17 November, 2011
The book is finished. People have paid me for copies of it, asked for autographs and everything. Naturally typos are leaping out at me. Almost directly across from each other, I spelled it both "capitol city" and "capital city" on pages 4 and 5. Then I found a few typos which weren't in the proof copy. They only appeared after the most recent draft I saw. Not sure how that happened, but whatever.
While I try to resolve difficulties with PayPal, anyone so inclined can send a check (or just staple 10$+ shipping bill to an envelope) to:
BSC 2/5 SFG (A)
Fort Campbell, KY 42223
The price may increase depending on shipping costs. The book has an ISBN number [ISBN-10: 1466228601 ISBN-13: 9781466228603] but I have no idea what would happen if someone used those, or even how one tries. I wanted the printed books. I'm funny that way. Maybe it's available on Kindle or something. If people start getting copies, someone will start wanting money for it, and the rights are all mine.
The OWS movement is hemorrhaging (or at least converting to a different form. Having been chased out by people who'd had enough with violent assault-committing freeloaders who won't permit the police or health department to do their duties. Attempts at riots all across the country led the most violent and unstable to jail, almost like they were set-up. Not that they really were, but I'm assuming the 'leaders' will reach that conclusion next in their proto-Bolshevik state.
OWS has backed themselves into a corner. They can either stay individuals and whine that they don't have any sense of community or they stay together and devolve into things like this. It won't win them any friends and they don't have the organizational capacities to entrench themselves. They're still pretending that trashing someone else's property is a First Amendement Right.
They should count themselves lucky the police threw them out, sparing them the national embarassment of quitting without even picking up after themselves. How many totalitarians would do that? Occupiers in a California bank today didn't trouble themselves to find the toilets.
Still, at least those inclined towards violence and destruction were inspired to call a Day of Action, getting many of them arrested. Wonder what the others will do without their leaders?
I would like to write more, but I have a very long day ahead. Definitely one of those 'more done by 9AM' days.
“Everything all right back there, Vic?” Stut ushered him to another booth. “Gentlemen, may I present Victor, my esteemed predecessor.”
“A pleasure,” grunted Commander Grinch. He was here to oversee the Tall Tribes, prized runball team of the 11th and 12th Hordes. The two shook hands and turned back to the game. “Tell me,” he asked Victor, “how does this large court work? Why is it in this sport? In my native Svetlandia, what you call runball we call a game with a small number of players. Five players for three teams is considered a very big game for us. Here you have no fewer than three teams with no less than ten players and that is, how do you say, stupidly ridiculous.” Grinch’s aide whispered something into his ear and he continued without missing a beat, “I see I have chosen words badly. May we agree it is overly complicated?”
Victor couldn’t help but smile at someone who cared so little whether he gave offense. Grinch was jocular and articulate in his crudeness so the effect almost negated itself to geniality. “It’s complicated, but don’t give too much importance to the individual players’ abilities. Yes, they’re excellent, but if the overall playing strategy is bad…” He pointed at a player who had just scored for the Pigeons. Over on the wall, large signs were moved across a cloth screen by a mechanism which displayed the name, “Oluf Kluto” who had the ball right now and “7”, his place in the line-up this play.
“See that?” he asked Grinch. “It took seven players to run the ball across the court this far, but they made it. That’s strategy.”
“Hmmm,” the Commander’s expression said ‘I must look like someone who’s thinking seriously.’ His lips pursed under the tiny mustache and his cheeks puffed out, making his face look fat. “But that is, how do you say, wasteful. Look at how many players just stood there doing nothing because they were forbidden to move outside the nyukniks. What do you call those lines on the floor that make little squares that the players have to stand up in when another team is up?”
He went on. “Up north in my country, the players are few and the courts are small. Every player is crucial to obliterating the enemy. But here, with your many pretty men standing in lines, it looks like a bizarre parade or ritual performed for the crowd. Who is the first with the ball? When the ball leaves the player’s hands, is he in control of it or is it a free ball? What constitutes, what do you call, inappropriate touching of another player’s ball? Who cares?”
“That’s fair, I can see that.” Victor and Grinch drank beer and shifted position to see better. They had no audience, only the competition. “Yeah, some of those players get all worked up about their place in the pecking order. On most teams, there’s a player or two who’s no good, but he had the pull to get himself onto the team anyway. It’s a status thing more than anything. That’s the sort of guy who’s likeliest to cause problems, on the court or off.”
“Yes, you see, you understand,” Grinch bit into a gigantic sandwich that dripped with vegetables and grease. “In Svetlandia where I am from, we have no more players than we need. Everybody must fight for the team. Sometimes we kill the losers and burn down their father’s house. Is good sport, you know?”
A Tall Tribesman had just scored and was forming up for their turn. Team captains called out the next play while players stepped to different gridsquares. A Tribesman patted a Pigeon on the ass.
“The fans like it too,” Victor said. “They root for teams, but I wonder if their favorite players are what they really care about. I met half these kids one time or another, usually when they were starting out and dragged to some official function. They’re the ones I follow.”
“Say Victor,” Grinch hadn’t finished swallowing yet, “in my home country up north, when a free ball is picked up, it is called a found ball. What do you call it?”
“Mine ball,” said a woman wearing a distinguished golden dress that matched her hair. “Victor, it’s been too long.”
“Wonderful to see you, Lana,” they embraced.
“SVET-lana, you crass oaf. You always forget. Are you two getting along?”
“Yes,” said Grinch. “Thank you for telling me what to call mine ball.” He set the remains of his sandwich down and grabbed a fresh one. After one more enormous bite, he threw it out the window where it hit the people 15 feet below in the poor seats.
The game halted when the enforcement players argued whether a Pigeon had illegally moved too many gridsquares. “You see?” Grinch asked nobody in particular. “Such a waste of time and people. They could be poking each other in the eyeballs with sticks to kill time the way they do in my home country of Svetlandia.”
“So you’re into sports these days?” Victor asked.
“You could say that,” Lana smiled pleasantly. “I’m the chief diplomat for Svetlandia and being here qualifies as a diplomatic operation between two countries that are not currently at war.”
“That’s reassuring,” said Victor. “How did you get that job?”
“In my country, anything is possible,” she radiated with pride. “Would you like to get together some time during the games?”
Outside, there was applause. Someone had scored and the first quarter was over with a score of 1,0-0,1.
“I’d like that. I’ll bring Wenda. Have you met anybody?”
“My only true husband is Tok Rocksplitter, thundering sky god of the Great Mountain Range. I’m also seeing someone on and off, but we’re in one of our off periods right now. How did you two meet?”
After a few more pleasantries, Victor went back to his booth. As he left, he heard Commander Grinch ask “How do they call this runball when there are no naked women beheading the ugliest one and using her head for a ball? These are all feeble old men!”
08 November, 2011
[Not to mention Occupy Oakland and all the other OWS sites which have attracted far more violence and vermin than the Tea Parties did. But the Tea Partiers had to go to work the next day.]
But Holder's testimony to Congress followed the script. Do they really think this will work?
Not so fortunate is Obama's Chief of Staff Bill Daley. After the President's ill-fated address to both Houses of Congress coincided with a Republican primary, Obama reportedly thundered at his staff for not seeing that coming, because it made him look like egomaniacal tyrant.
If this is true, then Obama (and Daley) don't seem to realize that two or three levels below them, anyone who noticed the events falling at the same time would assume that the President was out to attack his Republican enemies. Wasn't that the point all along?
[I don't know what Obama expected would happen. Perhaps his 'jobs bill' would be passed by immediate acclaim after his awesome speech and he would be the most adored President ever. The jobs bill was a rehash of what the Democrats couldn't pass at the beginning of his term and a long-delayed plan that was supposed to be a response to all the bills passed by the House and the Senate's inability to pass a budget in what must be pushing 1000 days as well as the reason for refuting the President's own commission's recommendations, after he promised a hard pivot to jobs roughly a quarter of his term ago. But he addressed Congress as he demanded and that was a while ago. Is he even saying 'pass this bill now' anymore? Maybe he does and it's just background noise.]
Meanwhile Occupy Oaklanders riot. A continent away, the Leninist state evolves. There is a strange preponderance of man-on-man rape. Salacious detail, or suggesting women are victims because they are easier targets but men are the prey. By now the community has divided into several dozen tents, for each 'group' representing itself. Those who choose to be homeless are reverting to type.
I wonder if this is the source of legal antipathy towards homosexuals in the first place. The male on male sexual predator can find a target in children, in the 'glam' style of romanticizing the subhuman. Women stop being targets because they are women, hence the 'women only' tent. Women are women, so they can find sympathy or sex with a willing partner for better or worse, and it doesn't matter. Especially since there's no risk of children and very little risk of vd.
Stable male homosexual couples either have independent incomes or dependent lifestyles and can do what they want. It's the unstable male homosexuals who are the problem. At this point, there's no distinction between them and the remaining Occupiers. They spout nonsense causes and are easy enough to mooch from. I doubt gender matters much, but male is probably preferred.
Women are excluded from the club because they have the 'wife and mother' option. A community at that level consists of women who desire/need a bond with a man, and/or another woman of compatible nature. They can't become predators the way men can, though they find compensation elsewhere. Men do stupid things with their dicks, that's a given.
