basically the story....If you would like to give me some idea of your pricing structure, I'll get back to you. Thanks again! —Ron Bonds

Date: Mon Dec 8, 1997 10:34:22 AM America/New_York

Hey Ron, the information you have is correct, while vaguely understated. The "reason" that the book was reset was because Bracken made several design choices against my recommendations at the beginning of the project (type size and leading) which pushed the length of the book beyond that which Parfrey was willing to invest. After toiling on the project for mere pennies on the hour I was unwilling to "reset" the book a second time, but did however send Adam a copy of my own registered PageMaker 6.0 to help him along since it was my understanding that he'd only worked from an old pirated version of Quark Express at Feral.

As for being small, I am a one person shouting operation, jobless for most of the 1990s, and have worked for free for way too long. After three years of friendship with Bracken we recently had a parting of the ways after I wrote an online piece that he considered a "betrayal of our friendship." We agreed to give ourselves—in a rather amicable parting—a six months reprieve from each other's mindsap politics and jackhammered idiosyncracies just to clear the air. Thus I was surprised to get a call from him after a mere three weeks, suggesting I contact you.

That said, I understand the nature of cash flow problems, and would be willing to consider a barter, a swap of x-number of typesetting services for an x-number of pages that you would agree to publish in book form from my own work, under your own publishing house credential, or perhaps as an independent venture under my own SAMPLEX PRESS nomenclature. Should this species of business deal appeal to you, please don't hesitate to formulate a proposal to satisfy each of our needs. Pursuant to your query, my own "formal" web design and dtp rates can be found at:

http://www.imote.com

but within the context of a publishing for typesetting barter I am willing to review any proposal you may outline.

Thanks,

Gabriel Thy
Creative Director
Graphic Solutions Ink Systems

Typesetter Services


05 Dec

007nsamplex

Dear Illuminet,

Len Bracken (U.S. author of Guy Debord—Revolutionary, Feral House, 1997), a friendly acquaintance of mine here in Washington, DC suggested we offer my typesetting and design services to you since we had handled the original typesetting operation for his GDR title.

He said that you had two or three titles requiring immediate servicing. We are certainly prepared to discuss the possibility of handling your account. On the platform issue, we use PageMaker 6.0, Illustrator 6.0 and Photoshop 4.01 on a Macintosh 8500/120.

Although I currently live and work from my home in Washington DC, a writer and web designer, most of my family ties are to the metropolitan Atlanta area. It perplexed me when Bracken was unable to shed any light on why you had contacted him rather than seek a local typesetter, although he hinted that perhaps we might barter some sort of publishing for typesetting deal. Whatever the variables, please feel free to contact me by email. A phone number will be supplied if needed.

Gabriel Thy
Creative Director, First Canary
Graphic Solutions Ink Systems

Scenewash Project 20003

Is Ayn Rand Still Relevant? Ask Jack...


03 Dec

jack

Jack, Summer 1992 at Joe Liacono's

samplex

Dateline December 3, 1997

Jack and I bickered on and off which culminated in a ridiculous fight on Sunday. I was upset like I've never seen before; sobbing, vomiting. Of course, he says mean things and then ends discussion. Jack is more willing to sever ties with his closest relations than to admit he's wrong. What he doesn't realize is that in any relationship (friendship, love, whatever) right and wrong don't mean much. It's all compromise and forgiveness and humility. I think I've finally come to terms with this. There is no way to fix it. He is malfunctioned. It still hurts me like no tomorrow. No sign that it bothers Jack. I don't think he really cares.

Ho hum. Yes, it appears Jack really doesn't care. He lurks, he charms, he buzzes to a strong inner core that allows him to survive the petty trivialities of life like truth, honesty, genuine compassion for others outside the projection of his own visceral desire and whimsy.

I realize that you've had to hear this crap for nearly two years. I realize that you may still think I'm singing the wolf song. Maybe. But, I've got a piece of space with a lesbian coworker and a straight simoan babe (who's into bondage/leather shit—your kinda woman). It sounds great. Low cost of rent which includes maid service. Great neighborhood. No lease. No credit check. I can get on my feet and hopefully have my own place within six months. I may even just take over the house eventually.

I haven't minded being there for you Landry. You have helped me by proxy in my struggle to regain what was lost in the floods of rogue consciousness I'd embraced in the likes of that whole rock scene. This heavy dose of messianic complex persuading me I had been put into an influential office was no match for reality, either. You helped me clarify the issues by holding a mirror to the exploitative flames in my own life I had finally resolved to escape after long being too weak with misplaced sympathy and unfocussed identity gratification (usually in the form of self-loathing) to snuff out once and for all, and Jack's self-imposed exile helped accelerate just such an initiative for me to clean house, such were the powerful corrosions of these rather reluctant friendships and epiphanies. It took bold strokes of error-thwarting cross-examination over long agonizing months to reconstruct enough of that previous, more contented, abundant self I knew myself to be, was born to be and would die to recover, after being completely sucked dry of soul and self-respect by those who would call themselves my friends with their lies and their mayhem as I became in my public image the polar opposite of the original.

We are incapable of conceiving of the parasite’s mind, so we can never understand him. We are incapable of hatred or malice. We will not accuse or fail to reason—and we can’t find the cause, since we can’t understand him. So we become helpless and bewildered before him. We never accuse him, no matter what he does to us. He yells that we are selfish, cruel, tyrannical by reason of the very abundance and magnificence of our talents. And we almost come to believe this.
These past two years have been a steady scratching at the blackboard of independence as I have sought a return to the finer intelligence of my youth, my own strong and moral twenties (excepting the three years of my horrendous first marriage from 18-21), an intelligence I carved up into tiny pieces for empathy's sake and flung to the winds of aggressive discord and poisonous irresponsibility in my thirties as I lived through the dark storms of personality presenting themselves to me as cool, hip, and aimless reaction when in fact I had been fooled into living FOR others, and not FOR myself, and have as a result drunk and eaten myself into the cloaked miseries of poor health and civil oblivion. Jack however has mastered selfishness, perhaps is even hardwired for it, but instead of using this mastery of self for good he seeks the evil path and manipulates others less savvy with the methods of selfishness to prop himself up in all his own imaginary glory. Such skill to deceive, such aptitude to thwart others. It's a handsome package delivered with the gale force blitz of a strong personality stalled for reasons of its own frailty. May find its source in childhood or early adulthood when he was in prison for drug possession. Current drug use may also be a factor. But keeping to the rational, let's neutralize biographical and biological impulses to focus on ordinary choices ordinary actors are required to make in order to express one's impulses or lack of them for personal and social cohesion.

