Archive for the ‘Novelist’ Category

Back When Moonshine Was King


12 Mar

I found a couple of typos in that earlier list. These should be correct. Moonshine is king. Fortunately I caught them in time before you performed your magic with the spyder people...

      http://www.imote.com/
      http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/1455/
      http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/5502/
      http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/1003/
      http://www.geocities.com/WestHollywood/3003/
      http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/4447/
      http://www.geocities.com/Paris/2613/
      http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/4449/
      http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/1954/
      http://www.geocities.com/SouthBeach/Marina/7313/
      http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Lobby/1454/
      http://www.geocities.com/NapaValley/2627/
      http://www.geocities.com/BourbonStreet/6904/
      http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/Trails/2443/
      http://www.geocities.com/ResearchTriangle/4405/
      http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Hills/6044

GT

Introducing Tom Viewer


14 Jan

viewer

Unexpected

samplex

Thomas P. Viewer knelt faithfully at the makeshift altar he had himself prepared, acutely aware that the tectonic shift his newest business idea would almost certainly trigger could well be his proudest moment and perhaps establish him as a rising star, an outside the box, inside the beltway, outside the loop, garden variety, home on the range, rather bashful, peculiarly American strategist. He was growing sure of it. Prostrate, and moving a medium-sized scented candle over to the far left side of the abandoned sock drawer he was using as night storage for his overwritten manuscript with his right hand while his left was busy moving to the right side he could already taste the stench of carnal greed welling up inside well-tailored and enchantingly coiffed occupiers who would like to imagine themselves in partnership with one of the snazziest trademarks in the global business world, and would be willing to ante up disposable cash and hard eyeballs with the zeal of a hot buttered popcorn concessioneer to get there.

This new breed of traders stank of fresh kerosene on a cold winter day. Numb frozen fingers fumbling at the future. Staring at his own mind's dark flicker, he shuddered with the same flush of those who would scream bloody murdering tongues that this ridiculous notion must surely be one of the most well-telegraphed bait and switch hoaxes to define the day trader market in decades, ready to fell the recently arrived, and the tall timber of a few old tethered hardliners alike, this new Presidentially-appointed battalion of frontline soldiers called the Sweet Investor Class, run by one Galloway Sweet, a punctual man, old-school, but hard as nails, now barreling across this new century battleground with all chambers loaded, while others will of course laugh an equally haughty laugh in declaring themselves never to be caught dead shoveling their own hard-earned dollars at this most celebrated of celebrity dealmakers, while remaining secretly dedicated fans week after week, the chosen national drama, and nobody really wanted to defy those Pynchon House claws that strike at the quick and the dread of every viewer trapped in the now apparent, national hostage situation.

Viewer’s fate seem decreed that someone else would always grab the goods, the glory, the alms of genius, while he would stumble down in defeat while on display, a bewildering talent of being ahead of his time, and the conviction of indifference to the whole affair of original thought, until it was gone only to come along again for somebody else to make a buck…
The PR crowd would love the stakes—the accountants fearing the moment when the sleeping giant wakes. Past experiences however taught him he could never assume others would grasp the sheer simplicity, cunning and beauty of an idea which would shake an American industry to its core and send shockwaves across the national consciousness while still being flayed on the examination table in boardrooms and town halls everywhere. He also knew that his idea would clearly squeeze the whatever's left of the nectar from the stone cold wisdoms of the day, as well as arouse the interest of the usual suspects and system-testing fruit flies eager to plunge into any gold rush vein in the scheme to exploit to maximum potential. Sweet was bitter.

"It's the perfect Ponzi scheme," agreed Merkle Monitor, as the idea left Tom's mouth for the first time since the day it popped into his head a week or so before. First time to someone else who was not his wife. Monitor was no slouch in the sudden awareness department. But even he had to think about it and try to poke holes into the scheme, before the sheer brilliance of it struck him like a flying shard off a cold chisel. Thomas himself thought of it by accident actually, if any thought can be presumed an accident.

"Pure evil. But all the hooks and payoffs are there. This is America, after all. Land of the Yankee Dollar. Selling the glamour of big television to stockholders across the nation, across the world, over the Internet. Buy in cheap. Gotta watch the show though. Ratings are king. All by the numbers. You own. You watch. Others watch. Others buy. A scheme which depends on TV eyeballs for success, selling itself."

It was an idea whose time had come. Money was to be made. Big Money. Most of his ideas did nothing of the sort. Viewer's fate seem decreed that someone else would always grab the goods, the glory, the alms of genius, while he would stumble down in defeat while on display, a bewildering talent of being ahead of his time, and the conviction of indifference to the whole affair of original thought, until it was gone only to come along again for somebody else to make a buck...

“Wise as a serpent, harmless as a dove,” he would now argue in conscious recoil at his recent outburst, mute and tormented by a fractured personality sustaining an argument that had fried many a creative egg, on impulse, over the tepid years since his youthful first awakening. The first of several he would experience in such a way they would probably get their own glorifer phrase if he ever got it into his head to analyze the theme, and come up with something like the Belinda Carlisle Renaissance.
He wasn't sure if touting the notion of a consumer driven media in terms of the ownership society would help build personal character, or his writing resumé. Without a doubt, regardless of the intellectual pretensions of any given season, and there stretched many over his decades, Thomas had always hated that damning phrase: ahead of his time, and more often than not, its fully hatched personally tweaked variation; something along the lines of "Oh Thomas, don't be so hard on yourself, you're simply ahead of your time." Predictably, our friend Thomas took little pleasure in this special knowledge, and secretly despised those urbane comments frameless friends and family would contribute to his misery in these times of defeat. To him this gentrified characterization, however well-intentioned, was just another nasty bone-rotting sentiment which buttressed his life as a perpetual failure, a capitalist without profit, a motif without motive, a muster without magnificence. Stinking, sticky flesh-scorching black asphalt is that paved road of good intentions, death by politeness, despair verified. By his own snide calculations, Thomas knew not to fully trust those faulty witnesses with anything more than a passing hallmark greeting.

