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Chicago Publishers Resource Center (CHIPRC)

chiprc

Chicago Publishers Resource Center

I recently read at an event organized by Peter Jurmu which took place at John Wawrzaszek’s Chicago Publishers Resource Center

I chatted with John a bit before the reading and then asked him to send me a bit more info about the center:

Chicago Publishers Resource Center is a new community space in Chicago that focuses on literary and artistic projects. On Independence Day weekend, CHIPRC will celebrate its first anniversary!

We’re fortunate in that Chicago has such a diverse and thriving publishing community, including a large self-publishing scene from indie comics to zines. There are multiple writing programs in area colleges and universities. It’s funny how everyone is so compartmentalized – people don’t realize the resources at their fingertips. There is not a dedicated space where all these communities can connect. The center is a community space that welcomes everyone looking for a place to meet others, learn a new skill, or simply to get to work.

The name is an homage to the IPRC in Portland, a wonderful resource to artists in that area. I took to focusing on the word publishing, allowing the community to define it as widely as possible. In the digital age, society is writing more than any other time in history. Programming has to include not only print, but digital media; it has to include film, music, theater, and comedy. It has to honor graphic storytelling in comics, animation, shadow puppetry, and design. Writing is not only influenced by all these forms, it is at their center.

CHIPRC’s programming focus has been balanced between craft and projects. The idea of learning, honing, or improving a skill is important to establish a basis for implementation. In the first year, there have been workshops, discussions, meetings, readings, film screenings, work days and more. The ideas come from the community and are led by those in the community.

In the next year, I look to strengthening community partnerships and expand the types of programming offered. It’s been great so far.

So, if you’re wanting to host a reading, lead a workshop (how to make books, get published, do collages, etc, etc), or to find out about upcoming events, then please contact John at chicagoprc(at)gmail(dot)com.

Behind the Scenes / No Comments
July 4th, 2014 / 1:32 pm

How Are Publishing Genius Submissions Going?

I used to do occasional “inside baseball” posts about running a small press, like this one from four (!) years ago. I guess it’s been a while. I find them clarifying, and usually after I write one I change something about how I “do business.” With that in mind, here are some numbers and thoughts related to Publishing Genius’s book submissions currently and throughout history. This year’s open submission period ends at 11:59pm on Monday.

Last year Publishing Genius didn’t even have an open period, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t accept books from submissions. It’s just that I was still working through 2012′s manuscripts. There were about 400 that year, and it took me too long to figure out my responsibility to each one. It’s really hard to honor every book, and I think I was intimidated by the force of dreams coming at me like a big, wet wave. I know the excitement of finishing a writing project—big or small—and the intense hope that comes with sending it off. READ MORE >

Behind the Scenes / 7 Comments
June 28th, 2014 / 1:05 pm

MEGALOMANIA VOL I: “a beginner’s guide to elias tezapsidis”

 
 

5 ways to get elias to like you

buy him an expensive dinner, an expensive outfit, or something expensive that he would like

tell elias about yourself but don’t talk too much about yourself or elias will tune you out

never under any circumstance tell elias that he’s your second favorite person

if you call elias in the middle of the night, please have something important to say to him (i.e. elias i just bought you a super expensive outfit) or he will terminate your relationship

do not bore elias under any circumstance

 
 

jonathan franzen despises elias

jonathan franzen does not like elias for some reason. it’s probably because elias writes a lot on the internet and jonathan franzen doesn’t know how to use the internet properly

 
 

elias grew up in greece

elias was a happy child in greece. he was super popular and everyone loved him. if this is a surprise to you, then you have a lot more to learn about elias

READ MORE >

Behind the Scenes / 8 Comments
June 19th, 2014 / 4:00 pm

……Kevin Sampsell’s Paper Trumpets…..

Observing_Lava

***

In late April I read with Kevin Sampsell and Jay Ponteri in Nathan Curtis Warner’s LYE:WORDS at Pond Gallery.

***

Kevin had a projector set up and interrupted reading from his book to show his Collages. Sometimes they contained text, and sometimes they didn’t. Sometimes Kevin read the Collage text. . .Regardless, I was quite taken by them. . .And so I asked Kevin if I could feature some of them here on htmlgiant.

***

What follows, then is a Q & A we did with Kevin’s Collages interspersed.

