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Posts Tagged ‘weird’

Inspired by this ninja cat, I made a ninja squid doll for some friends for Christmas.

If your sewing skills are a bit lacking, email me and I’ll make you one for $20 CAD + shipping and handling.

If your sewing skills are just dandy, here are the pattern and instructions for making your very own Cute-thulhu.

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…from douchebags.

If you happened to watch the video I made on Saturday (“Going Prorogue“), you will remember that at the end I talked for about 10 seconds about the 9/11 Truther who ran in front and tried to lead the parade and generally behaved like a jackass. It was not a major part of the video, but then it never is, is it? And by “it” I mean the thing that attracts douchebaggy emails like a basset hound to a dead squirrel.

It turns out that the jackass in question has a Youtube account and watched my video! I know, it’s always strange to find out that someone is actually listening. And being a jackass – I use the term advisedly – he got in touch.

In the interests of his privacy I won’t reveal his name or quote his actual emails. Instead I will refer to him throughout as Mr. SuperCreepyDickhead, and I will paraphrase his messages. My own appear more or less as I sent them.

From: Mr SuperCreepyDickhead
To: kristinmh1 (Youtube)
Jan 26, 11 AM

O HAI UR FUNNY I HAZ UTUBE CHANNL TOO THX FUR CALLN ME JACKASS WHATEVS U THINK NAU* IS CONSPIRACY THEERY TOO? LOL**

From: kristinmh1
To: Mr SuperCreepy Dickhead
Jan 26, 12 PM

Dear SuperCreepyDickhead,

I called you a jackass because that’s how you were behaving, like a complete attention-whoring jackass. I’m sure you’re a very nice person in real life, not that I’ll ever get a chance to test that hypothesis.

I’m not sure what flavour of 9/11 Truther you are – I realize there are many strands of conspiracy involved – but most 9/11 Truth claims have been debunked at one time or another. Popular Mechanics did a really good breakdown here:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military_law/1227842.html?page=4

It’s a bit old, though, so it might not cover everything.

Please feel free to continue to subscribe to my channel and watch whatever you like – I don’t think my other videos will interest you much, they’re just my occasional vodcasts and videos of my dogs – but I’d prefer it if you didn’t write me again.

Sincerely,

Kristin Mueller-Heaslip

From: Mr. SuperCreepyDickhead
To: kristinmh1
Jan 26, 6 PM

LMAO***

From: kristinmh1
To: Mr. SuperCreepyDickhead
Jan 26, 10 PM

I’m glad at least one of us enjoyed this interaction.

From: Mr. SuperCreepyDickhead’s email address
To: Official Complaining with Kay email address
Jan 27, 10 AM

O HAI UR SO NICE CALLN ME NAMEZ I CAN HAS FREEDUM OF SPEECH? JUST LIEK U? U CAN GO 2 PROTEST ME CANNUT? [reference to 90’s song] [link to his youtube channel] [link to Infowars] UR SHEEPLE

From: Official Complaining with Kay email address
To: Mr. SuperCreepyDickhead’s email address
Jan 26, 12 PM

SuperCreepyDickhead,

I asked you once politely not to contact me again. Please respect my request.

From: Mr. SuperCreepyDickhead
To: kristinmh1
Jan 27, 4 PM

LOL! THIS IS FUN! CREEPY SEXUAL INNUENDO! REALLY CREEPY SEXUAL INNUENDO! I NO WHAR U LIVE!
[link to attention-whoring conspiracy theory video]

Now to be perfectly clear I don’t think that subscribing to a 9/11 conspiracy theory makes you a jackass. I think it makes you wrong, but not a jackass. Lots of nice and otherwise intelligent people get sucked into believing very weird things, and I’m sure I’m guilty of some unexamined bit of wingnuttery myself.

No, a conspiracy belief alone is not enough to make you a jackass. Trying to hijack a protest, then repeatedly contacting (in super creepy ways) someone who’s asked you to leave them alone – this makes you a jackass.

Think I’ll start training Gus to be a watchdog.

*I’m guessing he’s referring to the North American Union, but who really knows.
**Though it would have been awesome if he had, SuperCreepyDickhead did not actually write entirely in LOLspeak. Too bad.
***This message is, unfortunately, transcribed verbatim.

