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There are a lot of Eric Rasmussens in the world, many of whom I’ve recently discovered are tilling the same fields that I am. I’ve seen Eric Rasmussens at work in journalism, law, literary criticism, polemics, music and fiction. That’s bound to create confusion.

Again, my full name is Eric Randolph Rasmussen. I’ve written a companion piece for this post telling you who I am. Out of respect for the other Eric Rasmussens, I felt the need to give you a list of the ones I am not:

Eric Ralph Rasmussen, pro baseball player.

This one seems pretty obvious. This was the only other Eric Rasmussen I’d ever heard of growing up. I never worried people would confuse us. I can barely pitch, catch or bat.

Eric David Rasmussen, physician, medical ethicist, humanitarian

Again, I’m not too worried about you getting us confused. This guy has an interesting career and is worth your attention.

Eric Rasmussen, writer, editor of Barstow & Grand

This Eric Rasmussen is a Wisconsin-based fiction writer and very nice guy who sent me a nice note and has an excellent blog and lots of excellent fiction. I do not wish to steal his thunder.

Why the confusion: We are both literary fiction writers. I do not see any novels on his resume (he mentions an unpublished manuscript), and I have never published any short stories (outside of a few bad experiments on my blog) but there are obvious reasons people are going to confuse us. For that reason, I have made sure to put “Eric Randolph Rasmussen” on most of my fiction, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to see it on my journalism.

Eric Rasmussen, jazz saxophonist, composer, band leader of the Eric Rasmussen Quartet, director of instrumental music at Scottsdale Community College

Alto saxophone player Eric Rasmussen has played with a number of big jazz names (you can find some of his music here), and his musical focus is jazz while mine is alternative rock and punk, but there are several reasons people might get us confused, especially if they knew me back in the day in Oklahoma.

Why the confusion: Several reasons. We have both been New Yorkers, we have both lived all over the country, we are both composers and we both play alto saxophone (though he actually worked at it his entire career while I gave it up for two decades). I have mostly stayed away from jazz on my albums, but Salon de la Guerre fans know that I have wormed my way through all sorts of different genres and finally jumped into some jazz a few years ago, yanking out my long-dormant alto sax chops for two songs on Salon de la Guerre’s album Clam Fake. I have done only two extended improvisations with jazz saxophone, one of which is on a song called “Red Clay Moses,” which you can hear on YouTube.  Jazz sax player Eric Rasmussen deserves his many accolades, but “Red Clay Moses,” a cross between jazz and Sonic Youth guitar, is all mine.

Eric Dean Rasmussen, associate professor of English literature at the University of Stavanger.

I first followed Eric Dean Rasmussen for a couple of reasons: He was a literature guy and, more important, he was the first of us with the cunning to grab the Ericrasmussen.com domain name. There can be only one, Highlander!

That said, most of his work, as far as I can tell, is literary criticism and theory, subjects I’ve studiously avoided since college. I never worried too much people would confuse us. Besides, he was in Chicago and then later, apparently, Norway.

Why the confusion: Still, we are both lovers of literature, and we both somehow at some point met with (and wrote about) famous superhero literary publisher Barney Rosset, founder of the Grove Press and publisher of Samuel Beckett and Henry Miller. Eric Dean met Rosset through his work at a literary organization. I met Rosset at a bar. Though the other Eric was seemingly better prepared for the encounter and knew more about Rosset to begin with, I must give myself some points for not misspelling Rosset’s name. (I have some advantages being a journalist.)

I see that Eric Dean and I also have a very tenuous connection through the website Altx.com. He has articles posted there, and I used to be associated with a literary magazine called Io that had links to the site as well.

Eric Rasmussen, internationally renowned Shakespeare scholar, foundation professor at the University of Nevada at Reno

Again, I wasn’t too worried about being mistaken for a Shakespeare scholar, though we are both authors and we are both on Amazon. He’s even on YouTube!

Eric Rasmussen, actor.

I took an acting class once and I’m enthralled by the subject, but I have mostly left that field to my wife.

Eric Rasmussen, professor of communication.

I don’t see much room for confusion here, though I do have a communications degree (in journalism) from the University of Texas, and it could be somebody somewhere gets us confused.

Eric Rasmussen, Twin Cities broadcast news investigative reporter, KSTP TV

This guy’s been in Boston and Minneapolis. I’ve never been in front of a camera, but we are both journalists.

I will leave it at that. I recall seeing other people with my name also pursuing music journalism (an old part-time vocation of mine) and statistics and hockey, but I’m not too worried about being confused with those people. I’ll add names to this list later if I think anybody is going to mix me up with someone else.

 

 

 

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It was difficult la-okc-trip-2004-029.jpggrowing up with the name “Eric Rasmussen” for a few obvious reasons. It’s a funny name for children to say, and given children’s talent for innovation, a fun name to mock. (“Raisin Muffin” was the sobriquet the junior high kids finally settled on for me.)

