Category Archives: Pulp

Jerry Upset.

My friend, D.C., sent this to me. Jerry Seinfeld is so obviously insulted by the King of CNN radio. It’s strange to watch real emotions on television through the prism of time-delayed YouTube.

Waiting Room Magazine Waiting for a Designer.

A new magazine called Waiting Room is currently looking for a designer who can create a really compelling and unique media kit. They already have the content and structure.
They can only pay $500.00, but if they like the results, there may be a long-term design engagement for designing every issue; this would amount to real money. I think the design calls for someone young, unafraid and bold who has already developed a pretty sophisticated visual vocabulary and who wants to potentially make their mark in magazine design.
What’s is Waiting Room? I’m glad you asked. The magazine will cater to a young audience of those diagnosed with cancer or who know people have cancer. The disease, from the information I’ve seen on, is completely out of control [PDF] and affects even the young among us.
[Disclosure: I’ve been on the advisory board of the magazine for a while now and I told Elizabeth Daniels, the founder, that I would post this in the hopes she’ll find someone right for the job.]
Here is the advertisement that was posted for this project a few weeks ago in the online design journal Newstoday:

Graphic Designer with Illustration Skills

We are looking for someone to design our media kit. We are hoping the person we end up hiring to do our media kit will also be the right person to design our first issue. We are the first national, lifestyle magazine about cancer for the 15-39 demographic. We launch in early 2007 with a circulation of 25,000.
Designer must have experience in print work, have mean illustration skills, and must also know how to deal with typography. We are looking for someone special, an “artist” to bring a vibe to the media kit that will preview the magazine and be unlike anything anyone has seen about cancer. Think Swindle, BlackBook, YRB. This person must be able to both take direction and work independently. Knowledge of production (working with a printer) is a must.
Must know InDesign.
Responsibilities for the Media Kit include:

  • taking a document that is already laid out and making it look spectacular
  • using different ideas throughout (being really creative) but having a theme that pulls everything together
  • listening to ideas, suggesting things, and executing what is necessary with flair
  • working quickly and effectively

Please email us a short statement about you with samples of your work or a link to your online portfolio. Make sure that you specify your role in creating the material you send us if it was produced by collaboration.
A big plus would be to be located in Los Angeles (but not a requirement).

The Great Book Giveaway

In order to save the overall emotional and financial costs of moving hundreds of pounds of books, we’ve been culling our stocks for the past few days. Today, I dropped off literally hundreds of books, valued probably in thousands of dollars, at the local Brooklyn public library.
It felt good and despairing at having done it. Books are one of my most treasured possesions but they have the following drawbacks: they’re heavy when you move, they’re heavy to store, and they rarely get re-read despite the best attempts at doing so. I’m now happily resigned to the fact that those books – cookbooks, technology books, fiction, nonfiction, science fiction, children’s and otherwise – will find a happy home in the midst of reader-friendly Brooklyn.
What goes unspoken about the massive drop-off of these books? Namely, the psychological attachments that will eventually become realized once we’re safely moved and I’m looking for a fix that only that one book can have. Canadian bookstores are well-stocked and seem to contain most of the essential books one would need as a citizen of North America but I do know that books there are much more expensive and that the VAT on consumer items is high. And yes, there’s but my suspicion is that, once planted there, online ordering will become slightly less desirable because, well, I’ll need to meet people and experience my new environment in a very solid way. And going to the bookstore – particularly McNally Robinson in Winnipeg – will provide a small perch from which to shiver me timbers.

Paying for the Times

So the New York Times took the bold and, ultimately dumb, step of forcing its online readers to pay for future op-ed and columnist content. I understand the motive, the business model, the necessity for added revenue streams, the financial objective and reader incentivization.
But this is a dumb move because it will ultimately hurt students of (often very) good opinion writing and further isolate the Times from other newspapers and publications. I don’t know many (or any) non-journalist who would pay $50.00 per year to read these writers. Which means that it will ultimately insult the Times’ writers and the quality of their work.
Instead of forcing customers to read op-eds, why not have special sections (such as resources and additional articles) that are created to complement those op-eds and allow opt-in payment structures for them, just as they do now with archived articles?


