Interviews

I had an interview this morning, for a reporter position at the Paxton Daily Record. Perhaps it’s an answer to my complaints about reading the news and getting depressed or outraged. Basically, if I were to take the job, I would split the writing responsibilities for the whole paper down the middle with the editor, who also happens to be a recent U of I grad. She graduated in December with a Journalism degree. Does a Paxton newspaper really count as journalism? I don’t know. Nonetheless, if I were to take the job, I feel like I could really provide some creative spark and have some fun with it. The actual demands of the job would be relatively modest in that old one-stoplight town.

And on the other end of the spectrum, my interview in LA is coming up in just another week. Who knows what to expect?

Regardless, I’m looking forward to moving on, whether that means to human interest stories about the Bingo games at the Parish Hall or fast times and loose women (okay, fast times anyway) in the City of Angels. The deciding factor will ultimately end up being which of the two is more financially viable. These student loans aren’t going to pay themselves off, you know!

Finally!

I’ve finished revising the essays page!! I’ve posted a total of sixteen new and seven revised essays! Go take a look.

Next on the agenda: upload more poetry. To give you an idea: I currently have thirteen poems posted at doublemuse, but my poetry folder on my hard drive contains about 100 files (some are duplicates—revised copies of other files).

News

It doesn’t pay to read the news. The DI features an editorial about Rwanda and Sudan that infuriates me, and at BBC I learned that Cheney would like to see the US help India go nuclear, all while making big loud threats about any middle-Eastern nations trying to develop the same technology. Believe me, it’s not that I’m not more suspicious of Iran than India; it simply has to do with the fact that there are alternative energy sources! Let’s get the ball rolling and start doing something sustainable!! And to the DI: Give me a break! How can you presume to come out on some sort of moral high-horse, chastising the rest of the world for their failures to do anything in Africa, and in the same breath excuse the United States?!? From TFA: “U.S. forces, already stretched thin, are reluctant to do anything in the region without coalition support…every time the UN is slow to react, the US military is expected to go it alone.” How does it make any sense at all that GENOCIDE takes place in Africa and our government is too timid to do anything. When people finally began to realize that there were no WMDs, our President’s supporters argued that it was pressing and urgent to yank Saddam Hussein out of Iraq because he was a dictator and the people of Iraq deserved liberation. The crimes with which he’s being charged date back to late eighties/early nineties, and people are clamoring for a death sentence. I saw a headline within the last few months, and I’ll kick myself for not keeping track of it, that pointed out the six-year prison sentence for a government official of an African nation involved in genocide. Six years!! And people want to lynch Hussein for ordering the murder of some “insurgents” who tried to organize an assasination attempt, years ago. I absolutely agree that he should be held to justice, but could someone please explain to how punishment has anything to do with jusice? Wow. I’m really starting to rant now…I should just shut up. But I can’t believe we have University students who are so ignorant as to print this garbage about how, “the UN should do something…the US would, if only we had a coalition…” Or maybe if we weren’t busy stealing oil from Iraqis and selling it back to our own citizens at an outrageous markup (which still happens to be much lower than most other places in the world). Ughh…I need a nap.

Site Changes

I’ve been putting tons of time into work on this website in the past 14 hours, so expect to see a big payoff soon.

Also, I’m officially done at the Ribeye (unless, of course, someone asks me to pick up a shift). I don’t have any shifts of my own to worry about going to each week.

I got a follow-up contact about the job I interviewed for over the phone last week. They would like to fly me out to California to do a face-to-face interview in a couple of weeks. This thing might really pan out; I might actually use my degree, after all!

More Will Be Revealed…

Telephone Interview

I interviewed on the telephone today for the job in California. I should hear back in about two weeks, maybe three. Let’s all cross our fingers ;)

My work for today involved completing the changes that we began a long time ago on the “stories” page at Doublemuse. Stop in and have a look. Take notice of the fact that all of the stories are now available in .pdf format for easy downloading and printing. If you don’t have Adobe Acrobat reader, slap yourself for living in the nineties!

