Archive for 1998

Mother Has Her Days

28 Dec


Back When Life Was Black & White


Dear Ricky—Here I am at my work station at school trying to reprint my entire semester's work in my writing class. I inadvertedly dropped the entire folder out of my notebook one day without realizing it and only salvaged a few pages that were still blowing in the wind in my yard and one neighbors when I returned home. What an awful feeling! Not only had I lost all of my work with teachers comments, but now my stuff could be in the hands of who knows who. Oh, well! Luckily, I had it all on two discs—one MacIntosh, here in the Education Library where I work and some on IBM disc where I was working in the college computer room. I'll go there when I finish here. Was going there anyway, because I am starting on the revision of my work on Euphanasia Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide, so I'll have an entry for this national ethics contest I am entering. It is due in Boston on January 22nd. It will probably take me that long to cut my twenty-two pages down to eight. This work I am retrieving now is what I intend to get an excerpt from to enter in the Writing Competition here at school in the coming semester. The more awards I can get, the more apt I am to be accepted in a grad school. Writing is my best bet.

We had a nice Christmas Day at Laurie's. Boo Boo has flown to San Antonio to see Jill—Left yesterday. I would have liked to gone with him, but it costs so much to fly.

Well, the printer has finally stopped, so I guess I am through here. I didn't realize I would have access to may E-Mail all during the holidays because of the computer room being open, and because I have access to this McIntosh in the Education Curriculum library.

A few days before Christmas Laurie and Joel and I came up to the museum here at school to see a sculpture exhibit that everyone should see. The work was done by a former art professor here (He's dead). Even Joel was impressed. He said, "Steven will be sorry he didn't come." Steven said he wanted to go to school that day because he couldn't miss seeing his girlfriend. Well, that's "young love".

I am just chatting on about nothing, so will close.

Love, M

Reply-To: "Margaret Nix" Date: Mon, 28 Dec 98 10:06:19 DT

[simple_series title="Mother"]

Technical Sentry

22 Dec


Peter, the Pontiac, the Provider


Date: 12/22/1998 - Peter Burris in italics. Gabriel Thy in plain text discussing a solution to server crashes that won't rebound properly.

Guess we are both on anxiety drugs now. I've been taking those over those same counter Bufar tablets on a more regular basis—I'm under relatively little stress now that my pipeline seems secure (Glenn is still pinging, so I guess I finally DO HAVE a 24 hour technical sentry in place after all those other bogus promises).

That was funny. Was supposed to mean as opposed to the FUBAR pills that WAS feeding us? Richard had some very unflattering things to say about their performance Saturday night.

Thanks Peter, you've been a big help. Are you going to be around here anytime this week? We'd like to treat you to dinner whenever schedules permit.


It's Not Sophie's, It's Maudie's Choice

16 Dec


Fish & Chips


Wed Dec 16, 1998 11:15:55 AM

Dear Maude—oh, glaucoma! I suspected the devil but didn't want to jump to conclusions. I really don't know much about G, its symptoms or its therapies. But do take care of those eyes, Maude. Sorry again, about getting your hopes up on the book.

From the used & rare bookseller's website and feedback form it looked legitimately likely that the specific Ashantilly Press book was in stock at the time, and I wanted it so much to be true. Suffice it to say I'll work the caution angle next time I stumble across a listing.

I know you'll enjoy the new car! Now that you're going ragtop again I guess I can say it without giving offence, but I was a little "disappointed" to see that your little white convertible you had in your carport in 1994 at MaaMaa's 80th had been replaced with something just a mite less stylish. I'd imagined you many times in whatever one calls these imagings, these flashes and reveries that plague me in spirit as I yearn to be everywhere at once and nowhere in particular, wheeling about in that little white machine, and felt justified in telling myself that the zippy little convertible was ultimately you. Truly I must have been right. . . and while I remember what you were driving in 1994, I do not remember much about your latest car except that it WASN'T that lil white scooter I'd pictured you driving—please realize that I'm not trying to insult you by casting dispersions on your last car, it's just I wanted you to know to what lengths I go to tell all, whenever I seize the moment. Anywazy, happy motoring. As for Sue's Bonneville SSE, I warned her even as we were buying it that it would be a heist magnet. We looked at a silver Chrysler New Yorker at the same time, but it just wasn't the luxury car this emerald & gold Pontiac is, and so we risked the challenge. I am sad that I was right, Maudie. I doubt the New Yorker would have interested thieves. But Sue loves her new car like nothing I've seen her cherish before. Maybe these two kids won't try again, but as I reported earlier, the police officer suggested they might. It's still in the shop. Hopefully we get it back by the weekend.

Which brings me to the Douglas fir portion of this program. No, we haven't indulged yet, but will force our way out into the holiday crowds this weekend I suppose. On the heels of the car theft invasion and a general malaise brought on by nerve-frazzling work-related issues, last weekend was a sluggish one for us. With lots of good things to celebrate this week, December finally arriving (instead of this record-breaking 75 degree weather we'd been having for weeks) we expect to break out big on Saturday (for history's sake).