Allow me to quote from Ayn Rand:

"You think the world is essentially a mixture of good and evil, and one must compromise with the evil, and you're sick of that, so you're giving up the world? Nonsense. Evil, by definition (if we have made the right definition), is the impotent, the impractical, the powerless, that which does not work. So it is no threat to us, it cannot stand in our way—unless we permit it and help it to do so. It cannot poison the world for us—unless we carry the poison and spread it. The parasites cannot exploit us or rule us—unless we voluntarily agree to be exploited and hand them the tools with which to rule us.

"Let us withdraw the tools...

"We permit it, and we have suffered this long, for one essential reason: the generosity of the creator. It is our nature that we wish to give, prodigally, recklessly, because we know the source—our creative energy—is inexhaustible. Being self-sufficient, we cannot conceive of dependence, so we are modest in relation to others, we never think we are indispensible to them or superior, because we do not consider THEM indispensible or superior to us. We act as equals toward equals—and an exchange between equals is a proper, natural activity. We are glad to give because our creation is a discovery or embodiment of truth and when others respond to truth we welcome their response, we are happy—not because of the good that it does THEM, not because their approval gives us pleasure or is of any importance to us—but because their response is a victory for truth, that what we welcome is their entrance into OUR world, into that world we know to be good and true.

"We see no danger in giving—we think we're giving to men as rich as we are; we think of it as gifts not alms. And whenever we come up against an inferior—that he is an inferior is the hardest thing for us to believe; we see the evidence and we think it is a misunderstanding or a temporary misfortune that has affected the man; then we throw ourselves to the rescue, we give, we help, we let him lean on us and bleed us, we carry him—why not?—we say, we are so strong, we have so much to spare. We are incapable of conceiving of the parasite's mind, so we can never understand him. We are incapable of hatred or malice. We will not accuse or reason—and we can't find the cause, since we can't understand him. So we become helpless and bewildered before him. We never accuse him, no matter what he does to us. He yells that we are selfish, cruel, tyrannical by reason of the very abundance and magnificence of our talents. And we almost come to believe this. Almost—because no power on earth can really make us believe this; we are men of truth, we cannot fall that far into lying; and since our talents, our creative energies, are our sacred possessions, the source of our joy for living, we cannot permit so great a sacrilege against them."

"We allow ourselves to become torn. In a vague, unstated, indefinable way, we begin to feel we must atone for something, make amends to someone, pay someone for something in some manner. What? We don't know. We can never know. We refuse to admit to ourselves the truth in a clear statement: that we are being damned for the best within us, and that the creature making the accusation is small, inferior, and truly evil. We are generous, and do not pronounce such a judgement upon a fellow human being. Hatred and anger are unnatural to us; contempt for a human being is totally unnatural to us, perhaps impossible—because we think and act as if we were dealing with men, and it is not proper to despise men, we are worshippers of man, because WE are men and this is the logical implication of our self-reverence. One's opinion of mankind comes from one's opinion of oneself, which is the only first-hand knowledge of man one can have. The man who respects himself, will carry the respect to his species, to others. The man who despises himself, with good reason, carries the contempt, the malice, the hatred, the suspicion to all humanity. We, the creators, cannot conceive of this. We are bewildered by the parasite's malice—we do not even recognize it as malice, because we don't really know malice.

"But so long as, for any reason, we do not recognize the truth—we are bound to fail and to suffer in the whole sphere and in all our actions where we have left this truth unrecognized. Our generosity is a good motive? NOTHING is good if it motivates lying, falsehood, or evasion. There is no morality except in an unbending, absolute recognition of the truth, in relation to everything; an absolute will to find, face, and grasp the truth, to the utmost of our capacity, then to act upon it. Nothing is moral but this cold, ruthless, rational pursuit. But we have not faced or recognized the truth about the parasites—so we fail, we're helpless, we're disarmed, and they've got us. Did they win over us? No, we won the battle for them. They rule the world? No, we handed it over to them. The guilt is ours, but not in the way they think; in the exact opposite way. The guilt is that we refused to see the truth about ourselves and about them."

The preceding few paragraphs are fetched from THE JOURNALS OF AYN RAND (Dutton, 1997) pages 399-401. While Rand is often a bit too pretentiously black and white, she offers a wide berth of gray as her lengthy journal characterizations of personalities from her two major novels, THE FOUNTAINHEAD and ATLAS SHRUGGED attest. She admits imperfection, her superman is a cold human being, a product of severe intellect and resolve, but worldly success is hardly the criteria for recognizing this true man. She is unabashedly anti-collectivism and opposed to such mundane concepts as self-sacrifice and herd instinct, of course, having been sharpened by the catastrophic blades of Soviet Russia in its rush toward dialectic materialism, escaping to America in 1926.

Writing in 1946, Rand continues to plot her book, suggesting that the great minds, the individual genius, the prime movers should go on strike:

"This last form of striking always happens when gifted men find themselves in a morally corrupt society. And such a society is always collectivist, or on its way to collectivism, because morality and individualism are inseparable. The degree of individualism in a society determines its degree of morality. In effect, the gifted men find themselves dealing with men and conditions THEY DO NOT WISH TO DEAL WITH. So they do one of three things: (1) they do not function at all and become drifting, aimless bums; (2) they function in some field other than their peoper one, and produce only enough for their own sustenance, refusing to let the world benefit from their surplus energy; or (3) they function in their proper field but produce less than one-tenth of their actual capacity—it is a strained, unhappy, forced effort for them with their disgust against the conditions under which their energy has to function."


As you can see she, like all fingerpointers and none of us can claim to be otherwise, muddies the puddle of clear passionate labels soon enough. It's like the biblical metaphor that JC will return as an avenging lion, while at the same time, we are informed that archrival Lucifer not only presents himself as an angel of light as if he were some passive lamb or man of peace but that he too, is a roaring lion out to ruin men's best intentions. How in damnation are WE MERE MORTALS supposed to figger out who is playing what field and when?

