Friday, January 30, 2009

Deb Olin Unferth

This is pretty great. If you are in NYC she is reading at the InDigest Reading Series in April, you should come. I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Snuggie Addendum

"Liberation Square" by Josh Weil

Meakin recommended the author Josh Weil to me recently (whose new novel New Valley is attracting a lot of attention). He has a great story called "Liberation Square" that you should check out. It's a novel excerpt. Weil has a great grasp of dialogue, the story is funny and sad, and quite engaging. I recommend reading this story.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009



Everyone has seen the Snuggie commercials by now. But I was sure, when I started to see these commercials all over around Christmas time, that this was going to be a complete dud. How could this be a success? Look at it:

It reminds me of the 30 Rock episode where Tracy Jordan makes The Tracy Jordan Meat Machine because bread is so hard to use ("Meat is the new bread"). What kind of idiot has difficulty using a blanket?

Well, apparently there are a lot of people who don't think a blanket with sleeves is called a sweatshirt. This article has revealed the genius of the Snuggie to me. They are totally fucking sold out of these abominations. They have already, in three months, sold over four million Snuggies. Who is buying these things? And why the fuck didn't I think of this. Oh, wait, I did.

Honestly, I think I invented the Snuggie years ago, and am seriously considering suing them. There is a photo of me, that my mother took, at about age six, wearing her bath robe backwards. Shazam, that's where good ideas come from right there. Cause let's face it, a wearable blanket is really just a robe on backwards. Look at it. I'm about to be rich, you can touch me now.

AV Club

Jobhunting is Not for the..erm...Light of Heart

I have a lot of friends that check in here occasionally and are doing some job hunting, and with the Bush legacy continuing to empty your retirement accounts I thought I'd provide a little community service here for friends and strangers alike. 

See, a friend of mine just found his dream job on Craigslist and he's too scared to apply. And, god dammit, in these financial times it's hard to watch a good job like that go unfilled. So, I'm reposting the ad here, so that someone who is prepared for such responsibilities can take a job worthy of their schooling.

Aspiring R&B singer/rapper needs an entourage to help with entrances and 'causing a scene'

- Experience in dance a plus
- Male and female accepted
- Attire will be provided
- Aspiring singers and actors need not apply (not looking for competition)
- Positive outlook a MUST
- Thirst for danger also a major plus
- Must work Nights and Weekends

This is not your normal job! applicants must be SERIOUS about being part of something bigger than themself (my posse)!

The light of heart need not apply!

Please include qualifications and picture imbedded in the e-mail ATTACHMENTS WILL NOT BE OPENED!

Best of luck.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

InDigest 1207 Photos - January 7th, 2009

Check out the photo album from the January InDigest 1207 reading with Ada Limon, Sam Osterhout, and Jess Grover.

InDigest 1207 Reading Series - January 7th, 2009

Nice Things About InDigest @ MnArtists

David Doody was asked to contribute some of his thoughts on the year in art to MNartists, and some nice things were said about Chris Koza, Geoff Herbach, and InDigest. Always nice to get a nod in MNartists (which is a great resource you should check out, if you live in MN).

Dave Schwartz's Superpowers is an amazing novel by a local author in 2008 that is all the more so because, in less careful hands, the book could have been awful. His handling of the events of 9/11 is heartbreaking and understated and beautiful. Also released last year was Geoff Herbach's The Miracle Letters of T. Rimberg (read a great review from Ashleigh Lambert at InDigest here), an unapologetically uplifting book and, as always with Herbach, hilarious. And, lastly, my shameless plug for InDigest Magazine. Although we technically launched in 2007, InDigest came into its own in 2008. From the beginning we've offered a unique home for Minnesota writers and artists to be showcased on a national and international stage, and in our anniversary issue we published many of our favorite Minnesota writers and artists again.

Heavy Metal Flow Chart

Friday, January 23, 2009

Chris Koza Tonight!!