The male predators however, are on the opposite line of civilization, and it's through homosexuality that the predators find their targets. They can't exist in civilized society. I would guess they hook up with nomads, gypsies, carnivals as some manner of entrance to society. Especially in show-biz, where they start so young. Gigolos appear, as does whatever homosexual community gathers in towns, bars, dance clubs, places where civilized homosexuals can congregate. Men and women who can earn their own living, either individually or in their own private arrangements, independent of 'husband, wife and kids' which is what a family is. It has been thus for millions of years through quantity and reproduction of human beings.
It's not homosexuality, it's the license permitted by a large enough group for enough men to do enough stupid things with their dicks. Mooch off the rich, pretend to be straight, I can only guess what problems it's caused for militaries. By choice or by nature, it's these unstable people who are the problem and taint whatever homosexual community gathers.
It's attractive to straight women because they can relax with a man who poses no sexual challenge. They can also vicariously enjoy the soap operas, especially when they find men who 'go both ways'. If stable homosexual men are interested in these shenanigans, they participate. If not, not.
If Marxism works, they'll find some appeal there. Sexuality leaves the picture but retains that unreal understanding of relationships which makes socialism so fundamentally attractive to a small but vocal minority. Many of whom are also violent.
Who were the victims of Hitler's purge of the SA? The leadership of his first SS were the ones who were there first. They recognized each other at his speeches perhaps. Recruited others. They saw Hitler for what he was at the start, someone who could organize a crowd. They took advantage, but had to go once too many guys who preferred women were around.
Eliminate the homosexual intrigue and include as much or little violence as required, you have the basis for female stories which males can tolerate (chick flicks, theater). Shakespeare lasts because women are perpetually intruiged by this mysterious language. Men wrote it down at the time and English evolved into present form which still mystifies people but keeps them performing it over and over. Costume changes and sets are helpful. A predator who finds an opportunity for regular food has the chance to get far.
Religion is undoubtedly a good place for such people to hide, and scandal is ever-present. Minister' wives are always good sources of gossip. Homosexuals are quickly excluded but good sources for clothes and food and dance clubs. [The clubs will eventually be appropriated through homosexual migration, first as the rich people who show up will be wearing the same outfits as a rebellion against their rich upbringing, then as the rich straights looking to meet the hottest chicks, the ones hanging out with the coolest gay guys...
These are the least-civilized minority, not yet animals, but not worthy of being human. Women are targets for being weaker and a heterosexual bond is best for both parties. As always, once the women are excluded for that reason, human coexistance becomes male-on-male predation. Once women are included, the vast heterosexual majority reasserts itself. Fashion goes down the social ladder and recycles itself, soap operas go into reruns between seasons.
Men who are inclined to cohabitate with a woman are the vast majority. Stable gay men and women can make comfortable homes with their loved ones and be equal citizens. However, to prosper they need to avoid alienating the vast majority. I think women are inherently bisexual, but some (many? most?) clearly are against the notion. They'll go along with what their man wants. But even the most unappealing women retain the wife/mother option. Gay couples break up because someone decides they want to be straight.
This also becomes humor and humiliation for the straights. The guys can talk a chick into anything (and vice-versa) but then have to look at each other later on when you aren't drunk and she's not so eager. This sort of humor plays well (dare I say it?) with the lower classes.
It also defines celebrity. Athletes don't get far if they make who they have sex with a priority, so they're only available as examples of physical perfection. Actors have stage personas and disconnection from that which they represent, as well as an ambiguous sexuality that threatens as much as provides inspiration for knock-offs.
Preachers recite scriptures and practice rituals which have served those who follow them noticeably well and they are often the majority. They attract the sheep and tend the flocks, who nonetheless retreat to their own vices. But more communities form.
The animosity most of us have towards the notion of guys doing *that* to each other follows from the male-on-male predation that is the lowest end of the food chain. Male-on-female is the next-lowest because it implies the perpetrator makes some distinction. After that, the next-lowest is general male-female violence, the masculine 'never hit a woman' rule which applies even when the woman initiates violence, never mind two women fighting each other and how sexy it can be.
Morally we can distinguish these things no matter what class we were born into. We prosper, men, women, children and non-sexual partnerships alike, by eliminating these 'perversions of human nature'. At least, that would be the viewpoint of women who pick wife/mother. Marxism becomes an intellectual distinction of studious types who share the ideology of the '99% Occupiers' rampaging in their sites. Pampered, spoiled brats left in their own playpens, where men-on-men crime is rampant. A couple of cops were quoted and referred to 'another boy being raped' as a regular feature.
It's not that homosexuality is wrong or homosexuals themselves are bad, but it's the area where the worst aspects of humanity will gather and influence where they see the opportunity. It's not a moral condemnation, just a fact as saying that the place where the gasoline is stored is more flammable than the place where the metal is stored.
As with any gossip/tabloid figure, the story becomes more appealing in the retelling by removing the gay stuff. I assume it's an inborn trait. Young women can be trailer trash or appeal to church or something. Preacher's wife and kids are always popular. Youth is undoubtedly as attractive to older gays as to straights. Demi Moore [age 48]'s boytoy Ashton Kutcher [age 33] cheated on her with a 22 year-old model. Kutcher screams 'ambiguous sexuality' in all the wrong ways and is as prone to chasing the easy life as others of his ilk.
At best the influence is intellectual and verbal. Oscar Wilde abandoned his wife and children and through lavish feasts for starving London thugs for his sexual acts. Wilde described it as 'dining with panthers.' This is wrong for several reasons having nothing to do with homosexuality itself. His literary success is deserved however. Who can judge such things?
The socialist inclinations which have led to the OWS movement become ever more foolish as winter nears and they can't clean up after themselves. Only ideology and determination will sustain them now, or a desire to prey on other human beings. Beyond them there is only the savage.
06 November, 2011
A Chill Descends On Occupy Wall Street; "The Leaders of the allegedly Leaderless Movement"
by Fritz Tucker
On Sunday, October 23, a meeting was held at 60 Wall Street. Six leaders discussed what to do with the half-million dollars that had been donated to their organization, since, in their estimation, the organization was incapable of making sound financial decisions.
Six unelected people who have imposed their will upon others to the extent that they can look for monies owed have pointed out that there has been no small committee like them in charge during the entire movement.
The proposed solution was not to spend the money educating their co-workers or stimulating more active participation by improving the organization’s structures and tactics. Instead, those present discussed how they could commandeer the $500,000 for their new, more exclusive organization.
Shocked! I'm shocked to find gambling in this establishment!
No, this was not the meeting of any traditional influence on Wall Street. These were six of the leaders of Occupy Wall Street (OWS).
But we were told OWS had no leaders. What's changed?
Occupy Wall Street’s Structure Working Group (WG) has created a new organization called the Spokes Council. “Teach-ins” were held to workshop and promote the Spokes Council throughout the week of October 22-28. I attended the teach-in on Sunday the 23rd.
They aren't going to come up with theater or exercising or anything productive, all they have are empty gatherings.
According to Marisa Holmes, one of the most outspoken and influential leaders of OWS,
According to whom is Marisa Holmes one of the most outspoken and influential leaders of OWS?
the NYC-GA started receiving donations from around the world when OWS began on September 17. Because the NYC-GA was not an official organization, and therefore could not legally receive thousands of dollars in donations,
On what planet is it illegal for someone to give you money if they want to?
the nonprofit Alliance for Global Justice helped OWS create Friends of Liberty Plaza, which receives tax-free donations for OWS. Since then, Friends of Liberty Plaza has received over $500,000.
How much of a cut do they take for themselves? What role do they play in sustaining OWS? How many of them are Occupiers themselves? What role did people like them play in making it illegal to give money to people just because you want to?
Until October 28, anybody who wanted to receive more than $100 from Friends of Liberty Plaza had to go through the often arduous modified consensus process
Why is this even a fact? Patti Smith sang it long ago, "Free money!"
Marxism's flaw, you simply cannot determine what the people will do or think. The quantity will overpower everything else and the only ones to thrive will be those who depend on mob rule, as we see in Oakland.
of the NYC-GA—
Even in very small communities, direct democracy quickly becomes an impossibility.
which, despite its well-documented
Really? Who has been keeping those documents? This is the first we're hearing of the money, remember?
It's tough to make things work the way they should, isn't it?
granted $25,740 to the Media WG for live-stream equipment on October 12,
Such cheap high-quality communications. Ain't capitalism grand?
and $1,400 to the Food and Medical WGs for herbal tonics on October 18.
I gather these herbal tonics weren't grown in the greenhouse out back.
At the teach-in, Ms. Holmes maintained that while the NYC-GA is the “de facto” mechanism for distributing funds, it has no right to do so,
A "right" is sort of like a "demand", which is the OWS leaders were refusing to articulate a few weeks ago for some bullshit reason. OWS has no mission statement. At this point, "Destroy Israel" would probably get quite a few votes.
even though she acknowledged that most donors were likely under the impression that the NYC-GA was the only organization with access to these funds.
That's another thing that goes along with organization and responsibility, people are more inclined to provide money.
