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the journal of a cynical patriot
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I first met Stephan Wilson a little over 13 years ago, when he was crashing on the couch at a household on Grove Street that my ex-wife was a part of. From that point on he was a fixture in my life - I couldn't go anywhere without seeing him. It seems like I talked to him nearly every week since I met him, but I know that can't be true. He always had a smile for me, never a malicious word - maybe some unkind ones but they were always in jest. He kept me from doing more than a few stupid things in the time that I knew him. Despite knowing him this long, I honestly can't say that I was much more than an acquaintance to him. This doesn't make his passing have any less of an impact on me.

He never was one to take care of himself. I know he struggled with various addictions since I met him. As far as I know, he always lived on the fringes like so many people I know, right at the poverty line. This is one of those points that makes me angry when I think about it. We live in a world where people like Steve Jobs can get a new liver but the poorest of us? Well, they just have to hurry up and die. It can be said that he hurried the process along, but does that make it fair? Not really.

I'm very cynical about "the scene" that everyone goes on about. This is mostly because that concept has been used and abused a lot. The scene is not a nightclub. It's not a band. It's not a city. It's people, and the vast majority of them are like Stephan, scraping by and trying to find some sense of community. Most of the people I know don't have anything resembling health insurance. The worst part is that even though people like Stephan are vital to these communities, the best their employers can give them is barely enough money to make rent and enough booze to kill themselves with. It's natural to feel very mortal when someone passes away. I've been feeling it myself a lot lately with my own (non life threatening) health problems. I also see a lot of good people having to beg for money for their own health issues, such as my friend Whitney and her knee problems. Don't get me wrong, I support Whitney, but health insurance based on popularity is not the answer any more than health insurance for the richest is. Things shouldn't have to be this way.

I'm in the middle of building a new company complete with benefits for my employees, and these things are all weighing heavily on me. The government is no help at all, if you hadn't figured that out. This seismic shock to my circle of friends has crystallized in an instant what we all know we have to do but seem to forget until something like this happens - we all have to take care of each other. I can't take care of everyone, but I've picked a few battles in this regard and I'm proud of the difference I've made in some people's lives.

As far as I can tell, Stephan ignored getting help. It makes me unhappy that I didn't try harder in his case, but he wouldn't have let me anyway. The last time I talked to him was a few Wednesdays ago. I asked him if he was doing ok, and he said yes. I could tell he was lying, but at the same time we both knew it was too late - I guess that's why I didn't call him on it. I don't believe in an afterlife, but it occurs to me that there is not really a need for one if you live on in people's memories. I will miss him more than I can express in a stupid journal entry, but at the same time he'll always be with me.
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I haven't put anything on LJ in a long time. This isn't because I stopped wanting to write things. It's partly because I started writing all of them on twitter, because that's where they belonged. The sad truth is that there is very little that anyone has to say that deserves to be immortalized, my own words even less so. To be honest almost all Livejournal entries can be summed up in 160 characters - or the title, as it were. Thus the title of my own Livejournal entry.

To be honest, putting anything out onto the Internet is an act of extreme narcissism. It's assuming that people actually want to hear from some person what the latest XKCD cartoon is about, or your 90 minute long review ripping the Phantom Menace. When you go to the pains of actually trying to look like an asshole on the Internet the effect is magnified. It's a truism that you'll always attract a following, but they will all be people as lame as you in the same way that you are lame. And seriously, who wants to read the commentary of a bunch of losers like that? The sad truth is that virtually everything on the Internet is really only worthy of the ADD affliction that is a Twitter entry, and that ultimately this means doom for places like Livejournal.

That's not to say that there aren't some really good reasons to read Livejournal. I continue to read it to see some of my more literate friends. It's a welcome respite to read something on the Internet that is actually well written and spelled correctly. In this sense, things like Twitter and Facebook are GREAT for Livejournal - because it got all the illiterates to go somewhere else. Still, it's highly noticable how slow traffic is over here. This is because the majority of people using web browsers are mouth-breathers that will eventually change the english language through common vernacular so that "ask" is pronounced "axe". The literate people have consistency and patience on their side so they are the only people really left on Livejournal.

