So the crowdfunding campaign to publish my next book, The Hack, is off and running. It’s raised nearly $650 so far. That’s a good start. But there’s a long way to go to hit the target of $3,035, the amount it will take to publish the book with a fighting chance instead of just a thundering meh. Expenses are itemized on the crowdfunding page.
Anyone wondering why I’m going through this rigamarole instead of just uploading a PDF to Amazon can know that it’s because I want to make a physical product that can go in stores and take it on a traditional book tour. I’ll put it out as an e-book, but that is a secondary interest for me with this project, not the principle goal.
I believe in print, and I think you do to. So get on board here
Especially because here are some good perks this time around too including audio stories, films and commissioned works. My favorite is the “Truth or Dare,” which I will respond to on YouTube. As the above picture should illustrate, I have no problem with dares.
The book is only $15. If you’re going to buy it anyway, then why not now? Let’s do this and show the corporate publishing world that doesn’t get to be the sole arbitor of what gets put into the world.
The video I made pimping the campaign is below. Check it out.
A few weeks back, I gave a speech at the Ignite Boise forum. It’s basically a power point presentation about whatever it is the presenter feels like talking about.
It’s supposed to be a forum for big ideas that are interesting for their own merits, not any sort of commercial tie-in. However people occasionally usurp the platform to boost their business or project. As an audience member, that irked the bejeezus out of me.
So when I was asked to submit a proposal, I made my speech about exactly that: the value of ideas in the abstract and why Ignite is a unique forum for them, that should not be used in a commercial manner.
Check it out below.
I wrote this song last year, and have been performing several different versions of it live, but have yet to make it into a studio to lay it down. So here’s an acoustic version. Enjoy. Or don’t, considering the bleakness of the subject matter.
A note on the video itself: I realize it’s not flashy. But I wanted something as stark as the song itself that wouldn’t try to gloss things over, something that might be as uncomfortable to watch as the song was to write. This is what that looked like.
There is a version of this song that The VAM Commanders will be including on our new album, This is Not A Time Machine, when it is eventually released.
Though every time I read the news it feels like the world is rife with religious-fueled mortal peril, I think it’s actually a really great time to be an atheist. Not just because it helps you face all that tragedy with laughter, but because the last 10 years has seen an upswelling of reason and secular philosophy that I believe will become the foundations of a movement to end the religious tyranny and pseudoscience that has kept humanity oppressed for far too long. Books like The God Delusion and The Moral Landscape are bringing big ideas to the table and not shrinking way when they rattle the established order.
A friend of mine recently asked me to discuss atheism, and how it intersects with my ethnic Jewish background, for a web-series he was working on: De-Conversion. You may also recognize him as Mike Lee, The Religious Antagonist, or from our Atheist Gansta Rap video last summer. Our discussion covered everything from the identity-based roots of anti-semitism, Jesus’s status as a “nogoodnik,” and what Jews think of the JJ Abrams Star Trek.
The video is below. Enjoy.
Daniel Waters, the screenwriter for the brilliant 80s satire, Heathers, once said, “My goal when writing my screenplay—as should be the goal of every screenwriter—was to make the greatest movie NEVER made.”
I feel the same way about music. I’m far more interested in doing things that I find interesting than in being commercial or even culturally relevant. That’s why with my solo music project, Godcrotch, I’m trying to do something different every time I play out, and generally the more bizarre or unexpected, the better. Things like an all-ukulele set of metal covers or a one-man blues act or a one-man hip hop act. I have nothing against commercial bands or music, but right now, I’m mostly doing this to amuse myself, so why not go all the way with it?
As a perfect example of that, for a recent gig at Tom Grainey’s Basement in Boise, I got my friend Mike Lee, The Religious Antagonist, to join for me a live-looped atheist gangsta rap we put together just before the show.
I can’t say whether anyone else will like it or not—the guy who sang a song about Jesus right before I played certainly didn’t—but it tickles me pink. Especially the line: “Ain’t no virgins for you up in heaven, just some underage ‘tang down at 7/11.”
Whether I’ll play it again or record it, who knows. But someone did catch it on video, so at least that moment will live on.
Though it’s been nearly a decade since we parted ways, my old band, The VAM Commanders, is in the process of recording a new album. Seeing as how fans have been pushing for this for years, there’s a lot of buzz building around it, the kind of buzz that never built for the other projects we’ve all been in in the interim. For whatever reason, none of those projects, musical or non, resonated as strongly with people as VAM did.