***

And for more Collages check out this special section of Kevin Sampsell’s website.  And starting June 10th Kevin will be doing a Collage column, called Paper Trumpets,  for The Rumpus!!

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Rauan: How did you get started doing Collages ??

Kevin: I was inspired by the cut-up experiments of William S. Burroughs and actually started doing word collages, mostly from newspaper headlines, about twenty years ago. I put out a weird little chapbook called Children’s Book in 1996 and I’ve always wanted to make a follow-up book. I’ve kept this big manila envelope of words ever since then, occasionally pulling it out and making funny cards and pictures with them and giving them to friends.Losing Love But those were more about wordplay and odd language. At the beginning of this year, I decided I’d pull out that envelope and start making more collages, kind of as a break from writing. I started to look around at other collage stuff on-line and discovered this whole big vibrant world of collage artists and, more importantly, I started to seriously consider the use of altered images to play off the words. I discovered this book called The Age of Collage and it included profiles and work by a bunch of great artists doing amazing work with collage. This page on the publisher’s web site included videos of John Stezaker and Linder Sterling and I became hooked. Stezaker’s video was especially influential. I started to look at collage every moment that I could and I joined a bunch of collage groups on Facebook too. I started to put more importance on how the images in the collage were presented. Words are still important, but the images are equally so now. Something clicked in my brain and I’m starting to figure out things with images. How to play with them and make them do strange things. Making collages is like creating optical illusions sometimes. Like with writing fiction or poems, pretty much anything can happen.

Between
RK: Can you tell us a bit about yr Collage process??

For me, collage is all about seeing, as opposed to writing READ MORE >

Behind the Scenes / 2 Comments
June 2nd, 2014 / 5:13 pm

MY BEAUTIFUL “CORRESPONDENCE” WITH PUBLICATIONS I HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED IN (AND/OR IGNORED BY!)

There was a year during which I essentially told my brain that the way to become a writer was to get published by McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. During that year I wrote a loooooootttt of things that are totally unusable for any other place and which were trying to get the right tone for that site. In retrospect, I fully blame the editor for always sending me back kind and personalized rejections which encouraged me—or at least I thought they did—to try again. Eventually, I stopped writing Open Letters, Monologues and Lists, but I think I owe my decision to try writing more to that editor and his charming rejections.

READ MORE >

Behind the Scenes / 11 Comments
May 5th, 2014 / 6:29 pm

WHAT BOX? Talking with Lance Olsen on FC2’s 40th Birthday

Founded in 1974, FC2 is one of America’s best-known ongoing literary experiments and progressive art communities. In honor of FC2’s fortieth birthday, publisher Lance Olsen has generously answered the following questions about publishing, longevity, and innovation. 

FC2 Banner 200

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Rachel: What is FC2?

Lance: FC2—short for Fiction Collective Two—is a small, independent, not-for-profit press run by and for innovative authors. One of America’s best-known ongoing literary experiments and progressive art communities, for the last 40 years FC2 has dedicated itself to bringing out work too challenging or heterodox for the commercial milieu. Originally founded in 1974 as Fiction Collective by a handful of writers—Ronald Sukenick, Raymond Federman, and Jonathan Baumbach among them—FC2 has so far published more than 200 books by more than 100 authors.

Rachel: What does FC2 mean to you?

Lance: FC2 is an ongoing investigation into what innovative writing means—and that meaning is continuously in flux.  One of the great joys for me about our editorial meetings, which take place once or twice in the fall, and once or twice in the spring, is that they make up an ongoing conversation about such troubled and troubling terms as “cutting-edge,” “artistically adventurous,” and “experimental.”

Those terms mean something else now than they did in, say, 1974; will mean something next Tuesday than they did last Monday; will mean something different to one person than to another—which is to say such terms are inherently unstable ones, open to ongoing modification, depending on who you are, where you are, what you’ve read, and so on.  That is, they are terms always-already in-process.

By my lights, at the heart of them are a series of implied questions: what is narrative? what are its assumptions? what are its politics and social dynamics? its limits? how does narrative engage with the problematics of representation? identity? temporality? gender? genre? ideas of “literature” and “the literary”? authorship? readership and the act of reading in the twenty-first century?

