Archives: [March 2006]
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This is the archive page for the month [March 2006]; below you should see headlines and summaries of all entries found here from that month. Click the appropriate link at each to read the entire entry.

I'm in Rogers Park again. | March 30, 2006
Yep, my friend Jude is out of town again, which means that I'm up in Rogers Park this week, dogsitting for her. Today, some random thoughts while in the neighborhood, especially on how much it reminds of the city where I went to college. Plus: a special download for obsessive fans of "Lost," and information on a game coming this summer that might make them very excited.

Do satirical geniuses necessarily have to be dicks? | March 28, 2006
I've been watching a lot of "South Park" for the first time recently, as regular readers know, and have discovered something remarkable - that on top of all the poop jokes, it also might be the smartest, angriest satire this side of Swift himself. But then Poppy Z. Brite reminded me of another thing, too - that Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the show's creators, are real dicks. Does one necessarily have to come with the other? Today, my thoughts. Plus: A new artist in France I recently stumbled across, because of BoingBoing.net, that you should check out too.

I have some new announcements concerning my arts center. | March 27, 2006
Three major new announcements today concerning my new arts center, the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography. First, our October guest for "The CCLaP Sessions" is official - it's Time Out: Chicago Books Editor Jonathan Messinger; second, a new online document is ready, detailing CCLaP's upcoming online activities; and finally, our first book project is official, a collection of funny, horrific drug memoirs called "Contact High."

The future of the arts - an opposing viewpoint. | March 24, 2006
Well, no suprise here - my declaration on Wednesday, that most artistic non-profits will be dead in the next 30 years, has generated quite a bit of dissent from the non-profit community! Today, an extended essay by my friend Jude Baker, a profesional non-profit executive, arguing the points I made earlier this week.

I've been thinking about Jesus recently. | March 23, 2006
I've been making my way recently through my "read this stuff" box here at home, and in particular a series of lectures by Jewish intellectuals, concerning Christian-Jewish relations. It's had me thinking a lot recently about the subject of Jesus - if he was a real man, what kind of man he might've been, why the Christians and Jews had such a falling-out over him in the first place. Today, my thoughts. Plus: I think I've finally sold my mom on the idea of my arts center, thank God; and, hopefully it'll finally sink in with a bunch of new people today - that I'm holding a reader fundraiser right now. Only $195 to go!

That's right, I said that artistic non-profits are dying. | March 22, 2006
No, you didn't hear me wrong yesterday; I'm predicting the permanent death of almost all artistic non-profits by 20 or 30 years from now. Today, some detailed thoughts on why, and what will replace this structure in the future. Plus: I don't think that newspaper who interviewed me is going to run the article, so I might as well talk about it now; plus good news on the reader fundraiser for a new Intel Mini - $405 now raised! Only $195 to go!

Regarding micropayments and "micro-economies." | March 20, 2006
A comics friend and I recently got on a topic that I've been discussing with others since the 1980s - of "micropayments," or charging just a tiny amount of money for a tiny amount of creative content (one comic strip, for example, or one poem). Today, some thoughts on why so far no one has been able to successfully implement such a thing...well, that is, except for the videogame "Second Life." More on how they're able to do it, and how artistic organizations could mimic the structure in real life if they wanted. Plus: some screenshots from the upcoming new brochure for my own arts center; plus great news to report about the Mini fundraiser - $360 now raised!

A mysterious hero from my past suddenly re-surfaces. | March 16, 2006
This website has always been the cause of a lot of great random emails, and why look at the one I just got yesterday; from novelist Kristin McCloy, author of a book I was really in love with in my early twenties, who just found out recently that I had been in love with the book back then. Today, some thoughts on her book, why it meant as much to me back then as it did, and how my arts center might possibly be able to help her out this coming winter. Plus: Big news with my reader fundraiser for the new Mini - $250 raised in the last two days!

