Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday Magic

In which Tim explores the world of Magic: The Gathering one
card at a time, courtesy of Gatherer's "Random Card" button.

Hulking Cyclops (Sixth Edition, 1999)

The commander of the cyclops army paced back and forth in front of a desultory line of infantrymen. Dozens of soldiers lined up in imprecise rows, leaning on their clubs with their eye shut, or whittling spear-tips absent-mindedly while waiting for dinner. Cyclops are a disorganized and slovenly bunch as a rule. Circumstances had forced these cyclopses to turn against their natural disposition to solitude and band together to repel invaders. They were the last line of defense between their enemies and the ancestral homelands known to cyclops for generations since the Ancient Plunder.

The cyclops commander was an old, taciturn warrior named Bolgarad. He loved fighting in a way that stood out even in a race well known for their violent habits, and his thick, mottled skin was a map of twisting scars. He was general because he had something few other cyclops did: experience fighting in an organized military, based on years of service as a mercenary in the world abroad. Cylcopses were violent and disagreeable - to say nothing of being around ten feet of rippling muscle and iron bones - but their one saving grace was that they disliked traveling, and would rarely go far beyond their neighborhood to seek conflict. Bolgarad was an exception, and his expertise in the field of organized combat made him a rare authority figure in a community usually defined by its bearish resistance to organization.

"OK, men," he began with great solemnity, "we have only one chance left. We beat them at the pass, with heavy losses on both sides. We lost a lot of good cyclopses, and there are hundreds more who will be many moons recuperating from wounds received from the tainted spearpoints of the Necromonger's cavalry."

"They're hurting, but we're hurting too. We're all exhausted. All of you were there on the front lines. You fought like animals, and you're the reason why we have a chance to pull this thing out. The Eagle Lord tells us that the Necromonger is massing his army five clicks away for one more push at the base of Goblin Butte. If they make it through the peaks and into the valley they will overrun the lands, but if we break them at the bottleneck under the Butte we should be able to scatter them."

"We have three regiments of our freshest troops marching south at double time to outflank their army from below the Butte. Since we broke the Opal Mirror we know that their army has no aerial reconnaissance, so with any luck they should be able to surprise the rear of the Necromonger's column at the moment they hit the bottleneck."

"Our job is to hold the line. When they come streaming through that gate we have to stand and push back. We have to block them however we can until we can meet the other regiments pushing forward from the back. Then we will paint the canyon walls with the black blood of these inhuman revenants!"

The massed cyclopses registered their enthusiasm with the equivalent of a muted shrug. They had been fighting for days, and after a while even the hardiest and mightiest warrior must feel the weight of gravity pulling his tired form to the earth. They all knew what was at stake, though, if Thargull could plant a beachhead in the enchanted lands beyond the Lonely Canyons. Not just the ancient clanlands of the cyclops race, but every island and continent in the Hidden Archipelago beyond the sea of Snardoth.

A young cyclops leaned at the back of the cavern, just under a flickering brazier suspended by heavy chain from the cave ceiling. He appeared restless, and unusual for a cyclops, pensive. Bolgarad locked eyes with the soldier from across the room.

"You there," the commander called, "you lazy son of a tree! What is your name?"

The pensive cyclops answered meekly, "Me, sir?"

"Yes, you!"

"My name is Bah'rtl'bee."

"Bah'rtl'bee! You seem bored by our dire circumstances! Are you unwilling to block the enemy and protect our ancient homeland?"

"I would prefer not to."

"You would prefer not to?"

"Yes, sir."

Bolgarad raised his hand and brandished his club. It was eight feet tall, carved from the lightning-blasted stump of a one-thousand-year-old stone tree in his grandfather's time and cured with the oil of a finback whale purchased off a traveling sailor. It had been blessed by five oracles during his tenure in the peacekeeping army of Mulain the Blue. In the past week along it had cracked the skulls of hundreds of undead skeleton berzerkers. With a sudden speed that belied his size and age, Bolgarad flung the club through the air and hit the surprised Bah'rtl'bee squarely on his forehead, just above his eye.