In other words, perhaps a fruitful way of approaching a tentative definition of such narrativity—represented with respect to FC2 by such diverse authors as Lucy Corin and Brian Evenson, Cris Mazza and Amelia Gray, Michael Martone and Stephen Graham Jones, Matt Kirkpatrick and Samuel R. Delany, Michael Joyce and Clarence Major, Vanessa Place and Hilary Plum, Joanna Ruocco and Leslie Scalapino, Melanie Rae Thon and Yuriy Tarnawsky, Steve Katz and Mac Wellman, Diane Williams and Lidia Yuknavitch—might be to suggest it is the sort that includes a self-reflective awareness of and engagement with theoretical inquiry, concerns, and obsessions.

Screen shot 2014-04-11 at 12.53.48 PM

READ MORE >

Behind the Scenes & Presses / 4 Comments
April 25th, 2014 / 10:00 am

High Fives

Cool poem-video of “High-Fives” by Ben Mirov from his poetry collection Hider Roser, (Octopus Books). The video was directed and produced by Dan Lichtenberg:

 

Behind the Scenes & Massive People & Technology & Vicarious MFA / 2 Comments
April 23rd, 2014 / 10:00 am

Behind the Scenes & HTMLGIANT Features

……National Poetry Month Death Match #1……

rabbitgoodevil2

April, because of National Poetry Month, is a traumatic ordeal of a time for me.

A prevailing, I guess, part of me thinks “What a total bunch of fucking bullshit”– and for the past few years all April long I’m in a grouchy stupor-rage making snide and mean remarks, pissing on anything even remotely “poetry,” and relentlessly posting up pictures of beached whale carcasses.

And yet–a part of me identifies with this impressive cadre and camaraderie of poetry munchkins gathered squawking and encouraging and reassuring each other on the cliffs of poetry each April because, well, it must be a good thing. It must be, right?

rabbitgoodevil3

And so this year I’ve decided to face the disturbing contraries of my soul and the way they bristle and soft-feather up at National Poetry Month by setting up, as any good Caesar of the soul, some death matches. And in each case the death match will consist of a “for” and “against” stance fought out between two of my friend surrogates. And in each case I’ll stand up above the fray with thumb at the ready.

******

And, the first death match is between Reb Livingston and Jereme Dean.

******

NaPoWriMoHoHoHo
by Reb Livingston

What’s ruining/killing poetry this month? Well, it’s April so that must mean the culprit is National Poetry Month. Or so claims my anti-NaPoMo poet pals on social media.

READ MORE >

41 Comments
April 21st, 2014 / 3:10 pm

WTF Is Happening In My Shower

Behind the Scenes / 13 Comments
March 26th, 2014 / 12:34 pm

WTF Is Happening in My Shower?

Inspired by the riveting journeys already undertaken by Adam R., Melissa, and Brooks, I thought I’d take you on a tour of my own humble shower …

01

OK so obviously I’ve got a lot of hygiene products; I’ll admit I’m a little obsessive. There’s a special story behind each and every one of them (à la Daniel Spoerri’s classic conceptual text An Anecdoted Topography of Chance), but I don’t know if you want to hear all of them. So I’ll stick to just the highlights …

READ MORE >

Behind the Scenes / 14 Comments
March 18th, 2014 / 9:00 am

Spencer Madsen’s Publishing Genius

I’m really sorry house about this.

Behind the Scenes / 2 Comments
March 6th, 2014 / 5:58 pm

Managing Editor

ugh

Hey Everyone,

Blake and I have decided that I will be managing this site for a while.

If you’ve never heard of me, I started this site with Blake, I love the beach, own a high-end retail store, and have two wonderful children and a loving wife that refers to me as her “ladyman.”

Blake will continue to be the Executive Editor of Htmlgiant, and I will listen to him when he has something to say. He is my boss.

Up until this point, for the past 5-6 years, writers have published their own posts without having to get them approved. We changed this ten minutes ago.

This will allow us to address problems with content before it goes live, time posts appropriately, stop embedded video from looking all fucked-up, and generally make everything more cohesive.

What does this mean for you? Well, for one, you’ve got a new buddy! I’m your buddy! Other than that, it depends.

I will answer any and all questions below. You can also reach me at gene@htmlgiant.com if you’ve got a less-public concern.