Guess I can finally call myself a poet without thinking in someway I'm conning myself and others. Won second place and a fifty dollar check in another book publishing event (makes the third I've had published in a book since 1984).
Don't know if Mother's written you yet, but she had some splendid news yesterday. The assistant director of public relations there at Oglethorpe U hunted her down in the coffee shop, giving her his card with the announcement that they want to nominate her for the YWCA's woman of the year award. She said she was astounded, and really thrilled, and even if she doesn't win the award, to have been nominated by the school was truly an honor. I am glad you and Sally are going to Atlanta for her graduation. In fact I had no idea of the date, but may very well try to get there. I am ever thankful she and her friend Ed Farrow made it up to Washington in 1990 to be present at my inaugaration as ANC Commissioner. The highlight of that day was when the whole crowd (mostly black folks) let out a unified audible groan when Jesse Jackson began his own acceptance speech as shadow Senator. Now THAT struck a chord with me. Some insiders say he is planning another run at the presidency. That guy just doesn't get it...elsewhere in politics, I think the Republicans are shooting themselves in the foot here by trying to oust Clinton. If Gore takes over, entrenches, wins favor, he will probably ride into the White House with great numbers. But if Clinton would be allowed to hobble along, then the voters may turn to the GOP for fresh blood. Dunno, I mentioned this to Sue last night, and she said her whole office was discussing Gore yesterday, as he personally was hitting up the office principals for campaign funds already.

I also broke new ground yesterday, being offered my first freelance job as a result of a recently forged strategic partnership. In fact the job (first in many I might should hope) was offered after networking with the well-marketed Amy Van Sant Creations namesake at my Internet Service Provider's (ISP) holiday mixer Monday night in Annapolis. I may also yesterday have solidified my position in my own Capitol Hill neighborhood by making initial contact with a fledgling ISP here, a company whose design skills or meager time allotments for said design made apparent by their own rather ugly website has suggested that they could also throw some work my way. But I've saved the best for last.

Guess I can finally call myself a poet without thinking in someway I'm conning myself and others. Won second place and a fifty dollar check in another book publishing event (makes the third I've had published in a book since 1984). The recently published gold-leaved volume arrived in the mail last week, and I said to Sue that while this was nice I suppose, I was swearing off this sort of vanity publication treadmill. Of course, now they go and do something fancy like this to me.

Now to an even splashier topic. THE BOAT! Well, sure we would be interested in buying Chip Johnson's 21 footer! What are the terms? I'm not certain we can afford it, and the maintenance at this time, but I'm certainly interested in hearing about it. Slips runs about $100/month a round these parts, and as a first time boat owner, but sea-notched almost by birthright, incidental expenses may surely add up. Please share any straight dope on all things boating you deem worthwhile, and please let us know the terms of the sale. Trust Chip is recovered from whatever ailed him last week.

As for the security issues, we found several rather comprehensive websites, but as suspected we were clueless in determining what would work, what was bogus, and with the price points scaling all over the place, we were left limp with indecision. Any solid advice from any experts you may have in the loop would be greatly appreciated.

Give our best to everyone. Happy holidays,


Colorful Postcards From Your Oglethorpe Mother, No.1

15 Dec


Women Of The Year


Hi Ricky—Should be studying for Research Design exam—the last of the semester—but I just got some unbelievable news that I had to share with at least one person in the family—in order to get my feet back on the ground. Mr. Roberson, assistant director of public relations here at the school just hunted me up in the coffee shop, gave me his card, and said they want to nominate me for the YWCA's women of the year award. I am astounded, and really thrilled. Even if I don't get the award, to have been nominated by my school is truly an honor. That may make up for the "C" I just found out I made in biology, when it comes to my grad school application. Something has to because, now that I am so close, I don't think I can deal with not being able to go to grad school. I actually had a low B going into the final, so the grade I made on that pulled it back to a C, damn it. Oh, well! (That's what they tell you to say—just shrug you shoulders and say, "oh, well!")

I just turned in my final paper in Art and Culture—17 pages and I just quit abruptly—out of time and steam. Dr. Collins, the teacher, said not to worry—I have an A, thus far, and he's sure I did well up to the end. I told him there was one thing I could be grateful about—I won't have to lug that huge book around anymore. He laughed. He said having me in one of his classes made it much more interesting for him. I said that probably grad school wasn't going to be as much fun for me, most of the people will be closer to my own age.

There was frost on the ground this morning, and ice on the windshield. Speaking of windshields, I sure am glad they didn't get away with your car. Having a car stolen or even an attempt made is an affront to one's person. Sorry it happened.

Well, enough of the procrastination! It's off to the study tables. (They have wonderful fluorescent lamps on each table in here.) Colorful postcards from your Oglethorpe Mother...

Happy holidays!

Love, M

Date: 12/15/98 10:10:36 AM written by

[simple_series title="Mother"]

Challenging The Purpose, Strata, and Conformity Of Banana Pudding

14 Dec

3968 samplex

Originally published on the SWORG SWILL LISTSERV on December 14, 1998

It was a Ginsberg quote: "The Beat Movement was never meant to be a rebellion. It was meant to bring in a new consciousness. The middle-class, who were rebelling against Mother Nature by destroying her ecologically, made us out to be rebellious." And also, when remarking on how Laura Miller had trashed his "Grammatron" in the NYTBR, Mark Amerika complained that she had set up a "false binary" and "unnecessary either/or oppositions", and then proposed that we simply open our minds to a variety of styles and possibilities within any given framework. So to answer your question, allow me to say that I too am weary of this plethora of binary constructs that attack the imagination in exactly the same way the media controls operate. In the US, the race issue is always put to the people in binary form, but everybody knows (except those on the hot button payroll) the issue is both simultaneously more simple and more complex than it's presented in the media, but the media elite and the political hacks milk the same anachronistic cow day after day, and very little ever changes except we continue to lose perspective with this increasing concentration of the THEM VERSUS THEM dichotomy.