I get home. Jack ignores me. He is playing Nintendo, empty bowls in the sink. His appetite, his life, all unphased. I realize: he doesn't give a fuck. I do the bills in the bedroom, my stomach in knots. I try to talk to him but I am the recipient of grudge silence. Jack would rather sever his arm rather than apologize to it. I think: I have no enemies. I have never stopped talking to somone—not even ex lovers. Jack has turned his back on you, Gabe, and others I'm sure I don't know about with not so much as a sniff. Less than two years in SF and he already has a list of people he does not talk to. This is wrong. I don't understand it.

The basic problem with Jack, discounting his intrinsic dishonesty, is that he does not progress in the world of life and liveliness past the old thrills of adolescence. He remains a stagnated nullifying personality. Rather than change his life he changes the people in his life so that his fringe perspective can be dished out afresh, as progress is gained only in the turnover of faces and places, and he can tell himself and these new ears all the stories his multitude of “friends” and “locales” have helped him build in a world of illusive success in the eyes of others.
It's unfair to characterize Jack as a thoroughbred parasite. But let's not mince words or hide behind veils of superficial morality. Let's call a liar a liar. Jack certainly fails the truth and honesty test when it comes to pure genius, preferring to mindfuck and aggravate his closest friends while sucking up to the famed and the fortuned as an extension of his own greater self, a role I too embraced in those awful years of socially incompatible boredom unleashed upon the worthless rock scene of noise pebbles and strutting egos. But I differ from Jack. He hides behind the facade or the appearance of not needing others, proud in his aloof aloneness but he truly can't survive without the social contact of the scene. I meanwhile parade around in a foul attempt to need everybody when really I am quite uncomfortable with people of any scene (with the possible exception of my wife), and prefer my aloneness, and feel self-worth only when alone, an escape from the weariness of conflict inevitable with the approach of the smug and the self-satisfied.

Oftentimes the philosophical canvas of well-mapped minds seems painted in pure black and pure white rhetorically-enhanced pigments, but Rand is quite robust in flushing out the multitudes of gray failures in her vibrant palette of undisguised potential. She writes of the trickle down "theory of greatness in practice" long before the writers for Herr Reagan took up the mantle, using these words:

"On the basis of this beginning, the story proceeds like this: The prime movers say to the world, in effect: "You hate us. You don't want us. You put every obstacle in our way. Very well—we'll stop. We won't fight you or bother you. We'll merely stop functioning. We'll stop doing the things you martyr us for. AND SEE HOW YOU LIKE IT. The complete statement of the strike's objective is this: We have had enough of your exploitation, persecution, insults, stealing, and expropriation. Go ahead and try to exist without us. We will not come back until you recognize and acknowledge the truth of the matter. Until you admit what we are, give us full credit for what we do, and give us full freedom from your chains, orders, restrictions, and encroachments—physical, spiritual, political, and moral. Until you accept a philosophy that will leave us alone to function as we please. Until you take your hands off us—and keep them off. We ask nothing but the freedom to work and live as we please. You will get gifts and benefits from us such as you can never imagine. But you will not get them until you leave us alone ..."

I'm kind of afraid of his recent behavior. I feel that if left untreated, it could turn into physical abuse. I feel that he is trying to alienate me from other people. The first step in physically abusive relationships. However, I don't think Jack is the kind of person to hit women. You would have told me that if so, I think. I think he's too lazy for that. I do not like the person he's made me become. It sucks. It hurts. It's no fun. It's pathetic. I am not me. I hate him. I never thought anyone could be so, so selfish. He doesn't seem human to me. How sad for him to be so gripped in the terror of not winning; of being wrong to be willing to toss aside EVERYONE. It really creeps me out. I look at him and think, he really doesn't get it. It's so very sad.

bondage

Frankly my dear, I don't...

I'm not sure where this leads us in the matter at hand, Lynn. Most of us tend to see ourselves in the best possible light, or the worst. More typically, we flipflop on a rather consistent basis. This is our weakness. Nobody MAKES us flipflop. In our laziness and our weakness we think in terms of whatever suits our purposes of the moment, and adopt circular tautologies which reassure us that our past has no relationship to our present, unless of course we can glorify or punish ourselves as a helpless nonsensical victim of our past. That is the great lie we tell ourselves. Even Ayn Rand overestimates the ability to succinctly reverse the biological powers of entrenched thinking. We train ourselves to be weak and useless by referring to our decent motivations as signs of our goodness, of our moral strength, of our willingness to sacrifice. Piffle, irrelevant associations of the assaulted mind, useless in the arena of real activity. This trench warfare of oscillating between momentary truths rather than relying upon rational convictions is where we continually make our mistakes. And these mistakes, like firebrand molecules of self-destruction attach themselves to other mistakes, and we are rendered more weak and more useless than we were a week ago, a month ago, a year ago. Each detail of our psychology and our intellect, each philosophical concept and practical action must be analyzed on an individual basis, just as we wish to be anlayzed on an individual and not a collective, herdlike, stereotypical basis.

No doubt you still cling to Jack for the very same traits which inspired you in the first place. But you are not the same person anymore. You have been stripped of something precious, now replaced by the revolting chaos of petty lies, failed opportunities, and habitual belittlement slopping over from the other, as you struggle to bring order to that collectivism which is a relationship. It is probably a one-sided trade because of the competing natures involved. Because you are a doer, and not a mere parasite, you have inherited only the foreign, the unbridled unashamed chaos of the other. The excitement, the expansive thrill, and most importantly, even the quiet joy of living, you already possessed. The other would not, or could not add to that in any estimable portion. The basic problem with Jack, discounting his intrinsic dishonesty, is that he does not progress in the world of life and liveliness past the old thrills of adolescence. He remains a stagnated nullifying personality. Rather than change his life he changes the people in his life so that his fringe perspective can be dished out afresh, as progress is gained only in the turnover of faces and places, and he can tell himself and these new ears all the stories his multitude of "friends" and "locales" have helped him build in a world of illusive success in the eyes of others. It is these traits that keep Jack from dwelling at the far ends of the spectrum and deep into the gray of the mundane world as his genius is wasted on his desire to remain a "pampered" child, a desire I simply cannot fully comprehend, since responsibility and harsh realities were rudely thrust upon me and my organizational mind at a very early age, an oldest child of a brood of six in seven years, a ballplayer, a Boy Scout, a school leader.

