Daily Archives: January 12, 2011

Become a Character in My Latest Book: A Contest

So, I’m busily writing away on my newest book, the one that should be out sometime in 2012. And I just wrote a character whose name is currently “Lieutenant Merkel,” for no good reason than because for that second I was thinking about Germany. But I don’t really like the name for the character, so I figured, hey, why not have a contest, the winner of which will get to have his or her name replace that of Merkel’s?

Why not indeed.

So, a contest! The winner of which will have his or her name replace that of Merkel’s. Now, before you enter, here’s what you need to know:

1. Merkel/You is a bit player, but of generally good character;
2. Merkel/You may or may not live to see the end of the story. Because if someone has to die, I need to work with what I have on hand.

So you need to be cool with the fact there’s a chance I might kill “you” off. But if I have to I’ll try to have it be, like, heroic and all. But no promises. If it makes sense for the story to have you ingested by voles, I’ll be doing that. Because, hey, man. I’m an artist.

To acclimate yourself to the concept of death, that will be the theme of the contest.

For the contest, write a haiku from the point of view of some who is either about to die or has just died, from one (or more!) of the following:

1. A spider monkey or monkeys;
2. LASERS
3. Poor GPS directions
4. And, of course, Spontaneous Human Combustion.

So, for example:

I’m really amazed
Who knew that spider monkeys
Enjoy human snacks?

or

Did you know humans
Smell like bacon when they fry?
Just found out myself!

Got it? Excellent.

Rules!

1. One haiku per person. So make it good.

2. “Haiku” in this case means a poem in 5/7/5 syllable configuration. You don’t need to make a seasonal reference.

3. All entries have to be in by 11:59:59pm Eastern, Sunday, January 16, 2011.

4. If you win, the name used will be your last name. The person using your name may or may not be of your own sex/nationality/creed/sexual predilections, etc. You won’t be able to substitute anyone else’s name.

And there you are. Drop your entries in the comment thread.

Good luck!

Yeah, No

Follow:

At this point it’s certain neither Sarah Palin nor any other politician or pundit is responsible for Jared Lee Loughner shooting Congresswoman Giffords or anyone else that he did.

Sarah Palin has a perfect right, both legally and morally, to protest those who are trying to directly tie her, her rhetoric, or the rhetoric of her political allies, to Loughner.

Doing so by asserting that her and her pals getting pinked for their political messaging is just like the entire nation of the Jews enduring centuries of pogroms and persecution because of the enduring lie that they murdered babies for their religious ceremonies? Well, there are many ways to explain why this is idiotic, contemptible, morally egregious, conceptually denegrating and just plain wrong, but perhaps the best way to explain it is to send other a few other things through the Palin Equivalence Filter:

Paper cut: AORTIC SPURTING

Lumpy hotel pillow: SMALLPOX ENCRUSTED BLANKETS

Flat soda: SCHISTSOMIASIS

French fries with insufficient salt: THE POTATO FAMINE

Bad table at a restaurant: STALIN STARVING THE UKRAINE

Morning breath: MUSTARD GAS AT YPRES

Having to fly coach: THE BLACK HOLE OF CALCUTTA

Bad cell phone reception: LOCKED-IN SYNDROME

“Sarah Palin’s Alaska” canceled: MANTLE-CRACKING ASTEROID

Hangnail: THE VERY CRUCIFIXION ITSELF

I hope this is sufficiently explanatory.

Again: Palin perfectly correct to complain about those trying to blame her for Loughner’s actions. But of all the stupid, appalling, jackassed things Sarah Palin has ever said in the history of the time she’s inflicted herself on the consciousness of our great nation, this is, alas, merely the most recent.

Yes, It Will Suck. No, I Don’t Really Care

Over at my FilmCritic.com column this week, someone tries to taunt me into outrage about the fact that this summer there will be yet another Transformers film unleashed upon the world. But the truth is, I can’t really work up more than a token amount of fury about it. Go there to find out why.

And of course, if you want to be outraged, either at the Transformers movies or with me, well, that’s what the comments section there is for.

People We Can All Agree Are Scumbags

Some folks are asking me about my thoughts on the Westboro Baptist Church deciding to picket the funeral of the nine-year-old victim of the Tucson shooting. Very briefly:

1. Fred Phelps and his pals make me wish I were a religious man, so I could enjoy imagining the lot of them spending eternity as a human centipede in the very bowels of Hell. But that’s really not a good reason to want to be religious.

2. The day Charlie Stross pointed me to an online essay positing that Fred Phelps is a con man, I felt many things were suddenly clarified. You may find it similarly elucidating.

3. I do think one positive thing about the Westboro Baptist Church is that whether we’re conservative or liberal, gay or straight, hawk or dove, young or old, rich or poor, we can all agree on one thing: those people are assholes. And that’s a comforting thought.

Along that line, allow me to commend to you this essay on the Patriot Guard Riders, written by my then-guest blogger Mykal Burns. My understanding is that a large group of Tucson citizens will be doing a similar thing at the funeral in question. Good for them.