One of InDigest's founding editors, Chris Koza, is playing a show tonight in New York. So, all of our NYC friends should come out and have a drink with us. This will be the first time he is bringing his entire band out to New York. (He's played here many times, even lived here, but never with his full band, and it's going to be great.) He's playing in the Lower East Side at Piano's, and should be taking the stage around 8pm tonight. If you're looking for something to do early in the evening this is going to be the spot tonight.

If you haven't heard his newest disc The Dark Delirious Morning, you should go to his MySpace page and take a listen. And then you will want to come out, hear him, and have a drink with me and David (and many other wonderful people). See you there.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fake Press

I'm thinking about starting a line of fake businesses for people to invest in. I'm not going to lie about it at all. But people will respect this as an "art" project, or just get a good old man chuckle out of my brashness.

The first handful of companies I'm thinking of starting this week are The Fake Film Society, Fake Press (a publishing house), Fake Pants (I know this has been done before, but the emperor is dead), and Fake Fake Records.

If you are interested in donating to any of these startups please leave your checks with the comments department and we will respond as soon as possible. Unfortunately, due to the huge interest in financial backing with these projects we cannot, at this time, respond to everyone as quickly as we would wish. Rest assured, however, that we will get to your message, and we will get around to cashing your checks. I'd leave an address here for you to mail checks directly but at the moment our Fake P.O. Box is full and the Fake Interns do not seem to remember where the Fake Key is to open the Fake P.O. Box.

Thanks for tuning in and donating. Stand by for more messages soon from Fake Industries LLC.

Monday, January 19, 2009

An Early Draft of 100 Things Americans May Not Know About the Bush Administration Record

I have a new article up at Guernica. It's An Early Draft of 100 Things Americans May Not Know About the Bush Administration Record. Here's a little piece of it:


- There are many veterans who received medical attention. Ask one.
- No, not that one. How about the guy next to him.
- No?
- Raise your hand if you are a veteran and are satisfied with your medical coverage.
- You’re going to have to just trust us on this one.

I also have a couple of new reviews up. There is a review of Carlos Reygada's brilliant film Silent Light over at Tiny Mix Tapes, and a review of El Guincho's new disc Alegranza! over at F10. Thanks for reading them, if you do.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


So, I was doing a little research for an article today and I came upon this clip. You've probably seen it before, but I hadn't. This is the President responding to questions about what laws do apply to Blackwater USA while they operate in Iraq.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pinpointing the Problem:

Clearly putting a "Mission Accomplished" on a aircraft carrier was a mistake. It sent the wrong message. We were trying to say something differently, but, nevertheless, it conveyed a different message. Obviously, some of my rhetoric has been a mistake. I've thought long and hard about Katrina. You know, could I have done something differently. Like, land Air Force One in either New Orleans or Baton Rouge. The problem with that and, uh, is enforcement would have been pulled away from the mission. And then your questions, I suspect, would have been, "How could you possibly have flown Air Force One into Baton Rouge and police officers that were needed, uh, to expedite traffic out of New Orleans were taken off the task to look after you?"

- President George W. Bush

I just thought it would be of benefit for people to see this portion of his valedictory press conference transcribed. It resonates slightly different would you look at the rhetoric and structure of the statement. This all despite the fact that President revealed during this press conference that there is "no such thing as short term history."

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

100 Things Americans May Not Know About the Bush Administration Record

This list has been all over the hard news sources this last week (Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me, The Daily Show) but I finally just made my way over to the White House website to read this... ... illuminating ... list.

If you have ever seen Bush speak over the past eight years I think there is little chance that you "May Not Know" any most of these. In fact, if you don't know some of these it would be a good reintroduction to the world now that you have woken up from your coma. The number one thing you may not know is that he "KEPT AMERICA SAFE." The bullet point under this ... illuminating ... fact is: "For more than seven years after September 11, 2001, prevented another attack on our homeland."