In the beginning, he had been a natural. A rising boy scout. A good-natured architype of his inherited genes and a motherly discipline who pursued early the glistening avenues that frequently smile upon such fine sons until eventually the proverbial realities on both sides of the tracks caught up with him, and shattered his personality into pieces of jigsaw only an idiot savant could hope to repair. Yet, despite his past, congeniality as he now knew it was a bugger confirmed by no less an authority than the philosophical bard Bertrand Russell (who also had done the math), even though Mr. Viewer did practice whatever casual sort of affability its initiates required when at all possible.

Failure creates its own designer intelligence. He had taken to his own math problems early on, thanks to exposure to sports statistics, and could provide superb proofs to keenly interested parties (where there is no faith, no exposition), but to Thomas, there was never any clear context from which to compete on anything close to a level playing field, and that singular criterion was the device his considerable talents demanded. Quick to point out a peculiarity to those few acquaintances who lent a salient ear, this rather stark absence of a level playing field in human affairs, contrary to centuries of being created equal in rhetorical America, was his dead soldier, his missing link, his cross to bear, his missing coin collection, for like anything in his own life's aspiration, raw inspiration was the charm that set men free. Without elbow room from which to work this poetically raw inspiration all of life's grand illusions turned dull, dark, dirty, ruefully despondent to the unique transforming spirit and work ethic of one Thomas Paine Viewer, first son of Emmaline Paine and Herbert Noel Viewer. And by extension, of course might he be so bold, to anyone clever enough to fall under the swoon of one's own gut-wrenching life-affirming inspiration. But here, my friends, was one man who refused to be bought for a pittance. He'd rather give away the farm than to exploit it for less than its flint-striking value. While no proponent of the "great man" theory, specifically as espoused by the old goat Ayn Rand, herself, with its fuel-burning distortions of judge and jury, Thomas was determined to become one himself, a great man, just in the nick of time, and by turning the tables upside down. He preferred it precisely this way, and he had his reasons. Solid, robust reasons, he mused, calculating all the way back to year zero.

"Tis better to give freely than to harbor resentment against swindlers, resentment that is sure to arrive on the next bus," he would postulate to himself before erupting in a loud discourse, usually to his wife, Sybil, listing all the swindlers and degrees of swindle his mind could generate before he would fall silent again, convicted by his own honest words, and considerably less a measurement of genteel manners for his troubles.

"Wise as a serpent, harmless as a dove," he would now argue in conscious recoil at his recent outburst, mute and tormented by a fractured personality sustaining an argument that had fried many a creative egg, on impulse, over the tepid years since his youthful first awakening. The first of several he would experience in such a way they would probably get their own glorifer phrase if he ever got it into his head to analyze the theme, and come up with something like the Belinda Carlisle Renaissance.

Viewer's own repeated failures at the money game had worn him to a frazzle until he felt like a prime number, divisible only by one and himself. Sure, he had been a faithful employee, an industrious worker, responsible and adept, over and above the call of duty when he chose to work outside the hearth, for someone else, at less pay than he felt he must earn to justify his departure from the imagined life, as he called it. As a hireling he was a success by nearly any measure but his own. But many of his social choices had quietly ostracized him from the herd. Always willing to take chances with opportunity and payoff, Thomas Viewer had left the herd early in life in order to better comprehend the agencies of those who were born without a fair shake, born outside the successful herd, condemned to drift, as the balladeer once sang, or else be kept from drifting. Not truly a thrillseeker in the common parlance of the times but driven to succeed where he counted it most important, he nevertheless shunned the national safety net and golden ladder of success to seek out the complacent and the lost. He wanted to help them more than he wanted to help himself, or his own family. He wanted to read between the lines.

Writers and talkers were a nickel a noseful. Who cares? Nobody cares. The voices. The haunting voices. The shame of isolation. The tears of rage and loneliness. But I must, he said to himself. This is my work. I must. This is my calling. The demons taunted. But he hated his recorded voice more than he felt pressured to capture his dazzling angelic rhetoric. The wretched accusations of "Vanity, vanity, all is vanity!" and other demonic voices crowding inside his head would always taunt and fears of self-aggrandizement would drown out any meek aspirations of theatre anywhere else but in the now.
A glimpse of the old Chinese mirror he bought recently at a junk sale reflects heavy gray irises and dark sags, a conflicted hulk of awkward flesh not in step with these Dorian times, a frayed and yellowing montage of a man, not quite fifty, a floundering ward of his vaguely supportive but long-suffering Sybil. Effort after effort in planning and executing a "can't miss" business plan which would leave him free after a few short years to write himself out of the mental anguish he had accumulated over a lifetime of oscillating temptations had made him suspicious of almost all the beliefs he had inherited as a young lad who'd believed, if he ever believed anything written or uttered, was that he was born to greatness, whatever that meant.

"Defining one's terms. That is the benchmark of the gregarious mind. Let me explain," and off he'd zoom into a long, rambling exposition of mental links and thought processes, sweeping genealogies of linguistic foci he had been constructing into a magnificent architecture, his voice rising and falling, speeding up and slowing down at precisely the impact word, clever winks of language springing through the air punctuated only by an occasional sigh that signaled his realization that here he was again, merely the protracted windbag, making solitary speeches instead of writing for a cause, whole, beautiful, riveting phrases lost to eternity unless he wrote them down in notebooks, right now, losing the gift of flow, (or managed to turn on the recorder he had purchased just for these occasions), these exciting moments in time, where flood level clarity was all that mattered, untarnished clarity to himself, and at least one other person, that of his beloved Sybil, and she only cared because he did. To her, it was just Thomas. Nobody else really mattered. Nobody else really cared. Writers and talkers were a nickel a noseful. Who cares? Nobody cares. The voices. The haunting voices. The shame of isolation. The tears of rage and loneliness. But I must, he said to himself. This is my work. I must. This is my calling. The demons taunted. But he hated his recorded voice more than he felt pressured to capture his dazzling angelic rhetoric. The wretched accusations of "Vanity, vanity, all is vanity!" and other demonic voices crowding inside his head would always taunt and fears of self-aggrandizement would drown out any meek aspirations of theatre anywhere else but in the now.

