While I’ve given up completely on superhero movies, ugh, especially Marvels’, UGH!, I am still a fan of the superhero genre in spirit and I have very fond memories of as a child riding my bike to the local grocery store and spending all the allowance I had just received on the latest Batman, Superman, and Spiderman comic books and, at a penny a piece, a handful of Bazooka bubblegum with its own little Bazooka Joe comic strip on the inside of the wrappers. Continue reading “The Spirit of What Remains”
I read an article a good while back about a study that concluded that we humans tend to be more productive and creative during cooler weather periods than warmer weather periods. Now, I cannot speak to the veracity of the study; however, I can speak to the fact that from now (and maybe even sooner) until the end of summer, if not longer, yours truly will be significantly less productive and creative.
Consequently, in an effort to, if not cure, than at least offset my summertime productive blues, I ask for your assistance. I am asking all you Indie-types, be you an author, artist, photographer, whatever, to contribute a guest post to this blog discussing what it has been like for you to self-publish your work.
You are free to discuss your creative process, the logistical process, the publishing process, or whatever process you have gained insight to during your Indie experience that you feel will both interest and instruct us, and, ultimately, improve and enhance our own future Indie efforts.
Oh, and while you are at it, don’t forget to pitch to us the final product of your creative effort (book, artwork, photography, etc.) for which you wish us to purchase.
You can email me your submission through the Contact page and we’ll work together from there to get it posted.
The more submissions, the merrier. I expect it to be a long, hot unproductive summer for me so I hope you all are willing to help me to keep this blog active and interesting throughout.
Please include links to any pictures or products you’d like to include in your post and I’ll format them to your liking.
Our first guest author post in this series is by author Jason Greensides and it will be up tomorrow evening, Inshallah. In the interim, you can check out Jason’s work at jasongreensides.com.
Let me know if you have any questions.
And let the long lazy hazy unproductive days of summer begin!
Since I have a lot of time on my hands, I spend much of it (hey, I am a capitalist — spending is what I do) reading articles on the web. While I’ll read just about anything I happen upon, most of what I seek to read involves literature, politics, current events, and, as t’is the season of the warmth-seeking rodents, the intricacies involved in the extermination care and feeding of the mus musculus. And, as I’m sure anyone who’s done even the most cursory of web reading can imagine, most of what I read is just pure blather…100° proof; however, as most of you (and by most (what’s with all the mosts?) I mean the one or two of the three regular readers of this site (one of whom is me)) know, blather is my specialty so I pretty much dig it…the higher piled the better.
In addition to the intricacies involved in the extermination care and feeding of the many snow shy mus musculus now snuggled warm and carefree throughout my home, I’ve also been reading lately about irony (see the german links below). Let me tell ya, there are some rather heady, profound philosophical conceptualizers out there coming up with some rather heady, (did I say german? I meant germane not german! see the germane links below) profound philosophical concepts revolving around the term, meaning…I don’t understand most of what I’ve read about it.
Consequently, it’s hard for me to get my less than profound head wrapped around these profound philosophical concepts.
No matter how many times I look up the meaning of irony, I can never remember exactly what it is whenever I’m in a situation when I need to prove my understanding of the concept. If I don’t really know what it means, how can I confidently, and safely, do irony?
And based upon my wary observations of all the many ironic hipsters running around loose and carefree (as my homey mus musculus) lately, it appears I am not the only one who does not quite have a necessary grasp on its meaning.
Okay, but who really cares, right? I mean, when does one ever really need to know the meaning of irony?
Other than teacher’s having to explain it to students (who will forget its meaning mere seconds after being taught), the only real life example I can come up with off the top of my head for when there was a true need to know the meaning of irony is when Lelaina Pierce, Winona Ryder’s character in Reality Bites, is asked to define it as part of a job interview.
Spoiler alert: She fails miserably and does not get the job. Worse yet, when she explains her unfortunate failure to her love interest Troy Dyer (had this movie been set in the Seventies he would have been a Hippie. Had it been set in the Naughts or the Nows he would have been a Hipster. However, it was set in the Nighties which meant he was nothing more than an annoyance (which is synonymous with Hippie and Hipster) who didn’t even have the decency to be full on Grunge), played by the most ironic of actors, Ethan Hawke (I really don’t have any facts to back this ironic claim up with (heck, as I’ve already confessed, I’m not even really sure how to appropriately apply irony) but if there ever were to be an ironic actor it would have to be he…), who, when asked if he could define irony, of course prattles rattles it off like a boss…as ironic as that may sound (That does sound ironic, right? A slacker like Troy being a boss? Situational Irony, perhaps? I’m so confused…).