Two other leaders of the teach-in, Daniel and Adash, concurred with Holmes.
I know they're guys, but is anybody else getting a Cirinist vibe?
Ms. Holmes also stated at the teach-in that five people in the Finance WG have access to the $500,000 raised by Friends of Liberty Plaza. When Suresh Fernando, the man taking notes,
asked who these people are, the leaders of the Structure WG nervously laughed and said that it was hard to keep track of the “constantly fluctuating” heads of the Finance WG.
Last I heard, there were about 69 different organized clusters of people with their own little causes. A women-only tent has just been erected [HAH! Get it?] so changes should happen more quickly now. Alliances of personality and influence and ideology have been formed on this camping trip. There's also the challenge that few of them want to quit in front of the others and they'll entertain themselves attempting to dominate or intruigue.
Shifting departments and department heads would be hard for any of them to keep track of.
Mr. Fernando made at least four increasingly explicit requests for the names. Each request was turned down by the giggling, equivocating leaders.
Heh, this could be childish refusal, or people who weren't successful through intelligence.
The leaders of the Structure WG eventually regained control of the teach-in. They said that they too were unhappy with the Finance WG’s monopoly over OWS’s funds, which is why they wanted to create the Spokes Council.
The person who actually knew something about money was the one who took charge of it and became Finance Workgroup for his series of tents. The Structure (someone concerned with the tents themselves rather than the occupants, I'm guessing) WG doesn't like how the money's being handled and wants to form a committee and wrest it away from Finance.
What upset them more, however, was the inefficient and fickle General Assembly.
If Lenin and Trotsky had been recorded during their revolution, this is what they'd have said. In Russian, the language of bad people. Democracy sucks. The people should have no say in what happens to them.
A major point of the discussion was whether the Spokes Council and the NYC-GA should have access to the funds, or just the Spokes Council.
Do we even pretend to give a damn about democracy or just go straight to bunker mode?
Daniel, a tall, red-bearded, white twenty-something—one of the six leaders of the teach-in—said that the NYC-GA needed to be completely defunded because those with “no stake” in the Occupy Wall Street movement shouldn’t have a say in how the money was spent. When I asked him whether everybody in the 99% had a stake in the movement, he said that only those occupying or working in Zuccotti Park did. I pointed out that since the General Assembly took place in Zuccotti Park, everybody who participated was an occupier. He responded with a long rant about how Zuccotti Park is filled with “tourists,” “free-loaders” and “crackheads” and suggested a solution that the even NYPD has not yet attempted: Daniel said that he’d like to take a fire-hose and clear out the entire encampment, adding hopefully that only the “real” activists would come back.
We met Daniel earlier when the reporter arrived, remember? I quite agree, disposing of the human vermin who interfere with your revolution would make sure only real activists return to the Occupation site.
The main obstacle to the creation of the Spokes Council was that the NYC-GA had already voted against it four times.
Fortunately, true revolutionaries never take "no" for an answer. Just like so many others in the Park.
One audience member observed that no organization would vote to relinquish its power. Some of the strongest proponents of the Spokes Council responded that they had taken this into account, and were planning on creating the Spokes Council regardless of whether the NYC-GA accepted the proposal. They claimed that, in the interests of non-hierarchy, neither the Spokes Council nor the General Assembly should have power over the other.
Having declared their independence from the GA, they immediately set to undermining it because the Park wasn't big enough for the two leadership organizations. Who's in charge of the Security WG?In the minutes of the teach-in on Saturday the 22nd, the leaders recognize that usurping power from the NYC-GA might make people uncomfortable. The Structure WG’s eventual proposal was to keep the General Assembly alive and functioning while the Spokes Council “gets on its feet.”
The leech cannot overpower its host immediately.
Working Groups could still technically get funding through the NYC-GA, but the “GA may stop making those kinds of decisions because people [will] stop going… To officially take power away isn’t necessary,” especially because the NYC-GA works on the consensus model. A small group of people aiming to delegitimize the NYC-GA could easily attend each session merely to block every proposal. According to a member of the Demands WG, this is already occurring in several Working Groups.
The drummers and the drummers-at-heart.To placate the rest of OWS, the Structure WG amended their original proposal and gave the NYC-GA power to dissolve the Spokes Council. This amendment is irrelevant, however, given the 90% majority requirement in the NYC-GA, and the ability of members of the Spokes Council to vote in the NYC-GA.
I like that they're trying to apply civilized democratic principles. Before Daniel purges everybody anyway.
The newly formed Spokes Council claims to adhere to the “statement of principles” adopted by the New York City General Assembly, including “direct-democracy, non-hierarchy, participation, and inclusion.” The Spokes Council differs from the NYC-GA, however, in three main respects: the Spokes Council has the power to exclude new groups that don’t receive a 90% majority vote for admission; in the NYC-GA, everybody technically has the right to speak, whereas in the Spokes Council each Working Group has a spokesperson, who can be recalled only by a 90% majority; and the NYC-GA allows one vote per person, whereas the Spokes Council operates more indirectly, granting each Working Group one vote
By George, it's almost like a bicameral congress!When I pointed out the contradictions these differences present to the Council’s stated principles, the leaders of Sunday’s teach-in insisted that the Spokes Council was the most participatory, democratic organization possible—the same slogan they repeated last month about the General Assembly. I felt like I was watching a local production of Animal Farm.
The Bolsheviks profess fealty to the previously-established socialist order, until it is time to overthrow it. You don't need a fable about pigs to see that every time it happens.
I’ve attended two mock Spokes Councils in the past month. At the Spokes Council in Washington Square Park on October 15, the unelected facilitators set the agenda:
You don't have leaders or organized missions. Who the f*ck do you think will set the agenda?
Occupy Washington Square Park. Then they set the terms of debate, breaking the group into three circles: those who wanted to occupy and possibly get arrested, those who wanted there to be an occupation and would assist those being arrested,
The Luca Brasis and the Sonny Corleones?
and those who wanted to build the movement in other ways. I went with the third group.
How large were the first two groups, the ones who wanted to be arrested? How many people did they represent?
The facilitators told each group to elect a facilitator, a note-taker, and a spokesperson who would read the notes from each group’s meeting. Almost immediately, one of the members of the OWS inner-circle asked my group if anybody had a problem if she facilitated. Nobody objected, so she was “elected.”
People are sheep. Treat them as sheep and you will go far.
Although she was in the one group that opposed occupying Washington Square Park, she lectured us about the need to occupy public parks.
Perhaps a Trotskyite 'internationalist' but that's entirely speculation on my part.
I was vocal in my group, arguing that the fundamental problem in our hierarchical, bureaucratic society is the lack of a truly democratic, dialogic way of relating to one another—not that public parks close at midnight. I repeated the arguments I had raised in previous General Assemblies,
Heh, I'm reading about atrocities in Nigeria being performed by Muslims against Christians and others and wondering where that *other* General Assembly is these days?
concluding that OWS’ main goal should be to develop dialogic, democratic methods
That's the second time the reporter used those words in consecutive order.
in the occupied areas, and to extend this way of life into every home, workplace and school, and in local, regional, national and international bodies.
No. Keep your revolution off of my body.
My advocacy for radical democracy wasn’t particularly popular.
Then what's the point of 90% majority votes in the GA?
Ironically, the predominantly middle-class, white men leading the movement claim that their hostility to democracy is in the interest of “protecting minorities,” referring to oppressed genders, races, classes, ages, and nations. Far from being “minorities,” these people make up the majority of the world’s population; the worldwide outcry for democracy vitiates the paternalistic notion that the oppressed need “protection.”
But this is the natural result of leftist outcomes. If the majority of the world's population was capable of fairly distributing its wealth, they would be capitalist and wouldn't need well-fed well-dressed white people Occupying on their behalf.
The discussion turned to which locations the movement should occupy, ignoring the question of whether occupation for the sake of occupation was a good idea. I suggested teaming with evicted tenants and former homeowners to occupy foreclosed homes, abandoned apartments and unsold condos—an act that would strike at the heart of the economic crisis, and endear the movement to the oppressed. This idea generated a lot of support, but was not repeated by my “spokesperson” when the groups reconvened.
There won't be anything in the way of movement to another Occupation site, not for a while. The Stalinist 'one nation first' approach will dominate. The rest of this is Trotskyist delusion.
At the teach-in on Sunday the 23rd, one of the leaders’ main gripes—rightfully so—was that the NYC-GA was inefficient
It's like we can't just do whatever we want whenever we want without consequences. WTF?
and dominated by society’s vocal minorities,
Frankly, people who are silent are very much the minority, unfortunately.
particularly middle-class white men.
Because this "99%" bullshit was only a front anyway.
The underlying cause is not eliminated by the Spokes Council, but is in fact exacerbated by it. The major flaw of the General Assembly is the need for a 90% majority to pass proposals. This “modified consensus” ensures the continuation of the dominant culture through the passage of only the most conservative measures. In the Spokes Council, proposals can be blocked by 11% of the members of 11% of the Working Groups, meaning that a minority of 1.2% can stymie the will of 98.8% majority.
Percentages such as that are the least of your worries in the future.