hat former period I called the Yellow Years in some places, the Mustard Years in others. That and previous periods (The Skinny Years) have barely been told. Not proud, just addicted to brave, brittle, brutal honesty, an honesty that hurts so much it attacks the nervous system, an honesty one must learn, and will always have the last say as we steer through the punative shards and upsets of life, life as we know it, just as we suspect the unrevealed life extracts its own ruthless penalties from every silence right down to the roots of its own noisy vindictive abcess, no concessions required. My opinions.
So this remains your call, Landry. Few of us are pure evil. Jack is not that much fun beneath the surface, but he's not pure evil either. However, let me acquaint you with the idea that the brain, the organ of the mind is indeed as valid in terms of physical flesh as the face or the arm, and is quite capable of being physically abused. A face wound might heal in a few days. A brain wound may never be healed if the thinking process is cajoled into repeated faulty reasoning while in mortal combat with an opponent who will stop at nothing to cloud the issue and win at any cost to truth and integrity.

But in the effort for full disclosure, let's just be clear that although I have no trouble with communication, psychological analytics, or philosophical resolve, I'm nothing close to being a well-balanced gentleman myself. In terms of dirty laundry, since being a charming, disruptive, manipulative teenager myself, I have clearly proved myself to be a tragically flawed creature because I have lived through enough evil, unable to properly marshal trending ethics and civility in both postulate and axiomatic form. To my credit, as a thinking artist, I have boiled too many thoughts, lusted after too many sad acts, and whacked too many skins, thick or thin, black or white, junk or genius to act as any judge of another except how it affects my own fragile but confirmed need for playing the hand I am dealt. I have been spoiled, soiled, and counter-foiled when I had little or no chance to win. I have transformed myself into a priest or a wizard when I had little or no opportunity to lose. I have always known the difference between the two, but few I have ever known have ever possessed the power to listen to my problems with life and liberty beyond the first few syllables, and so I've often had to admit for the sake of the herd, that I'm nothing but a mute with a speech impediment, ready to crack a one liner, slug back a beer, call the punk rock bluff, embrace ritualized chaos in public, play the brute to mask my own boredom, self-doubt, and determination to overcome the sorry past by fitting into the sorry future. That former period I called the Yellow Years in some places, the Mustard Years in others. That and previous periods (The Skinny Years) have barely been told. Not proud, just addicted to brave, brittle, brutal honesty, an honesty that hurts so much it attacks the nervous system, an honesty one must learn, and will always have the last say as we steer through the punative shards and upsets of life, life as we know it, just as we suspect the unrevealed life extracts its own ruthless penalties from every silence right down to the roots of its own noisy vindictive abcess, no concessions required. My opinions. Jack is also a fan of science fiction and robotics. I wish you two the best possible...

Repair to Søren Kierkegaard's frosty titles, Sickness Unto Death and Fear and Loathing, for additional source materials.

GT

Rogue Turkeys, Crippled Pilgrims, Other Fine American Visiting Traditions


24 Nov

norwegian-holiday

Norwegian Holiday

samplex

Date: Mon, 24 Nov 1997 8:19:35
From: Timothy S. Shipman

So it looks as though it's going to be one of those days, at work....slower than death. Did, in fact, receive the message that you called, but got it pretty late, and of course forgot to call you back on Sunday. I imagine it had something to do with the work you had in mind for me.

So did you manage to have a good Thanksgiving?

As for me, I went over and visited with Chris Reed and Lyzbeth for a short time before meeting-up with the folks, to go eat at the White Tiger, a new incarnation in an old restaurant location at 3rd & Mass Av NE. It has been everything from Man In The Green Hat to Cafe Capri, where I used to deliver pizza to Bangcok Orchid to its present moniker...

Tim

TYPE IN A SUBJECT HEADING IF FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN TO SYNCHRONIZE, oops, sorry for the shouting that this ALL CAPS typing infers, but as I was saying, than to synchronize with all the other notes lining the mailboxed and defrocked worlds of chat and the chatted on my hard drive and yourn.

Civilized manhood truly soaks up the free time. It’s a good thing in the long term if I can fake having plenty of it, time that is, not civilized manhood. Maybe I’ve got that mixed up. Depends on which side of the clock you’re standing behind and whose civilization we’re fighting for…
Shared a pretty decent meal and some idle conversation to make Thanksgiving par for a small group of bogeys that we've reluctantly become. Epstein came over (I hadn't seen him since your birthday bash at the IRISH TIMES a few marches ago), and we plus Allie and an old college chum of BB's named Kevin Kelly burst our collective guts next door. I'd churned together a rather nifty pineapple dressing which Bob stuffed into his 12 pound turkey to complement the quite meaty well-received crab casserole I almost finished up for breakfast this morning. To top it all off Blum served pumpkin pie and whipped cream he'd mashed together from scratch, yes, from scratch both the pie and the whip, including a superb flakier than storebought crust. And I don't even like pumpkin pie, but Bob's is the best I can imagine. I think somebody cracked a pilgrim joke. A few Ben Franklin fuck and fart proudly references. Got to love the literate crowd that breeds around Blum. A belch and a rollover. Some beer. Some wine. Some after dinner coffee. It was pure November cosmos, whimper, laugh tracks, and rust. I should have brought over one of my poinsettias to kick the table appeal up a notch, but it wasn't my call, and Blum doesn't take too kindly to suggestion, not mine anyway...

Later Epstein followed me back to the Dollhouse, hijacking my computer for the next couple of hours to web wonk before squeezing directions out of me in dogged pursuit of TRAX for hetero night, the ever evasive holiday lay, and mad rocker life at 29. I then doubled back over to Bob's for another slice of pie and a few purge scenes on the telly before yawning back out the door again, glad the holiday slurf was finally over, done with, and dutifully repackaged as recent past only a couple of crude snapshots can truly bring back to life. I should have insisted on a group fotoplasty, but in weakness of will I didn't.

I snag Sue from the airport tomorrow afternoon, early evening actually. Bob and Allie tie the gordian on December 5, Friday. Bob Dylan at the 9:30 Club later that evening. The following Monday I wobble into jury duty. Civilized manhood truly soaks up the free time. It's a good thing in the long term if I can fake having plenty of it, time that is, not civilized manhood. Maybe I've got that mixed up. Depends on which side of the clock you're standing behind and whose civilization we're fighting for...

