Sometimes, when old virtual  friend (talented professional artist ET) and I should be working (well at least we’re out of bed, each of us, and fully clothed, or, I mean, I  know I am), we exchange mildly offensive emails on topics relevant to the trendy concerns of our record-breaking era… 1. ET@et.org.uk <ET@et.org.uk> To:‘Steven Augustine’ SUBJECT: Stewart Lee Dec 2 at 12:33 PM . This made me laugh “Many years ago, while wearing a Navajo jacket, I was accused of cultural appropriation. I told the zealot harassing me the jacket was a gift from a Native American shaman-clown, under … Continue reading LETTERS WITH ET


(another letter to old friend, professional Artist and recalcitrant Manchesteronian, ET, who generously provided the fabulous illustration for last year’s  THIS) I wrote… ET! I know it’s not even December yet, but the season is already so…  Christmassy… that I feel inspired to share with you something that is somewhat of a Yuletide tradition around our compound (nervously toggles the control on the camera monitoring rear left perimeter) … a video I can’t see without immediately thinking innocently of Santa… elves… adultery… karate moves… peyote…   PS To another friend: Dear D: I know you’re a KB aficionado but this vid … Continue reading LETTER TO ET


Sunday evening I sent a few pre-master mixes to a wise, worldly, hip and profoundly talented friend; we usually discuss Lit, but I’m looking for more conversations about Music at the moment. I’m almost ready to master the 12-14 tracks we’ve been working on for three years, I’ve lost 10 Kilos (working on another 5), I’ve got some serious and well-known musicians guesting on the project and this is all against the luminous backdrop of the improbable fact that I’ve never felt better in my Life. I feel I could run across a field of quails’ eggs without cracking them… … Continue reading THE AWE(FUL)-INSPIRING TRUTH: A BRIEF EMAIL EXCHANGE WITH A FRIEND


  From: ET Sent: 20 December 2018 4:03 PM To: Steven Augustine Subject: Sweet Jay-sus https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/dec/20/death-drugs-and-destruction-the-troubled-year-of-soundcloud-rap I blame William “No ideas but in things” Carlos Williams for this latest chapter in keeping it real.   *************** From: Steven Augustine Sent: 20 December 2018 16:52 To: ET Subject: Re: Sweet Jay-sus American culture! A thrilling experiment in the dangerous game of “How much worse can things get before they get worse?” “Trippie Redd, a rapper embroiled in a feud with 6ix9ine, has twice been arrested this year, first after getting in a fight with rapper FDM Grady…” A sentence familiar to any avid fan of hyperbolic Dystopian pulp … Continue reading THIS WEEK’S LETTER EXCHANGE WITH ET


  Sent: Friday, December 7, 2018 5:47 PM Subject: M & N Steven!   Much great writing on your blog over these past few months, thanks. It was uncanny, but yesterday I was actually looking for The Last Samurai in the stacks of one of the larger libraries here. Not only did that branch not have it, but it’s not even stocked in the entire network from Boca Raton to Miami (the supposed liberal corridor in this wretchedly disorganized state – I don’t know if you noticed it in Germany, but Florida fucked up another election last month).    Curious why not, … Continue reading A READER WRITES


Dear____: This hardhearted year keeps blowing old troubadours down like some tyrannical Baron striking Serfs with his blackthorn and it got Leonard Cohen last week. I was expecting Leonard to slip his way elegantly through the stage door, at the end of the year,  as usual, doffing his cap, singing Auld Lang Syne, a song he could have written, waltzing wisely up the alley to 2017.  But: no. If 2016 were represented by a Tarot card, it would be one eerie card. Unlike Prince, Leonard’s music was appropriate for grownups (much of it, in fact, is indecipherable to kids) and, unlike … Continue reading YET ANOTHER OBITUARY LETTER


DEAR _____ :   I actually have some Prince tales (maybe you’ve heard a few of these from me already): a) Some time in 1982 or so, Owen Husney (Prince’s first manager; the guy who got him his first record deal) asked me to write some songs for a guy Owen was hoping would be  “the White Prince”.  The guy was Peter D___, a Bowie look-a-like who was a guitar genius but who LOVED Jethro Tull prog-rock a little too much… and he would NOT compromise on his silly faux-Tull vision… the “white Prince” thing therefore never happened.  (Peter was … Continue reading ANOTHER (!) OBITUARY LETTER REGARDING CURRENT EVENTS


Dear _____ : I have to admit it doesn’t bother me terribly much that Bowie finally bit the deathcock… although it is certainly unsettling, because the first time I heard him (in 1969) he was actually YOUNG, a man in his twenties, I think. So, to watch the better part of anyone’s life-cycle like that is a little eerie. As I’ve said elsewhere, Superstars are there to remind us that we all age, decline and die. Or just die. But it’s not as though I knew DB or was into his music lately (though, have you heard the “outtakes” from … Continue reading AN OBITUARY LETTER REGARDING CURRENT EVENTS


    In 2005 I had an email conversation with an old friend (she in Manhattan, I in Berlin). I pasted the individual emails into a single document as a diary of the conversation. A. is a kicky intellectual who’s into kick-boxing and neuro-physics and counts Peter Beard as a friend and an Ex (she’s a former model as well).  A. once sent me the greatest “care package” of snacks and curiosities I’ve ever gotten via international Fed Ex. She is sometimes flashy. Some (or even many) of my ideas/attitudes have changed since the below-posted exchange happened; for example, I think … Continue reading HATRED: a PHILOSOPHICAL DIALOGUE