Painting With Shotguns XXX

Awww, look at that. Painting With Shotguns has been around for, what, 30 weeks now? That’s insane. It also affords me the one chance to have an “XXX” as a Roman numeral, which is both enlivening and saddening. Enlivening because — XXX! It’s like porn! Super-sized! With Secret Agent Vin Diesel! Saddening because, well, I just don’t think this post is going to live up to the hype. I feel like I should have naked pictures. Except, you damn sure don’t want me naked. That is an unkindness for which the Internet is woefully unprepared. Further, if I put naked posts up here of other people, that just seems rude.

So, I’ll just say:

You want arty porn pictures?

This Tumblelog has what you want.

Triple-X, but with style.

Now, time to ‘asplode your thought-guts with my blog-gun.

iPad, uPad, We All Eat Pad Thai On Our Lily Pads

The reeds, they whisper

The tribesman of the Nerd Clans

Creep to slit geek throats.

Or something.

So, the iPad released, and moderate voices are lost in the static, a static comprising the white noise of Fanged Hate and Toothless Adoration coming together to form one meaningless burst of sound.

Holy shit, nerds. Fucking relax, will you? I said it before, but it bears repeating: the iPad will neither save your life, nor will it end it. It is not God. It is not the Devil. It will not defeat global warming, and it does not abort babies. (This is your cue to say, “But there’s an app for that!”)

I’ll admit that Apple was definitely baiting the crowd to riot when they released the device on Easter Weekend. Roll back the rock, and the Glory Of Our Resurrected Steve emerges holding two tablets above his head, glowing lambent in the early morning light, but c’mon. That’s how Apple rolls.

The love and hype for the device is insane, though arguably more palatable than the needless hate, if only because “sycophancy and love” is a warmer, more pleasant sensation than “Internet rage.” I’d rather ease into a bubbling spa than jump into a cold tin wash-tub filled with those little biting fish that swim up your urethra and lodge themselves angrily in your tinkle-tract.

I’ll take issue with two posts out there re: the iPad, and these posts are geared more toward skepticism. Mind you, I do not possess an iPad. I do not intend to possess one right now, because the next generation will be far cooler than this generation.

First up: Is the iPad a step backwards?

Does it move us toward a place where we are passive audience members instead of active creators? Jeff Jarvis thinks so. Me? I think that’s a little overwrought. Isn’t it? First, most people aren’t creators. That’s not new, by the way. This isn’t a device meant to cater to an audience of creators. Why would it be? Its presence fails to invalidate the devices that do cater to creators. (And while I’ve not used it, the iPad has creative tools that can come with it.) Second, “it’s built on apps!” Oh noes! You mean like how… computers are built on software? How does the iPad stifle creativity, exactly? What does it do that differently from computers? Apps = software. Internet = Internet. I’m just not getting the problem. You want to create? So do I. I’m doing it right now. On this PC. And I still want an iPad eventually. (Further annoyance: the image on that post, with the bleating sheep. Yes, yes, I get it, you think the people that buy iPads are all sheep. Good for you. What a cocky, holier-than-thou attitude. When we buy a product he doesn’t like, we’re sheep. But when we buy a product he likes, we’re probably revolutionaries or something.)

Further, did you know that Cory Doctorow won’t buy an iPad, and thinks you shouldn’t, either? Interesting ideas, but again, more overly dramatic naysaying. Hackable devices are great, except you’re courting… what, an audience of less than five, ten percent? Comic books are only cool because… of sharing them? Really? You know what I have? Boxes of comics. Boxes of comics I don’t really want anymore, because they’re just big bricks of nothing. And they’re not worth a whole lot, either. They lurk in my attic. They can’t go anywhere with me. But you tell me I can load comics on an iPad? Carry them around? Download a new one fast and easy on-the-fly? I’m into that. Sorry, I am. Once more, here’s a guy who acts like we’re coming off this great free revolution of hackable, mind-blowing devices — we’re not. And I don’t know that I want every device to be that way, either. I want my blender to be a blender. I want my car to drive without me having to keep dicking with it. Hackable ain’t bad. Options aren’t bad. But not everything needs to be some creative creator-controlled Wild West no-law-but-the-wind device, y’know?

The biggest thing about all that is how there exists this faintly haughty dismissal of anybody who would buy an iPad. I dismissed Apple as a “half-a-dick” brand once. I was 18 at the time, and basically a total dipshit. Now? Do what you want. Like what you like. Why do people have to be made to feel like douchebags because they like something or want something? Dear Guy On The Internet: because you don’t want to buy an iPad doesn’t make you a revolutionary.