I'm not ashamed of not having written in this thing for a long time. I think pretty much everyone should stop writing long blog entries to be honest. Livejournal is too good for probably 80% of you. I certainly have nothing life-changing or paradigm-shifting to broadcast to any of you. I know before any of you even respond that none of you do either. Does this really deserve to be filed and indexed by Google forever? Hell no. Even though some of you may think you're witty in just that wonderful sarcastic way that everyone loves, you aren't. If you were, you'd be getting paid for it.

This brings me to my last point. There is another reason I haven't written in this LJ in a while. Basically, my ability to write long blocks of text has been needed elsewhere. It's been needed to write business plans. It's been needed to rewrite screenplays. It's been needed to write use cases for technical specs. Basically, it's been needed to pay the bills. I know that nobody has missed me, mostly because my Livejournal is not yours - it's mine. I do have followers but I hate them all. It's really nice to always have the option open to tell you all how much you suck once in a while. I might actually write in this more often, because I'm trying to hire better writers than me to do some of this stuff I've been doing to pay the bills. So this is your warning.

So long, fuckers. For now.
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I've had an interesting few weeks. Because of this, I have dropped out of sight in almost every way without much explanation. I was going to do a lot today as well, but as it turns out today is a bank and post office holiday (thank you, Columbus) so I actually have a morning without work to slow down, make a nice breakfast, and actually write a longish blog about what is going on.

The sad part is I can't tell anyone exactly what I am working on. After losing my case against Tribe a few weeks ago I had an idea for two Facebook applications - and that's all I can tell you about that. What happened next is one of those "only in San Francisco" stories. Less than forty eight hours after I had the idea, someone wrote me a check to start the company. Stealth Applications, LLC is the name of the company, named this because we are in "stealth mode" and we aren't expending much brainpower on things like naming the company. I've spent the last few weeks setting up the company, getting a lawyer, setting up a development environment, getting a website online, and actually writing the application. I'm not finished, but by the end of the month we are putting the apps live - and it's something I am sure most of you can use. Don't worry, I'm going to be annoying and invite all of you to it.

If the company takes off (and it very well may) I'm trying to divest myself of it as quickly as possible. I do not like computer work and I swore never to work in it again - but I'm realizing that this actually means I never want to work for someone else ever again. I've had a belly full of crooks like the Tribe/Zynga owners. The real scary part to me is that if this company actually takes off, it's going to be either competition or a target of acquisition for one of the biggest companies on the Internet, and it's my hope that with Facebook and MySpace's help, this company will do nothing short of helping to repair the fractured economy. As some folks have noted before, I never seem to do anything small.

So stay tuned, things are about to get interesting.
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For those of you following along at home, I have once again stumbled into legal trouble. I’ve told a few of you about this, but I’ll recap – on July 22nd, I sent a nasty email to Mark Pincus and Andrew Trader telling them to take down artwork that was clearly derivative of work by my friend and longtime collaborator Chad Savage. They complied with that request (which would seem to infer guilt, honestly) but in response to that they filed for a temporary restraining order because my use of foul language scared them.

Today we had the court date for that. There were multiple false claims in the statements of Mark Pincus and Andrew Trader and I brought documentation for those. They didn’t tell the entire story (of course) and claimed that I was angry at them for my “termination” from NSA. I brought a letter from NSA that proved this was false, and several other points in their declarations were based on this assumption that I was teminated. Most everyone who knows me also knows that I actually resigned from NSA in order to start Ambergris Films, and that to this day I still respond to requests for expertise from NSA when they run up against problems they cannot figure out. Despite having the proof that they were lying in their declaration, the judge granted their attorneys the full order against me. Am I upset about this? Not particularly. I’ll explain.

Before all this happened, I consulted with at least ten different attorneys about back overtime for my time at Tribe.net. They all agreed that the situation was insane – for the first year I worked there almost every waking hour was spent working on Tribe, and AT and Mark told me that I was exempt from overtime because I was salaried. Well, that simply was not true – the fact of the matter in 2007, to be exempt from overtime you had to make $94,000 per year or more. In 2008 the rules were changed so that if you made more than $75,000 you were exempt. There is another componant though, and that is the job description – if you are just swapping servers and making sure things keep running, you are not exempt from overtime. In their court documentation, they DESCRIBED MY JOB AS EXACTLY THIS and nothing more. After this, all the attorneys agreed – I finally had a case for my back overtime. This past week I filed a claim with the California Labor Board for $155,000 in unpaid overtime. I am also talking to attorneys to find out what civil cases I can make against them.

