Feels Like

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Today Feels Like is a new website by jeff sisson based on my idea, which searches twitter for mentions of anything of the format “today feels like _____” and tallies the results. in this way we can chart what day today feels like to the most people.

talking about what day today feels like is pretty standard inane conversation, but it’s also very intriguing and relies on a number of factors and assumptions. it is both something that is inexplicable and something that you can argue about. checking in with people around you about what day today feels like is a social act that seeks to normalize local experience and get everyone on the same page, similar to dogs smelling each others butts, people shaking hands or kissing cheeks, or everyone eating from the same loaf of bread. my goal in this project is not to firmly declare what today “really” feels like, but to extend this conversation to a broad collection of people. and to see how much correlation there is among dayfeels.

the thing i’m most excited by is looking at the data after a few weeks or months. i can think of a few interesting ways to look at the data- which days least feel like themselves, which days most feel like themselves, which days most feel like other specific days, etc.. maybe over time we can build a predictive “feels index”, where we input what today feels like and what yesterday felt like, in an effort to determine what tomorrow might feel like. i have no idea what use any of this data will be.

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MN closeout!!!

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as of today, september 23rd 2015, Mothers News is ceasing any promise of regular publication. it’s been really great, but lately it’s been difficult, and now it’s time to figure out something else!

in an effort to make some money to move forward and pay off some debts, we are having a big sale on back issues and other merchandise, including some new and old t-shirt designs. there are a number of deals but the best one is $40 for all available back issues.

subscribers etc.: if you didn’t get the email, please click here.

supporters: thank you so much!!!!!

to keep in touch with what we’ll be up to from now on get on the email list, check the tumblr or blog or twitter.

any posts / shares / reblogs / 2 cents / megadittos regarding this topic would be greatly appreciated :)

no idea yet if there will be a follow-up mega post about the newspaper in a larger context, but in short i’d say i feel good about this decision to transgress, and i’m happy i got to meet so many great people through this cool dream of a project. i hope i can meet everyone!

i’m not really going to be “doing this thing” still but i’m definitely going to continue “doing this sort of thing”, which is to say “i’m doing my thing”. no idea what the next Big Project will be, but i’ll try to communicate to anyone interested the steps i take on the way, and then once i get close, i’ll hoot. :)

sorry if i flaked too hard on anyone out there!!!!!!!

thanks everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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THE LAST OF THESE SHIRTS (for Xtra Large Lovers)

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yowwwwwwwww i thought these were gone forever but they AREN’T!!! Michael Deforge designed these very nice tshirts for us like, 2 years ago? this is the last of them. sizes are VERY limited- there are 15 XLs and just 1 small left!!!!! $15 post paid usa, $20 canada, if anyone more international than canada wants one, uh, make a bid- international shipping is a PITA. buy these so i can afford to make a new run of shirts with a different design (probably on a black shirt to appease the Black Shirts Only crowd).

also please keep in mind: the XL shirt is coming back!

Mothers News Tshirt Deforge Design $15 while supplies last

update: these are no longer available!! 😉

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Mickey had this design, and she wanted it to say “I got screwed / in Providence RI” but she wasn’t sure. I suggested that she make it more universal: “I got screwed / now what?”.

Yesterday I was in the coffee spot and the woman at the table next to mine quoted Rumi, but said his whole name, Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī. She was clearly not a Persian speaker and she went through some verbal gymnastics to say the whole name when simply “Rumi” would more than suffice, but she said it, and it was a nice feeling. Later at the discount bookstore there was a Rumi / Coleman Barks book I didn’t have, so I got it. Regular readers of Mothers News know that we’re big Rumi fans over here. Anyway there was a poem in it that I hadn’t read before, and it made me think of this patch.

I’m thankful to have a friend like Mickey. I hope you like this poem. You can order this patch here: http://pricetapes.storenvy.com/products/10636080-i-got-screwed-patch

Musician, play this moment’s music as grace
for those who block our road, grace for

bandits! Musician, you learned this from
a true bandit. I hear the teacher’s accent

in the student’s art. Musician, turn your
face to absence, because existence is

deceitful and afraid. The soul knows it is
not from here. It feels bound in a body,

yet also knows the pleasure of absence.
Absence is the ocean we swim! Existence, a

fish hook. Anyone caught loses the joy
of freedom. Being nailed to the four

elements is a crucifixion. If you keep
running after your wishes and desires,

that’s your crucifixion, be sure of it!
There is a fire in patience that burns

what of you is born to fine ash. Strike
the flint of Sura 100, Honor the one

who loses breath . And, Fire rises
where they walk
. These are brave souls,

musician igniting musician. What’s the
point of the chess-game world where a

pawn cuts off a king? I walk awkwardly,
but the smoke goes straight up.

Sometimes a pawn makes it to the other
side and redeems a queen. The knight

says, “Your plodding is one or two moves
for us.” Judgement Day is closer than

that for everyone, one step away. The
chess king says, “Without me this motion

and figuring means nothing. The bishop
might as well be a mosquito.” Winning

and losing are the same. There’s check-
in both. We no longer see the one

who teaches us. You could say we’ve
been checkmated. What happens now?


