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Archive for the ‘The Web’ Category

  • They shared erotic pictures of themselves on an Indonesian chat site. The court’s verdict: sexy!
  • This $2 bill was sitting at the bottom of his sock drawer like a $3 diamond.
  • We’ll never know what the dinosaurs thought of fast food.
  • This blogger said that his child’s painting should be worth $2 million at least. Just look at those colors!
  • Watch this adorable lion cub tussle and tumble with his brothers and try to understand that they are learning to murder.
  • This car wash hack was completely useless to this pedestrian.
  • This Amazon Go store never opened but you can still imagine it in the empty space Amazon left for you to stare at.
  • Kick your online privacy up a notch by faking your own death.
  • This dogsledder did himself no favors when he told the world he was actually a cat person.
  • It’s now more important than ever to have a poker face at the company Christmas party.
  • This couple is sad and disgusted by their totally avoidable 30-year age difference.
  • This urban designer is already thinking a million years ahead to when we’re all being engulfed by karst sinkholes.
  • This newborn doesn’t forgive lightly for you pushing them out of your womb.
  • These old videos surfaced of people sexualizing Seth Rogen in 2022, and needless to say … it was awkward!
  • Bra. Lamp. Fire. It’s all rogue!
  • This Black columnist is the only one who can beat up on a Black entertainer. Everyone else doing it is racist.
  • Not Pretty: These strippers are getting pretty lewd when talking about their healthcare plan deductibles.
  • This plumber shrugged and said, “You should have used copper.”
  • This gun killed everybody but the intruder because physics.
  • This Rasmussen Reports (no relation) innocently asked if it was OK to be white then snuck out the door after starting millions of unnecessary arguments which Rasmussen Reports had no way of knowing would happen because it insists it was just asking a normal, scientific question that many white supremacists would ask.
  • She opened the present and it was Anna, not Elsa. What happened next surprised no one.
  • You won’t be surprised at what this guy who bought pizza with crypto eight years ago more recently did with his firearm.
  • We celebrated the one year anniversary of Will Smith finding a novel solution to the problem of being universally liked.

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–*Everyone forgets that these celebrity couples were once just zygotes.

–*There was a candy bar in this picture a minute ago. Who took it?

–*Why Hollywood won’t hire William Holden anymore.

–*Could writing a check on somebody’s back be the new TikTok dance craze?

–*This hot stock tip has the SEC waiting to arrest you for this hot stock tip.

–*Click here for a dopamine rush!

–*Could sexual intercourse be the new day trading?

–*What happens at the end of this colonoscopy is not dinner conversation, damn it!

–*This can of Fanta sitting by itself is just awkward!

–*This anti-vaxxer comedian made that famous joke thief look not so bad in hindsight.

–*This Kanye West made that Taylor Swift look not so bad in hindsight.

–*She gave up everything for a blood test device that didn’t work.

–*This hack will allow you to read the work of journalists for free by using the internet.

–*This hack will allow you to hear the work of musicians for free by using the internet.

–*Who is Lionel Barrymore dating 95 years ago?

–This Grecian urn hack will have you saying that truth is beauty and beauty truth.

–*This tomato bisque … um, awkward!

–*She wore a tiered skirt over jeans. Next thing you know, we were at war.

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It was difficult growing 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 R. Rasmussen. I grew up in Oklahoma, went to college in Austin, Texas, and have lived in New York City for two and a half 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. I created a web series with my wife from 2007 to 2009 and I’ve also written a few screenplays that I’ve entered into competitions. 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)
“Lanternfly” (2021). This is a music video I made for the song of the same name off the Salon de la Guerre album Wings Made of Cash.

Music

I am the sole musical artist behind Salon de la Guerre, which released its 32nd album in 2022. 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 putting them out in album formats until 2012. As of March 2022,* I have 433 songs released.

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)
Air Is a Public Good (2019)
From Sour To Cinnamon (2019)
Infinity Boy (2019)
Golem Vs. Duende (2020)
Hot Tears (2020)
Bring An Open Mind To A Broken Heart (2021)
Hugs for Mountains (2021)
Digital Moon (2021)
The Black Sheep Symphony (2021)
Cold For Mars (2021)
The Dog Opus (2021)
Wings Made of Cash (2021)
Stereoisomer (2022)

Fiction

I’ve been writing fiction for well over two decades; however, for many reasons, most of them banal, my novels sat unpublished on my computer for years. In 2019, 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 on. As of October 2020*, all nine of my novels are now available on the site. 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 (2019)
The Ghost and the Hemispheres, Vol. 1 (2020)
The Ghost and the Hemispheres, Vol. 2 (2020)
The Ghost and the Hemispheres, Vol. 3 (2020)

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.

