Tuesday, August 16, 2016

This Document Has Self-Destructed!

Recently, I was surprised to get a letter in the mail requesting a copy of a thesis I did on zines back in the 1990s.  I had interviewed a number of zine publishers and others associated with zines for the thesis and as a thank you, I put together a zine version of the thesis to send them.  Being zinesters, they, of course, reviewed it in their zines and soon I had other zinesters contacting me to trade or buy a copy.  One of those old zines must still be floating around somewhere because recently someone wrote me for a copy, enclosing $3 to cover postage and printing.

Well, there's been a bit of inflation since 1996, so $3 doesn't cover production costs anymore.  Charmed by the request, I honored it, but this post serves as notice that this thesis is out of print.  If anyone sends me $3 for a 20-year-old zine, then he or she will receive $3 back in the mail minus the cost of a stamp plus an offer to email a copy of the thesis to them.

Plus I've written better work about zines since the thesis.  There's the dissertation, and, best of all, an article I wrote for Books And Beyond (get it from your local academic library).

It's nice to see that people are still interested in academic studies of zines and zines themselves.  I have had a number of requests over the years from other scholars interested in zines for interviews and whatnot, but seldom does anyone remember to send me a copy of the finished work.  If more academics could emulate This Document Will Self Destruct In 30 Seconds (which actually wasn't the title of the thesis; it was just a sticker from a set of spy-themed stickers that my mom gave me that I threw on the front of the zine for giggles), then that would be a good thing.  Please share the results of your work with those who helped you achieve it.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Hemingway Question

The folks at New Pop Lit have been celebrating the work and legacy of writer Ernest Hemingway lately.  They asked the question, "What’s your opinion of Ernest Hemingway circa 2016? Is he still relevant?” and a variety of contemporary writers, including myself, and others answered.  It made for interesting reading and made me want to read some Hemingway!

*The picture is of one of the cats currently, or at least in 2009 when I took the photo, inhabiting Hemingway's old home in Key West, Florida USA.

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Closest That I Ever Expect To Get To Heaven

The Red Fez has published my poem "The Closest That I Ever Expect To Get To Heaven".

Saturday, April 23, 2016

What Wred's Reading: V by Thomas Pynchon

I've held off reading V for a long time because it was the only book by Thomas Pynchon that I had never read.  He's still writing, despite his age--V is over a half-century old--so the possibility exists that if he puts out a new book, then I can read another.  But, otherwise, this is it, and it's always a bit sad knowing there are no more books to read by a writer whom I like.  So far, V seems fairly typical of his work:  characters with silly names, songs, wordplay, convoluted plots, idea heavy, and, all in all, a fun read.  I'm going to take my time with this one.    

Monday, March 14, 2016

Bad Marketing

It's the time of year that I get a lot of mail from lawn care companies and landscapers looking for work.  The direct mail item that I received today was from one of the companies that love to dump chemicals on the lawn to make it ultragreen.  The company asked, "Why not treat yourself to" . . . blah blah blah professional lawn care?

What horrible copywriting.  Thanks for teeing it up for us organic lawn and antilawn folks though, guys.  Here's your answer below.

Maybe because caring about how a lawn looks is a poor use of one's time, I can take care of it more cheaply myself, and I won't be unnecessarily exposing myself to potentially cancer-causing chemicals just to kill a dandelion.  That's why not.

Besides I like dandelions.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Cleaning Day Is The Worst Day Of The Month

The Red Fez has published my poem "Cleaning Day Is The Worst Day Of The Month".  I wrote it while teaching a creative writing class.  We were working on poetic forms, so we played around with one called The Bop.  This was one of the bops that I whipped up.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Trump Settles On Secretary Of Defense Early

DENVER: Surprising many pundits, who expected presidential candidate Donald Trump to select his running mate on the Republican Party ticket before he selected any members of his cabinet, Trump picked his Secretary of Defense. Many commentators found this odd, given that Trump has not been elected President of the United States yet, criticism to which Trump responded later with a tweet calling the actual election a "technicality".  Responding to further criticism that the Senate would never confirm Trump's selection, he also later tweeted that he didn't care if the Senate agreed since "letting idiots like Ted Cruz secondgeuss [sic] me is idiotic".

At the announcement press conference, Trump introduced professional wrestler Bobby Lashley, bellowing, "Folks, he did a great job defending my hair when I needed him. I'm sure he'll do a great job defending the country."  Lashley, who was Trump's representative in a hair vs. hair match at WrestleMania in 2007 when he defeated Trump's rival Vince McMahon's representative which resulted in McMahon's hair getting shaved off, bounded onto the stage and flexed his muscles at the crowd. Taking the microphone from Trump, Lashley delivered a blistering promo in which he told North Korea that he would make the entire country tap out and submit until they accept capitalism and democracy.  Lashley also dared terrorists to attack the United States, saying that after he defeated their plots he would then personally shave off their beards.

During the speech, Trump nodded approvingly, occasionally pumping his fist in the air to punctuate Lashley's boasts. Asked by a reporter after Lashley had given the microphone back to Trump if this premature selection of the Defense Secretary was merely a cheap attempt to cut into the traditional African-American vote for the Democratic Party, given that Lashley is African-American, Trump responded by ordering Lashley to put the reporter into The Dominator, Lashley's traditional finishing move. Lashley obliged, lifting the reporter onto Lashley's shoulders before slamming him onto the ground.

There were no other questions.