2018.10 tENTATIVELY, aN iNTERVIEW
"Alan Davies has gone where no one has gone before. No, not on the Enterprise, but into the mind of tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE, America's favorite Pataphysician, now fully eschewing art in favor of mad science, reveals to Alan what he really thinks about all those poses of the worlds of art and poetry. "I've long since rejected being an 'artist' b/c it's my opinion that art is an uncreative context & I prefer to be creative." From the censorship of his work to the explosive revelations of his most rational analysis, reading the interview between two of America's most radical artists is a consummation of something incredibly perverse under your Christmas tree." - James Sherry, poet, essayist, publisher of Roof Books
"My job as Sacred Scribe of the Church of the SubGenius has brought me into contact with some DAMNED interesting, and, even better, damned WEIRD indiviudals. Of the many hundreds, perhaps many thousands of weirdos I have known, the man we call Saint tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE stands out as one of the earliest-met and yet, even 35 years later, still among the very most weird and interesting. His startling originality and sheer testicularity would be enough to qualify him as a SubGenius Saint. But on top of that he's a nice fellow. But you know he must be pretty smart, because you can kind of see his brain under his hair." - Rev. Ivan Stang, Sacred Scribe #273, Church of the SubGenius
"Buxom blond bombshell, Miss Belinda Blurb, in the act of blurbing, once famously blurted out, "Yes, this is a 'BLURB'." Those words are as true today as when they were first written by Galett Burgess in 1907. Over thirty years ago, tENTATIVELY a cONVENIENCE, exposed me to the joys of subverting reality, and changed my life in the process. Here in 2013, Mr. cONVENIENCE has done it again with another excellent installment in his inspirational series of must read, self help books. Mr. cONVENIENCE inspires us all with his insightful observations, entertaining anecdotes, and shoddy financial advice. If YOU are going to READ BOOKS this year, THIS could be ONE of those BOOKs." - Vermin Supreme, Presidential Candidate
"As so much of tENT's work aspires to an apotheosis of self-referntiality, wherein the work's workings are explicated as they are embodied in the work itself, the personal interview is in many ways the perfect form for his ideas. As one of tENT's laziest readers I welcome the relatively un-coded directness of this book, and for the opportunity to learn more about his life, from his earliest adventures in reading (which accounts reached in and tickled my little boy brain) to his last mega-word. This book is relatively easy to ingest, but is filled with seeds that swell and germinate inside the receptive head. As with all his work it is rigorously logical yet zany; laced with ideas from the "highest" partials yet rooted and practical; and serious yet funny. These are not contradictions though many might take them as such, and they are not so much strategies to evade intellectual entrapment (however worthy an endeavor) as self-flowering practices of our innate freedom and inherent weirdness. tENT as esoteric everyman! Listen and learn! But open this book at your own risk, as the attentive tENTian reader will begin to die laughing while reading it. I'll laugh through my last breath any day, so long as tENT never finishes pronouncing his last word, laughing as he goes." - Eddie Watkins, poet, GoodReads reviewer
This is my 13th book in 43 years of publishing books as of 2020. That's really not very many considering that there are so many more I can easily imagine putting together. Thinking about the development of this one leads me to remember the troubled history of many of them & the general lack of interest in the majority or entirety of all of them. I, personally, think my books are extraordinary. Hence my opinion that there's more likely to be an interest in the ordinary - ordinary in the sense of fitting into easy categories, perhaps.
My 1st book,
t he bk
t he referent 4 wch consists of
t he non-materialized transparent punch-outs from a letter/whatever stencil
was mainly written from 1975-1976 & was published in 1977 with money from a life insurance policy that my mom had taken out on me shortly after I was born. The printer, who was an independent guy who ran a print shop for the local art college but who had a press in a back room of what was then the Maryland Writer's Council, charged me $500 for 500 copies of the book. Before he finished the job, however, he said he'd undercharged & wanted more money. Since I thought a deal was a deal & didn't have the money anyway I didn't give it to him. He left the print-run unfinished at something like 432.
My 2nd book written was the 3rd one published. While I was trying to find a publisher for it I was traveling in England, Scotland, & France in 1988 & I wrote:
Yet Another Slow-Burning Feast of a Few Months Mischief in the U.K., Maybe (A Partial(ly) Epostolary Account of Non-Non & Non-Participation, Maybe)
I included materials by my traveling companion of the time, Laura A. Trueseal. Since her name was more 'normal' than mine she's listed as the author in the one library that has a copy. I published this one myself, without depending on anyone else's printing or money, so it was done quickly & efficiently & correctly - but only in an edition of 100.