Capitalism has a forensic nature. Never forget that. The rich already have. Capitalism is the purest form of collectivism ever practiced. Thomas continued to search for a profound opening statement for his novel, to measure up to the greatest of them. Before he knew it he had written over nine hundred pages of opening statements.
Unfortunately, having based any exposition worth repeating—from a den of thieves to a face-stuffing roomful of scheming marketeers—on a host of supporting axioms and cross-referenced proofs in the pudding, whittling down these fine fractals and illuminations into a form he might communicate to others was never front burner material for Thomas. His intellectual proclivities were closer to the wild-eyed urchinesque Wittgenstein than the scholarly Popper, and he knew the difference mattered where it counted most, in the public's eye. But of course there was this factor of a public shyness which had never been overcome unless he was and he knew he was—in charge—a condition he had achieved many times, and excelled. He was a good follower here good leadership existed, but he was always anxious to move out of the crowd, out of the shadow, out from incompetent leadership.

Only his wife was privy to the inflationary nature of these matters her husband deemed literary and thus fair game for new possibilities, but she in all good graces was not heavily favored with a talent for long-winded philosophical discussions. Mr. and Mrs. Viewer nourished themselves on opposite poles of the literary and philosophical scale. Neither read each other's bedside books, loathed the other's tastes in reading material generally. However, the well-kept secret to their lengthy marriage was her superabundance of listener's intelligence. For this Thomas was forever grateful. He proved it by sticking around during the hard times. Sybil proved herself by sticking around, giving her all, and comforting Thomas as if he were the only man worth his salt. Few friends, few as they were and from either loyalty base in the Viewer three-sixty, understood this nearly unbreachable devotion to each other.

"I can believe anything, as long as it is incredible," wrote Oscar Wilde. Thomas liked to think he didn't make such distinctions, but of course he did, but what's even more predictable, he loved Oscar's line. It wouuld have made a great opening statement for his novel. Flourish and write. Write and flourish. In the beginning was the end. Capitalism has a forensic nature. Never forget that. The rich already have. Capitalism is the purest form of collectivism ever practiced. Thomas continued to search for a profound opening statement for his novel, to measure up to the greatest of them. Before he knew it he had written over nine hundred pages of opening statements.

GT

From Jack Kerouac To Tom Paine For Words We Never Reconciled


14 Jul

Thomas-Paine-by-Laurent-Dabos

Thomas Paine by Laurent Dabos

samplex

Dateline July 14, 2003

Betsy Sue and I have just returned home in DC from a four-day tour of several specific sites in jolly old New England. First stop of keen interest was the Thomas Paine estate and cottage in New Rochelle, NY (up I-95 a few miles northeast of the George Washington Bridge in NYC), and a rather encouraging conversation with the on-premises caretaker there, a presiding member of the Thomas Paine Society. Always perfect timing, we were beaming when we learned that although the cottage was presently closed for painting and other renovations, conducted as an Eagle Scout project not due for completion for another month, we were offered and we made the quick tour and snapped a few pictures of the tiny man's cottage and what was left of his grounds, all to our patriotic delight.

Although this was not our first encounter with the small stature of most men of that era, it was still shocking to note how often we had to duck to get through doors and even the narrow hallways were notably menacing to the modern super-sized American tourist.

Then we continued on up through Connecticut where we stayed our first night in a quaint little Massachusetts motor lodge in a township called Stirbridge, where the wife swears she recalls staying as a child on family vacation. The next morning (July 4th) we drove the hundred miles up to Lowell, MA to breathe the air around that old milltown which was later decimated by the migration of the mill industry to Georgia and other parts south. Our leading purpose in Lowell was to check out the Jack Kerouac memorial erected in the deceased Beat writer's hometown. We were not disappointed.

Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac

Though nary a bust or portrait of the old drunk was present, a dozen or so marble tablets bearing excerpts from Kerouac's books were set length-wise into the stone plaza, clustered among welcomed benches and the handful of towering and smaller weeping willows on an unappointed edge of town seemingly frozen in dingy time still looking eerily like the period of young Jacques' childhood (the 1940s), all of which seemed to capture the desperate and mournful spirit of Kerouac's beat generation.

To the east spanned an old iron bridge, glistening silver in the morning sun but draped in an indifferent rash of predictable rust upon closer inspection. Due east and south, old mill warehouses now converted into luxury apartments were squired by narrow canals which zig zagged through the entire downtown.

It was sizzling even in the shade by now, but amply pleasant nevertheless as we watched the tourist trolleys whiz by with a few riders we would have joined but for other plans for that day. A quick gas-up at the green and white and we were soon cruising again, this time on the Interstate headed forty miles south into Beantown in anticipation of the annual starburst sky, a born-again patriot's holiday in the footsteps and lantern calls of where this country tis of thee all began, where we had reserved a room on the 27th floor of the four star 28 floor Sheraton in the fiendishly trendy and inviting Boston Back Bay midtown neighborhood marked to the west by the Charles River, to the north by downtown, and to the south by Fenway Park - home of the Red Sox who were then busy setting a home run record down in Yankee Stadium by sending seven pitches off pinstriped pitching into the stands. In a hundred years no team had accomplished this feat against the legendary Bronx squads. Look it up.

After checking in and grabbing some lunch, we rested a bit before shooting to the top of the Prudential Tower (50th floor, attached by an indoor mall to our hotel), where for seven bucks apiece we could view the entire Boston sprawl through the active gray haze of smog and 95 degree heat and humidity. But see it we did, and can't wait to view all the pictures. We later joined on foot some 700,000 headstrong revelers marching toward the Charles where after an evening of the Boston Pops and other special guests, the thirty minute fireworks display wowed many.

Boston officials claimed some 700,000 strong had made it to the Charles River Esplanade for this year's festivities, topping the previous high count of a half million with room to spare, and than doubling last year's 300,000 visitors.
We, however, sweaty, exhausted, and hungry, strolled back to the Boylston Street drag to find some dinner, finally deciding on a dapper little Thai place called Bombay Blue detailed with a beautiful expanse of dark teal paint, red brick, and opaque glass walls. Our only complaint was, what else, the heat, but we were smilingly accommodated with seating in the direct line of the fan purring from the cashier counter. My own soft-shelled crab entree sealed the night for me. A half hour pace back to the hotel, and we still hadn't heard the requisite boom of fireworks, but somehow suspected we had missed the show completely, not that I hold any fascination for the light show. I never have, not as a child, not as a drunk, not as an old sober patriot. No appeal at all.

