Sunday, November 30, 2008


Since the fire in my apartment ate all my belongings, the only thing I brought to Vietnam was a suitcase filled with peanut-flavored crisp candies topped with a layer of caramel and dipped in chocolate.

Luckily, Whatchamacallits are a delicacy in Vietnam and only rich warlords can afford them.

I am a very wealthy man.

I am trading Whatchamacallits for nuclear missiles and trading the nuclear missiles for white slaves from impoverished countries.

I am also now a Vietnamese citizen. I gave a Whatchamaccallit to a corrupt government bureaucrat and he gave me a citizenship.

Life in Vietnam is simple, pleasurable, and highly profitable.

Mike Young was supposed to visit yesterday, but his plane was hijacked by flying monkeys. Not real flying monkeys. Actors who were supposed to have played flying monkeys in the new Wizard of Oz remake before the Hollywood system decided the world would be a better place if they stopped remaking movies and started paying screenwriters to write stories that are 90% rehashed movie and 10% new material.

Mike Young is either in Oz or on the bottom of the Atlantic, having developed superhuman gill-like attributes. If so, you may send care packages to him at the following address:

The Atlantic

Last night, I attended a film festival showing American-made movies about Vietnam. There was a big protest outside. The Vietnamese people were unhappy that all the American-made movies about Vietnam were about the war. They took hostages. I escaped in my Bat Mobile. I always wanted one of these things. Its tires feed upon the blood of the disgruntled.

New from the home front:

TTB was caught contributing to the corruption of the youth of America. He has been fired.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

In the Shit

I have been receiving a lot of email asking if I'm really in Vietnam.

Yes, I'm really in Vietnam.

It is dangerous here.

Decades ago, the VietCong set up bear traps and hid them beneath VietCong feces. The VietCong are tricky.

I haven't stepped in one of these bear traps yet because I know what VietCong feces looks like. But I like to have a picnic next to a bear trap and wait for people who look mean and point and laugh when they step in the bear trap. I also make a sad face whenever a person who looks nice steps into it.

The VietCong strategy was for their VietCong feces to infect the wound so their victim would have to get their leg amputated. This was back during the time that I like to refer to as Nam'. Now, all of the VietCong feces is an antique and can be sold on E-bay for like twenty bucks a pound. It is so old that it no longer causes infections, but it is not yet prehistoric, so it is still really gross to have slathered all over your bloody leg.

Getting caught in a bear trap can still cause your leg to become infected. But at least you stand a chance if you get to a hospital ASAP. Like if you gnaw off your leg and bring it to the hospital to be sewn back on. Your leg will never become infected if you gnaw it off. Vietnam has some excellent hospital seamstresses.

Mike Young says he's visiting me on Friday. I will try to help him avoid the bear traps.

If anyone wants to send me a care package, please use the following address:

Bradley Sands

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mike Young's new chapbook

I am in Vietnam. I have been staying with my friend and his brother and his mother because my apartment burnt down, but they would not let me live in their house while they were on a Vietnamese vacation. So I went with them. The mother is dead. This confuses me. All the hotel rooms in Vietnam are luxurious, have high-speed internet, and six comfortable beds for me to choose from. Yet I still have trouble falling asleep.
I really like T Rex.

I woke up when my room was on fire. The fire told me the time. The digits on my clock are fire.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens Interview Series: Sam Pink

Sam Pink wrote a story called I Am the Dictator. It is an awesome shitty story. Sam Pink threatened the lives of my family and friends if I didn't publish it in Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens #8. But at least it is not an ultra shitty story. I wouldn't have published it in Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens #8 if it was an ultra shitty story, even if Sam Pink threatened the lives of my family and friends. I still have a ethics. Here is an interview that I conducted with Sam Pink:

Why are you interested in working at the Bronx Zoo?

Because that is the first place I ever hid in a bathroom stall and blew out a mouthful of all-kool-aid-vomit through a harmonica and let the harmonica-spray hit my feet.

Tell me a little about yourself.

I am currently interested in things like filling my mouth with all-kool-aid-vomit and then blowing it through a harmonica onto my feet in a public bathroom at the Bronx Zoo.

If possible, I would also buy a wax dolphin like the ones they sell at the Brookfield Zoo because I enjoy throwing those at the ground and stepping on them.

If I contacted your former employer, what would he tell me about you?

