(Repost from the official Carnival of the Elitist Bastards site)

Just a few hours left! If you’re planning to sail with us, time to jump on board.

Gmail’s acting strangely. To be safe, cc me on your submissions: dhunterauthor at yahoo dot com.

Here’s the list of contributors so far:

John Pieret
George W.

If you don’t see your name on the list, and it should be there, please do resubmit your link to me at dhunterauthor at yahoo dot com.

Paul’s got some new badges up in the sidebar – WE HAZ ELITUST BASTARDETTES!! Grab a badge, show your Elitist Bastard pride, and have your grog ready for the maiden voyage on Saturday!


Carnival Business #5

Postdated to stay up until the bitter end.

Just a few short days left to get your submissions in for the Carnival of the Elitist Bastards! Email your links to [email protected] by the end of day, Friday. Our maiden voyage launches Saturday, May 31st. Don’t miss the boat!

Kaden’s working on a title bar. If you want to be part of the creative process, or just an opinionated bastard as well as an elitist one, get your suggestions in asap.

All aboard! Eggheads, Unite!

Carnival Business #5

Carnival Business #4

My darlings, we are almost ready to take the world by storm! Just a few things left to do:

Etha Williams needs Elitist Bastard quotes for a random quote generator she’s putting together. If you have a quote that oozes elitist bastardry, be sure to drop it by.

The title bar is still sadly lacking graphic interest. Should anyone feel like playing with Photoshop over the weekend, an actual design would not go amiss.

If you’re participating, don’t forget to grab yourself a badge and bung it up on your sidebar by Friday. That goes for me as well.

Most importantly, don’t forget to get your submissions in to [email protected]l.com. Ye olde deadline is end of day Friday, May 31st.

Anything to add? We’re into the “What vitally important thing have I forgotten?” stage here.

Eggheads, Unite!

Carnival Business #4

Carnival Business #3

Postdated for the world to see.

My darlings, the time has come. The Carnival of the Elitist Bastards is going live on Saturday, May 31st. Spread the word. It’s time to do this thing.

Get your submissions in! Email ’em to [email protected] by the end of day Friday, May 30th. We’re good. We’re ready. The unprepared such as myself have almost two weeks. It can, shall and will be done – May 31st.

Also, as promised, we Elitist Bastards have a happy home.

There’s no furniture. No curtains, no rugs, no dishes, no plants, and no pictures on the walls. That’s why we’re throwing a housewarming party.

That’s right. Dana’s not going to do all the decorating herself, oh, fuck no. Dana’s got 64,000 things to do, and doesn’t want to be the Elitist Bastard overlord imposing her decorating sense upon the masses of Elitist Bastardry, and moreover knows that those of you who’ve been participating so far have an abundance of good taste. So get to it. Email me at [email protected] for your very own keys, then go have your way with the header, footer, sidebar, etc. Just make sure that if someone came in and decorated before, you check with them before you modify that particular bit o’ real estate. There’s a post set up for communicating ideas, etc.

Right now, the Header’s in serious need of improvement – if it’s still just plain Times New Roman with a white background, you know what to do. Those of you with badges, get ’em posted somewhere in the sidebar. Post an entry, add some links, play with HTML, do whatever you like.

Right? Right.


Carnival Business #3

Submissions to the Rescue!

You lot have saved me today.

My day blew goats. Summer’s peeked in on Seattle. It’ll run away screaming soon enough, but today it decided to grace us with scorching sun, oven-quality heat, and the kind of humidity that isn’t really noticeable until you get overheated and discover your sweat has decided to shirk its cooling duties.

In this heat, I had to roll myself out of bed and venture down for an emissions test.

They ask you to turn off the air conditioner for better results.

I baked.

Whilst there, I discovered that my tags expire tomorrow, not at the end of the month. So I had to scamper down to the licensing branch. In the heat. And humidity. And I took a wrong turn and ended up stuck in a New York-quality clusterfuck on a long, winding road that meanders along Lake Washington. In the midst of this, the gas light comes on. In a residential neighborhood. In bumper-to-bumper traffic that measures its progress in inches per hour.

I started sweating more. The nervous sweat joined the previous sweat’s rebellion and refused to evaporate, and I had to turn the AC off in hopes I could preserve a precious bit of gas.

When I finally stumble into the licensing branch, it’s bumper-to-bumper people. And it’s hot. And I haven’t had anything to drink in hours, and there aren’t any chairs, and I haven’t eaten, and by now I feel pretty pathetic.

I survive that only to get home and remember I promised my mother I’d call today. Calling my mother is a form of torture that would be banned under the Geneva Conventions, but is perfectly legal in the opinion of the Bush Administration. I spent a mind-numbing hour listening to stories of evil credit card companies, evil flu viruses, evil flu viruses killing a dog, evil meth-addicted neighbors poking sticks at the surviving dog and turning it mean, evil landlords raising rent, and then we had a segue into hating God but loving Jesus.

