Thursday, March 27, 2014
Black Magic Tax Magic
by james bezerra
Each month I move
25 thousand dollars
into your account and use it
to pay your bills
with company cash.
You use it to buy cigars
and cars and 200
dollar socks and whatever
else you think makes respect.
All the company
money is your money.
That’s the tax magic
of the LLC and we
play the tax code
like thin cat gut.
I charge rent
to your companies
with no Employees
to create debt
that isn’t real
on your Schedule C.
The black magic
of the LLC
is that you can
to yourself and
write it off.
than any otherdebtor I know.
So the other day I was minding my own business, sitting in a nice patch of grass and doing some reading and snacking when I heard a small noise nearby. Whatever could it be?
Oh, hey there little squirrel, want to be friends? Here is a salty token of my friendship. You know you want it …
Come on. It’s okay, little squirrels can eat super-processed corn chips made of a whole bunch of ingredients I can’t pronounce …
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
So I have mentioned before that I work at the school library on an archiving project that allows me to spend my time around four decades’ worth of thesis projects. There are many things about this that I love, but one of them is that I encounter all of the wonderful and interesting thesis titles. Thesis titles, by virtue of being all APA analytical and specific, tend to be wonderfully descriptive and wordy in a charmingly Victorian sort of way. For instance, here are a few real examples:
- Comfortable interpersonal distance as perceived by educationally handicapped children.
- Analysis and design of a phaselocked loop system for tracking a linear frequency modulation signal.
- Leisure patterns of professional clergy within the United Methodist Church in the greater Los Angeles area.
How can you not find these things fun?!
Today however, was a banner letter day because today I found my favorite title so far. It’s a bit of a dark horse, I’ll admit that, because while it is charmingly Victorian it isn’t the most clunky and uselessly unwieldy title I’ve come across. Rather this one wins more for content than style, although the style doesn’t suck either. Are you ready? Okay, here it is:
Erotic coital fantasies of monogamous and nonmonogamous female graduate students: a normative study.
And I feel no shame in admitting that I read the WHOLE THING and it was fascinating and better written than 50 Shades of Grey. Not that it needs to be pointed out, but you ladies are into some weird stuff and I totally understand ALL OF IT now. Seriously, because it was a ‘normative study’ there were multichoice surveys and stuff. Very illuminating.
Oh, and here are some completely unrelated images. This stuff is all, basically, out there for the public to see now (because of the project I’m helping with) so I don’t even think I can get fired over posting any of this!
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Below is an actual assignment that I’m turning in tomorrow! One of my classes is called “Picture Book Theory” and yes it requires that I sit around reading a bunch of children’s books, but it’s REALLY HARD, okay?!
The assignment was to find an actual Call For Papers (CFP) for an actual fancy-pants conference somewhere.
Below is the abstract that I wrote in response. The fun thing about an abstract is that you get to write it AND submit it without EVER EVEN beginning to write the paper that it is summarizing! In reality though I’m probably going to send up writing this paper for my class.
Slightly Hidden Histories: What and Why Pictures Books Choose to Obscure When Retelling History.
From Dr. Seuss’s anti-Nixon story Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! to Shaun Tan’s haunting Postcolonial work The Rabbits, picture books created (ostensibly) for children often choose to obscure their macro points in favor of making the micro ones. Often these obfuscations are working to subversive ends, overtly telling purely historical or farcical tales for children, while covertly providing commentary on contemporary political and cultural world issues. Underground by Shane W. Evans never mentions slavery, civil war, or America and so subtly that history of the 19th Century Underground Railroad becomes about modern refugees of every type and in any nation. Technically similar but ideologically different obscuring took place in the wake of 9/11 as a spate of picture books in many languages sought to educate the world about the proud and peaceful character of Islam, without ever mentioning 9/11 and while saddled with the unique challenge of not being able to depict the Prophet Muhammad in the retelling of his own history.
Monday, March 10, 2014
Saturday, March 8, 2014
For all of my minimalist tendencies, my apartment is a complete mess right now.
I’m going through another one of those phases where I try to whittle down the stuff I own. This week that has meant going through four plastic tubs filled with old notebooks and various keepsake miscellania. I’m trying to put as much of the random stuff as I can into binders. I’m sure you’re deeply invested in all of this.
Also, all of the stuff for all of my classes are just organized into weird stacks right now. It looks like this:
If minimalism is supposed to look like this:
Right now my apartment looks like this:
That isn’t even a photo, BTW, that is actually a live video feed of the inside of my apartment.
I’ve realized that grad school has affected my life thusly: I have gotten so bad at everything that it is now basically funny how bad I am at everything.
Oh! I forgot to tell you! The other day a very short short story of mine was published on the the very strange online journal Cease, Cows.
Check it out by clicking here.
or right here!
(All those links link to the same place.)