My employer, he or she would say, "Yeah, he's a pretty good person who we employed at this location, but he had a habit of leaving work to like, blow a mouth of kool aid vomit through a harmonica onto his feet in a public bathroom like some place such as the Bronx Zoo. He also calls off of work with excuses like, 'it was too soon after the last time being there' and 'it is the first anniversary of me deciding to declare an anniversary before work'. But definitely hire him, he is a great hugger."

What is your greatest strength?

Sitting completely still on my couch listening to the fridge and feeling like a very special person.

What is your greatest weakness?

Any of the ways another person could manipulate my body to result in death.

Can you tell me about a time you had a problem with an animal and what did you do to alleviate the problem?

The only animal I experience currently is my roommate's cat. When I sense that the cat is about to misbehave, I pick him up and rock him back and forth and also I make up songs for him and sing the songs while I am cradling him. There is no living creature who can escape my infinite love.

Do you have any questions for me?

Yes I do:

Bradley Sands, aside from eating ass, which is your main pursuit, how do you spend your time?

When I am not enjoying the sensation of having my ass eaten by you, I watch my family and friends on surveillance cameras, hoping to catch you in the act of attempted murder.

Oh no way! Awesome. So, let's say you are not eating ass, and instead you go to get some fuel for your car. How do you resist filling each of your pockets with gas and lighting your pockets on fire and then just standing there?

When I am not enjoying the sensation of having my ass eaten by you, I think about my family and friends and how I wouldn’t be around any longer to protect them against you.

Good answer, Bradley! Can I just cut some skin off your skull a little? Open your mouth and let me throw a rock at the back of your throat. Why are white people necessarily evil and what is the best way to kill the white people?

Yes, yes, chlorine in swimming pools, forcing them to ingest a change purse of pennies and lit firecrackers (although this would not work on my family and friends).

I hadn't even thought about it like that! I am impressed by your answering ability. Did you have anything to ask me?

Why are you so damn hard to kill, Sam Pink?

I am hard to kill because every time someone tries to hit me or kill me I put my hands over my eyes and then I disappear into that person.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens Interview Series: Blake Butler

Blake Butler wrote a story called We Witnessed the Advent of a New Apocalypse During an Episode of Friends. It is an awesome story. I published it in Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens #8. Here is an interview that Bust's associate editor, Jason Moore, conducted with Blake:

Jason Moore: Let's get started with something that immediately struck me about your work. I'm talking about your use of poetic devices, poetic language in your fiction. How does your reading and writing of poetry inform your fiction?

Blake Butler: I began with writing by writing 'poems'. Some common freakshow over the Beats, in particular, Allen Ginsberg, who slammed me against the wall. I read his collected poems back to back several times when I was fat, and I got fatter before I got thin. I wrote a lot of shit through high school and into college, trying to get a computer science degree. I was, and still am mostly, an awful poet, when I think about writing a 'poem as a poem.' Though I think, with writing, because it all comes down to the word, to the arrangement of words, you have to be in a semi-'poetic' mode to say anything at all. Most of the time when I read narrative fiction now that is more about the 'story' or the developing of the character or the ideas inside it than it is about the way those perspectives are phrased, how each word rams into the other one by one to build sentences, if it does not feel syllabicaly deliberate, I can't continue. I think at best, whatever you are writing, there is a balance there of language and content that when strung & struck together in some unnamed balance, is where the shit is. 'The shit.' Often people spend too much time thinking I think about 'what it is' they are writing, rather than just letting words come out. Recent people who have rung my bell as master balance are Eugene Marten, Ken Sparling, Stanley Crawford, and most every day, William Gass.

JM: Right, William Gass. I love him. He said something about how too much contemporary fiction lacks a performance and auditory sense. He said he tries to write for the ear. Something to be heard. I see the same thing in your fiction. From editing/reading you I notice some times you will bypass the clear word or phrase to achieve a musicality. Do you agree with Gass? Do you think fiction should be written "by the mouth for the ear"?

