"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

We Are All Outlaws In The Eyes Of America

I've been noodling around with this script concept for the past couple weeks, the first purely creative writing in quite a while. The gist of it is a disillusioned political operative raising cash money from black-market sources and carrying on an outlaw lobby campaign in DC. Thinly-veiled autobiographical content abounds, but they say you write what you know. My goal here is to start with that, and fill the rest in with what I dream.

The general concept can be exciting and sexy I think, and the rough plot arc I have sketched out should be a satisfying narrative, but I need to fill in some details before I can really finish a treatment. I need to learn more about the specifics of lobbyist culture, find out where and how Republican operatives party, and maybe investigate the rampant rumors about how the Humbold County DA raises money. I want as much authentic texture in the surroundings as possible; I think it will free me up to be more fantastical with the plot.

One of the big questions is "what's the outlaw lobbyist's agenda?" I think getting into the wonk zone would probably kill the writing, so the idea here is to sketch out something in broad strokes that has mass appeal, and then find something really specific that can be part of the primary dramatic conflict (e.g. what are the good and bad guys/gals facing off over?).

I'm not sure about this yet, but kicking the whole idea around with Franz, he gave me his wish-list, which actually seemed to be pretty decent:

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Various and Sundry

Gonna hit up the legitimate theatre tonight:

For the past four weeks, Dell’Arte teachers have guided the actors through the Melodramatic territory, a style normally associated with twirling mustaches and maidens tied to railway lines. Six, student-devised, 15-minute plays explore moral dilemmas, neurosis, obsession and the struggle against repressive forces.

Sounds like my kind of thing. I like watching people perform stuff they create, and the fact that it's at bunch of 15-minute vignettes means that if any one is kinda awful -- which with student work is virtually guaranteed, and as it should be -- it will be over soon and the next one will be better. I think it'll be nice.

In nerd news, comment spam has reared its ugly head. I'll be tweaking things to try and change that so my apologies if that prevents you, my beloved readers, from yakking back at me.

And now, a grab-bag of thoughts with spring in the air.

For starters, here's a pointless 20-second video of my man Mark's "outdoor bike garage":

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Getting Back Up On That Art Horse

I've been thinking a lot about [[Art]]. Lately, my personal struggles have reminded me a lot of the latter years of college, spiraling through various creative processes in The Experimental Theater Wing, getting stuck in third-person camera mode (that way it can get for actors, where you watch yourself), stewing in a simmering pot of personal loneliness, confronting an uncertain future.

It's been very difficult to be "in the moment" lately. Admittedly, I don't have are real call to be there as part of a production or anything, but it's one of my core [[Axioms of Living]], the idea that [[Presence is Perfection]]. It's a tense and pensive place to be, one foot in the past, one foot groping for some perchase on the future; pissing on the now.

There are several ways I can think of confronting this, but the one that stands out, is the most frightening, and probably therefore the best, is the idea of getting off my fat careerist ass and being creative again.

There are lots of unanswered questions from that point. Form is a big one. When I came out here originally I told a lot of people I wanted to write a book, which I haven't done. I did end up writing a chapter which may or may not be included in something, which is nice. However, while putting together 8,000 or so words was a good exercise, it didn't really scratch that original itch. I don't particularly have any ambitions (at this point) to deal with the world of publishing, but going after an ambitious writing project is one possibility that appeals. It would have to be some kind of real freaky Gonzo head-explosion, but that's possible. Writing on a tear would give me some of the release I need.

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Art Idea

Fresh home from LA and posting this more or less straight from my journal in a brazen attempt at intentional reification.

An idea for new artistic process:

  • Workshopping text online, possibly backed with quick audio recordings of readings.
  • Workshopping performance for small intimate trusted live audiences.
  • Creating finished artistic product for online video (YouTube, etc) distro.

A lot of what I did for Axiom, spoken-word pieces directed at the audience, would adapt well to this form I think. It fits with a lot of my thinking, both about what will work and what I feel like doing. I also think that creating a process for this will help me actually do it, and to produce a high-quality result when I do.

Any comments from the peanut gallery?

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My comrade and colleague Farsheed has posted another of his amazing picsound creations. I just love these things. Basically, he makes some music, then does a little animation or image to go with it. It's bonafide internet art. Awesome.

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Get Samuel!

Just a plug for my comrade Samuel Taylor's Blog. He's a kid I met from Minneapolis through MFA who I fucking love. His blog is rad; talking about his journey toward becoming a professional actor, as well as politics and his own brand of anarcho-christian philosophy (St. Francis style). You can't beat that. Makes me wish I was 22 again.

i took a tour of some of the women in my life from the past four years, recycling old quasi-relationships into new and interesting sculpture-shapes. that was a head trip. rekindled dead coals, found friendship, offended people, made bonds, dodged bullets and generally made mistakes: sort of a condensed version of the real thing. i haven’t been a particularly responsible or exemplary lover over the past four years, but i have tried, and i hope i’ve been as enjoyable and nourishing to my exes and quasi-exes as they have universally been to me - even the ones that didn’t work out so well. ladies, you drive me batshit insane in the best possible ways.

Plenty more where that came from.

I'll definitely be trying to recruit him into the Rebel Unicorn cabal as soon as I can.

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BattleStar Season Three Premiere

Just peeped the season premiere of BattleStar Galactica. Holy motherfucking shit. These people are dropping bombs. I suggest you start watching.

The series has been something I enjoyed from the start because it innovates and pushes the envelope on both stylistic and substantive levels. There's been no other "dark, sexy, science fiction" on television that I can recall -- the only thing that really comes close at all is Ridley Scott's Blade Runner -- but this season the production values seem to be up even a notch further.

I deeply enjoy and appreciate the intelligence with which this piece of culture is crafted, and that which it grants the audience. In addition to being dark and sexy, it's also very smart. This is not TV for morons -- which I think, by the way, means that it is what most people really want; which is to say, high quality shit.

It's on the level of a feature film, their technique: the way in which they utilize jump-cuts and cinematic camera angles, how they'll play with narrative time. For instance, the producers feel free to intersperse scenes that were never aired in the "previously on BattleStar Galactica," and have made a practice of including quick flashes of the episode-to-come in the opening credits. That's stylish.

And then there's the richness of the settings, costuming, etc; the willingless to be frankly sexual, or ugly, or to juxtapose music with action. The attention to minor details, small shots and gestures. The commitment of tha actors and their work is tremendous: British actor Jamie Bamber (aka Lee "Apollo" Odama) not only rocks a great standard american accent, but also put on about 45 pounds for this season. Who the fuck does that for TV, let alone a season?

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