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Mothers News Silkscreen Event in Providence

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THIS Friday, November 29th 2013, Mothers News will be holding one of our celebrated aperiodic silk screening events, at Analog Underground, 504 Broadway St., Providence RI. from 11 to 8pm. it’s a fundraiser for our 4th year of publishing.

Bring in a garment and we will silk screen our bold motto “EVERY MOTHER IS A WORKING MOTHER” upon it. the ink color will be black, which should suit every non-black shirt (black on black doesn’t really come out as cool as you think it will).

This is a great time to fulfill that holiday gift obligation in a fun, funny, inexpensive, and heartfelt manner. because YOU bring in the garment that we print upon, you can insure that the garment is well-fitting and appropriate. and since you select it, there is an element of handmadedness to the whole thing, which people seem to appreciate. also it seems like something that would cost more than $5 (which is what it costs, i forgot to mention that until this point), so you gain the false extravagance of the hand-tailored item. “I had this made for you”, people love to hear that.

If you’re getting this shirt for your mom, get one for yourself too, she’ll love that.

tuffies in the world can tell themselves that “mother” is short for “motherfucker”, which is not untrue.

please note that every time i wear this design, i am approached by a different magnificent stranger who says “right on” or a similar positive sentiment. if you can’t handle this, this is your warning.

Also We will be unveiling a new design that says:
110% Ancient Egyptian Religion Interested

AU will be having a sale at the same time (it’s a great record store). Every record in the shop will be 10%- 75% OFF. also raffles, refreshments, nice atmosphere.

Remember: Bring a shirt to be silk screened LIVE on the premises.

also, we will be taking money in person for the various Mothers News Year 4 subscription offers, if you’ve been putting this off because you don’t want to pay over the internet or for whatever reason. A subscription to Mothers News is a great gift, to yourself or to a loved (or liked) one. it’s a gift that gives all year round, unlike all other gifts, which will break or become burdensome at some point.

again this event is Friday the 29th, which is the day after Thanksgiving. and it’s at Analog Underground, at Providence RI, at 504 Broadway Street.

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Best of Mothers News Watermarks

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i made a nice jump-off page for the back issues, because archive.org is useful but ugly. all the issues are there except one. this isn’t the first time we put back issues online– in the first year of the paper we did, but i put these obnoxious watermarks over everything so you’d feel embarrassed to look at it. anyway, now that that feature has been deprecated, here are some of the better examples “for posterity”. obviously, these files used to be massive, i scaled them down a good 18%.


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Mothers News year 4 subscription drive fundraiser

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Mothers News volume 4 subscription drive is now underway, with a lot of great prizes for upper levels of support- tote bags, a CF letterpress print, embroidered patch, birthday announcement… get into it!!!!


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Mothers News shirt by DeForge– these are the last few…

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defo tee

Michael DeForge (anagram: FREECHILD OMEGA) designed these great shirts for Mothers News, and we only have a few left now… there’s 2 smalls, 2 mediums (whoops, smalls and mediums sold out), 8 larges, and… 15 XLs remaining. if you’re interested in grabbing one of these crucial tees, never to be reprinted, now is the time to punch the button. just $15 postpaid in the USA (international please be prepared to pay some more).

[no longer available]

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Justin Green’s Underground Cartooning Course

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Justin Green is my favorite cartoonists of what we might as well call the 1st wave of underground cartoonists (late 60’s / early 70’s). He is often credited (blamed?) with inventing / setting the tone for autobiographical comics with his book “Binky Brown Meets the Virgin Mary”. Buuuuut his books rule over all other neurotic obsessive autobiographical comics that would follow (and I realize that it was Crumb’s birthday yesterday).

Anyway he’s my favorite, and I always look for newly available stuff by him, so I was delighted when he put up on his Etsy site this minicomic from 1972, called “‘Jud’ Green’s Underground Cartooning Course”. I immediately went in.

justin green

This is the second in a series of 7 cent comics he made, and by anyone’s research, it’s the 2nd minicomic ever made. That’s reason enough to get it, but I was more psyched on the content- it’s a farcical lesson in how to make it big in the underground comics scene (of the 60’s and 70’s). It’s an attempt to canonize a set of practices in such a way that people would feel embarrassed for doing them. I’m not going to scan the whole book, because it’s still available on Green’s Etsy site, but I can’t resist putting a page up:

justin green 1

Here’s a quote from Green’s description:

Since the late ‘60s, I was one of the most prolific S.F. Underground Press contributors. It was not censorship and persecution of the “head-shops” which caused the ultimate demise of the movement. It was sheer mediocrity. By Fall of ’72, there were simply too many bad titles by neophyte (and slap-dash) artists which glutted the stands. There seemed to be no standards of workmanship, so the titles showed a wildly divergent range of craftsmanship, wit and intelligence; though most shared the same price. I felt like a Revolutionary-era pamphleteer who was warning my artistic community of the imminent threat of its demise from within. There is a tongue-in-cheek spirit to the Course that pointed out the many earmarks of the movement’s decline.

