Quote of the Day

In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.-- George Orwell

“I would rather be a swineherd at Amagerbro and be understood by the swine than be a poet and be misunderstood by people.” ― Søren Kierkegaard, Either/Or: A Fragment of Life

The opinions, rants and absurdities expressed herein belong solely to the founder of RBPD. Read with caution. Content may induce nausea, confusion, vertigo, tears, hallucinations, anger, pity, reflexive piety, boredom, convulsions, lightheadedness, a fit of ague, or an opposing view.

Books by RBP writers: Round Bend Press Books. For RBP's writing and editing services go here.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Beck vs. Piven

Her book with Richard Cloward, Regulating the Poor, is a classic of modern social thinking. Beck is naturally after her in his usual lying, embittered style.

Beck is a dangerous man.

Piven is actually a deep, independent social thinker.



TS

Thursday, January 20, 2011

An Establishment of Change

I've just wrapped up three projects and feel pretty damn good about it. But a lot remains on the plate, so today provides a tiny respite from the slavish sweatshop that is Round Bend Press.

I'm particularly pleased with this effort--the re-publication of K.C. Bacon's An Establishment of Change: Poems, 1974-1994 which first appeared in 1994 as a hand-made, paper and glue craft-book published by Bacon himself through his Irvington Press. The book was a limited edition that was mainly given away. Today, it is available at Lulu, the wonderful Print On Demand store where the entirety of Round Bend's bibliography is held.

The book has also been set up at Amazon, and will appear there within a week or so. Buy it today or wait until the Amazon page is up, but do buy it and marvel at poems like this one:


The Hangover

This morning I awoke
to find the pain of a small bird
nesting in my head.

(1978)

Can the poet's self-inflicted suffering be stated any clearer? Or truthfully?

I don't think so, which is why I selected this book as Round Bend's first excursion into new territory, i.e., the publication of work other than my own.

The cover painting is the poet and artist's Yellow Interior.


TS

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

King and I

I celebrated Martin L. King's birthday by celebrating my own. We have the same birthday, in other words. Every year, I toast the great King and myself.

I turned 60. King would have been 82.

I was a great fan of King. Racists in this country don't believe he should have a holiday, or even much recognition. King was non-violent, and while judgement is still out for me (I think violence may finally be necessary to overthrow tyranny), I appreciated his message not only on race, but on America's imperial wars.
Sometimes you have to wonder whether people who deny King his rightful place among visionaries will ever wise up.

Twenty years ago on my birthday, the U.S. bombed the hell out of Baghdad, softening the city up for the invasion in George W. Bush's bullshit war 13 years later.

I went off on vacation during the first Gulf War and wrote a comedy about war and yellow-ribbon wearing, flag waving assholes sucking up to the arms industry (something many do without even realizing it.)

Arms dealers and do-gooders mingled onstage, planning the salvation and takeover of Baghdad while a soldier taking fire behind a bombed out building tries to point out to them that war is a dangerous thing, not a reason to celebrate and carry on in normal life while pretending all is well.

America's wars. Sometimes you have to wonder whether the politicians will ever wise up.

I had a good birthday, thanks. I got depressed when I turned 50, but 60 gives me pause to think again.

Life is pretty cool, while being much too short.




TS

Friday, January 14, 2011

Good Question








TS

History Lesson

Sandpoint, Idaho's Lee Santa sends along this worthy observation.

"Just watched a documentary film about the GI movement against the war in Vietnam called Sir, No Sir!, which I found in the Sandpoint, ID library. A great film."

"The antiwar movement against the war in Vietnam is popularly portrayed as one of student radicals and civilians. Yet there was a wide-scale revolt inside all branches of the American Armed Forces that led, by 1971, to the breakdown of the military’s ability to wage war. The GI movement, as it was known, involved nearly half of all enlisted men at its height, published nearly three hundred antiwar newspapers, and, in concert with mass civilian protest and the resistance of the Vietnamese, worked to force the United States out of Vietnam. Particularly active on the Pacific Northwest’s large military bases, like Fort Lewis, the GI movement is a little-known but central part of the vibrant history of Pacific Northwest social protest."

