Recycling Facebook

Originally, I only wanted to share a few posts from Facebook over at my blog (a little like what I did 6 months ago when I covered a week of Facebook). But then, as I was entering photos, adding comments, going back and forth between the worlds, this turned into a major undertaking: I may do this again next year but not before. 27 historical posts lined up commented beaten into blog submission featuring SO many people things places names books posts buildings faces hopes dreams movements…

Just in case you feel that you’re missing out because you’re not on Facebook, here’s a little melange for you from the last month of all the stuff that hasn’t been on the blog. Click on any image for a larger view in a new window. Enjoy, like. This is from the past. Sheldon has a new book out, too, The Same Terrible Storm (reviewed by Christopher Allen). Oh, and I do still love Ingmar Bergman even though some of his work drives me nuts, it’s so dark. But it always engages my mind. This is a bit of a whine. My friend Oleuanna called it a “Top Ramble”. A lot of Facebook and Internet writing is stream of consciousness, and my articles are no exception. Still we are a far cry from journalism: I have hardly ever anything to offer but opinion,  sometimes well argued, but the poetry of a thought matters to me more than the truth.
This was for PANK’s Christopher Forsley who reads my blog, too. And for the alternative crowd. Beach sloth is one of my favorite sloths in that crowd. I’ve written to/about Beach Sloth This brought back views that I hold on Conservative politics. As William Blake said: “Expect poison from the standing water.” Radical opinions are a specialty in my family (since 1591 A.D.). This is a poster I made for Alt Lit Gossip, which was then improved by Benjamin King.  Frank Hinton, who founded this group, also has a new book out. It’s called Action, Figure.
We don’t celebrate enough. They are not enough street fairs and personally I could do with more  hugging. Except not early in the morning. I’m like anti-hug in the morning. Elephants are favorite pets of mine, I think if I had enough space at home, I’d live with a pet elephant. I’d have to get a new bed even though my bed is already HUGE. There’s always so much guilt around doing anything on the net. Anis Shivani taps right into that. When I’m really, really tired, I feel as if I’m looking back at myself from the web, waving, trying to get my own attention…
However, sometimes it’s not all idle chat but preparation for writing. I like how focused this guy looks. His beard helps. I’m all for voice dictation now but I still own a bunch of mechanical typewriters: they hang around my house like ghosts. Yes, Aotearoa, feast your eyes, folks. You’ll never forget the vistas, the scents and the people. I can’t put my finger on it, not from here: it’s too far from Europe (which is a problem if you love Europe as I do). I’m fond of little people perhaps because my daughter is still somewhat little. Or perhaps I’ve got a little person inside me. Notice the flowers wreathed around the bar of the boy’s bike.
Spam is also an important part of Monty Python. It’s kind of a code word for fans of the comedy genre that they created and that died with the group. I’m feeling nostalgic about Monty Python. I do talk nonsense sometimes don’t I. I really have no idea what I was going on about here. It made sense at the time, I hope. Relaxing is one of those concepts that are for implementation rather than contemplation. I’m trying to forget about the fact that I have a book coming out because if I obsess about it I will not write anything you. I am however very grateful to those who said nice things about it. I hope it’s a sign.
 later, I  extended the range of options including: ( ) eat ( )  don’t eat ( )  penis ( )  vagina.  that photo is  hilarious of course: we’ve got one of those giant hotdogs in our neighborhood. Pigeons have built a  small castle on its head. It’s amazing how the past sometimes comes back: rediscovering Reinhard Lettau is a gift from the gods. Turns out he lived around the corner from where I work.  This post, I believe, was about model building. Serenity is a movie (2005) that I like (my wife doesn’t). This last entry begs the question: what happens to all these posts, thoughts, ideas, complaints. But what happens to written notes? There has always been a cloud.
I went through the first 2 books as audio books a year ago like a hot medieval sword through bacon fat…then I tired of it, but it’s interesting to see how Cornwell breaks new ground with established characters and setting. It was also fascinating to me that Uthred is actually a distant ancestor of the author. What if ancestral bonds with their fictitious friends were much more common among writers than hitherto assumed? I’m now starting book for and the fun is not letting up. The story mentioned here is a blast from the past: it’s part of my “Christmas cycle”, 24 stories on Christmas Day each in a different time zone of the earth. First published in a Metazen Christmas charity book, the full cycle is part of my debut collection “Thank You For Your Sperm” to come out at the end of this year. I wrote the cycle in the Christmas break 2009. I still remember my excitement about working on one piece for weeks at a time, creating a puzzle of flash pieces, editing them, and having a whole in the end that I couldn’t have planned that