Instead of cutting to the structural and psychological core of oppression, the proponents of the Spokes Council merely apply a topical cream by demanding that no WG have the same spokesperson more than once a week.
There's always these attempts to mandate people change places, just for the sake of ordering them to do so. It fails and the cadre have to strike harder to stop the movement altogether when they clamp down.
The leaders of OWS seem to understand that a genuinely revolutionary movement would lead to deepening involvement by oppressed communities. The leaders then try to reverse-engineer a revolution by consistently choosing among the few people of color and women involved in OWS to be its spokespeople and facilitators,
No, they're trying to avoid all the obnoxious accusations of racism and sexism by putting the minorities up front. It doesn't help, naturally, because without such accusations, where would this reporter be?
as if this token involvement will guarantee a genuine revolutionary movement. In fact, tokenism obscures the need for systematic change by misrepresenting the demographics of OWS.
Then produce qualified accurate representation. Otherwise, you're inventing a problem ("tokenism") misidentifying the problem ("need for systematic change"), refusing to recognize the symptoms ("demographics of OWS") and prescribing the wrong treatment ("obscures the need").
Tokenism also gives the leaders of OWS an argument to fall back upon when confronted with the fact that they have thus far been unable to mobilize and involve most of the 99%.
Never mind those facts, you fail at everything.
The Spokes Council, in fact, doesn’t have enough regard for working people,
Thing is about working people, mostly, they don't want to be working people. What the OWS choose not to do, for principled stances or not, everybody else *has* to do.
Whose teachers are giving them credit to be there.
and people with dependents to have one of their three weekly meetings on a weekend afternoon. Instead of ensuring broad participation of traditionally marginalized and oppressed communities, OWS limits participation to individuals from these communities who are privileged enough to be able to spend three workdays a week at Zuccotti Park.
"Privileged enough" to spend three workdays at the park. Yes, you read that right. Not enough that it takes food out of their kids mouth and time away from the job, what if this is the half-week someone flips out and the cops bust everybody?
The participation of oppressed people in oppressive organizations is not a step towards liberation, but is the deepening of their complicity in their own domination.
According to someone who has never accomplished anything in his/her/its life before. People who find something else to do with their own lives, even passively watching favorite tv shows or getting drunk, are more liberated by that freedom than anything these OWS protestors could understand.
The unabated war on women and people of color in America, during Obama’s presidency, with Hillary Clinton as his Secretary of State, is a testament to the structural and psychological nature of oppression, and the inability for spokespeople to represent the oppressed.
Really puts Darfur in its place, doesn't it?
After the Structure WG’s teach-in ended, I put together a short summary of what I’d heard. I waited for two hours while the General Assembly slowly got to the announcements--the only part of the NYC-GA open for anyone to participate.
So who decided that rule? Who enforces it? I understand there are internal security forces - victims of sexual assault are not encouraged to go to the police - but I don't recall seeing any names attached to that.
Incidentally, there should be something like Speaker's Corner where people can complain endlessly. OWS never considers things like that.
When my turn came to speak, I brought up the plans of “the leaders of the allegedly leaderless movement” to commandeer the half-million dollars sent to the General Assembly for their new, exclusive, undemocratic, representational organization. Before I could finish,
Hey, I just want to say Beyonce should have won that award.
the facilitators and other members of the OWS inner circle started shouting over me. Amidst the confusion, the human mic stopped projecting what I, or anybody was saying. Because silence was what they were after, the leaders won.
They also see their leaders, the "inner circle" ganging up on somebody who dared to breach the inner circle. That's fascinating in and of itself. Besides, the human mic thing doesn't work very well. There's a reason people use electronic mics.
Eventually one of the facilitators regained control of the crowd and explained that I was speaking “opinions, not facts,” which is why I would not be allowed to continue. He also asserted untruthfully that I had gone over my allotted minute. Notably, the facilitators and members of the OWS inner circle regularly ignore time restrictions.
This reaction shouldn’t surprise anyone.
I'm not surprised. I bet very few people there have a working watch any longer.
It is reasonable to expect any undemocratic organization to be co-opted eventually by a vocal minority or charismatic individual. On Friday, October 29, the proposal to create the Spokes Council was put to the NYC-GA for a fifth time, and finally received a 90% majority. The facilitators assisted the process by denying two vocal critics of the Spokes Council their allotted time to speak against it.
There was the initial purge required to attain respectability...
Sometimes it snows before the leaves have fallen. The ineffective and increasingly symbolic NYC-GA will most likely continue to hang around as long as the people who congregate in Zuccotti Park hold out hope for a more participatory, democratic society. The Spokes Council will only be more effective in its exclusiveness.. Let’s hope the inclusive spirit driving the Occupy movement is not frozen out.
Well of course it'll be frozen out. I'm honestly surprised people have made it through the weekend.
Paula Jones came forward with complaints about sexual harrassment and the President of the United States had indeed done what she said he did. Anthony Weiner tweeted his wang to women he had not met and who had not asked for wang tweets from him.
In both cases women who knew nothing whatsoever about what happened behind closed doors were prominent in saying that nothing happened. Women at OWS are being encouraged to not come forward about rape and things like that.
But unspecified women make unspecified accusations in private about Herman Cain and that's good enough for some folks. Kobe Bryant was accused of rape. So were the Duke Lacrosse players.
The OWS movement continues to devolve into proto-leninism, as seen here
“We cannot take him in by ourselves, the cops have to come!” reiterates the OWS security force member.
They call the NYPD -- and it becomes abundantly clear that the cops down there are sick of the antics.
“Every single night it’s the same thing. I mean, some guy was a victim of rape!” an officer snarls. “There comes a time when it’s over. This is a disaster. It’s all we’re doing, every two seconds, is locking somebody up every time. It’s done.
“It’s done,” he repeats. “Occupy Wall Street is no longer a protest.”
Scenes like this -- and far worse -- have been playing out since the Zuccotti Park “occupation” began on Sept. 17.
The parcel is now a sliver of madness, rife with sex attacks, robberies and vigilante justice.
It’s a leaderless bazaar that’s been divided into state-like camps -- with tents packed together so densely that the only way to add more would be to stack them.
“On Sunday, October 23, a meeting was held at 60 Wall Street. Six leaders discussed what to do with the half-million dollars that had been donated to their organization, since, in their estimation, the organization was incapable of making sound financial decisions. The proposed solution was not to spend the money educating their co-workers or stimulating more active participation by improving the organization’s structures and tactics. Instead, those present discussed how they could commandeer the $500,000 for their new, more exclusive organization.”
Frankly, I'm impressed by their spirit. If they can find people to mooch from and survive the winter, some interesting things might come from the experience. One thing I notice is a bizarre lack of skills at anything. You'd think they'd be trying to put together a few people with guitars and harmony singers and really come up with a "We are the World" anthem for the movement. Arts and crafts displays traded between Occupied land in each city. I understand the Occupy Lincoln, Nebraska movement wisely agreed not to interfere with football Saturdays. Bright kids. They'll go far.
For that matter, I'm flabbergasted that Bono and Roger Waters and all the other prominent leftists aren't flocking to set up a concert there. Isn't this what their songs are all about? Or is it tough to wear an outfit that costs more than a million dollars and stand next to someone ranting that no one should be allowed to have a million dollars at all.
Inability to cope with reality or other people marks the occupiers. I'm definitely curious if they'll be permitted to leave, and couldn't honestly blame the city for penning the crybabies up with each other for six months after they start trying to leave.
The revolutionary leaders are reacting in classic fashion, forming cadre. The General Assembly has long been bogged down by over-democracy. A smaller Congress has been formed, and the most recent developments (over money) reveal a distinct mindset in those leaders. The Lenins, Trotskys and Stalins reveal themselves to each other.
There must be a class of officers who make decisions that even the ablest subordinates don't need to be bothered with knowing about. Being leftists who oppose all sense of class, they need to delude themselves into achieving these results, usually in the sense of loyalty or duty that officers of the gentry, the land, the schools usually have towards their men.
I'm more curious about the source and oversight of the food, but I guess the OWS leaders would ask questions about the money first. That's what they're used to, the serious protestors anyway. The security force is empowered to take away the blankets from sex offenders they can catch. Lovely. They've long since realized, even if they won't admit it, the need for a real police force.
Yesterday I heard a member of the secondary government forming to co-exist with the General Assembly accused another of oppression for announcing that whites were overrepresented in the population according to all the info he could get from the Occupiers themselves. He was forced to submit to awareness classes available in one of the tents being set up.
The drummers are a breed apart. That might be literal, it seems there is a sub-species of humanity designed to beat on things as much as possible, eat and sleep and recreate when they can, and everything else is a distraction.
Forgetting how federalism works, the Occupiers of Oakland revert to destruction and mob rule and assume the revolution will follow them. Maybe, but I wouldn't bet on it.
If they can survive the winter, there will be experienced cadre to support revolution across the country. But not if they can't get that far.
Tomorrow is the due date for the printed books to arrive. We'll see how the mail works. I'm floundering somewhere in the editing of drafting the next one. I'm sure I've said that before. The blog is obviously being neglected.
