Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Market As Performance Art

So, the bailout goes down in flames, the Republican pundit and talk show host talking point handout sheet directs the right wing media droids to hammer speaker Nancy Pelosi over the failure of this plan. They obediently proceed to do so in spite of the fact that the house republicans were instrumental in scuppering the plan to which the democrats had characteristically conceded . Alex Jones has been foaming at the mouth in a most entertaining way as a protest on Wall Street and over a hundred other locations on Friday goes pretty much unreported. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (SPX) index was down 8.7% and the Nasdaq composite (COMP) 9.1%. The Dow closed down 777 points (7%!). Is this God showing his opinion of our actions as Rosh Hashanah was about to begin at sunset? Happy New Year.

Read article on Alterati.com.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Brand Is Born

"I admit, technically this isn’t a film review. Hell, it isn’t even figuratively one- but I was told I could blog about “whatever,” so let’s see if that holds. If my posts stop, and I am later found, gnawed at by rats and cannibals in a back alley in Chinatown… well, you know what happened. Raise your glass to another patriot who died for his convictions.

For me, the process began about a week ago. I was told that we will be unveiling a new review blog, angled towards our gay male market. After much deliberation in the editorial and marketing departments, I was presented with the name of the new blog: “Homo Pop.”

Now when you’re presented with something like this as a designer, your job isn’t to make copy suggestions- it’s to “make it work.” (Project Runway can’t sue me for just saying that, right?) I’m not ashamed to admit that at first I was stumped. To the writer, and to the designer, the blank page is terrifying. You pace, think you’re nowhere, call your friends and ask for their condolences on your impending demise, appeal to higher powers that you don’t believe in, and then suddenly- you have something. Hammer it out in a flurry, and pass out in a pool of your own sick"...

(Read full article)


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Lives of Ilya Episode 3

Lives of Ilya“Melisande? I’ve never heard that name before,” he said truthfully as he bit into a butter cookie.
“It’s French,” she said turning around and sitting back down. She looked passed him for a moment remembering how the name had rolled off Lux’s tongue.

Melisande, my little honeybee…

It was important to live under false pretense in those days. A name could be a death sentence and Lux had crowned her thus…Melisande. It was a good memory; those few years of peace before it all erupted in a bloodbath. She could still see his flaxen hair, his black eyes and that devilish grin as he leaned in to kiss her again.

Lives of Ilya was written by Tara Vanflower and narrated by Jarboe. Soundtrack music by Tara Vanflower.

The Lives of Ilya illustrated novel is available now from Mythos Media and Amazon.com.

Listen to part 3

Part 2

Part 1

Monday, September 22, 2008

The GSpot #41- Nick Belardes Part 2: The Lords of Bakerfield

The Lords of Bakersfield. Until recently, it was a little remembered local legend, of interest mostly to conspiracy theorists. But in the aftermath of Stephen Tauzer's Sept. 13 murder and the subsequent arrest of his former colleague, Chris Hillis, the legend has resurfaced. Some of the facts of the Tauzer case appear similar to aspects of the Lords legend, which goes like this: For more than a generation, Bakersfield was run by a cadre of men who led double lives. To the public these men were members of the community's most visible institutions, its justice system and the media. But in truth, according to Lords lore, these men -- a sprinkling of county executives, judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, even the newspaper's publisher -- were part of a loose-knit, secretive network.

Joseph Matheny talks to author Nick Belardes, in this second part of a recent interview. They discuss the legend of the Lords of Bakersfield and Nicks novel about the subject, The Lords: Part One. Also, music by Bakersfield bands Lost Ocean and The In Denials.

Listen now.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Viral Infucktions.

Viral marketing. It's become a buzzword that most people don't understand, but more corporations are getting hot under the collar when they hear it. "I don't know what this thing is Bob, but the kids love it!"

And if you haven't heard the term before, or don't know what it is... Well, I'm not going to explain it to you right now. I've worked on "viral" campaigns, so maybe at some point I'll bite off a large enough chunk of time to spell out some of the techniques... Probably not. (Another well considered piece of advice from a very successful marketer that I know: most people who have had some success at this don't have the time to explain how to do it. Those who do are often trying to reveal their MARKETING SECRET: pay attention to them, and give them money. SECRET REVEALED.)