My sum total contribution to this conversation was several “Um-hmm. That’s terribles” until at the end of an hour I could finally work in a regretful, “I’ve gotta go – I’ve got carnival work.”

Thank you, my darlings, from the bottom of my heart, for providing me the excuse.

My headache and I went to bed, where we sweated to death and tried for a recovery nap. It didn’t work. My brain felt like those little stained glass beads after they’ve been sitting in the oven for several minutes: a partially-fused, misshapen mass that looks as if no good could ever come of it.

Until I started reading your submissions. They brought me back to life. They made me laugh, made me think, made me shout out in appreciation. And this is only the beginning.

The delight of being a host is that you get one of the first looks at the incredible range and power of a group of people with different interests and backgrounds coalescing around a common theme. It’s been a privilege and a joy, and it’s not stating the case too strongly to say that you’ve rescued me. My brain has been restored, and it’s all down to you.

Keep the submissions coming: [email protected]. We’ve got room for plenty more. And I can tell you from what I’ve seen so far that this Carnival of the Elitist Bastards is going to be among the greatest shows on Earth.

I really do love you, you Elitist Bastards you. Thanks for saving me.

Submissions to the Rescue!

Carnival Business #2

Postdated to remain accessible to all.

My darlings, our Carnival of the Elitist Bastards is surging ahead to its first edition. We have incredible people signed on (with room for more – it’s not too late!). We have a will. We have a mission. And we now have an official email:

[email protected]

Yes, I know, I’m inviting spam, but let’s not let a little spam keep us from making things easy on all concerned, aside from the host who has to wade through said spam.

You can send your submissions, questions, concerns, suggestions, and any artwork you care to share to the email above.

The vote has overwhelmingly gone for individual expression. Choose a photo of your favorite Elitist Bastard and create your own badge. Eventually, once I know what the fuck I’m doing, I’ll have the information you’ll need to hyperlink your very own badge direct to the Carnival.

For those of you who would like some badges pre-made, Paul is working his very arse off on it, and shall soon have a fine selection for you. I’ll post them here once they’re ready.

This weekend, I shall be creating a page dedicated to the Carnival of the Elitist Bastards, wherein can be found information on upcoming hosts, editions, submissions deadlines, and all that rot. Look for that to be going live very soon indeed.

You may have noticed I decided not to use Blog Carnival to organize all of this. It’s because their terms of service limit us to a G-Rating as far as anything posted on their site. That includes niggling little details like carnival names. Fuck your G-Rating. We’re Elitist Bastards, and we can have any rating we like.

Thus, the gmail account and soon-to-be-webpage.

For those of you who have never participated in a carnival before, welcome to my world. But it’s actually very easy:

1. Write a blog post that fits with the general theme of Elitist Bastardry.

2. Publish it.

3. Send the link to [email protected].

4. Sit back and wait for Dana to get this Carnival off the ground, with a gargantuan amount of help from her friends and future hosts.

5. Speaking of future hosts… ;-)

Simplicity itself.

I’ll reply to all who submit, so if you don’t receive a reply from me within 3 days of sending in your submission, shout out. It means either Google ate your submission or Dana’s passed out under a mound of the things with a bottle of premium tequila in one hand and a ringmaster’s baton in the other. Either way, we’ll remedy the situation.

As for how often we should hold this Carnival, most responders have been plumping for every 3 weeks. I’m going to add a week to that because I’ll bloody well need it. So will you. After all, after this, we’re going to have the Carnival of the Media Clowns, and the Carnival of Political Asshattery, and Profanity Faire…

I think you can see now why I decided we’re not going to list ourselves at a site that requires G-Rated names.

I have no submission deadline for ye yet, as I’m not sure how long it will be before I have the incidental extras taken care of. But I don’t see us launching any later than the first week in June.

More updates to follow. And remember, it’s not too late to have a hand in shaping this thing: if you come up with a brilliant idea for anything relating to the carnival, send it on. Do not hesitate to make your opinion heard. Remember: you are an Elitist Bastard!

Carnival Business #2

Pride (in the Name of Bastard)

I’ve been waiting for this:

Anyway – if elitists are to unite proudly, why must they agree to be referred to as ‘bastards’? It is not their right to _choose_ to be called bastards. It is a judgemental if somewhat anachronistic slur on their mothers and possibly fathers.

Could the carnival not be called just the “Carnival of Elitists”? Just a thought.

I knew that at some point, someone would kick up a fuss about including the word “bastards” in a carnival name. I just rather thought it would be aimed me rather than directed at Paul at Cafe Philos. The poor bastard had nothing to do with naming the Carnival, after all, but it seems that his enthusiastic support has him taking my bullets.

Paul: you are a gentleman and a scholar. Your sacrifice was not in vain.

I’m sure plenty of people have thought what this commenter said. And to them, I say: “No one’s forcing you.”