16 October, 2011
Well, I guess we have to do something with the sudden surge of new recruits now that DADT is gone, as well as the straights who *would* have signed up if not for their moral objection to DADT. Kicking Central African ass sounds like a good first step. Why are we doing it again?
The "Fast and Furious" scandal continues to unfold. Emails informing Eric Holder that guns were being given to Mexican criminals without any way of tracking them have surfaced from months before Holder's testimony claimed he heard of the event. And there's footage of Obama from months before that saying when Holder first heard of the event which contradicts Holder as well.
Like John McCain being asked how many houses he owns, Obama and Holder don't have the slightest clue what they heard about or when, much less who's asking or why. Now there's a bunch of dead Mexicans killed by guns given to Mexican criminals by US agents, and other US agents shot by those guns. But there's no *there* there, so don't imagine the media will investigate anything.
The Solyndra scandal unfolds with similar lack of interest from the left. The government shoveled tons of money towards a friend in a 'favored status' industry, Obama and Biden both showed up for events. Warnings from long before were ignored, though they accurately said the company's business plan wasn't financially-sound. At least the right-wingers blow their money on drugs and porn stars up front (and tax-free!)
The Occupy Wall Street movement continues after several weeks. They are subsisting on other people's charity, one person even quoted as saying 'the food shows up, we don't know where it came from but we eat it' and putting the can of Spam back on the table. Obviously plenty of freaks, piercings, tatoos and Jew-hatred can be found, as well as calls for violent socialist revolution from people who don't have the first clue how to organize the revolution. Both the American Nazi Party as well as the American Communist Party have endorsed the movements which are spreading nation-wide.
I think it's the nihilism of the left reaching a critical mass. They are not intrinsically evil people, so they aren't going to outright burn and loot (much) but their most destructive elements are raging full force. If they have a chance for success, it will be based on the charity that provides sustanence they could not possibly get for themselves. If they could be provided with virtual reality all day every day for the rest of their lives, they would choose it without hesitation.
Cynical or optimistic, there are moments when I wonder if the point of society is to let 'those sorts' of people get as far away as they desire. The Tea Parties were full of people who had to show up to work the next day.
If times were normal, they would be clearly on the path to deflation, if not popping like a bubble. I think they are but it isn't yet visible. Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. told Obama to disregard the Constitution and treat the nation as in a state of civil war. Why should Palpatine be troubled by the Senate any longer?
Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman suggests that the government should act as though aliens were invading because they hate global warming. Then, when aliens turn out not to be invading after all, we'll get the double benefits of whatever leftist boilerplate he had just proposed. Strangely, people still pay attention to him as they do to so many others who have clearly run off the rails.
The CLASS Act, a central pillar of Obamacare, has already been declared a failure. What's amazing is that they aren't going to brazen it out through the election. They already had to drop the 1099 mandate, that would have killed small businesses by requiring a new form every time they buy 600$ or more of anything. Pencils, chairs, filling up the snack machines...
Was it worth it? Was it worth burning up all that political capital to tie up two branches of the administration for two years at 9% unemployment and wars building all over the world? What if they had turned their attention to America's Enemies in Central Africa before "deeming" bills passed? What if they had spent two years flapping their arms to fly like birds? I doubt the unemployment would be any higher, but we'd have a lot less crippling debt. Maybe the Senate would have even passed a budget sometime in the last 900 days like the law requireds.
I'm well into editing the second book. I'm just waiting on word that corrections have been made to the first one and I'll order a bunch of copies. I got my proof copy autographed by many guys in the unit. That's kinda awesome too.
I haven't yet decided how to handle internet 'sales'. Paypal is perfectly workable, but I fear and mistrust technology.
I'm still continuing to think of these books as 'sides', an a-side and a b-side for a collection that's roughly 200 pages. The format makes it work quite well, it looks like a lot of writing even though it really isn't. I'm also trying to decide if I should order the material chronologically or by subject. In a lot of ways it will work better if it's mostly in the order I wrote it, but what about reader convenience? Most people won't care about the stuff about comics, so why not lump it together? Not at the back where it'll be ignored, but up front where it will be skipped.
That way anyone seeing you with it will be amazed that you've read so far into a weighty tome, while skipping for the stuff that people have actually heard of, tv shows and music and movies and stuff. Then I could conveniently bunch up the Star Wars jokes, all for easier accessibility. Either way, I have a great deal of work left to do
10 October, 2011
Would he like toilet paper with that? To service and protect the public, indeed.
Obviously they have no official list of demands. How could they come up with one? They don't have to be at work any time soon, so they can't relate to anybody who does.
Gays now have that reason to serve they'd all been denied, fraternization and ditching that military commitment.
I can't imagine why the military wasn't looking to snap them up all along. No word on whether or not recruitment has gone up yet.
I have the proof copy autographed by most of the people I work with, who were all impressed. I'm finalizing arrangements for printing now, and have begun the next draft of the next book. This one will be pop culture, and the editing is going much more smoothly. It'll still be a while though.
04 October, 2011
16 September, 2011
In recent days, a surprising number of scandals have opened up. There is the "Fast and Furious" scandal by which the Department of Justice gave weapons to foreign gangs and people died, including government agents whose job is to stop that stuff. All the evidence points to a desire to introduce gun control through backdoor means at some high level, but that is a self-evidently ludicrous accusation for which the evidence is... more than circumstantial. What possible other explanation could there be for not tracking the weapons? Like Anthony Weiner's delusional assumption that lying about his email account being hacked would cover for his wang tweeting complete strangers, weapons are not things you want to lose and there isn't anything else someone could gain from such a scheme.
Then there's Solyndra, where Obama and Biden gave millions of dollars (remember when that used to be a lot?) to a buddy for green energy jobs. They did the paperwork and got things moving smoothly, showed up to public events, put their mouths where our money was. It went bust because a business plan that sounded good to Obama and Biden didn't work so well in reality. It's the closest they've ever been to running a real business.
Y'know, I bet oil companies are among the biggest investors in alternate energy sources, because if and when science discovers superior energy sources and technology to petroleum-based industry, it'll put the oil companies out of business. They might as well get in on the ground floor of the new era. I doubt too many of these innovations will come from the tree-huggers anyway.
Another company came out with similar revelations today, including that the White House influenced an Air Force general to change his testimony.
This is what government corruption and cronyism looks like. Quite possibly it's inevitable regardless of which side is charge, but if that's the case then it benefits the country much more when the people who keep goods cheap and plentiful aren't penalized for being more successful. They don't owe the government nearly as much as big government advocates insist. Rick Perry won applause when he promised to make the government as unobtrusive as possible.
I'm not following the Republican primaries and rarely do more than skim summaries, but I'm impressed at the way they're all going at it with intellectual vigor. They're throwing hard punches at each other and suffering misstatements or contradictions or jarring viewpoints. So do the summaries I skim. "You're wrong because of A, B and C!" "Oh yeah, what about X, Y and Z?" It's intellectual diversity that we haven't seen in a long time on the political stage.
Massachusetts elected a Republican to the Senate for the first time in decades who specifically campaigned on voting against Obamacare. 2010 wiped out Democratic control of the House and now a Republican has been elected to the seat where Anthony Weiner sat. Hopefully it's been cleaned off. The left keeps demanding special elections, as if to give the voters another chance to make the correct decision this time. They waste resources trying to defeat propositions that are the government's only hope for fiscal surival and each loss seems to embolden them further. The longer it takes for them to accept this, the worse they will make things for themselves (and everybody else).
I think what's really surprising the administration of "leading from behind" is that things didn't go to plan. Obama was always expected to be in full campaign mode fourteen months before the election, it was just taken as a given he'd be championing his successes instead of being reduced to "If you love me, you've gotta help me pass this bill" as he said to an audience of several thousand today.
The bill in question is basically all the things Congress refused to do immediately when he took office and languished while they concentrated on the things they did do immediately (Obamacare). It would be like him demanding Congress close Gitmo. Or pass the Free Trade agreements that are still sitting on his desk where they've been for months. Obama's repeating "pass the bill now" because he doesn't know what else to say.
It's not about the bill, it's about "if you love me, you've gotta..." bullshit that no thinking person should fall for and people who do usually deserve what they get. None of Obama's allies in the House rushed on it, so a Republican stole the title ("American Jobs Bill") for a one-line bill, a tax cut. That's funny. The Senate will be moving on it whenever the Senate gets to it. The bipartisan supercommittee will eventually decide how to pay for it.
"If you love me, you've gotta help me pass this bill." So people whose regard for him is only admiration or respect are exempt from helping him pass the bill. Mind you he was speaking to college students, and I'm sure they hear a lot of "if you love me, you've gotta...' Either way, they're not going to be much help passing a bill, regardless of what this "Constitutional scholar" thinks.
Either way, his Presidency's over unless he can stir up the black vote something fierce. It's not a foregone conclusion, but my 'who's going to win' sense is tingling. I can certainly imagine he'd like a real vacation and it's rumored that he may be having issues with depression.