Link to the movement's site.



TS

Post-Modern Flop?

Viewers around the country are mixed in their judgments of the new basketball facility at the University of Oregon--Matt Court at Knight Arena.

Seems Nike U. may have bounced a bad check on this one.

Read others' reactions here. In essence the game experience and environment may cause vertigo and retina damage for some television viewers.

That wouldn't have happened on the old black and white TV I had as a child. But with these new- fangled HDTVs one has to wonder...

Also, one critic noted that were you to watch the action in 3D you might not survive the experience.

Which begs the question. Is Nike now in charge of sensory perception, along with fashion sensibility, among humanoids?


TS

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fuck Computers

What a strange day and occurrence. The tech wizards at PSU Help hadn't seen my computer dilemma before. Working on a Word document, page 25, the text began to appear in GREEK. Tried many things (or rather the tech did online) and couldn't solve the problem.

Thought I accidentally disabled English, but that wasn't it. Every time the tech tried something else, the same problem occurred.

Working in Compatibility Mode due to the exigencies of Lulu, but still this is the first time I've encountered such a weird problem. I write the document in docx, convert to doc., and then pdf. Same routine every document, but now I have a new set of problems.

I wonder if my computer is under surveillance...Mmmm. Government hacker coming after me? CIA? FBI?

Maybe I've suddenly hit my competency ceiling.

Happens, doesn't it?

This on top of a bigger problem earlier in the week, another computer disaster, which I won't even get into because it's so frustrating.

I'd take a vacation, but like, I don't even have a paying job!




TS

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Unrelated Post

I spend a lot of time thinking about the future. I know you're not supposed to do that because I've been told repeatedly that one ought to live in the present, meaning one would have to think about the present rather than the future (or the past) in order to satisfy the Zen of others.

Truth is I spend a lot of time thinking about the future because I don't quite know what the present is about, what it represents (if anything), how to deal with it, lasso it, cage it, or whatever it is you're supposed to do--in the Zen sense.


For me the future is all about Round Bend Press. Here is what I believe will happen. When I am dead and the legacy of Round Bend Press is finally acknowledged, people will naturally "feel horrible" that they did not pay it higher respect when its creator was a living, breathing, tangible entity. I expect those horrible feelings--catastrophic in their effects--will finish off a few people I have known personally who don't think artistic endeavors are important. I have a lot of folks like that in my family, people I've disassociated from because talking to them about things other than Art is painful.

When I announced years and years ago that I wanted to become a writer the typical reaction was, "That is not something I'm interested in. But good luck."

So I naturally stopped talking about it and discovered the familial void. Immersed in it for years, I tried to play poker with the gang at Christmas. I lost a lot of money, too, a second curse.

I have a sister who has never owned a book. I doubt if she has ever read one. Wait, I take that back, I saw the Autobiography of Naomi Judd once sitting next to the telephone in her foyer. Still, I doubt if she read it.

One day she (my sister) was so incensed at something I did to upset her sense of proprietorial reality that she screamed at me, "You have no common sense!" We were moving a table in her curios gift shop, and evidently she believed I should know where she wanted to place the table before she did.

What a mind.

She wouldn't have had to scream such a vulgar statement had she the slightest clue regarding poetry.

You see what I'm up against?

Is there any wonder poets often end it all and move on to the blessed second life comprised of television and the factory lathe?

Round Bend Press. Love the sound of it, its roll off the tongue.

It is a dream.

Come true.



TS

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

So What?

What a huge disappointment the BCS title game turned out to be. I thought both teams felt the effects of the absurd six-week layoff between games. Sloppy play everywhere. And that Oregon turf at University of Phoenix Field was awful.

I'm about done as a fan, I tell you. The game of course settled nothing in any real sense. Auburn is a little better than Oregon.

