Sunday, July 13, 2014

Tumble on down

Been quiet here, although I've been posting more graphic related work over on a new Tumblr blog.

http://opsonicindex.tumblr.com

Check it out for the usual range of hack paintings, visual poetry and photographs!

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Advice for Artists and Writers


A little bit of advice for both new and established artists and writers from guest blogger, noted artist  Michael Edward Michaels.


Advice for Artists and Writers
By Michael Edward Michaels

1)  Quit now.
2)  I cannot make this clearer  - Nobody cares about your so-called art and they never will.
3)  If you insist on this pointless exercise, know that you will be ignored in life and forgotten in death. For the most part, this will be justified.
4)  Other artists and poseurs will only pay attention to you if you can further their careers. Or make them money.
5)  You are not as important or creative or original as you think you are.
6)  If you believe you have something important to say, think again because you do not.
7)  Narcissism and relentless self-promotion trumps talent. Always.
8)   By the age of 40, your creative days will be over. Accept that you are a failure and move on.


MEM (Michael Edward Michaels) is considered to be probably the 47th best performance artist in the Greater Vancouver area (excluding Metro Vancouver).

Friday, January 24, 2014

Playing Chicken With Dire McCain

My interview with Dire McCain on her new book, Playing Chicken With Thanatos




Dire McCain is a writer, editor, publisher, and creative force. I've known Dire for several years, and I'm always impressed with her energy. We could have easily gone down the rabbit hole of a myriad of other topics, but we focused and got down to what's new and groovy- her new book, Playing Chicken With Thanatos.


The book is based on your experiences growing up. Can you talk a bit about that?

Dire McCain: The book chronicles my life between the ages of 12 and 19, although I touch upon the years that preceded and followed as well. The back cover blurb describes it best:

Playing Chicken With Thanatos tells a hard-hitting yet sympathetic tale of a precocious forgotten child who sought refuge in self-annihilation, and ultimately had to choose between doom and survival.

Set primarily in Southern California in the 1980s and 90s, the narrator takes you headlong on an intensely revealing and turbulent odyssey through the abysses of madness and junkiedom to the peaks of liberation and personal evolution.

Born from the author’s harrowing formative experiences, Playing Chicken With Thanatos transcends autobiography, evades the niche of vicarious voyeurism, and reaches out an empathetic, nonjudgmental hand to anyone who’s ever teetered over that ineffable precipice.”

Why did you decide to write the book?

DM: It began as a form of therapy, a release of the ghosts that had been locked away and eroding my spirit for ages. Before long, it took on a life of its own, and I soon realized that I could provide a resonant voice and empathetic hand for others who have “teetered over that ineffable precipice,” whatever their demons.


For the rest of the interview, please go to the Opsonic Index website -

My Interview with Dire McCain


You will be glad you did!

A Review of Playing Chicken With Thanatos


Playing Chicken With Thanatos
by Dire McCain
9780615903156


I’m not going to bury the lead. I thought Dire McCain’s book was a wonderful read. Funny, harrowing and emotional, it is a wicked fast-paced ride that is worth checking out.

So, what is this book about? Playing Chicken with Thanatos chronicles Dire’s life as a teen growing up in California and her descent into drug addiction. Dire and her friends spend their days looking for kicks. They have a knack for finding people they can use to get free drugs, and this quest for drugs and parties eventually becomes their lifestyle. Along the way, she hangs out with drug dealers, gang members, skinheads, rockers, yuppies and jocks, just to list a few “types” that come into her circle. And, as a young party girl, she draws the attention of the odd ephebophile or two. Of course, it’s all fun and good times hanging out with friends and getting high.

The first part of the book reflects this mood. The style and tone are light. It almost reads like a picaresque novel, with the action jumping from party to party. Eventually, the good times start to fade. A darker mood takes over as the monotony of addiction settles in. Drugs lose their fun and the personal and physical toll becomes greater. This lifestyle leaves her hollow, an emotional shell.  However, she does not succumb completely to this hell. In the end, there is hope and promise ahead.

While the book itself is episodic, with many chapters able to stand on their own, there is a strong arc and continuity to the story.  The book is structured into three parts, each part named after rivers running through Hades – Acheron (woe), Phelegethon (fire) and Lethe (oblivion).  Thematically, this book is a journey through the underworld, beginning with melancholy before moving through to the excitement and destructiveness of her party days, and on to the eventual final destination, oblivion. It is here that she sees the exit and begins to leave this (under)world behind. For me, the end feels like someone surfacing from the water after having been held under, although Dire does not use that imagery. It ends with her taking the first steps out of the claustrophobic life of addiction and the emotional and psychic toll that life wrought. And there it is. 

While the narrative takes place in the 80s and 90s, the dating within the book is intentionally vague. In an odd way, the story is not necessarily tied to that time, but transcends it. I also feel she does that with place. The work is set in California and she is fairly specific as to locations. However, the action seems to take place without regard to these geographical boundaries, while remaining intimately tied to them. It is not the location or the time that is important here; it is the personal journey.