My 3rd published book existed in manuscript form in 1988 but didn't get published until 1989 by Apathy Press. Tom DiVenti, the owner/operator of Apathy did what he promised & didn't screw me over at all - thusly earning a good name in my world as a publisher. The edition was an over-run of 118, originally intended to be 100. The title of this one was deliberately humorously misleading:
How to Write a Resumé - Volume II: Making a Good First Impression
That was the 1st edition. Of any of my books that was probably the one that could've been widely appreciated since it had some juicy autobiographical elements. If a larger press had had the courage &/or foresight to have published it in a larger edition & to've given it some advertising I think they might've even profited. But it was Tom who had that courage & Apathy was on a shoestring budget so the edition was soon gone. I published the 2nd expanded edition in 1990 or 1991. I didn't want to burden Tom with the expense & I was working for a printer at the time so I took it on myself in an edition of 200.
Next up in the same year was a project I'd been working on since 1975,
Telepathy Receptivity Training
That was the fall of 1991 & I printed it myself in what was probably an edition of 100. Once again, since I did everything myself there were no hitches.
In 1992, I was invited to participate in a series at a university. A book of mine was to be recommended reading for a class, I was to give a screening/performance & I was to guest present for the same class afterwards. I put an enormous amount of effort into it all, an insane amount of work for the small amount of pay. The students hated me. They had to write papers about it & the professor shared the papers with me. The student stupidity & viciousness was mind-boggling. I published the papers without commentary in an edition of 100 in 1992 under the title of:
Reactionary Muddle America
Once again, because I did all the work & paid for everything it all went smoothly.
In 1993, I put together a book listing & describing all the 'performances' in my life that I could remember at the time. The idea was to use this to promote myself to a Cleveland Performance Art Festival. I made the book & sent them a copy expecting them to be wowed by this substantial effort.. & got no reply. The name of that one is:
A Mere Outline for One Aspect of a Book on Mystery Catalysts, Guerrilla Playfare, booed usic, Mad Scientist Didactions, Acts of As-Beenism, So-Called Whatevers, Psychopathfinding, etc..
Again, everything went smoothly because I did everything myself. There've been many editions of this: the 1st, in hard-copy was maybe 20 or 30; the 2nd, in the same year, was probably 10 to 30. These editions were just meant for self-promotion, I don't think I ever got a single gig from them. Every edition from the 3rd on has been online. They may've started in 1997 when I 1st started making websites. There was a 4th edition that would've just been an update & then a 5th. Each succssive edition added more info, more photos, more links, better organization, etc. At this point I'm up to the "zillionth" edition which I try to keep fairly up-to-date:
A Mere Outline for One Aspect of a Book on Mystery Catalysts, Guerrilla Playfare, booed usic, Mad Scientist Didactions, Acts of As-Beenism, So-Called Whatevers, Psychopathfinding, etc..
At 1st, I paid for this to be online but, eventually, the local server I was using went out-of-business. Since then a friend of mine, who may or may not prefer to remain nameless, has arranged for free hosting of it. My profound thanks go to him since he enables me to historicize my activities & opinions without having egregious advertising put a spin on it.
Starting in the summer of 1996, I spent a year organizing the Anonymous Family Reunion, which came to fruition in the summer of 1997. Thanks to the university connections of one of the participants I managed to get free printing of an edition of 100. Thanks to the apologetic decency of the printer who printed the poor quality color inserts said color copies were cheap. Thanks to my own dedication, each one of the books came with a VHS tape & took me 2 hours apiece to make. Thanks to the assholishness of an acquaintance of mine the 'master' for the video was damaged by a defective VCR that was loaned to me. I'm sure that the asshole who loaned me the VCR knew it was defective & loaned it deliberately as an act of sabotage. The result was called, simply enough,
Anonymous Family Reunion
& was published in 1997. 23 years later, I still have some left.
