The Last Mojo Wire of 2010

• Friday, December 31, 2010 4 comments
I have been trying to write this for the last 24 hours. Pick it up, put it down, erase, erase, let's try again, now from this angle, let's talk about this. Let's look forward, let's look back, let's watch as Randall exits 2010 as he entered it, with overblown hyperbole and a self-deprecating wank-fest.

No, we musn't dwell. Not today. I can't look back. I mean, I can, I do, regularly, but it all blurs together, the laundry list of unfulfilled promises, missed opportunities, and broken hearts stacking up far beyond the past twelve months, into this, these times I hope one day I'll be able to look back on, and label my "lost years." That time when my effort, enthusiasm, and ambition refused to make nice, when I sacrificed my wants for others, because dammit, it's not like I knew what I wanted anyway. And then I'll look back, and laugh at myself, for being on the cross, for taking myself too seriously, for not taking myself seriously enough.

Today is not that day. Today is the last day of the year of our lord, two-thousand and ten, in the first part of the new millennium, and in lieu of looking backwards, or anticipating what is or isn't to come, I'll just say what's on my mind, in this moment, and hope it won't seem as trivial in a year, or ten.

And what's on my mind is concern, concern for my brother, who yes, I hardly mention here, who is eighteen now and headed into the service, newly enlisted in the army, and whose call I, not feeling well yesterday, missed, putting off a little longer the conversation I don't want to have yet. When he tells me himself [as his mother -- our mother-- told me before], and I ask why, and he says what he'll say, and I'll say he has to do what feels right. Because, let's face it, all he has to do is what feels like, not listen to me, not pay any mind to the laundry list of objections I won't voice to him, that I haven't even put together in my head. It's his life, and this might well be what's best for him, and just because I had a hippie-phase, a "damn-the-man" tie-dye upbringing, and a left-wefty, wibbly-wobbly, art-school... thing, doesn't mean there's anything wrong with serving one's country. In fact, if I wanted anyone defending me, it'd be a kid as sharp as him, and swift and savvy. Perhaps he's the start of a new renaissance, a Hemingway who just really doesn't like to read, so... a Hemingway, really.

I love you, baby brother. And I'm proud of you, proud for you.

And what's on my mind is Balbao, and Arizona, and what I can only imagine was the depression-fueled or restlessness-fueled writer's jag that made Eric decide, as I imagine he often does, not to wallow, to do something, and set out to print Normal, which somehow set Ander on me, to send me an e-mail and suggest a collaboration from half a world away [farther? Geography was never my strong suit]. A collaboration which gave me something, sure, something small, but something finished, a project that, for a change, actually worked out, a Hail Mary pass for my shriveling, neurotically-hindered output, never really finishing anything. And yet it happened, happened in the same spirit that pushed me to start linking the works of others from Twitter this past year, in the same spirit that Sarah Marcus wrote about in "Girls to the Front," how "being in the company of other restless, ambitious minds helped motivate" but could "also be discouraging," but how we can "all be brilliant together..." And yes, what Sarah wrote about, it didn't quite work for the riot grrrl feminists like they hoped, but who are we to say it can't ever work, creatively? That we're surrounded by these brilliant people, who we can work with, instead of compete with. Raise up instead of hold down -- and doing that won't hold us back too.

Thank you Eric, and Ander, and Sarah Marcus.

And what's on my mind is a picture, one I saw just a few days ago, of a girl I hardly know, though I feel like I know exceptionally well, if not superficially well, from her writing, from the face she puts out there, who in this picture was standing in the parking lot of her personal wasteland. A place she thought she wanted to be ages ago, a place she got away from, first through success, and then through actual success, when she realized what she wanted ages ago just wasn't what she wanted anymore. So she packed up, and moved to Austin, and when she went back to that place, and someone snapped that picture of her in that wasteland, she didn't look like Lear -- she looked beautiful. Like she didn't have to stay.

I hope that's true for all of us, Lauren. That we're not all merely players, that there is life beyond the blasted heath.

And what's on my mind is the passion, the passion of a friend to work on something massive, a list of, of all things, wrestling matches, capped off at a fitting one hundred, the best one hundred of the year. Something he loved, that he still loves, that I saw him struggle and get frustrated with, because this wasn't work that paid, this wasn't for anyone other than him, and yet, it no longer felt so much like it was for him. And I got frustrated too, that it through off our schedule, that I missed things I might have wanted to see -- and he will read that, and be more hurt by it than all the praise I can heap here, but I hope he can look beyond it, and know how much I respect what he did. About how he didn't let little things like money, or health, practicality dictate what was important, how he reminded me that sometimes what's important has nothing to do with any of those things, and how what's important sometimes just looks and feels like wasted time.

I waste a lot of time, John. I needed you to remind me how much of that wasn't actually wasted.

And what's on my mind is Twitter, how such a little, trifling thing has given me just a little boost of confidence, how writers I respect have sent me well-wishes [on occasion] there, how artists whose talent I drool over will actually engage me, how musicians I'm over the moon for actually follow me, and how for every @ ignored by people I might actually see in real life, occasionally, at four in the morning, Emma-Lee Moss will joke with me about fake-IDs and fake Wikipedias, and remind me of something that has nothing to do with Twitter or the internet, or anything else.

Except for that song I sent to that girl I know. And how we stayed up one night and watched Emmy the Great bounce around to a few bars of "Hallelujah."

And what's on my mind is The Social Network, which I just barely watched in time for this year to be over, and which, for review after review of hearing it's overrated, or deficient, or negligent, for a guy like me, who pounds out line after line of dialogue sleeplessly in the morning, watched as Aaron Sorkin strung words together like poetry. And how for a moment I got as close as I think I ever will to feeling what the groundlings must have felt while listening to Shakespeare at the Globe. And while yes, I know, I studied under the best, and in movie-making what the characters say is only part of the artistry, but... for me I was reminded what I aspire to. In comics, in movies, in everything.

That rhythm I chase... that rhythm with no music. Nasty, blunt-headed things, put wonderfully.

And what's on my mind is Dad. How could I think about movies without Dad? How often do I see a preview for something, and point and almost say "Oh, he's gonna love that," and then in my head I adjust the tense, and think, kind of spitefully, "Really, Dad? You couldn't have hung on just two more years? Jeff Bridges in True Grit, how can you -- you of all people! -- be missing that?" And then I laugh, because really, what a stupid thing to get angry about, what a trivial thing, in comparison to everything else he's missed. How going out means getting stopped, no matter how I look, how I'm dressed, to "You're Nick's son, right?" and how sorry they are. And such an eclectic cast of characters, everyone who asks.

How often I feel like supporting cast in your story, Dad. But the protagonist's gone now. I miss you.

And what's on my mind is how I miss everyone. And how glad I am that so many time differences line up with my insomnia. And how I have so many reminders of everyone, here with me, tangible things stacked to my ceiling, paintings, letters, and comics and postcards and books, the Joan Didion I'm reading -- "Slouching Towards Bethlehem" -- and the Communist luchador button I'm still trying to find a place for. Things should not replace people, but as prompts, in a solitary life, where sometimes I can even forget what day it is... it's all right.

Happy New Year, my friends. I hope you all have someone important to you nearby tonight, and that you will forgive this gimmick, and my sentimentality.

And here's to 2011.

Meet Randall-cito, Holdiay skin [and other updates], and big news for SMAF.