I love you all, and thank you for visiting us at Htmlgiant,

Gene

Behind the Scenes / 235 Comments
February 24th, 2014 / 9:30 pm

Are you ready for #AWP14?

Behind the Scenes & HTMLGIANT Features

POEM-A-DAY from THE ACADEMY OF AMERICAN LUNATICS (#15)

Poem A Day JW
Poem A Day JW date

jessalyn

Jessalyn Wakefield can literally teleport. You can literally find her work at amihuman.net. Farren Stanley lives in Santa Fe and is published or forthcoming in places like Handsome, Front Porch, RealPoetik, Caketrain, H_NGM_N, New Delta Review and Greying Ghost Press.


 

A Rabbit in Labor

 

             by

 
 

Farren Stanley / Jessalyn Wakefield

Poem A Day TJ strip

The Rabbit Poems are a collaborative project between myself and Farren Stanley. We wrote A Rabbit in Labor while I was in Alabama, visiting Farren, who was working on her MFA in Tuscaloosa.poem a day alexandra X We spent a lot of time doing shots of Fireball and drinking Budweiser and watching Jeopardy at her bar, Egan’s. There were also late night topless pool crashings, sexy coeds, hot dance parties, and a fucking lot of writing. It was killer. I dropped out of my undergrad three semesters in, so I’m sure my two weeks in Tuscaloosa packed in all the grad school I might ever have needed.

poem a day Russell date about - copia (4)

note: I’ve started this feature up as a kind of homage and alternative (a companion series, if you will) to the incredible work Alex Dimitrov and the rest of the team at the The Academy of American Poets are doing. I mean it’s astonishing how they are able to get masterpieces of such stature out to the masses on an almost daily basis. But, some poems, though formidable in their own right, aren’t quite right for that pantheon. And, so I’m planning on bridging the gap. A kind of complementary series. Enjoy!

Poem A Day TJ strip

1 Comment
February 20th, 2014 / 10:57 am

Author Spotlight & Behind the Scenes & HTMLGIANT Features & Random

POEM-A-DAY from THE ACADEMY OF AMERICAN LUNATICS (#14)

Poem A Day TJ
Poem A Day TJ date

TJ

TJ Lyons is in California doing things that dudes usually do. His first book, Things, will be out soon from somewhere awesome. Things are always what they seem. tjisadude.tumblr.com

 

I think I sleep in a peel that fits me better than a collar

 

             by

                                      T.J. Lyons

Poem A Day TJ strip

This poem came from my experience living as a bananapoem a day TJ alt in a Safeway for nine days before the produce people noticed me, and then they marked me down. An old woman with a pegleg bought me. This will appear soon in the ebook, The Wind Cannot Remove the Stench in My Bones, with art by Andrew Jurado.

poem a day Russell date about - copia (4)

note: I’ve started this feature up as a kind of homage and alternative (a companion series, if you will) to the incredible work Alex Dimitrov and the rest of the team at the The Academy of American Poets are doing. I mean it’s astonishing how they are able to get masterpieces of such stature out to the masses on an almost daily basis. But, some poems, though formidable in their own right, aren’t quite right for that pantheon. And, so I’m planning on bridging the gap. A kind of complementary series. Enjoy!

Poem A Day TJ strip

1 Comment
February 17th, 2014 / 11:26 pm

ALL THE TEXTS I’D SEND YOU IF YOU WANTED TO GO TO A SERGIO DE LA PAVA TALK WITH ME ON DEAD RUSSIANS

…but then got ran over by a bus and died. No im totally kidding! but you really did get the flu and couldn’t join me.