If you want to be simply an elitist rather than an Elitist Bastard, that’s your right. Gather round yourself elitist non-bastards, put together your own (more creatively-named) carnival, and fight the good fight on a more rarified front. The world has room for a myriad of elitists. The more, the merrier.

Just a bit o’ advice: don’t name your carnival “Carnival of Elitists.” It has no zing. It has no zip. It doesn’t have that certain je ne sais quois. And it’ll end up looking like you’re riding on our coattails. This would be sad.

Now, if you’re wanting to count yourself amongst the elitists, but are too upset by the silly word “bastards” to join up, perhaps it’s time for some exploration. Bastard can, indeed, be a perjorative term, but it’s taken on different connotations over the years.

It can mean something that’s neither one thing nor the other, but an amalgam. Think bastard sword, for instance: the hand-and-a-half sword, which chose not to be for just one hand or two, but allows a choice.

Seems a good enough term for us Elitist Bastards, who have no trouble simultaneously being common as muck and smart as all get-out. We’re not a pretentious elite, but a more populist one. We think intelligence is something to be celebrated, but I doubt any of us think it’s something reserved to a select few, and we certainly don’t think it has to make you a stuffy, proper, boring git. Calling ourselves bastards is a joyful way of announcing we’re out to have fun with our elitist tendencies.

And what’s so wrong with being a bastard, anyway? The United States of America was built in large part by a bastard: Alexander Hamilton. He was a bastard by birth, back when illegitimacy was an actual stigma. That never stopped him from becoming a brave bastard, a brilliant bastard, a tenacious bastard, and a nation-building bastard. Our Constitution, our federal government, our treasury, and our industry can all be laid largely at his feet. He’s an icon of Elitist Bastardry, and I say it’s time we start being proud of that fact.

Being a bastard in the sense of an offensive, abrasive person isn’t at all bad, either. Observe:

H.L. Mencken was a bastard. He had a core meanness that showed itself in his writing and in his personal life. Without that meanness, though, his writing might never have gotten so startlingly good. Lots of people need lots of things to do what they do. Mencken simply needed to be hard.

In the early part of the 20th century, America needed Mencken. We needed him to wash away some of the Emersonian/Whitmanian enthusiasm that had started to clog up the collective joint. Not that Emerson and Whitman didn’t have their place. As Mencken himself notes in his essay “The National Letters,” it took Emerson and then Whitman, among others, to stand up and defend the possibility of an American Mind and an American Voice. They did so with boldness and with prose falling over itself in its excitement about itself. Sometimes with Whitman it seems that we’re but one or two orgasms away from the final utopia of ecstatic democracy. This newfound confidence, speaking out, proclaims that America has finally figured out what it is. An American literature of the late 19th century was coming out of the Wilderness with something to say.

Mencken wasn’t so sure. Surveying the landscape in 1920 and musing about what had been accomplished in the wake of all this exuberance, he had this to say about our literature: “Viewed largely, its salient character appears as a sort of timorous flaccidity, an amiable hollowness.” Mencken then proceeds over many pages to tear the national character a new one.

We’re at another point in history when the national character needs to be torn a new one. “Timorous flaccidity” and “an amiable hollowness” seems to describe our nation’s intellectual drive quite well in places. In others, we’re talking equally hollow, but the vicious, biting hollow of the terminally self-esteemless. It’s time for the bastards to step up, be hard, and shame the nation into appreciating its brain power once again. We need bastards who can do this:

He had to show us in our dumbness, engaged in the same fruitless struggle that lays low every beast in time. Funnily, and in spite of all his maddening missteps of judgment, Mencken — in being such a relentless bastard year after year — gave the American voice back a little of its humanity.

What’s wrong with being those bastards? Absolutely nothing.

Now, I do understand that some folks have more trouble with the word “bastard” than others. It’s not enough for them to be in such illustrious company as Alexander Hamilton and H.L. Mencken. Perhaps we should pour those folks a nice glass of Fat Bastard Chardonnay and introduce them to the Australian definition of the word:

Like mate, the term bastard itself is not distinctly Australian. What is, though, is our tendency to use it with considerably frequency, and to mean different things by it depending on the context. A characteristic distinctive of Australian English is the way we use words and phrases that could possibly be considered to be offensive in an inoffensive or even affectionate way.

And that’s the sense in which it’s meant here: “How are you, you elitist bastard you?” rather than “Omigod, you’re such an elitist bastard!” Just because we’re elitists doesn’t mean we’ve checked our informality and sense of humor at the door. Much the reverse. Like the Aussies, we’re able to relax, have fun with the more outrageous bits of the English tongue, and show our love for each other and our elitism by calling each other Elitist Bastards with hearty good humor.

So could we call our Carnival of the Elitist Bastards simply Carnival of the Elitists? We could. But it wouldn’t be half so much fun, then, would it?

Pride (in the Name of Bastard)