But what about TCU? Unbeaten TCU?

The NCAA needs to grow some balls and take the game away from Taco Bell, or whomever it is that owns the damnable thing.

Thank goodness it's over for now. It was a long and stupid wait for nothing.


TS

Monday, January 10, 2011

Go Right Ahead and Objectify Her

What heavy burdens she bears!

Shoot! She was just kidding.

Darn that Photo Shop!

Now maybe they'll take her seriously.

In a world of wackos...


Etc.

TS

Trade Tools and Football

Spent the weekend resolving some technical/ machine issues, culminating in what amounts to a fresh start, with excellent tools to continue and enhance the adventure known as Round Bend Press.

To quote the great David Byrne: "This ain't no foolin' around."

Looking forward to the BCS Championship game tonight. At least I think it's tonight. I heard Oregon is in it, so I might as well watch and see how Nike U. fares.

Hate Nike, love the team. Which is a little like saying, hate the Military Industrial Complex, but love the soldiers.

Personally, I think the Ducks flashy uniforms will so stun Auburn that the SEC team from Alabama will not know how to respond to the beauty of it all while succumbing to an innate desire to dress like LaMike.

Plus Oregon is fast enough to get around the big beasts from the east and into the end zone numerous times.

Cam Newton will get his yards.

But Barner, James and Thomas will get more.


Oregon 37-30.



TS

Friday, January 7, 2011

Letter of the Week


A CommonDreams reader takes Iowa's voters to task--sweetly--over moronic Rep. Steve King.


"I have a very serious question for the people of Iowa: What is it that makes you REELECT such an obvious mental defective? I mean really, is it just that you people are around cow shit so much of the time that you can't tell the difference between that and a real HUMAN BEING anymore? Because you sure as hell put a piece of shit in office when you chose this LOSER. Do you people REALLY think that he represents YOU? Are all of YOU that brain dead and vapid? Or did he sneak one by you and your news wont' tell you what an ass this guy is? I am totally serious, here, why would you WANT this moron as your representative? I can understand Texas, those people are idiots, but what is it with YOU?

Are you folks all as big of schmucks as your rep is? If so, I'm gong to side step your little piece of paradise when I drive though that part of the country. I don't CARE how far out of my way I have to go, I don't even want to drive through a place that would elect such a scum bag even with the windows up and doors locked.
Do yourselves (and the rest of us, too) a HUGE favor and get rid of this LOSER. He's making all of YOU look REALLY bad.

I have a very serious question for the people of Iowa: What is it that makes you REELECT such an obvious mental defective? I mean really, is it just that you people are around cow shit so much of the time that you can't tell the difference between that and a real HUMAN BEING anymore? Because you sure as hell put a piece of shit in office when you chose this LOSER. Do you people REALLY think that he represents YOU? Are all of YOU that brain dead and vapid? Or did he sneak one by you and your news wont' tell you what an ass this guy is? I am totally serious, here, why would you WANT this moron as your representative? I can understand Texas, those people are idiots, but what is it with YOU?

Are you folks all as big of schmucks as your rep is? If so, I'm gong to side step your little piece of paradise when I drive though that part of the country. I don't CARE how far out of my way I have to go, I don't even want to drive through a place that would elect such a scum bag even with the windows up and doors locked.

Do yourselves (and the rest of us, too) a HUGE favor and get rid of this LOSER. He's making all of YOU look REALLY bad."

Now that's how you write a letter!


TS

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Maass on Being There

Here is an interesting read from the New Yorker; an iconic moment during the invasion of Iraq is explained.

In short, the symbolism attached to the toppling was fraudulent.

But you already knew that.



TS

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Chip at the Airport

Chip Kelly is a funny guy:

Question: This week there's a lot of press conferences for the players and for you alike. Where does dealing with the media stand for you as far as your job and what it represents?

Kelly: It's No. 1 in my book. (Laughter)


TS