10.4 x 10: Interview with Milwaukee Poet Mike Hauser

by on March 11, 2011

1) To start, can you say a little about when and how you came to writing poetry and when you began to identify as a poet?

Writing was something I always thought I was good at, so I wrote in High School– mostly record reviews because I wanted to be a rock critic, poems, short gruesome Oedipal narratives etc. Two poets I really got into while I was at UW-Washington County were Allen Ginsberg and Federico Garcia Lorca. I had a friend who encouraged me to enroll at UW-Milwaukee. There, I discovered Golda Meir Library and read The Sonnets by Ted Berrigan and I was off. Along the way, I met two people name Zack Pieper and Robert Thomas who also wanted to be poets, and we were kind of poets together. All of this happened “along the way”. And I’m leaving a lot out.

2) Most of the contemporary poets I admire work from somewhere within the yawning chasm that separates slam and spoken word on the one hand and the poetry of the academy on the other. Was it, or has it been, difficult for you to find and participate in a community or scene, or was there always infrastructure in place for you to tap into in Milwaukee? (Is Milwaukee a good place for poets and poetry?)

The yawning chasm is always where the action is! Or where it could be, if you want to make some action. To me, slam/spoken word has always resembled dramatic monologues or stand-up comedy. And I love stand-up comedy by the way. Milwaukee has a scene that is small, but intense. I’ve always said that’s kind of like Voltron, assembling and disassembling at will. Milwaukee is not a literary organism abounding with famous mythical characters, competing milieus, and antagonisms, like New York or San Fransisco. Poets in the midwest are maybe a bit more prone to that whole isolationist thing of “I’m alone in my cabin with my vision”. I find social formations and collectivity really interesting in poetry and I do find that there’s a close community of writers here. Unlike Charles Bukowski, I don’t think most poets are sniveling assholes. I feel pretty good even after a bad poetry reading. Sometimes happier that it ended than having been at it. I do feel like it’s important for me personally to support poetry in Milwaukee, and one way I do that is through curating the Salacious Banter Reading Series.

3) How crucial is appropriation, Google searches, and such, to your poetics?

Read the rest of this entry »

Faith cures

by on March 10, 2011

Further to the PS articles about the placebo effect (here and here) is this nice little graphic.  What I found interesting was the price and packaging making a difference, which explains: the pretentious oenophiles, swirling and sniffing and spitting their wines and thinking the same wine tastes better if it’s in a nicer bottle and costs more; the ads for spurious Spanish fly and viagra that work on men without dictionaries (spurious is such a ten-dollar word and this is only five bucks. score!); fancy sport supplements (though I swear with that HMB powder I could do one more rep at 95% max); Chinese medicine.

But if anyone has some ersatz EPO and D-Bol they wish to sell me…

via The World’s Best Ever.

Gong Show: Exploring metal sound with Karen Stackpole

by on March 10, 2011

Musician and oud maestro Derek Monypeny tips me (and now you) to the sonic wonders of Karen Stackpole‘s obsession with the metallic music of the gong. Listen to a collaboration between Stackpole and Die Elektrischen from Machine Shop here. And watch below as she “illuminates the science, history, and construction of gongs, tam-tams, and metallophones”; beneath that, a look in on the composition process of the aforementioned experimental gong/electronics duo Machine Shop.


Nature versus Nurture

by on March 10, 2011

China is frequently railed against for its corruption; eg. the senior rail official who embezzled more than a hundred million. Corruption is common and I have seen it – in a nightclub the police arrived and waited until the foreign manager gave them a paper bag – and not secondhand – the ‘red envelopes’ my factory-owning friends say they pay to local officials. It’s not acknowledged but everyone knows.

But the type of corruption that is going on in the US is of another sort – it’s far more insidious. It’s of an ideological sort. If the more common type of corruption of taking kickbacks and other types of payment like sex are, say, mosquitoes, sucking blood on the surface, the kind of corruption that Abe Sauer at the Awl is reporting on is more a virus -a sci-fi virus that doesn’t simply kill the host, it converts the host to a malevolent shadow of itself bent on eliminating everything. Maybe this explains the explosion of zombie films.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Revolution Will Be File-Shared Via Torrent

by on March 10, 2011

Gosh, how much the question remains the same since Nixon. Check out more Gil Scott-Heron here. As for Bullwinkle, he may not star in the Revolution, but I am confident that he and the Squirrel have a role to play before the break to Fractured Fairy Tales.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off

Popcorn By Cannon

by on March 10, 2011

From the nation that gave us gunpowder – the popcorn cannon. Can I trademark Cannon Korn?

Chinese Popcorn Cannon – Watch more Funny Videos

Via Break


by on March 10, 2011

From Vijay Prashad:

John McCain wants to bomb his “interesting” friend, Qaddafi. McCain sounds like the futurist poet Tommaso Marinetti, who greeted the Italian aerial bombardment of Tripoli with a manifesto that found it “hygienic” and a “moral education.” The Italian air force thought that the bombing had “a wonderful effect on the morale of the Arabs.”