Really? I did not know that. If you are just waking from your coma and think that's a pretty great record, I'd like to direct your attention to the two words "seven years." In America, our presidents serve terms of four years, unless reelected they serve for eight years. He served for eight years. ...

Point two: "Waged the Global War on Terror." How do they suspect that anyone in America might not know that we are currently neck deep in two wars? The first bullet point under this header is: "Removed threatening regimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, which freed 50 million people." I'm curious what happened to those "50 million people" who were "freed," where are they now? In the most dangerous regions in the world? Well, freedom does have it's price.

"Created Institutions to Propel the Spread of Democracy Worldwide, Helped Oppressed People Secure their Freedom, and Strengthened Support for Dissidents and Democracy Activists" How about the RNC protesters, or other "dissidents" in America and abroad that have had their phones tapped without warrants, or the "dissidents" who can't get a trail in Guantanamo?

I don't really want to go through this point by point and berate the president, but there were a couple that I thought were quite funny. This gem: "Confronted Climate Change through Innovation and without Harming our Economy." There really isn't any way to properly start in on this. Clever language, it doesn't outright say he made an impact, or took on "Global Warming." "Without Harming our Economy?" Well, I guess the lack of policy on global warming in general couldn't be said to harm our economy through it's non-existence. But this implies that the economy is fine, if it isn't it's not the Bush Administration's fault, and they really care about the environment. Wow. Again. What can I say? That is something that I did not know about the Bush administration.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


I was just rereading Robert Olen Butler's Severance, and I had forgotten how good it is. Butler is a god damn master of fiction. His structures are so intricate, yet so by-the-book, so unexpected. Nothing else.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Waste Land pt. I: The Burial of the Dead

The Waste Land pt. I: The Burial of the Dead from Dustin Luke Nelson on Vimeo.

This is a new, rough version, of the first part of The Waste Land series that was last installed in The Shoebox Gallery in Minneapolis. It was shown there as a silent film, with the text scrolling. This new version features a soundtrack by Chris Thompson.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Goodbye, for now, Norm Coleman

As of noon today Coleman is officially out of the Senate. He might be back, but it seems unlikely that either he or Franken will be provisionally seated in congress as neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have a filibuster proof majority. So, unless he takes the lead back from Franken (which we may not know for months), the senate is down another member, and Minnesota is a slightly better state.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Loaded Sentences

After reading Joe Finck's essay on Jim Thompson I decided I had to read After Dark, My Sweet. And I did. And it was great.

It reminded me several times how hard it is to pivot between sections or scenes with a good loaded-sentence, you know, one that sounds well constructed, it's short, precise, and loaded with information. It can be tough to create one that doesn't feel tacked on, like a cliffhanger in a serial TV show, or a children's book chapter ending. There are two sentences in particular that were so well crafted I can't stop thinking about them, it kind of makes my feet fall asleep.

The final sentence in the book, "I just kind of stopped all over," and a sentence in one of the final chapters that resides on it's own, "Rushing towards the end." Both of those sentences are so great. Very precise, retaining the odd voice of the narrator, who is unreliable and unstable. So, good. Nothing more right now, just a short bit of nonsense about what I am thinking about.

Maybe it's just that I'm sitting on my feet. That could be why they are sleeping. Ok. That's it now. Shut it down.

Wait, anything else? Yes. Read "Weegee Stories" by Robert Olen Butler. It's pretty awesome, the kind of shit that might shatter a puffin's cute little porcelain face. He does flash better than just about anyone.

New Year

"For last year's words belong to last year's language, and next year's words await another voice."

TS Eliot

Thursday, January 1, 2009

kind of funny

The Final Year End List

Hey all. I have one last word on the end-of-the-year-listing-hysteria. I just put up a list (which now has a bunch of MP3's as well) of the 25 Overlooked Albums of 2008. It's ok. You should maybe read it and then tell me how I got it wrong. You can see it here. That's all.