• Tuesday, December 28, 2010 2 comments
I am unconscionably behind. Updates will remain sparse for the next several days, as I'm trying to get through a huge backlog of films I've missed this year before the start of the next [we'll see on that one], and I still have a lot of holiday-related things breathing down my neck, mostly in the form of taking decoration down, New Years activities, and the prerequisite "thank you" notes that need to go out. Also looking to seeing if the things I sent to people got to their intended destinations. Plus there are, for various reasons, a handful of folks who are going to be getting things from me post-Christmas, mostly because they either weren't in the country, or what I had planned on sending them sort of... kind of... hadn't been released yet. Poor planning, all around.

I have also gotten a plethora of rad things I'd like to show off here, but that involves dragging out the scanner, which is going to take time. After my uncle and cousin where here, a lot of things were tucked away to keep my room from looking like a closet with a bed in it, and digging that out is going to be a whole evening kind of thing [seriously, Jenga-level stacking of things going on].

But... here's something kind of cool. From Kyle Quinn, puppet maker of "Seth Martin and Friends" fame, based on the designs by Glen "Mario's Closet" Brogan, a Christmas gift that sort of perfectly serves my narcissism:

Pretty good likeness, wouldn't you say? But wait, let's check:

Oh yeah. Definitely seeing a resemblance. And possibly a nice proxy to send along when I want to get out of things. It was a lovely gift from Kyle, and everyone in the group got one, leading to a pretty hilarious group photo that I'm pretty sure will be popping up on some social networking site eventually.

Speaking of Kyle, Glen, and the rest of the Brainwrap crew, they recently got some much-needed and well-deserved press on the Huntington, WV Herald-Dispatch. It's a really good intro to the work their doing if you haven't been following their Facebook page [and just why haven't you been?], and if Glen's blog post on the article is any indication, it's the first write-up the group and the web show has gotten which Brainwrap has really been pleased with. So definitely go and check that out.

Plus, even though we are past Christmas proper [and I hope every one's was lovely], "Seth Martin and Friends" had not one, but two Christmas-themed shorts that came out for the holiday season, and since we have not yet reached New Years, and I'm guessing most of you still have trees up, you might wander over to the SMAF YouTube channel and check out "Trace's Tree (A Christmas Special)" and "Arthur's Gift."

I have writing to do, and ever since the half-mad winter spent slaving over the "Trendsetter" first draft, not slaving away into the wee hours of the morning on something kind of makes me feel like I'm wasting my time. But lately I've noticed I'm getting a lot more from reading and watching the good works of others than doing much myself, though once things slow down after January 1st, I'm getting back to the peep show script, and "VHS Generation."

Lights Please.

• Friday, December 24, 2010 5 comments
"I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I'm not happy. I don't feel the way I'm supposed to feel. I just don't understand Christmas, I guess. I like getting presents and sending Christmas cards and decorating trees and all that, but I'm still not happy. I always end up feeling depressed." - Charlie Brown, "A Charlie Brown Christmas"

I spent the evening putting ribbons and bows on chocolate oranges for my friends, watching a few hours of the copious amounts of professional wrestling which has been on television this week [...strange, though I'm sure it can't hurt to channel some seasonal hostility into a few fake fights on free TV]. I've done a lot this Christmas, more decorating than usual, more gifts purchased... I've wrapped so many things, spent so many hours on etsy looking for x or y, debating whether or not the gifts I were giving said more about me, than the people I was getting them for. When it comes to gifts, I suppose, there should always be a little bit of both, though definitely more the latter -- though, I guess if it were all of the latter, that would be better. More selfless. But I like to sign my work.

The point? Oh, right, the point. I think, now just a day to go, it finally hit me, that the holidays are here, that Christmas will not be put off another moment. I've been pushing it now and again this year -- all the activity, maybe my heart hasn't been completely in it. But it's easy to disregard that, when I think about what it means to other people, having those little moments which just so... completely personify the season.

All of my ideas of the season are... antiquated, almost. There's that scene from "A Christmas Carol," at Mr. Fezziwig's ball, which is just a little too... Victorian for me to ever actually experience, and meanwhile, my Belle... well, I could not hold on to her. Then there are things, little madnesses, like being in a horse-drawn carriage with someone I love, if not Belle, than a Belle [if there can ever be two] "through the snow" bundled too tightly and sitting too close, for reasons that have nothing to do with frostbite, elegant parties at grandiose houses with people you hardly know and too much alcohol served around too many candles. That last one, especially, I held onto a little too tightly, going so far as to entertain crashing someone else's event, after recruiting a partner adept at playing the mouth harp, purchasing the nicest wreath [and bottle of rum] I could find, donning Santa hats, and just knocking on the front door.

I still contend that could work. But duplicitous plots and Christmas don't exactly go hand in hand. Nor have I ever found a partner so willing or self-assured to back me up on that [plus, the need for a partner in this particular crime is based on the possibly erroneous assumption that people are less likely to call the cops if there's two of you].

And family. Everyone together, and festive, and always a few people you don't know, one-part renewing old acquaintances, mostly that, but also another, small part of feeling like you're hunkering down, in greater numbers, from the weather outside. Which, if you haven't heard, would be ideally frightful.

But I don't think, and pardon me for saying this about a holiday with "Christ" right in the name, that this is a time when we should be all that beholden to our own, personal dogmas. I think again, to those high-minded ideals of the season that I have, and the feelings they stir in me just by thinking of them, and even having never really achieved on, I have scratched the surface of those feelings -- seeing "Mary" at the theatre, sitting middle row and not cold, but not so warm I couldn't wear my coat and scarf throughout, or sitting in a room that seemed to have no point or function in Sara's house, opening a VHS copy of Clerks I did not expect to receive. Reading comics in my dad's living room at... seven or eight, having him explain to me again about how, since they both worked at night, he could talk to Santa and get the presents I was getting at his house the night before Christmas, and how that was no problem at all.

Those all didn't quite fit my ideal, but they got close, so close as to scratch the surface and release a kind of warmth, that mimicked what I think I'd feel if I got Christmas all the other ways I got it. And when it comes to everyone else, I imagine their ideals for the season are just as unreachable and impossible as my own [maybe not? Who can say?], but doing something small, to get them close to that, to make that scratch... I can do that. I can put my own baggage down long enough to hand them a gift, to tell them a story. Or just listen to one of theirs. "Here, have a drink, some eggnog, some cider, maybe something stronger... and there's candy, but not too much, because there's dinner later." Yeah. If I can find a way to get someone something that makes them feel even a little bit like that, let them have that reminder of a time, or a place that was ideal. Or one they think would be.

Right now, I'm capitalizing, enjoying a bunch of Christmas specials, doing what I tend to do, remarking on things I probably never appreciated as a kid, that "A Charlie Brown Christmas" debuted in 1965. That even after growing up with the characters, the appearance of the Sesame Street gang during a "Muppet Family Christmas" looks vaguely Lord of the Rings-esque, Bert and Ernie descending on Ma Bear's house with a dracula, a cadre of monsters, and a giant bird in tow. And just marveling at how vibrant and... well, actually animated "Mickey's Christmas Carol" looks, with painted background but books bouncing and chains getting caught on something, and then you realize it was made in 1983 and you can't help but wonder why more cartoons don't look better now.

I mean, if you're like me, a grown man who still watches cartoons [if you're not, I'm surprised, though pleasantly because I'd think the previous demographic might be one of the only I appeal to].

Other movies are on the horizon too: Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas, and Die Hard [for the second time!], and hell, I may even work one of the Home Alone's into the rotation. Only out of respect, of course, for our recently departed. Gremlins, could happen, and I have a deep need to see The Ref as well. And yes, I realize, hitting this stride with only two days to really enjoy it seems a bit crazy, a bit crunched for time, but hey... it's not like I have any other plans for Christmas anyway.

