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Showing posts with the label Guest Blog

INTRODUCING...MICHAEL PETERSON

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Hello, my name is Michael Peterson, and I was invited to guestblog here at "The Great Swifty Speaketh," because Justin and Swifty have both sold out, making them irrelevant in the internet community. Because on the internet, we value things that are INDY. If you didn"t like them before they were cool, then your opinion is without merit! Only conforming to Ape Law will let you live amongst the tribe! I have been brought in to save this site from its Timberlake-lovin" self. "Bring me 50 cc"s of Patchwork," Swifty said, and I was rushed in on a makeshift crash cart, still in my bath robe. See, I am still INDY. I have known Justin since long before he was cool – he was, in fact, a slack-jawed convenience store employee who walked amongst the internet unwashed, like Christ in his early years. What"s more, you know for a fact that I am truly INDY because I shun the love of women. Right, Indy Rock Pete?

In Defense of Fanfiction: Guestblogger Justin Goes Robin Hobbnobbing

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If you had of asked me on a given day whether I'd one day end up passionately defending fanfiction, I would have given you a strange look. I don't read any of the stuff anymore, and my own endeavors in the field ceased long ago. And yet, I found myself reading Robin Hobb's rant (Swifty: The rant was taken down sometime after this entry was posted) with growing outrage, not just because I disagreed with Hobb's sentiments, but because I COULDN'T BELIEVE that a published author of some repute could hold opinions so closed-minded, reactionary, and ridiculous. The outrage, though, stemmed not so much from this as from the idea that Hobb's opinions, through her position as an eminent fantasy author, could actually discourage young writers from practicing fanfiction, and thus, exercising their creativity. Therefore, SOMETHING MUST BE DONE. THIS SHIT CANNOT STAND.

Zen Mind Rape, Bitch!

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Many thanks to Sonic Youth and Ludwig Wittgenstein (who is too dead to know about the existence of this blog).

Chairman Mao Explains It All.

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Special thanks to Mao Zedong, Lenin and Chiang Kai Shek, who are too dead to know about the existence of this blog.

Ayumi Hamasaki Poetry

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So I've been getting into this poetry shit more and more lately. Started when I decided to write a poem for my girlfriend on our anniversary and, upon looking at the result, decided it was formally a little better than it had to be, not just the unstructured sentimental crap I was expecting I'd put out. I'd been intimidated into not even trying for too long by the disastrous rubbish I put out in my teens, not to mention the intimidation produced by by genuine poets who had a better grasp of meter, villanelle forms, etc. That, and Dan Schneider's fierce but accurate criticisms of anyone and everyone. But I realized that if I didn't worry about whether what came out was going to be crap or not, things got a lot easier. This approach is what eventually led to the Xiaxue poem. I saw Xiaxue towering in my mind as a colossal figure, so in order to assess the impact of this, I decided I needed to go for the most overblown classical metaphors and phrasings possible. Ev

West Side Story: Homosexual Space Opera at its Finest

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Some of the best speculative fiction has achieved its impact by creating a world identical to our own except for a single noticeable difference, be it absence or presence. What courses might society have taken if, for example, we could read minds? Or had lost the Second World War? Or had just recently intersected with an alien civilization? West Side Story falls into this tradition: it posits a dystopian America in which menacing street gangs control New York, and violence (both physical and emotional) and repressed homosexual attraction are sublimated into spontaneous, flamboyant eruptions of singing and dancing.

Utada Hikaru vs Mishima Yukio: Haru No Yuki ONEGAI

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So the other day I was looking for videos to download when I came upon this new Hikaru Utada single "Be My Last." Needless to say I downloaded it without thinking. Upon first playing it, well...Acoustic Utada is something I never would have expected. Putting on this single fresh from the download, I was expecting either pulsing urban dance beats or a gentle ballad tinged with Japanese percussion and spacy echoes. Instead, over a quiet guitar backdrop, Hikaru poured forth a strange, wavering ululation that eventually segued into a melancholy chorus. "Be My Last" is a strange choice for a single, not particularly catchy and somewhat downbeat - the melismatic portions are also overdone ("whooahahaaaahwhooooaahaaaaaaah" my girlfriend mimiced, not at all impressed). All in all, it seemed like one of the weaker songs she's yet done. Looking for more info, I found the following notice: "Be My Last (Movie "Haru no Yuki" Main Theme) [CD+DVD