Michael Crash writesI'm with you on this—it has always been a quite useful method of control to set up artificial binary conflicts to keep people angry at each other and to keep them blind to the true problems—Burroughs always stated that in order to truly challenge a system you have to move outside the constructs of language which is grounded in the binary system of control—of course this also leaves out most people who are unable or unwilling to approach a work such as the Burroughs books—so where should we go? I think a very effective means of challenging systems is to attack the discourse upon which they rest—language for me is the key to power—not just spoken or written dictum, but also the language of images that are broadcast and plastered everywhere.

Levi-Strauss pointed out how in primitive myths the mispronounciation of words and the misuse of language were considered to be very dangerous and very powerful methods of disrupting the system and the coded language that they used as their base of understanding, and power. Is this not even more true today—when it seems that we are ever so more dependent on words and images to define our perceptions?

So again I am prompted to ask, “What does a would-be worldchanging revolutionary like you and I desire in terms of a workable liberty for all? I hear plenty about injustice and those conflicting wills to power that we loudly boo at every turn of the screw, but I hear almost nothing about this brave, new world we all supposedly desire in our heart of hearts. Even when I do hear of some shimmering off the wall ploy, like Bob Black’s “Zerowork, All Play” anthem to futurism now, in a solar system where the 2nd law of thermodynamics rules with an atomic fist, I see an all or nothing approach rather fetching in aspiration but far too reaching in terms of practicality or desirability, especially when much of the labor required to oppose entropy is merely camouflaged as play in a falsifying language, much like “political correctness” operates today.”
Is not the mass media almost a form of magic in most peoples lives—turn the TV on and the tribal stories are broadcast from the hearth of your living room and the smoke signals of info are distributed to the family—turn on the computer and miraculously we can fly to any part of the world—just among our small group—when was the last time one of us spent a whole day in which we didn't receive some kind of mediated input (books, magazines, radio, tv, film, internet, etc).

What power is there in producing transgressive materials that seek to wreck havoc on the codes of the dominant culture? I don't know to any degree of clarity, but I wonder if the many people who have pointed out that when we engage in straight binary resistance to the system we are only reinforcing that system, I wonder if they have a point—that is to say, that in resisting the dominant culture straight on we help them to define themselves and to point at easily recognizable, definable, and soon to be specularized deviants who can be set up as the new boogeyman. I know I'm rambling a bit here—but what do you all think?

Gabriel wrote—It's a blood given that corporate giants and political hacks are ruthless whores. It's in their ideological DNA. But why should that stop anyone with enough guts and stamina to be different, to risk it all, to tear down the walls of a slum, and build afresh, a new way of thinking; no matter how we cut the ideological cake trailblazers can't afford to be whiners (see Henry Miller's Cosmological Eye). Of course everyone wants to be the hot new thing, if only to themselves, and if they fail, they usually become grumpy old whiners accusing the system of foul play.

But then Cobain and Steinbeck chose very different paths to avoid the pains of their success. Ghandi could have been a very rich man, he declined. What's wrong with making money, if one spends it well. Bill Gates is a jolly liar as his testimony before the US Department of Justice in his anti-trust litigation is proving, but he has frequently said that he doesn't believe in leaving amassed fortunes to heirs. If he spent enough millions on truly changing the landscape of certain depressed areas, why would not his taxations of those peoples and organizations that COULD afford it, be forgivable.

You see, there are so many complex choices presented to us, but we stumble around and usually end up either goofing along picking up a few addictions which insult our biology and agenda for happiness, or else we opt into nosing the grindstone a slave to production so that we also pick up a few addictions that insult our biology and agenda for happiness.

The key, as a few savvy Greeks agreed, was moderation in all things. But few of us (and I'm one of 'em, unfortunately) can't learn to implement moderation in our lives because we are ruled by addictive personalties, and as Tolstoy (modernized) put it, it does us no good to beat ourselves up over one addiction only to have another two or three rush in to take its place. Whether we're talking substance abuse, laziness, addiction to work, sex, well hell, you know what I mean, it's all the same problem child within us.

Despite my own yearning to burst out of my skin to trumpet the last charge on a world corrupted by its own sense of infallibility whether originating from the right or the left, capitalism or marxism, I am convicted by my own sense of limitation, not always imposed from the outside, but often enough a consequence of my own choices, and those of my genetic bearing. How can I blame someone else for that?
Good news is that when faced with a ruthless giant, nature seems to transform us into thinking we're a giant killer. Not too long ago the Internet founders (a cluster of old hippies and nerds) threatened to bring the world together in a non-commercialized free-spirited community. Then Mammon got a whiff of what was happening, and started pissing in the pond. Well, we can't stymie that but we can work like hell to keep the original spirit alive, and do what we can to advocate the world we want, never flinching, but rather calling for a cease-fire to all this whining.