The talk was at Housing Works, and it included two other speakers: David Gordon and Michael Kunichika.Your expectations were unclear: talk about Russian writers who, though they left us long ago, remain potent presences for readers and writers today. From Dostoevsky and Tolstoy to Vasily Grossman and Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, we’ll learn about obsession, madness, realism, fables, and more, in an event with all the drama and pathos (well, at least some of the drama and pathos) of the great Russian novels themselves.

sergiodelapavaresize

Here are all the texts I would have sent you, in chronological order and without clarifying who said what, because color-coordinating via SMS goes a step too far:

truth-seeking urgency intrinsic in russian lit

antithesis to beckett & writers who focused extensively on beauty of language

falling in love w/ english language, less plot driven urgency

dostoevsky similar to conrad in terms of truth-seeking urgency

multivocality of dostoevsky

there is no right, just different truths

dostoevsky threw the best literary parties (metaphorically speaking, as a creator)

proust s parties were too long, and maybe the guests were wearing better clothes

abstract psychological curiosity in motives, including abnormalities–>russian approach

going in depth for big questions, characters not being introverted

serialization of lengthy works, such as ‘war & peace,’ adds towards creating a broader debate. they become part of the broader debates occurring during their time

some compare the creation of microcosms of russian lit to ‘the wire’

comparing to british office, where they look at the camera at moments of despair but the viewer cannot do anything to help // to embarrasing dostoevsky characters

nabokov disliked dostoevsky for his “bad writing”

dostoevsky had a v diff approach to writing from nabokov: almost got executed literally, then was told he had another five years

that is also why dostoevsky did not pursue inanimate writing, unlike tolstoy (?)

nabokov didn t like music!

neither did dostoevsky !! (probably diff reasons)

saul bellow s ‘dean of december’–>similar urgency in truth-seeking (someone from the audience)

can reading a book be so vivid it appears like a different life?

if yes, it depends on willingness of writers to go to great lengths in creating characters who go too far, embarrass themselves/ are visceral

perhaps a key element that helps bring about the urgent truth-seeking: religion s role for the writers

religion, like their fiction, was trying to explain what goes on beyond the physical

nabokov s direct ancestor was dostoevsky s jailor. weird how he was not willing to cut him any slack, considering

dostoevsky was crowd-pleasing oriented bc he lived off writing

MONEY!!!

 

 

Behind the Scenes & Craft Notes & Events & Haut or not & Random / 2 Comments
February 11th, 2014 / 5:20 pm

oops!…i did it again: i cant remember to forget you (FKA MEANINGFUL)

I. Two Days After Whateverdaythegrammystookplacethisyear

 I was taking about sex with a new person when I said I was annoyed choking is not on the table as an option. Then I said my ex’s name and remembered how she loved it.

“Oh, I know,” came his Freudian drip. I then punched him pretty hard on his arm, but without being violent. I was kind of upset, but I also knew he didn’t mean to hurt me, his tongue just worked faster than his brain in that moment.

Picture 1

The weird thing is, Billy was probably the victim in all of this. During a time we were trying to be over I surrounded myself with friends who weren’t shared, friends who didn’t let me respond to her manic pleas for reciprocity. So I saw the blocks of texts arrive, and I ignored them, but not because I wanted to ignore them. I was still forcing myself to not respond. That’s when it happened. I know because we eventually got back together and she never told me. But one day I went through her phone and saw her bragging texts about Billy and how he fucks like a rabbit and how the best part of it was that Billy was my good friend. She was bragging about it, but how unfortunate was that? She, who I successfully ignored, intentionally turned to someone else to hurt me for ignoring her. “Positional play is the maneuvering of opponents into the forced clarification of their (but not your) tactical lines of action,” and that was what she was doing. But we all got played in the end, thankfully including her.

Sometimes we do things for unclear reasons. Maybe because they feel good. Is that a reason? I think so, especially when I do the things. Is it worse when the sex is perfect with an idiot or when the sex is boring with a genius? I dunno, but I hope to have less of it and try to make it meaningful.

There is this mix I was listening to recently and it is very good, but I have a problem with it: it closes with a juxtaposition of Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me A River” and Britney Spears’ “Everytime.” Hopefully, I need not clarify why that poses a problem, but if I must let me say I have a problem with myself for feeling sorry for Britney, when she was the one doing things for unclear reasons because they felt good.  “This song is my sorry,” is a fucked up lyric to be used in a pop song when it is truly personal, and in Spears’ case at that time it was. [1]

You might remember my friend “Billy?” You probably don’t, so here. We grabbed lunch together last week, it was pretty fun. We got Ramen and talked about stuff on a broad scale: the things we are doing for money, the people we have been getting naked with and, naturally, cultural ephemera. An ephemeron we addressed for example was the Grammys ceremony and how we felt about some of the performances and awards. Of course neither of us was able to watch past the first half, or perhaps nothing of note happened in that half. We shall never know!