But Betsy was interested, and strangely enough, just as we arrived on foot back in front of the Prudential Tower which would lead back to the hotel, a strong breeze began blowing into the streets off Boston Harbor. The excruciating heat of a mere half hour earlier had vanished.

We decided to plop down on one of the handful of benches there among the modern sculpture installations, soaking up the city and the time. We chatted, and watched quick, pretty people flow across the stones for thirty minutes or so before making it back to the room, but not before Betsy almost ducked me for the hotel bar where the big screen TV had just announced the fireworks were to begin. Not me. I was flustered, fuzzy, and finished. I had to get out of my clothes and horizonstal, still not rested enough after two earlier all-nighters launching RADIO SCENEWASH, my online radio station of which I'll spill more beans later.

So, despite everything, we watched the historic display on television, can you believe it? Boston officials claimed some 700,000 strong had made it to the Charles River Esplanade for this year's festivities, topping the previous high count of a half million with room to spare, and than doubling last year's 300,000 visitors. The big news, echoed various forms of the media, was the influx of travellers from across the nation who had spirited specifically to Boston to toast her as the symbolic cradle of patriotism and freedom that marks this nation's birth.

On the way back, we stopped in Darien, CN for lunch. Quaint? This little nest of quaint is like some fairy tale. Had hot sandwiches at a busy little tavern where the men's restroom was plastered in nudes and other erotica from a bygone era. I asked the wife if she'd had a peculiar potty room experience, and she said no before I told her about the men's decorum. Very strange. And then we were off to Philadelphia where we visited the awe-inspiring Museum of Art, the tiny but delightful Auguste Rodin sculpture gallery, and lastly, the Edgar Allan Poe House, while visiting a friend (Yet Another Steve Taylor) who gave us the play by play tour since all these places are within walking distance of his apartment, although the Poe exhibit is more like a long hike...so we drove. Twas thoughtful of you Richard Waller to call my dear dear Betsy. Something eerie about getting a ring in Philadelphia standing in the EAP museum however. Congratulations on your continued energies. I know you are excited to still be going strong. Keep us informed. I'm tired as tigers with heavy eyelids today, Betsy's at work, but thought I'd let you know I got your note...

cottage

Quaint living...

Most of this nation's general population of a certain age knows nothing of the struggles and successes of our beloved very first American—Thomas Paine, Citizen Paine, critic of scroundrels and perfumed highbrows alike, instead we are taught from the overwrought spit-polished images of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, no insult to these men intended, but for the love of liberty, why is the reputation of this very singular mind and heart of the revolution allowed to wither on the vine of American culture?

Long live Citizen Paine! I was told by the Paine cottagemaster that the BBC was planning to cross the pond to film a feature on him. Let's hope so, and let's also bear witness to the desire that the egonomical fox Bill O'Reilly hasn't forever tainted the name of the very author of the American Revolution with his recent attacks on the so-called ultra left Tom Paine web site financed by staunch liberal Bill Moyers, and run by his son...

Rosemary Put Us Into IMF Flick After Watching Me Pump Gas


03 Oct

Stage Door Company

Stage Door Company

samplex

To: stagedoorco@chesapeake.net
Date: Tue Oct 3, 2000 2:20:45 PM

Domain Name: STAGEDOORCO
Administrative Contact:
Rosemary Rizzetto
Lusby, MD 20657
410-326-xxxx

Hi Rose—apologies for taking so long to get back to you. My kitchen construction woes continue to defy any hint of honesty & integrity on the part of Joel Truitt Builders, Inc. After even more promises from him yesterday, things still sit where they were a week ago, no show after no show.

But let's talk about your online presence. Above are three agencies (plus the one you mentioned) I found which resemble what I believe you are seeking. The IAM site by far is the most comprehensive and expensive design.

Go to my commercial site and click on the WEB DESIGN & HOSTING link. From there you will find my pricing schedule. Your site should be simple enough to construct, but with seventy models, that presumes a lot of coding, even if most of the original graphics work for the banner logo and navigational links were replicated sitewide. And any fancy programming code such as search capabilities and shopping cart features must adhere to the OS of the server itself. I work solely from a Macintosh prospective. I did check out your domain name registration: everything seems kosher there. There is nothing at your site, but of course you knew that already. Since I am unfamiliar with the add-on protocols at your current host, there would be a slight learning curve. But frankly, I prefer to design and host sites from my own Macintosh servers, and can offer certain add-ons not available in the short list of your present host company features.

But with all this kitchen construction malfeasance in my life right now, I am focused in trying to hurdle bureaucratic red tape so that I can fire the contractor and thus reorganize. So it is perhaps not even a good idea that I take on your job at this point. Meanwhile...

At minimum, I cannot build you a fully functional site for less than $1000 (while I usually quote between $2K-4K or $100 per page for a better looking basic site; time and skills), even if I were to throw in a year of free hosting, which I would. However, if you just want something simple to get you started so that you actually have something people can see right now, a preliminary homepage with company logo and contact info, I can do that for you for a lot less once I have access to a server.

Hopefully, you have already retrieved your webspace USER ID and PASSWORD info from the young girl you originally slated for the job. Also: if you do decide to move to my servers, you or she would need to transfer the domain name over from Internet Planners to Graphic Solutions Ink Systems via Network Solutions (the domain name registration company). I would provide my own domain name server addresses to you for that transfer. It's actually a rather complicated & convoluted dance designed to keep fraud and theft of domain names down to a minimum, but I've done it several times for troubled clients just like yourself.

If you are still interested, please feel free to contact me so that we can further discuss any particulars about the site or the film. Thanks for discovering me at the gas pump. Can't get any more cinematically authentic than that....

Best regards,

Gabriel Thy

Server Refund


29 Feb

Boxed In Boxed Out

Boxed In Boxed Out

samplex

Date: Tue Feb 29, 2000 10:36:53 AM

Len—two tries on my online credit card terminal netted me the same result in trying to process your server refund. Somehow, even though I carefully plug the numbers into the right cell, an error message stating "credit card number missing" stops me in my tracks as soon as I try to execute the form. That means one of two things. Either your credit card number has been invalidated, which is unlikely, or my Terminal form is not functioning properly, allowing me to refund $220 for server fees, much more likely. I just phoned you at home, but you were out in the Volvo.