I don't mean lay down one's intellectual arms and join the enemy, but simply to accept the challenge of David & Goliath, forge partnerships, or lessen one's sights at directly competing, but more often than not merely supplementing the bullies, by carving out a solid niche from which we embark upon that brave, new world, regardless of who is watching, who is following, or who gives a flying carpet ride one way or the other.

Books? Yes, more books are being published than ever before, but are we any closer to changing the world, if indeed that is the stated goal of the persuaders?

Crash writesniche carving is a very good method of slicing into mediated realms (hey Manus, I'm starting to sound like one of those video game players) and setting up zones of operation (much like Gabriel has started here).

Gabriel wrote—Writers have never had more freedom (despite all the Internet porn busts stinking up the coffeehouse) in history. Recall Voltaire, Rousseau, running for their lives, hiding in exile, poverty, and scorn save the intellectual and financial graces of the few. We artists (if indeed we are artists, and not simply poseurs seeking escape from responsibility) in the west now have such an accelerated vision of freedom, we think we are living in especially perilous times, and in the supertechnological superpolitical sense we perhaps are, but we have also never been more free to express ourselves (no artist was born guarateed fame, riches, or readers).

Despite my own yearning to burst out of my skin to trumpet the last charge on a world corrupted by its own sense of infallibility whether originating from the right or the left, capitalism or marxism, I am convicted by my own sense of limitation, not always imposed from the outside, but often enough a consequence of my own choices, and those of my genetic bearing. How can I blame someone else for that?

Crash writesyes, more books than ever are being published—but what kind of books—i have no problem with the consumption of brain candy—as Manus knows when I just told him about Joe Lansdale's thrillers. But there is no need to legally pursue dangerous writers or artists anymore—becausethey are drowned out in the flood of product that dominates the market. And who is controlling what is published? What books are advertised—open up any advertisement for a book store and peruse what is put before consumers—walk through your Barnes and Nobles, your Borders?

In the 1960s there were more than a hundred substantial publishers in NYC alone. By 1980 there were only 70; by 1995 the number had dropped down to 15, and presently, through further merging there is only 5! Major publishers and these subsequential others are also tied in with the producers of other mass mediums. Now I don't mean to sound like I'm crying that the sky is falling down—but this must be disturbing in some way.

True, the market is flooded with books like never before (as well as other forms of info) but what are these texts? Of course once again this is also a benefit to us and others who seek difference. As the mainstream producers continue to narrow their fields of interest and seek to the common denominator it opens up the possibility for very viable and strong niches of operation for smaller more specialized organizations—so perhaps this is a mixed blessing. Are we ourselves cultivating some form of sub-cultural capital—as we are all thinking on these days—what is our true goals in these efforts—do we intend to do something to challenge the hierarchal stratification of society—the mind-numbing mediatized conformity?

Gabriel wrote—Again Crash, when I look around these here parts I don't see this world as one straitjacketed by conformity (although I surely hear and read a lot of noise to the contrary). In the greater populations (putting aside the corporate merger trend which is just the opposite than what is happening in the de-centralized neighborhoods and streets, but I guess we have Debord to explain this cause and effect to us). I nevertheless see cat fights and dog bones between warring factions along every corridor as soldiers of each faction scrawl hard lines of demarcation to help solidify a turf. Bias to difficult, damn near impossible to extricate from the common mind.

*Your Australia may be very different from my America, but when I see a group of folks working and playing in harmony I marvel at how the group has conformed to an ideal so often missing on the street, in the universities, on certain ballclubs, in art snot piss fights, no one simply content to be different hanging on the same street corner or intellectual counterpoint but everyone bucking for superiority status.

Competition ain't dead, and if competition is not dead, how can we also be lost on the mind-numbing mediatized comformity rap? And racial conflicts with their wealth of metaphors are the easiest to exploit. Debord had it right when he said the Spectacle tosses out two opposite claims and watches the skirmish in glee, knowing that the debate will roll on forever while the social structure remains the same. Superiority, that's what straw leaders are after.

That ain't just a white man thing anymore, if it ever was (and I doubt that very seriously, the Euros just won a few wars at a strategic time in history, have gained and lost as a result). I know I'm guilty of thinking no one is my superior, and will fight like mad to prove how wrong I can be. The point is, the stratification of society is just something we're going to have to accept because it is a rather natural phenomenon despite its excesses and inherent unfairness. I agree with Matthew's proclamation of a couple of posts back:

“…abolishing hierarchies is as impossible as abolishing the state. Let’s face it—anarchy without hierarchy just ain’t never gunna happen, that’s my opinion anyway.”

As for "sub-cultural capital", methinks I'd like to see some elaboration on the concept. I'm not sure what you're suggesting. And since I've ranted enough today I'd rather not go barking down a cold trail.

Crash writesI don't know—i see a lot more conformity than you do—maybe it's because I view the system (in the US) as encouraging a cultivated form of difference and that its ability to immediately suck up and spit out a clean, sanitized version of anything that may challenge its operations—a simplified example would be punk's howl of rage—short time of challenge—fear from the populace—by 1977 we see punk fashion on fashion runways, London newspapers printing articles on how punks are just part of the family, punk is cleaned, sanitized and marketed—dead before it gets started—it is now just another acceptable means of conforming, albeit leaving the troubled youth a bit of dignity in believing that they may in some way be giving some challenge to the system that they feel has excluded them.