"Make sure that Bah'rtl'bee wakes up on the frontline, won't you?"

Friday, August 08, 2014

Miracle Mile

Or, how about we try this whole "writing about comics on this
website again instead of just spouting off on Twitter" thing again?

As is known, Marvel is in the process of reprinting Alan Moore's Miracleman, one of Moore's earliest and most significant works, long banished to legal limbo but >ahem< miraculously resurrected by Marvel in recent years. As is also known, the general consensus is that Marvel has botched the project almost from the get-go. The first problem was that the reprints began with a flood of early Mick Anglo Miracleman stories, which were certainly not the best way to expose the character to a new generation of readers. (Is it rude to say that Anglo's stories are just kind of bad? Definitely the kind of work that the phrase "of historical interest" was designed to cover.) The second problem was that even after all the legal deadwood was cleared and the company could finally announce comprehensive reprints of the Moore and Gaiman material - the material people actually cared about - they were hamstrung by the decision to put out the monthly reprints in an overpriced package stuffed with historical material (of some interest), and again, Mick Anglo reprints (of almost no interest).

Alan David Doane is a longtime pal of this blog, and for a while now he's been very vocal in lamenting the low profile that Marvel's reprints have kept since their beginning. On Thursday he had this to say:
I'm amazed at how little the ongoing Miracleman reprints, set to lead up to new issues by Neil Gaiman, completing his unfinished run, are being talked about. This week's re-release of one of the two most controversial issues in the series didn't even merit a mention in the most prominent weekly new releases rundown on a site dedicated to reporting on comics.
At first I thought Doane was referring to Jog's weekly round-up over at The Comics Journal's website, but I went back to double-check and it turned out Jog had mentioned the issue:
. . . Marvel continues to push out re-colored comic book editions of Moore’s (first) signature superhero recalibration. This is the issue where Rick Veitch draws the birth of a baby – quite a to-do back in ’86, but I suspect the House of Ideas’ usual practice of sealing every issue in a bag will suffice in lieu of the original’s Surgeon General-style cover warning . . .
(I don't know what site Doane is mentioning, then. But I do like Jog's use of "push out" as a metaphor for this particular issue.)

Mike Sterling picked up Doane's gauntlet and discussed the series here, from his privileged position as a man who actually sells these things for a living:
Of course, it may be as simple as no one having much more to say “oh, hey, another Miracleman reprint is out,” which is a shame. Maybe once it’s complete, assuming it will be completed, we’ll see more new discussion about its overall impact on comics.
I would tend to agree with Sterling on this issue, and I think he is right to point towards three factors as the probable causes for the lack of excitement surrounding the release: 1) Marvel's obviously botched roll-out, 2) Alan Moore's somewhat diminished star power (not gone, just . . . quieted down a bit), and 3) the difficulty of keeping up enthusiasm for anything on a recurring monthly basis for an extended period of time.

But even though I think Sterling is mostly right, there's more to the question here. Because Doane's question is fair, and deserves a fair answer.

Part of the answer can be found just in Jog's brief summary. "Marvel continues," he states, "to push out re-colored comic book editions." So we know this is an ongoing thing. The bloom is off the rose, as it were, if not for the quality of the material, for the fact that the material is coming out at a fair clip. It strikes me as a very similar phenomenon to that which succeeded last year's release of the first My Bloody Valentine album in 22 years, m b v. If you're anything like me, your response to the release of m b v followed a simple pattern: sudden immense excitement followed by prolonged satisfaction, finally settling back down to business as usual. If you recall, that album was the product of a sudden online release, literally dropping in the middle of the night. People went to sleep thinking that the third My Bloody Valentine album would continue to remain vaporware for the foreseeable future, and then they woke up, turned on their computers, and there it was. It was a sudden, wonderful shock.