Despite this being the first time I have even tried this "return" function, it's a straight up process, and why it's not passing your credit card number along with all the other data, is a mystery, a thorn in my acorn. Right now, to save myself aggravation, I'm sending you a check payable for that amount instead, and will deal with this freak the next time I need to get it to work, or when some random afternoon the urge to write this notoriously sorry support staff to facilitate a fix indulges me fancy.

You should be receiving it no later than the weekend.

Sorry for the inconvenience,

GT

Thorns Of Platitude, Cornfields Of Virginia


23 May

thorns

Thorns of Platitude

samplex

Fri May 21 13:41:40 1999
From: Dana Hudson

Since it took Sue and I nearly the entire day to produce 1 scanned page, I would request that the next time we have a detailed project, such as the equine ads, a consultant come in to set it up. (perhaps Gabriel?) It may only cost a $100 or so and 2 or more people wouldn't be monopolized for the entire day. Needless to say, I barely touched the work I wanted to
accomplish today. Just a thought! Thanks!

Suzy Woo—what in the husky cornfields of Virginia is wrong with Always & Forever personnel that they don't pick up the ball when it's tossed to them? Bless Dana, but the rest of them wrangle around an idea, stomp it and me into the ground, and then try to replicate the issue somewhere else without ever recognizing MY niche as their provider. At the very least they could put someone else on the job who knows and operates by proper protocols if they think I'm too shit for them to engage. And you say there is no conspiracy to stupidity...

Even with these thorns of platitude hanging around my head like a crown of asswipe sponsors, I can't break through the lines of communication with a so-called grass roots communications firm without people, many who have served me stiff drinks and fine food at their stately homes in acts that I was lazy enough to perceive as acts of friendship, treating me as an interloper without a sense of self with or without you, of business great and small, and of most importance, business with them, and the billing receipts to prove it. Don't call us, we'll call you? Those words make me want to screw the pooch, or as they say in the Navy, fuck things up royally, starting with Rolodex Nancy. Right there on the spot with Otto the Rotweiler.

People just don’t want to give me money, whether I earn it or not, whether I’m professional, hip, smartest person in the room, or just a nasty splat on a park bench. I can’t earn my keep. Seems I wrote that line in a poem long ago, rhyming it in couplet form with I am the yellow sheep—speaking of my Chinese astrological sign—among other references, but not so far away when I was only 25 and full of vigor. Compare what I’ve done to the world to what it has done to me.
To reboot my life I'd rather walk the trail of no regrets with Dylan (and no, the disk ain't playing but it's in my head) than waltz to these quacking quivers where nothing seems to mean anything and anything always leads nowhere with this idea of making my knowledge, my know-how and my burning ambition to publish work for me. We've both been pioneering all along and showing them our aptitudes, of how bleeding edge the two of us really are on the Mac desktop across nearly every discipline, one or the other of us tapping nearly every skill, and we've invested heavily in the technology, hardware, software, learning curves, and have a studio the envy of the larger user groups, and yet this bunch of "professionals" can't seem to pull their heads out of that dark and stinky place. Ink well I say, ink well...

The unwritten laws of office politics at Always & Forever being what they want them to be—can you say nepotism—spell at least my dismissal in season of their choosing, as they who wield the influence instead bank on empty flattery, only then to ignore first you—all those years ago as you introduced the first computers into that office single-handedly with negligible (and even that, begrudgingly) benefit of purse or appreciation in terms of your net worth to that firm—then me, and the value I can demonstrably bring as an Internet consultant. I tend to kick up gruff when I see ridiculous people behaving badly—turnabout's fair play—so they simply work double time to fog over or avoid great chunks of what we've presented to them, play dumb, then laugh in their own aces while they regroup to exclude what essentially amounts to negation of both of our skill sets and surpluses.

I may finally just have to walk away from this account, at this very stage, rather than see it slip all away as a direct insult to my intelligence, or more to the point, my undithering sober personality. But whining is not a tool for the job. I know the score. I wrote my own game. Walk away I must from this so-called horn of plenty that is gorging me with terminal anxiety and missing pieces to the protocol puzzle. You and I both know where the dysfunction originates, and it's not the way I handle business, it's theirs. Should I bill for this second issuage? Nah, but it sucks that I ALWAYS have to handhold at a distance with your firm.

Gawd, am I snorting a bird awful bad mood, or what, but if something painted Gabriel doesn't break soon, I'm damned to limp away no head for anything to disappear into this cold mighty night. But then perhaps that's the point. People just don't want to give me money, whether I earn it or not, whether I'm professional, hip, smartest person in the room, or just a nasty splat on a park bench. I can't earn my keep. Seems I wrote that line in a poem long ago, rhyming it in couplet form with I am the yellow sheep—speaking of my Chinese astrological sign—among other references, but not so far away when I was only 25 and full of vigor. Compare what I've done to the world to what it has done to me. Am I reaping what I've sown? I hardly think so...

Maybe I should just sow to the world less, and keep myself my harvest for myself and for you, my sweet tender applesauce kid...

Back to the Dollhouse. I'm still painting Mother's room. Thomas will all but finish. Chris is nearly there too. But by day's end the two wide windows still will need white trim work and windexing along this windup pitch for the spring. To the point of the fence, I mentioned painting the inside parking area, and letting that show us how unwhite the rest of the fence truly is, to Chris, as a finish up. Fed them brown bag of KFC chicken and extras. Best lunch this week, they both said.

Talked to Bracken. He's coming over this afternoon to dicuss the deal to get the GT book together. I want some 250 pages at least. He seems excited. We'll discuss terms and parameters then. I will use the Performa & printer as a $400 chip.