As for sub-cultural capital—it was an off-hand remark actually questioning my own purposes or intents since I believe we must question ourselves—and tossed out to everyone else—wondering if I may not be somehow cultivating a form of sub-cultural capital, a sanitized and safe form of alternative "cultural capital" (cultural capital cultivated artistic and intellectual capabilities that leads to your being valued by elites).

As I said just questioning my own intent—I have a very good friend from eastern Europe who understands resistance to a system in a way that I never could, having grownup in the states where, although they will and do kill people for the wrong reasons, it's not quite as harrowing and prevalent as the former soviet system)—she constantly keeps me on my toes about some of my *resistance* stances and leads me to question my intent (or as I think she may see it my overly romantic, overly idealistic views). So I guess this was a moment of self-doubt on my part. What do we see as the problem that we should be devoting our attentions to—we seem to be attempting to come up with plans of attack without really thinking upon what we want to change or what we could best effect with our efforts.

Gabriel wrote—Elitism based on phony distinctions is a major problem, but hucksterism is its whoring stepsister. They hate each other, plot behind each other's arched back, spit in each other's intellectual food, kick each other's namby ankles, and attempt to steal each other's cultural graces without even bothering to shed its skin until it's absolutely forced upon them. Both exist across every social and economical class. Both breed mistrust and greed. Acknowledging their relationship to each other however they will bond together to thwart any and all those who stand in their way, that is to say, the vocal non-elitists and the few trailblazers committed to absolute (not to be confused with pre-conceived) integrity.

But I still think the whole concern is rather premature since we have mucho mucho work to do in the chainthinking section of the site particularly since, uh, wait a minute, uh since, in fact, no one but Manus is privy to those earlier discussions which initially brought him into the Scenewash Project. Truth is I’m aware of no one but he who has actually signed onto anything but the SWORG-talk list, and believe me I’m far too jaded with past failed collaborations to presume ANYTHING about who is committed to what at present.
And they often win their battles against the non-elitists and integriters because they appeal with flattery and spectacular powers in their search for allies among the spectacularized populations in order to defeat these enemies, these straight shooters, these few honest constituents of a better world once taught them in childhood mythos as sacred and worthy but ushered away as the real world ruled by this beast we have just described becomes clearly the prince of all that worships it, and reality replaces mythos as the battleground upon which we shed our blood.

How do we attack this world of theirs, if we declare ourselves enemies of elitism and hucksterism, you ask? We must practice a more honest implemented form of warfare in putting our own personal spins on the solution, that is, we must know who and what we are, playing the humble idiot if we must, the loud-mouthed brute if we dare, but always, always keeping to the mark when it comes to personal honesty (read Henry Miller, enemies hate it when you've already laid all your own dirty laundry on the table, and they can't hose you with it in an ambush) and candor (without the elitism & hucksterism, we must define these values next) but I am still nagged by something Manus wrote:

As I am being my honest self here, I must declare that I could give a fuck about 1) audience 2) viral politics or 3) allies until we here at SWORG have something to show for ourselves, namely, a unified schtick (as GT initially proposed) that gives us a raison d’etre as an active GROUP. My logic is irrefutable when I say that causticness is a necessary perquisite as egotism is a necessary perquisite to ANY activity in this warlock of cyberspace, and that we should not only solidify our reasons for existing, but assure ourselves that, yes, a bit of caustic bite really is the necessary fuel for lighting the fire of collaboration between ourselves, and initiating any engagements with OTHERS.

Gabriel wrote—my visceral response to this outlook is negative running contrary to my hypothetical Boy Scout nature, but I reluctantly agree with the whole of Matt's statement, so I guess I am still fomenting the idea of caustic abruptness (as Landry will testify I'm no rookie rabblerouser) as it is magnified in relationship to my sensibilities concerning false elitism and hucksterism in the SWORG groupthink arena. But I still think the whole concern is rather premature since we have mucho mucho work to do in the chainthinking section of the site particularly since, uh, wait a minute, uh since, in fact, no one but Manus is privy to those earlier discussions which initially brought him into the Scenewash Project. Truth is I'm aware of no one but he who has actually signed onto anything but the SWORG-talk list, and believe me I'm far too jaded with past failed collaborations to presume ANYTHING about who is committed to what at present.

Crash writesI like your ideas on what we need to do—as far as moving past the abuses of huckesterisma and elitism. And I truly believe in the need to hone and develop a true system of personal honesty—nothing could be higher on my list—because I believe that is the key in my development and that it is also vital in my dealing with others (both my personal honesty and hopefully theirs). As for other efforts that are need here on the website—you are correct in your statement that I haven't contributed to the Scenewash Project—because

A) I’m trying to get my thesis finished so I can get the fuck out of this college
B) I’m trying to set up employment so that i dont starve when I do leave.
C) These are extremely important to me, because I do not have a wife who will support me (this is what you stated Gabriel?) or Matthew’s very important network of comrades or Landry’s admirable corporate job or Rebunk’s art criticism gig.
D) So since I will be no good to no one living on the streets (least of all myself—trust me I’ve been there, and while fascinating I don’t really have a desire to do it again). I must concentrate on this in order to become more valuable.
E) But what do you need—I write constantly—ask me I will write and contribute in any way—I will research what needs to be found.