In the end, it was exactly as I expected it would turn out. I am not that bothered by this outcome but I am making an ethics complaint to the state bar, since it’s pretty obvious that my pointing out that they were making their TRO based on false claims was completely ignored by the judge. There is no way that I’m letting their intimidation tactics scare me away from what they owe me. I am sure you folks reading my journal know exactly how well threatening me with drama goes. I had no desire to even see them let alone hurt them physically, and I am under no illusions that $155,000 will hurt a guy who owns two private aircraft and three mansions. My biggest hope is that the publicity around this will inspire their current employees to stop being taken advantage of by them, and that their VCs will take notice of how much legal shenanigans these people waste their VC money on. My biggest fear is that their money and influence will just allow them to subvert the legal processes to deny me justice in the two years of my life I wasted on Tribe.net, because quite frankly I don’t have a lot of money to fight any of this. My experience with the legal system is that the people with the money always manage to win, and that’s pretty much the most depressing part about today.
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FIRST TALENT ATTACHED TO SCREENPLAY SPAWNED FROM TWITTER

Bill Moseley attached to KILLER GREEN

SAN FRANCISCO (PRWEB) July 29,2009 – Ambergris Films LLC is excited to announce that actor Bill Moseley has signed on to play a role in the upcoming noir thriller KILLER GREEN. Bill’s work in darkly comic films such as TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2 and ARMY OF DARKNESS is a great complement to the surreal, fringe character driven black humor of KILLER GREEN.

Bill Moseley got his first film role in Alan Rudolph’s Endangered Species as a cab driver. His more recent body of work includes DEAD AIR(2009), REPO: THE GENETIC OPERA(2008), HALLOWEEN(2007), DEVIL’S REJECTS(2005) and many other films. He is a graduate of Yale University and has two daughters. He lives in Los Angeles, CA.

Executive Producer Darren P. Mckeeman said “I am thrilled to have such a consummate professional as a part of our first film venture. I look forward to learning a lot from him.”

Ambergris Films LLC is an entertainment company formed to develop feature length movies and merchandise from those projects. Started by Darren Mckeeman in June of 2009, Ambergris Films currently has four projects in development. You can follow Ambergris Films LLC online at their website, http://www.ambergrisfilms.com.

Darren's note: Bill likes me for some weird reason. He was at the first Spookycon, and I had him at the WHC 2006 as a guest of honor. I am still pinching myself - if you'd told me 20+ years ago when I was watching that guy onscreen jump around with Leatherface and Dennis Hopper that I would be working with him, I would never have believed you. And his agent signs her emails "XO" at me. I am definitely not in Kansas anymore.
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Zynga has created some of the games you see the most on Facebook, like Vampires and Mafia Wars. They recently got $29 million in funding. Despite this, they stole a piece of artwork from my friend Chad Savage to use in their Vampires game, and more than likely have ripped off single pieces of art from individual artists because most of these people can’t afford a lawyer to send them a DMCA takedown notice.

Zynga is run by the same person who owns my former place of employment and formerly my favorite social networking site. I say formerly because he hired me to “keep the lights on” while he used it as a way to claim a loss so he wouldn’t owe so many taxes while lying to the community that he was behind them. This destroyed the community that I loved so dearly – now it is little more than a ghost town.

The corporate culture at Zynga is one of waste and excess. They have free lunches provided every day from a personal chef, and well over half the food is wasted and thrown in the trash. By all accounts the CEO has a private jet. They do this while ripping off artists and getting you to play their games so they can sell your demographic information.

If you are sick and tired of evil people like Mark Pincus and his employees, BOYCOTT ZYNGA GAMES. Don’t play them. Delete Poker and Vampires and Zombies from your profile. DON’T MAKE THESE EVIL EXECUTIVES RICHER!

PLEASE REPOST THIS AS WIDELY AS POSSIBLE! If you are an artist who has been ripped off by Zynga, feel free to add your name to the note!
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Not Cait @ the Tonga Room
Originally uploaded by faustfatale.
On Saturday I spent all afternoon running around with faustfatale, and we recreated a picture that we took of greygirlbeast at the Tonga Room in 1997. Did I just write 1997?

I took her on a True Crime tour of San Francisco - Fatty Arbuckle, the Zodiac, Dashiell Hammett, and the guy who ran Mr. Sushi-Man restaurant. We covered a lot of territory and ended our outing with umbrella drinks.