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Today I had a new student start, someone a little farther north than I usually teach, so I took a different route to start work than I normally do. I was biking up Mount Pleasant Ave just north of Eglinton, and stopped at the light right at Northern Secondary School. Guess what was lying in the road right in front of me?

Whatever you thought of wasn’t it. Think of something weirder. And a bit dirty.

OK, the answer is after the jump. No pics, though. That would be disgusting.

Do not click if you are sensitive, prudish, or under 16:
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One of my Facebook friends (Ali Berkok, of the excellent jazz group Arkana Music and others) posted a link today to Nina Paley’s essay, Artists are not inherently entitled to monetary compensation for their art. The ensuing flame war was both educational and relatively civilized.

Paley’s point appears to be that, like no one feels like they have to pay the squeegee guy who randomly walks up and squeegees their car, no one has to pay you to make your art.

Art is a gift. An artist creates Art (not to be confused with skilled labor) on their own initiative. An artist “labors” in service of their vision, their Muse, the Art itself. The Muse alone is the Artist’s employer. It’s debatable whether the Artist can negotiate with their Muse before performing the labor — I certainly try to — but like most labor, terms are dictated by necessity. Just as economic necessity forces many workers into hard labor for low wages on their employer’s terms, so does suffering force many Artists into labor on the Muse’s terms. But unlike corporations and human employers, the Muse turns out to always have the artist’s best interests at heart. I’d much rather serve the Muse than an employer; but the Muse doesn’t negotiate a moneyed wage. Monetary compensation is not part of the deal.

The Muse “pays” me in Life. “Do this,” she says, “and you will Live. Turn away, and at best you will only survive.” I do have a choice: I can make the Art, or not. I accept the Muse’s terms. I perform the labor, and receive my “payment”: Life.

Congratulations, Nina!  Both true and utterly beside the point.

The point I made in the flame war – which I think is good enough to recycle here – is that there’s a difference between the work you do as an artist and the work you produce. No one has to pay me to practice.  I’ve been doing it every day for more than twenty years and no one has *ever* paid me for it.  But when I produce a recording or put on a show I sure as hell expect to get a fair payment for it from those who are interested.

Paley’s problem is that she keeps casting the artist as an employee (either of a commissioning agent or of the Muse) rather than a producer.  Those of us who produce independent artwork are much more like extremely idealistic entrepreneurs than employees.  I say “extremely idealistic” because most of us aren’t in it to make lots of money, and considerations that are not financial are the most important ones.  But all the same, we do lots and lots of work for which we are never paid to produce something (recordings, writings, performances) that we sell with varying levels of success.

Paley’s other problem is that she appears to be a libertarian hippie, which is just weird.  After all the stuff about the Muse paying her with Life, we get:

The Free Market only works without monopolies. Information monopolies like copyright destroy that system. I’m all for allowing the Free Market to function, but it can only function without copyright.

I have a lot of sympathy for Paley, who has been truly screwed over by the copyright system, but she is out to lunch here.  Before copyright an artist had no way to protect their work and their income from large publishing companies.  Mozart was frequently pleasantly surprised to see his string quartets for sale in music shop windows.  Of course, he never saw a penny from any of the sales, relied on patronage for his living, and died a very poor man.

The patronage system still exists in a limited way, mostly through government grants.  The patronage systems produces music that the patrons want to hear.  The main system of support for artists is now a popular mass media one, where the record companies produce music that large numbers of people want to hear.

But now we have the opportunity to create unique work outside of the popular/patronage straitjacket and find an audience for it. And some kind of copyright system is necessary to ensure some kind of income for the artist, because what we do requires something approaching full-time effort and commitment, and there’s only so long you can burn the candle at both ends. I don’t think DRM and the DMCA are the right way to do it, but something has to be done.

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…has he lost his mind?

Go here, listen/watch, and tell me what you think.

The title came from—Warren Buffett was watching post-Katrina in his living room in Omaha, and he saw these streams of poor people fleeing the floods and the winds, and no food, no water, no shelter, on the highways north of New Orleans. And no one was helping them. And so, he couldn’t take it anymore, and he got a whole convoy of supplies, and he took them down to the New Orleans area. He went down himself and distributed all the food and the tents and the medicine to these desperate families and came across an African American family, who was helping, and the grandmother grabbed his hands, looked up at him and said, “Only the super-rich can save us.”