I hope that this is not a problem, but you must understand the situation that I'm in and that while willing to contribute to "our thing" I must keep a check on the very real concerns of food and shelter.

Gabriel wrote—well, Crash, like the tagline goes, think globally, act locally, the cutting edge shimmers, and so drifts the echo, the pitter patter of dangling lost feet...

Here's an example of what I mean about pinning the "tale" on the donkey, getting at the root of one's individual or collective desires in the seemingly vain attempt at rewriting the rulebook of human life on earth. Like much that passes for wit in the spam-o-world, these few lines exemplify a certain notion about human conceptuality, methinks I agree with the ebb and flow, flim and flam, now and then of this humorous anecdote, a mundane work of pure genius because it works on the bitter impact of male sexuality and displays precisely why man in all his glorious self-service is shamefully self-conflicted, context-impaired, and tragically unfit to judge for himself much less for others the reach, unintended consequences, or formulaic global distinctions required to further methodologies as complex as those required to "install" freedom and liberty for all, as if one were merely ordering Chinese takeout for a family of four. Read on...

Reflections On Life As A Male

  • When I was 14, all I wanted was a girl with large breasts.
  • When I was 16, I dated a girl with large breasts, but there was no passion. So I decided that I needed a passionate girl with a zest for life.
  • In college, I dated a passionate girl, but she was too emotional: everything was an emergency; she was a drama queen; she cried all the time and threatened suicide. So then I decided I needed a girl with some stability.
  • I found a very stable girl, but she was boring. She was totally predictable and never got excited about anything. Life became so dull that I decided I needed a girl with some excitement.
  • I found an exciting girl, but I couldn’t keep up with her. She rushed from one thing to another, never settling on anything. She did mad, impetuous things, and flirted with everyone she met. She made me miserable as often as happy. She was great fun initially and very energetic, but directionless. So I decided to find a girl with some ambition.
  • After University, I found a smart, ambitious girl with her feet planted firmly on the ground, and married her. She was so ambitious that she divorced me and took everything I owned.
  • Now all I want is a girl with big tits.
  • So again I am prompted to ask, "What does a would-be worldchanging revolutionary like you or I desire in terms of a workable liberty for all? I hear plenty about injustice and those conflicting wills to power that we loudly boo at every turn of the screw, but I hear almost nothing about this brave, new world we all supposedly desire in our heart of hearts. Even when I do hear of some shimmering off the wall ploy, like Bob Black's "Zerowork, All Play" anthem to futurism now, in a solar system where the 2nd law of thermodynamics rules with an atomic fist, I see an all or nothing approach rather fetching in aspiration but far too reaching in terms of practicality or desirability, especially when much of the labor required to oppose entropy is merely camouflaged as play in a falsifying language, much like political correctness operates today."

    Gabriel wrote—Sipping Samson agonistes, I agree to a tee, hey Crash, you've arrived! We're obviously challenging the obvious, the purpose, strata, conformity of rice pudding in the lower provinces, then we'll move on to the next pile of rubble. Rejoice, pick up your blanket and walk!

    Crash writesI seek the chance to develop a community with others who are seeking change and are willing to go about it. I'm sorry if my situation is not exactly key for mass involvement, but as I stated above I will contribute in any manner that I can. Hopefully this is enough. If not so be it—but thanks for the encouragement Gabriel and keep me posted. December—what a pissy time of year...

    Editor's Note
    Crash was living and going to school in Illinois at the time of this exchange. Somewhere in this swill, I referred to Australia as though Crash was living there. This exchange was our initial communication, and I had wrongly located Crash. It was Rebunk, who was in Australia. Our group was soon to include “kubhlai” from Nottingham, England, and Matt, then going to school in Austin, TX, and Rebunk. A few others did pass through the SWILL, but this crew of five was to remain its core collaboration until the group disbanded rather informally, in May, 2001.

    More Sweat Equity, Nothing Comes Of It

    07 Dec


    Girl Interrupted


    Date: Mon Dec 7, 1998 11:07:46 AM

    Greetings Joe,

    I apologize for not following up on that brief chat we had a couple of weeks ago. However, I did repeat some shortlist research on possible domain names to register for the NOVA Girls Softball League. ALREADY IN USE AVAILABLE AVAILABLE AVAILABLE AVAILABLE AVAILABLE AVAILABLE AVAILABLE AVAILABLE AVAILABLE AVAILABLE AVAILABLE

    You mentioned that the association was interested in a bulletin board format. I have created an example forum which might interest the league. This comprehensive format even allows for the dynamic uploading of personal photos which reside within its user profile database, so that with each entry, the photo of the writer is displayed next to the Forum entry. To see the forum in action please visit the site at:

    ...and click on the 'XusNET Forum link near the bottom of the page, and either join the forum by clicking on the appropriate buttons and links, or merely log-on as a guest to see how the discussion group unfolds.