What we do know: Billy is dating someone seriously, and she is taking him a lot more seriously than he is her. She is “intense” and “confrontational.” She senses what they both know. Basically what he is saying is that he is not up for it. He likes her, but she feels for him in ways he doesn’t. I tell Billy to tell her that he knows her intuition is right. To stop playing along and pretending he doesn’t see what she is right to notice their “thing” is missing.

Must we pass over in silence what we cannot speak about? 

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II. Whateverdaythegrammystookplacethisyear

THE *REAL* GRAMMYS, HAPPENING EONS BEFORE THE SUPERBOWL 

I watched them with my friend who will not be told when she must cease thinking about Beyonce’s net shorts. (“i hate how everything moves so quickly. it’s like just because a few days have passed doesn’t mean i’m not still thinking about the grammys.  sure, not MOST of the grammys. but i’ll be thinking about her netted costume for a WHILE.  why does the internet want everyone’s brains on fast forward?”)

I could not believe how fortunate it was that I happened to be near a television! I was casually complaining about life to a dear friend on a Whateverdaythegrammystookplacethisyear when all of a sudden… Beyonce! I never fully get how award shows work, their purpose and how the selection process works for who gets nominated for what. But if they start with Beyonce, I am totally mesmerized and willing to watch with full attention and the occasional loud “OH MY BEYONCEEE!” There were multiple of those, and people on the receiving end of Beyonce’s electric chair were electrified, as expected, jumping up and down their couches everywhere, unless they lived on the West Coast, and thus were penalized for their decision .

The *Real* Grammys seem to be organized by a panel of Ladies… who Love Cool J. Why is he the presenter? Why do they keep Doin’ It (feat Leshaun)? The sartorial negligence of the Cool James was apparent as he momentarily shared a stage with an immaculately dressed First Husband of America. Let’s just say there were no ZZZs in Jay-Z’s perfect outfit, and even less ZZZs were there to be found in the way the Presidential couple looked like while performing together during the *Real* Grammys, intoxicating everyone with their intoxication.

The deep blue sea of sartorial hmmms deepened further when our favorite Neptune decided to hide his crown under a hat, and all of humanity wondered: “Pharrell. Why!” He was still perfect, and at least wasn’t being ridiculous like those dudes who must have been sweating balls in their anonymity protecting helmets.

But looks and looking supa dupa fly are not all that matters in music these days. The young musicians have set up the bar mad high, where only Lordes can fly, and your prepackaged Dark Unicorn won’t fly you there despite its hypnotic beat (gah, this hasn’t happened to my brain (?) since when Gwen Stefani was cheerleading) that encourages obsessive repeat-play.

If the producers of your album aren’t Illuminati, you might have to join a circus. In the words of pop-princess (does she keep being princess until Madonna dies?) Britney Spears: “There’s only two types of people in the world: the ones that entertain, and the ones that observe.” Pink misunderstood the distinction and thought being observed was synonymous to entertaining, but acrobatics are all the ZZZs Jay-Z was missing that night. Except for her thigh strength, which so wow, very anti-ZZZ!

[*serious-y chunk*]

Anyway, time to get serious-y. Let’s address the thing that agitated most of us about the *Real* Grammys: Kendrick Lamar—who was, is and will always be objectively the best in everything for which he was nominated—didn’t win anything. Then the band (is Macklemore a band? or just that dude with the two-year old Freeman’s Alley barbershop hair a solo thing?) made the crass, gross error of trying to recognized their (his?) inferiority by sharing the thought with all their fans. This literally felt like a violent slap to everyone: (1) the people who might have thought Mackleduders deserved to win stuff, (2) the people who wanted Kendrick to win stuff and were frustrated he didn’t, and (3) let’s not even think about all the other very sensitive and insecure artists who were both nominated and lost and not even publicly recognized by the true winner of stuff they lost as the ones worthy of winning.

To think this band (or dude? I really have to find out at this point!) would even consider considering publicly sharing a private message he sent which should have been private, because eww band or dude, get a publicist! The negative criticism they (or “he,” whichever is correct!) have received is totally deserved. Bad apologies are in poorer taste than not apologizing at all, and this one was a very selfish and self-aggrandizing one. The reason this “apology” really sucked was the way it was portrayed and whored out via social media. There is a Kendrick song called “Real.” It is greatly introspective and reflective, further showing where in the “real nigga” doctrine Kendrick falls: he is not obsessed with appearances in a way consuming his music’s production.

