August 30th, 2005

mmmmm delicious

La Bomba!

The roach coach at my job sells homemade tortas. They range from good to awful, and they have fun names, like the Hawaiiano (ham and pineapple), the Caliento (spicy chicken) and the Cubano (pulled pork).

Anyway, there's this one that has sausage, ham, bacon and mayonnaise. It's called the "Atomico".

I dunno, man, that leaves me cold. I think they should reconsider:

1. The "Cerdo Mutilato".
2. The "Ataque del Corazón".
3. The "Pan Blanco".
4. The "Alemán Alegre".
5. The "Judíos Prohibidos".
god bless the internet

Yiz fancy-pants, alla yiz!

Hey, writer-types, professional and otherwise!

We’re getting the band back together. That is, the editorial staff of the High Hat (of which I am privileged to be a part) is putting out a new issue. Issue #6, this will be, and if I have anything to say about it, it’ll be the boss jock issue of all time.

The High Hat, and if you don’t know ya betta ax somebody, is the best goddamn cultural studies/criticism ‘zine on the whole fuckin’ world wide web. It’s put out five issues since its inception in 2003, and they’ve been so good that if they were in paper format, you’d pay a hundred bucks for each one of them and be happy to do it please sir may I have another. Well, yes! You may! And at the low low cost of free.

What we need to make the next one even better is your help. If you’re interested in writing for the next issue of the High Hat, drop me a line (leonard at ludic kid dot com) or post in comments – but only if you’re serious. We won’t take everything submitted, and even though we can’t pay you, we demand quality pieces, turned in on time, from people who really care about what they’re writing. From us you’ll get effusive praise, a deft editorial hand, and a well-read, swanky credit for your port-folio; from you we want sharp, insightful, funny (or dead serious) criticism, great prose, the best you got. This is for the love of the game, kids. If you haven’t read the Hat before, take a look, and if the excellent articles we’ve done in the past don’t convince you this is something you wanna be a part of, nothing will.

Deadline for application is Sept. 9th. Deadline for your completed piece is Sept. 30. Projected publication date is mid-October. Here’s what we need:

DETRITUS – the junk drawer. This is where the uncategorizable stuff goes: politics, general culture studies, games, technology, rants and raves.

MARGINALIA – our books section. Book reviews, literary criticism or theory, retrospectives on authors or genres, comics writing, state-of-fiction, whatever you got about the world on the page.

NITRATE -- film and video. Movie criticism, interviews with filmmakers, trends in cinema, video, stage and screen. If it moves, write about it.

POPS & CLICKS – our music section and general raison d’etre. Classical, rock, hip-hop, experimental, jazz, and everything before and after. Criticism, essays, laments, obituaries.

POTLATCH – every issue, we have a special themed section where we talk about one general subject or idea; in the past we’ve done potlatch pieces on Sam Peckinpah, our yearly Top Tens, democracy in popular culture, labor issues, and people who died. This time around, it’s “The Academy of the Underrated” – cultural artifacts, phenomena and trends that our writers think are criminally underappreciated by the critical consensus. Got an idea along these lines? Wanna write a piece about it? Hit us up.

STATIC – television, the drug of the nation, all hail grand pixelator. If it’s on the small screen, we wanna cover it: TV series, minis, foreign television, DVDs, anything. Smart writing wanted.

That’s it! Length is negotiable; should be at least a thousand words, though, and probably fewer than 50,000. Pay is non-negotiable: it will be zero. If you’re interested, send me your pitches in comments or via e-mail and I’ll run them past the other editors and let you know ASAP if you’re in. Thanks to everyone who wants to be part of this, and especially to everyone who already has.

(ETA: We're not just looking for writing! If you've got art, photographs, recordings, or anything else that seems relevant to the High Hat's outlook, by all means, we'd love to consider it. Note that we aren't looking for fiction or poetry, but we do occasionally run comics, games, and the like, as well as our usual essays, criticism, cult-stud and memoirish stuff.)

No Love for NOLA

It was beginning to look like the worst had been avoided in New Orleans, but now it's starting to look like the worst is yet to come. Three separate levees broke overnight and this morning, with the end result that over 75% of the city is underwater. The flooding is expected to continue for as long as three days if last-ditch emergency measures aren't successful, and that could result in the disappearance of a major American city and the appearance of a major American lake.

It's exciting stuff, to be sure, but it's also going to be really, really ugly even if there's not a stupendous loss of life. For one thing, it's going to be an ecological disaster -- this isn't just standing water; it's mixed with household chemicals, gasoline, and, well, corpses. Which is going to mean lots of environmental problems as well as an overall shortage of clean drinking water. There's no power. There's no phones. There's no utilities. There's no stores open, and there's no trucks coming in or out carrying food. The total damage could take years to clean up, and the mayor is saying that it could be as long as a month before hundreds of thousands of people are allowed to return to their homes -- and that's if their homes are there to return to. A whole lot of people who can't afford it are going to lose their jobs, lose their homes, and lose all their possessions. Frankly, it's a mess.

The government will do what they can (eventually) and insurers will pay off the claims they can't get out of paying, but the fact remains that a whole lot of people are going to need a whole lot of help. And as is often the case, the people in the best position to give them that help is the American Red Cross.

I don't have a lot of money, folks. I don't make a lot of money, and what I have is spoken for, since I have a whole raft of stuff right now I need to be saving for. Every dollar counts for me these days. But this is about as urgent a cause as I can imagine; as tight as I'm living, I at least have a home and a job and I know where my next meal is coming from. People in New Orleans, a lot of them don't. If you're in any position to do so, think about sending the Red Cross a few bucks. You can earmark it specifically for hurricane relief, and even if you don't, you'll be assured it's going where it's needed.

And, not to be Mr. Nagging Cheapskate, but if you have any discretionary jack left after that, think about throwing it at Heather, Ben, Mickie, or Kevin in their fight against Multiple Sclerosis, which sucks worse than a hurricane. Thanks.

Er, MS sucks worse than a hurricane, that is, not their fight against it. Okay? Are we clear here? Cough up some money and quit parsing my syntax.