    Sue mentioned that the Association's Board of Directors may desire a web presentation in order to get a feel for what can be done on today's Internet. We will be more than happy to oblige. Just let us know the when this presentation would be convenient. Any pertinent details informing me of the general size and complexity of this web site would be helpful prior to such a presentation (number of teams, depth of each team's specific publications such as rosters, schedules, accompanying graphics and logos, team photos, projected periodic updates, email accounts, account forwarders, et cetera).

    Our professional business is still in a fledgling state, but you can view our clientele pages from:

    Should you have any questions feel free to call me, or respond in E-mail. Thanks for your interest in having us develop a website for the League. I think it is a splendid idea, and look forward to developing a site catered to the specific needs of the association.

    Best regards,

    Gabriel Thy
    Creative Director
    Graphic Solutions Ink Systems

    Tomorrow's Mixer On Capitol Hill

    07 Dec


    The Mixer


    Date: Mon Dec 7, 1998 12:43:56 PM


    We enjoyed meeting with you last week, and were encouraged beyond our expectations by the challenges and rewards of working more closely with the Capitol Hill community in the approaching new year. On the heels of another few days of server hardware and subsequent software upgrades, I'm back into the saddle so to speak, and wanted to at least touch base with you. There was one thing I forgot to mention the other evening. We have a small network of older but quite functional Macintosh computers and a laser printer we'd like to donate to a local cause. Perhaps your presence on the Hill has given you a better idea of where we might find a worthy home for these machines. Capitol Hill Ministry, ANC 6B, and the Seventh Street Library come to mind...

    Ideally, we would set up the network (or keep them single workstations), and boot them with functional software focussing on word processing and desktop publishing. All 3 Macintoshes can be configured to handle Email, and one is powerful enough for robust Internet-browsing, although extra hardware and of course Internet access would be required.

    Perhaps we can discuss this matter more in depth later.

    Of course we look forward to tomorrow night's mixer. Could you please refresh my memory with the address of the Bank building in which guests will be gathering?

    Thanks again!

    Gabriel Thy
    Creative Director
    Graphic Solutions Ink Systems

    Renewing Our Capitol City (ROCC)

    06 Dec



    Date: 06 Dec 98 15:52:12 +0000
    Subject: Welcome to the ROCC Listserv!

    Welcome to the RENEWING OUR CAPITAL CITY (ROCC) listservice! As a charter subscriber you have joined a discussion group that has accepted its civic responsibility in identifying and publicizing the many issues which plague Washington DC in its present status as a political jurisdiction struggling to survive. Many of these competing interests and issues are unknown to the general population across the nation, who perhaps know only that Washington DC is the seat of the nation's government, that the US Congress works here, and that President and the Vice-President reside and work here in surroundings made familiar by national news coverage and Hollywood.

    But there are many active factions in this debate as to what DC was designed to be, what it has become, and what it should become in the future. ROCC has no monopoly on perspective, and this List is intended to offer a venue for all perspectives on the stae of affairs here in Washington the City, Washington the District, Washington the Nation's Capital, and Washington the hopeful 51st State.

    By contributing to the discussion you can insure that many voices, and not merely the entrenched "professional" political activist will be articulated as the integral issues are published on the List. Thus by subscribing AND contributing, you will stay informed on the general debate as political strategies anticipating the future of our Nation's Capital are mapped to the immediate and future needs of the District. Should the need arise, new listservices will be added to accommodate specific issues, and of course, you will be invited to subscribe to them as they are inaugaurated.

    The website and this List have only just been launched, so please bear with us as we anticipate growing into a lively resource of information given time to publicize our existence. And please be considerate of others on this List by keeping to the topic and remaining civil even in a heated discussion. By arguing ideas, and NOT personality traits, we can build a stronger communication force with which to deal properly with the issues at hand. Abusers of this very simple guideline will be politely warned by the Listmom, and persistance of this straying from accepted protocol (as deemed proper by the List Owner) may result in the loss of one's subscription.

    To unsubscribe to this mail list, simply send a message to the list address with the unsubscribe command anywhere in the body of the message.

    Date: 26 Dec 1998 09:53:13 -0500
    From: Gabriel Thy
    Subject: ROCC: SITE UPDATE
    Precedence: bulk

    The US Constitution and its Amendments has been posted in full at

    Eventually, a keyword search engine will be made available for the entire ROCC site, so stay tuned as we roll on into the last of the nineteens (See Louis Farakhan for full numerology).



    Hey Danielle—trust I wasn't too rough on you last night. I was running on fumes, both from a lack of sleep (having stayed up the previous night working on a website for my sister who just published a phonics reader for the homeschool market) and of course those party beverages I inhaled. But I am quite serious about the political status of the District, and have thought much on a possible solution, radical or otherwise, and wish to work this project to its natural conclusion. In addition to the website I have created a ROCC mailing list in order to establish a public forum on all the issues which are involved in mapping out a suitable plan for the capital's future.

    The listserv is presently inactive, but I do hope that you'll see fit to subscribe, and thus contribute as time goes on your own line of reasoning in "supporting" statehood for the District. The list will also alert subscribers to site updates and other publications of interest. Once the site (and as you pointed out the prerequiste white papers) have been composed and published I will actively publicize the mailing list, and in doing so, hope to draw into the loop many of the more established players concerning this discussion.