And it was good! That was the best part. It wasn't Chinese Democracy, it was actually an honest-to-God proper follow up to Loveless. A great deal of care had been expended making the album sound precisely right, and it was obvious that - if not entirely worth the 22 year wait (what possibly could have been?) it was still far, far better than we'd had any right to expect after all this time. So we listened to it for a while and were pretty darn happy. And then . . . well, the moment passed. The shock of the new - and of receiving a gift we'd long ago given up hope of receiving - subsided. The idea of the third My Bloody Valentine record went from being a shimmering dream to a 9.1 score on Pitchfork. And the world kept turning, and people inevitably started wondering when the fourth would be released, or when D'Angelo might release new music, or if Outkast would record anything to go with their reunion tour, or . . . you get the idea.

It's hard to keep hyped about these things. That, at least, is human nature. Especially when the rollout was so botched, and the promotion was hobbled from the outset by Moore's desire to disassociate himself from the reprints, and Marvel's (unexpectedly classy, it must be said) willingness to honor his wishes in this regard.

But - and there's a but here - I don't know if any of this could have been avoided.

Put aside Moore's unwillingness to put his name on the books, that's a static factor Marvel had to work around. He surely knew that, regardless of whatever his feelings about the work may be, if he'd given his blessing, his name would have been plastered in massive type on the cover of every issue. Even if he hadn't cared about that, even if he'd been on board, he never would have done promotion for the books. So from the beginning they were held back by the fact that the only people who could give interviews or do publicity were artists and editors, none of whom are under any illusions about the identity of the book's main attraction. Not being able to put his name on the books, while certainly a small obstacle for any savvy retailer to overcome, nonetheless has to be considered a problem. But perhaps more importantly, for people who don't know the book's tortured history, it's "New" Alan Moore, and despite the fact that he still continues to produce a fair amount of work, his commercial stature comes mostly from books that were written over twenty years ago and are all known primarily as thick trade paperbacks.

The other piece of the puzzle - and one I suspect is more important than the previous piece - is that Marvel were more or less trapped by their business model into releasing the book in this unsatisfying format, and anyway, they're not complaining. Remember the second point Jog made above? Not just that Marvel was continuing to push out the reprints, but that they were pushing out recolered reprints. Recoloring books, with all the attendant fuss and logistical difficulties that entails, isn't cheap (and neither was, for the matter, the initial purchase of the rights from Anglo). If they had inherited reprint-ready files, they could have gone straight to trade if they so chose. But they didn't, and since the option presented itself of putting out the books in a monthly format before the inevitable hardcovers, trades, and omnibi, they took that option in order to amortize as much of the costs of the recoloring as possible. And because Marvel is a business, they reasoned that they could make a more seemingly "substantial" package out of stuffing the issues with needless crap and jacking up the price a little bit more for the purpose of amortizing those coloring costs a little bit quicker. While it may be frustrating for retailers hoping for a bit more of a splash from the material, Marvel is undoubtedly getting exactly what they want and expect from the floppy format reprints.

Because - and this is important - despite whatever your feelings about the "event" status of the reprints, or lack thereof, Marvel probably always knew the issues themselves would land with a wet thud. They knew they would be able to attract a certain amount of readers to keep the book afloat, and still be able to reap the benefits of the eventual trade releases. And that's the crucial element here: it almost doesn't matter what Marvel does with the material in the short-term future. At some point in the medium-term future, Miracleman will be finished and both Moore and Gaiman's runs will be available in thick hard- and softcover books until the end of eternity. And people who care about actually owning the stories will then be motivated to buy them, either in a thick omnibus edition, or deluxe hardcovers, or Comixology bundles, or whatever. The book doesn't start making real money for Marvel until it's all between two covers, stacked on the shelves of your local bookstore between Watchmen and From Hell. However much they flub or obfuscate the release now, it doesn't matter one lick in terms of the book's long term sales potential.

