Saturday, March 31, 2007

work, hunger, discipline: the museum

12/04/13: Verily, I have declared the end of the Age of Blogging.  Check in on what's left of the Media Empire if you cry out for Fresh Content.

2.487 : 9/2/06 : The Future of 3 Part 2

Five year plan title
The future of:
3 pages mission
goal there was
Had to admit
there was some
chuckling at the gall
& that was all

The blog It’s Rome, Baby! will remain static from now on. If you’re looking for something where fresh material appears on a regular basis, look no further than my very own "the fairly secret song of the day blog". It’s fly. In addition, the erstwhile-defunct Phree Musique blog has ended its stint as a review site for digital music sellers and has been again repurposed as an infrequent blog of commentary on digital culture and renamed Phree as in PhreakShow. I’ll add a note on all the extant blogs if anything else new comes up. This index, detailing the 444 other posts residing on this blog, is the last thing I will post on this site. Bookmark it for frequent review! It’s like a museum that’s open 24 hours a day... in your brain!

Please note:

1. A certain amount of profane language finds its way into these essays.  Also into the table of contents below.  Sorry.
2. Although some of these writings are representative of my understanding of reality in days past, many are purely fictional. None should be interpreted as statement, expression of intent, or advocacy of anything.
3. This document was originally coded by hand. If you find a broken link and feel compelled to do something about it, I'm not that hard to find.

The Comprehensive Index of the It’s Rome, Baby! Weblog

Incarnation The First: It’s Rome, Baby! as Surrealist Celebrity Satire: August - November 2005

Culled from the heppest topics of its day, laden with subtle pop-cult reference, surprisingly difficult to write, this is the original conception of the blog. I managed to keep it up for 4 months and 45 posts. I finally updated the Full Archive and Disclaimer Page, where you can review a summary of all the scintillating posts. So I won’t reproduce that here

Here’s quick links to a few of my favorites, though. There is no relevance to the fact that Harry Potter features heavily in the first two.

Emma Watson Shall Rule Us All

Pat Robertson: Brewing Scandal at Christian Broadcasting Network

iPod femto unveiled, lost

North by Northwest Airlines Declares Bankruptcy

This era ended with the first of several announcements of the End of the Website.

Incarnation The Second: Archives of the Star-Cross’d 33 Magazine: January - February 2006

A haphazardly conceived strategy to publish an online “magazine” supported by voluntary “patronage.” I discovered that the successful application of the patronage model involves knowing people who are wealthy. In a nutshell, it didn’t work out, and I still feel bad about the people who provided the most generous support, I don’t feel like they got their money’s worth. But what are you going to do? I had no idea what I was getting into when I left full time employment to care for my son Jonah. Anyway, I archived the back issues here at It’s Rome. The archives may contain some broken links to the old 33 Magazine and related sites which are now defunct. I tried to clean them up when I transcribed this but I’m sure I missed some.

1. Dubious justification of why I’m still posting, having Ended the Website

2. Explanation of the original 33 project. So Earnest.

3. Explains patronage, used to link to now defunct commerce pages.

4. More commerce stuff. This is actually written post 33. The Den of Thieves link is dead now, but improbably the two cafe press stores are still open (laziness, essentially). I still keep thinking that “I’m Part of the Thing” meme could take off any day. Maybe I need to put a video on YouTube. I forgot all about the website (link to first post, which got lightly colonized by comment spambots I see). You know, I’m not actually very good at this stuff. I no longer can remember the access information on that blogger account either. Oh Google, you never forget though. On the internet, everyone can hear you scream... but nobody gives a shit.

5. Paradox A short story. I find it unsuccessful.

6. Gauss - regarding my first experience recording music with Apple’s GarageBand software. The link to my first song used to be here, now it’s defunct, but if you email me through my profile link I’ll mail you a copy of Gauss for free.

7. Jonah’s Story. I relate the circumstances of my son’s (10 week) premature birth. Probably the most popular piece of writing that appeared on 33. Part 1-Part 2-Part 3-Part 4

8. Playback: I attempt a history of audio recording. It’s a lot longer than I remember. Part 1-Part 2-Part 3- And... then I lost the thread prior to the conclusion, which is a shame, because the teaser to it at the end of the third installment sounded pretty damn impressive. When I was transcribing these posts across I wrote a wholly inedequate little epilog to cap it off. Wholly inadequate. Ah, well.