GT

Bargaining With The Situationists At Large In Today's Dollars


12 Nov

guy-debord

Guy Debord

samplex

Originally published on November 12, 1997

I haven't been keeping up with these rad dudes since the list became a book selling booth and then something's screwed up to where I'm on the list twice (get everything in duplicates) but can't respond or unsubscribe because of some unexplained cosmic glitch. However, I decided to peek and see you getting mutilated by some humanoid. I can't say if I agree or disagree because I don't have the whole story but the hostility is acidic. I know, however, that you can take it and I'm sure you're just laughing on this.

Landry, I've thought about your newsgroup problem. How does this sound? Pick out what you find pertinent, disregarding the rest. Spud really doesn't monitor the newsgroup. It's automated. You signed up beaucoup months ago when you had another address. In order to UNSUBSCRIBE, you have to UNSUBSCRIBE with that same address. You get duplicates sometimes because I forward you stuff and the newsgroup forwards you the same stuff because you are still on the list. Your company E-mail server still accepts mail from your old address. Unsubscribe twice using both your current E-mail address and your former, then SUBSCRIBE afresh should you still be interested in receiving the list. Other than that I'm clueless. Yes, I am laughing, saddened by this sorry state of affairs, but laughing nevertheless. It's my only refuge.

I want to note that I believe that a lot of the people on this list are graduate students or something and are disappointed at the thin intellectual conversation spewing from their lip-fingers. How sad. I would love to get paid to spew. They don't know what they possess. Looks like academia is nothing more than a booksellers guild where they reshape sentences of sentences written about thinkers of the past. Who's doing the original thinking?

Not this crew. That is certain. I think I am wiggling towards the next wave of logic, but I can't get a word in edgewise. It's funny because I never mention g-o-d, but these people truly run for cover whenever I quote anything remotely Hebrew, even though I've tried to point out over and over again the wholesale ransacking and theft of the literature by Marx and Debord. Dead silence or the petty voice you quoted below is all these "great thinkers" can manage. Strange, I didn't receive that unsigned text. Maybe Spud has indeed axed me from the group.

Was Marx the highest point intellectual thought could attain? I keep waiting for the next thing, the next evolution on the food chain of an attempt to organize the human condition but I see only rehash rehash rehash. Art is rehashing cubism with slightly different variations. Literature is dancing around the macabre Faulkneresque trip into the dark side of family life with modern therapy heavy judgment thrown in. Music is nothing but push button computer masturbation.

They claim a desire to elevate the man without quality but when I present a self-portrait of that very man without quality they attack me with strange wordy affairs from their own contrived bible, contrary to the schematic of universal understanding, and sink into the abyss, well-deserved victims of their own lack of quality.
Well, the "next" thing was Debord. Of this I am positive. At least, the Situationists group as chaos, which is what I saw happen under the iron thumb of Debordian authoritarianism. A very good starting block for this clearinghouse of competing ideologies swarming around like angry hornets with an endless supply of stingers. However I seek not to clarify but to modify Debord, present a plan of action (or action by inaction) for which we stand. But of course these yahoos are too busy worshipping at the altar of Debord to ever "say" anything much less something of substance. It's the same numbing stagnation of thought they claim the spectacle creates and holds the world as hostage, that they practice. Duh, what a waste of fine godfodder, oops, I finally used the word.

Your text above describes what Debord was howling against. He was aware of the rehash, and wanted to "revolutionize" everyday life, but I believe he failed rather miserably*, just as Jesus** did in his own revolutionary pose (although his effects are as well-documented as this modern messiah***), but GODSPEAK on the other hand IS very much alive conducting his press upon the stage of HISTORICAL TIME, that Hegelian phrase that seems to have only one meaning for all that I can uncover: the spark that leads to the Len Bracken generation's own personal civil war. Debord was an athiest; Bracken confesses the same.

Civil war is the great god they worship. Capitalism the devil. Their own historical time, their own dirty war in the name of the zeroworker theory interlaced with an abrupt dismissal of all things proprietary, a ridiculous idea of course betrayed by their own hypocrisies. I say, like Zachariah, the great and terrible day is coming in nuclear spades but woe to those who would wish for its arrival, especially to those by whose hands it is accelerated. Of course I am dismissed as a mere fool and a preposterous godlover. It seems to me they actualize, accentuate, and love the Great and Terrible Lord of Theosplatz more than I do, but that's just my opinion, uncouth, unhip as it is. The mark of the beast. The fall of mercantilism. No copyrights. No work. Hot BOG & BOR topics****, but all these wankers can do is strut about in their task to mark me as declassé. They claim a desire to elevate the man without quality but when I present a self-portrait of that very man without quality they attack me with strange wordy affairs from their own contrived bible, contrary to the schematic of universal understanding, and sink into the abyss, well-deserved victims of their own lack of quality.

Aaah, the wonders of the intellect . . .

A few notes:
* in his exclusionary practices
** in his inclusionary practices
*** in this case I see Debord as Barrabas, and still no messiah on the horizon.
**** BOG (Book of Genesis), BOR (Book of Revelation)

GT

"I see pieces of men marching trying to take heaven by force . . ."
-Bob Dylan

Searching For Epstein


09 Nov

beacbabies

Richmond, VA

samplex

Date: Mon Mar 16, 1998 8:59:56

Hey Dave, me again. Epstein called the other day and wanted me to touch base with you on swapping links. I don't knoiw why he cares, but I'll concede if you do. I have laid in some infrastructure for a DC friends and foes section on my Scenewash Project site where I can accommodate Sean's urges. You can visit my two sites listed below, and link to onem both, or neither of them. Just let me know what you want to do. I'll stick something on my front page at the Project relating to a quickie link to your page, if you decide you want to follow through on this.

Otherwise, have a cracker on me...

Gabriel

At 8:18 PM -0500 11/9/97, Dave Gerster wrote: Gabriel, I'm not sure I know you...?
—David Gerster, The Sisters of Morrissey

No, but I've known Epstein for nearly a decade, and I know that counts triple in cat years. I sent you that piece because I had just written it, and felt is was a decent followup to what Sean and I were grumbling about on the phone yesterday. I was hoping that the title would clue you and you might print the piece for Epstein to read. Meanwhile, hey, I'm Gabriel. I don't get out much these days; too old, fat, tired, and busy on my website to browse the streets and nightclub scene much anymore. Nevertheless I was invited to Galaxy Hut last night but my wife had the car until 8PM and we were both too beat to make it back out the house, being early risers (I'd been up since five AM and drinking since noon, she'd put in another shift at work) et al...