The final point is one that neither Sterling or Doane address, but which I think needs to be broached. I understand Doane's reverence for the material. Miracleman is indeed worthy of its reputation - as someone who only read the books after the fact, I can promise for anyone who has yet to read Moore's run that it ends spectacularly. The last few issues of Miracleman are some of the most beautiful comics - in every meaning of the word - that have ever been created. Once Rick Veitch and especially John Totleben show up, the whole thing blasts off into the stratosphere.

But. The book does not start off perfect. The first few issues of the periodical, reprinted from Warrior, are downright rough in places. The transition from the ultra-compressed British anthology writing style to the slightly decompressed American 22-page format was not seamless. The art on the first half of the book is - well, if you know the stories you're probably used to it, but Chuck Austen is no John Totleben. Miracleman starts out good and gets progressively better - in terms of both writing and art - throughout the course of its run, but it really only becomes the Miracleman of legend in the last third of Moore's run. Complaining that the early run of Miracleman is failing to set the charts on fire thirty years on strikes me as roughly analogous to wondering why people often get bogged down in the first Cerebus phone book, never making it too High Society or Church & State: it's mostly good, albeit quite dated, but on its own does little to convince curious audiences that it might be worth it to stick around a while.

Miracleman as a whole isn't Moore's best comic, but I would argue that the last third of the run is every bit as good as the best parts of Watchmen and From Hell. The deficiencies of the first half will be alleviated by the inevitable collection. But as of now, for any customers without the background of knowing how it ends, the first half might leave them scratching their heads as to what exactly the big deal is. Partially this is because all the tricks Moore pulls in the early run have been photocopied into faint ghost prints by subsequent generations of creators, even Moore himself - it's familiar, in other words. But it's the last half, beginning with issue #9 and the infamous childbirth issue, that Moore begins to pull in some genuinely unique directions. The last run of Miracleman is quite unique, and although you can see its outline in a few works by subsequent creators, I'd argue that it remains inimitable in roughly the same ratio as the first half has proven eminently imatable. When the reprints get there, after we meet the Warpsmiths, and Kid Marvelman returns, and Miracleman stares down Margaret Thatcher, then we can talk about reception.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

I've Been Busy!

It's been quiet hereabouts, for a couple reasons. One, I don't usually bother publishing anything the week of SDCC - the comics blogosphere is usually too crowded for anyone to pay attention to anything other than that, so why put a lot of work into a post that'll die on the vine? Two, I've been teaching a Summer Session course these last six weeks. Let me just say: as demanding as teaching a regular course in the space of a packed ten-week quarter may be, six weeks is positively deadly. I have a tendency to procrastinate that gets me into trouble in ten weeks, it's practically killed me in six.

But I have still been busy! My writing for the A.V Club has been going steady. This week, because there's some kind of comic book movie or something in the theaters, was Comics Week with a special focus on "Cosmic" Comics - which, if you know me, is so fully in my wheelhouse that I've got a cot set up in the corner. I contributed to this special all-cosmic Comics Panel, where I was happy to be able to smuggle Robert Crumb and The Sandman amongst the usual Kirby, Starlin, and Englehart suspects. But more importantly, I produced this feature length essay on Jim Starlin's Warlock - which I do not believe I've ever officially written about, despite its massive significance and my unabashed love for the run. Thanks to Oliver Sava for putting it all together, and for giving me the gig in the first place - now I can buy groceries!

I think it turned out pretty good, even if - due to a funny bit of crossed wires - I ended up having to write it in just a couple of hours. So, if you were ever wondering how well I can write under a tight deadline, the answer is officially "not well, but he can at least spell the words OK."

