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Links to my Rules Of The Game columns, June '07–March '08
koganbot
Here are links to my Rules Of The Game columns in chronological order, the column running in the Las Vegas Weekly from June 2007 to March 2008, with December off.

There are 35 in all, though the numbers only go to 33: the reason for the discrepancy is that our original plan had been to do it all online, with a column on Thursday of approximately one thousand words but I could go any amount longer I wanted to since we were online, and there'd be a short followup the next Monday, the followup not getting a new number but being called "Followup #X," X being the same number as the column that was being followed-up. LVW would have the option of including a column or a followup in the print edition as well, and if need be I would adapt what I'd written to meet a word count. That plan went for two weeks, when LVW switched to having the column in the print edition all the time, hence I was doing a one-page column once a week. So over the first two weeks there were four columns but only two numbers.

Eventually, whether we were in-print would vary from week to week: I'd write 1,600 words, and if the print edition had room they'd print it and post it; if not, it would only be posted. And sometimes I'd go longer if I knew in advance it wasn't going to be in print. By the end, with the editor who'd brought me in now gone and a revamping of the online section in the works, the column was back to online only, but still once a week, length whatever I wanted, I fully expecting the column to be killed any second (which is why I allowed myself to run a critique of an obscure topic like antirockism; at that point there was nothing to lose).

Some of these changes had to do with which budget I was to be paid out of, online or print, who had the money available, etc.

Sometimes LVW neglected to put "The Rules Of The Game" and the column number in the title. On a few occasions, the date now accompanying a piece is somewhat or much later than the date the piece actually went up, I don't know why. In some of the pieces LVW lost my italics. Usual stuff. Also, there's an error of fact - my error - in #20: I referred to the Junior who guested on "Sexy Lady" as the British r&b veteran, whereas if I'd taken the time to actually compare voices (rather than just relying on something I read online) I'd have realized it was a different Junior. Sometimes LVW corrected my typos and grammar, sometimes they missed my mistakes, and in a very few instances they added mistakes or made bad choices of their own. Titles are always mine, but subtitles are theirs.

Whenever a column of mine went up, I posted a link on my livejournal, so we could discuss the piece. Sometimes I'd add further questions or comments. For those threads, and a few later ones that refer back to the columns, click on the rotgut or rules of the game tag and then scroll down; the links are listed last to first. LVW themselves allowed comments, but when they changed servers in mid 2008, the comments on my pieces were lost. Those comments had often taken a while to get posted in the first place, and sometimes didn't get in at all (owing to an overworked staff, not to censorship), so after the first several columns, few people posted their comments at LVW.

The first eleven pieces (through #9) constitute a series; not that those eleven were entirely mapped out in advance, but I was keeping themes running through them all, a later piece picking up threads from an earlier one.

The Rules Of The Game #1: Joining In

The Rules Of The Game Followup #1: The Visceral Extends Its Domain

The Rules Of The Game #2: Metal Clusters

The Rules Of The Game Followup #2: Paris Is Our Vietnam

The Rules Of The Game #3: Feelings Change

The Rules Of The Game #4: Britney Shows Brain

The Rules Of The Game #5: What's Wrong With Pretty Girls?

The Rules Of The Game #6: The Boney Joan Rule

The Rules Of The Game #7: Hero Story

The Rules Of The Game #8: Which Social Class Sounds Better?

The Rules Of The Game #9: The Teens Are Cool But They Burn Out

The Rules Of The Game #10: Embracing The Ashlee Whirlpool

The Rules Of The Game #11: Toothpaste And Coffee

The Rules Of The Game #12: Jocks And Burnouts

The Rules Of The Game #13: School's Out?

The Rules Of The Game #14: The Death Of The Cool

The Rules Of The Game #15: Grown-Ups Make Puppy Love

The Rules Of The Game #16: Vaccine Protects Against New Ideas

The Rules Of The Game #17: Punks And Cats

The Rules Of The Game #18: The Social Butterfly Effect

The Rules Of The Game #19: A Friend Of A Friend

The Rules Of The Game #20: Fleshy Women, Slimy Men, Smart Teens

The Rules Of The Game #21: When The Wrong Song Loves You Right

The Rules Of The Game #22: Night Doesn't Work, Day Doesn't Work*

The Rules Of The Game #23: Out From Under

The Rules Of The Game #24: The PBSification Of Rock

The Rules Of The Game #25: Country Music WTF?

The Rules Of The Game #26: Because Of You I Am Afraid

The Rules Of The Game #27: Is Diversity Diverse?

The Rules Of The Game #28: Dresses Are My Weakness, Seriously

The Rules Of The Game #29: I Start A Fight Because I Need To Feel Something

The Rules Of The Game #30: Life Ain't Hard But It's Too Long

The Rules Of The Game #31: Rockism And Antirockism Rise From The Dead

The Rules Of The Game #32: Where The Real Wild Things Are

The Rules Of The Game #33: The Hotel Detective, He Was Out Of Sight

EDIT: And here's "Microwaving A Tragedy," a decade's-end piece I did in December 2009 for the Las Vegas Weekly, and here's the longer, better "Microwaving A Tragedy (Extended Freestyle Mix)" that I posted on my livejournal a month later.

*Rules Of The Game #22 contained links to a piece by Sasha Frere-Jones and to a piece by Carl Wilson. Both those links got lost when the LVW changed servers, so here they are: Sasha Frere-Jones "A Paler Shade Of White" and Carl Wilson "The Trouble With Indie Rock."

How big of a book would the collected output here be and how are you going to get it published (plus Relativism So What as a post-script longer-form essay a la Barthes' "Mythologies")? I'll keep ears tuned to my tiny slice of academia over here...

54,000 words, more or less. A lot of the ideas in those columns need further thought, which is both an argument in favor of publishing them in book form and an argument against publishing them as is. UGA Press would have the right of first refusal over any book I were to propose. Certainly only some of this stuff is the best of what I've written over the last several years. I'd say that Rolling Teenpop is at least as crucial an achievement, though with stuff like that we're in the same situation as Dylan in the liner notes to Bringing It All Back Home when he said, "Yes. Well I could use some help in getting this wall in the plane."

am planning -- along with much other ducks-in-a-row stuff -- to reread these en bloc in the next crafts-free two-three weeks

my instinct prior to the rereading is similar to yours, i think: there is MORE than enough potential material here for a book, probably in fact several: but while some of it is in completed form, a mere cut-and-paste of what's here would not be making the best of the form of a book (and presumably there are subsequent responses and discussions to follow up); though i actually really like the notion of a book that is constructed as a series of extended answers to a sequence of questions [and perhaps post-each answer a discussion and/or knockdown of responses serious or trivial, troubling or stupid] ... it would kind of be a bumper issue of WMS, come to think of it

the translation of the teenpop threads into a book format is also a fascinating conundrum, from an editor's perspective -- quite apart from the clearance and permissions issue, there's the dialectic of the (external) "scandal" versus the (internal) content; and how you would analyse and/or dramatise this in any republishing (including the option of just ignoring the extrinsic stuff, obviously)

^^^this is me beginning to get my mind back into gear after a week of unusually intense non-stressful distraction aka a HOLIDAY i guess

in ref the "book as bumper issue of WMS", you certainly have enough material to make the pitch btw, to yr RPDWB publishers or to whosoever else -- i will try and put together a potential list here

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