Good Lord - more about Second Life! | March 15, 2006
Good Lord - my fifth day in a row of entries about the alternative-reality videogame "Second Life!" But hey, what can I say - I have yet more things to say about it! Including: an update on my reader fundraiser ($50 raised, $450 to go); more about land ownership, how to build objects, and how this all naturally affects zoning, without there having to be any laws about it; I've started talking with more Linden employees; and more on the serious, academic experiments that can be run within Second Life as well, especially by traditional academic organizations (at a steep price discount too, no less).

Field report, part 2: My first weekend in Second Life. | March 14, 2006
Today, part 2 (the final part, whew) of my field report, concerning my first weekend spent in the alternative-reality videogame "Second Life," along with lots of screenshots to illustrate what I'm talking about. Plus: a modest proposal to my readers - you guys buy me an Intel Mini ($500), so I can KEEP playing Second Life, and I won't fundraise for the South Africa trip, but rather earn the money in-game myself. Hmm, what do you think?

A "walk" through my proposed Second Life sex club | March 14, 2006
I am writing just too entirely much these days about the alternative-reality videogame "Second Life," way too much to post each day in my journal; so instead I'm posting a lot of it later, then post-dating the entries, so that they don't show up on the front page. Here: a recent chat transcript with a friend, a veteran of both sex clubs and chat cybersex, walking her through my proposed sex club via description. Posted for all you fellow SL building enthusiasts, as well as anyone interested in the next level of cyberchat.

Field report: My first weekend in Second Life. | March 13, 2006
Well, it's official; I finally was able to log into the alternative-reality game "Second Life" for the first time on Friday, and ended up spending the whole damn weekend playing (and taking screenshots). Today, part 1 of my ridiculously long report, explaining everything I saw.

Singing for your supper in the virtual world. | March 10, 2006
Well, what do you know; I was going through the extensive website for the virtual-reality game Second Life yesterday, and learned that there is in fact a free level of membership. And not only that, you can actually start earning money as a free member, right from the first day. Today, some thoughts on how this might be radically changing my day-to-day life. Plus: A technical question for all you mashup artists out there.

Random notes. | March 9, 2006
Just some random notes today, including: I finally understand how Second Life works, and I really fucking want to join now - thank you, Google Video!; a hilarious public remark recently by Kevin Smith that you absolutely must watch; yes, I was one of the lucky few that downloaded that secret Google Powerpoint presentation, that they accidentally posted, and I'll tell you a little about what it says too; something on "South Park" the other night that made me pee my pants; some thoughts about lesbians in love on el platforms; another kudo to CoComment.com; and it's official - I'm making my ninth attempt at quitting smoking soon.

Ah, cybersex! | March 7, 2006
Last week I was jokily complaining here about how no one had yet invited me to participate in cybersex, and how comically disappointed I was by this. And what do you know? One of my readers actually offered, because of that entry! I love my readers! Today, lots and lots of thoughts about what the experience was like, what I liked and disliked about it, and what the future of cybersex and my life might be. Plus: the story of my rather debaucherous birthday, which just happened last weekend.

More regarding "the conversation." | March 3, 2006
So how interesting is this? A week after proposing a "tag" system here for getting responses to me without commenting, I've stumbled across a group of hiphop DJs in Canada doing the same exact thing! Today, more thoughts on why this might just be the future of online conversation. Plus: Does Fred Hampton of the Black Panthers deserve to have a street named after him?; and won't some sexy little stranger out there help me decide if cybersex is worth the trouble?

Random notes. | March 2, 2006
Just some random notes for today, including: Why I've been out-of-sorts for the last couple of days (hint - it has to do with a federal employee and a howling dog); my birthday is this Sunday, and I still don't have any plans; an update on my quest to build a social application at Ning.com; a random thought about post-hurricane New Orleans; and dude! It's the 20th anniversary of "Blue Velvet!" DON'T FUCKING LOOK AT ME!