Dire has an interesting writing style. It’s relaxed, yet intense and straightforward. The language is neither forced nor flowery. The text itself is layered, and filled with interesting allusions and asides. Just check out the chapter titles! When she referenced Fedor Emelianenko, it made me sit up and take notice. Then along came nods to Lolita and Magnum PI and on and on. For me, these “easter eggs” added a depth and playfulness to the text.
There you go. What more do you want? I know I’ve barely scratched the surface for the narrative and did not mention any of the other players except in passing but, hey, this is not Cliff Notes. Read the book and find out for yourself.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Reid Fleming - a little update




I seem to have forgotten to post this, but there you go. Last April, I stopped by David Boswell's table at the Vancouver FanExpo. I asked him if and when a Volume 2 of Reid Fleming, World's Toughest Milkman would be coming out. I picked up the first volume a couple of years ago and have been waiting eagerly for the second instalment. Dave said that he was still writing the last chapter of the Reid Fleming saga. He was hoping to have it finished for next year, but, depending how it goes, it may be another two. He also mentioned that the final story has Fleming competing in the Milk Truck games for glory and more. (The games may have a swimsuit competition as well!) Definitely going to be worth waiting for. If you have not checked out this comic yet, grab the first volume which collects Reid Fleming, World's Toughest Milkman volumes #1 to 6 plus Heart Break Comics which features Laszlo (with appearances by Reid). It's a nice hardcover with a decent trim size and great reproductions of the artwork. All for around $30!



Friday, November 01, 2013

The new Intro!


I asked playwright and poet Peter Duffer to write this introduction for my latest book. I was so excited when I got it back that I decided to post it right away. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but I’m sure it’s wonderful. Hopefully, the book will be out sometime next year. Thanks Peter!


__________________________

First off, Michael Roth, go fuck yourself in your mouth. You are a narcissistic, delusional asshole. Quit writing or painting or whatever it is you do and just go away. Let’s be clear, sitting in your parent’s basement obsessively masturbating does not qualify you as an artist. It’s pathetic enough when someone in their 20s playacts at being a douche bag artist; it’s even more so when they are in their 40s. So give it up. Nobody cares about you or your bullshit.

To be clear, as a person, Roth is a stuttering, inbred mongoloid, unable to comprehend his own incompetence.  And his art? Simply put, it’s pure bullshit. It is amateurish, derivative, shallow, and ultimately forgettable. He reuses the same old avant garde clich├ęs without any reason and to no effect. I could barely make it through a page or two of this manuscript without throwing it across the room or stomping it into the floor in pure disgust. This type of banal, pseudo-intellectual posturing makes me vomit. Don’t waste your time. You have been warned.

Why has he done this? That’s my main concern. Why? All of these works are truly pointless. I believe it’s really a narcissistic project for him, fueled by a strong desire to be accepted by the artistic community (and beyond), and, ultimately, in leaving an artistic legacy. He believes he has talent. He does not realize that few will see these works and none will care. That he and his art will descend into obscurity, where they belong. With any luck, I hope he will realize on his deathbed that it was all just a waste of time; that he has wasted his life. That none of it mattered when he was alive and that it will matter even less after he has died. Mr. Roth, if you do not realize this simple fact right now you are indeed delusional. Please stop immediately. For our sake, please do not inflict these mediocre, moronic ramblings on anyone again. Just stop. Please. For fuck’s sake. Stop. It’s embarrassing. It’s meaningless. It’s unnecessary.

So I need to know, why did you ask me to write this introduction?  Why do you even bother? Just, why?

Peter Duffer, PhD.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Failure to translation



The priest gives my ideas of them, in many cases, the performance of a series of Vancouver Writers Festival, 12 days of the file in Word, 120 Marquis de Sade "was confusing in the same pizzeria and the leader of the team, as they say, a long period of time I did not read it looks at the '12 Sodom Sodom, both to lay down for the night. slowly read it because it's a pain, indeed, a class of people at the beginning of the month on Sunday near the end of the bird bread, it's a miracle pill.

Of course, to read as it is fully taxable, mix them all and technology. Sometimes it is to dig a few pages of Morse code, but I saw a book on the fact that he was cruel. Pantomime play, because the laws of different countries around the world or 3 cups of another person.

I think I have the best vegetables you can smell the pizza insane leader of the Tuscan sea and took a break. Read it in my book. Thus, the desire to you at all times, and memory to play with. I'm not Mr. Stewart Wu Ming yesterday, but unfortunately, it's not, I want my writing lip sync.

But some players said marketing opportunity and a new suitcase. But you're a man, he found the afternoon of popular, but the anarchists came by night, you know, hands. Fortunately grant of power (and, believe it or not, just throwing my shoes), my friend stopped emetic sprint stage lighting and involuntary. These are the things that are done well, and tens of thousands of professionals.
That this night, light and AJ piles: Breakfast and it begins to dawn, a few drops of passage. At this point, I said to you, even as the east is a little less than great. You want to read the book, the audience shouted: "Oh my God, she is released to create a dog!"

On that day, I used to catch the one that will lead to end the Etruscans, and that people will hear it. DLE in the past the fair, which is really the leader of all the equipment to a high degree shot just started middle of the night. Moreover, more than 12 hours, but it does not matter in the end.

____________________

A(n) (un)successful translation of a post "120 Hours of Sodom", originally from Oct 20, 2009. The post was run through Google Translate and back into English. I thought it was a cheap way to translate my articles. Instead, I realize that it's an easy way to make them better.

Friday, August 16, 2013

M

This is an improved version of a short work called Breaker's Party Room.  I have removed every letter except "m", while keeping the spacing the same as the original. Here is the first page. More will be posted to the website at a later date.  And, no, I don't think I've heard of Monica Aasprong. Really.


                                                                                       m
              M



   m m
                       m
m              m
                 m

        m                                   m


                         m


                                     m          m


                                       m


m           m
                                                
       m                         m

                     m

  m                                                                   

                  m      m                                          
         m
  m                        m
                m
 m
       m      m                 m


                         m   m m
  m        m                                     m
                                     m
         m      m
                   m

                                    m
  m                                   m
                      m                         m

  m         m
                            m