*Updated April 1, 2022 (No foolin’!)

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Media Monopoly

In journalism school, in a class on ethics, we were assigned to read “The Media Monopoly,” a thoroughly depressing screed about the onset of media consolidation with dire, unrelenting bad news that we young journalists were about to enter a field of whoredom owned by a handful of self-interested media conglomerates. These companies were filtering out far-ranging, dissenting voices (it was a prep of sorts for Noam Chomsky’s “Manufacturing Consent.”) It left a big mark on me. The book’s author Ben Bagdikian has just left us now.  RIP. (You can read his obituary here.)

I feel two ways about his book in hindsight. In one sense he was absolutely correct: Most of the big media is owned by the same conglomerates who pollute our water and build war materiel and would indeed like to keep us in the dark. At the same time, the Internet has recreated journalism as cottage industry where even the most extreme voices (communists and global warming deniers alike) are free to put their wares in the marketplace of ideas and have them amplified. That’s given us the multiplicity of voices, but it’s also given us a lot of echo chambers for aspirational opinion havers to confirm their own biases with selective research. To the new voices, pretenses to objectivity are boorish, arcane and disingenuous. The kind of serious investigative, bias-free journalism we used to rely on from professionals becomes harder to find and fund, and must often be paid for by philanthropist billionaires –the patronage of the modern tech Medici. Meanwhile, a lot of old-time professional journalists are simply getting out of the business because there’s no money in it and going into PR.

The Internet age has led us to a kind of anarchy of opposing realities where you can choose your own facts and deny things that are indisputable–global warming, the Sandy Hook massacre or the fact that the Sept. 11 attacks were planned by Muslim extremists. The Internet has given people the confidence to say they trust nothing they read. But it hasn’t confronted them with the consequences of that sentiment: You now have more work to do in scrutinizing what is real by taking multiple viewpoints into account and understanding your own subjective interference in it, including the value system given to your by your peers and parents. Somebody somewhere on the Internet right now will be very happy to let you off the hook for this work by coddling you and your values, and in this you are just as manipulated as you would be by General Electric trying to bury a pollution story.

In this light, the handful of sober conglomerate voices Bagdikian warned us against don’t look all that bad, frankly.

But here we are. Change is change and not to be judged, least of all by me. Powerful money interests have lost a great deal of power over information. It happened quite naturally in a technological upheaval. Power over it has come back to the people, even sweaty, frustrated schizophrenics sitting on their laptops at night. Many people, however, will likely not know what to do with all the conflicting information they have. They will be confused and they will turn to the people they trust, and once again risk becoming tools of somebody else’s will. They will repeat others’ ideas, not innovate on them, and act as if this is some sort of emancipation. The power only to repeat.

So mission accomplished. Patriarchy smashed. Hope you have some idea what you’re in for.

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–*Ten childhood actors who now have goiters.

–*Ten stars with the most intractable liver diseases.

–*Celebs who are not afraid to munch carpet right in your face.

–*Who are the 10 biggest Noam Chomskys?

–*Bet you didn’t know these people were anti-Semites.

–*You’ll never guess what happened to this puppy that climbed into a coffer of unexploded Qassam rockets.

–*This part-time gym teacher destroys theory of evolution.

–*This woman nailed it with her letter to the compliance department about proper processes and work flow alerts.

–*Ten metacarpals most easily smashed with a claw hammer.

–*Ten richest celebs who weren’t rich enough to tip me 20%.

–*How many languages can Bibi Netanyahu say “Go fuck yourself” in?

–*The 100 hottest pictures of people who are purportedly Selena Gomez.

–*You’ll never guess what countries you can buy a child in right now.

–*Ten celebrities surprisingly small enough to put in a trunk.

–*These shocking facts will shock you shocking shock.

–*Carrie Fisher insulted nerf herders. This nerf herder destroys her.

–*Five things you’re doing wrong right now.

–*This woman put a tomato in the refrigerator. The tomato destroys her.

–*Make your credit card do what your pancreas no longer can.

–*Ten celebrity hairstyles we hope to see on a YouTube puppy in the next 10 minutes.

–*Ten shocking GPS coordinates of women breastfeeding their babies in public right now.

–*These people took sides in the Israel-Palestinian debate. Watch what happens to their cars.

–*This person made a movie when she was 5. We destroy her.

–*You’ll never believe whose endoscopy footage this is.

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–*Kanye and Kim’s new mansion. How does it compare with a hole in your skull?