My name is now a problem for a different reason: It’s not anywhere near as as rare as many people think it is. “Rasmussen” is kind of like the Scandinavian “Smith.” and “Eric” is a natural fit for it. So not only are there tons of Eric Rasmussens in New York City (I even bumped into one at a party), but tons of them working in the same fields I work in–fiction, music, film and journalism. After I began recently releasing a slate of my novels, I realized there’s another Eric Rasmussen who writes short stories. He, like me, is published in several places.

I’m a hyphenate, which makes things more confusing. I’ve been working in at least four different media for years, subjects I’ve been passionate about since my teens. I never saw a reason not to pursue all of them at once, and I dare say I’m good at some of them. But to the outside world (and definitely to a career coach) it probably looks like I have multiple personality disorder.

So now I realize it’s become necessary to tell people both who I am and who I’m not. I talk about the latter in this companion piece. But for now, I’m going to give you my CV, if for some reason you get confused about which Eric Rasmussen you’re dealing with. My name is Eric Randolph Rasmussen. I grew up in Oklahoma, went to college in Austin, Texas, and I’ve lived in New York City for over two decades. I have a fairly large amount of content on the internet in multiple media.

Journalism

I’ve been a journalist since my college days. I focused first on arts and entertainment; in 1997, I started writing about finance. The following are the publications I’ve written for (if you see my name pop up in a different newspaper or magazine, it is not I):

The Daily Texan (the University of Texas student newspaper)
The Austin Chronicle
The Alcalde (The University of Texas alumni magazine)
Io magazine
Swing
magazine
Civil Engineering
Investment Management Weekly
Financial-Planning.com
Nurseweek
Financial Advisor magazine

Film

I’ve been making short films since 2006, and created a web series with my wife from 2007 to 2009. These are my works:

S&M Queen For A Day (2006)
Scrabble Rousers (2006)
The Retributioners (web TV series, 2007-2009)
Candy Rocks Doesn’t Grow Up (a screenplay and semi-finalist for the Austin Film Festival comedy screenplay competition in 2012)

Music

I am the sole musical artist behind Salon de la Guerre, which just released its 19th album. I worked on music through the 1990s, but didn’t start releasing definitive versions of my songs until 2007 on MySpace and didn’t start publishing them in album form until 2012. As of April 2019, I had 276 songs in circulation.

I’m listing the albums here with the dates I published them on the streaming sites (these are not the copyright dates of the songs, which go back as far as 1993). My albums are:

Time-Traveling Humanist Mangled by Space Turbine (2012)
Four-Track Demons (2014)
Diasporous (2014)
The Mechanical Bean (2014)
Toe-Tapping Songs of Pain and Loss (2014)
Your Eyes Have Mystic Beams (2014)
Clam Fake (2016)
Roses Don’t Push the Car Home (2016)
Gravitas: A Life (2016)
Liberty (2016)
The Church of Low Expectations (2016)
In the Lake of Feral Mermaids (2017)
The Widowhood of Bunny (2017)
Keep Your Slut Lamp Burning (2017)
Driver, Take This Cab to the Depths of the Soul (2017)
All Else Dross (2017)
Yipano (2018)
You’re Going To Regret What You Did (2018)
Bleed (2019)

Fiction

I’ve been writing fiction for well over two decades; however, for many reasons, most of them banal, my seven novels sat unpublished on my computer for years. A couple of months ago, that all changed: I began releasing my novels as e-books on Amazon, with the hopes of releasing the paperback versions on the platform later in the year. As of yesterday, five of my novels are now available on the site, and I plan to release the other two (one of which has three volumes) later this year. The books are mostly comic, though they also stretch into historical fiction and absurdism.

Here’s the complete list (I’ve listed the dates I released them on Amazon, though many of these books were finished at least five years ago):

Zip Monkey (2019)
Detective J (2019)
Letters to My Imaginary Friend Leticia (2019)
Traffic Waitress (2019)
Did it End? (2019)
American Banjo (planned release date: 2019)
The Ghost and the Hemispheres, Vol 1-3 (planned release date: 2019)

Poetry

My big plan as a teenager was to be a poet, and oddly enough, this is the field I’m least prolific in. I have only some few dozen poems to my name, almost all of which are available on this blog. However, I did get a few bits into the college literary magazine back in the day:

Analecta 1989-1991 (the University of Texas literary and arts journal)

The Blogosphere

Beauty is Imperfection is the blog you are reading right now. I started posting these little musings on MySpace in late 2006 and switched over to WordPress in 2009, moving a lot of the MySpace content over after seeing that the latter platform was dying.

As my long-suffering readers know, even in my blogging life, I’m something of a schizophrenic. For its first few years, Beauty Is Imperfection was a comedy blog with lots of Top 10 lists and other silliness, most of which was meant to help create buzz about my web series, The Retributioners. In 2010, my mother died, and the blog took on a more somber tone, and I also started posting a lot of political material to give the world a taste of my long-stifled polemical voice. My posts have been infrequent in the last few years; occasionally I post new poetry, but otherwise I use the blog to let people know about all these many other projects I’m working on.