Happy birthday, Christa!
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I've been reminded by the arrival of greygirlbeast on Twitter that I have to make a somewhat longer post here on Livejournal regarding how things are going. I spend a lot of time making phone calls and trying to hook up investment, which is all just networking with people rather than computers and a refreshing change of pace from being on edge and on call 24/7. I'm enjoying actually being involved with people and spending a lot of my time online either working on the movie and company website or researching new places to market the company and films to.

We pushed the http://www.killergreenfilm.com website live today. It's a week late due to my production designer and all around stinker thinker Mr. Satan breaking his jaw. Here is a picture of Jeff with a silly looking icepack strapped to his face:

Zip The What-is-it?

We still don't know exactly what happened (he fainted!), but Jeff got a broken jaw, several broken teeth, and a gash in his chin that took six stitches to close. By far, the most terrifying thing to contemplate was an severe chin wound gashed open by the pavement in the Tenderloin. They gave him two tetanus shots.

My ex-wife keeps emailing me and accusing me of adoring docbrite more than my daughter ever since I visited her in New Orleans. Elizabeth has purposefully made it as hard as possible for me to talk to Annabelle despite having no court order, and every Father's Day is just a painful reminder of this unfinished business. Elizabeth is demanding full custody but she doesn't seem to understand that the only reason that I haven't come to see Annabelle is merely because she's made it so impossible to meet her demands that my only recourse to go through the courts. I am not going to start any court action in Minnesota until I have enough money to pay the attorney, so she'll just have to wait.

One thing I have noticed is how insanely abusive Elizabeth is in all of her email. I might be upset too by her words, except I just don't care anything about Elizabeth anymore - I just care about my daughter and getting her out of a situation where she is homeschooled by a high school dropout who is in such denial about her own problems that she neglected her epilepsy for 7 years.
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“Smokey & The Bandit Meets Natural Born Killers” In KILLER GREEN

SAN FRANCISCO (PRWeb) June 12, 2009 – Ambergris Films LLC today announces the optioning of a screenplay that has its roots in the popular online social network Twitter. KILLER GREEN is a horror film that mixes cultural icons such as diners and serial killers with news ripped from the headlines such as biodiesel cars and the unscrupulous practices of outlaw doctors.

In February of 2009, a group of users on the social network Twitter had an almost joking conversation about a movie based on a bio-fuel and a killing spree. The project was dubbed “KILLER GREEN” and author David Niall Wilson started typing a script. Since the idea was born on Twitter, Wilson typed the script in scenes and promoted each scene with his account. Each scene was published on his website under a Creative Commons license and broadcast to the Twitter Community. The following grew. After the completion of the screenplay, Wilson signed an option with Ambergris Films LLC. Nearly every part of the deal was transacted via Twitter, save for the signing of contracts. Pre-production started on the project in June, and many images from our production designer Jeff Ensslen are available on the KILLER GREEN website, http://www.killergreenfilm.com.

Many notable Twitter users donated their names to the screenplay, including Internet marketing gurus Chris Brogan and Greg Verdino. There are links to their Twitter profiles on the KILLER GREEN website.

Ambergris Films LLC is an entertainment company formed to develop feature length movies and merchandise from those projects. Started by Darren Mckeeman in June of 2009, Ambergris Films currently has two projects in development. KILLER GREEN is the first one into pre-production. you can follow Ambergris Films LLC online at their website, http://www.ambergrisfilms.com.

David Niall Wilson has been writing and publishing horror, dark fantasy, and science fiction since the mid-eighties. His novels include Maelstrom, Sins of the Flash, Vintage Soul, The Mote in Andrea’s Eye, Deep Blue, the Grails Covenant Trilogy, Star Trek Voyager: Chrysalis, Except You Go Through Shadow, This is My Blood, and the Dark Ages Vampire clan novel Lasombra, among others. He has over 150 short stories published in five collections, one of which, Defining Moments, was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award in 2007. He has won the Bram Stoker Award for his poetry, and his short fiction. You can find him on the web at http://www.davidniallwilson.com.
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Full press release at midnight, plus we will be announcing lots more exciting news in two to three weeks!




As you can see, I've been a little busy.
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Thomas Jefferson Crowley
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Name: Thomas Jefferson Crowley
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