So yeah, I don’t think one scene from a trite Nineties movies – even one that has come to define my generation (or…is it Breakfast Club that defines my generation? I’m so confused…) – qualifies as a good example of when there is a true need for having to know the meaning of irony.
Ergo, we probably don’t need to know the meaning of irony. I mean, I’m pretty sure most of us could lead near normal lives (however normal may be defined in this undefined day and age) without ever even having to once consider the concept’s existence.
Besides, there’s sarcasm. It more than adequately meets our needs. And better yet, everyone pretty much understands it, if not in its definition then surely in its application.
So who cares about irony?
No one but the ones that no one else cares much about, that is…
Well, teachers care about irony, job security and all, and we care about teachers; but mostly I was referring to all the ironic Hipsters running around loose and carefree.
Who cares about them?
Not me, that’s who.
— THE END —
Ah, but heck, for argument’s sake, and for the sake of this ironic post (well, ironic in the sense that it’s a post about irony, not in that its a post full of irony…well, unless there’s irony in the fact that I’m attempting to illuminate the concept of irony here and, instead of me being a floodlight of understanding, it appears I forgot to put the batteries in my flashlight of knowledge… Yeah, that was bad. But you know what? That painfully dull metaphor just may in fact be irony… Right? Oh boy… ), let’s say there is, in fact, a need for irony.
Poof! There is a need for irony.
Okay, since we’ve now established the fact that there is a need for irony, does that mean that everyone has a need for irony?
I mean, would a Third World Kid picking through the pile of trash in search of dinner ever have a need for irony? Perhaps at some point in his or her miserable life this kid might realize that life, just about all of it, is mostly ironic in the sense that outcomes rarely match expectations.
But is understanding that ironic concept going to help fill his or her belly?
Nope. Not even with one tiny little morsel of hope.
But knowing that concept and applying it effectively in, let’s say, an “artistic” environment just might fill a belly or two, that’s for certain.
If the act of living is mostly ironic as the poor, unfortunate Third World child one day may or may not come to realize, good god, how many times more ironic can The Arts then be? When I think about all the art created over time by all the artists of whom the world will never know…wow…to me that is irony of the purest kind.
Just as is a painting of a conceptualized aspect of life, one which the “altruistic artist” surely humbly pained over purely and only for Art’s sake in an effort to help us better understand the irony of our ironic lives, selling for millions of dollars.
That would fill an altruistic artist belly or two, no?
And by “no” I mean hell yes.
Now that there is some Premo Irony…100° proof.
C’mon, the conundrum of irony is purely a First World Conundrum, a conundrum which can only be understood and appropriately applied within the context of abundance.
Yeah, we surely don’t need irony but is sure seems we want it. And as much of it as we can get our needy little hands on.
Irony is our step ladder to our superior place in this world.
Whether you like it or not.
So my advice to you then is, embrace your privilege and the irony it affords you and, whenever you see a striving ironic hipster, instead of succumbing to the urge to punch him in the face, smile kindly, pat him knowingly and condescendingly on the head, and see him safely on his ironic, privileged, loose and carefree way.
For his way is our own.
– THE END (for real) –
But, like I said earlier, no matter how much I read and discuss about all this irony stuff, I am never really sure I understand it.
Let’s just say I’m much more comfortable in a practical, hands on vice heads on environment.
So, in the spirit of practical applicability and to see if I have been able to absorb even a little bit of what I have read/discussed, I am going to attempt to practice applying irony in an understandable (at least to me) and practical way.
From now on, if I read an article and/or post of any sort (wordpress, facebook, twitter, cereal box, etc.) and I don’t comment, “like,” or tweet it, it could be because not that I don’t like it, but because I DO like it.
Inversely, if I read an article and/or post of any sort and I do comment, “like,” or tweet it, it could be because…well, you know…more applied irony.
So, I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind stopping by every once in a little while or more and give a little of your own love in return.