Don't know if I'll post again before the big day. So, to everyone reading, if anyone is, have a wonderful holiday. Appreciate that which you have, and those who you have close, not because some have less, or none, or no one, but just because you do. And if you don't, if you are without or alone this time of year... then get smashed, or turn on "PeeWee's Christmas Special," or one of the "Rugrats" cartoons about Hanukkah [some of the best modern holiday specials in my opinion]. Or something else, something you like, that makes you happy, that reminds you of what time of year it is, and will make it better, or special to you.

Me? Sometimes I just listen to The Clash's "London Calling."

I'm not kidding.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

#MooreandMe [and Me]: One Week Later

• Wednesday, December 22, 2010 2 comments
A week is a long time on the internet.

Seven days ago, Sady Doyle of the feminist blog Tiger Beatdown wrote "#MooreandMe: On Progressives, Rape Apologism, and the Little Guy" - thus launching a wide-scale Twitter based protest under the header of #mooreandme against left-wing icons Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann for their poor conduct in talking about the Julian Assange rape allegations, and their outright dismissal of his accusers. I did my best to catalog the most important articles on the subject in this post, along with my own feelings as to why I felt it was important to get involved, though if you're looking to familiarize yourself with the campaign in a way that doesn't require you to navigate my poor organizational skills, I'd suggest you look at the time line of the events as they played out as presented, with quotes, by Sady herself on Tiger Beatdown.

The manner of the protest was particularly fitting, practically reflective of Moore's own in-your-face interview methods employed in his movies [ingenious, as Doyle had grown up a fan of Moore and his films, and was, in a way, schooled in this sort of confrontation by the director himself] . With Twitter offering angry and confused feminists, many progressive themselves, many fans of Moore and Olbermann, a direct line to the men, they were able to bombard both men with questions and entreaties for retractions. Olbermann himself would engage, then block users, then half-apologize, then block again before the first seven days of the protest were over -- but Moore, the true target, remained surprisingly silent throughout.

So when news broke that Moore would be appearing on the Rachel Maddow show [12/22/2010], tactics changed dramatically. Those who had been lobbying the director for answers, while battling various misogynistic trolls and other, more reasonable, but still belligerent Assange supporters turned instead to demand [politely] that Rachel Maddow address the #mooreandme campaign with the man himself, and perhaps get those involved some the answers they'd been looking for. I have always been very fond Maddow [then again, I was a big fan of Olbermann before all of this] and considered her reporting incredibly forthright and intelligent, however, I don't think it's to her discredit that a great many Twitter users participating in #mooreandme were a little shocked when finally, someone listened.

The Maddow Blog - The Michael Moore Interview

Sady Doyle herself mentioned marking the occasion with tears -- she likely wasn't the only one, as the past several days have been very emotional, in both moving and hurtful ways, and to get even this small recognition from Michael Moore that, to quote "Every woman who claims to have been sexually assaulted or raped has to be, must be, taken seriously. . . .For too long, and too many women have been abused in our society , because they were not listened to, and they just got shoved aside. . . .So I think these two alleged victims have to be taken seriously and Mr. Assange has to answer the questions." no doubt felt like a great victory. And it was. But, it was also only part of a victory.

Wikileaks remains a contentious part of the story, an attention grabber that the media seems unable to completely separate from the allegations against Assange. Maddow herself came to the subject explaining how it was a complicated issue, and had her own agenda to push, on the validity of the kinds of information gleaned from "leaks." Moore still supports the site, and obviously still believes there is a political aspect to Assange's sudden persecution [which there could be and likely is -- but that doesn't excuse rape apologism, and shouldn't be a reason to question or harass Assange's accusers]. There was still no apology from Moore, no "I'm sorry, I was out of line, or working from bad information," and as of my writing this, he hasn't engaged with #mooreandme. He still could, and the campaign isn't going anywhere yet.

But for right now, what has been accomplished is getting Moore to state that rape victims shouldn't be persecuted or endangered, and that they should always be taken seriously. Which may seem underwhelming, at first, though I feel, if discouraged, it is important to remember Sady Doyle's own words after the interview, that of course "The goals of #mooreandme were not fully accomplished. You know what one of our goals is? ENDING RAPE CULTURE. It's long-term." That the fight is a long and tireless one "to to move a mountain 3 inches." But always remember, you still moved a mountain.

For now, those involved are handling Day 7 in various ways, some not nearly satisfied with Moore's statements yet, others willing to take a much needed and much deserved break, willing to bask in the momentary warmth of the accomplishment of at least being recognized, at least being significant -- finally being listened to, until tomorrow, where Sady Doyle has already promised a blog post about how this win isn't "a win," though it feels like one [ADDITION: 12/22/2010 - At 1:57 PM, Sady posted "#MooreandMe: And Then He Came Down" on Tiger Beatdown... which includes a "thank you" from Moore himself to Sady.].

---

As in all things, as it concerns writing about this on my blog, I cannot resist to relate it in some way back to me. It is probably noticeable in my language that I am hesitant to name myself as one of those involved in #mooreandme, though anyone following my Twitter will say I clearly was. It is not out of embarrassment, or a want to distance myself from the protest that spurs this on in me, quite the opposite, actually. Speaking candidly [as though I do anything else here], I still feel like a very young feminist, not necessarily in age, but in how long I've actually pursued or thought about this with any kind of actual seriousness.


I am very naive. I don't like that about myself, and a lot of cynicism is a reaction to that. I've lived a lot of my life naturally believing all men and women were created equal, that no matter your gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation, we are all the same, and should be afforded the same rights. And as one person moving through the world, sans those prejudices, that's fine, that may keep me from ever intentionally being a bigot or a misogynist, but it's not an accurate representation of the kind of world we live in, and just because I believe what I do doesn't mean we're all on an even keel. Especially since, as I've stated before, I am white, middle class, and male, with blond hair and blue eyes, and a liberal arts degree. I'm only now coming to terms with concept of privilege.

I like to hope in the past two years I've gotten better. A lot of that comes from music -- Riot Grrrl music, queercore music set me on a lot of reading [remember all my Girls to the Front rambling? Or my admitting how the unabridged Second Sex had thoroughly whipped me?] about gender, feminism, rape culture and a lot of other complicated ideas that I don't necessarily have to engage with in my day to day. But to say I'm the person I claim to be, that I support gay rights, that I'm a feminist, etc., I can't just pay lip service to these ideas. I have to learn. No more half-assing it, and feeling enlightened. From what I'm seeing, probably no more feeling enlightened.

Which brings me back to why I'm uncomfortable to declaring myself Randall Nichols: #mooreandme guy. Because in a way, I used all this as a learning experience. Dipped my little toe in the pool, as it were. I observed more than I got involved -- I could have done a whole lot more, I know I could have, could have tweeted more, certainly with the amount of free time I have on my hands. Could have blogged more, could have made every new development a new entry here. Could have spoken more about how I was feeling about things, could have opened up comments, and fielded real questions and criticisms of what I was doing. But I also use this space for other things, to promote other people, to promote other works, and losing a reader who feels the opposite to me on the subject would have hurt them, that would have been one less person to tell about this friend's project, or that friend's story. And, yeah, as someone who has to sell himself as a writer, who is not very good at that, that could have hurt me too. It's cowardly, I know it. Really selfish, to an embarrassing degree. And I know deep down if I'm really good, people won't care what my politics or my beliefs, and if I was really that steadfast in either of those things, I wouldn't give a damn if they did or not. I need to work on that.