BB: I think I write 60% out of just rhythm. Though for me, it's more a mouth in my head than in an out loud mouth, because when I talk I mumble, and even more often I just would rather think. Too, people are reading inside their head, and so I write mainly I think from some kind of tremor that is up there. I will leave or insert words that have no meaning that I could want to explain because of the way they come off when I hum them. Then, if I want to be a son of a fuck, I could go look again and affix a meaning or reason why those words are there, 'what they are saying,' though really, that doesn't matter to me as much, because there is always something there. I believe in saying something without knowing you are saying it, because anything I've ever felt I've really said were things I did not think about and had no idea why I was saying them. When I think about what I am saying, I usually say really stupid or obvious shit. My girlfriend makes fun of me for it. 'Oh that would be awesome.' I say. Or 'That sounds good.' I don't think it’s an accident when you don't know what you are saying. It is combination on a level that does not require even intuition.

In the book I read last night, Ken Sparling's DAD SAYS HE SAW YOU AT THE MALL, which is amazing, there is a line: "If you think you can say a word, tell a person a single word, without telling the person everything you know, you are wrong."


JM: Yeah, I have that same problem of saying obvious shit or completely boring things like "definitely" or "sounds cool." You can have all these complex thoughts but in certain situations they stay locked inside. I mumble a lot too. Maybe it has to do with that. Or maybe we are thinking too much about what we are saying.

But I want to get your opinion on something I once heard Jonathan Franzen say. He said experimental fiction limits literature's potential for mass readership and sends a negative message that "good" fiction is difficult to read. Being someone who likes to experiment with words and ideas, what are you thoughts on this?

BB: I don't care. Jonathan Franzen has never written a single word that said anything to me. So why does he need a big audience? What is essential about what he is saying that it should be spread into so many people? He's competing with the sitcom. I would rather say more to less people. I would rather say things to myself.

Most of the time when I write I am writing to no one. To nothing. I don't mean that as a misnomer, or as some sort of qualifier for why one thing is better than another. I would rather be saying something that no one can claim to understand than something that housewives can get cajoled into buying. The funny thing to me about the Oprah vs Franzen snafu was that he was right where he should have been. He just got coy. I would like to make Oprah throw up into a bucket. I would like to impregnate Oprah with paper and then induce the abortion.

At the same time, though, I don't think writing intentionally for shock or in babble or to 'be experimental' has much value either. Again, there's some kind of line there, like in the mash between narrative and language, in which you can completely disrupt people's heads while giving them something to suck on.

People talk too much about what things are supposed to be instead of making them into what they are, I think. Usually when I start bitching about something eventually I think I think I wish I had just shut my mouth and put my words into something else.

Good fiction doesn't have to be difficult to read, but if I understand everything you are saying, if my head doesn't get opened up, I might as well be renting DVDs or asleep.

JM: I was checking out something you've been working on for a while, 2500, a series of stories written in lists. I saw something like that in some Donald Bartheleme pieces. What drew you to that technique?

BB: I started writing the lists as something to distract myself from a bullshit job I had at the time. I came in one morning and my supervisor said 'Good morning' to me and I wanted to throw up on his desk but instead I went to my desk and started writing the first thing that came out of my head. In an office, waking first thing, the lists just came out naturally, and gave me an ordered system to write in fragments while I was doing other things for the job. I had read Barthelme's 'The Glass Mountain' before that but it wasn't on my mind at all: it was pure function. I wrote them in my Gmail browser so I could hide what I was doing.

But in general, I just love lists. I tend to think of everything I write in list fashion to some extent. It probably comes from having first wanted to try to make things after reading Ginsberg, who is a list master.

I finally just finished the 50th list in the series yesterday. I have some more to do fix-wise before I'm done with the fucker, but I am glad to have an end in sight. 50 lists turns out to be a lot.

JM: So what is your revision process like?

BB: I guess it depends on what I am working on, but probably not. I tend to revise a lot while I am writing directly, in that, at least, I am careful with how I phrase things as they come out. I like to make a good sentence the first time, and spend time on it, which is different than what a lot of the advice I got in writing school was. They say, "The first draft doesn't matter, just get it out." Which can work, but I think then you are setting yourself up for a fuckton of work and probably a lot of shit to wade through. I'd rather do it well the first time, and I think in the vomit-write method you end up with a lot of stuff that masks what you are really trying to do. So, even though I often end up writing really fast, I usually have at least a decent manuscript when I am finished.

