Beware: Art Commodity upgrading in progress…Will Laughing Squid tie the Amazon knots?

laughing squid

Important debate going on at Laughing Squid about whether or not to use the Amazon beast and useful discussions re: how to support artists, local bookstores and publishers, local economies, etc. More reports coming soon, but here’s an XL Terrestrial letter below:

[ currently Scott seems to have closed the issue, as well as made some unfortunate comment that deemed our arguments " hypothetical" and somehow describing them as Non-local urgencies... hopefully he is happily offline for the weekend and will post our comment upon return , meanwhile far below is our hardly final analysis/word from XLT which has not yet been published in the LS thread ]

Dear Scott et al,

1st off , respex, clearly u are one of the hardest working webbers in the info/showbiz…Thanks for taking the xtra steps towards supporting independent authors, bookstores , distributors, publishers, etc…. I hope that direction will remain a central concern for LS community and those local links might be presented and utilized as a first option …and Obligation to diversity.

I haven’t jumped into a blog thread here before, but this one really triggered some deep concerns which honestly have been building up regarding what appears to be a substantial drift from the underground to more and more popular (and highly problematic ) culture.

This debate here represents something even more disturbing than what i suspected. It is not your coverage of the arts that has changed as much as an artist community as a whole that is apparently losing its WILL to operate outside the norm… to operate on its own territory…to defy these intolerable system grids wherever possible… to demand the iMpossible , to speak up for the impossible, to enlarge the hunger for impossibles to the point that it obscures the narrow and demeaning supermarket aisles that have been laid out before us by clerks and thieves and colonial empire pricks.

In the end it is not offensive that LS uses a tool which supports the authors in these circles… but that “counterculture” authors themselves are not only ready to belly up to the Man without even a squirm or a wince, amazingly they do not even seem to have any recognition of their virtual nemesis pimp –, who pioneered e-commerce in the shape of some [ predictable ] new virtual Reagan-Bushonomic pustules and wet dreams that either ensures a deforestation of local/indie community-driven economies or leeches off them with their little idiotic click-on monopoly shopping carts.

And still worse i’ve just witnessed that one of THE major hubs of supposedly subculture artists in n. america has been reduced to debating issues regarding the finer (and gruesome) details of CONVENIENT ONLINE SHOPPING…

this is the effect of …

Get me the fuck outta here before Jeff Bezos’s wall street e-zombie ass starts gnawing at my flesh!

with love …and wake the fuk up yall!

pod p.

+ an added footnote:


We are starting to understand Time’s 2006

choice of YOU (SuCkA! ) a little better now:

1990 The Two George Bushes
1991 Ted Turner
1992 Bill Clinton
1993 The Peacemakers
1994 Pope John Paul II
1995 Newt Gingrich
1996 Dr. David Ho
1997 Andy Grove
1998 Bill Clinton and Kenneth Starr
1999 Jeff Bezos
2000 George W. Bush
2001 Rudolph Giuliani
2002 The Whistleblowers
2003 The American Soldier
2004 George W. Bush
2005 Bill Gates, Melinda Gates, & Bono
2006 You

“2nd” letter:


So the clock ticks toward 6:00 on the poll and the majority of attention spans have probably been quickly swept down other rivers…

But just wanted to put some more helpful perspectives into the mix because also regardless of what Squid decides this has opened a critical portal and/or can of worms worth further investigating, very appropriate to our XL Terrestrial research project which is in the midst of analyzing Virtual Migrations , Media Ecology and the Military Entertainment Complex…( and as “Producers for Bob” once proclaimed, ” Shopping is a Military Operation ” : )

hey thx to all who put up the very practical info here, i tend to get preety hung up on the philosophical and poetic slinging, and hope that motivates ppl to take the issues personally, publicly, and actually ACT on the info.

And quick aside to thomas ( i read yur blog and seems to miss the main arguments ) and anyone else who may have misinterpreted …this is not against LS but Amazon … I don”t think anyone here in this discussion wishes to obstruct Scott getting creative about earning his living… and LS’s thriving = our arts communities thriving… especially if done in an informed nature.

additional info:

1.coincidentally the Sf Chronic, handed to me by my friend Russel, has an editorial in the business section by d.Lazarus entitled “Fast lane to online dominance” and even this conservative rag calls Ebay,, and Google, ” the new Walmarts.”

LS would now be dealing with 2 out of 3 of these “online superstore/supersites…google ads, amazon books. is that alarming??!

2.just bumped into analee newitz (techsploitation column, SFBG ) who had mixed reactions similar to the debates above on [LS] to using amazon, but pointed out that amazon stirred a lot of controversy in 2001? for attacking union organizing within the company. And if anyone cares to look at the nauseating underbelly of THE star player of the ReaganBushonomicon read here:

3. ben terrall, frequent contributor to Counterpunch, wrote this:

I use amazon sometimes but try to avoid like the plague, there is one
called albiris, and there’s bookfinder, both use indy bookstores.
Another great publisher, Thunder’s Mouth Press, got bought up and is
being killed, fucking depressing

So ya really wanna go down that river huh ?

with how fast our whole information environment is moving, this one is a really complex topic to assess in a few days, much less have LS community participate in any meaningful democracy… ( btw, informed consensus would probably be more productive) , but its not exactly my place to tell you how to conduct the LS affairs.

BUT lets hope the topic gets revisited here and elsewhere, and alternative routes continue to be uncovered and constructed…

Speaking of which, a few more for the list:


online orders ( not sure if these are appropriate)

bookstores which do Not provide online orders ( but some WILL order anything your looking for ) and which provide thoroughly enjoyable public spaces, book readings, and flesh and blood COMMUNITY:

Modern Times
Adobe Books
Abandoned Planet
Dog Eared

ok all i got time for now.

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