I was wondering if you could read over the submissions in these features and, you know, “Like” those that you like. You know, give those Authors and Poets and Artists, all those Creators of the Sublime, a little support because, let’s face it, it can get a little scary putting our stuff out there like that in the open, all exposed and vulnerable like…
It takes a lot of courage sometimes to be original, to dare to be different and to be exceedingly loud and proud about it…
Can you do that for me?
Oh yeah…one other thing since you’re already here.
There are a lot of strange and interesting and wonderful and sad and scary things going on all around this petulant little planet of ours…
And I would love to know what your take is on all of it.
I mean…just look at all that is happening right now that will be defining this period of our lives – this Is of our collective Now – for years to come.
Ferguson? How can something as tragic as what’s going on down there still possibly be?! I am very concerned about what could happen as a result of the forthcoming grand jury decision.
ISIS? I cannot even begin to get my head around that level of evil. But, really, what are all the historical drivers behind that beheading madness?
Russia and Ukraine? What in the fracas is going on over there?! I mean, it’s like déjà vu all over again, to quote that ever-prescient and wisely wry yogi-like Yogi of a Yankee guy…
And that’s not even the tip of the terrible and towering iceberg…
It’s more like a minutely miniscule drop of condensation floating gas-like in the air looking for an iceberg to become…
So so much is going on right now…
So yeah, I was wondering…what do you think about all this madness of a mess that is happening Right. Now.?
I would love to know…
And not just because I’m an inquisitive querying kind of guy…
Which I def am…
But also because I believe you just might have the key…
That golden kernel of Karmic Truth…
That wise Way of how this wonderful world should wax…
Tucked right inside that magic of a marvelous mind of yours.
And, you know what…
I kind of feel it is incumbent upon you to share that wisdom with us.
You have the responsibility for allowing us to know what it is You know to be true.
So we can, like you, be a better We like You.
I believe that.
Truly I do.
So please please please, share your Wiseness with us by submitting something, anything, to one of the Relating to Humans features.
And if you got something that just doesn’t seem to fit with any of the features already profiled…
I’m not going to revisit all that…well, maybe I am but it’s only because I just read a very interesting WIRED article about REAL Moderators.
According to the article, our major social media tech companies outsource hordes of moderating work – estimated over 100,000 laborers; mostly in the Philippines – to scan the internet and scrub it of all the darkest and most disgusting images that the those with the most darkest and disgusting minds out there like to post just for the shock factor of grossing us out and/or to satisfy their sick perversions — of the porn, the beheadings, the most gruesome of the auto and other kinds of deaths…
Yeah…now that is some Serious Moderating.
Some mind-twisting, psychologically-impairing Moderating.
I cannot imagine having a job where I would have to look at that kind of stuff all day.
Look, I’m no angel, but I can’t even watch an instant replay of a pro athlete twisting his ankle. Seriously. I have to avert my eyes or click off to another channel. Because if I don’t click away, I’m sure to catch a glimpse of it sooner or later because they show the ankle twisting, or knee hyperextending, in super-slow mo, over and over and over…
But those REAL Moderators…
Pour souls. A tough gig to earn only around $500 bucks a month.
Hopefully in their noble endeavors they run across some of Dr Dyer’s videos and receive some of his wise guidance and counseling to help them cope.
But, come to think of it, that might just get them in trouble.
Strange to consider, isn’t it?
A job where you could get busted for not watching porn.
Strange, indeed…but I’m glad they’re out there protecting us from all that vileness.
And it should show all you Sissy Moderators moderating your nervous world against the Evil Legions of Spam Armies that are out there just waiting to attack you at the first sign of the slightest weakness in your moderation defenses just what REAL Moderating entails.
Yes, I know, some of you who moderate your comments have valid concerns of serious and potentially dangerous troll threats.
And I completely understand and moderating your comments is exactly the action you should take…at a minimum.
It’s not you to whom I speak against, though.
It’s to all the sissy spam moderators who would rather throttle the flow of freedom and liberty just so they don’t have to delete a spam comment that just so happens to slip through their defenses…L.O.L.
They must sure be getting a lot of comments to be getting so much spam.
Besides…have you all checked out the spam lately?
Some are actually quite awesome, at least the ones sneaky enough to get through that Akismet spam catcher thingy.
Just the other day one of my evil spambot comments was so awesome, I left it on the post…
Oh, how I love the internet and how it single-handily shrunk the globe.
Because of this magic, I recently was able to make the virtual acquaintance of an artist, a visionary artist, a German Artist!
How cool is that?