–*The Elusive Nipples of Miley Cyrus.

–*Acid or industrial press: Which is the most effective way for the government to do away with Edward Snowden?

–*Jennifer Aniston emerges from home without hat and sunglasses.

–*How the government can kill you where you are standing right now.

–*How to burn fat while eating an ice cream sundae and watching reruns of “Friends.”

–*This deflated balloon looks remarkably like Josh Hartnett’s shrunken scrotum after a swim.

–*Is this a picture of Lady Gaga? (We can’t ever be too sure these days!)

–*Breaking: This idiot doesn’t know how to spell “cereal.”

–*Will Cameron Diaz ever get any younger?

–*Parent capturing child’s tantrum over candy goes viral.

–*Child gets even with fake molestation charges.

–*We approached Justin Theroux with a billy club, just to see what he would do.

–*Brides on fire: A pictorial.

–*The most delicious yogurt in the world happens to be 40 feet from this writer’s apartment.

–*Viral video: See why this dog is doomed.

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I see some horrible person is getting some WordPress attention doing Top 10 lists. As you know, Beauty Is Imperfection reader, I’ve done a fair number of those in my time. I started to feel a little cheap relying on them instead of offering you some well-thought-out, well-crafted prose. Writing Top 10 lists to me is easier than drawing breath. But to see someone else get attention for it, while I sit over here in Transcendentalville howling alone in the wilderness, is too much.

So I offer my first one in ages. Top 10 reasons to do a top 10 list:

1) It’s a cultural meme that everybody understands, nay, one that makes them feel a sense of belonging to their social subgroup

2) It takes about 2 minutes, whereas a real editorial takes hours to craft.

3) It’s almost always possible to insert Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Snooki or Britney Spears into a Top 10 list somewhere, and when you’ve got them in your list, you can put them in your tags, and then it becomes part of Google search universe and makes your a site a destination on the superhighway rather than a gasoline outpost somewhere in Arizona.

4) Top 10 lists employ the sort of repetition and variation that’s key to comedy.

5) Top 10 lists employ the sort of repetition and variation that’s key to comedy, y’all

6) Every Top 10 list comes with a free kitten

7) Except this one

8 ) When people can absorb information from a well-understood social convention like this one, it is easier for them to assimilate information that is otherwise difficult to digest–for instance, if we had the Top 10 reasons why Barack Obama should have closed Guantanamo by now and why in failing to do so he’s let a lot of us down.

9) If you get really good at Top 10 lists, you will be compared unfavorably to David Letterman, but hey, at least you’re in the same neighborhood.

10) A snappy ending makes you feel warm all over: The monster at the end of this list was Grover all along!

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Welcome Spanish Speakers

I was very amused to see “chicas desnudas” as one of the search terms that directed someone to my blog today. For those of you who are regular readers, you’ll know that I do a parody of the TV Guide listings sometimes. A very old entry lists “chicas desnudas” as one of the highlights of “Real Sexo” on Spanish HBO. A very obscure old blog post, but I’m not picky.

I just want to let everybody know that this is a Spanish friendly site, and I am personally happy to have all immigrants, illegal or otherwise, in our country. To hell with Arizona!

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http://www.MakeMyAdjustableRateMortgageDisappear.com

http://www.GetMeOutofThisPrisonRightNow.com

http://www.FlipMyHouse.com

http://www.RemoveThisCatheterNow.com

http://www.ThisGallBladderIsn’tGoingToRemoveItself.com

http://www.ItFeltLikeAHeartAttackUntilIBelched.com

http://www.HelpIBelieveEverythingGlennBeckTellsMeAndItHasn’tMadeMyLifeAnyBetter.com

http://www.Only30PPMLeadInMyWaterSupplyYay!.com

http://www.WhyAren’tTheBicyclistsUsingTheNewBikeLanes?.com

http://www.IHateBigGovernmentAndEverythingItWon’tGiveMe.com

http://www.KeithOlbermannWillWriteYouACheck.com

http://www.IBelieveInGhosts.com

http://www.IBelieveInAdjustableRateMortgages.com

http://www.IDon’tBelieveInEskimosOrNegativeAmortization.com

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My wife Stephanie, producer and star of the our Web series The Retributioners, recently penned an article for Digital Chick TV (DigitalchickTV.com) about the joys and horrors of making a Web show from scratch in our living room.

Digital Chick TV is run by another ce-Webrity, the amazing Daryn Strauss, the writer/director/producer of Downsized. Check out both our shows.

Stephanie would also probably like it if I showed off this head shot of her. I like to show her off, and besides, we can probably depreciate the photo expenses for accounting purposes.

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