After that, I read through the manuscript over and over, adding or deleting, until I feel like I can read through it without wanting changes. Of course, the longer you wait between drafts, the more you tend to see, but at least with what I've been doing lately everything is of such a specific mind that I like to try to get it finished in the same stretch. That's another revision rule I'm not crazy about, "Write something, set it aside, then come back and see what sticks." I think that method works with certain kinds of writing, but often I want something that comes out of who I am right then. I also tend to increase my word count through revision, as I find more holes and openings in ideas I left half-stranded on first pass. I like the idea of expansion, finding little tunnels into sentences, and worming them open, making more.

I read an interview with William Vollmann once where he talked about his idea of revision being that he takes a sentence, and packs more and more into it until it explodes the way a kernel of popcorn does, with all these other surfaces and edges to it, that weren't there in the original kernel. That always stuck with me.

JM: Insect imagery recurs throughout your work. Do insects have any special metaphorical significance for you? Do any particular themes or ideas fascinate you or run through your work?

BB: I hate insects. I don't think about insects in metaphor. I try not to think like that when I am writing. I've said 'crap' and 'crud' and 'dander' and 'foam' and other things of that nature quite a bit throughout the stories I've published in the last year, though I am trying now to move off of that. To force myself to use other terms. Though I like the idea of things recurring. I think everything I've ever written is connected in some way, even in a designed way to some extent. Though I try not to think about things like 'scope' or 'significance' or 'themes' when I am writing. Or ever really. Ever ever.

I am trying to stop writing about babies getting destroyed or eaten or ripped to bits but I seem to have trouble thematically disregarding that.

I like candy and bubbles too I think.

JM: I want to switch things up a bit and get into editing. You're editing a journal called Lamination Colony. How do you approach editing other people's work? What makes a good editor?

BB: With Lamination Colony, I mostly only accept things I don't have to edit for content. Meaning, I really only edit grammar and punctuation errors, etc. I don't think it is my job as editor to change what is said. In other words, I don't take a piece of writing if I am not willing to run it as it is submitted, line for line (though I guess in rare exceptions I have suggested very minor changes, or cuts that make it stronger). I'd say at least 9 out of 10 pieces though are left entirely unchanged. With other things I've edited I don't do this, but in the case of Lamination Colony, I think this is the way that works best. Too often things are edited down to remove their quirks or to smooth out things that don't need to be smoothed, usually in the case of clarity, but I like some lack of clarity here and there.

In certain circumstances, I've even left in grammatical errors that would throw the reader out of the text, because I like to throw a reader out of the text in some cases. For example, in Sam Pink's 'i clipped a random picture from an obituary ate ate it...', the last line is 'one of the first things you have to learn is how to ties your shoes.' Obviously that isn't proper english, but I like the way it comes off, and I like how it functions at the end of the piece, as a semantic ejection. Whether or not Sam did that on purpose, I don't know for sure, but I am going to believe he fully did, because I trust a text as it is on the page until I am given reason not to. I think it would much less funny without the 'ties.'

Editing is a funny business. In this particular journal's case, I say, 'Let the monsters live.'

JM: I agree, to an extent, about letting the monsters live. Too much clarity, especially in surreal or bizarre fiction, takes away a lot of the power. N.O Brown said that surrealism is a "systematic illumination of the hidden places and a progressive darkening of the rest." And of course most surreal poetry/fiction is full of so-called errors, and there isn't much in the way of clarity. Do you think clarity is overemphasized in contemporary fiction? Just look at all the how-to write books out there. They're mostly about achieving perfect clarity. It's kind of an obsession with them.

BB: I don't think it is clarity as a whole that is overemphasized necessarily. Clarity of text is important, though I think moreso in saying it the way it should be said rather than in clarity of meaning. There definitely is too much reliance on 'knowing what is being said' and 'what is human about this text, what is the experience of it.' People misinterpret the question of what is relatable to in a text for the way it creates parallels perhaps, but I think even obfuscation is human, probably more human that clear understanding.

I watched an Andy Warhol documentary the other night where he said something along the lines of how people criticize films because they are too irreal for life, but in those films the basis of an emotion is displayed in an actually jarring palpable way, a way you can feel, whereas most of real life, when things happen, it is flatline, it is deadpan, the moment comes and goes. If I wanted to experience a fiction that simulates those big emotions in definitively connective ways, I would watch a movie or TV.