But that's not all of it either. Because, again, I'm self-teaching a lot of this stuff. I am extremely fallible. I go off half-cocked all the time, I love hyperbole, and I am not afraid to use shock value to get people's attention. And all these ideas, they're not all mine, they're all on sort of shaky mental ground, even the ones I already truly believe, and if my recklessness were to hurt what #mooreandme was doing, what any movement I supported was doing, then... yeah. I don't know that I could live with myself. So there's some fear there too.

Which even as I write I know to be absolutely ridiculous, as these women, Sady, and so many others, undertook this, and many other causes, where they get threats every day, that threaten violence, that threaten rape, the very thing they fight against. They are bullied, and treated poorly, and as if the things they say don't matter, that they're making mountains out of mole hills. I invoke Mia Zapata too much to not have an idea [though can I ever *really* know?] the dangers that are faced by the people who champion these causes every day.

In the face of all of that, I feel very small. And for someone who calls himself a writer, who embodies the very post-modern cliché of self-interest, that is a sobering feeling. And fair is fair, it's probably not the worst thing for someone like me to get taken down a peg. But still.

A few twitter posts, and the handful of people who found out about all this from my one, nigh-constantly updated blog post can't compare. And I really hope, deep down, that I haven't belittled this in any way by calling it a learning experience, by expounding endlessly on what it has meant to me.

There are real heroes in all this. I was following Tiger Beatdown before; but through this I found Kate Harding, an incredibly insightful writer who I will, like several others, draft into my continuing education in all this. And I'm going to keep digging, through #mooreandme posts, through archived Harriet J. posts, through... everything, as much as I can, on the schedule I keep. If I can do anything here to help, if I can do anything worthwhile, it would be to suggest that if any of this prattling of mine has moved you, go out and pick up a book on feminism, or a CD by a band who wants the girls up front at the stage. Give money to RAINN, or a local charity or an organization of a similar nature.

Do what you're comfortable with... but push that comfort. I know I've talked here a lot about what I didn't do, but just... engaging with all this was a little outside of my comfort, I didn't feel entirely ready for it. Even in my little comments here or there, on various blogs, I wouldn't be surprised if I made mistakes, stepped out a little. I sit here, mortified of them. But glad I did them anyway.

And most importantly, support one of the big heroes of this - Sady Doyle. She spent the better part of seven days doing nothing but this. Can you imagine? But there was almost no choice, nothing else she could have done, because the internet moves so fast, and things are forgotten so easily, and something like Twitter, that is so disposable, where so much is just gone like a memory the next day. She never stopped. She sacrificed for this. I imagine she'll do a lot more before it's over. And she needs the support. I've seen a lot suggestions, from a spa trip, to an award, to... well, anything you can think of. That might be a little outside what we can do. I don't know if there is anyway to properly thank her. But you can donate to Tiger Beatdown, or even subscribe [right sidebar].

I don't know if I'll write more on this. The Mojo Wire is mostly about creative endeavors, and it seems like a bad idea to make a habit of this sort of thing, but that's never really stopped me before. And I'd be lying if I said some of this hasn't inspired me in some ways, for stories, and I'm not sure... how I'm going forward with that, because there are all these questions in my head as to what's exploitation. And there's a part of me that says I probably shouldn't worry about that when actually working should be my prerogative. So we'll have to see.

---

For more information on #mooreandme, make sure to keep checking Twitter, and any and all of the blogs I've linked on the site.

Also, I've found this article on "Millicent and Carla Fran: Protagonists at large" called "How #MooreandMe Worked." Good resource, and a much better look back at the previous 7 days.

ADDITION: [Only one, probably. 12/22/2010 - 7:38 PM]

At 5:55 PM, Sady added a short post on her tumblr site, headlined by a comment she received during #mooreandme - "Anonymous asked: Thank you for everything you're doing. You're kind of my hero." It's... lovely, and speaks entirely for itself, and you should go and read it. She also makes some very good points about the things that #mooreandme didn't address, that were either outside of its wheelhouse, or wrongfully over looked, including RAINN's trans-exclusion, and the unreachable Naomi Wolf, who has made statements during this controversy that I can't even bring myself to link, they're so stomach turning. Sady also has a request, of us. Very worth everyone's time.

The Conservationist

• Saturday, December 18, 2010 0 comments
"Fame gets mistaken for intellect, which is dangerous." - Sarah Crow, Journalist.

It's all I have left to add about the previous post [actually, if new, interesting links become available, more might added], an old quote from a friend that I kept in the back of my mind the past couple of days. It has helped me to keep perspective while in territory I am not yet equipped for, or entirely comfortable in. But it was also interesting, to crawl into something like this, and while I don't really feel "out" of it yet, there is a general feeling in the air, as if the winds have shifted, and now the people who are supposed to be helping one another are now sniping, respectfully, and what I mean by that is that they're at least prefacing everything "with all do respect." I guess in a way, the whole thing is about people who are supposed to be on the same side trying to remind each other of that.

Of course, there is a lot more to it than all of that too.

I haven't written much. It is a bit of a madhouse here, as my Uncle and cousin from Louisiana have come to visit, and all the proper planning and preparation we've put in sort of... you know, unravels as those thing do. It is always good to see long-absent family, but their company is always a little jarring. What I mean by that has nothing to do with their behavior, or decorum -- quite the opposite, they are wonderfully polite and some of the best house guests you could hope for. But my cousin's voice is just a little too much like my aunt's, his mother, who passed away while I was in college.

She was a wonderful woman. Her name was Diane, and we were not blood related, as she was my grandfather's daughter, and my grandfather was actually my step-grandfather, though that seems wrong when I think it, and my fingers go a little stupid when I try to type it. My maternal grandfather, my Dad's dad, if you will, was basically a hermit, a man who lived far away, and on his own, and seemed to prefer his TV Guide and his cabin the woods to his family's company. And I could understand that. But Diane! She was always so kind to me, so willing to engage me in my "adult conversations" -- little Randall using words too big for his mouth, talking about things so far outside his scope.

Things don't change.

But she was always a visitor, like her son and husband this weekend, and when she died, I was in Vermont, huddled down for the winter and not all that concerned with anything but myself, my own little world that went not much farther than the dorm, and only outside of it when I had to go to class, or for pizza. Or on one of those long, lonely walks. And since she was always a visitor, a holiday caller, someone who "away" was a fairly common way of being in my mind... her dying never struck me quite as heavily as it should have. She was just away. And one day, she'd visit again.

Her boy is now hardly a boy, more of a man, though that's a title I have trouble even giving to myself, let alone someone x many years younger than me. And he sounds... so much like her, and it is such a strong, hard reminder that she is gone, that she will not be visiting again. That there will be no more adult conversations with her, now that I am actually an...

Well, I told you. I have trouble with that.

Still, it's a good feeling, hearing him, remembering her. Bittersweet. Kind of like... a tenderness, a soreness, a sensitivity. A pain that you know if you can just work out, it'll be better, stronger. You'll remember the sensation fondly, as healing. The process of getting better. Fitting too, that they're here -- it feels like, when I'd see her, I'd always see her at Christmas. And it's a wonderful time to have a house full of people.

Sometimes I feel like I get too personal here. And sometimes I kick myself for not being able to turn these feelings into something, like they're reservoirs of raw material, but have no idea how to forge them into iron or steel. And then I get all Environ-mentalist, feeling guilty for mining these memories, stripping down my sentimentality for selfish aims. Is there a more selfish pursuit than the written word? They're all picketing me, you know. Making signs, and chaining themselves to drills and bulldozers. Rallying cries to conserve.