After that, I was going to San Francisco in 2003 to present movie work under the wonderful auspices of the San Francisco Cinematheque, long may they reign. They offered to publish a book by me in honor of my presentation. I was hoping for something substantial but was happy that they at least managed to put out a small book in an edition of 60 with a CD-R & a plethora of personal touches to make the book even more special than it already was. I named that one
Not Necessarily NOT Very Important
partially in reference to a VHS compilation of filmstrip transfers that I'd published called "Very Important". The Cinematheque delivered as promised. Soon thereafter, the book was 'remaindered' on sale even cheaper than it originally was as a giveaway or some such with a more substantially produced book by another filmmaker.
Next up was a DVD-R that I also envisioned as a book that could be gone through frame-by-frame. This was called:
Story of a Fructiferous Society
& was released in 2005 in a small unlimited edition. DVD-Rs & CD-Rs being what they are this had limited playability.
Next up, published in the late summer/early fall of 2006, was:
a look at the previous 9 books. A Pittsburgh-based publisher expressed enthusiasm for publishing something by me & this was the result. This was to be my 1st POD (Print-On-Demand) publication (although the DVD-R Story of a Fructiferous Society could be said to be such a thing) & it was the 1st time I was offered a contract. I was told by the publisher that this was for my own "protection".
As it turned out, none of the terms of the contract were ever honored & when I brought this to the attention of the publisher & his partner the partner informed me that that was OK because THEY NEVER SIGNED IT. How silly of me to think that a contract that was for my own "protection" might be honored by the people who drew it up.
The printer refused to print the cover as I designed it because it was upside-down so after a pathetic run of something like 60 to 100, the book became out-of-print. The printer was unbelievably incompetent & uncaring & eventually changed their name - probably to avoid whatever bad reviews they'd gotten under the original name. The publisher continued on their onw merry way. This was a very bad experience. It was also an incredible waste of a phenomenal book.
The next book was published by the truly astounding & wonderful Encylopedia Destructica in 2009. My heartfelt thanks go out to the 2 publishers of this remarkable, but sadly short-lived, artist's book press. This was printed in color & came with pull-out paper dolls, a DVD-R & a CD-R. It was my most lavishly designed release yet. The nature of the publisher's operation was that the books had to be hand-assembled by whoever was willing to participate in the production. Even though the group that the release was relevant to had 22 members only a fraction of that number was willing to do any assembly work. I then made the book available at COST of materials, which was something like $11.56 apiece, to members of the group. Some of them didn't even buy a copy. Years later at least one member said something like "I wonder why I didn't get a copy." The answer to that is "Because you were a cheapskate." The resultant edition was something like 60 but what an edition! I hope that the few people who got copies have cherished them because the likelihood of their ever being remade is ZILCH. It's doubtful that I'll ever do anything that elaborate again.
HiTEC (Histrionic Thought Experiment Cooperative) "Systems Management"
After 5 years of research, I wrote my next book in 6 weeks in the beginning of 2008. I approached 2 friends of mine to make the marginalia for it, which was part of the design. I was very technically specific about where the marginalia could be & what size it had to be in order for me to be able to do the layout properly. The marginalia of one of them was amazing & profoundly thoughtful. The marginalia of the other was shallow & bullshit. I should've known better than to ask him, his marginalia has since been removed in the 3rd printing.
Both of their marginalias ignored my technical specificiations. When I saw what they'd provided me with I informed them both that it would take me longer to correct their marginalia to make it printable than it had to write the book. Because of that, I procrastinated on doing so until I finally spent 3 months or more on the project. I tried to get even the smallest bit of it published to no avail & gave up in disgust. Eventually, as of 2017, I published it myself as a POD book. I, personally, think it's amazing. I only know one person who claims to've read the entire thing. I find it quite entertaining but I reckon others find it 'impossible-to-understand'. It's not a 'serious' math book & I imagine mathematicians would hate it. It's called:
Paradigm Shift Knuckle Sandwich & other examples of P.N.T. (Perverse Number Theory)
Meanwhile, the frustration wasn't just confined to the long wait for the publication of the above. My old friend, the poet & essayist Alan Davies, proposed that we write a book together in 2010 of his interviewing me. I was all for it. The trouble, of course, was to find a publisher. Alan got Mark Young to publish an early & incomplete version of it online as part of "Otoliths" issue 27 (October, 2012). I made the BIG MISTAKE of trying the publisher of footnotes again because I was dealing with a different person who I thought couldn't be any worse than the 1st guy. He was.
