Academicals: Japanese Right-Wing Hip Hop

This blog will encompass all of my writing, including the academic.  My latest major social science publication was this past August, in the journal Communication, Culture, and Critique.  It’s quite apropos to this blog, since it was a by-product of my larger book project on the most underground and weird of Japanese hip hop.

This work was the product of some really fun detective work, and owes a lot to my friend the activist and music journalist Futatsugi Shin.  In the course of writing it, I was threatened by one of Japan’s biggest rappers, and exposed a serious shortcoming, maybe even an outright fraud, in the currently defining work on Japanese hip hop.

Not too surprisingly, noone noticed.

The Sakura of Madness: Japan’s Nationalist Hip Hop and the Parallax of Globalized Identity Politics


How To Thin Out Your Twitter Follows

I’ve been on Twitter for about four years now, intermittently and unstrategically, which led to what it usually leads to – I was following more people than I was being followed by, and my streams had a lot of noise – neither good.  Here are a few tips for how to get rid of people in a productive, loving way.

1. Find a core focus, and stick to it.  This is the hardest part, because you have to really know yourself and your interests.  This can be especially hard if you’re a writer with a lot of interests.  It’s taken me years to figure out that in the deepest parts of my heart, I care about weird music, strange fiction, and outsiders.  Everything else is interesting, but not crucial.

2. Set up lists for secondary interests.  If there are people who you want to be able to check in on but don’t need to see in your stream every day, add them to a list on their topic, then unfollow them.  This is a feature of Twitter I didn’t know about until recently, but it’s awesome.  Combine it with Hootsuite and you can zoom into specific subfields.

3. Unfollow people without a clear identity. If someone isn’t a specialist, and you don’t know them personally, unfollow without hesitation.

4. That said, Don’t unfollow people you know. Twitter is, after all, about a conversation, and you’re more likely to get engagement from people you know.  And that’ll keep you motivated.

5. Check people’s activity.  A lot of people tweet for a few months, or even a few years, then disappear.  I was following people who haven’t tweeted since 2011, which is doing nobody any good.  This includes people you know, by the way.

This is a time-consuming process, depending on how many people you follow, but it will make your feed a lot more productive AND make your profile look better – since having more followers than follows is pretty essential to having even a modicum of self-respect on Twitter.  After paring my follows from 650 to about 400, I’m betting I’ll have a much more exciting core feed, but I also have all those lists up on my Hootsuite that I can check in on when I want.  Information control!



Follow me at @davidzmorris!

New Routine: The Neon Cowboy and the Space Lizard

photo by Wha’ppen via PhotoRee

Hello Ye Small and Growing Audience.  Though my medium-term goal is of course to be publishing more of my weird fiction, fantasy, and SF in legit outlets, I’m an impatient guy.  So, as my creative output continues to ramp up and up and up as I free my mind from the fetters of the academic purpose-machine, I will also be regularly posting raw pre-edited versions of my work to Wattpad.

What I have for you today is something of an homage to probably my single favorite writer, William S. Burroughs. There’s some cutup in here, as well as more generally some Calvino/Borges style otherworldly surrealism.  I’m not entirely sure what the point is, but if you enjoy it, you’ll know your brain works like mine.

The Neon Cowboy and the Space Lizard at Wattpad.

I’m also curious for any feedback on the best way to share this sort of material.  Wattpad is the platform I stumbled on several months ago, but I haven’t really dug into the community.  Is there a better place for speculative fiction writers to share their work pre-publication?  I’d love to find some kind of DeviantArt for weird writers.  If you have suggestions, add them to the comments – or if you’re already using Wattpad and find it works for you, let me know how I can get more out of it.

Welcome to the Experiment

Congratulations, you’re here at a good time.  I’m excited to be launching a new blog project, spinning off into a more specific direction from my previous blog, Minds Like Knives.  That blog covered a lot of territory, including a good bit about academia.  I’ll be starting another blog about academia soon, but Blown Horizonz will be devoted strictly to The Weird.  I’ve made some major lifestyle changes as part of recommitting to creating art and fostering creativity, and I might talk a little about my new life here, but it’s mostly going to be about one thing – the most mind-bending, view-skewing fringe dwellers and arch-unreasoners the world has ever known.

I know the blog looks like shit right now, but I’ll be poking at it with sticks until it’s grown-up.  For now, by way of getting things off to the right start, I want to give what probably more than anything else melted my brain when I was a kid and made me want to pass that favor along.  It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly twenty years since I first heard “First patient, pull out the skull, remove the cancer . . .” but it still gives me chills.

I’ll get around to the second, third, fourth, whatever reference points matter to me later this week.  But for now, this is how the hip hop generation really got its mind blown.