I'm not impressed by critics from the left. They don't make the slightest effort to protest Gitmo or bombing Libya the way they protested GWB so their objections were purely political and renders much of what they say about anything irrelevant. Further, Obama has clearly been giving everything he has to govern from as far to the left as possible. That he hasn't succeeded by the left's standards has less to do with Obama and more to do with those standards. You might as well chastise him for not flapping his arms and flying like a bird. It's not doable. Obama caved and the Democrats have caved in the various debt/budget arguments because they don't have a leg to stand on. They can't explain to their core constituencies that the goal just isn't possible, so they need to surrender to anyone willing to offer terms.
From January '09 through January '11, raising the debt ceiling was a failure of leadership and no one was in charged anyway, so House Republicans were suddenly holding hostages this summer? How does that work? This is an enormous case of willful denial. It will be interesting to see how many Democrats/liberals/leftists have succumbed to this uncritical defense of Obama and how deep that self-deception runs. They want Obama to talk tougher. He's been looking for an ass to kick the whole time. He's Lebron, he's got this. He's a better speechwriter than his speecherwriters. At least he used to be.
Now he's reduced to running to the crowds and chanting "pass this bill", pleading "if you love me..."
14 September, 2011
For (1), I think there needs to be an agree-on definition for "graphic novel", and I don't pretend to have one. Some sort of page count/time equivalence would apply I think. Some of Marvel's "Essential Volumes" contain more 'one long story that builds to a strong climax' than the more-acclaimed comic books. If we're talking a lifetime devoted to telling one story, Garry Trudeau is possibly the greatest graphic novelist alive. A month's worth of productivity creates X number of pages.
I'll get back to (2) as it dovetails with what what I have to say below.
(3) Legal distinctions could be made specifying the Writer and the Artist. The Artist is responsible for the finished page, and is roughly as important to the process as ten acres of prime soil is to running a farm. Extending the metaphor, every row must be hoed from dawn until dusk every day for months before you see anything and years before you really have things growing.
(a) I'm basing most of my arguments on the assumption of human nature that once an answer or two has been found, everybody will stampede in that direction like... like lemmings would stampede if lemmings were the sort of creatures that could stampede.
As far as where the money to do this will come from, I'd have to say I think it'll wind up being some Max Gaines/Major Malcom Wheeler-Nicholson type, or Larry Flynt (I honestly think if Lindsey Lohan or one of the other burned-out sex bombs of recent memory sponsored an R-rated comic/magazine, it would take off).
Once people who know what they're doing start building something, people who want to invest will show up. I don't know how many dozens of artists churning out pages for nothing it will take to build a profitable company that will pay them what they're worth.
One thing that would help is if there were studio systems competing. Will Eisner and Jerry Iger were pioneers in this, as were Simon and Kirby. That punk kid Jules Feiffer could write a "Spirit" script a lot faster than the artists would draw it, but it kept them all employed.
(b) As I said earlier, my definition of the Artist is the one responsible for the Finished Page. As far as I'm concerned, after expenses are paid it should be a 50/50 split between Writer and Artist. As far as any sort of studio system, either a group of people contract as the ones to do the art (Eastman and Laird farming out the work on TMNT) or similar to what Marvel/DC editors do, matching people on a title. Either way, I would suggest starting at a 50/50 split and going on a sliding scale to include tone, lettering, coloring as part of that system creating a Finished Page. If it takes three or six people to make that Finished Page, those three people or six who act as The Artist need to be paid enough as a group that among themselves they are satisfied.
Most Finished Pages that were created usually had fewer than six or seven primary creators, unless they're a general mish-mash of stuff anyway. If a dozen different people contributed to a page, unless it was a jam piece you could put on ebay, I think more time would be wasted delineating creator's rights in that direction.
I think the principles of creators ownership in comics have been established firmly enough into the soil that stories like Bill Finger will thankfully not need to be told. If you contribute that much to someone else's character, they owe you big time.
That said, I think the Artist should be the least concerned with ownership as far as control of the property. The idea of using agents is a good one. Either the Writer acts as the Agent ("I keep you happy, you keep drawing") or people are hired to negotiate individual books. The former would probably be most likely for the time being, the latter would evolve as a business system once twenty or thirty successes have come along.
A variation of work-for-hire perhaps, where the Artist does not surrender 50% of the proceeds once expenses are paid, but isn't encouraged to interfere in the day-to-day business. The Artist's Time is ninety-something percent of the expense, because the Artist is responsible for creating the Finished Page. Without that, there is nothing.
Which is the opposite of the Writer whose Time is the least valuable. I have written scripts in less than a half-hour which would take a good artist a week to make look good. In some cases, I stayed up late, drew the scripts then and there and I kinda like having the finished comics to show for it.
The Writer is responsible for everything that isn't the Finished Page, basically. The one who looks at the Finished Page and didn't do anything on it, but told those who did this Finished Page what to do. The Writer's time is worth the least.
There should be a sliding scale, or a series of them in the long-term or short-term. At the end of that scale the Writer should reach the 50% part of the profits.
By "profits", this could also be done as a package by editors at Marvel or DC. If the Fables crew will keep producing issues, keep them doing it and budget the company's money wisely to keep them. The ones who make the Finished Page are the jobs to create. If the Writer has given them something to do, his work is done.
The Writer gets the Intellectual part and splits the Property with The Artist.
(c) The exception to the previous sentence. I don't pretend to have a good answer but it's clearly work that goes on the Finished Page. The only thing I could suggest is a distinction between books where The Artist doesn't change and books where people replace others (letterers, guest-artists) I don't have any suggestions for bridging the divide in ownership between Writer and Artist on that one. I still think the Artist should have proprietary rights while the Writer (agent, editor, whoever's footing the bill) steers the overall ship. If making t-shirts of some cool images will bring in money, the t-shirts are going to get made. Unless the artist is paying to make the shirts, I don't think a creator's veto is necessary. The visual look of the characters as intellectual property will only matter when other artists join in or there's a tv/movie option. For that, I don't have any suggestions.
(d) The point is to pay for the Artist's Time. Since I'm hypothesizing out of thin air, I'll assume that the page rates will be large, depending on the competition. Once the Page is Finished, the time it took to create it is gone forever, how much will it take to compensate for that? That's the point where the sliding scale begins to move in the Writer's direction, eventually to resolve in the 50/50 split. If further collaborators (tone, colors, letters, replacement artists) are involved, the overall division shifts more equitably.
Since royalties are nothing to count on, the upfront page rate for the Artist's Time needs to be big enough to accomodate multiple people making the Finished Page. Obviously it's in an artist's self-interest to be able to do all the work his or herself, either because it's more 'jobs' and a larger pay-rate or because it means there's fewer expenses to recoup before the last guy in line, the Writer, gets paid.
I've been picking up John Byrne's Next Men, including the collection. I have only a vague memory of what came before, or who the characters are or what they're doing now, which doesn't make them much different from the superheroes, come to think of it. But I've realized the art is worth it. Byrne draws prehistoric scenes and modern cityscapes and future cityscapes and the pre-Civil War South and various imaginative landscapes and it all looks really good. It's great that he was able to do it, and so quickly.
The problem is that there isn't any incentive for the hungry artist. Not the starving artist who's usually just posing, but the hungry one. The ones who can turn out many Finished Pages in a short period of time. That's a quality that comics have lost and not for the better. The comic book medium wasn't made in its early decades by people who felt entitled to work slowly.
Going along with your (2) I think this is a (probably-unresolvable) conflict in basic working conditions. The Writer wants an art robot and The Artist is not a robot. The Artist's time is the most important but buying out his investment needs to be made as cheap as possible. It's safe to say Matt Groening was paid for that hour he spent drawing new characters so he could keep rights to "Life In Hell".
Sequential entertainment is our strength and our weakness. Daily strips, weekly strips, monthly pamphlets and larger tpb's look like our best bet. We need finished work to get somewhere, and I don't see an immediate outlet for that.
I mean, Take the Lindsey Lohan idea from earlier. I'm becoming a big advocate of a return to the ideas of pulp magazines. A few photographs of LL, dishy fantasy text pieces, ads and 50 or 60 pages of LL stories, as a pirate or astronaut or drug-riddled washed-up sex bomb in her mid-20s, whatever. A lot of people would probably pay 5 bucks for that, or thinly-veiled fictionalized versions of the celebrity scene. The latest Conan movie has already passed, but Slam Bradley still has a future.
[I actually worked out a plot for a 12-part Hawkman/Green Arrow miniseries, where they're arguing politics every issue and on page 2 a building explodes like a Lethal Weapon movie. One guy uses a bow and arrow, the other has wings and uses a mace. They kill people and make smart-ass quips as they fight the social issue du jour. In several issues, they meet non-powered DC characters. Slam Bradley is in a violent racist brawl, the Human Target, James Corrigan, the Question and others all make appearances, illustrating philosophical conflicts that (I like to think) would appeal to readers who have no interest in superheroes. I'm not even sure how often Hawkman would put on the wings, except for when Muslim terrorists take over planes]
[On a similar note, from what little I see of DC's recent publishings, you can't tell me this is all they can think of. Zatanna's failed series features a splash page of her getting slashed in the throat with an arrow. Is that the only thing they can think of? She's a busty chick in fishnets whose gimmick is magically talking backwards. The first issue should have a flaming demon tying her to an altar and then she picks up a sword and hacks him to bits. In later issues, she's a single girl living in the city, dark powers inhabiting nearby buildings. She fights other demons and magicians and evil people, gets tied up every issue or two. Bring me a few dozen pages of that every month, I'll write up dialogue and captions for it. The comic book writer's time is almost worthless. Text pieces could be generated for an overall package.]