way even though I had a rough idea of what I wanted to do. (At this stage, commenting upon old Facebook posts is getting a bit boring and cumbersome. I’m starting to understand why people thought originally that Facebook is a good idea…) In any case, when I’m not busy distracting myself from real writing, I am currently slowly coming back to last year’s big project: the story of Gisela. My goal is to add to the novel that already exists and edit it into awesomeness. My fear is that I might run out of steam. However, I think it’s rather unfounded given that I have come back to my protagonist in this material for well over 3 years. And this Princess is still fascinating to me, her life unprobed and untold even after the 100,000 words that I have already written about her. My suspicion is that I’m writing not just about her but perhaps also about the reflection of our time in her time 1000 years ago. Not a small topic.
I don’t know if I have been more important to Frank or Frank has been more important to me: Frank has certainly been more generous than I have in telling people (often in reference to his literary online magazine baby, Metazen) that Frank appreciates that I exist. Frank knows, I hope, that this love and appreciation goes the other way, too. It’s very easy to like someone with such long legs, long hair, and exuberant talent, who also does so much for the community of writers everywhere. Frank makes me want to travel to Canada. I’m looking forward to finishing Frank’s book. My daughter really likes the cover, too. I think she might be one of the youngest Hinton fans. There is more than one untold story behind this post. One more I can tell is that I’ve bought a fair amount of old books, not just used books, since a secondhand bookstore opened up on the lowest level of our local mall. The store, which really is nothing but a bunch of stalls, seems unattended at almost all times: it’s hard to buy there, but very easy to browse. Just like in the old days. I love to browse among books that smell like 50 years or more of people reading them. The stalls are surrounded by a thin cloud of old people, some even seem homeless, who also browse alongside “regular” people (including me). These old people will engage the casual passerby in conversation about books. At first, I felt bothered and annoyed and intruded upon, but by now I’ve got used to them and I even look forward to parrying with them. E.T.A. Hoffmann is one of the re-discoveries that came out of this experience. Beach Sloth, one of my favorite alt lit bloggers, has honored my list of 10 things to do when being lazy, with a blog post  where Beach Sloth puts the criteria to the test. I think the Sloth deserves a medal. But Beach Sloth will probably be too slothful to fetch it.
Forsley’s multipart post on the alt lit movement and some of its representatives generates a lot of discussion over at the PANK blog. The author, whatever you might say about this style, surely articulates issues that other people have with alt lit, too, and PANK is alt lit as well, a friendly place to debate. I have happily chimed in: I like both Forsley and alt lit. My access to whatever happens under that label is mostly transmitted via people I like, Steve Roggenbuck and Frank Hinton and Beach Sloth among them. Exciting times! This post was really just a plug for a podcast I made. But I hadn’t read anything for online consumption in a while, and this story in particular was unusual and difficult to read: a brother represents a new line of work for me and one that, I think, I will mine much more. Thanks go to Roxane Gay (also PANK, also Tiny Hardcore Press, also…) for publishing the story in the first place. The 2 poets in the picture are among my favorite poets and performers: the late Ernst Jandl in particular impressed me with his dadaistic readings even when I was still a boy. And today I’m crazy about the long prose poems of his wife, Friederike Mayröcker. Though she really has created her own art form with her work. You must check out. Finally, Christopher Allen. Like me, this veteran (we have the same age and I feel entitled to call us veterans) mixes with a much younger crowd. A seasoned editor (for Metazen and elsewhere) he is recently made his first foray into independent publishing, and he’s everywhere with his blog tour, most likely happening somewhere near you, just open your eyes and let his gay shaman Teri take you by the hand…

The answer to the unasked question is of course: you cannot recycle anything online. This is besides the valid point that most online content is recycled already (personally, I like to contribute original content but I can’t always do that); but there is a deeper reason: blogs, Facebook, twitter, they are all living systems, not can collections. Interacting with any part of the system changes the system as a whole. More specifically: as I was setting out to merely rehash old statements, my thinking changed and I felt drawn into changing both my course and my communication, and the posts I wanted to copy had changed, too, because of comments and “likes” and shares and … I wonder if this is not like editing a major piece of writing, or painting a large canvas or a fresco perhaps (the Michelangelo way: fifty people working on one ceiling…). Over to you…

3 thoughts on “Recycling Facebook

  1. Pingback: A Facebook Feuilleton «

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