    You guys are fabulous! Everyone in the SWORG nest save the K has joined the ROCC list (plus a couple of others), and I didn't even realize it until just now! Jeepers! My first choice to spearhead this ROCC Foundation, Ms. Danielle McBeth hasn't responded to my first E-mail, but she did tell my wife this morning that she, Danielle, needed to clear some time so that she could think properly on the ROCC issues, and will get back to me as soon as she can. Looking good, gentlemen, ladies.


    Gabriel Thy
    Creative Director
    Graphic Solutions Ink Systems

    My Brave New World In South Carolina

    24 Nov


    A Brave New World


    Hey Maude, me again! Upbeat? Well, I do find a more perfected joy in building on the Internet, as I've told you before. It's not in the same range as a book, but the creative juices can certainly flow, and perhaps a couple of books will follow. I have added a suite of new powerful features to my web toolbox, and am busy learning the programming skills so that I can offer these to potential clients. THAT makes me happy, and today's been a good day. Those two letters I wrote just now are the first of any sort of lengthy communication I've written in quite some time. That also made me feel good, despite the despressing nature of the writing.

    Very soon now I have to leave for the hospital to return this huge jug of acetic acid-spiked 24-hours worth of urine sampling. Will let you know the results of all the tests whenever I hear from the doctor, what a week or so, I dunno. Meanwhile, keep a soft spot in your heart for me. I'm not all sad, it just seems sadness is the most relevant of my psychological features. The burden of strong achievement is not the stuff of candy canes and daffodils, although I've been fortunate to have enjoyed a lion's share of both. I simply live large and live in the extremes, so my bursts of joy are as booming and infectious as my sadness is merely dull. Nuff said.

    Am hoping I land this girl's softball league account that's within reach. My contact is on the board of directors which will be meeting this Thursday. I'm excited about that. How about Anna? Will she be joining leagues any time soon? She's still a mite young I suppose, but I read they start them young these days for any competive edge their parents and trainers can muster, if talent shows itself early on.

    Will get around to putting up some more Fripp pictures requiring your help soon I reckon, but I usually just work in a certain direction riding pure inertia until the winds change (or I get bored and switch gears) and I'm off in some other direction for a spell. That's both the pleasure and the flaw of working home alone without deadlines and imposed structures to obey. Anything goes. Especially if one has grandiose ambitions with so much always to do, and nothing done today is wasted time since it is already on the very long list of things to do anywaze...

    We haven't made any solid plans for Boston yet, but I'm aware that we should get on the stick if we don't want to find ourselves without reservations. Ok. How's your December shaping up?

    Long beards and red sox, teasing jolly old saint nix and laughing all the way to my brave, new world in South Carolina...


    P.S. Did Karen EVER get a laptop, and an Email account???

    Holidays In The November Sun

    24 Nov


    Memory Cache


    Date: Tuesday, November 24, 1998 3:29 PM

    Sorry for the delay with the 4th picture, but I have Anna. That should say it all.

    Please, please come on down to Fripp and be with this part of your family for Thanksgiving. We would LOVE it. You answered before I had a chance to ask if you could ride as far as I-95 with Sue, now I know she has already left, but come on down—nothing like impromptu fun and food together.

    Love and Happy Thanksgiving to you, hope it is here!

    Thanks Maude for identifying those folks. It means a lot that you're helping me on this. I trust you've seen the fourth picture in the batch, and didn't quit prematurely. I haven't received any mail on that one. There are three clarifications I need. The two white hairs tic tac toeing Kitty, and Mr. Mayfield's first name...actually Francis is on the left. Is that Beth on the right? Current last names? As for copies, give me some time, and I'll have reproduce some of the best shots and make a gift of them to you, please. My photos are all so much in gross disorder at this moment, but 1999 should finally bring me some peace in that area. They are all packed away in 11 beautiful photo boxes years and themes all mixed together without rhyme or reason, except for the some more recent stacks I've now LABELED AND SCANNED (did some of THAT while on Fripp) not even in a box yet but stacked along the shelf waiting for a box to empty so they can move in! About ten percent of my archives have been labeled but probably only a tenth of that have been also scanned, so no doubt I've got my work cut out for me.

    At my word, I'll make you some nifty enlargements, but you know the web (and a CD-ROM) is where I'm taking all this, God willing. When that time arrives, when the bulk of my work is online, it will be very exciting to have the scattered family come together for community spirit with pictures and other resources on ourselves so that we can indeed once again KNOW that we are FAM-uh-LEE...(my own acute sense of post-boyhood alienation is speaking here).

    Saw the gastroenterologist today. She was helpful and encouraging. Next Monday I have blood work and small bowel x-rays to help weed out the possibilities causing my distress. In all, she seemed confident we can address these without alarm. My vitals are still pretty good, despite the weight. I'll let you know more as news filters in through the chain of command.

    How are you two feeling these days? Sue's now in Georgia. I'm catching up on work now that we are FINALLY past the connectivity issues I hope. Would trade diamonds to be on Fripp with the most delightful nest of my family for another sublime share of David & Maudie's famous lowlander hospitality, but as it is I will entertain an acquaintance and his new girl on Thanksgiving here at the Dollhouse.

    So here's wishing all of you a splendid holiday, wherever you are.

    Love and cranberries,


    S A M P L E X

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