Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Disinformation :: The gateway to the underground - news, politics, conspiracy and weirdness.

Disinformation :: The gateway to the underground - news, politics, conspiracy and weirdness.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Mythinformation For Self-Publishing Revolution :: Disinformation :: The gateway to the underground - news, politics, conspiracy and weirdness.

Mythinformation For Self-Publishing Revolution :: Disinformation :: The gateway to the underground - news, politics, conspiracy and weirdness.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

"There comes a time when every man feels the urge to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and start slitting throats."
-- H.L. Mencken

Saturday, June 19, 2004

The Mythville Chronicle

A Self-Interview with Self-Publisher and Self-Publishing Promoter, Douglas McDaniel

By Douglas McDaniel

The scene: In the imaginary Mythville of his mind, experiential author and poet Douglas McDaniel readies the coffee for his press conference, pulling a folded pouch of black, white, quite stained cloth from his backpack. He sets it on a cement bench with various notebooks of poems, a backpack, a compass, Mythville.com business cards, small piles of books for sale, a carved wooden "eagle" and, gotta have it, the Mythville logo, which is a steer skull and the words Mythville.org.

"A premonition of anthrax," Mr. McDaniel chuckles, to himself, in the Mythville of his mind, on how that logo was devised nine months before Sept. 11, 2001, but only a few weeks, if that long, after Dec. 13, 2000, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled all dimpled chads null and void. "That’s the kind of humor you find in Mythville. Oh well, satire never plays fair. All we really knew back then, the witches of Essex and myself, was there was going to be some serious hell to pay. And the logo, the dot org, a network of one? What a gag!

"A serious non-prophet action, yes it is, yes it is."

Oh yeah, the scene, again: the Jack Kerouac shrine in Lowell, Massachusetts. Right by the river. Betwixt the satanic red-brick mills. The site is chosen, in the Mythville of his mind, because just four years before, sometime after the so-called "election" of George W. Bush Jr. as national executioner, and just prior to the dawn of the new century, that is, Jan. 1, 2001, Mr. McDaniel had accidentally found this place. Or, since there’s no such thing as an accident, it had found him. There he was, in a Chinese food restaurant in downtown Lowell, after coming out of the "T" station and hitching it over to the city center because, hey, it was something Kerouac would do. He didn’t really have that thought, however, until he opened up his fortune cookie and realized: He was "On the Road" to Mythville. He just loved to wander all over New England, by car, train or, at best, by foot, and let the thickety mysteries of the Hub, for this transplanted Arizonan, find him. Then, he got up, and started walking toward the Mer O Wac bridge, toward the home of this earth woman, a graphic designer and co-conspirator who had agreed to create a logo for the self-publishing effort.

And, along the way, wham! A moment of complete synchronicity. He walks right up to the Kerouac shrine. Ker O Wac by the Mer O Wac. Never even knew there was such a thing. A veritable stonehenge for the New Journalism.
So now, the coffee is ready. Time for the press conference. The pouch, a pirate flag unfolded and draped over his shoulders, like a cape. An act of bizarre eccentricity worthy of a Lord Byron or Robert Bly. There are snickers all around. He lights up a cig, an Indian bidi, blowing out the smoke for effect. To make it worse, he stands on the center stool of the Kerouac shrine, and his voice begins to boom as his sound waves bounce around within this literary circle, standing on this sorcerer’s stump.

Those in the audience, the members of the press, whisper and giggle, but with the acoustics everyone can hear the other: "What a piece of work!" "Standing on the shoulders of this giant, Kerouac! Indeed!" "I knew Jack Kerouac, and, click, click, paddywack, he ain’t no Jack Kerouac …"

The press conference begins:

McDaniel: Greetings from Mythville. Thank you for coming. Let’s just start with the questions and see what happens.

Question: Where in the world is Mythville?