9. A bit of text that accompanied one of the quirky mailings I sent out to the magazine patrons, regarding Morning Glories

10. Soap: A Science Experiment. I decided to make some soap from scratch. Well, I bought the lye. It was better with pictures but I wanted to delete them from my gallery. I guess google does image hosting for blogger now but I can’t be bothered to deal with setting it back up. When I was transcribing the post over I added a conclusion which I wittily titled soapilog. I keep a chunk of this soap at the laundry room sink and use it regularly for heavy handcleaning, it is very effective. It is rather drying to the skin but otherwise I’d have to say the experiment was a success. Look, I’m Pa Ingalls. Or possibly Ma.

11. 33 Magazine March 05 Quarterly Report. Pessimistic.

12. April Fool’s. When I used to keep a handwritten journal I often did this on April 1, riffed a little scenario where something absurdly amazing happened and changed the direction of my life. It was a personal in-joke because I felt so stuck so much of the time, particularly after college. It’s not actually all that damn funny to me anymore.

13. Semiannual Report. I basically lose it. Poignant, if you like that kind of thing. I talk about my dead kitty. The serialized fiction I referred to at the end of the post is gone (from the online world anyway), its the one thing I didn’t transcribe across, as (unique among all my older writings), I feel like I may still finish it and do something else with the story, so I decided to pull it from the archives.

And so 33 Magazine ended. I posted chapters of the aforementioned story for a while and then canned it the same time as I canned the first iteration of It’s Rome, Baby!

Connected to this section, the only writing on the site that does not originate with me - 33 Associates, a sideline invitation made from the magazine to publish others’ text online, contains a few poems by my sister, a few essays by my friend Jack. They’ll stay up as long as the website stays up and neither author asks me to take them down.

Incarnation The Third: A Big Ol’ Dumpin’ Ground of Text: January - February 06

You could conceive this segment of our tale as the chance to root around in my digital wastebasket. Some writers make their wives promise to set fire to their filing cabinets to make sure posterity never decides to publish their “unfinished” works. I dump them all over the internet to live forever (or for as long as Google’s business model floats) in perpetual obscurity. Scenarios for stories I never wrote, essays written for no good reason, my first, ancient (in the internet timeframe) and long defunct blogs. [I've redacted some defunct verbiage here about Google Adsense - I cancelled my subscription to that revenue non-source (well I made all of 12 bucks off it over my tenure anyway) many years ago when they changed the terms of service to require you to have a privacy statement on any Adsense linked material that basically said you gave Google the right to track your readers any damn way they pleased.  Which is not to say Google isn't tracking you any damn way they please, including occasional drive-by sucking of illegal data out of your home Wi-Fi.  I just am not going to personally put a statement on my writing condoning it.  Hence, no adsense for me.  I actually can't, I now find, condone using auto-generated ads at all - I feel it constitutes personally, tacitly condoning the contents of ads I have nothing to do with and which are, frankly, sketchy as a rule rather than an exception.  But that is a different and longer essay]

1. A couple of odd political bits. Satire? Humor? The Howard Dean shtick made me chuckle.

2. A scenario for a science fiction story I never started.

3. A survey created to pick a friend’s brain for research on a novel I started but couldn’t finish. Are you sensing a trend?

4. Another unused scenario for some sort of dystopian postapocalyptic future scenario. Very Mad Max.

5. An unfinished essay, some idea I had about discussing the ecology of my lawn.

6. A clumsy stab in the dark, the start of a story that went nowhere. Character names like “Cyrus Smith” are the fucking kiss of death. Also, it appears I can’t spell obsolescent.

7. An egregiously long response to some website I read which promulgated this idea of a computer-mediated, technological/deterministic eschaton. If that kind of twisted phrasing puts you off you probably don’t want to read the essay itself. I think I started with the intent of making a few response notes to the website’s creator and it just sort of snowballed on me. The five “end of the humanity” stories early on in the essay still amuse me.

8. A meditation on fear from the first true weblog I ever attempted, Slouching Toward Gethsemane (I still really like that title).

9. An essay from the same source on taking sides, and ends, means.

10. A ranting essay asserting that the fundamental problem is that people are stupid.

11. M.A.P.S project summary. Early, long past attempt to drum up interest in an investigation of transforming the way music is transacted. Naive. Nobody was interested.

12. Part of an essay (the other parts apparently lost) about the nature of experience.

13. I rail against dumbass college students rioting over the outcome of a hockey game.

14. a weird dream, written down I don’t know why. I normally make no effort to record my dreams.

15. I bitch about television.

16. an essay I wrote for a contest run by some magazine and some oil company. Pedantic. I made an effort at a positive projection for the human future, as sort of a challenge to myself.