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Devil's Dictionary 2.0

9/11 (Noun)
1) An inside job.
2) A litmus test for aspiring engineers to properly understand the melting points of steel girders. Ex: The last question on the Structural Engineering final involved proving that there was no way the towers could have fallen on 9/11 without additional explosives planted inside the buildings.
Agenda (Noun)
A type of plan utilized by sinister forces to ensure the success of their political programme. Ex: I don't watch Hollywood movies anymore because I don't want to be brainwashed by the feminist agenda.
America (Proper Noun)
A country in North America founded by God-fearing Christian atheists who believed in the absolute right of every citizen to carry any type of gun at all times and to voluntarily opt out of observing whichever laws they please.
Apology (Noun)
1) The admission that someone, somewhere, may in some small way have done something somewhat harmful to another person.
2) Admission of weakness.
Apologize (Verb)
The only unforgivable act.
Atheism (Noun)
1) The belief that there is no God.
2) The highest expression of the rational mind.
Atheist (Noun)
1) A person who practices atheism.
2) A person who believes that reason and rationalism should be the first and only tools used by sane minds to solve problems. Ex: I asked Ted why he didn't use deodorant and he said he was an atheist who didn't see any rational need to suppress his natural scent. He then sent me a link to an article about pheremones.
Benghazi (Noun)
1) A supposed attack on an American embassy in Libya on 9/11 2012.
2) Proof that the United States government is being run by fifth-columnists dedicated to the destruction of America.
Birth Control (Noun)
1) A group of medical procedures and medications for the purpose of preventing unintended pregnancy.
2) Something women pretend to take so they can entrap unwary men.
Breaking Bad (Noun)
1) A popular television program.
2) The story of a real man who overcomes personal weakness and feminist interference to provide for his family the best he can.
Capitalism (Noun)
The dominant economic and political ideology in the United States of America.
Capitalist (Noun)
A person who engages in capitalism. Ex: I am a capitalist because I make minimum wage at McDonalds.
Capitalist (Adj.)
Behavior generally intended to enable the amassing of large amounts of wealth by an increasingly concentrated minority of hereditary billionaires at the expense of everyone else. Ex: I believe in a fully capitalist Jesus.
Communism (Noun)
A system of government in which all personal liberty is extinguished by oppressive government forces, economic restrictions ensure that the bulk of the population is relegated to the status of a permanent underclass, and personal initiative is systematically discouraged.Communist governments are noted for their repressive state police apparatuses and the establishment of a corrupt permanent ruling class who use government primarily as a means of attaining personal wealth. There are no meaningful elections in Communist states because all decisions are made independent of any recourse to popular opinion.
Courtesy (Noun)
The act of being polite to you. Ex: I expect courtesy from everyone with whom I debate the definition of "rape" online.
Courteous (Adj.)
Behavior intended to indicate respectful obeisance toward those with superior intellect.
Democrat (Proper Noun)
A member of the American political party dedicated to the dismantling of the United States of America, and the institution of Communism and Sharia law.
Discrimination (Noun)
The practice of giving special treatment to women or minorities.
Drought (Noun)
Condition of artificial scarcity created by Democrat congress in order to support a bogus global warming agenda and put family farms out of business.
Empathy (Noun)
Syn: Weakness.
Equality (Noun)
A hypothetical future state in which all white men are enslaved under the rule of feminists, minorities, and homosexuals.
False Flag (Noun)
A distraction intended to obscure another more insidious objective. Ex: Rape accusations are often false flags intended to silence male voices and ruin promising careers.
Fedora (Noun)
Crown of righteousness and sign of wisdom. Worn only by the Elect.
Feminism (Noun)
An ideology that teaches that women are superior to men and than men must be forcibly suppressed through violence and political disenfranchisement.
Feminist (Noun)
A person who practices feminism. Ex: That feminist didn't want to have sex with me even though I've been her friend for six months and I've wasted all this time listening to her complain about Brad.
First Amendment (Noun)
1) An amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America that ensures no person shall have their right to speech abridged by the federal government.
2) The right to say anything you want without fear of consequences.
Friendzone (None)
A limbo-like dimension, similar to Superman's Phantom Zone, to which innocent men who just want to have sex with women are banished. Ex: I don't understand why Carol put me in the friendzone, I brought her coffee every day for a month without her even asking me to!
Global Warming (Noun)
A hoax created by the Left with the goal of dismantling capitalism for the purpose of leaving America vulnerable to foreign invasion.
Gun (Noun)
1) The birthright of every American.
2) A potentially lethal weapon. Ex: I always carry my gun because I never know when I will be called upon to aid the coming insurrection against government tyranny and homosexuals.
Homosexual (Noun)
1) A person who engages in homosexuality.
2) Not me.
Homosexuality (Noun)
A form of behavior which must be eradicated lest it infect the innocent. Ex: I hate homosexuality so much I can't stop thinking about it. I think about homosexuality all the time. I have to stop homosexuality so I no longer have to think about big, muscular guys covered in oil thrashing around on a bed covered by satin sheets and lit by flickering candles.
Jesus (Proper Noun)
Ancient prophet who believed in free market ideology and the dismantling of big government. Ex: Although he is widely cited as a moral authority, Jesus' actual recorded words and teachings remain obscure.
