The GS Reader
A friend asked me the other night, over about 17 bottles of wine, to put together a “Great Society Reader.” He wants to get deep into the page, but doesn’t know where to begin because I’ve spent the last ten years literally vomiting out a hodge-podge of insane rants ranging from conversations with my penis to somewhat serious movie reviews and political commentary.
Part of me feels the inapproachability of the front page is really kind of intentional. I fear public opinion and I like to pretend that the last ten years of rants – all of which comes to about 8,000 manuscript pages – are just going out into the ether. Lost forever. Every single word. On the rare occasions that I look back with the intent of organizing, editing, or collecting for a larger project, I feel lost. And that’s fine.
Since April of 2001, Great Society has been about catharsis, experimentation…it’s all been a lark, really. One, now massive, self-analysis session.
Hiding behind the mask of “Nacho Sasha,” I soon found that I could say and do whatever I wanted. Catharsis taken to a new level. I could not only write about my demons…I could become them. I could speak for them. I could actively and openly exorcize them.
In this, Great Society simply became a tool.
But that’s not why my friend wants to plumb the depths. It’s all business now. After all this time, there is a larger project here that begs for the light of day. If only as a series of Kindle Singles… So, here we go. A very brief and, hopefully, useful Great Society Reader for those who don’t want to climb through 10 years of my horrifically maladjusted psyche…
We begin, of course, with the Front Page. It seems odd that I have to link that, because that’s where you are right now, but you’d be surprised. Most people fall into the forums and are overwhelmed. The blocks of words on the front page do little to draw the attention, I think. I should lead off every article with boob shots.
The current front page will take you back to about 2008. You can go back to 2004 with the old front page. That’s right here, and is a nightmare when it comes to navigation. 2001-2004 is lost, sadly. Many of those archived articles have been recycled, though. That particular rabbit hole begins right here. 54 articles so far, featuring the seminal article that made “James” a major foil for Nacho Sasha over the last six or seven years: The Tiger’s Path.
The stories featuring James are collected in their own section, which includes a condemnation of Obama from January of 2009, where I quietly predicted the sad despair we now face today.
I suppose a good intro to Great Society begins with the 10th anniversary articles.
The history of Great Society was cataloged last April. From the original notes for the site in March 2001, to my take on the problem of being Nacho Sasha, through a recycling of Lonnie Martin’s state of the union during the fifth anniversary here and here.
The first posts on the site in April of 2001 were weird manifestos. “The Internet Life” and “The Port Baltimore Statement.” That history is discussed here.
Since the 10th anniversary, I’ve been thinking of ways to harvest a novel out of Great Society. Or…a collection of…something… Which is the point of this post, I guess.
One collection idea focused on the Cult Culture section. Landing on, especially, the personal aspects. Cult-culture cum memoir. Such as What Was Lost, which I wrote a follow-up to just a few months ago. The original cult-culture section was much more innocent, and the go-to article has always been my rant about the original Transformers movie and how it shaped a generation of children in the 80’s…for better or worse.
Collected, the completed “cult-culture” collection is roughly 75,000 words… Something I’ve stuck together in that weird way you stick books together. I’ve incorporated it as part of my unused manuscript fortress in my bedroom.
Since September 13th, I’ve been working on a new project. 3000 words a week, alternating between family history, generic rants, and an ongoing expose on my 20 years worth of experience in the catering industry. This project is lamely called the “vignettes project,” for lack of a better word. There’s two pages so far collected at that link. At the bottom you’ll see a polite little link leading back to the “older” articles.
There’s much more to the site, of course. And, if you’re a single girl, you need to read this. Because I really do have a beautiful penis.