GT

Neighborhood Drama, Training Wheels & Street Dynasties


08 May

boss-man-blues

Boss Man Blues

samplex

Date: 08 May 99 12:55:00 -0400
From: Sue Hedrick

Well, Chris & Byron worked for an hour, then Chris rings the doorbell and says Byron has to work somewhere else today so he can be paid today, that he didn't understand he would be paid by the week. Byron says no, that being paid by the week is fine, but he needed some money today, so he contracted somewhere else to work this afternoon. I said to Byron would he be here in the morning, & he said yes & he understood he would not be paid tomorrow. Then it really looked like imminent rain, so Chris & Byron cleaned up. Chris said he would leave the paint & brushes there on the front porch so he could start early tomorrow morning without disturbing us. They put the big ladder back on the fence and washed the brushes.

Chris rang the doorbell again, and said Byron said he would like his hourly wage now, and I said to Chris, how much is Gabriel paying Byron. Chris said $8 so I gave Byron his $8 for one hour. They leave and a few minutes later Chris comes back and says he will get someone else to help him tomorrow, and that Byron was not a good worker, that he went off down the road and came back & had another job. Chris said if Byron shows up tomorrow, we should tell him we got someone else. I said I would let Gabriel handle it.

I think Chris had some argument with Byron and just doesn't want to work with him.

Anyway, I am going out now & I wanted you to know what happened and where everything stands. I will call you later.

Love,
BABY

Sorry sweetie, that you were forced to "go native" today. You and I both know that Chris is next to nothing but harmless, especially to us. We've known him for over a decade now, and since that rather ugly beginning he has nothing but the highest regard within his somewhat limited powers for us. Navigating the world of Chris Titus is complicated business, an excruciating maze punctuated by petty weights and half measures, hurry ups and waiting times, fleeting experiments with truth that usually crumble like the lad himself as he works through his three primary goals. One is to defend us against the unrest of any the indigenous population, and the second is to assert his own favored position within the more troubling element. The third is when one on one, and there is something we do for him, like hire him to cut our five minute lawn so we can give him five dollars, he must show his independence by refusing to show up at the appointed time so that he feels he is in control of his own time, infuriating at the moment of impact but funny when taken as a personal trait so predictable that it's non-negotiable but damned near bankable. It's a subtle dance of two cultures clashing, not in spite but in deference to distinction, to markings, of momentum, of control. Unfortunately, that's just how it is, this plight facing our two races when we find each other deep in the neighborhood of the other, roles reversed but similar, and subject to the laws of continuity.

He actually told me I was the only person who came to see him there. I didn’t question him, but how could not his mother with whom he lived, or his cousin Bembo, well, they were often out of sorts with each other, and what about all those other people who lived in the same house, nobody? But…there was no point in me digging holes in his front yard on this issue or any issue because I didn't even know exactly where in the neighborhood he lived after all these years—just down the street somewhere in disguises and the bounce.
Battles which begin and end beyond each of us but are consumed with intrigue, battles to be won or lost, or pushed on down the road until the next time. Remember when Reggie ripped off my camera, my $500 Nikon at my birthday party after we'd invited him in to share in the festivities, no less.

Relying on Chris for inside intelligence puts him a particularly unenviable position, but he usually tells me the truth when pressed. Of course, I've had to exert my own school of hard knocks mojo over the years to earn this confidence. In his words, I'm his nigger, but don't say to him when he says he wants to join our softball Sundays, "Okay Chris, make sure you and your boys make it to the field Sunday at noon." He howled as soon as boys of summer left my mouth. Stunned, not by my own usage of a harmless figure of speech, but upon recognizing how deep race-baiting political correctness reaches into the vocabulary, and it took me a second, maybe two to even comprehend the playful enough reaction. I then quickly took the liberty of schooling him about the Boys of Summer, a traditional reference to baseball, and the men who play it. And just as quickly, that was that. But who's kidding whom, it's not like Chris is some PC fiend, or even a vociferous agitant...

No idea exactly how old Chris is, maybe 30-35? No spring chicken anymore. Beaten down by his own earlier poor choices from a rougher past he claims he has long left to others, the train stuck on the tracks at his station in life is hauling few passengers. He lives in a large noisy household, he escapes to the streets to survive one day at a time, so it's actually a classic snapshot of human dignity packaged in physical humor to see his lanky skeleton of a body slinking around the neighborhood just to be keeping an eye on things, as he might say.

Occasionally while we are standing around chewing the fat, he revisits the afternoon I made time with him at DC General where he was hospitalized for a highly contagious form of pneumonia. I was told by his nurse that I had to put on one of those white paper masks just to be allowed to duck into his private room for a few minutes. I stayed about a half hour. He was in pretty good shape, laughing and talking in his normal slow drawl in what was the middle of a two week stay. Need to find that polaroid I snapped of the three of us that day. Chris, myself, in mask. He actually told me I was the only person who came to see him there. I didn’t question him, but how could not his mother with whom he lived, or his cousin Bembo, well, they were often out of sorts with each other, and what about all those other people who lived in the same house, nobody? But—there was no point in me digging holes in his front yard on this issue or any issue because I didn't even know exactly where in the neighborhood he lived after all these years—just down the street somewhere in disguises and the bounce.

But these welfare divas could be heard screaming at U a full block away trying to get their point across. Problem was—they didn’t speak English either. I know I could barely make out half of what I heard being barked into U's plastic cage over the years, and I spoke in a rather thick unrecognizable crayon myself at times. It’s no slur to tell you some of these pistol-whipped, baby-toting, spam talking shoppers were thick in crayon…
Of course I would ask. In the beginning his responses were vague. Later they got a little more specific but never as easy as an exact address, something that I could remember. In a neighborhood of same-colored similarly designed row houses from the 1940s running west to east, north to south, well, you get the picture. Then at some point Chris Titus is rumored to have moved. I've moved (and relocated the precious things I keep close) often in my life, but never just a few doors down like he did, imagine how strange that must feel, or to the next adjacent street like big chested Angie did, and rarely even in the same zip code that Furious Big George with the huge stature and wonderful bass singing voice did—periodically—since the DC Jail tanked a few acres a stone's throw south of the nearby hospital grounds, and Big George liked to get drunk and throw his weight around, fire guns, slap his women around, and generally live poorly, but man, when we first moved to Eighteenth Street, we would hear this booming but sorrowful voice in the black night riffing through the back alley, a voice as powerful to our ears as what we remembered as Paul Robeson's gift to the B/W movies of the 1950s, a voice from the row of breeze-riddled trees along the punished and cracking alley but we could never to a face to the voice until we met the big man under the light of day a year or so later, under different circumstances, circumstances disguised as a man, as a stranger wanting to borrow two dollars to buy himself another forty while already standing in line to talk to Mister U. That is his correctly spelled surname. Vietnamese. Thai. Never pinned that down. But the bullet-proofed plexi-glassed cage at his bodega where we bought our six packs of Black Label did a whopping business. In DC entire stores are behind plastic. The vendor grabs the items from the shelves or refrigeration room, tallies the tab, asks for the money via a bullet-proof package passage, and once that is complete, he passes the bag or bags of merchandise through. Alcohol sales has to be his biggest seller, but lots of poor people with no immediately convenient mode of transportation will waste any dollars they've got at corner convenience stores. That's why this generation of immigrant shopkeepers risk their lives every day to buy and operate these death traps in neighborhoods like these. It's a living. Perhaps it's mildly lucrative. But no match for gun wonks looking for an easy score.