And that haunted him all the way back to Omaha, where he developed a plan to get seventeen older super-rich enlightened Americans at a hotel on a mountaintop in Maui, Hawaii, and basically asked themselves, what is it going to take to turn this country around? It’s going to take mass media. One of the seventeen is Barry Diller. And it’s going to take a reversal of the insurance industry. It’s Peter Lewis. It’s going to take dealing with deficits and subsidies and organizing the veteran and veteran groups and the women’s clubs around the country. Ross Perot. It’s going to take a real coordination and putting in a lot of money. That’s what they all represented. Bill Cosby is one of them. Phil Donahue is one of them. Yoko Ono is one of them. William Gates, Sr., Leonard Riggio, Bernard Rapoport. These and others get together, and it all happens in one year, 2006.

So apparently Ralph Nader has written a novel, using real people as characters, about how the super-rich save the world.  It’s called Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us, and I’m sure it’s a rollicking read.

Anyway, I was listening to this interview with Nader today while going about my housewifely duties (laundry, packing for the big move, drinking coffee and petting the dogs) and I kept having to say to myself, “Wait – did that actually happen, or was it part of the book?  Because if it did happen, that would be AWESOME.  No, it didn’t.  What?”

I mean, having written some works of fiction myself, I know that a writer gets totally and unhealthily obsessed with their work, and frequently ends up talking about their characters as if they were real people.  But this is just a little…creepy.

So what is it?  Is he crazy?  Or am I?

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Hello!

I actually had a blog-related nightmare last night.  I dreamt I was checking my stats, and I was down to the “five people a day” level of traffic.  Five people being the SPIKES.  I can’t say it was much of a nightmare, because my reaction was, “Huh.  Guess I should post more…” and here I am.

As always I have an excuse.  In addition to riding my bicycle to 20 hours worth of lessons per week, I am very tired from dealing with house-related things.  Words like “parging” and “lawyer” and “variable rate mortgage” have entered my daily vocabulary.  I now know the difference between “comprehensive” and “broad” insurance coverage.  I have dealt with the electricity, gas, and phone companies, been put on hold many times and listened to more smooth easy-listening jazz than one would imagine was sufficient for a lifetime.  I have gone through five years worth of bills and thrown out everything from before January 2008.  I have written checks for amounts that dwarf the amount of money I made my first year out of school.

But whatever.  That’s life.  In the end I get to live in my own house, and that’s worth two weeks of chicken-with-its-head-cut-off-like running around.

In other news, the Torture Memos CD went to the producers today.  We’ll be doing the official release end of November/beginning of December.  I suggested “Give the gift of Torture!” as a marketing slogan (a perfect gift idea for the ACLU member on your list), but I don’t think Ben bought it.  The record sounds amazing and the packaging looks great, so what more can you ask for?

Also we bought a new printer.  If anyone wants the old one – a semi-functional Samsung colour laser printer with no toner – you are welcome to it.  It’ll cost you about $200 to fill with toner, but it IS free and I will fully explain exactly what voodoo rites you have to perform to get it to print anything.

What else?  Oh, don’t EVER shop for novelty/promotional USB drives online, or you will get more spam email than you would think possible.  A few months ago I researched getting some for the band – we were thinking of releasing the Torture Memos on novelty USBs, but it turned out to be too expensive – and I asked for a bunch of quotes from different suppliers.  BIG MISTAKE.  It’s cooled off a bit now, but for a while I was getting 10-20 Viagra/penis enlargement/get-rich-quick spam messages a day.

And I voted.  Our riding had a by-election today, and I managed to squeeze in voting between being put on hold by the phone company and doing the laundry so we don’t have to move dirty clothes.  I always vote.  Even if it seems pointless, you gotta do it for the sufragettes.

I think that’s enough random rambling for today.  That and I don’t have enough positive categories on this blog.  I need categories like, “Puppies and rainbows” or “Things I whole-heartedly and unreservedly like”.

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Conversation between Ben and a random hobo in front of the liquor store:

Hobo: We don’t talk about the killing. [gives Ben a flyer]

Ben: What’s this flyer?

Hobo: You know how people leave garbage on your front of your house?

Ben: Yeah, I guess.

Hobo: Well, it wasn’t my cousin.

The flyer:

Weirdo001Weirdo002

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