17. I riff on Enron and advocate financial irresponsibility.

18. I submitted this article proposal (by request) to Downward Battle, a anti music industry activism website. Never a response. They suck anyway.

19. a screenplay and a bunch of songs. I’m not sure why the two were posted together.

20. Some BS I wrote about intelligent design. No recollection why

21. a regionally flavored story written for I know not what audience or reason. Its tone feels forced to me.

22. Completely bizarre. Notes from some abstract reiterative searching experiment I did online. It does not appear to have gotten me anywhere much.

23. Remember that M.A.P.S. Project call to arms way back in link #11? Despite lack of outside interest I tried to get the white paper underway myself. Then I apparently succumbed to despair.

24. Satirical Spoof written during the height of “duct tape plastic over your windows” post 9-11 security stupidity.

25. Looks like some heathen got my dander up online. Snarky and dumb. Which is not to say it doesn’t have some valid points. But I don’t bother pursuing that sort of rhetoric any more.

26. A little piece on desire, no idea what it is or why I wrote it.

27. A little fiction sketch.

28. The internet as a metaphor for monkeys. Ahead of its time.

29. A friend asked me to write an essay on why he thought he was special. I doubt this was what he was looking for.

30. Transcript of a long spoken word piece on language and religion.

Incarnation The Fourth: The Kingdom Come Institute, Online at Last: January - July 2006

Most of the remaining bulk of this site comes from a project I never finished which was called something like the Annals of the Home Page of the Kingdom Come Institute. I guess I’ll attempt a slightly more illuminating explanation of it than I put forth here. In a nutshell, I was working on a large series (intended to be hundreds) of essays, experimental fiction oddments, songs and transcriptions of ancient history writings from my journal. They were assigned to a system of categories and the concept was eventually I would interlink them with a huge series (intended to be thousands) of hyperlinks. The basic idea was to create a circular but expansive reading experience. I never even finished the writing let alone grappled with the prospect of coding 3,125 anchor tags. I parked on the domain for a long time before I finally accepted defeat and let it lapse. The domain now redirects to some Canadian e-commerce service provider’s website. People squat them some weird-ass online real estate. The project will never be finished in its original conception. I’d like to try something like it again some day but I’d start with a much less ambitious scale and a much more meticulous design of component themes).

1. Some original essay related to the project. Chunks of it probably found elsewhere throughout the whole thing.

2. The Celestial Puke Box. I riff about the set top box (that sounds so old fashioned now) and the evolution of teevee, or something. Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, AND Part V

3. The Story of a Day. Basically what it says, from a long time ago. fiction of a cipher, sick and dirty, five years gone, repeat one thousand times, AND so let it be written so let it be done.

4. A bunch of excerpts from my handwritten journals of the past 12 years prior to the writing of the main Kingdom Come Institute Doctrine - which started around 1998. From a project subset called Vision. Many pods of these to scattered below. the lotus and the worm, garbage out of some old book, inner bedlam, AND fifteen years gone.

5. The Vision subset also contains a number of selections from a 101 song series from the Song of the Day project first series that are based on zen stories collected in the book Zen Flesh, Zen Bones. Among them are numbers 54, 27, 56, 37, 53, 19, 73, 91, 59, 100, 21, 4, 29, 77, 15, 80, 94, 86, 46, 67, 1, 66, 71, AND 34.

6. Various essays... Broad casts versus narrow ones, a pep talk to myeself, a twenty minute meditation, a parable of time and madness, musings on Timothy McVeigh, I bemoan poor planning, AND fantasies on a better presidency.

7. I daydream about scripting a sci-fi cartoon in five parts, yamamoto, mushroom scroll, blind spider, manual of sedition, (aside),
AND hidden world

8. The Klik-thru (iM) agreement link disclaimer

9. how to distribute a pamphlet.

10. Living in America: A Guide for the Perplexed. A twenty five part series with segements on 1. a more perfect union, 2. I get no kick from champagne, 3. you’ll have a barrel of fun, 4. Lord, I’m a fool for a cigarette, 5. java, 6. free as in radical, 7. free as in willy, 8. the silican nipple, 9. tee vee 4 ever, 10. yo quiero shit sandwich, 11. feed my lambs, 12. mokie coke! mokie coke! mokie coke!, 13. tote dat barge, 14. lift dat bale, 15. nail gun rhapsody, 16. fugitive, 17. rent, 18. I did it, 19. Chris, 20. oil, 21. car as warmonger, 22. car as weapon, 23. business, 24. politics, AND 25. Union.

11. More journal excerpts:to tell the old, old story, the declaration trip, walk on water, virus, contact, diatribe: valium, the widow’s mites, AND vision seventy.