I like this. Don't ever let me tell you different. This is stretching to me - I am the immodest, athletic beauty who decides among friends it's okay to cartwheel in her sun dress; the fighter who, shirtless in the lamplight, finds in his shadow the perfect momentary opponent.

For modesty's sake, it might be best to stop myself. Besides, there are people out there actually doing things. Take Zoe Chevat, for instance, animation student extraordinaire, who has new sketches for her thesis film up over on her blog. She has this stylized bleed going on in them that's just driving me wild, definitely suggest you go check them out.

And then, brand new to the internet, Dave Baker [one half of the Modern Mythology crew], has started his own webcomic, "Strangeways." I'm really excited for this project, really excited that Dave's getting started on it, as last time we talked it seemed like it was still sort of off in the future. But the future comes quickly, so I suggest you bookmark, or stick it in your RSS reader, and check back regularly. Not sure what his posting schedule is going to be, so I'd visit regularly to keep from missing new pages.

Finally, unrelated to anything, just because I've linked it everywhere else today, and am absolutely taken with it, Pitchfork.com has a video up of Kathleen Hanna in the NYC venue Joe's Pub, talking about the 90s, and explaining/covering Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Plus, we get just a little bit of "Rebel Girl." Enjoy.


P.S. I did end up adding more links to my previous post, and more yet may be added.

Wikileaks, Assange, Olbermann, and Moore.

• Thursday, December 16, 2010
I'm a little late to the party on this, but not sleeping last night gave me several hours to catch up on this whole distasteful business.

So, unless you've been living under a rock the past few months, or you just avoid all news ever [which is...admirable, in a way] -- in the paper, on the internet, on cable television -- you've probably heard something about the Wikileaks scandal. This past October, something in the area of 400,000 documents on the Iraq War were leaked through the website, causing wide-spread, some would even say world-wide, outrage. Many called for one of the website's founder's head specifically, one Julian Assange, with many military and government figures in the U.S. and abroad shouting "Treason!" Some, such as the ever-dreadful, Moose-skinning Sarah Palin, said the man should be assassinated. Some hyperbole is to be expected in these situations.

Still, anyone would have to admit it was a little too convenient when suddenly Assange was arrested in London to be extradited to Sweden because of outstanding charges of rape. And I don't dispute that... hard to dodge outstanding warrants when the whole world wants a piece of you.

Which is probably why progressive, left-wing personalities Keith Olbermann and Michael Moore came out in support of Assange, with Moore going so far as to post Assange's bail [$20,000]. Moore explains why he's doing this here, and it's worth a look.

And since we're linking, let me go ahead and show you everything you should be reading before you finish this blog post. Or instead of this blog post.

Tiger Beatdown: "#MooreandMe: On Progressives, Rape Apologism, and the Little Guy" [Sady Doyle]

Tiger Beatdown: "Day One of #MooreandMe: Or, How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Being Blocked by Keith Olbermann on Twitter" [Sady Doyle]


Salon: Keith Olbermann quit Twitter because of me. [Sady Doyle]

"Feminists Fighting for WikiLeaks" [Liz Henry]


"On Consent" [Leigh Honeywell]

The Washington Post: "What the Assange case says about rape in America" [Jessica Valenti]

Mediaite: "Olbermann Refuses To Correct Treatment Of Assange Rape Allegations On Twitter – Update [Tommy Christopher]"

"Some Shit I’m Sick of Hearing Regarding Rape and Assange" [Kate Harding]


Spilt Milk: "Who hears you, when you speak about rape?" ["Elizabeth" - via Lisa Gutierrez]

Tiger Beatdown: "SEXIST BEATDOWN: Until This FRENZY of HOOEY and ANTI-RAPE ACTIVISM Is STOPPED Edition" [quote:
I love how many Swedish constitutional rape scholars have just wiggled out of the woodwork all of a sudden. - Amanda Hess]

zunguzungu: "If You’ll Pardon the Presumption" [Aaron Bady]

"We Have Some Points" [Silvana Naguib and Gayle Force]


The New York Times: Swedish Police Report Details Case Against Assange [JOHN F. BURNS and RAVI SOMAIYA]

Tiger Beatdown: "#MooreandMe: Four Days Outside the Tower. I’m Scared. I’m Tired. I’m Crying. And I Won’t Stop." [Sady Doyle]

"Why I’m On Board With #mooreandme" [Kate Harding]

Tiger Beatdown: "#MooreandMe, Five Days and Running: Run It All The Way Down (A Timeline of Relevant Quotes)" [Sady Doyle]

"Pro Tip" (Concerning the Presumption of Innocence and #mooreandme) [Jamie "Sententiola" Johnston]

"What Happens When You Accuse a Famous Man of Rape"
[Kate Harding] - Quote/Link from The Guardian article "Julian Assange rape allegations: treatment of women 'unfair and absurd'" [Amelia Gentlemen]

Salon: "Olbermann still doesn't get it." [Tracy Clark-Flory]

"#mooreandme Day 7: Keith Olbermann’s got questions, I’ve got answers." [Kate Harding]

Tiger Beatdown: "A Week of #MooreandMe: Keith Olbermann and the Eternal 'If'" [Sady Doyle]

Before I go on, let me start by saying who I am. I am:


1. A leftist. A liberal, if you prefer. This means I am pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-equal rights no matter what your gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation is. I think marijuana should be legalized, as a matter of fact, I think most drugs should be legalized, along with other "undesirable" things like prostitution and gambling. I like capitalism fine, but think it works well in only specific cases, and tend to skew socialist, even communist at times. I am pro-government oversight [though sometimes I believe it fails, or oversteps its bounds], and an atheist [sometimes agnostic]. I consider my beliefs, or lack thereof fairly boring however, and like to hear about other people's faith. Sincerely. But I also want God far away from my government. Honestly, the bits on our money freak me out a little.

2. A feminist. I have always sort of identified as this. In the past few years, I have been trying to be a better one, with much study done on my own. It's a process.

3. A proponent for free speech. I am anti-censorship, in all its form, sometimes even when it disgusts me what is being said. Thankfully, just as it is your right to say it, it is my right to bring it to your attention that you might be wrong, or ask for apologies or clarifications when you've offended. I support transparency of government and freedom of information -- I've read too much about the Cold War to know that selling secrets and playing spy games only ends in horrific crimes made all the more horrific because no one is ever told about them until long after the fact.

4. A white, middle class male in my 20s. This, for some people, will be the most important. That's sad, but not entirely unfair. There's a lot of privilege in being that. I went to a liberal arts school, and am currently only freelancing sparingly.

So that's what I am. I also support Wikileaks, but like I could support the troops during the war in Iraq, but not support the war, I choose to support the website, and not the accused rapist. I think Wikileaks is quite a bit larger, quite a bit more important than one man, certainly a man like Julian Assange [there is even a part of me that feels, if Assange is truly altruistic in his motives, that he should perhaps separate himself from the site completely, divorce himself of any association with it, out of the understanding that these accusations, whether proved true or false, could damage the good Wikileaks can do].

I also, until all of this, considered myself a fan of Keith Olbermann. I liked having a mouthpiece for my side of things, someone who looked at things and put them in plain terms, and shame-on-you language. He also seemed to enjoy his job a great deal, and that meant a lot to me too, in a weird way. But his dismissive attitude and erroneous statements on Twitter, along with general insensitivity towards those who dared to call him on it [and his eventual Twitter "apology"], for me, are seriously petty, but his unwillingness to admit he was mistaken is just a deal-breaker, especially since retractions are a fairly common and forgivable part of being a reporter. I'm not sure there's any getting me back after this, Keith.