You've created a pretty nifty rock page. I listened to your tunes. Particularly like FOOLS, SUN, and HYMNAL in that order...DREAMS really sucks. What platform do you work from? Always a platform ad software geek, so I ask unabashed I currently command a Mac 8500/120, whoa Nelly, with 80MB RAM.

Gabriel Thy
Creative Director
Project Scenewash

The Idea Of The Spectacle Is Hebrew In Origin


08 Nov

haunting-spectacle

Haunting The Spectacle

samplex

Date: 8 Nov 1997 16:43:26 -0500
From: spike@thorn.net
Subject: Re: BRACKEN

A Spectacle wrote:

Do Curtiss Leung and Sam Hutchinson know that there are empty subpages loaded for them at your website? Are these people on someone's enemy's list? Were these people contacted and informed of these postings before they were put up? Were they informed at all? What do they think about it?

This collecting and posting of information about personae non grata (people critical of Bracken) is both a trivialization and VERY ominous. Why these people, and not others? How much information is going to be posted about these people? Hey, GT, why is there no subpage created (grave dug) for you at this site? Do you presume to be a neutral facilitator (a spectator)?

Well Spike, thanks for asking. Curtiss Leung & Sam Hutcheson are merely names without links now and will probably remain so for some time as I must move on to other sections of my site barring unforeseen disturbances you have forecast for me as a result of my efforts to build a comprehensive site from the ground up. No I didn't ask them for their approval, or disapproval, but now that you have inferred that something dubious is taking place, they certainly have the opportunity to measure in. All that is intended is to reproduce notes written directly to me or about my own writings FROM THIS GROUP in the past. Now Spud may claim ownership of these notes and the authors may do the same. Both Spud and the authors may even take refuge in current copyright laws, but hey, this is after all a post-Situationist newsgroup, which I would hope could sustain a little more howling from one of its own than say, Time magazine. My own sunshine perspective warrants that folk stand behind what they believe. If I dare wish to highlight these texts beyond the ephemeral past, whom in this group is hypocritical enough to stand up and boast claims contrary to their so-called "revolutionary" pose? I'm sure Debord might, were he alive, but . . .

WHY these two names and not others? Because THEY wrote the most provocative notes within the context of combative argumentation some time ago, albeit things have certainly quieted down over the past few months once again. And since all of the writing not signed with one of these or some other name on the Scenewash site is written by me (this is MY site, after all) I saw no reason to have a specific link with my name on it, my own facilitations (scientific neutrality is not possible) to be included under the third party sub-sections in dialog form.

This is not some conspiracy to ridicule or trivialize. Quite the contrary. The BIG picture is always more interesting than the "official" slice of propaganda certain types love to spew and hack, rally in pose and antipose which of course festers in the mind of onlookers and subverts the truth, all in the name of fame and self-promotion. If you find my own sort of reporting trivial and ominous, how do you react to the accusation Bracken levied at the Lefebrve piece you (Bill Brown?) published rather recently after I mentioned it to him? A paraphrase:

"Oh Lefebrve, bitter grapes. He found himself outside the loop. That interviewer didn't get Debord's side of the story, or even press Lefebrve, et cetera, ad nauseam..."

After all, by far the greatest irony in all in my investigation of the SI is the preposterous notion that a world governed by zeroworker councils will somehow universally toe the doctrinal line that linguistic vivisectionists like Bracken and a few other sloganeers maintain must be observed, or face vigorous accusations of being an “emotionalist” or a “dupe” or a “confusionist” or worse. Shades of Stalinism, echoes of Debord the authoritarian. Enemy to the people and all that crap.
Dirt is dirt. And we all know the flowers of truth grow and flourish in good organic dirt. While theory is fine and dandy for swashbucklers of every rank and riddle, the pertinent ironies of the EVERYDAY LIFE is what lends hypocrisy (and rightfully so, outside criticism) to other such thinkers and true believers from the most superstitious religionists to old book hardline Marxists, from cold helmet feminists to hard-boiled situationists. There have been thick reams of great theory handed down to us from the ages up to our own time, scarred by human frailty and despite its best intentions—sloshes through each generation ever slowly, impetuously, muddily up the ground systems of exploratory thought and critical action—where we continue to crawl and rant and self-consciously maneuver through the dank inertia of our own Age ripe with ecclesiastical heroes of the past and overwrought slogans which tickle and twist and turn through our minds making us "feel" good or making us "feel" bad, always depending upon the exploitive quotient of the self as we gang up on the unnamed masses and spit vitriolic accusations at THEM, while claiming ourselves enlightened, superior to the rich, the bourgeoisie, the poor fool in the street, et cetera, ad nauseam.

To recoil upon your earlier questions, I found Sam to be a breath of fresh air in those early NOTHINGNESS postings. We found ourselves allies against the likes of buzzword Curtiss. I have nothing against Curtiss. Instead I have opted to draw him out with an inclusion on my site. What he does in the wake of this inclusion is his own call. I intend to highlight the obvious discord among those who would carry the torch and those who are simply too rich in "real" thought to be bored or aching for a point blank delivery of death and mayhem with only their own "boredom" to be paid as the admission price to the revolutionary stage. I have certainly weighed the consequences of my own "ominous" behavior. One or more of you might threaten a lawsuit as Bracken recently mouthed in response to his own detractors. Spud could kick me off the listserv. I could be attacked from every angle in whatever venue my detractors have at their own fingertips and mental disposal. Or I could be simply ignored. There is even the remote possibility some assassin might stalk me in order to silence me. Now how's that for paranoid delusional romanticism? Lastly, my own cannibalistic work could help shed some light on why I find myself in the middle of this rhetorical swamp, and that is to say what I've already said: that Debord's own dialectic work elbows both ends of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition in its urge to return to the Garden of Eden, or at least the modern version of such a mythological place as well as its call to radicalize or accelerate the crashing of the oppressive and redundant financial structures of this globe as predicted in the Book of Revelation (in bold vivified language) signaling a tragic apocalypse followed by the ushering in of a brave new world. You see, I am not an enemy of the process of creating a better world. Nor am I opposed to a string of situational "in your face" tactics in order to get the attention of the parties to which I am opposing.