Mister U barely spoke English. He understood what he needed to understand, but don't try to engage him beyond what the tax man considers valuable assets, and he is offering to sell you. But these welfare divas could be heard screaming at U a full block away trying to get their point across. Problem was—they didn't speak English either. I know I could barely make out half of what I heard being barked into U's plastic cage over the years, and I spoke in a rather thick unrecognizable crayon myself at times. It's no slur to tell you some of these pistol-whipped, baby-toting, spam talking shoppers were thick in crayon...

All So Lovely And Fine


25 Oct

samplex

HEY LIV. BROADCASTING FROM WASHINGTON, DC. Cute, colorful, and as complex as a single flower in the sun, Olivia Pantelidis is the name I immediately loved, and loving with the prattling passion of history, I presumed it to be Greek in nature. Perhaps I am wrong. Yes, Olivia Pantelidis, I just had to write it again, the other names are all so lovely and fine, Liv and Okimikko (Japanese-flavor I note), but it was your whole given name which drew first blood. Thanks for writing back. Despite those terse beginnings, we have materialized much fun playing among the words.

Meanwhile, to answer your question, I live in Washington, DC, a block away from the stadium where the REDSKINS footballers used to play until moving to a new expensive facility in the suburbs last year. Good riddance I say, but I'd really love to see a baseball team play there for many reasons which I will spare you for now.

...like a whisper among the rapids. I write many words on many pages and build my websites one page at a time. Desperation is the poet's business. And my poems rot because I haven't put very many online yet, but the space is allotted, and some poems are planted there.
There's also a public hospital, a large highschool, a single small Ma & Pa grocery store, and the National Guard facility in my immediate neigborhood. Nothing else but old rowhouses, many in slum condition, offer my life much urban immediacy. Litter and glass plague these neighborhood streets and alleys. Gunshots are not so rare. Graffitti slang, not EVEN artistic, is sprayed wildcat upon this wall or that building. Wearing my social engineering cap, I lust for new business sections to open up down here, in well-designed heavy commerce worthy of a vibrant city just bursting to emerge from this neighborhood. My property is about half a mile from the River Anacostia flowing just the other side of the stadium. We are prime commercial, but alas, the city suffers and rages and dies, arguing poorly for residential nothingness. There are few wise men here. A city of imposters and ugly metaphors. Fakes and spastic manipulators. Tyrants and suit salad liars. The city is withering on the vine of potential growth. Down here they call it a race issue. It's really an ego issue. Meanwhile, we wither no differently than the ivy on the pole.

mothergrad

Peggy Nix, Gabriel Thy, Sue Hedrick

It's no secret I too curl up among my words and the books that publish them. My own few favorites are scattered around my website. You can visit the Scenewash Project 20003 and click to THE LITERARY CHIP. Still not a whole lot there yet, but I aim to establish a little here, a little there, and take heed that I am slowly bringing it all together. This is practically all I do in my miserable life among the mobs of malcontention, but that might be exaggerating ever slightly, like a whisper among the rapids. I write many words on many pages and build my websites one page at a time. Desperation is the poet's business. And my poems rot because I haven't put very many online yet, but the space is allotted, and some poems are planted there. Check around. Be my Australian friend. I don't have one yet.

It seems like we've damned near established some sort of literary correspondence, and while I get really busy sometimes, I do appreciate an interesting correspondence. I freelance, and work several current clients on a sporadic basis. I work and take great peace and ponderance in my garden, and am enlisted in the minds that matter to fight back all the garbage entropy and grime have a way of bringing to my attention . . .

She's a 63 year old junior at Oglethorpre University in Atlanta, down in the state of Georgia, so go figure. She loves school, and has never been happier in her life! She studied Nietzsche this past quarter and now feels driven to discuss a poem with me...
I do all this from home, and in fact, rarely leave the Dollhouse & Grill [our pet names for the house & yard], and am somewhat agoraphobic in that way. I live here with two others. Peter and Sue. You can read about them on the website as well. I'm currently trying to finish Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. You really should read this book, without question. It is a rare instant classic, much better than (Gunter) Grass's The Rat, which I only mildly found amusing or interesting. In fact I was disappointed, I must say. Perhaps the title was not indicative of Gunter's other work, but it reminded me of Thomas Pynchon's Vineland, and although I love Pynchon's earlier work, Vineland and this latest book, Mason and Dixon (a much difficult read, and I have read very little of it frankly.) leave a lot to be desired. Vineland kicked its own ashes down the road as far as I am concerned, a pale shimmer of past literary glory, this book. Mason and Dixon is something altogether different. Written in Olde Englische, I don't know if it's worth the read or not. But for now it remains on my shelf, a gift from Sue, barely opened.

Don't use Netscape, eh? Which browser DO you use? Tell me about your computer, if you've a mind to go there. I work from a Power Macintosh, of course, an 8500/120, but I hope to upgrade to a G-3 soon. Anywaze, it's been fun chatting widja . . . keep it cool, and we'll just play this mystery, word by word. As some unknown poet wrote some time ago, twig by twig we build a language. That reminds me, my mother wants to discuss a poem I just had published, but one I had written a while ago. She's a 63 year old junior at Oglethorpre University in Atlanta, down in the state of Georgia, so go figure. She loves school, and has never been happier in her life! She studied Nietzsche this past quarter and now feels driven to discuss a poem with me, so I suppose I must oblige her. I've got to write her now, so tiddly widdly, until the next time we meet, Olivia, just call me...