12. The enigmatic interlude of The Ghost Institute

13. Yet more journal excerpts! dark glass morning hymn, some embarassing vision from youth, AND six hundred less than the number of the beast.

14. A handfull of visions: I used to think it meant something or mattered, yet another enigmatic journal exctract. also true, 3Cs, except that I gave up the filthy things, true, just heaving against the flesh of the evening, puzzledream, metaphysician heal thyself, AND proverb.

15: The world of philosophy explained! the final word, there but for the grace of gravity and gall, diarism, seven stations of breath, I’m sure a real philosopher would just kick my nuts, goooooooooodle, AND the ticket that imploded.

16: I invented a quasireligion called Realitation! Revel in its mystical components: sleepitate to success, eatitation, workitation: it works!, teletation for the masses, AND realitation is available and operators are standing by now. Deep.

17. A hapless elucidation of art and time. terra incognita, spheres of influence, further elucidation, AND sometimes an aside re art.

18. I engage in heated analysis of the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Why? I do not know. part one, Ignore the apotheosis of pop culture, part two, Five Trumps of Fear, AND part three, defiance (acid test).

19: A couple of angles on text and the methods of its generation: simpleton AND from the word go.

20: The Deck Of Woe, an Oracular Device for Personal Divination: (in the face of any question, decision, or to discern future events simply choose the most seemly “card” and introspectively consume its magical text.
The Blind Badger, The Reticulated Transport, The Thrice of Shears, The Watchtower, The Five of Wheels, The Veiled Lady, The Mask and the Bell, The Vortex, The Seven of Forks, Fleur de Lis, The Twelve Rings, The Masque Ball, The Shuttlecock, The Sleeping Knave, The Back Road, Prince’s Entourage, The Quill, The Surprise Inspection, A Circle of Crows, The Brother’s Riddle, The Lead Pipe, The Parasols Six, The Navel, The Mysterious Stranger, AND The Cup.

21. The Meaty Heart of the Kingdom Come Institute segment of the Kingdom Come Institute Web-Sight Concept: a reeling, relentlessly innacurate tour through science, religion, politics, economics, media and the troubling question of whether our lives are controlled by hypertechnological salamanders from the Center of the Earth: tempus fugit, things lost, will I see the paradox wrapped in an enigma box, Oodles More Godels, God dials you up, Pardon my Prose, my friends couldn’t believe I got a credit limit of FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS, Beggars on horseback, contained within a multitude, silver and gold, Extremophiles, Annual Evaluation (AKA I’ve Got Mine Jack), smooth like butter, already I can hear the coughing from the next room, a mad jack’s jeer that echoed, A mad jackal howled at Jericho, Surreal Astrology, catastrophe, a neoformalist dream, the spider diary, a fictionalization of a work in progress, reconstruction is reclamation, the future is already here, an insightful critique of gender-neutral language, The division of India, The graphite sphincter, Make sure to visit our sponsors and Turgid Links, al gore invented frames, making the case for an acausal universe, Preview on a half-formed universe, forceful redirect, The word becomes text and dwells among us, Are We Not Men?, Shoot-out at the Occipital Ridge, Shamanetics, The fourth estate smashes into the forth wall (sic), If I pass not this way again, negative spaces in the mind, Statue in the Sky, considering this it is sometimes difficult to remember, By the time we got to Woodstock it was burning to the ground, shoot shoot shoot shoot shoot, a king’s ransom, speaking of tie-ins, have it your way, put it all together and it spells, junk science, ecce homo, entropy not mentioned once, Darwin is my Copilot, sweet mystery of life, one tiny ameoba, koan, welcome to your head, fuquetue, lies, damn lies, half truths, the whole nine yards, and the kitchen sink, parenthetical ellipsis,Salamander Diary, censored for your pleasure, an authentic warrior kicks ass Filed under shameless self-promotion, the bastards that control our lives, tu chingada madre, Can hearing it later change someone’s mind?, bred in the bone and then some, a radical proposal, a pointless observation, go hold down the dog while I fuck that pig, im hacking your mind right now, pathology: there are no ends only means, Whether you like it or not, AND A Strategic Vision of Extreme Clarity.