The song stresses the importance of showing up, of being “real” in a way that is vulnerable:

The reason why I know you very well/ cause we have the same eyes can’t you tell?/ the days I tried to cover up and conceal/ my pride, it only made it harder for me to deal

[*end of serious-y chunk*] 

Speaking of #Unapologetic, sources close to the Barbadian queen of pop Rihanna have revealed to TMZ the star watched the show at the comfort of a new planet she recently purchased. While she is considering Stay-ing there a while, TMZ has learned that Rihanna used telepathy to support her bestie (hmm. Cara?) close friend Katy Perry during her Grammys performance. “Where have you been?” thought Katy in the secret illuminati witchlanguage she shared with Rih, and then she felt the transcendental high-five from afar.

Then everyone bought things and companies were so, so happy! Well, almost everyone bought things. Mostly women who wanted to wear all the beauty products that made their stars look like stars. Men would have to wait for a sports event, like last year’s Beyonce performance at the sports thing which made Janet Jackson a star.

In conclusion, the *Real* Grammys didn’t really change anything, but that’s okay. Because the Grammys rarely do that. It is mostly public opinion that shapes who the big figures are in culture, and all the individuals who are nominated for these awards have acquired a level of respect as artists significant enough to see Taylor Swift going hard to Kendrick live, which is fine and great and super, but remains besides the point. When our cultural curators shift our attention to something silly, even if this silly something is endearing and well-intentioned, they (the curators) have taken our attention away from something else.

Who chose the direction to focus on Swift—and more extensively—before showing us an enthusiastic Hova? Probably the same exact person who gave Macklemore the award. It wasn’t me. But if it were me directing, I would have focused on the performance exclusively, out of respect to the person on stage. If a majority of the population only likes stuff because other people like it, then please save the stuff I like from getting Grammys! 

Picture 2

III Nine Days After Whateverdaythegrammystookplacethisyear

He felt sad, he said. It was the morning after he stopped hating himself for being kinda in the gray area for so long in private. The night before he had send me a text: “It’s over. A little back and forth but we both agreed it was checkmate. Broke up in Central Park, lol. It went so well/ was our first real convo. Probably the best convo we ve ever had. I feel surprisingly sad.”

I was really proud of him. And of me, for challenging him to be upfront about his lack of genuine want in his relationship. But I also felt meaningless. I wasn’t even able to arise in my person the decency Billy was finally able to come up with for his new ex.

Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent, I guess.

FKA-Twigs

 

NOTES

[1]  I know this with certainty, because this was the first song Spears wrote. She wrote it with a woman named Artani, who then went on a Greek reality-talent show, called “Fame Story,” which everyone in Greece watched at the time because we were trying to not focus on our faltering institutions as a nation.

Artani was dealing with a breakup while Britney was trying to face the new Justin Timberlake as an ex, who had released “Cry Me A River.” The song was personal, and “Everytime” was a vulnerable response to it, but how vulnerable was it really, when it was a pop song and it was created for everyone? Doesn’t that take away from it in serving a purpose as being a meaningful apology? I think it did/ does/ forever will. 

Behind the Scenes & Craft Notes & Haut or not & Random / 4 Comments
February 4th, 2014 / 2:32 pm

Peacetime Nap

I can remember this thing happening before on HTML Giant, at least twice. There was a comment-less winter, recently. I also remember summer 2012 being pretty mellow and quiet. I remember posting about trains and like… annual reports.

Commenters and contributors get periodically underwealmed by the quality of what’s being written. Everyone checks out for a few months.

OK. Great. Rather than try to break this up and inject/ejaculate/energize the comments sections (something I don’t have the ability to do anyways), I’d like to lull HTML Giant into a deep and productive slumber: a lengthy hibernation induced by a lack of engaging or enraging content.

A bit about my week.

For readers who don’t know, which I hope is most, I live in Brooklyn and work in Midtown Manhattan. Sometimes this can be really pleasant and even convenient, but this week the Superbowl is being held in New Jersey and New York City is attempting to ensnare peripheral tourists as well as  thick swarm of media that constantly moves through the veins of the city.