Do I think the iPad is some awesome device? No. Of course not. It’s just a device.

So treat it that way.

(This article, at DBW, gets it, in my mind.)

These Streets Will Make You Feel Brand New

Only as an adult do I now see the allure of New York City. Seriously.

Whenever I went there as a kid — or even a post-teenager — I always found it brash and loud. And it smelled like hot garbage. And rat urine.

See, I’m totally a country mouse. I grew up on a farm. We raised all kinds of fucking weird-ass animals: whitetail deer, masturbating elk, peacocks, pheasants, whatever. I’m also not what you would call a “people person.” (Not surprising to anybody who I’ve snapped at over the years. Sorry! I’m a jerkhole. I try not to be. I’ll do better.)

“Country mouse” + “Doesn’t like people” = “Stay away from the city, dumbass.”

Some cities, I don’t like.

But over time, I’ve grown more and more fond of cities. Boston, I love. San Francisco is maybe my favorite city, with London and Dublin coming up close behind. Philly’s a cess-pit. Los Angeles is a mind-numbing yet oddly-appealing sprawl.

Now, New York.

Last couple times I’ve been there, I really liked it. It feels alive, vibrant, forever in every direction — up, down, NSEW. Action. Motion. Occurrence. Arterial.

You know what really sells it? The restaurants. They are everywhere. You live where we live, it’s not like we’re out in the middle of God’s Country East Bumblefuck North Jesus Nowheresburg, but you want to find a restaurant, you might be up for a drive. In NYC, we tried to hit one restaurant, found it closed, and then looked around our immediate surroundings for another place to eat.

One short block in NYC has more restaurants, I think, than the whole town in which I live. That’s insane. And the smells! Not hot garbage or rat urine, not near the restaurants. No, it’s curry, garlic, the smell of meat, the smell of a million gastronomic possibilities.

Would I want to live in the city?

Oh, fuck. No. Lawds, no. I’d eat a bullet if I had to live in the city. Even now, we’re in a row home smashed up against one neighbor, and that’s too close. I want borders. Boundaries. A fence. Some dogs. Turrets. Trenches. A moat. A helicopter pad. Barbed wire. I want as many acres between me and the rest of the world as I can manage.

But, I wouldn’t mind if those acres were close to, say, I-78, so when I want an exile from my exile I can bop on up to the city and eat some killer food.

Welcome To The Game Of Inches

Just a small tip for writers:

Don’t expect overnight success.

I’ve said this a million times and I’ll say it a billion more:

It is a game of inches.

You are ascending a mountain. It is slow. It is arduous.

Writing is not a romantic career. Nor is it particularly easy. Every gain is a small one. Yes, some writers take off like a rocket, but most don’t. Most eke it out. Most crawl. Most ascend very slowly toward the light.

Sometimes, you lose inches, too. It happens. At least it’s not a long fall.

It’s nice to move forward. All projects of mine continue to creep ahead. I long for one or all of them to get to the plateau, but even still, I have to remind myself from time to time, “The game of inches continues.”

Congrats, by the way, to Rick Carroll, who mentioned terribleminds on this Writers Digest blog and won himself some cool prizes and potential opportunities. Ricky-ticky-tok, welcome to the game of inches, and thanks for mentioning us over yonder!

The Lynx Says, “You Should Read These Awesome Stories Or I Will Shit Lynx Pellets In Your Stupid Goddamn Human Mouth”

Today’s links are pretty straightforward: they’re all great stories online you should endeavor to read.

First up, a story I totally fucking adore. Great title, great premise, great follow-through. “Crazy Larry Smells Bacon,” by Greg Barsley. At Plots With Guns.

Second, Hilary Davidson continues to amaze me. This story, “Fetish,” is a great noir example of show, don’t tell. Some writers cannot help but explain and waffle, but her?

No, sir.

Also great with the “show, don’t tell?” Steve Weddle’s “The Winner.”

Maggie Carroll takes inspiration from this very ‘column’ and gives us “Painting With Shotguns.”

Jim Hanas gives us a great short story collection (ebook): “Cassingle.”

Did you see that I have short stories (free!) here on the site? Totally Free Shit, yo. Five stories. Zombies. Monkeys. Aliens. Cats. And Giant Motherfucking Chickens. Spread the love if you likey-likey.

Finally, not exactly a story, but man, I gotta say: DUDES OF LEGEND demands your sixty-nine cents. Mrowl! Plus, The Aforementioned Rick Carroll did up a flash fiction bit based off of DoL: “Dial B For Badass!” Go. Click all the underliney bits. Do so, or the lynx will… well. You heard him.