I read mainly because I want to be pulled into something like what is there when I am asleep. And for the same reason I enjoy dreaming, I enjoy fiction that leaves itself unanswered, or an answer buried in it, not simply systematically embedded and orchestrated and answered in all ends, with a specific purpose, not fake tits.

JM: This morning I was reading something from James Hillman's Revisioning Psychology. He was saying that our dreams tend to produce the most distressing images--perversions and disgusting images, fantasies we tend to shy away from while awake. He said "the worst images are the best." Is this irruption of the unconscious similar to what you were alluding to when you said "I want to be pulled into something like what is there when I am asleep"?

BB: I think so. I like images that erupt more of what they are and their collision than something orchestrated by a human mind, with intent. That's not to say there is no authorial design in texts that leave things unanswered, but more that it is something the author was not necessarily fully of aware of during the creation. Writing, and by the same ticket, reading, should be a process of discovery for the author and the person experiencing the text, I think. You hear certain kinds of writers talk about how the act of writing and reading is a 'contract between the author and the reader, and when that contract is broken, all trust is lost.' That's an awful way to think about it, I think, and dangerous, and suffocating. In many ways I think the author is just a vehicle and the text is something altogether of itself, that it is the text creating the author and not the other way around.

Searching for a waking dream state is probably why I get out of bed at all.

And yet even the term 'dream state' gets used to ill ends, such as Gardner's concept of the narrative dream, in which if you ruin the contract, you have destroyed the story. So many of my dreams are so shocking and terror ridden in me distinctly because I am aware of what they are trying to do to me, and manner with which they construct walls that seem both made of parts of me I know and do not know. I guess that's where the collision of the creative state for me is: on some cusp. Because I only ever feel half awake in the first place. Because humans are meat.

JM: Gardner, to me, took a lot of the mystery, terror and soul from the term "dream". As if dreams come from some rational space in the mind where everything is known, easy-to-follow, well-lit. I don't know about you but my dreams aren't always "vivid" or "continuous." Have you had any interesting dreams you'd like to share?

BB: Exactly. 'Rational dreaming.' Jesus christ. I just got an ad in my email inbox from Narrative Magazine. How fitting.

As far as recent dreams, they haven't been as violent lately. Usually my dreams are fairly brutal and seem to last for many days. I think this comes out of my usual pattern of shitty sleep, which has gotten a lot better in the past month or so.

Here's a calmer dream I like from many years ago, from the dream journal I unfortunately no longer keep:

I'm in an evacuated shopping mall, walking along the rows of unlit stores with a baby who does not seem old enough to hold himself up, but who nevertheless is able to keep right in sync with my every stride. He saunters like an experienced cowboy.

Together we peer in through various store windows. Each one is filled three-quarters of the way full with a cloudy volume of water, and is weakly lit by florescent lighting that exudes from the back of store. If I concentrate hard enough I can make out the presence of figures that hover just above the floor in strange scuba gear. They hold stock-still and stare back at me with frozen disregard, as if they are trying to avoid being discovered by some presence.

Whenever we come to a pair of escalators, I stand and watch the baby ride up one, and then down the other. He grins with a mouthful of fully developed adult teeth and socks me in the gut every few minutes.

Here is one more typical of me:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

head explosion

New story up at Opium:

Posted two minutes after I was emailed the acceptance. Immediate satisfaction.

Wish I knew the direct link since it probably won't be up on the main page for long.

Finished with all my MFA apps except one. Will mail out writing samples in the morning. One unfinished app needs tax return info. Not enough time to figure that out (since I'm at work) before I leave to go to the airport.

Applying to grad school=destroy

Will be traveling from 9 AM EST to 7:17 PM PST. I hate traveling. I will destroy. Going to Bizarro Con in Portland-ish Oregon.

This is the last time I will ever tell the truth (besides dull announcements about not dull things that get published).

Monday, November 3, 2008

Interview with Seth Schultz

Seth Schultz has multiple personality disorder. He used to have two, until he killed one off with a chainsaw. He is writing a book about how to manage your money. It is called Mutant Money Management, I think. He was working on his memoir, but that was many years ago. It was called Mutant Memoirs. I think he might have lost interest in it. He was once the leader of his own cult.

Why do you enjoy being naked at parties?