Because this unnamed publisher-from-hell had promised to publish a hard-copy POD version of the book, Otoliths came out in hard-cover without the interview in it because Mark Young thought it would be published elsewhere. As such, we missed our chance to have some hard-copy version of the book available by the beginning of 2013. In the meantime, the ostensible POD publisher of it didn't do a single thing promised & when I pointed this out to him I was informed that he wouldn't publish it at all because I was "such a dick". Bye-bye printed version.
I was sick of the whole thing by then. Alan, however, wanted to see it in print & said that he'd arrange for that to happen. By the fall of 2018 he asked me whether he should design it or whether I'd be willing to. I told him that I'd rather have him do it because I was burnt out on it. He then didn't communicate with me for the ensuing 10 months. Figuring, rightly, that that meant he wasn't going to do it, I went ahead & designed the book in a revised improved version. I didn't have the money to publish it so I waited to see if Alan would ever answer my phone calls or emails again.
In the fall of 2019 Alan said he was ready to pay for it. He suggested using a printer he'd used in the past & I argued in favor of POD for better international distribution & cheaper initial cost for us. He agreed to go forward with that. I had just recently gotten a credit card so I spent something like $135 getting the book ready to go. Alan reinbursed me but asked me to not spend anymore because he was still thinking of using the local, non-POD printer. Nothing happened. After a bit more of that, Alan asked me for an estimate of cost & offered to pay $700 in a 1st installment & an additonal $700 later. Both of us were poor but I had the credit card.
Two days later, Alan said he no longer had the $700 so I went ahead & paid for everything myself on credit & sent Alan a copy of the uncorrected proof & told him that if he ever wanted any more that he'd have to order them through me since I was the one who'd made the purchase. 5 or 6 months later, he's never expressed any interest in having any copies. At one point he explained to me something like "You are a do-er & I'm a meditator' - meaning he thinks about it without actually doing it while I just go ahead & do the work & put out the money.
tENTATIVELY, aN iNTERVIEW
Oh well. I got an email from the printer that implied that both the recent POD books might be withdrawn due to complaints about them from people quoted in them & from disatisifed customers. I went ahead & bought 100 of each to make sure that at least some survive any possible purge.
There you have it, the not-very-exciting & definitely frustrating life of 42 years (I'm in my 43rd year now but this last book was published in the 42nd) of my publishing or having published 13 books.
There are 2 online versions of this book: 1 as part of Otoliths 27: http://the-otolith.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/alan-davies-tentatively-interview.html & a slightly different version on my Interviewee website: 2010.11-2011.09 tENTATIVELY, aN iNTERVIEW . Neither are as good as the finished hard-copy book. You can, as far as I know, still order that online. If not, you can order a copy from me at the email address provided below.
tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE
idioideo at gmail dot com
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Anti-Neoism page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Audiography page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Bibliography page
to my "Blaster" Al Ackerman index
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE BYOC page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Censored or Rejected page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Collaborations page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE (d) compositions page
to Amir-ul Kafirs' Facebook page
to the "FLICKER" home-page for the alternative cinematic experience
to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's GoodReads profile
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Haircuts page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Home Tapers page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE index page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Instagram Poetry page
to a listing of tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's manifestations on the Internet Archive
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE as Interviewee index
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE as Interviewer index
to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE'S Linked-In profile
for A Mere Outline for One Aspect of a Book on Mystery Catalysts, Guerrilla Playfare, booed usic, Mad Scientist Didactions, Acts of As-Beenism, So-Called Whatevers, Psychopathfinding, Uncerts, Air Dressing, Practicing Promotextuality, Imp Activism, etc..
to the mm index
to see an underdeveloped site re the N.A.A.M.C.P. (National Association for the Advancement of Multi-Colored Peoples)
to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's Neoism page
to the DEFINITIVE Neoism/Anti-Neoism website
to the Philosopher's Union website
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE movie-making "Press: Criticism, Interviews, Reviews" home-page
to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's Score Movies
to find out more about why the S.P.C.S.M.E.F. (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Sea Monkeys by Experimental Filmmakers) is so important
to the "tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - Sprocket Scientist" home-page
to Psychic Weed's Twitter page
to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's Vimeo index
to Vine movies relevant to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE made by Ryan Broughman
to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's presence in the Visual Music Village
for info on tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's tape/CD publishing label: WIdémoUTH
to a very small selection of tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's Writing
to the onesownthoughts YouTube channel