Maybe it is piffle, but several chapters at the beginning and several chapters at the end describe the world stage Debord and his "followers" would imagine as their role in history. It baffles me why these followers are duped into an "ignorance" of such a volume which has effected millions of people in the past and millions more today. Perhaps chafing under the catholic tradition in France, Debord and most European "thinker" movements must authoritatively slash the book while stealing from it every idea they can to repackage and sell as fresh meat. Even the idea of the spectacle is Hebrew in origin via the stipulation that man not reproduce any likeness of anything in heaven or upon the earth, strong enough of a thought to include in the BIG BAD TEN COMMANDMENTS.
I have lived the greater part of my 42 years in this fashion, believe me. My own bad reputation was earned in the trenches. I am impressed by the clarity of Debord's insight more often than not as he described the world in which he and most of us live. I do happen to disagree with many of his methods for attaining this grand scale change, and would like to move past this "true believer" approach where every nuance of every word uttered by the "master" is the only thing that matters to this cluster of would-be disciples. To energize the man in the street, obscure references and sloganistic shell games just won't get the job done. After all, by far the greatest irony in all in my investigation of the SI is the preposterous notion that a world governed by zeroworker councils will somehow universally toe the doctrinal line that linguistic vivisectionists like Bracken and a few other sloganeers maintain must be observed, or face vigorous accusations of being an "emotionalist" or a "dupe" or a "confusionist" or worse. Shades of Stalinism, echoes of Debord the authoritarian. Enemy to the people and all that crap.

Bracken has ranted in his frequent visits to my house about the stockpiles of throwaway commodities at landfills as indicative of overproduction of useless junk that people buy but soon toss away. I responded that yes, maybe so, but he would replace that stockpile of plastics and metal and paper with stockpiles of bone and flesh and blood in this fantasy revolution he would trigger if he only had the power. Was it Bracken or some other wit in the room at the time who then commented, "Yes, but at least body parts are biodegradable!"? Another persona non grata? No, a thought is a thought is a thought, wherever it floats in from. As for the aforementioned persona, Bracken actually knows these people. You may not, but does it matter? Whole scale slandering of the "duped" masses is no different than that which you accuse me. The SI dialectic is full of invective against these nameless faceless populations of which every detail, every motivation, every nuance of their lives is ransacked by this revolutionary hype. Yet, as is usually the case, here I find myself closer to the heartbeat of reality with an action I have chosen in my attempt to smoke out the truth of a rhetorical game this generation is playing with Debord, and yet stand accused of inflammatory notions. Again, I am a worker. I have worked at Bethlehem Steel in the coke ovens on Lake Michigan. I have worked as a chicken farmer fingering some 40,000 birds per season in Florida. I have made signs. And drawn maps. I have worked as a land surveyor in nine states. I have worked at a porno bookstore here in DC. I have driven a cab in Corpus Christi. Worked as a roofer in Atlanta, never been to college but sold Time-Life books for four whole shifts until I was fired after my supervisor thanked me for my candor when I combatted her notion that my phone presentation was most excellent but I was failing to come in hard with the third and fourth sell tactic, instead opting, and here was my candor, to accept what these people were rejecting as the truth, that they truly did not want to buy a set of "do-it-yourself" plumbing books. I knew I didn't want to plumb, and didn't want any books to teach me how no matter what deal Time-Life was offering. I ran down the street kicking my heels after I was canned. A truly despicable job. That was fifteen years ago. The man in the street. That's the issue here.

The approach Debord and his troop of "followers" take is counterproductive as far as I can confirm. Now the bible. That's a book people have heard of and can relate to in some sort of way, even if negatively. Yet the situationist approach is to dismiss the whole phenomenon as so much piffle, and superstitiously even refuse to discuss it except in graffiti rant. Maybe it is piffle, but several chapters at the beginning and several chapters at the end describe the world stage Debord and his "followers" would imagine as their role in history. It baffles me why these followers are duped into an "ignorance" of such a volume which has effected millions of people in the past and millions more today. Perhaps chafing under the catholic tradition in France, Debord and most European "thinker" movements must authoritatively slash the book while stealing from it every idea they can to repackage and sell as fresh meat. Even the idea of the spectacle is Hebrew in origin via the stipulation that man not reproduce any likeness of anything in heaven or upon the earth, strong enough of a thought to include in the BIG BAD TEN COMMANDMENTS.

I just think Bracken should quit shadowboxing all these phantoms of fame, and begin to live his philosophy, his revolt for himself to the best of his ability instead of coat-tailing Saint Guy in trashing every other living human being on the face of the earth he cannot control for not measuring up, but then that's the quasi-academian lion roaring within him, even as he proclaims, just as Debord did, his own anti-academic profile.
"Why not?" questioned the fifteenth century Renaissance artist cartel, and the rest is commodity-driven history. Could it be some great thinker already knew the tragic influence of this kind of image manipulation whereby people's minds and hearts would be sidetracked from the natural, the real? Bracken won't even "allow" me to discuss anything proto-biblical in his presence. A sad and sorry stance, if you want my opinion. The whole of situationist thought could use a lesson in reality. Revelations are everywhere the same. What does the last book in the bible say about the modern world of religion, politics, commerce, art, and war? Withdraw from her, withdraw from that whore of vipers and swamp gas. Withdraw! Only then is the true life available to be embraced, to be lived. This smells remarkably Debordian, shaded in terms of individual action, but then, Bracken admits that Guy Debord was often accused of being just some hackneyed boring Jesuit. Oh well, I've shot my wad for today. Obviously this was more than you bargained for when you doubted my motivations, Spike. But uh, why didn't you sign your name to your note? There's this other twit from AOL who's been harassing me of late, and I of course know him only by his screename Anarchi4Me@aol.com. More pseudo-informed Debordian game-playing no doubt on his part.