It is part ego trip and part trying to get people to let loose. It's not about sex, or even seeing people naked. People are so uptight and trapped in our societal structure and parties are supposed to be a way to wind down. But even most "smash the system" people I know are too uptight and or insecure to get naked amongst friends and party goers. So when I'm the only person that does get naked I feel like I've out done everyone. Though I'd feel like I actually achieved something if I actually convinced any number of people at a party to get naked and wild.

Why are you writing Mutant Money Management?

I'm writing a book on how to manage money because most people I know don't seem to manage their money well. The long term goal is to convince enough friends to become financially stable enough to participate in a dream co-housing plan of mine. Or at least live with cool people who also have money to pay bills on time. Of course, by the time this happens everyone I know will be married and have kids. Because that's what humans do. They get bored, mate and breed uncontrollably.

The reason I'm presently not working on this book on managing money is because I'm a procrastinator, I hate the human race, and I think I have this strange fear of completing things. I would much rather start work on three other projects that probably wont be finished than work on this one right now. Also I've been playing the sequel to the game S.T.A.L.K.E.R. because gunfights with Russian speaking characters in radioactive landscapes is closer to what I wanted to be when I grew up than a writer.

The problem with inner piece is that you don't really give a shit if you die and don't leave anything amazing behind. Wait, is that inner piece or depression?

I'm not answering your question. I'm the interviewer. You're the fucking subject. You don't get to ask me questions. Especially questions that don't have proper answers. I'm on to your schemes. There are men in black suits watching outside your window.

How come you decided to write a memoir when you're not elderly, a former drug addict, a homosexual, or a former abused child? People who aren't elderly, former drug addicts, homosexuals, or former abused children aren't allowed to write memoirs. Also, when are you going to finish your memoir?

I'm writing a memoir because I'm not an abused elderly homosexual drug addict. Sure I suffered, but in a more common way, in a way we all suffer.

My first inspiration for writing a memoir was the whole "Mutant" thing. We are raised to be mediocre. Only by sheer accident does anyone achieve any form of real greatness. I've spent my life trying to understand the whole situation of social/intellectual mutation. I saw it happening when I was very young, but I didn't really know what it was or how to fight it. That can really screw up a kid.

I've spent most of my life alone. Trying to find out what a Mutant is and why we are what we are. As well as what it means to be a Mutant on a very personal level. I've gained many great abilities and learned how to find peers and allies. The work I've done so far has been received positively by the few I've shared it with.

But that's not enough. It is not enough to say your life has sucked. Or even to say that you have come to terms with your issues and have found inner peace and a place in the world. That is just masturbatory bullshit and that is not real work!

The reason I have not finished my memoir is because I have a lot of questions left to answer. Or at least to word properly enough to leave for the next generation of Mutants to work on. And because I just haven't gotten back to that project.

Can/should we create more Mutants? If we can, can we limit the negative effects through controlled mutation? Should we keep our mutation secret or is it safe to be open about it? Are elements of Mutant-ness hereditary or spiritual? Is there a better term than Mutant? There are a lot of questions I can't answer and a lot that I can't even formulate correctly yet. It is also hard to talk about such a thing without sounding insane.

For those interested in my research, I recommend the Teenage Liberation Handbook by Grace Llewellyn. It's about home schooling or self-schooling, but it describes in non crazy ways how society is making us mediocre and how to fight back.

I know that you're involved or were involved with the Church of the Subgenius. I know the church considers its members "mutants." I'm wondering if your "mutant" philosophy came from them or if it's entirely your own creation.

Another question: Can you tell me about your time spent as a SubGenius?

I actually forget where I heard the term mutant used to describe people. It probably was the Church or DEVO, but DEVO is so linked with the Church of the SubGenius that is doesn't matter which. My use of the term isn't much different from that of the Church. I still embrace a lot of their teachings and still have a lot of respect for that philosophy. While there is a connection, I don't believe that Mutant is an entirely SubGenius term. I'm sure many of the books and articles on Social Darwinism have influenced the corruption of the term from its origins in biology. The Church and others like myself are just further offshoots.

I'm afraid I can't talk about my time as a SubGenius at the moment.

And why not?