Be that as it may, there are an increasing number of viral campaigns going on now, many of them funded by large corporations. Just yesterday I saw an ad on Myspace which read "CHOKEmate - satisfy your need." And which was laid out to look like some kind of horrific dating site ad. On Myspace, these are common, so I gave it little thought- except for the name. Was this some kind of auto-erotic asphyxiation thing? The hell?

I finally got curious enough to actually click on the damn thing, which I never do. And sure enough- it's a promo for the upcoming movie CHOKE, (based- somehow?- on Chuck's book.)

Good? Bad? Indifferent? Well- in a sense the ad worked. I had already seen an ad on TV and was vaguely aware the movie was coming out. I clicked on the ad, and now I have 2 points of contact- I am reminded that the movie exists. Now, based on the usual formula, I need to talk to my friends about it.

And here I am blogging about it. You see how this works?

Heaven help us.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Apropos of nothing...

I updated my resume & portfolio today after getting home from work.

Yes. On a Friday.

Someone send help.

(Or freelance contracts.)

I love you, Doug Stanhope.

(Though I'm not going to do you. So don't ask.)

I empathize with the amount of attention, pressure and possibly out-right threats you are getting to give birth against your will and I understand that at your age, you may go through with it no matter how much you don't want to. Either way, you have inspired me to try to make a difference.

Even if you cannot take my offer, I will still use my money or money donated through this page to pay for at least one abortion for a disadvantaged teenage girl each year for the rest of my life in the name of your mother. And in my will, I shall have a good portion of my estate turned into the Sarah J Palin Abortion Fund that will help girls from all walks of life from destroying their lives and our natural resources by having children.

You are not alone, Bristol. There are many of us out here who care.

Saving Bristol.

Inside Scoop On The Outside Culture

Last year, I and the editorial team ran over 500 articles on Alterati on topics as far reaching as sexuality and culture, underground art, event reports, black metal, ... teletubbies. A year of digging off the beaten path, and I must say, the best job I've had to date. 

I just wanted to highlight some of the ones I wrote that I thought might be most entertaining, since it is quite likely you missed at least some of them. (Unless, of course, if you're one of the people who signed up to the RSS feed and read religiously.) 

A Crime Against Self: http://www.alterati.com/blog/?p=495 
Excuse Me, Who Are You? Perfect Blue Review: http://www.alterati.com/blog/?p=1489 
Deep Puddle Dynamics: Alex Grey's CoSM: http://www.alterati.com/blog/?p=118 
Redefining The Real: http://www.alterati.com/blog/?p=1206 
Hacking At The Roots: (tales from the forest) http://www.alterati.com/blog/?p=830 
Wake Up Neo: There Is No Counterculture, You Twit: http://www.alterati.com/blog/?p=25
The Dark Side Of A Culture: http://www.alterati.com/blog/?p=1761 
Why I Pay For Showtime: http://www.alterati.com/blog/?p=1550

Drawing Outside The Lines: Interview With David Mack: http://www.alterati.com/blog/?p=1295 
Alchemical Wedding: Interview with David Aronson: http://www.alterati.com/blog/?p=803 
Keys To Success: Interview with Amanda Palmer of Dresden Dolls: http://www.alterati.com/blog/?p=1629 
Broken Saint: Interview with Brooke Burgess of Broken Saints: http://www.alterati.com/blog/?p=99 
Sex & Fashion: Interview with Jeff Cohn: http://www.alterati.com/blog/?p=81 

First Fridays (art scene):
First Fridays: Phoenix: http://www.alterati.com/blog/?p=226 
First Fridays: The Ghosts of the Ellen Powell Tiberino Museum: http://www.alterati.com/blog/?p=438 
First Fridays: Say Something: http://www.alterati.com/blog/?p=1330 

Post-Genre Blues (music):
Post-Genre Blues: Back To The Folk http://www.alterati.com/blog/?p=1338 
Post-Genre Blues: The Death Of A Scene: http://www.alterati.com/blog/?p=957 
Post-Genre Blues: The Fragile Army: http://www.alterati.com/blog/?p=799 
Post-Genre Blues: Fusion http://www.alterati.com/blog/?p=603 

Because the video linking process changed, unfortunately many of the old embedded videos no longer work (you have to hunt through altertube for them.) 
I'd like to fix that at some point, updating the code in the articles, but I seriously doubt I'll have the time... I still occasionally run articles on Alterati but I've kind of moved on, at least for the time being, to other endeavors when it comes to the bulk of my time and energy. Wes has taken the helm. Nevertheless, there is a lot of content hiding in Alterati from the past year. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Old City Cafe (glorious plug)

Old City Cafe must put crack in their iced coffee. I can drink strong coffee from the machine here in the office all day, fucking nothing. One iced coffee there, and I feel like Wotan just fucked my skull with a lightning bolt.