The biggest obstacle is that an art robot is just as qualified as an artist brimming with enthusiasm for his or her own ideas. More qualified arguably because of the simplicity of the Time=Finished Pages arrangement. Gil Kane once complained that he suggested to Marv Wolfman that they take (whatever book they were doing) and structure it like a novel so that plots would slowly build over many issues, basically what a lot of people have done since. Wolfman wasn't interested, saying he'd rather just pick up his paycheck, but just think of what Kane could have contributed to if he'd had any modern writers to take him up on the offer.
If an artist loves the book he's hired to do, or if it's designed for what he wants to draw, great. If not, I have to say his feelings would have to be outvoted. The letterer and colorists, tones, they don't work if the artist doesn't produce pages and are probably less picky about whatever's ticking the artist off. The Writer needs to be the last one in line to share in the successful completion, and the Artist needs to be encouraged to Finish the Page and Move On To The Next Page.
I guess I'm saying both sides need to get over some large pretentions about themselves. These are the pages the Artist is being paid to finish, that needs to happen as quickly as possible. EC not only pioneered crediting the artists, but Bill Gaines would stop whatever he was doing - including eating! - to write a check whenever they brought in finished work.
If the artist has work he or she would rather be doing, I don't know what to say. It's the Artist's Time for sale. At what point does a job get created?
I also don't know how it should be handled when the artists contribute story ideas. Creative partnerships are rarely frictionless.
So basically the idea is that someone to be determined makes a large investment in paying a few people for a few years to draw a ton of pages. Here are the thumbnails for my 800-page Mucous Man graphic novel and a new car.
With Gaiman and Vess, or other partnerships you cite, it's obviously in the writer's interest to cultivate good relationships with an artist.
In this age of photoshop, it might be worthwhile to see if an artist could find ways to market his or her style. Writers who can use their own computer enough to manipulate images might provide character descriptions and money in exchange for twenty poses they can use.
In the long term, I think comics are becoming prevalent enough that an Agent system will help provide more work, as well as a return of the studio system.
The writer needs to move to the back of the line and the artist needs to be encouraged to crank out as much material as possible. The Time will be gone forever, so it's in everybody's interests (including the fans) that there as many Finished Pages as possible to show for it.
Unfortunately, I don't see that happening without a radical reorganization of the publishing industry - allowing thousands of people with money to spend to see these wonderful comics and buy them - or a surplus of artists who would be churning out drawings for free because it's what they do.
I wonder if the writers could be employed to design a franchise. Hire artists who really like, say, space opera, and get a writer to generate a few hundred pages of material for them. DC has tried to build franchises from Neil Gaiman's work thanks to Sandman, Preacher didn't lend itself to any spin-offs and came to The End without a hitch. Fables is lending itself to spin-offs, with the 50-issue Jack of Fables (which I think will intersect the main Fables title again, two Cinderella miniseries [which don't interest me], the upcoming Fairest series which I won't read beyond Bill Willingham's initial arc, but maybe others will, regular guest-artist stories which are packaged along with main artist Mark Buckingham's issues.
As I keep saying, I think we should take another look back at the Depression-era pulp characters and scenes. I get the feeling there's a market for stories like that again.
11 September, 2011
I had to go into work on this long weekend, but otherwise I've spent the weekend getting a lot of the second draft edited for the next book. The first book is still at the printers. I've given my approval to the initial proof and the cover. They should have the full proof ready in a day or two. I'll send back whatever corrections I see and they'll make the physical proof copy. Then I'll order a hundred made, which might last my lifetime. Just in case, I'll number them for those generations who hunt down 'first printings'.
Then I was outside noticing what a lovely day it was and remembered what day it was.
All of a sudden, out of nowhere, it hit. Three thousand died and the Twin Towers collapsed. Another strike hit the Pentagon and a fourth simultaneous attack lost all the civilian passengers.
An attack of such magnitude that cannot be treated as any other than a declaration of war. No, this is our home, our land, our nation. The Americas and Europe are lands under our protection. Our alliances across oceans improve the lives of billions.
The terrorists who attacked us that Tuesday morning ten years ago are the infidel, not the West. They are the ones who torture and butcher their own people as easily as they pay for terror to cross border lines. The Jews are the ones who must die, or anyone who opposes Qaddaffi, Assad, Assad Sr. or the Iranian mullahs. Or the House of Saud who has physical control over the holiest sites in Islam, towards which all Muslims bow in prayer five times daily.
They are the infidel. They permit piracy, slavery, female genital mutilation and book burning, but they do not choose to permit Muslims to stop being Muslims. They don't accept that land ruled by Muslims could ever stop being ruled by Muslims. They choose destruction, as Marxists and cult figures choose it. When they incite violence or support unity in the violent acts of others, they must be met with violence.
Western Civilization permits homosexuals to exist and allows women to dress like whores (who do you think makes the outfits?) We allowed this ten years ago and a hundred years ago, while the Muslim world was rife with the same murderous scum we see today, that we saw ten years ago, a hundred years ago. We bring art and medicine, air-conditioning, the internet and an almost self-destructive tolerance for other people's ideas.
They permit an illiterate rag-tag band of nomads to sponsor spoiled rich Saudis as they hijack planes and destroy civilian buildings. No John Lennon among them to imagine there's no heaven, it's easy if you try. No hell below us, above us only sky.
I'm sure that was a great comfort to the guy who went to work a couple hours ago and ended his life jumping out of a window to escape the burning wreckage of a 100+ story skyscraper. It didn't matter how many possessions he had in those few seconds of free-fall, not too far from where Lennon spent the last years of his life on heroin.
No one would stand up to Assad or Yasser Arafat [now there's a name we haven't heard in a while] and chant "All we are saying is give peace a chance". No, you have to go to Greenwich Village to hear things like that. Or across a continent, with a century's worth of electronic improvements. Those are the fruits of freedom, and they hate freedom.
Fighting them *over there* makes it so we don't have to fight them *over here*. Our families and businesses and unions can continue without the threat of violence, among like-minded or differently-minded. Afghanistan provides a specific target, like the monolith appeared to those apes in "2001: A SPACE Odyssey". They cannot destroy it, and much time needs to pass before people who do not seek to destroy can evolve.
We have our homes and communities to defend, the way the responders of 9/11 threw off any thoughts of personal safety to rescue other Americans under attack. Pension plans are for people who don't live with this sort of destruction. Because President Bush took actions to keep America safe, and because President Obama has continued those policies with or without a Democratic Congress, we have not known that level of attack since. Because the American military, and that of our allies, retains its superiority and supremacy on the battlefield, we have triumphed over there. Our presence in Afghanistan and Iraq can hold communities to their word over time. They may be pure and true Muslims, but we can shoot them if they act up, and they know it.
Libya was singled out for American military involvement (trying to push France into a foreign venture while Germany holds the domestic side together?) while Syria was not despite the vast butchery. In Libya, the impending victors are singling out Black Muslims and putting them in camps apart from the Arab Muslims because they are politically incorrect. Egypt and Turkey are making warlike motions against Israel as the Palestinians beg for statehood despite having two different governments in two different territories who can't keep their people safe from internal reprisals and have long passed their constitutionally-mandated terms in office.
They only care about Jerusalem because someone else cares! It happens to be the Jews so they hate the Jews, but it's the very affront of people who aren't Muslims ruling territory that Muslims used to rule which drives them to murderous rage. The Jews are convenient to hate. Many decades ago, the Muslim Brotherhood were personal friends of Adolph Hitler and published "Jihad" ("Mein Kampf" in Arabic) throughout the Muslim world. It's been a popular seller ever since, second only to the Koran I understand. German political theory of the 1920's, go figure.
When Israel was formed, the US only gave formal recognition and no military assistance. It was the USSR under Stalin who gave the Jews weapons to survive those first crucial wars. Harry Truman agreed under duress from an old Jewish friend who convinced him to give in and recognize Israel in athrown-together ceremony. The UN had already ruled. The British had already offered the land to whatever groups could organize and make a claim. At the ceremony, the old rabbi representing Israel told Truman that it was the will of God that put him in his mother's womb that decades later he would allow Israel's recreation after thousands of years.
And the same will of God who let Stalin arm Israel in his last years, before paranoia about the Jews reasserted itself with him. And who permitted a score of wealthy educated terrorists to overpower four planes with box-cutters and attack our own homeland on a fall morning.
They can't win, all they can do is damage others. We still haven't replaced the Twin Towers. They are still a gaping wound on one of our oldest cities. General George Washington led his army through one Christmas night, miraculously surviving to fight another day. Paul Revere and other first responders did what they had to do for the good of the nation and their fellow men. They didn't even ask anybody to commit suicide as a specific part of the task at hand. The result is generations of Americans who would die if need be for their cause. Our military has fought them in the Middle East so that they could not bring their organizations to our homeland. Enough Arab or Black Muslims have attempted enough acts of terror under this administration that they would be quite justified in singling them out when they try to fly an airplane. So would the previous administration.
