I Have No Plans to Die Today

I’ve been lame about posting anything this week. So I just put together a bunch of random stuff for today. It’s all incredibly important, though, so if you need to make yourself a sandwich or grab a beverage or something before digging in, I urge you to do so now.

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RIP Joe Bageant

One of my favorite “political” books of recent years introduced me to one of my favorite writers, Joe Bageant. He wrote Deer Hunting with Jesus. Since reading the book I have been an avid reader of the essays that appeared on his website, and his discussions with folks who would email him comments. He passed away last week after a quick and dirty battle with an ugly form of cancer. THIS is a great eulogy, well worth reading. Here is a clip of him doing an interview for a movie coming out called The Kingdom of Survival.

He will be missed.

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Of all the things that regularly make big media splashes — celebrities, sports, politics, etc. — the one that I care the least about and frankly don’t understand the attraction of at all is golf. I hate it.

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The Good, The Bad, The Weird

Julia and I watched this crazy movie last week off the NetFlix. It’s kind of a Korean Western/Pulp/Action thing. It had by far the most gunfire in any movie I’ve ever seen. It was pretty damn fun. Highly recommended, if you dig that sort of thing.

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If I had a dollar for every time these goddamn dogs I live with growl and snarl at each other in a given day, I’d be writing this blog on one of those fancy high speed Mac computers with a monitor as big as my wall instead of on a middling-level Windows laptop that technically isn’t even mine.

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THIS is a great article about independent, “B” list low budget action movies from one of my favorite comic writers, Beau Smith. He talks mostly about the making of the movies and how they mirror the making of comics, but I felt a lot was relevant in many art forms.

Something that the creative end should always remember is that no matter if it’s comics or films it is still a business. You’re in business to make money. It’s not a charity. The thing that the business end need to remember is that they are NOTcreative talent and they should leave that to the ones that are.

I see a lot of calls to support independent bookstores, local businesses, etc. Sometimes I think the call to support independent artists gets overlooked. Support your independent artists, people!

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Speaking of artists catching a break, one of my favorite writers, Bonnie Jo Campbell, won a Guggenheim Fellowship. Congratulations are in order!

Since its establishment in 1925, the Foundation has granted nearly $290 million in Fellowships to more than 17,000 individuals. Time and again, the Foundation’s choice of Fellows has proved prescient: thousands of celebrated alumni and scores of Nobel, Pulitzer, and other prizewinners grace its rolls.

Here’s what Bonnie will be up to:

Bonnie Jo Campbell, a novelist who traveled with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus for five months, will be writing a series of interlocking stories set in a contemporary American circus, revealing a surprisingly rigid social hierarchy in this multicultural institution.

Bonnie has a new book out in July. Julia and I are planning to coordinate a trip to Portland to coincide with her doing a reading there. Word on the street is she may be in Missoula this fall for our annual Festival of the Book as well. Fingers are crossed!

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As I have recently just turned 44, I’ve told Julia that for the next 12 months she may call me Magnum. Particularly in intimate moments. And I don’t mean Magnum PI, I mean the most powerful handgun in the world.

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This is why I love dancers.


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Summer blockbuster season is almost upon us, and you know I’m into a lot of that stuff. The first one I’m fired up to see is, of course, Thor. The following trailer has two key moments you must take note of. The first occurs at the :54 mark, and runs through :58. That is the part where, when we see it in theaters, Julia always gasps and claws at my leg. The next segment is from 1:42 through around 1:55. Dig it.

That second segment I mention is a perfect example of one of the things I’ve always loved about heroic stories: the idea of one person — the hero — stepping out alone to face seemingly insurmountable odds on behalf of others. In this movie, I believe the idea is that Thor has been banished to Earth to learn humility, and he does so by realizing only he can protect humanity from the threats they are about to be faced with. It may seem cheesy, and unrealistic, but I love that stuff. Always have. If you scoff, you should read some Joseph Campbell (no relation to Bonnie Jo that I’m aware of) and get off my back. That dude was a full-on scholar, and was known to consume vast quantities of buttery popcorn while totally digging summer blockbuster hero movies.*

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Finally, on the work front, there is a certain type of pushy jackass I have to deal with on occasion that thinks they can influence me to leapfrog their project over others by CCing people they presume to be my “superiors” on emails where they are demanding status updates. That’s the surest way to get shoved down to the bottom of my to-do list. Petty? Probably. But I never claimed I’d be saving everyone’s world every day.

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* I actually made up that last bit about eating popcorn at the movies. It could be true, though!

4 thoughts on “I Have No Plans to Die Today”

  1. >The anti-dancing sign reminds me of a funny line from the first season of JUSTIFIED.Q. You know why Pentecostals are against sex standing up?A. Because it might lead to dancing.Don't know Joe B. and thanks for the recommendation. Great title: Deer Hunting with Jesus.

  2. >I think the thing about Joe is while he had his beliefs, he'd listen to other perspectives and even concede points, which is rare these days. Even if you didn't agree with him, he'd make you think. I think he had a huge heart, and was a humanitarian in just about every sense of the word that matters.

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