Hopefully, this post gives you a more complete picture of me. I rarely talk about these projects with friends and colleagues, mostly because I’m not the bragging sort, I don’t like to shove art down people’s throats and I know how much great, perhaps better art is out there that I’m competing with. I’m offering this summary of my career mostly to help people navigating the internet avoid confusion if they see a name like mine and don’t know whom they are dealing with.

For the record, I haven’t written any plays.

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Our friend Maggie Hames reviewed several new TV shows at the site “Media Darlings” yesterday and gave an incredibly nice shout out to the “The Retributioners,” calling Stephanie a “Mary Tyler Moore for the 21st century.” I love reading Maggie, who has helped ease me into the role of parent as culture vulture a bit more easily with such cool columns as “Apps For Babies.”

She also says that our show is miles above two new NBC sitcoms, “Up All Night” and “Free Agents.” I have to say, I’m a bit bummed by that: I was hoping that “Up All Night” might be a new show for me to fall in love with, not only as a new parent facing the same issues, but as a huge Will Arnett fan who has watched all the episodes of “Arrested Development” twice. But Maggie says the show lacks pragmatism. “Get a nanny!” she yells at the screen.

As for “The Retributioners,” we’re glad that the show keeps giving good karma, even though we haven’t put out a new one in a while. Maggie needs to write a new blog called “How to keep your Web series going when you’re a new parent.”

I’m trying to work the baby into the plot some how. Maybe an episode in which Stephanie gets even with Xander for her post-partum depression. You all like that? Raise your hands!

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Stephanie and I landed out West for our Christmas vacation last night, and woke refreshed this morning to find this awesome review of “The Retributioners” on Visioweb.TV, an excellent new site devoted to Web shows. The legions of Web TV fans are growing, and if this site is any indication, they’re an increasingly savvy, sophisticated, articulate bunch. We should all be switching off our cable now! (at least until the Soup and 30 Rock are on, or maybe until Mad Men gets going again).

So if you do love Web TV, and you want to show your appreciation to the proliferating numbers of plucky, independent-minded Web artists coming online, maybe you’re wondering: How do I get my favorite shows the attention they’re due? Well, how about with some awards?

The 2nd Annual Streamy Award season just launched, and Stephanie and I are excited to nominate not only ourselves, but also to nominate the incredibly talented actors who lent us their rapier wit and masterful acting chops in 2009. For your consideration, we humbly submit our fresh, funny, acerbic, retributive Web show in a number of categories. Check out our Streamy site to find out how you can get The Retributioners nominated.

Steph and I, again, are on vacation, so the posts will be a bit less frequent over the next couple of weeks, but check in anyway. You never know when I’ll spring some holiday cheer on you.

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Are you a Netflix subscriber? Do you have a Roku box? If so, you can now watch “The Retributioners” on your very own TV! Our preferred Web video channel, Blip.TV, has signed deals to share their content with several sites and subscription services, including YouTube, TiVo, Vimeo and iTunes. But our personal favorite is the tiny, efficient, extra-affordable Roku box, which you can check out here. This device, of course, allows you to pluck many Netflix movies off the Internet and throw them into your TV–all for free if you have a subscription. What movies the company doesn’t have online you can likely still get through an Amazon link for just a few bucks extra.

I am not saying all this because I am some shill for Roku or just because I want you to watch “The Retributions” again (Anyone up for another round of “Drunk Dial Party”?). No, I’m also a huge fan of this little box because it has completely changed my TV viewing habits, allowed me to waste less time and money on bad television and, most important, allowed me to call my cable company and demand again that they lower my rate or else I’ll get rid of them. Because, as Pliny the Elder once asked, why do I have to take their shit?

One of my favorite Roku discoveries lately is that I can now watch any DVD from the first five years of Saturday Night Live for FREE with my Netflix account and my tiny, compact, sleek, inexpensive and elegant little Roku box. That’s EVERYTHING! Even the stuff they never show in reruns–like Milton Berle singing “September Song,” and Louise Lasser apparently walking off in the middle of her monologue because she was having a nervous breakdown. Everyone remembers that Belushi did the Samurai, but nobody remembers that he also did FDR and Truman Capote. Nobody remembers the sketch where Ralph Nader tested sex dolls. But I have seen it and I still don’t believe he did it.

So, without an endorsement money from Roku, I must recommend this box. It was a steal when I bought it at $100, and now it seems to have dropped in price again. This is the future! If we all get extra picky about what we watch, maybe the regular networks will remove the Kardashians. Come on! We’re adults. We don’t have to take this abuse!

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The new episode of “The Retributioners” is here! Episode 16–The American Dream.

In this latest installment, Stephanie confronts a stock broker who lost her all her money.

Watch it here, but also be sure to visit www.theretributioners.tv to see all our episodes.

This episode features Christopher Burke, who also co-writes and co-directs as part of the comedy team at Manic Attack Pictures. Go and check out all their commercial parodies, music videos, and viral videos at Manicattack.com.

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