Meanwhile I hope I have clarified a few things for you. If not, well, one might presume that's par for the course. There "seems" to be little "love" lost among those wearing the situationist stripe, although I can admit with the pride of influence that so far Bracken has shown susceptibility to friendship, in my case at least, even after I have roared his face and ears red singeing his eyebrows in a gust of GT flames on several occasions after he starts trying to annex MY life and MY toil to serve HIM as I hunker down in my own house doing MY bit for the just cause. That kind of rude appropriation just "don't" wash around here, and it won't wash anywhere else. The revolution will be cancelled due to inept leadership. I just think Bracken should quit shadowboxing all these phantoms of fame, and begin to live his philosophy, his revolt for himself to the best of his ability instead of coat-tailing Saint Guy in trashing every other living human being on the face of the earth he cannot control for not measuring up, but then that's the quasi-academian lion roaring within him, even as he proclaims, just as Debord did, his own anti-academic profile. Certainly his actions are no great shakes. Sigh. Hiss. Kaboom.

Good day folks.

GT

Dime A Dozen Macintosh Writers Wanted


29 Oct

writers

But I Write Also

samplex

Date: Wed, 29 Oct 97 15:01:51

Macintosh publishing company is looking for individuals to write articles for their upcoming issues. This is an opportunity for qualified candidates to get published in a leading national publication and build their writing credits (no-paid). Articles will be published quarterly and a selection process will be made from the submissions received. Candidates interested in this opportunity please send email to Mark Abras at MacDirectory.

Damn. They insist you to learn to write as it's important to have opinions and state them in a style others will read, but let's not call this a "paying" gig. No, go sell a trinket or build a highway if you want to make some money. Ballplayers with the faraway stare trot out their wares in a tryout, but to their favor are contracted into the scheme from the beginning, even in the bus leagues. Writers are a strange lot, always working for free. Meanwhile plumbers, carpenters, accountants, bricklayers, cab drivers, politicians and other earnest resume-savvy cogs, oh they can make some big bucks almost anytime they want to take a job. What about designers? Systems managers? Kill the system they say. Bury design they scream. Oooooh la la—my angst is an easily bored mule...

I've never kept a job very long in my entire life, three years at one place, two at another, one apiece at two more. The remainder of my jobs lasted six months, four months, or shorter, but I was a most excellent worker wherever I was. I earned respect. Left with an air of decency, even as I might revolutionize the world I was leaving. But MY way's not for everybody. Most certainly not. We each must ponder this alone.
Bracken may be landing a job at Peter's firm as a researcher in the global securities industry. His resume will be submitted today with a wink and a nod. I'm on record as recommending he apply himself to this task over enough time to make it unmistakably worthwhile if he's hired, and there's more than a good chance he will be. Caps off to Dollhouse syzygy once again...No, NOT dynamite caps, you fool, your ball cap man, your ball cap.

I have seen the future, and it would be a fabulous affair for many if he can establish himself there, but only he can decide which of his options brings himself that ever illusive optimum pleasure schematic and then SETTLE in to work the progress line as only Len Bracken can manage it. This should be interesting to watch. I taunt him about buying a Mac and getting with the program, quit preaching from the outside, but get in and become a real player. He's still debating himself. I've never kept a job very long in my entire life, three years at one place, two at another, one apiece at two more. The remainder of my jobs lasted six months, four months, or shorter, but I was a most excellent worker wherever I was. I earned respect. Left with an air of decency, even as I might revolutionize the world I was leaving. But MY way's not for everybody. Most certainly not. We each must ponder this alone.

GT

Hounds In The Hood Were Barking Like Adverbs In The Alabama Heat


22 Oct

bracken

The Antagonist

samplex

Originally published on October 22, 1997

I found out last night that Bracken, when he called back, nailing Sue at nearly 3AM (uh, is that right?) on the phone after leaving my birthday party for home had called to inform me that he had driven past, and stopped for Reggie a few blocks away from the Dollhouse after we had given up on one of our more street savvy but friendly neighborhood thugs rolling through the DC alleys that night. Reggie had been foiled in a ten dollar weed run for the Brack & me, claiming the ten spot Sue fronted him was lifted from him at knifepoint. Then on top of that predictable swindle, he the Bracken, proceeded to tell Sue that Gabriel was a poor writer, a confusionist, and whatever else he could hurl across the plate in a few screwball pitches of counterpoint in trying to badger Betsy Sue at my expense.

The fact that writing (neither mine nor his) never once surfaced all night is what makes this whole slander so outrageous. Sue told him she didn't want to hear it, and probably wouldn't remember this call in the morning. She did remember but only revealed this part of the conversation to me last night some three plus weeks after the fact. Subversionary bastard, ain't he? As for Reggie, or Dog, as he prefers to be called on the street, what a twit. He'd pumped the well of deception earlier that night when he sat at my patio table, eating on some grilled chicken, staring me in the eye and marvelling that I'd never disrepected him, and yet, like clockwork on the petty criminal circuit he stoops to this minor theft. I haven't heard from him personally yet, and probably never will, which punches a big hole in his cover story, so I chalked it up as the bare minimum of doing business, of practicing the dark arts of survival by gullible but dangerous white folks in the mostly third generation working on welfare neighborhood, tossing Dog a ten dollar bone, no biggie on the "how much do I have to pay to keep from going through all these things twice" scale. Long in the tooth, most would agree, but I was finally waking up from the political fogs of unsustainable stained glass innocence, that deep sleep where trust was a lie, but the preferred lie of do gooders everywhere. The racial con game, the dances with Reggie grift, was as natural as the morning dew on the green, green grass of home. We'd dealt with Reggie before. This ten dollar disappearing act was nothing compared to the theft of the year before, when my Nikon disappeared from this same birthday patio, but I'll leave that tale for another page.

In real time, Sue DID mention that Len Bracken had called late that night. Hell, I was there. I overheard her responses. She just never mentioned his remarks on my writing. I think she thought she was protecting me. More likely, him. Bracken, for the record, is not a confusionist (a label he has pinned upon Greil Marcus, Stewart Home, and Gabriel Thy, so I suppose I should feel the company benefits kicking in any day now), he's merely confused.

Ring. Just got off the phone. Go figure. It was Bracken. He was with his dad he said, looking at Scenewash. Asked me if not a lot was online yet. I stated, yes, indeed that was the case. He was very specific in his questioning. I replied in same. Queer conversation. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but hounds in the hood were barking like adverbs in heat...

GT

S A M P L E X

"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""


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