Archive for George W. Bush

Farewell Soft Skull Press

Posted in art & music with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 3, 2010 by Sunshine Superboy

from Arsenal Pulp Press:

Sad news in the publishing world today; Soft Skull Press, once one of the preeminent indie presses in the US, is basically no more.

Soft Skull Press, the indie publisher that was rescued from financial ruin when it was acquired by the Berkeley-based publisher Counterpoint in 2007, became a West Coast outfit on Friday after 17 years in New York with the closing of its office in the Flatiron District. Both of its full-time staffers, editorial director Denise Oswald and associate editor Anne Horowitz, were laid off, and titles that were already in the pipeline have been reassigned to editors at Counterpoint.

According to Counterpoint CEO Charlie Winton, Soft Skull will live on from California, though there will not be any one there dedicated to running it. Mr. Winton’s conception of that brand is broad. “We see the role of Soft Skull as introducing new writers,” he said, when asked to define the imprint’s sensibility. “In general, those writers are probably going to be a little younger and maybe a little edgier.”

The press achieved legendary status for having published Fortunate Son, the unauthorized biography of George W. Bush, after original publisher St. Martin’s withdrew its first edition from the market due to threats from Bush’s lawyers; the book became a huge bestseller. However, its author, J.H. Hatfield, continued to suffer from the efforts of those who doggedly and successfully smeared his name; he committed suicide only a month after Soft Skull’s second edition was published. (The drama was captured in the amazing documentary Horns and Halos.)

In later years, publisher Richard Nash steered Soft Skull to greater heights, but it remained a defiantly marginal operation; I recall the time we visited Richard and his associate at Soft Skull’s Brooklyn office — a former bookstore that was so cramped, we had to meet on the sidewalk outside. In 2007, due to financial problems resulting from his distributor, Richard sold the press to Counterpoint, where it became an imprint of a larger firm; Richard remained Soft Skull’s publisher but left about a year later. (He’s now renowned as a public speaker in the publishing industry on the subject of books and technology, and is now the brains behind Cursor, a digital publishing concern.)

Which brings us to today’s news: Counterpoint has laid off Soft Skull’s existing staff and will re-locate the “name” to the west coast, albeit with no staff attached to it. I guess it’s not surprising; whenever an independent press has been forced to sell to a larger outfit, more often than not it eventually gets wholly absorbed into the parent company until its name and reputation are “disappeared.” It’s a shame.


For the love of God, let Texas have her way!

Posted in art & music, maps & mapping, politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2009 by Sunshine Superboy

“I got a timebomb in my mind mom, She’s gonna go off, but I don’t know when”


A passport to see SouthBySouthwest?!

A new poll out Friday shows that, should Texas Gov. Rick Perry decide the time is right for his state to secede, he might not have much support. Seventy-five percent of Texans would like to stay in the union, according to Rasmussen. However, a sizable minority would be with him: 18% would vote to secede, and seven percent are not sure what they’d choose. And a full 31% of Texas voters believe that their state has the right to secede from the United States and form an independent country if it wants.

And who is to stop them?! Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Austin, Amarillo, and Texarkana as much as the next kid (looooooves me some Austin!), but aside from Fox and Rush Limbaugh who would both suffer from significantly diminished political power, who the fuck wouldn’t say Good Riddance and click their heels in glee? I mean, we might want to track down this dastardly fucker before it comes to complex legal extraditions, but otherwise, I say we put the lone in lonestar, non? I’ve been whining about their glut of electoral votes and U.S. House Reps since before GWB ever muttered the words “I suh-ware Ahm from Texus, not Connecticut”.

Contrast the above image with this guy:

Now, I get that it would be a liberal, NPR-listener’s dream to raise the sails and let Texas have her way. Though we’d ultimately agree, I’m not coming from the same place as the Democrats. I’m just saying that state autonomy is a good move, in the first place, Texas has an ego too big to fit into a 50 State Union (without trouncing places like Delaware, North Dakota, and California? Nah big ego, Maine). More borders is a bit of a problem, but we’ll work that out over time. Shit, we don’t have social movements for nothing. Seriously, if Governator Rick Perry wants to put this on the ballot I’ll drop ev’r thing and knock on doors down there to Get Out the secession Vote.

Although, I can think of 97 old reasons why, even if she does have the right, I might miss Texas if she goes…

The State is Yours (you can keep it!),
Sunshine Superboy

“¿Why Aren’t I On Trial Yet?”

Posted in maps & mapping, politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 10, 2009 by Sunshine Superboy

This is one of the most provocative maps I think I’ve ever seen. If staring at it for more than four minutes doesn’t fry your synapses, I’d love for you to contribute your interpretations in the comments section. really!

Cowboys & Indians:

cowboys & indians

cowboys & indians

somewhat unrelatedly,
¿why aren’t I on trial yet?

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy insisted on Monday in firm and passionate terms that a comprehensive investigation be launched into the conduct of the Bush administration, saying anything less would prevent the country from moving forward.

Speaking at a forum at Georgetown University, the Vermont Democrat suggested the creation of a truth and reconciliation commission to uncover the “misdeeds” of the past eight years.
The Senator also stated that Attorney General Eric Holder never gave assurances to Republican Senators that he would not prosecute Bush administration officials who may have been involved in illegalities such as authorizing torture or warrantless wiretapping.

Godspeedyoublackattorneygeneral! (And the moustache on which you rode in)

The World is Yrs,
Sunshine Superboy


Posted in politics with tags , , , on January 17, 2009 by Sunshine Superboy