Jonathan Franzen (Proper Noun)
The Great American Novelist.
Justice (Noun)
The implementation of the law. Ex: I may not personally like what Zimmerman did, but justice was nonetheless served.
Law (Noun)
Any exercise of force by the Federal Government against someone other than you. Ex: It is well within the law for police officers to implement Stop & Frisk policies in that neighborhood.
Libertarian (Noun)
An autocthonic and solitary entity who is unaffected by the actions of others and whose actions affect no one else.
Maker (Noun)
Syn: Job creator. Member of the creative class who are solely responsible for all productive innovation throughout history.
Man (Noun)
A member of an endangered species, often targeted by feminists for accusations of thoughtcrime.
Misandry (Noun)
The act of committing either psychological or physical abuse against the last disadvantaged minority.
MRA (Noun)
Acronym for Men's Rights Activist. A person dedicated to the idea that men are systematically abused and discriminated by and in need of protection against the overreaches of feminist culture. Ex: I became a MRA after seeing so many men go through the painful ordeal of being friendzoned.
Nice Guy (Noun)
1) A man who expects to receive sex in exchange for granting a woman the privilege of his friendship.
2) A man who is not mean or abusive or a liar like those other guys.
PC (Noun)
Acronym for Political Correctness. An ideology dedicated to restricting the First Amendment rights of men.
Police (Noun)
A class of outlaw against whom self-defense is illegal.
Pregnancy (Noun)
The necessary and completely unavoidable consequence of allowing a man to achieve his birthright.
Racism (Noun)
A category of behavior that officially ended on November 4th, 2008. Ex: The Voting Rights Act is no longer necessary because racism is over.
Rape (Noun)
A category of crime for which the only victims are men.
Republican (Proper Noun)
1) Member of a political party dedicated to compromising on every item of the Democrat agenda.
2) A once-proud institution corrupted by weakness on core principles. Ex: I used to be proud to be a Republican, until they rolled over and decided to rubber stamp Obama's communist agenda.
Reverse Racism (Noun)
The practice of making white people feel guilty for something they didn't even do.
Sex (Noun)
The birthright of every man.
Sexism (Noun)
A rationale offered by women to explain why they deserve special treatment. Ex: We have to let women be firefighters even though they're not physically capable of doing the job because they say it's sexism not to.
Sharia Law (Noun)
The legal system observed by practicing Muslims and based on the religious teachings of the Koran. Ex: Wake up, sheeple, Barack Hussein Obama is trying to impose Sharia law on the United States.
Sheeple (Noun)
Non-atheists. Ex: Wake up, sheeple, Benghazi was a false flag.
Silicon Valley (Proper Noun)
1) Business and research hub of the American technology industry.
2) Incubator for all the great ideas that are going to transform our lives in the 21st century. Ex: I made a lot of money in Silicon Valley by writing a new search algorithm that automatically reports any unusual searches to the federal government, while also managing to avoid paying taxes on income because I'm a Maker not a Taker.
Soccer (Noun)
A game popular in countries other than the US, as well as with small children not yet old enough to play real football, and women who have no other option.
Social Justice (Noun)
False flag rationale used to abridge First Amendment rights by citing special privileges for unfairly advantaged minority groups.
Sovereignty (Noun)
The right of every man to personally secede from a tyrannical government at his desire. Ex: I am exercising my sovereignty by refusing to pull over to the side of the road for ambulances.
Taker (Noun)
A member of the parasite class whose sole desire to is to drain wealth from private hands and into public coffers. Ex: I made a conscious decision not to work because I realized I could have a better standard of living on welfare and in Section 8 housing than I could by working at McDonalds. I guess I'm a taker.
Teachers (Plural Noun)
1) The least trustworthy and most duplicitous of all public employees, worthy only of your scorn and abuse.
2) The people who provide eight hours of free babysitting every day.
Tea Party(Noun)
1) Member of an activist political organization dedicated to the forceful implementation of conservative ideology.
2) True patriots who fight the tyrannical government to lower our all-time historically high tax rates. Ex: I support the Tea Party because I pay too much in taxes, just like my fathers and grandfathers who built this country.
TERF (Noun)
Feminists who hunt other feminists for sport.
Thoughtcrime (Noun)
A thought that is forcibly suppressed by feminists or other minorities because it expresses an commonsense truism not accepted by the PC police. Ex: I know the PC police are going to bust me for thoughtcrime, but I'm only saying what everyone else is thinking.
Tory (Proper Noun)
A member of Britain's ruling conservative party.
Tories (Plural Noun)
1) Plural of Tory.
2) British political party whose primary goal is to rape as many children as possible, and yet still retain the support of a large percentage of the electorate. Ex: I know the Tories are pro-pederasty, but what's their policy on immigration?
A violent criminal who is determined to impose its strange and perverse lifestyle on you by force whether you like it or not. Ex: Transgender people present a clear danger to our American way of life.
Trilby (Noun)
A kind of hat often mistaken for a fedora.
Tumblr (Noun)
1) An online forum for enthusiasts of genre television shows and movies.
2) Where you keep your porn.
Tyranny (Noun)
Any exercise of force by the Federal Government against you. Ex: Because we live in a tyranny, I got a speeding ticket while a bunch of blacks and women were going a lot faster than me.
Weakness (Noun)
A vice practiced by other people, but not you.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