22. The remaining enigma of the Vision subset:the uneasy part, ten. forty. seven., the swede, try a dull knife, some say the cause was global warming, the balance was returned at the terminal node, spore, inspiritus, spike, exculpis speris argamentos vicis, the sea becomes salt with the grains I’ve taken, flow, automatic typing seminar: final analysis, ten minutes of terror, Lost and Hidden in the Mazy Depths of Mind, the third, second, and first visions of the future, the seeming and the meaning, descent into the valley of the prescient scion, the sad refrain of the cart before the course, dogs beg scraps from the children at the table, old brain, new tricks, I only contemplate the return, ninety-five’s thesis, a very Kafka thirteen hours, reap slash sow, quotidian, 1994: I make a New Year’s Resolution to kick your ass, will keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord, any descriptive statement in this document is true, orgasm, a monster in the sleep of reason, Searching for Eric Notch, stoned to the bone, Prior to the redacted confessional, Femiwhatsis, reading between the lines, The song it sang to me, mom, finding them is a scavenger hunt of sorts, fpc, the briefest possible moment, They changed the questions, One shock of recognition, surprised by a savage kicking in the teeth, the third aspect of judas, I was sorry I had no, The sighting of the lost dream, thumbody loves me, now available in a convenient pill, maybe there’s a tiny little machine inside the ghost, hour 27 on the graveyard shift, a copy of a copy of a copy, heat death, Head space soliloquy, The Everyman and his Everydog, The MOST in the gashing, If the shoe fits, Trying to make the weekend pay, How I spent another year of my life, and most will not read any of it at any time, inscription to a crude self-portrait, when in bedlam do as the bedlamites, a spirit so willing, musing the start of a second existence, in which words fail me, better a live inchworm than a dead dog, like a poker in the fire, the head of a dead cat, feast of saints, answer the telemeter, conception hidden in a green glass ball, You know who you are, that line it coils around the world, like a serpent it is curled, therefore you’re not, tis the east, The retribution of extreme morality, the beginning of the beginning, Freedom of choice is a chemical reaction, bug, Death and his Brother Time, Bridge, Building a room for noise to live in, blue blue blue blue, Twice Seven, based on sullen entropy to coin a phrase, what dreams may come?, bursts through the chest, record of a thousand hours imagined, wasted, in inauspicious number, AND The original 4 Track Mind Manifesto.

23. I believe the only stand-alone lyric included not from the songs of days project.

24. More stern exhortations to psychosocial anarchy from Le Pamphleteer: Feel the Burn, Bringing the Scoundrel Hounds to Bay, Taking a Bull by the Horns, Direct action and devlish plans, A fearless manual of sedition, Lost and Hidden in the Mazy Depths of Mind, An insightful critique of gender-neutral language, versus their blandishments and damned lies, The Earl of Sandwich is spinning in his grave, Divide and Conquer, brought to you by the small letter c, parties, killer bean, agencies, Do you seek influence, access, and the Key that Opens All Locks?, Hell is Very Much other people, The Station of Breath, we got problems, one world..., Revolutionary Propaganda for Children, it’s the next logical step from flat, Less is less but I like it like that, economic terrorism, f n pervert, but if a million, how to blow up music, AND

25. A final message of realitation and the coda of the Kingdom Come Institute: Znczmzng mzsszgz frzm thz mzthzrshzp.

Incarnation The Last: Intermittent Howls and Grumbles from the Formerly Present Day: January - July 2006

While archiving 33 Magazine, various chunks of undifferentiated text from my indifferent past, and Yon Venerable Tracta of Ye Kingdome Comme Instietuutte, I wrote the occasional “new” essay under the influence of some stimulus or the other.

I take a break from copying over 33 Magazine entries to bitch about the state of the union address. Cheerful.

Something about Narnia of all things. I was reading the books aloud to my infant son at the time, until the martial tone of them started to skeeve me out.

and the good luck not to fuck up too much: like a lot of other nerds, I was bummed out by the failure of Joss Whedon’s “Firefly” to make it as a television serial. A bitter essay on the topic.

One of the more comprehensive and clear assessments of what I was doing with the blog, of which this index is I suppose the final culmination, written in honor of the blog’s 300th post. The second paragraph does a pretty bang-up job of explaining the ambiguous relationship I have with the kind of stuff I seem bound and determined to write, try as I might to sex it up.

An essay, which turned out to have been an elegy, to one of my favorite teachers in high school, Claude Dziuk. I can’t imagine what he would have thought of this mess.

wait for the call, in which I ponder my fractured search for a vocation.

UNPLUG, a brief rumination on being clever.

The Hour that Stretches, a melancholy essay about a quixotic attempt, 12 years past, to forge some sort of reformulated identity out of memory and media in the alchemic alembic of text, and of the eternal quest to claim some sort of completeness. It seems like a fitting enough end to this retrospective exhibition. Thank you for visiting the Spirit of Salt J. Mark H. 2nd Lifetime Memorial Text Museum.