Taka: The Greatest Reviewer of All Time (J-MADNESS)

Taka is from Tokyo, Japan, and he likes to post reviews in English on Amazon.com. Utilizing his formidable command of the English language (which he modestly refers to as "poor" but which could more accurately be described as "poetic"), Taka doesn't want to just jerk-off about whatever passes through his CD player: no, he's on a motherfucking mission to expand your closed-off tastes. In that he does shit I could have done (i.e. promoting Namie Amuro and X-Japan) he's a success, but no one, myself included, possesses the kind of mastery of diction that EVERY ONE of his reviews displays. Every single item he has recommended is on my "to get" list. Without further ado, here are some choice quotes from Taka's reviews, so you can understand for yourself just why you'll never be as cool as he is. Quotes in bold indicate times when I about lost my shit.

Our Problem with NEIL GAIMAN

Justin: I've sure I've lost half of you already just with the title, but before I go any further let me just get one thing out of the way: I think The Sandman is one of the greatest comics of all time, and I have no problem with it in terms of its execution: artwork, writing, and thematic depth and unity. I couldn't recommend it more. That being said...

Hey Fandom, Up Yours!

It's not often that I feel so in sympathy with one of Swifty's posts that I feel it calls for an immediate followup on essentially the same theme. However, the last one calls for it. I've never had much tolerance for "fans" of anything. This isn't to imply that I've never been so overawed by something that I haven't sung its praises in exorbitant, losing-your-shit-like-a-schoolgirl-with-her-first-period fashion. Far from it; in fact I'd distrust someone who never confessed to being blown away (see: people who think they can write but have never read anything, people who want to make films but only watch Hollywood). However, I've never seen the point of identifying yourself so strongly with any one artwork or belief, cause or culture. Simply put: it's reductive. Say someone says they're a furry. Well, what the hell else are they - a Republican? How can anybody tell, there's no way to see the forest for the fursuits. Just to brea

Revision of Kirksman87's "A Hundred Dollars"

My comments in bold. Kirksman87 's in regular text.

The brilliance of Yasunari Kawabata

At first glance, Yasunari Kawabata wouldn't seem to fit the conventions of a Nobel-prize winning author. He doesn't overreach for big themes, he doesn't make grand pronouncements about the human condition or the inevitability of war and discrimination; and his prose style (at least in English translation - I've tried reading the original Japanese and it ain't easy) is lucid and free of fancy diction. None of his books are intimidating, plus-sized tomes crammed with psyche-penetrating monologues and dissections of the spirit - far from it, in fact: you could read most of them in a day, or a couple of hours if you're fast. There are few large, decisive gestures: Kawabata's characters don't embrace life so much as stand outside of it looking vaguely perplexed and distant.

T.M. Umar's "avant-garde" tale of revisiting Malaysian Independence through time-traveling

On Thursday, August 25th, 2005, Edmund Yeo sent me T.M. Umar's script-story "The 50's Project" with the intention that I would edit and/or critique it. I set to the task with aplomb, only to find that the text consisted of nothing but implausible dialogue in the service of some kind of time-travel plot to discover the origins of Malaysia. There was nothing of narrative or grammatical interest. Faced with my assignment yet unable to continue reading, the only thing I could do was apply William S. Burroughs' cut-up technique to the text, interspersed with any random observations that Umar's subliterate nonsense prompted in me. The results are as follows. T.M. Umar's text is represented in regular font. My comments are represented in bold. The original text is presented mostly in excerpts, as to inflict its full length on readers would be an unpardonable offense.

Creative works that made me want to LIVE

It has come to my attention, mostly through the previous post, that Eliar Swiftfire has been suffering from the ever-traumatic post-creative depression. Being familiar with this myself, I have decided to alleviate the condition by posting a list of all the creative works that have ever made me want to LIVE. Seeing as I'm a pretty negative guy, it's taken a while to get this much. If any of disagree with any of this you probably have bad taste (kidding), but prove me wrong by posting your own shit in reply.