Sunday, February 25, 2007

Whirlwind of Activity

Welcome to The Moss Problem! What is it? Rather than laying out a mission statement, or some kind of lofty proposal of intent, I think it would be best to just let The Moss Problem define itself as time goes on. It might me nothing. But that doesn't mean that we don't have some kind of ridiculously ambitious speculations for ourselves... I've just found that laying the groundwork for a spectacularly embarrassing failure is no way to guarantee success. Three tragic weddings have convinced me of that. No, I firmly believe that success or lack of success have more to do with the present-- the day to day battles, or crushing defeats, or comebacks, or losses, or breakthroughs-- than it does with any plans for the future (or dwellings on the past).

I arrived in Los Angeles only hours ago, after many delays due to the icy conditions in the Midwest. My plans to move back here have been cemented by a job offer-- editing a new "magazine" to be published by my friends Randy and Kate Moss, a couple of real troublemakers who kind of picture themselves as... well, I'd better not say it. I don't want to get off on the wrong foot. They don't want this to be about them, not at all. I shouldn't have even mentioned them, but they did say it was okay to use their names (but no pictures) as the backers of this venture. Anyway, as far as "magazine" goes, all they told me is that they want to be wide open to what that means. It could be like a quarterly, a literary journal, a tabloid or a glossy newsstand publication, or a "zine" or a phonograph record. The only thing they are discouraging, at least at the outset, is any kind of compact disc, CD or DVD, and any comparison to Mr. Unmentionable and his Unmentionable Unmentionables. I'm sorry to be vague, but those are the rules. Other than that-- no rules. No ideas about frequency or size, content or format-- and what really excites me is the possibility of coming up with some format, technique, INVENTION that has yet to be invented, thought of, or even imagined.

If all of that sounds a little INSANE, well, you probably don't know the Moss family. This is actually fairly grounded and concrete for the Mosses. And even more so because what we are starting with, HERE, is an online journal, and that's a nice place to start. Something you can find, access, and read, for free, and something that we are able to create or destroy at a moment's notice. I am, in fact, creating it RIGHT NOW, as I sit here waiting for my TUX to be altered. I sit in my underwear, at a tailor, open on Sunday (it's a very busy Sunday) with my laptop in my lap, and even the tailors are wifi these days. How did I get HERE?

But first... in case you are wondering about the fate of The Sweet Ride, which I also edit, I am still keeping that job, which has turned out to be rewarding, but not exactly demanding of all my time or my staying in Milwaukee. Indeed, I just wrote in my blog about how I was thinking of moving back to LA-- I'll provide a link to it here, it's called Norm's on La Cienega. It's not too exciting, though it is honest.

So... I found out, through the manipulations of a friend (who must remain nameless) in some considerable position of influence, as well as a mix-up due to my name being that of a famous (though deceased) celebrity, I was able to scam a ticket to the Oscars on this very evening. At the same time, I had been emailing back and forth, increasingly feverishly, with Kate and Randy Moss about this new project and my desire to return to LA. It all came together, then, with this very over-priced flight out here, a borrowed tux, and anticipation of the big event in a few hours.

The Mosses and I decided this would be a very good place to start, because it is our shared position that we are now witnessing the death of cinema and the rebirth of rock'n'roll, or something like that. I know it sounds absurd, and that is the last time I'll state it in such simplistic terms, choosing to create an ongoing body of evidence instead in these very pages, (and elsewhere-- but where?-- wherever!)-- but not just an argument, or a declaration-- hopefully, as well, a celebration, a wake, a condemnation, and a call to arms (well, maybe not arms).

So my first assignment is to report on this years Academy Awards. What better place to start? And my next assignment is to enlist some reporters, writers, and more importantly, typists, to start with attempts at shaping our project in word form. After that, who knows. If we can say what we want to say in a well crafted papier-mâché SANDWICH, that may be enough. But what I'm anticipating is that NOTHING will be enough, except for going on and on and on and on.

Anthony Franciosa

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