Nowhere, so much, because at the end of it all, it exists in each and everyone’s mind. Thing of it like the impossible endless search for the Holy Grail. It’s the storehouse of each person’s personal mythology, where all of their angels and demons live. It’s the shining city of light. A place the imagination (and therefore the soul) can go into infinite directions. For some people, it’s a whole barnyard of beings and deities, gods and their avatars.

Question: But that doesn’t answer the question.

McDaniel: Well, just do a Google search on "Mythville," and at that point, your road to Mythville will have begun.

Question: Why do I need to go to Mythville when, like you say, it already exists as a kind of third eye in our own minds?

McDaniel: I guess because I’m just a trailblazer for an idea. And I wrote a hell of a lot about the search. And I continue to do so. The word, I own, I suppose, since I invented it the same way rock bands come up with their names. Its a unique identifier. Certainly helps with Web searches. But really, the ownership of Mythville, the one I propose, is for pretty much anyone. Anyone who gets the code.

Question: The code?

McDaniel: Ah yes, code is law. Indeed it is. Just like the Da Vinci code, too, but in this case it's a real story of that search. You do need to be able to work your machine to get to my machine and then download either an e-book or print-on-demand book. The road to Mythville is now paved in print or Adobe PDF, Microsoft Reader, and soon, as a Palm upload for people on trains reading books on their cell phones.

Question: So the code is the computer, and all of these digitized geeks, who like to read about wizards, witches and Mythville, the enviro digitists, the online sorcerers, they are your audience?

McDaniel: Well, kind of, it's certainly the pathway. The road of superinformation. Like Blake said, "The road of excess leads to the palace of Wisdom."

Question: OK, so where or when did your, um, personal Mythville begin?

McDaniel: Mythville was born on the Smolak Farm in Andover, actually, when I had a long discussion about rabbits and books with "Sully," as in local author William Sullivan, who writes numerous short, somewhat quirky children's books. It was the fall of 2000. Election day was looming. It was a beautiful day. Picking apples, wandering through the trees, picking a pumpkin with my little girl. Then I talked to "Sully" and saw what he was trying to do, and is still doing, writing fairy tales about rabbits and a whole barnyard of his own characters. I was the senior editor for Access Internet Magazine, another kind of content farm, and I suddenly realized the connection between the mythological constructs of William Blake and the hierarchical order of the online, and therefore, real world. And more than that, what it might mean for a self-publisher of numerous, smaller, shorter, more digestible reads. In other words, making e-books, William Blake-style.

But, actually, the experiment in experiential literature all started,
also, with a pirate flag. That is really the crux of the whole thing. That was my first logo. The pirate flag.

The inquisitor: What? A pirate flag? What kind of Peter Pan fantasies are we talking about here?

McDaniel: That’s right, the medium is the message. The pirate flag is the crux of the whole thing.

The inquisitor: How so?

McDaniel: You aren’t listening … the pirate flag … the crux … the whole thing. Oh well, maybe I really should backtrack.

Inquisitor: Backtrack! We haven’t gotten anywhere yet.

McDaniel: Even in being still, we are always moving. Sometimes the truth will fly right past you.

Inquisitor: The truth, now, that’s it. You are some piece of work. Do you have a permit to hold this gathering here?

McDaniel: Permit? No. Everything is permitted in Mythville. As long as it has something to do with making a book and expressing oneself. It's all about letting go of all of our anxiety, somehow, in this new century.

Inquisitor: Still, I’m curious about the pirate flag.

McDaniel: OK, so there’s the election. I voted for Nader. Who knew? Then, this long period of a couple of weeks, then a month, then six weeks of nobody knowing who the hell is in charge anymore, right?

Then came a solar storm …

The inquisitor: A what?

McDaniel: A solar storm hit New England. I looked it up. Nobody believed me, except for a lady in a gas station pay station near the freeway in Andover.

The inquisitor: Saw what?

McDaniel: A lake of fire in the sky, over Lawrence. I thought the whole place was ablaze with lightning.