Michael Moore. Well. Most people know I'm not a fan. But, "Roger and Me" is an amazing documentary film, one of the greats of its time, maybe of all time, and I respect that. I respect Moore's resolve to seek out the truth. Sure, I thought "Bowling for Columbine" was a fucking hatchet job that made leftists look like idiots, but... they did bring people around. Maybe not BOC so much, but I can't tell you how many folks I've found who genuinely changed their opinions on political issues because they saw "Sicko" or "Captialism: A Love Story." That's powerful stuff, and changes, I believe, that were for the better. Plus, many other film makers I respect -- Kevin Smith, Quentin Tarantino -- they've vouched for Moore, made good points about his relevance, as have many of my friends. I guess what I'm saying, Mr. Moore, is while I have respect, I was never your biggest fan and still I feel let down.

So that's what I am. What I feel.

What I'm not is an expert on a lot of the topics and questions being raised by all this. I'm not a journalist. This is not a area I feel comfortable yet. I am only, at best, an in-training self-taught feminist, and most of the teaching has been done through online blogs and early 90s punk music. That's not the best pedigree for this, though I'm working on it. Naturally, I feel unqualified to properly present the problems people are currently having with Moore and Olbermann's support for Assange. I wish Harriet J. were around*, then I could just link her, she would put this all more intelligently and elegantly than I would. My summary here is not going to be enough, and I want to point out the important part of this post is the links I provided. Go, and read those. Ignore me, ignore my ranting. Most is catharsis. You decide for yourself where you stand on this controversy.

Many are calling Olbermann and Moore "rape apologists." I think, personally, that this is fair. I say personally, because around two years ago, a conversation came up with a friend where they admitted to me that a mutual friend of ours had nearly raped them. Now, they did not use the word "rape" or "nearly raped," just presented the situation as it happened, in a fairly banal matter considering the subject matter. And my first reaction was to defend the offender, because he was my friend too, because that was "just the way he was," because... well, clearly I was an idiot.

Having that conversation in my head, rolling it around between my ears on one of my many sleepless nights, it became perfectly clear what had happened, and what I had done. In that moment, me, the supposed feminist, had played the part of rape apologist. I know what it looks like, I know how "good" the intentions behind it can be. But it was stupid of me, clearly, and I decided then and there to apologize to my friend who I had the gall to do that too, and then, as some religious persons might put it, to "get right with god" -- that is, stop calling myself a feminist until I actually sat down and knew what the fuck I was talking about when it came to feminism, rape culture, and the patriarchy. If I read something that felt accusatory, that pissed me off... I dug deeper, because it felt like there was a good chance the offense I was taking could be because I was guilty, at least in some way of thinking. Giving myself the benefit of the doubt, this was not always true. But still.

So yes, I think I know what rape apology looks like when I see it. To use a mangled, folksy saying I grew up with "Once you've stepped in shit, you'll always know what it smells like." And I think Moore and Olbermann are stepping in it, perhaps because they were poorly informed [I am reticent to say any outright lying has been done], like I was, or perhaps because when faced with two issues important to the people they claim to represent [the left], they made a judgment call. A fairly bad one, and an entirely unnecessary one, but still, they made it. I think they owe a great deal of people an apology, a real apology, or at the very least they should engage their detractors, who have legitimate concerns in a far more open and mature way -- if nothing else, to keep those who may find justification in Olbermann's insensitivity, or Moore's silence.

Let me end by saying that yes, Assange is only accused of the crime, and though I know little of the Swedish court systems, I will continue to work on the idea that the man is innocent until proven guilty. That is not the matter I take issue with -- rather, it is the idea that, because of who Assange is, because of what he's connected to, perhaps even because of how society and the rest of the world view rape, his accusers should not be taken seriously. Accusations of rape should always be taken seriously, no matter what the circumstances.

I'm disabling comments for this post, mostly because I do not feel this is a very good place for a discussion about the topic, considering the nature of the things I post to this blog. Also, because I have participated in #mooreandme on Twitter and seen the comments on other sites, and have no desire to moderate any vulgarity that might show up here because my post pops up in Google's search results. If you'd like to be a part of the conversation, I encourage you to participate in #mooreandme, even if it's just to send your own entreaty to Moore himself [huh... almost said "The Man himself" ...weird].

Also, if you are reading this, and happen upon any articles I've missed and you think are relevant, email me at mojo.wire.productions@gmail.com, and I'll add them to this post.

And thank you for taking the time to read this.


ADDITION
[12/16/10 - 10:35 PM]: Along with the Spilt Milk link provided by Lisa Gutierrez, I'd like to stress that this post is more to get the word out about #mooreandme and the above linked articles, than it is my own feelings. I editorialized, because that's me, and if you'd like to respond you're as welcome to e-mail me as anyone with another article. But my intention was more to point you to this thing happening, inform, maybe get you involved if you were so inclined.

ADDITION [12/16/10 - 11:07 PM]: I've also changed some of the passage on Olbermann, so as to be less vague, and utilize less hyperbole. I'm not sure it's fair to hold my initial feelings of disappointment against him in such an impassioned way. As I said, I was a fan.

ADDITION [12/17/10 - 6.28 PM]: Link to Tiger Beatdown's Friday SEXIST BEATDOWN article. Also, if Twitter isn't your style, fight another way: Donate to RAINN.

ADDITION [12/17/10 - 7:56 PM]: Added Aaron Bady's "If You'll Pardon the Presumption" article.


ADDITION [12/18/10 - 1:30 PM]: Added "We Have Some Points" from the blog "Unnatural Forces."

As we get into Day 3[ish] of #mooreandme, and more people get involved in the protest,
things are being said that I don't entirely agree with/think stray from the simpler points that got me angry in the first place -- named persons being dismissive of rape allegations [in a way that I believe is rape apologism], and my general shock and disappointment of who those named persons were. Also, feeling like maybe they should admit they were out of line, or at least, misspoke. Some of these articles I've linked I don't entirely agree with, but they are related, and valid, though I admit to identifying as a part of this protest and feeling protective of it. But as "We Have Some Points" says, nuance is important [though I'm not sure if that article is "nuanced," and I just hope nuance doesn't tear like-minded folks apart], and despite my own spirited editorializing, I'd just like to say again, I did this post to call attention to those links and articles, and to what was going on, so you can read and make your own decisions.

ADDITIONS [12/19/10 - 12:28 AM]: Added two more links; the Kate Harding article "Why I’m On Board With #mooreandme" which pretty well sums up my support for the protest, though in a significantly clearer way since I've been attempting to link all relative articles concerning the movement, even if they didn't entirely line up with my thinking about it.

The link before it is the newest Tiger Beatdown "#MooreandMe: Four Days Outside the Tower. I’m Scared. I’m Tired. I’m Crying. And I Won’t Stop." Like Harding put it, "I’m not much for yelling and screaming at people who clearly don’t want to listen," especially on the internet. I'll exhaust myself, and I don't have that in me. But Sady Doyle does. She's sticking it out, she's not stopping, and in the very temporary world of Twitter she fighting to keep #mooreandme in the spotlight. That level of passion and dedication deserves to be recognized and respected.

ADDITION [12/19/10 - 12:50 AM]: Added Sady Doyle's Salon article. From a couple of days ago, mostly redundant information, but felt the sudden need to be thorough.

ADDITION [12/19/10 - 5:58 AM]: *Today, I got my wish - Harriet J. on her blog Fugitivus, with "Love for Sady, love for survivors." Goes without saying, this is a must read [though really, everything linked here is], and if you're so inclined to take Harriet's advice, you can donate to Tiger Beatdown [right sidebar].