A Whole New World

Big doings!

Longtime readers may remember five or so years ago when I premiered the first installment of THE HURTING'S PARTY JAM PODCAST. You might also remember that a C&D letter from Blogger made me stop posting links to these mixes on this site.

What you may not know is that the PARTY JAMS never stopped, they just went underground. Over the last few years I've compiled a mailing list of interested parties, as well as regularly posting the links to Twitter. The series is, amazingly, all the way up to episode #49, sent out just this past week. Still, I'd be lying if I said that direct mailing was a wholly satisfying distribution strategy. But just this week I came across a new and seemingly (at least for the moment) legal means of posting the PARTY JAMS so that they can be appreciated by a wider audience. A little birdy passed on a link to Mixcloud, a site that allows users to upload completed mixes with tracklists for proper attribution, and which can be listened to on any browser. My page is here.

I've uploaded the most recent twelve and, time permitting, will post more. It's great to have them up like this, and I like the site's functionality - even with the ads, but that's a necessary evil. I remain unconvinced as to the long-term viability of the site: we've seen other quote-unquote "legal" mixtape services come and go before, so I would not be surprised at all if this one vanished in a similar manner before too long. But for the moment, it looks pretty good. You can get started with Episode #49, right here. There is also a widget in my sidebar right under the Twitter feed. So, basically, you can fill your empty lives with The Hurting branded multi-media content until the day you die.