The inquisitor: You are insane.

McDaniel: Oh yes, it was there. I did research on what happened. Look it up yourself, a freak solar storm hit New England, the whole earth, really, sometime between the election and December 13, 2000. Apparently, it was the end of a 13-year cycle of unusual activity. My theory is that it sent vibrations turbulatin’ on into the very core of the earth.

Inquisitor (on the cell phone): Get me security. (Now writing things down in a little notebook). OK, so you say you saw a lake of fire in the sky over Lawrence. But what does that have to do with a pirate flag?

McDaniel: Well, after the Supreme Court had ruled to decide the election, I just broke loose. I wanted nothing to do with this country, or, any other. It was as if a bolt of lightning had briefly lit up every one of our institutions and revealed, for just one brief flash of X-ray, every one of our major institutions as faulty, frail and hopelessly corrupt. For me, looking at it from the dark, wintery, London-esque Mordor of Boston, one big, giant, monstrous … well … one big complete bogus ... Mythville.

The inquisitor: Now you are using it a different way. Won’t that confuse your audience?

McDaniel: Audience? At that point, I was just one guy with a blogger, then more, then more, starting at http://mythville.blogspot.com/. A voice crying out in the wilderness. So, as my world was coming apart, and I was determined to tap out of the system, especially creatively, in pursuit of this self-publishing, self-expressive dream, I decided I needed to network with like-minded people.

So, what I did was, I took the pirate flag, which I intended to give to my future-ex-father in law for Christmas, and I planted it on the front porch.

I wanted to signify to anyone who might get the code: Panic! Panic! It’s time to take action. It’s time to be a pirate.

The inquisitor: Then what happened?

McDaniel: My wife threatened divorce. My in-laws, Sicilian mob-style, tried to get me kicked out of our place there in North Andover. They called the cops. Stirred up the neighbors. Threatened to send thugs over to kick me out. Took the family car, a kind of wedding gift, away, leaving me wheeless. Once, when I had left the home, they snuck into the basement and pulled out all of the fuses, leaving the place completely dark. I guess they figured I would never be able to get the old place back up and running. In fact, I'm pretty damend good with matters electric. They called the landlord and said I was burning candles in the house and leaving wax all over the place, like some kind of creepy Vincent Price.

Inquisitor: Were there candles?

McDaniel: Yes, but I only burned them at dusk, as a ritual before more writing and blogging and so on. I was in mourning. Look, I'm not saying I wasn't getting a pretty weird. I was just expressing the anxiety and turbulance I was feeling all around me. For God's sake. It was the year 2000!

Inquisitor: Then what happened?

McDaniel: Well, some pretty cool people got curious about what I was up to, and started to come over to the house. I’m sure this sudden new type of gathering in the neighborhood only served to stir things up even more. By this time, the North Andover police really wanted my ass in a sling. One cop, a long-timer macho kid, who lived here all his life, came over, and asked me, after I smarted off about "search and seizure" and some such lunacy, he asked me if I was a lawyer. I said yes, I went to Harvard law school. It was true. What I didn’t say was it was only for one day to attend an Internet-related conference on MP3s and Napster. Anyway, I was obviously going head-to-head with the Gillette crate-packing mentality around there.
Anyway, that’s when I really started to meet the witches of Essex county, too. They would come over, hang out. I would play loud music and try to describe what, exactly, Mythville is. People from Darlene Torosian’s Salon in North Andover. In fact, she rented the house with her kids after I left. But we had designers, Webmasters, entrepeneurs, like-minded folk came over. This Reiki therapy trainee came over and practiced Reiki therapy on us. It was a real salon, Parisian style, and I was the Antone Mesmer, the Cagliostro. Or, at least one of them. It only lasted for a short while, though, a few weeks at the most ...

The Inquisitor: Why?