Also added The New York Times article detailing the case against Assange.

ADDITION [12/20/10 - 12:45 AM]: Added the article "#MooreandMe, Five Days and Running: Run It All The Way Down (A Timeline of Relevant Quotes)." -- The Management.

ADDITION [12/20/10 - 3:35 AM]: Added "Pro-Tip" by blogger Jamie Johnston, which concerns some of the legal language being tossed around currently. Brought to my attention by Kate Harding on Twitter.

ADDITION [12/21/10 - 2:58 AM] Added "What Happens When You Accuse a Famous Man of Rape" on Kate Harding's blog, and linked to the article it links to: "Julian Assange rape allegations: treatment of women 'unfair and absurd'" by Amelia Gentlemen.

ADDITIONS [12/21/10 - 7:00 PM] Added the Salon article from yesterday, "Olbermann still doesn't get it" though it is worth noting that through Twitter, Olbermann has posted at least a partial retraction. Also added the newest Tiger Beatdown by Sady Doyle, and Kate Harding's "Keith Olbermann’s got questions, I’ve got answers," both reflecting on 7 days of #mooreandme, both with comments particular to Keith Olbermann.

Quick note on Vegas Cine Fest

• Monday, December 13, 2010 2 comments
Didn't win. Not even one of the six honorable honorable mentions [though I guess it's possible I made the top ten - hah]. There is a strong thought towards that bottle of Chardonnay in the fridge, and getting knackered for the night, but...

There's no reason. Entered one contest, got one rejection. Wasn't even one of the touchier-feelier contests that takes the time to send updates, encourage its entrants, win or lose. Almost no reason to feel anymore discouraged than I feel about things in my day-to-day when it comes to writings, so I have no intention to. Yes, I spent two straight months trying to jam an already finished screenplay into a slimming 25 pages when it was [at the time], a slightly less svelte 32 pages, but I think it's probably better for it, and easier to make, assuming I find a way to do that. Less likely, as comics are cheaper, I enjoy those more, and... oi, I've never had much luck putting money together for those, either.

The point is, "Nova" is better for the preparation. Haven't even scratched the surface of pursuing this sort of thing, and as a test run goes, this went smoothly, if not slowly, and I now know that entering these things early will save me some cash and open my schedule up for other things. It's not a win, but it's not... well, it is a loss, by every definition, but there's some cliché about the real measure of a man, how he bounces back after defeat, not victory, etc, etc.

Have a nearly finished short in the way of the peep show script, and Nova which is now in the proper shape to pass around to other contests too. Plus a sack full of unfinished or barely fleshed out short ideas, two unfinished features, and an idea for a horror film. And there are a lot of these competitions out there, plus grants -- which I know about already, because I found a whole list of them after I lost the contact information for this previous one. And there are probably a lot of other ways to get noticed I haven't thought of or explored yet.

I want to thank everyone who wished me well or good luck for this one, gave me feedback on "Nova," or took the time to listen to me bitch about my nerves over it. I appreciate that support more than I could ever articulate here. And Savannah, who turned me onto this competition in the first place... I tended to think outside of grants, these were all scams.

Going forward, movies and screenplays aren't the principle thing on my mind anyway. The short for Normal [re: A Change is Gonna Come] really set me back to my original passion, and all this reading about zines, and everyone's bullheaded insistence that paper is dead as a medium... I have at least one comic idea, if not more. So that's next.

Again, those of you with kind words, sympathetic ears, thank you for the support. I appreciate it.

Our Lady of the Pagan Symbol of the Season

• Sunday, December 12, 2010 2 comments
Five days without a post is a long time for me, and even though I don't have much to report, I thought I might check in and show off the tree as promised [I think I promised that]. Of course, the pictures are from my phone, which means the quality is pretty much crap, and you don't get to see a lot of the little touches. The tree isn't real, and is fairly old [it belonged to my Mom's mother before my Dad's mom got it], so it can't hold a lot of weight without limbs slipping out of their well-worn holders in the middle support, and the decorations I used are probably more often employed on a smaller sized tree, like one of those desk, or store window models.

The heaviest things are homemade icicles, made over the years by my grandmother, and various other members of the family using pipe cleaners and clear beads. The details I'm particularly fond of are the little wooden apples [I have no idea why, but having apples hanging from the branches of a pine tree make me smile -- I've said it before, but it's just so odd and absurd], and the big snow-flake looking things are actually little picture frames made of plastic and yarn, each one holding a picture of either the children of the family, most of us at some earlier time in our lives, or those who've died, and left us behind.


Unlit.

I grew up in a craft-oriented family, which is probably why places like etsy.com and the like have always interested me. I wasn't blessed with any of that kind of skill, however, and still struggle to cut a straight line with a sharp pair of scissors, a fact that all the gift-wrapping around this season tends to remind me of. But the items the generation before mine [and the generation before that] put such care and nimble-fingered work into have held up remarkably well, so my case of stupid fingers isn't quite so heartbreaking.

Lit.

Second Christmas without Dad... I went ahead and mentioned casually he should probably get a space on the
tree now too. Last year seemed too soon, this year seems too soon, honestly, but it has to be done eventually, and among all the stars I'd found someone who had two, so we didn't even need to put a new one together [not even sure if that would be an option at this point].

Anyway. On to other business. Ander and I got an e-mail from Eric, saying very complimentary things about our comic [re: A Change is Gonna Come] and confirming our spot in "Normal." It was very vindicating hearing from someone else that the spark we were feeling while working on the project really was there like we thought. Haven't got much chance to work on the other script Ander gave me the idea for [re: VHS Generation], but that's because the Christmas season has been keeping me far busier than even I expected. And the only writing-related thing I've gotten to work on is this huge crit project for a friend.


Speaking of friends,
there's a new "Seth Martin & Friends" short up on YouTube, where the Brain Wrap guys debut the new superhero character SuperUltraMan, which I think you comic-readers will appreciate. So definitely check that out, and support Seth, and Kyle, and the rest of the crew.

I'm trying to get ahead of stuff for this coming week, but I'm not entirely sure how free my schedule will be. And then there's Monday looming where... hopefully... the contest I entered "Nova" in will announce its winners. I picked up a four year old bottle of Australian Chardonnay at the local grocery store [we're talking far from glamorous here, though I've never found anything older than a year or two of any kind of wine on that shelf before], which I will either bust out to celebrate, or barring that, save and have on New Years.


Because it's not jinxing yourself if you're buying it for more than one occasion. Right?

Grumble...grumble...

• Monday, December 6, 2010 0 comments
Well, today has been a bit of a wash.

The screenwriting competition I entered "Nova" in has pushed back it's announcement of the winners for another week because of "overwhelming participation." Considering I wrote down the date wrong the first time, and now they've changed it this second time, I may well just collapse from the anticipation long before I ever find out how I did. So, for the time being, the 13th is the big day for my little script about the newly arrived.

This change was announced with less than 12 hours to go, and though I certainly had other things to do today, yeah, I will admit I set aside this entire day to see how this would go. Which is kind of ridiculous, if you think about it, think about how other writers do this kind of thing, constantly shooting off work and waiting to hear back about it being accepted or not, while... carrying on with their life. That is the responsible, adult way to do it. I, meanwhile, was considering running out to buy a cheap bottle of wine, and just getting quietly wasted and watching Degrassi in celebration. Or, just getting quietly wasted and watching Degrassi in defeat.

It's a process.