Letter to the Editor (resubmission)

I’ve been forced to resubmit [a shorter version of] the letter, as follows:

Billy Joe Mills’ column entitled “What defines our generation” speaks quite highly of our American way of life. Mr. Mills suggests that the only threats we face are physical, that no ideology poses any threat. I must disagree; the ideology that most threatens us is our own. What defines our generation? Self-absorption and self-service. The success of democratic capitalism comes not from an inherent superiority, but from its marketability. We let ourselves believe that we choose our government, and we let ourselves believe that we buy as we please. Our capitalism teaches no sense of responsibility to buyer or seller, so that we exploit each other endlessly. We consume voraciously and are utterly ignorant to the suffering and need in the rest of the world. We delude ourselves with lofty tales of democratic ideals, but those who have power in our “democracy” derive it not from the governed but from the financiers. Corporations, whose sole responsibility is to the bottom line, derive their power from consumers, who coincidentally learn what to crave from those selling it. We cannot declare our triumph until those with power are accountable to those without.

Apparently they didn’t like the length of the first submission. I told them that size doesn’t matter, but they didn’t want to listen. I finally gave in and put it in flaccid.

I’ve been doing some work on some of my creative stuff, namely the stories I’ve published online. I’ve done a very little bit of revision, but mostly I’ve just made .pdf versions of them for easy downloading and/or printing. I intend to eventually do this with all of the work posted on these websites, so check back often. I also have something like twenty new documents that I intend to post, pending some possible revisions.

All in all, check back often for plenty of new stuff!

Letter to the Editor

Billy Joe Mills’ column entitled “What defines our generation” speaks quite highly of our American way of life. Our way of life is not simply superior to any other, it has actually triumphed! We have arrived at the height of what humanity is capable of as society! We have finally become capable of McDonald’s, Scary Movie 3, and Cosmopolitan Magazine—a legacy we can leave for our children, the way our ancestors left us the Great Depression and Black Lung!

Mr. Mills wrongly suggests that the only threats we face are physical, that no ideology can possibly threaten the way of life that has proven itself clearly superior to all others. I must disagree and point out that the ideology that most threatens us is our own. What defines our generation? Self-absorption and self-service. While I applaud your high idealism in suggesting that we, as hegemonic stewards, throw our wealth like a big warm blanket over the world to protect everyone from suffering the way we’ve insulated ourselves, I am obligated to point out that we have only become what we are because of our failure, at every turn, to do exactly that. The generations who went before us and fought hard for their own well-being and to be able to provide their children with better lives did exactly that. It is in our nature to take care of our own; we save what we have today so that our children, when we have them, can eat, or go to college, or retire early. We don’t give what we have so that those who are hungry or uneducated or tired today can eat, learn, and rest. The result is a generation of people who have not had to struggle to have our needs met, and cannot comprehend sacrifice. We consume voraciously and are utterly ignorant to the suffering and need in the rest of the world. This is the American way, now. The most natural of drives is that of self-preservation, and those who have power in our “democracy” derive it not from those they govern but from those who pay them. The corporations derive their power from their consumers, who coincidentally learn what to crave from those who sell it.

Conservative means will never lead to liberal ends. So long as our politicians work for corporations, and defend the ability of the rich to deprive the poor, our government will never be able to ensure justice or peace. While capitalism might be the most viable economic system, the existence of the corporation will continue to exploit that system until it collapses the way communism did. The downfall of communism, as we often hear, was in its application, not its inherent viability. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely, and it was only a matter of time until the communist leaders succumbed. In the last century, we have seen the rise of corporations as the leaders in our idyllic capitalist democracy. They have gained absolute power. Is now really time to start a victory party and invite the world’s poor to feast with us?

Never Enough

At long last, I am posting a portion of the novel I’m working on. This should very strongly resemble the final version, so I’m not really looking for input, feedback, or suggestions. If you must respond in some way to the work, perhaps you can submit questions that you hope might be answered later in the novel. And if you know some agents/publishers looking for something new, put them in touch with me!