If this sounds crazy to you, that mediocrity killed the scene, bear in mind that this was years and years ago, and history is subject to survivor bias. We can only think of all the talent spinning around at the time, and do not know who he is talking about, because no one cared about their books at the time, no one reprinted them later, and despite being rare artifacts of a famed era, no one is seeking them out now. Their circumstances have left them unknown to us.

Recently I had the good fortune to paw through a great collection of original 60’s and 70’s underground comics. Amazingly, it all fell neatly into three distinct piles (listed here by size, from miniscule to glut): genuinely weird; good stuff that you know about; weak rip-off bullshit. This was simultaneously mindblowing, disappointing, and reassuring– by an overwhelming margin (though not totally), the stuff I had never seen or heard about was worthless unoriginal dreck. Posterity works! Of course, Green’s book points out something else, that posterity needs time to work, and a glut of miserable ephemera can really mess things up before it sinks. This is a good thing to remember, ye current round of biters, ye cowardly rip-offs, ye regional-versions-of-your-favorite-cartoonists/bands/artists: outside of an immediate circle of people who are not yet aware of your primary source (with whom you will have an instant, immediate, and temporary success), no one will care. Or rather, people will care a lot, in the same way they care about mosquitos, weeds, mold, and mites.

This book takes its form from Flaubert’s “Dictionary of Accepted Ideas”, a “a dictionary of automatic thoughts and platitudes, self-contradictory and insipid” … “lampooning the clichés endemic to French society under the Second French Empire” (wikipedia), which is similarly a great read. Flaubert: “[I would hope that] after reading the book, one would be afraid to talk, for fear of using one of the phrases in it.”. It seems that Flaubert was pretty successful in his act- I’ve never heard most of these platitudes, although now I want to bring them back… a lot of them seem like just regular good jokes (albeit in a dad comedy way) now…

  • ABSINTHE. Extra-violent poison: one glass and you’re dead. Newspapermen drink it as they write their copy. Has killed more soldiers than the Bedouin.

  • ARCHIMEDES. On hearing his name, shout “Eureka!” Or else: “Give me a fulcrum and I will move the world.” There is also Archimedes’ screw, but you are not expected to know what it is.
  • FEUDALISM. No need to have one single precise notion about it: thunder against.
  • OMEGA. Second letter of the Greek alphabet.
  • THIRTEEN. Avoid being thirteen at table; it brings bad luck. The sceptics should not fail to crack jokes: “What is the difference? I’ll eat enough for two!” Or again, if there are ladies, ask if any is pregnant.
  • WALTZ. Wax indignant about. A lascivious, impure dance that should only be danced by old ladies.

“OMEGA. Second letter of the Greek alphabet” is especially rich, instructive even. relevant to the topic at hand even. Maybe right now somewhere someone’s reading this, thinking about the closet-eyes gag for the first time, like “Ohhhh… That’s good…”.

More about Justin Green: his cousin is William Friedkin, whose movie adaptation of The Exorcist hit theatres just one year after Green’s “Binky Brown Meets the Virgin Mary”. Coincidence? Two foundational Catholic guilt horrors from the same family in a few short months?

Green’s website is: http://justingreencartoonart.blogspot.com/
His Etsy page, where you can order this book ($20) is: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ScribeArt
Binky Brown Meets the Virgin Mary was reprinted (by Mcsweeney’s) in 2009 in an insane, precious, oversize hardcover “original art” version, but the thrifty reader would be well suited with this 1995 Last Gasp collection that has that story and more. Also Last Gasp is cooler than McSweeney’s, and this collection is more respectful of the limitations of a bookshelf.

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mothers mailbag: asuna!!!!!!!

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just got a nice package of items from the only mothers news subscriber in japan– asuna! a bunch of cds, a weird book, some flyers for his 3″ cd label aotoao (3″ cds only!) and a package of whistle candies! here’s some scans of just a couple items or pieces of the packaging. thanks asuna!!!

asuna  2

some nice tape that was on the packaging
asuna  3

a piece of a magazine

asuna  4

colors stand for different things in different contexts. i’m fascinated by the way these meanings connect. in a plastic bag, the color pink means “static free”!

asuna  5

these life-saver-looking candies are also whistles!!!! they make a very high pitched sound, real cool and annoying

asuna  1

flyer for the casiotone comp that asuna puts out through aotoao. me n sakiko’s band PLASMA TV has a track on one of these comps, it’s our only recording to date- 1 minute on a 3″ cd comp you can only get in japan!!!! pretty cult!!!


love this mail style. also, the 500 japanese money unit stamp is a juggalo?????? i’m into it…

asuna played here in providence last year, or maybe 2 years ago, it was incredible!!!! here’s a vid of a tokyo show from around then… sometimes you see a band set up so much cool or weird equipment beforehand that you feel they can’t possibly do anything other than just wave this cool stuff around… i was pretty psyched to see a great set featuring tons of cool little toys!

check out aotoao – asuna’s 3″ cd label


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