I finished the “scummy little book” (termed by Leon Wiesltier in this review of it in the New York Times), Checkpoint, by essayist and novelist Nicholson Baker and what can I say but that it’s kind of scummy.
The United States is going through waves of nauseau at the country’s prospects under either presidential candidate and authors like Nicholson Baker just add more fried food to the stomach mix. In the book, Baker depicts two middle-aged men, one of whom is discussing offing the current President. The scene takes place in a hotel in Washington, D.C. around the Spring of this year. The men speak in well-rounded, interesting sentences and one character attempts to convince the other not to go ahead with the assasination. I won’t give away the ending, but suffice it to say that it contains no moral, aesthetic, or intellectual transformations and one comes away from the book feeling cheap and tawdry, as if one just spent the night in a cheap hotel talking about killing the President.
Whether this was exactly Baker’s intention, I don’t know, but Baker is a great writer who appears to have simply cashed in on the phenomonon of hating the present Administration, deserved as it may be.


I ordered Nicholson Baker’s new “novel,” Checkpoint: A Novel, which at 128 pages in length is more like a novella.
I haven’t read it yet, but I did listen to Mr. Baker’s interview on The Leonard Lopate show and I found him to be incredibly modest for his accomplishments, which includes helping to save American libraries’ fragile physical artifacts from history’s dungheap. In fact, I’m buying the book because of his (real or apparent) modesty which lies in stark contrast to the content of the book.
In case you don’t know, in this story, two men discuss, in a hotel room, the implications of killling the President. It’s a grotesque of course, a modern grand guignol that happens to also stand as a read on current events. I thought it appropriate to order during the current RNC less-than-rampage through NYC.
(We babysat our friends’ daughter today so that the mother and father could march in today’s 100,000-strong protest.)


Being that’s it’s Saturday night, I caught up on my reading of last Sunday’s New York Times. I read with great glee the piece, written by Emily Nussbaum in the Arts & Leisure section, on Sid and Marty Krofft’s excellent late 1960s and early 1970s H.R. Pufnstuf. I loved this show above almost all the others when I was four and five and six years of age. I’ve always wondered, because these shows received so little traction and play during the years since, if I just imagined Witchie-Poo and the scary-funny play acting that was my key entertainment for many years. I also thrilled at reading about “Land of the Lost,” which I also thought was lost in my brain’s recesses.
All of this is really to say that the Arts & Leisure section of the times is finally, fairly, formally good. For years, they featured arcane theatrical reviews, puff pieces on average actors, and features on just-past artists. My sincere hope is that Ms. Nussbaum and her editors continue their mission in providing journalistic integrity and fine recollections to the fading memories of Generation Xers.


A few weeks ago, publicly released, in serial form, Dave Eggers new book-in-composition <a title=" Books | The Unforbidden Is Compulsory
Or, Optimism” href=””>The Unforbidden Is Compulsory, Or, Optimism. I’m not as big a fan of Eggers as I once was, but I appreciate the fact that an online magazine is finding a new appropriateness of serialization for distributing new fiction. It’s a great and inexpensive approach to releasing new material and perhaps it will fuel online subscriptions at Salon and elsewhere.
Serialization, as I learned with the late Professor Roger Henkel in college, was a new way for publications in the 19th century to realize earned income gradually while at the same time introducing new writers’ work — or new work by writers. It contains a built-in PR machine and the feedback gained while a writer is serially publishing is often critical to the eventual narrative and economic success of the book. Is it worth subscribing to Salon? I think yes.


Exactly a year and a half ago, I wrote about how ridiculously expensive the new magazine eDesign was.
Since then, I shelled out the obligatory $29.00 for a subscription and guess what happened? The thing went defunct. Did I receive one issue? No. Did I receive an acknowledgement of receipt of payment? No. Should I have listened to my generally strong intuition about wrong-headed businesses? Yes.
I hate eDesign. Thanks Administrative Contact Howard Cadel of RC Publications, Inc. at 3200 Tower Oaks Blvd in Rockville MD, 20852 whose phone number is 301-770-2900!

It's All True

This week’s Village Voice horoscope says that I should sing or chant the following 10 times per day for the next two weeks. I’m relying on my readers to do this for me.
“All I ever wanted in life was to make a difference, be worshipped like a god, conquer the universe, travel the world, meet interesting people, find the missing link, fight the good fight, live for the moment, seize each day, make a fortune, know what really matters, end world hunger, vanquish the dragon, be super-popular but too cool to care, be master of my own fate, embrace my destiny, feel as much as I can feel, give too much, and love everything.”