It's common sense. If the blue fruit is poisonous and the green fruit is not poisonous, don't eat the blue fruit. Whatever the virtues of Muslim culture, they become the enemy when depending on totalitarians and their terrorist allies. One reason for the disbanding of the Iraqi Army right after the US victory (this is my personal guess) was that there was no NCO corps. There were people in charge and there were people who didn't do anything. Now they have years of experience with the qualities needed.
Ten years ago, I was at work, washing racks and had a guitar riff going through my mind which I was singing a lyric for to help me remember. I was recording my first album at the time. I was reading Anna Karenina at work on breaktimes and had just bought an 8-track mixer, still the same workaholic I am today. The song didn't get finished for a few weeks but is one of the few high points in my earliest recordings.
All that could be taken away by a lunatic with a plane and a culture that supports his cause.
A couple of months later, I was sitting in the chair one Sunday morning with nothing to do and came up with a guitar riff. Fortunately my acoustic guitar was in arm's reach and I spent a few minutes rehearsing it, a few more minutes playing it with a drum machine and finding ways to mess with it. Then I pushed record and eight minutes later was ready for playback. Within a few hours, I had overdubbed another guitar and vocals that I'm still impressed with today. The song was called "Sunday Morning" and dedicated to George Harrison who had died shortly before.
I spent this Sunday morning like I've spent the last few days, working on the next book. It could still all be taken away, but by the will of God, human progress can't be stopped by the true infidels. It can only be destroyed, and we have to fight to keep them from winning.
I can't say I haven't contributed to the fight. Nebraska doesn't have a lot of contributions to the country except the massive amount of food we provide, but this Nebraska recognized the events of 9/11 for the call that it was. I didn't respond immediately, but I've scored several notches on the 'what did you do in the war' meter. My seventh album was recorded on my first deployment and features some of my best writing and playing, and last night I typed up the second draft of a post I wrote here about the recording process.
Now chaos is falling across the worldwide Muslim community. They have no achievements as a civilization to show for the last decade. We have the rise and fall of Lindsey Lohan as a hot young starlet. And solid military victories. We could destroy Mecca and Medina in an hour, render it irrevocably an irradiated wasteland that no Muslim could ever make the hajj again. We don't do that because it would be wrong. Israel doesn't do that because it would be wrong, and they've lived with the daily threat of extinction for how long?
I don't know what to believe about the death of bin Laden. For all I know, he was capped years ago and the footage was withheld for the 10th anniversary. I do believe we've implemented attacks on the Muslim world that go far beyond bin Laden, such as the recent simultanous domestic atrocities the rulers have perpetrated on their own subjects. Obama doesn't deserve any more credit for shooting him than for presiding over the "Arab Spring".
Bin Laden spent his final years (under the official narrative) living a decrepit life until the SEALs tracked him down and blew his head off. The official narrative has changed on whether or not his wife or any other woman or human shield was shot. Bin Laden wasn't the villain. The cause of Wahabite jihad he fought for is the villain. What was Obama going to say, 'if the intelligence is wrong and he's not there, don't kill him'? What would any other President have said in that place?
Muslims take their history very seriously. They remember dates and battles. So do we who use the solar year, and it's in the realm of possibility that President Bush and his administration set a target date for 10 years later for results of this nature. President Jefferson set similar targets for his operations against the Muslim pirates around Tripoli when he sent the Marines without Congress' approval. He won that battle, and domestically set precedents both for his successors in office and for legal definitions of slavery and its reasons for abolition. The Barbary pirates, you'll remember, were taking Americans prisoner and selling them as slaves.
September 11 was also the anniversary of the failed seige at Vienna, the Eastern European line of demarcation against the military advances of the Ottoman Turks in the seventeenth century. Both sides had gunpowder and the Europeans outfought the Turk who went into a long decline from which it is only recovering in the last couple of years.
In the centuries that followed, Vienna attempted to increase its influence in the south, where Russia was inspired to appeal to fellow Slavs. Christian kingdoms were formed and in the remaining Balkans, ethnic and religious tensions built up. They would be put on hiatus during communist rule, exploding in the Serbian genocide afterwards.
To the west, France was arguably formed as a nation when Charles Martel beat the Muslim invaders from Spain, defining Europe from the Atlantic side. To the far east, Muslim inability to co-exist with Hindu led to the creation of two massive nations, one which has lifted millions of people from degrading poverty thanks to its peaceful alliances with the UK and USA, and Pakistan, where bin Laden was found hiding.
In his latest speech to improve everything, President Barack Hussein Obama cited the inspiration of Abraham Lincoln, founder of the Republican Party and named for the prophet of the God of Jerusalem. His last name was given to my home town in Nebraska, where political dirty tricksters assumed that nobody would want a capitol city named for that Republican. Turned out a lot of Democrats were patriotic after the Civil War too, so I've lived most of my life in the shadow of the state capitol building. Also Memorial Stadium, the third largest city in the state on home football games. Although I don't really do anything when I'm at home, there's always a welcoming sense of homecoming when I arrive. I miss Lincoln when I'm gone for too long. Fidelity counts for something. Who is faithful and who is not?
Being forced to be faithful to anything destroys the whole point of faith. Those are the false choices they make. There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in our philosophy, in any mortal man's philosophy. Marxists reduce everything that exists to their founder's writings while Lutherans find numerous divisions and reasons to peacably co-exist. Aristotle and Isaac Newton and Ben Franklin still have relevance to our daily lives, Shi'ite and Sunni saints and martyrs not so much.
Jews and Japanese both know a thing or two about self-sacrifice, yet they find common ground in the American marketplaces, in California and Hollywood or New York City. The heartlands feed the vast country that wouldn't have existed except for brave men dying on the fields of Valley Forge or Bunker Hill or Gettysburg or Iwo Jima or Baghdad.
You don't find men like these rioting in the flash mobs which have begun looting in London and now seem to be spreading to American cities. They feel entitled to new cell phones so they break store windows and steal, that won't feed them this winter. It's difficult to say there's no racial component to it either. I don't know how much is Union-directed (in the US or UK) and how much is racial or religious, Muslim organizations trying to agitate.
It was heartening to see Londoners of all races stand up against the looters regardless of color. These are their homes and stores and the mob's fury will not be allowed to rule. Queen Bodeica burned a strip of blackness into the city's bedrock thousands of years ago in a losing attempt to defeat the Roman invaders.
Less cheerful are the related riots in Greece by civil servants who don't want to give up their perks. The wastes of thousands of years accumulate here, where the Mediterranean opens into Russia and Asia Minor and Egypt. The dogmas of an Orthodox Church and Communist rulers set in, as does a brief conquest by the West back in the Crusades.
Eastern Christendom was falling to the Turk and called for help from the West who responded as they did. Europe's southern border was delineated from Spain and the straits of Gibraltar (through which Ulysses sailed), across France and the remnants of the Romans, below the Poles and the Russians and Muscovites.
Ten years later, people have grown up conscious of what can be taken away. They know who stands on watch for terrorists, and they know who blithely ignores the threat. The enemy isn't entirely extremist Islam, but they are a definite enemy.
The enemy unites because individually they can be broken but like sticks in a bundle they are strong. That works from Mussolini to the rash of violent organized labor actions that have followed the Union Boss Trumka's recent call to violence. The good people unite because they seek to minimize the enemy's existence in everyone's life.
I have worried before his inauguration that President Obama might be at risk for suicide because he had never run anything before becoming the most powerful man on earth. We'd be better off if Muslim terrorists didn't try to commit suicide either, and he's nowhere near as big of an enemy to the USA.
President Bush grabbed a bullhorn and shouted to the first responders that he could hear them, all America could hear them, and soon the enemy would hear as well.
The enemy has heard, and seen firsthand what we can do. They called us the infidel and they were looking in a mirror. There is more despicable poverty across the Muslim world than anywhere else. They all rank at the bottom of international lists of living standards and individual freedom. Dictator-for-life is the most secure job position there is whether you happen to rule where there's oil or not. President Obama will only have his current job for five more years at most. President Bush will never have it again. Israel changes Prime Ministers. Iraq and Karzai-controlled territory are watched by American soldiers. Europe squabbles and realizes integration is no longer such a brilliant idea when there's economic troubles and large parts of their own community ruled by immigrants who don't assimilate.
Ten years ago today, we lost thousands of live in an act by evil-doers. They only need to be lucky once, and they were. But we have kept the faith of our forefathers who brought forth a new nation dedicated to the proposition that all men had been endowed by their Creator with certain rights, to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Can you picture a Muslim woman saying, as Jane Fonda did recently, that her biggest regret is that she didn't fuck mass-murder and big fan of Stalin Che Guevara? Years ago she was complaining about some of Ted Turner's sexual preferences, but the divorce was fresher then. And she was lucky to be married to Ted Turner and not someone else.
The post Y2K era has been unfamiliar to those of us who remember the term "Y2K". Everything operates according to rules we didn't expect, except those who have old rules to follow. Bush Sr. was right to call it a "New World Order". Time has moved on, but we remember.
May God continue to bless the United States of America.