I had a strange and interesting moment today which involved you, dear reader. Today I presented my first ever conference paper. If you don’t know, or have never cared to know, a conference is just what you think it is: a bunch of people with similar interests/professions get together to talk shop. Engineers have conferences and so do after-market car accessory retailers and so do English majors. We super-fancy English academic types just happen to have a fuckload of conferences and they all have themes and esoteric panel names like, “The Locus of Language” or “Liminality of Race and Gender”.
Anyway, today was my first time presenting a paper. Which doesn’t actually mean that I presented a paper. Rather it means that I gave a presentation about a paper that I have written. It is all very confusing.
But that’s not what I want to tell you about.
What I want to tell you about is this: after my paper got accepted (Oh, I should mention here, I never actually sent in my paper, I sent in an ‘abstract’ which is a summary of my paper) I was asked to send a bio. Well I just sent my standard bio. I have a ‘standard bio’ because it is common that when I send out a short story I also have to send a bio. This is my standard bio:
I am a graduate student in creative writing at CSU Northridge. My work has been published in Prick of the Spindle, Blood Lotus, The Blueprint Review, Cease Cows, The Northridge Review, and The American Drivel Review. I’m a recipient of The Northridge Review Fiction Award, The Oliver W. Evans Writing Prize, and San Diego Playwrights’ Project Award. I co-wrote the film Strange Angel and I blog at standardkink.com.
Thank you for your time.
So I just sent that along without a second thought.
Well when I went to my panel today I had the happy opportunity to talk to the panel moderator before we started. He’s a professor at CSUN but I’d never met him - though I recognized his name - and he mentioned that he’d checked out my blog (THIS VERY BLOG!) and I instantly turned to stone and got a cold white chill down my stone spine and thought, “Oh shit, when was the last time I bitched about panel moderators?! What did I accuse them of?!”
Well luckily I think it has been awhile since I posted anything like that. But if my life were a (very very very long and very very very boring) movie, then this would be the part that Guy Ritchie would have to direct because it would need to happen very very very fast:
SCENE: INT. DAY. A SMALL COLLEGE CONFERENCE ROOM (it is at least on par with any conference room in any Best Western anywhere in the Midwest).
THE PROFESSOR who is eminently human and personable, approaches THE WRITER who is short and bald and bespectacled and who just seems kinda shifty.
PROFESSOR: Hi, I’m The Professor and I read your blog.
WRITER: Oh … (Immediately and without hesitation, THE WRITER drops his backpack, flips over the table, starts a fire, throws a smoke grenade, flees backward out of the room, boards an international flight, buys a new identity, begins a new life as a Greek goat herder, ponders the purple-blue Aegean Sea at sunset as he smokes a hand-rolled cigarette and writes in his goat-hide journal, he dies alone.)
So that’s basically what happened today.
Or, at least, that’s what it felt like.
More accurately what happened was that a bunch of fireworks went off in my brain and one of them burst open and said: I need to update my ‘About’ page! Another said: My writing portfolio page is totally out-of-date! Another said: Was I half-drunk when I wrote that last post?
But - as fireworks are want to do - all of that faded pretty quickly. Between you and me, I take some small pride in this blog and I’m willing to stand behind the things I write here. It would be a waste of everybody’s time if I were only writing intensely polite things. Several months ago - while I was job-hunting - my mother very sensibly suggested that I should take this blog down for a little while, in case any prospective employers were to Google my name. That was very good and reasonable advice, but I had no interest in taking it. (God bless my mother though, she really is the best.) That thought flickered in my brain today when THE PROFESSOR mentioned this blog. But I’m not going to sweat it. This place exists so that I can always be writing. I don’t have to depend on getting published or even on the production of good and well-thought-out writing. For me this place is half therapy and half writing exercise and half mental gym and I’m always completely bumfuzzled to discover that anyone reads it at all. So thanks for that!
Otherwise, I just wanted to tell you that a funny thing happened today and that it involved you, dear reader.
Oh! If you care, the presentation I gave today was on a paper I posted on here a month or two ago. It was the one about The Hunger Games and Feminism and Capitalism. Just click back a couple of pages and wait for the boring to start, that’s how you’ll know you found it!
Thursday, March 6, 2014
There are apparently two important points here:
1) Thats why you buy an RV and/or big boat, so that you can live in it in your driveway while your wife "works it out" (which I'm guessing means that she realizes that a life of settling for one of these guys is easier than starting a new life).
2) Somehow this is Obama's fault. (I swear to god, I am not making this up. It would seem that getting caught in an affair has something to do with the state of this country and its culture and obviously that is Obama's doing).
And now a letter!
Dear These Guys' Wives,
You don't know me, but I am a man and I am sorry for what we do to you.
Light the RV on fire.
Who the fuck is sleeping with these guys?! I'm a decent looking guy, I'm smart and funny and can fake well-adjusted well enough ... wait ... Ah! Yes. I don't have a boat. That must be it!