I think it’s called “Super Bowl Avenue” or something but is really just this lengthy stretch of Broadway (the lurid and fun diagonal street Dickens called the best in the world, at one point), including all of Times Square,  that has been packed with a circus of giant logo-filled screens, satellite trucks, giant foam photo opportunities, military police patty wagons, children’s play areas, and maybe 50% more advertising than would be usual.

I get to walk through it on the way to and from my office, which is a lot like dropping acid for breakfast and dinner 5-days in a row. At this point, I’m able walk in the fetal position.

This morning we awoke to unforgiving gray everything. It was a little warmer, in the 30s, we hoped.

Been taking it easy at work. I might have stomach flu or something. Been feeling like shit, body-wise.

Last night, I watched The Hunger Games and cried. Never cried about anything written on this website.

So, I hope you like the Super Bowl, if you plan to watch.

It’s a lot like a Hunger Games, except that everyone dies at like… 50 instead of like.. 17. Oh and I guess it’s all-volunteer, instead of just one person volunteering. I wonder if the world would be more or less violent without the institutional application and transmission of national blood sports?

Today, I’m sort of feeling like blood sports are releasing more tension than causing… who knows.

Heard somebody say, in the last few days, that football is like a war that is possible to win: a grand national delusion of a win-able war. I keep turning that one over again on the room-tempurature BBQ of my mind. I was never personally aware of a war that was won.

At least literature is like… a war that everyone knows they will lose. That’s good.

I’ve been afternoon-dreaming about beaches and swimming pools.

I’ve been trying to remember the center of sleep.

 

Behind the Scenes / 1 Comment
January 31st, 2014 / 11:56 am

Author Spotlight & Behind the Scenes & HTMLGIANT Features

POEM-A-DAY from THE ACADEMY OF AMERICAN LUNATICS (#13)

poem a day alexandra
poem a day alexandra about

tsaritsa with rose

Alexandra Naughton does a lot of things and her name is very search engine friendly. Her first book, I Will Always Be Your Whore, was published by Punk Hostage Press in January, 2014.

 

     Love Song #1

      [Ava Adore]

 

             by

                                                                    Alexandra Naughton

poem a day Russell date about - copia (4)
poem a day alexandra X
Someone: “HTML Giant is so sexist…”

Nigel Tufnel: “What’s wrong with bein sexy?”
 
 
poem a day Jan 7th - copia

note: I’ve started this feature up as a kind of homage and alternative (a companion series, if you will) to the incredible work Alex Dimitrov and the rest of the team at the The Academy of American Poets are doing. I mean it’s astonishing how they are able to get masterpieces of such stature out to the masses on an almost daily basis. But, some poems, though formidable in their own right, aren’t quite right for that pantheon. And, so I’m planning on bridging the gap. A kind of complementary series. Enjoy!

poem a day Russell date about - copia (4)

1 Comment
January 28th, 2014 / 9:41 pm

BREAKUP TIME

Breakup Time: Proposal For Alternative Metric Systems That Objectively Reflect Human Pain
1. Liters of Visine produced, organically
2. Years spent on bathtub, monthly
3. Number of “Ace of Base” songs that sound like “just like Nirvana” (*ATTENTION: if said number >=5, please revert to the bathtub immediately.)
4. Weeks spent during which The Most Delicious Thing You Always Crave But Never Have Because “Too Many Calories” tastes like a shoe you would not even wear
5. Months spent during which The Most Delicious Thing You Always Crave But Never Have Because “Too Many Calories” is all that you have, all the time
Universally Shared Symptoms Across All Metric Systems
*When in a different continent, the following inquiry recurs: “WHAT DO YOU MEAN NYQUIL IS UNDER THE COUNTER?”
In your heart, Destiny’s Child is still a group. Sometimes, Oprah is the lead singer.
Stay strong! Start smoking, avoid leaving your house and spend more days, one after another, eating The Most Delicious Thing You Always Crave But Never Have Because “Too Many Calories.” It is all about finding the balance between 4 and 5, where “weeks” and “months” transform into days.
Video-games might also help.
Behind the Scenes & Haut or not / No Comments
January 27th, 2014 / 8:13 pm