[1998, Washington DC ]

The Revolution Continues To Flog Us Overstated Friends In Arms


07 Aug

Shirt Off My Back

Shirt Off My Back

samplex

Date: Fri, 07 Aug 1998 12:39:38

Still see the same stuff on your site, Rusty. even the old Bigfoot link. Are you swinging by to watch the DC space video and pass me back the books, and whatever else, when? tomorrow? which part of the day?

Have no long range weekend plans to fly anywhere this weekend but to maintain the general "work around the clock" map I rarely get to navigate for all the damned fool interruptions that storm in under some wishy washy flag of fun and relaxation in unreformed jestivities. Yeah, right. Can't emphasize any stronger how much solid work on my site brings me the kind of peace and contentment i have heard about in all the media that I will scream to protect with a big fuck you to any who try to convince me otherwise, the nagging idiots. Of course, I'm talking about my so-called friends-in-waiting...

As for the database server, as i said, Sue's got the personal publisher end pretty much under control after just a couple of hours in the spec and at the controls on Sunday. The listserv demo has expired but you could download another copy and try it again, now that we've got a more robust mail server on hand. Actually, the mail server is also a listserver, but its features are not as powerful and cool as what i know LetterRip Pro is supposed to bring to the network.

Bracken and I no doubt share more than a few strategy-limp personality traits, but we quarrel against each other's leadership like two unrighteous brothers mopping up in a backyard brawl. As I now have undeniable proof with the recent City Paper publication of "Bracken's Own Psychogeography" I should simply wash my hands of the fine fellow, but he simply won't go away. So I task you, young friend, tell me who is the pluckiest moron here?
Me? I need to map a plan for 'XusNET (as Philly Steve calls it), and Bracken needs a couple of pages for the latest issue of his xerox zine EXTRAPHILE. Reckon I will oblige him. He wanted me to write a glaring expose of the Nothingness list. I may include a ref or two to the list, but I told him the only topic I was interested in submitting to his zine is my pyschogeographic engineering phase called the GASS in which I am launching a full critique of existing plans for the area with the resolve to influence the necessary consensus with high profile litigation, if need be. He consented. So now the record is straight. As usual, I once again had to tell Bracken to fuck off. He still doesn't believe me and continues to flog me with mid-day phonecalls he dubs interruptions meant to bring a breath of joy into my daily drudgery...et cetera ad nauseum. He makes me ill, sometimes, with his high concentration of shell games. I'm telling you, you two should meet. You might like each other, you might not. I'm not quite sure. But it would be fun to observe, and help get him off my shoulders all the time. And he still thinks that because a certain number of people think Bill Brown is a bloody idiot, that suddenly he, Len Bracken, is not one, not just another preening idiot lost in a textbook fantasy he thinks everybody else must be envious to join. Bracken and I no doubt share more than a few strategy-limp personality traits, but we quarrel against each other's leadership like two unrighteous brothers mopping up in a backyard brawl. As I now have undeniable proof with the recent City Paper publication of "Bracken's Own Psychogeography" I should simply wash my hands of the fine fellow, but he simply won't go away. So I task you, young friend, tell me who is the pluckiest moron here?

Moi? because I haven't used the ax on Bracken as my wife desires, or me, because indeed Bracken is great shakes as an important philosopher and upright man, a clever writer and a supportive friend and in my own best interests I dare not resist his sad swarming ego-jinxed attempts at proselytizing charm, or HIM, because he just simple ain't.

I also want to discuss the Greater Anacostia Surveyors Society [GASS] in deeper detail with you, Rusty if you are in anyway assdriven in such a way that you prefer to get things done rather than talk about them until doomsday, all puns only incidentally intended.

GT

Point, Game, Match, Back To You, Jane


03 May

birdcage

Birdcage Premises

samplex

Date: Sun, 3 May 1998 12:41:42
From: Jane

Well, here I am. I guess you deserve to know a little about your "match". In another week I'll be a college graduate (BFA in creative writing); I'm finishing up my studies at Cambridge University in England before returning to the States. By many standards I would be considered a writer or poet, but I know many people who go by the same label, and I don't see any similarities. So for what that is worth...

I did go to the scenewash webpage; because it is still under construction, I hesitate to proffer my initial opinion on it. I tend to be more conservative when it comes to "literary" activities, and the longer I am around, the more I am convinced that being a "writer" is simply a license to broadcast unorganized, confusing garble to everyone, without the slightest regard to coherency. So you can imagine my views on scenewash, and I suppose I just gave my initial opinion despite the reserve. Perhaps it is the DC area that I cannot appreciate; it seems as if there are many draws on that culture in the website which are lost on me. In any case, good luck, but I don't think you'll need it. Most people will love what you've done (are doing). All the best—Jane

Dear Jane, thank you for your feedback. Loved it! Fits right into what most of my detractors tell me, and these detractors are all fellow writers, and local friends, although one might question whether or not the word friendship should be applied to what it is we hang on the hooks of each other's reputation. I would suppose you might have studied Joyce, Pound, and Eliot. Had you lived in their day, in terms of writing standards, you might have said the same about them. And no, I am not comparing myself to those three writers, but use them merely to highlight the principle of shifting waters. This is no place to argue literary theory in a post-modernist setting, especially since my website to date boasts very little of my writing, and is mostly infrastructure for what I wish to develop over time in terms of my own life and where I intend to locate those terms once I write them and organize them, and cross-link throughout. So I certainly do not take offense at what you may or may not know about my writing, but realize that it is the website itself which leaves you dry in the mouth. You probably believe that a website should be carefully manicured to a single topic. That's not my way. That I choose to manifest myself as a whole number, as an entity, and not a topical magazine writer I feel is the source of your confusion. All in all, Jane, I am delighted that the computer at TestTube picked you as my match.

http://www.testtube.com/match/

Gabriel

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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