After I found out I had another week to wait, I'll admit... I crashed as the sun was coming up and slept most of the day. We'll call it a "mental health day," and be done with it. Thankfully, it was freezing outside, so that meant I wasn't delinquent in any of my usual duties. I'm considering working out a different plan for next Monday.

And the superstitious side of myself... ah, it's bristling with me even talking about this whole thing so much. Best to be done with it.

My new comic script [re: VHS Generation] is coming along more slowly than I'd like, mostly because I'm having trouble starting the thing. One of the drawbacks of having a full outline is that the actual movement of the characters become problematic. I might make it another late night and take another run at it this evening.

Few other things -- I mentioned Justin and the prints he was selling at Buswater in my previous post, and in a new blog post he's taken some time to talk about the project those spilled over from, and show off his Snake Plissken[get your mind out of the gutter!]. It's a really interesting thing he's become involved in, and he writes about it at length.

Also, friend of the Mojo Wire and oft-linked Zoe Chevat is showing off some of her life-drawing work on her blog today. She's working with some limited tools for these, and just as a warning, they are slightly NSFW.

And while I'm linking artwork, if you haven't yet, go check out Ander's site. With the comic pages currently under wraps, you can go and peep his excellent work, and just imagine what the two of us must have done together.

More soon.

New Cash page, Buswater, couple of blogs of note...

• Saturday, December 4, 2010 0 comments
Justin sent me a new page yesterday. Heavy action on this one, and you can get another look at it over on his blog, as well as some short thoughts on where we are, what's next, how it's coming along.

Actually got to see him yesterday too, as there as the semi-annual Buswater art show in Charleston, and I wanted to show my support for him and his fiancée, Staci, who always has work in the show, and Carrie, who was showing work in her first Buswater. Plus, it's kind of interesting to see Charleston's skeletal artist community out in their pea coats, along with all the punk/new wave-looking girls who seem to be MIA for the rest of the year. I don't know, maybe the Joan Jett hair is a special occasion kind of thing.

Before going we hit IHOP, I did the whole grain pancake thing, and chased it at the show with a lot of cheap wine. Sort of ruined the evening for me, left me wandering off every now and then to try and decide if vomming like a freshman with 200+ people in the house was something I wanted to do. I wasn't even drunk, so pity only knows what happened there. Wound up waiting until I got home to be sick -- maybe not my best choice, but hey, I made it. Still, put a crimp on mingling with my friends, said Runaways [though there was someone who wasn't there without a faux hawk I would have rather seen], or the dude who bought up Justin's work [pieces not unlike the Charles Bronson picture I linked the other day], and was having a fairly interesting conversation with my Calamity Cash collaborator that I wish I would have been more up to being involved in.

Free time's been going to writing. Couple of ideas have sprung up. Just outlines, right now. Having trouble setting up the first scene to the closest thing that's ready to go.

The screenwriting contest I entered Nova in announces its winners on Monday. There's this part of me that imagines they probably tell the winners in advance, but... maybe not. Guess we'll see.


I don't usually link things on Twitter over the weekends. Just a way to keep myself sane, make sure I don't get overwhelmed. Still, sometimes things drop over the weekend, which I tend to hold over until the next week, but sometimes, things just can't wait.

Go watch "Waiting" over at "My Soul is a Butterfly." It's an audio slideshow by Hannah Miet, about her friend Emily the day before her biopsy to see if she has Hodgkin's lymphoma. It's moving, touching, horrifying... it's raw. That word, that last one, gets thrown around too much. But here, it's fitting. Go, watch.

Not as pressing but just as cool, [and something I've already linked quite a bit], is Amy Klein's blog. If you don't know the name, shame on you, but she's a member of one of my favorite bands, Titus Andronicus, and has a couple of awesome non-Titus-related projects on deck as well [hilly eye and Solanin]. But she's also a freelance writer - a real one, not like what I do - and though I've only scratched the surface, the current entry "A New Feminist Movement for the New Millenium" caught my eye, and felt especially topical now that I'm settling into this post-reading Girls to the Front mindset. If you're in NYC, definitely read this, and if you're not... read it anyway.

I got my snow today. Not quite enough. Stuck to the trees, metal fences, telephone poles. Covered the grass, but not the dead leaves, not the roads. Still, looking at it in the evening, under the single street lamp... can almost make you feel like, if you could just have that moment, that minute, to replay at your leisure forever... wouldn't matter if you never fell in love again.

More soon. Cheers.

Shameless Santa

• Thursday, December 2, 2010 1 comments
The previous two years on this blog, I did posts about what I wanted for Christmas, worded somewhat cleverly [okay, "cleverly" is being kind to myself there] as letters to Santa. I honestly never expected to get anything I mentioned either time, and for at least the first entry, I think I was kind of play acting "ah, if this were only the Christmas I wanted it to be, then I'd get this, this, and this." It made me feel a little more in the spirit to do it, stirred some Christmas cheer in me, if you will, but this year, with one or two more people reading who don't know me, and who might think it less capricious and more annoying, I thought I'd forgo that.

I couldn't rightfully tell you any specific thing that I want this year anyway, and honestly I've always preferred giving gifts as opposed to receiving them. I do have a load of books, and a couple of odds and ends in the way of office supplies, on my Amazon Wish List, though I'll admit I keep that more for myself, to unclutter my bookmarks menu, than I do for any other reason. Still, if you did come looking for a hint of something to get me this year, I'll link it here. I'm also a sucker for scarves, and moleskin notebooks. As far as music and movies go, I've gone about as digital as you can get [unless it's something indie, or rare], so I guess you could call me a man of simple tastes now: Books, stationary, and neck wear.

Truman Capote would be proud.

Which is not to say I'm abandoning the spirit of the season. Almost all the decorations are up here [though I'm contemplating tinsel... oh God, how I'm contemplating it], hoping next week to go out and get some candles as well. If the rot-smelling-hell of whatever it was that died under the house left any sort of impression, it was that I actually took some kind of strange pleasure in the ritual of lighting candles, and often while doing so my thoughts turned to Christmas in a Pavlovian sort of way that I didn't expect. Admittedly, I felt entirely less punk rock sorting through the abysmal selection at Kmart the other day, but the hell with it. If I have to look less cool to make this Christmas awesome, I'll take the hit.

Isolated as I am, I'm not entirely sure why I worry about that sort of thing anyway. I mean, really, who am I trying to impress?

I got an e-mail from Ander the other day, just a nice, "getting to know the person I was working with" sort of letter, which considering how all-business both of us have been to get "A Change is Gonna Come" done, was a nice change of pace. Instant chemistry like this always needs explored, and I'll probably talk a little more about the workhorse of an illustrator who wrangled me for a comic in the future [odd, because usually I'm the wrangler]. And Ander if you're reading this, I'm going to send you a proper reply soon, but... your comment on my previous post gave me an idea for something new, and I'm putting a lot of my free time towards trying to work that out into a story. Apologies. Nothing will kill correspondence faster than a new idea.

Blogging too. I'm really only posting this because I realized it's Thursday, and my last post on anything was Monday... probably more like Sunday night. And since then, December's come.

Ah. And not just December. Today [yesterday now], was the first snow of the season. Walked out in it in my coat and pajamas to get the mail, felt it fall on my shoulders and in my hair, watched it melt not too quickly, as the wind did it's best to cut right through me. Brilliant feeling. Not enough snow for coverage, but it's in the air now. Everything is dull, and gray, and dead, just waiting for that one morning when it'll hit again, hit hard, and leave everything all bright and exhilarating -- and clean.

I've missed that.