McDaniel: Well, I had decided to get out of there. The whole plan was to end up in Telluride,writing my tales from my heart-home, anyway. So with so many problems for me in the neighborhood, my pending divorce, and all of the loousy bitterness and stupidity that entails, I decided to leave, going back to my friends in the mountains of southwestern Colorado. From there, at about 9,500 feet in altitude, I launched the first incarnation of Mythville.org.

Then, I lived in Telluride for a year, then came back to New England, living in Ipswich this time, in order to clear up legal stuff related to the divorce. But right as I moved back, this time to Ipswich, Sept. 11 changed everything. I felt like I was right at the front here on the North Shore. Hence, the writing from that period is in a book of poetry I’ve just released, "Ipswich at War." It captures all of my written observations at that time.

Inquisitor: And then?

McDaniel: I moved to Haverhill because it was cheaper, setting up a small metamedia bookstore right there on the street. And, of course, I always put my pirate flag out on the window to attract like-minded people and ward away the foul spirits, too. Artists. Writers. Programmers. Scammers. Lunatics wandering that unwalled insane asylum called Haverhill. Perfect town for Mythville. Lot of Peter Pan fantasies floating around up and down the main old downtown quad. I even did a one-night performance of "William Blake in Cyberspace" at the Wingate Micro Theatah, and wrote a lot of all of the my current book material by drinking beer and bashing away on my laptop in the Irish bar downstairs. I loved that place. A writer’s place, that bar.

Inquisitor: Then what?

McDaniel: I almost starved. Trying to sell e-books and print-on-demand poetry is not, exactly, the stuff of commerce, I find. You can only go so far with a pirate flag in your shop window. Most people didn’t know what to make of Mythville. But that’s changing.

Inquisitor: Do you have a political party, a religious preference? You sound like one of those LaRue style crazies to me

I'm a Reformed Metaphysical Anarchist. Not entirely unlike a Rastafarian. Reformed because, actually, a monarchy would seem to be what we have here in this country. It's just a different kind of elitist tier system, that's all. Unfortunately, philosopher kings are currently in short supply as candidates. The public doesn't give a fuck about even the shadows flickering on the wall anymore. So until then, it's to thine own self be true, and hope everybody else eventually realizes the only actual political boundary, that of Gaia, is atmospheric in nature and moving, through space, on the moment at perilous speeds.

Inquisitor: OK, so what are you doing now.

McDaniel: Now I’ve learned how to create and sell a line of my own e-books and PODs via online Mythville. I’m encouraging my past contacts in publishing after all of these years to do the same. Now Mythville has become a community of links for self-publishers of all kinds. I have about a dozen authors, today in Phoenix and elsewhere, who are psyched about the idea. So much that they are using the same tools, mostly Lulu.com but also iuniverse.com, to create their own e-books and PODs in a cost-effective way. Then, all I do is post the link. It's a bookstore of links.

And thus, a quirky little beehive of like-minded souls grows.

Inquisitor: Would you look at my book?

McDaniel: Yes, of course. As William Blake wrote: The artist and oppressor are one.

With that, the press conference ended, as McDaniel turned, walked, and continued on his search on the road to Mythville.



Monday, June 14, 2004

co-op marketing & partnerships � MarketingVOX

co-op marketing & partnerships � MarketingVOX

WhenU Argues in Utah Anti-Spyware Court Hearing � MarketingVOX

WhenU Argues in Utah Anti-Spyware Court Hearing � MarketingVOX

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Weapons of Mass Destruction? Or Mass Distraction?

Weapons of Mass Destruction? Or Mass Distraction?

Yahoo! News - Saint, Peace Seeker, Hero by Turns

Yahoo! News - Saint, Peace Seeker, Hero by Turns

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Reporter Crosses The NY Times' Line of 'Strict Neutrality' - by Daniel Forbes

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Reporter Crosses The NY Times' Line of 'Strict Neutrality' - by Daniel Forbes