Actually I could talk about the Church of the SubGenius, but it always ends up being a mixture of trying to tell the truth and sounding absurd, making shit up to sound more plausible and just talking about the boring stuff that doesn't really say anything. Like the guy who took a dump in the hot tub on X-Day. (Editor’s note: X-Day is the end of the world. It was supposed to happen on July 5, 1998 at 7:00 AM. I don’t think it happened. I think. I think the Church has an X-Day event every year. When the end of the world doesn’t happen, they say something like, “Oops, we made a mistake. It is actually supposed to happen last year." Less and less people come to these X-Day events each year)

Being an active member of the Church is a different experience for everyone (unless you are a Pink or Bobbie in which case your experience is probably pretty typical and not really related to mine). What I can say is that my time with the Church greatly expanded my being. In some ways I actually can't discuss.

What the heck is "Bobbie"? You need to explain yourself better for people who don't know these things. They don't know what "A Pink" is, although I'm confused about what it is in the context of being a member of the church and being a pink at the same time.

*sigh* This is why I tried to avoid talking about the Church in the first place. We're getting wrapped up in things that don't matter. If a reader is interested in trying to understand the Church of the Subgenius. Making most people (including most members) confused by our religion's inner and outer workings and strange terms is an important part of it's functionality. Spoon fed truth does not taste as good as hard earned truth. Nor does it get digested quite as well. This is especially true with spirituality and space demons.

(Editor’s note: Fuck Seth Schultz. A Pink might be a person who is not a member of the Church. A Bobbie might be someone who is a member the Church, but not really a member. More like a poseur. I don’t know)

I have a crossbow. Give me your life savings.

Having watched you try to use my crossbow, this threat feels pretty hollow.

I will aim for your heart. You will end up blind in your left eye.

What's it like to have multiple personalities and does having an extra one normally result in starting a cult that's disguised as a student group?

Having multiple personalities is strange. Luckily mine tend to exist simultaneously and are aware of each other, so I don't get that confusion of lost time and wondering why I'm wearing pants with a tail sewed on the back.

I suppose you are asking about Booga. Well, he was an exceptional character. I don't think the whole "start a cult" thing is normal to that sort of situation and in his case it was kind of an accident. By failing to do one thing (set up a SubGenius Devival at a college) something far greater happened (formed Mutants Against Majority Organization). Sometimes that's how Slack works.

Who is Booga?

Towards the end of high school I started getting into the Tank Girl Comics. Booga was Tank Girl's boyfriend. a mutant Kangaroo with a personality I very much related to. So I started using the name. In college I used the name almost entirely. Most people never new my real name.

During my time as Booga I had a lot of energy and a lot of bold ideals. But over time I realized that while I could make people listen to me at a passive level I could not pass on that energetic zeal.

Emitting that kind of energy without the feedback I desired became tiring and after a while that part of me died off. And with that, I stopped using the name Booga.

Who is Seth?

Well first off, I am Seth. A man, aged 31 years. I think a big element that explains a lot about me is innocence.

Imagine an alien child with nothing but good intentions dropped on this planet. He is intelligent, but lacks many of the biological instincts which make humans do the things they do. Because of this he did not mingle well with the humans around him as he grew up, so he also lacks many of the socially formed instincts or habits. And unlike superman or any other alien dropped on earth story, there is no super power or fourth nipple. To everyone else he is just another man.

This is kind of how I feel a lot of the time. I feel like the logic behind my decision making is vastly different than most people's. Even when I do the same thing other people are doing I feel like I'm doing it for a different reason. And so it is hard for me to connect with other people. There are very few people I meet in life who I feel like I actually understand and get along with in any sort of 'real' way.

Through growing up in this world with such different eyes I feel like I've seen things in ways others might not and I've wanted to express this in the hope of bringing on some form of positive change. But as anyone who has tried (alien or not) knows that this is a very hard thing to do. All of this has made me a bitter, tired and lonely man.

So I often spend my time distancing myself from the rest of the world, attempting to figure out dating rituals and get a girlfriend or plucking away at a few projects I feel might make a difference.

I am very depressed. I do not think it's for any particular reason besides the chemicals in my head. Do you have any suggestions for alleviating this depression?

If your depression is caused by chemical imbalance then I would suggest drugs. Preferably prescribed by someone who knows what they are doing. If your depression is caused by an inaccurate interpretation of yourself and/or the world around you then I suggest therapy. If however your depression is caused by an accurate understanding of yourself and/or the world around you then you have a tough choice; fix what is depressing or kill yourself.

Ok, I will kill myself after I’m done posting this interview on my blog.

Saturday, November 1, 2008