Comments Off

Glorious Bastard

by on March 9, 2011

The Hollywood Reporter states that Michael Chabon is developing a series with HBO, Hobgoblin, that will tell of a group of con men, hucksters and swindlers who ply their trade against the Nazis during WW II. Seems perfect for Chabon and perfect for the man I see as leader of this group, Mamet regular Ricky Jay.

Jay is a magician’s magician who can baffle and beguile you with a deck of cards and who, if he is not in the show, must certainly be an advisor since he has written a few books on the skills of bewilderment.

Here are a few examples of what he can do. You will be credulous and incredulous, the proper response for such wizardry. Take your disappearing statues and buildings and cram them up your ass: you know it’s just gimcrackery at work in such cases, not skill honed by tens of thousands of hours.

Much more after the break.
Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off

Know Your Rights!

by on March 9, 2011

Researchers at McGill and Harvard have provided data on international working conditions, which has been compiled for the website “Raising the Global Floor: A World Legal Rights Database”.

The database is comprised of “an evidence-based set of national labor policies that affect workers’ ability to meet health and welfare needs.” Boring? Hardly! You don’t have to be a policy wonk to find the site fascinating. Especially as it pertains to labour standards that undoubtedly affect your life. Moreover, the presentation is so clean that negotiating the material is a cinch. You can discover international differences in maternity and paternity leaves, overtime work, sick leave, etc, etc. Colour-coded maps help with country-to-country comparisons while country summaries provide lists of more detailed information. Hey, it’s fun and informative!

Easy-to-find fun factoid #1: All the countries of the world have mandated some paid annual leave to their workers, save for Myanmar, Nepal, and the USA (heaven forbid the freedom to work endlessly be impinged upon).

(h/t Laurence Miall)

Comments Off

Michigan’s Fiscal Crisis–Killing Democracy

by on March 9, 2011

Pro-Government Tanks Shelling the Russian Parliament (c/o Wikileaks)

Can we call it fascism, yet?  Michigan’s one-party state (Republican) is now prepping the blueprint to strip citizens of their local democracy.  All under the rubric of response to a “financial emergency” (self same “financial emergency” being engineered by the apparatchiki).   And no, this is not all Godwin’s Law–De Stafani, Mussolini’s first finance minister lowered taxes, pushed free trade and privatized state enterprises while reforming the tax code in favor of economic elites and lowered real wages for everyone else.  Sound familiar?  Shock doctrine ain’t so new.  And, of course, the old parliament was blocking these reforms so the parliament had to go.

We don’t have to use the “f-word” on this–Governor Rick Snyder seems to aiming for a brand of “managed democracy” aimed at economic growth.  In Yeltsin’s Russia, we called this shock therapy and it didn’t work out too well (Russia in the 1990s experience a depression twice as severe as what Western Europe and the US experienced in the 1930s).  And, oh, yeah, they shelled the parliament.  At least one election was then stolen.   In the battle between capitalism and democracy, capitalism has been winning quite alot and all the fine elites have been calling the destruction of people’s standard of living, “democracy.”  Yeah, Russians voted for a decline in the expected life span of nearly ten years.  And if you think extra-constitutional measures are not the new normal, just note that Wisconsin passed its union-busting law without a quorum in a dirty, backroom manuever.  And, oh btw, the State Senate Majority Leader, just admitted that none of this has anything to do with fiscal measures but defunding the Democratic Party and costing Obama Wisconsin.

Thing is, they just did it.  Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan will not vote for Obama because you can be sure a raft of measures to disenfranchise democratic constituencies ala Florida 200o are on the way.

See Rachel Maddow’s clip, after the break, with discussion of the process with Naomi Klein, who knows a thing about the subject.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off

Libya – This Is How Failed States Happen

by on March 9, 2011

Ras Lanuf March 8, 2011. (REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic)

See the complete gallery of stunning photographs of what is becoming harder and harder not to describe as a civil war in Libya in The Atlantic: Libya’s Escalating Conflict.

The weaknesses of both sides in all this mean the chaos looks open ended. This is how failed states happen.
Laurence Lee, Al Jezeera

Mirror mirror

by on March 9, 2011

Here’s someone who needs to watch more sci-fi movies (I know, Alien 3 isn’t great, but it’s got its moments, what with the hot bald-Ripley and allusions to Passion of St. Joan) and read some good doppleganger fiction. He would then know that building a robot likeness of yourself is going to end with one of you dead, you, and the robot sexing up your women (and they like it),  raping and/or eating your dog, and subjugating and/or eliminating humanity.

We can also add cloning to this – Moon - and even time-based cloning just so you go watch the excellent and mind-screwing Primer.

So, with all that todo, here’s Geminoid from a guy who you know is going to end up making Pris.

I have a suggestion for him: drop the ‘oid’ from the name.

No no. Keep it so we are all safer.  It can become an ending, like the ‘ov’ or ‘ova’ and ‘son’ or ‘dottir’ in patronymics. Say, Malcolmoid – Malcolm’s android.
Then, when the revolution comes and inevitably someone faces you and your ‘droid, someone can engage in Star Trek logic bombs,

‘I like you. But I don’t like you.’

‘But we are (zzt) (zzt) exactly the same.’

(zzt)  (zzt)



and we will be saved.

Comments Off