On that note, back to work with me. SEO is an evil that does not sleep...

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Passing this on from the people at Popporn:

For those of you who don’t know... Classic porn actor, Tom Byron contributes to popporn.com via a video feature called SHITTY ADVICE WITH TOM BYRON in which we send made up, silly, goofy, sex-related (or not.. having Tom answer financial advice could be pretty damn funny) questions to Tom who then films himself with young women answering the questions… with hilarious results. Think of him as the Dear Abby of porn… but a lot less hairy.

Anyway… we need more questions for Byron!

If anything pops into your head please send your questions back to me or Tom Byron will hunt you down and ass-lick you to death.

Feel free to forward this on to friends but send your responses only to me so we can protect everyone’s sexual secrets.

Send them to me at jamescurcio at gmail dot com.

My Tuesday Morning Blues

Wake up.

Drag sorry ass to work in the middle of a thunderstorm. Fittingly, my iTunes insists on only playing Portishead and Massive Attack. Feeling a predictable level of emo by the time I walk in.

("Run outta crisps and feelin' a bit... emo?")

Turn on the machine. Log in. Run Outlook, and sift through the days emails.

It's an email from one of the programmers, asking if I can look at making a new CSS class. And she sends me a page as an example. OK, better check out the page...

Agh. Another day at work.

Oh yeah. You're welcome.

Monday, September 08, 2008

EsoZone Update!

For those of you who haven't bought tickets yet, I suggest you do so. This year's event looks to be bigger and better than last, including luminaries like Dennis McKenna, Antero Alli, Paul Laffoley, musical performances, and a lot more.

If that wasn't enough, "famous on the Internet" James Curcio will be there. Presenting an audio installation, as well as possibly a workshop. I am also working on lining up a special late-night treat for all of you- I'll make an announcement if it goes through.


Esozone Speakers.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Esozone air-fund

As you may know, I've been working my butt off lately. (Lately? Don't I always? Yes- but at a full-time job as well, which is somewhat new as I spent the past couple years contracting for better and worse.)

I am slated to co-run a independent media production workshop at Esozone this October in Portland OR, and possibly some other things. I am very much looking forward to seeing people there who I haven't seen in a year, and to meet new people.

However, I'm slightly less than breaking even lately- so I'm a little stumped about how I'm going to swing airfare. So it was suggested to me that I start a donation fund to help towards that goal.

Caveat: I have no expectation of you helping out. If you want to throw in something to go towards the airfare, I appreciate it.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

SmallPress review of Fallen Nation

"Fallen Nation: Babylon Burning (Mythos Media 2007) is the type of revolutionary fiction that may inspire you to take a visionary road-trip across the South-West searching for the America you’ve only heard about in rock ‘n roll songs or saw while under the hallucinatory influence of some illicit substance and/or the works of Philip K. Dick, Thomas Pynchon, Hunter S. Thompson, and comics instigator Grant Morrison. An impressive hybrid of words, illustrations, photography, pseudo-interviews, and one well-drawn comic strip, Fallen Nation: Babylon Burning’s storytelling both entertains and educates. The latter may immediately turn off the “I’ll learn when I’m in school, thank you very much” crowd, but author James Curcio is by no means preachy when he shares with you his knowledge of philosophical concepts. The author, after all, who holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Bard College, is creatively applying his education to his fiction. Not to digress, but it is not very often that we see a writer effectively reap the fruits of a liberal arts education through the lens of prose as Curcio successfully has done with a confident understanding that intelligent ideas, both classical and contemporary, still have a voice and meaning applicable to perhaps the last undiluted and uncensored of print mediums – the novel."

Read the full review.


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