To some dude sitting in a lazy chair in a house on top of a windy and rolling hill in southern Pennsylvania, it’s pretty frikkin cool.
But the best part about all of this is not so much the magic of the internet (let’s face it, that’s old news), the best part is the all the new Art that I now am aware of and have access to.
And now I would like to share some of that magic and awareness and access with you.
The artist’s name is H SHLAGEN and he is currently working on a style of artwork that he has encompassed under the title of MY BLAKEAN YEAR, which was inspired by the Patti Smith song of the same title.
SHLAGEN’s work from My Blakean Year is evocative, to say the least. Many of the pieces evoke from me dark, haunting, beautiful images similar to what TS ELIOT’s masterpiece The Waste Land evokes.
I shared his piece entitle KABUKI for two reasons: The first being its indelible beauty, and the second being that we both share a deep love for Japan.
So celebrate and enjoy with me my new friendship with German artist H SHLAGEN and his wonderful MY BLAKEAN YEAR artwork by visiting both his personal website, where you can while away the time in mesmerizing fascination, as well as the online gallery where is work is exhibited and available for purchase.
At least those of us who learned as children that Sticks and Stones Can Break Our Bones But Words Can Never Hurt Us…
Okay, maybe sometimes words can hurt but that is not the point.
Okay, maybe that is the point but so what?
We’re Writers, right?
And if you’re not a Writer (which has to be just about impossible if you are posting stuff online) then you’re a Poet or an Artist or some kind of Creator who turns dreams into magical data streams for the world to observe and appreciate.
And as Creators, aren’t we the ones who are supposed to be leading the way to the Ideal?
Aren’t we supposed to be the voice of those who have no voice, or who have no means, or freedom, to express that voice?
If so, then what are most of you out there afraid of?
Okay, based upon my exceedingly-less-than-scientific observations, this post should either offend or illuminate just about every WordPress Content Creator, i.e., blogger, out there.
And my gut (where my science is explored and calculated) is telling me that most of you will mostly be in the “offend” camp.
I would say easily ninety-percent of the comments I leave in response to a thought provoking post have to first be approved or moderated by the site’s Creator before they are published.
Why would you, you the Writer and/or Poet and/or Artist, you the Creator, why would you do that?
What are you afraid of?
Are you getting so many responses to your posts that the evil hoards of Trolls have taken up arms (Words) against you in an evil effort to suppress your magic and genius?
But if you are, congratulations are in order.
To me, the evil Trolls are just a sign that you made it. You are a success.
Your voice is being heard.
And that is a good thing.
And we all know, because Ms Yin and Mr Yang tell us so, that with the good comes the bad.
In all honestly, I can’t wait until the Trolls come after me.
You know what I see whenever, which is almost always, I get that little message that says my comment has to first be approved/moderated?
I see fear.
I see you hiding in the shadows cast by the glow of the light of your computer screen.
I see you shaking in your pajamas, afraid of what someone might say in response to your artistic genius.
SOMEONE MIGHT NOT LIKE IT!
SOMEONE MIGHT SAY SOMETHING MEAN!
But while you are busy screening and redacting all the comments you are receiving, there are people all around the world fighting, and dying, to be heard.
To have a voice.
To not be moderated.
What, you think I’m being a little melodramatic?
You think it doesn’t matter whether or not you screen your comments.
If so, then I think you are being very, very (adverbs…yeah, I know) naive.
Law of Attraction, my little insecure genius…
At a minimum, first impressions matter.
What is one to think of you when their first interaction with you involves you first having to do a security check on them?
Trust issues, is what I think.
But then again, some of you may not even know that you are the Putin of your very own Police State.
You may be suppressing freedom and free speech literally (yes I said literally…because I mean it!) around the globe and not even know it.
So, for all the Freedom and Free Speech Lovers around the world (of WordPress), here is all you have to do to fight back against the evil forces of oppression:
Go to your Dashboard, click on Settings, click on Discussion, and then please, please, please, if checked, uncheck the Comment must be manually approved and Comment author must have a previously approved comment boxes.
Do it and I guarantee you will feel empowered knowing that you are not afraid of all the evil forces that are out there just waiting for the right time to attack.
And if you are afraid, it’s okay.
We all are to some degree.
Because, let’s face it, Words really can hurt.
And that’s a little scary.
But when the attack comes, and it will, be ready for it by building up your arsenal of creativity now.