Changes to my web setup today

36th St area, Brooklyn, 2022-4

Today, my domain names “billsmediacommentary” and “billsnewscommentary” expired.  They will go through the normal expiration processing and disappear (as a practical matter I doubt anyone would try to get them).  Access to those sites on Bluehost is now disabled.  Access to the “billsmediareviews” and “doaskdotellnotes” will expire with the hosting contract on June 20.  The actual domain names will become orphaned but technically belong to me until Dec, 26, 2022.

All the content has been saved and I will repost some of the more popular or important movie and book reviews on the non-WP part of this site.  News stories, not so much, because I will generally write a new article on this blog when something happens of interest, like with Section 230, climate change, national security, censorship, or “critical gender theory” (yes, DeSantis, Disney, and Florida, how else to put it?)

I’ve written a summary interpretation of the current events as of today, as a new starting point, link. As far as the SCOTUS leak, it sounds like an inside job to encourage the Court to soften the originalist opinion before it becomes official.  Biden has characterized the MAGA movement as extreme (essentially soft-fascist nationalism) and warned they could try to pass laws segregating “LGBTQ” students from others in public school (according to some readings of Alito’s logic). That idea would seem to jeopardize the political peace agreement in 2010 to lift DADT in the military (that was done by Congress, not SCOTUS or the courts). 

The doaskdotell site will be pared down to contain (1) the text of the four books (2) the footnote files, including some considerable volume of new notes from the doaskdotellnotes file, which I have saved offline  (3) some materials regarding my “completed” and in-process scripts (4) index to 3rd party publications of stuff by me (5) payment processing for book copy purchases.  The latter will require fixing a problem there with the https (it is an old domain with one domain registrar and a different host, and there seems to be a problem with the CSR which makes the https fail sometimes;  that needs to be fixed technically).  However, other “gratuitous content” will be removed.  That includes the movie, book and plays reviews.  They are saved off line and more important reviews (for example some films about 9/11) will gradually be extracted for this site.

The setup I aim to have is one website for personal opinions, non-commercial, under my legal name, with the nickname used as a subdomain or separate directory.  The doaskdotell site will have mainly “commercially” related content.

Here are a couple videos from my weekend in NYC

Manhattan Bridge ride

36th street in Brooklyn (April 29, 2022, around noon), near the site of a subway attack (April 12, 2022, wiki). Had lunch in a Korean sandwich shop and the owner described the day with the police in detail to me.

(Posted: Wednesday, May 4, 2022 at 7 PM EDT)

A report on my Pitchfest experience in New York City this past weekend

Marquis Marriott hotel lobby with sci-fi like elevators, looks like the interior of a “Rama”

This past weekend I attended a pitchfest for authors of self-published POD books published by Author Solutions in Bloomington IN. The event was held in the gigantic Marquis Marriott hotel on Broadway at 46th St near Times Square in Manhattan in NYC.  Ironically HRC (Human Rights Campaign) was holding a formal event in the same hotel a few ballroom levels below.

The final pitch is like a “speed dating” event where the participant rotates to a number of tables (seven) and makes a two-minute pitch (under bell) for filming their book.

There are practice sessions before.  The whole event started late Friday afternoon, with a break for the night (clubbing was discouraged) and an early start at breakfast Saturday morning.  The pitch session ran for four hours Saturday afternoon.  You have a card and number, and waiting for your exact time to come up is like waiting for surgery.

Media companies now have a need for more content for streamed films and shows and even for some novel podcast formats.  Sometimes books are introduced as podcasts online first.

Participants were encouraged to tell the best story they could imagine from their books when non-fiction.  They were not presumed to know screenwriting conventions in detail.

Book adaptations typically go through a staged process with an “option” (sort of like for a baseball player), a “greenlight”, and then finally a formal budget and shooting plans.  In practice finding suitable actors is often more difficult than the public typically realized.  (Honestly, who would play an 18-year-old version of me?  Timothee Chalamet, after being king of Dune already and being initiated by a gom jabbar?  It’s awfully easy to imagine Max Reisinger (a very popular 19-year-old YouTuber) in the movies (but he has made his own short films all over the world, even in former Soviet republics, a bit dangerous now). I would suspect that the “Greenlight” phase (remember the Miramax “Project Greenlight” contests in the early 2000’s?) will require more travel and detailed research by me on certain factual historical matters and other parties who were involved with past incidents. I am prepared for that.

For many non-fiction works, documentary may be more practical.  That certainly makes sense for me.  But I did pitch an acted treatment (7 pitches, starting at 3:45 PM; I did not stumble or freeze).

Simulated pitch, through Zoom at home, approximately my actual pitch

A couple reactions were interesting.  The second station suggested that the plot for a first-person story should be pitched in the third person (with pronouns) so for the rest of the pitches I did that. One station (as did the coach before the pitches) picked up the idea that the “protagonist’ (an mandatory idea since ‘TENET”) seems to change from my parents (in the sonata-form-like first act) to me (in the fanned-out last act which is rather like closing a symphony with a theme and variations, and maybe a brief triumphant fugue for the ending).  (Rather like the early Dohnanyi symphony reviewed here April 17.  Seriously, Beethoven’s Op. 111 sonata has that kind of format, which seems to dilute the ending by drawing it out, which leads to the saying, “an Op. 111 kind of day”.  Well, that could apply to Prokofiev too.)

We were not told the companies the reps came from.  But they seemed quite familiar with my content, maybe from having reviewed it online before (even my own blogs).  And they seemed to realize I was familiar with screenwriting concepts, like story circles and protagonist-antagonist.

Generally, the attendees were represented toward being older adults.  They were diverse.  Some of the other topics I heard people had written about included artificial consciousness and self-awareness., forgiveness of those who cause harm, unusual personal relationships, child development, and generally international history (especially some concerns with communism specifically). There is also some fantasy and probably animation.  Red State legislation (especially Florida) seemed to have some attention.

I will soon be discussing how I plan to remove remaining extraneous material from the doaskdotell site and make it more business friendly.  There is an issue with the https (the translation of a CSR) which I have to get resolved before financial transactions (like book sales) can happen on the site.

In my new environment, I will soon bring over some material explaining the various treatments possible from the DADT books (at least four, and the remaining two that I have not written scripts for come closer to Harmon story circle conventions than the first two, and would be more suitable for the Black List submission).

(Posted: Sunday, May 1, 2022, by John W. Boushka)

Reminder – this is a “non-commercial” site

When I logged on to the “non-content-managed” portion of the site tonight to add a legacy repost, I noticed a reminder from the webhost encouraging me to get an email address matching the domain so that visitors would know that this is a “real business and not spam.”

I am a little concerned about the implications of such a statement in context. This is supposed to be the non-commercial site for expressing personal views regardless of business in a personally branded manner outside of algorithmic “social media” (which I do use). I do use certain labels for business, that’s true.

I normally use my aol and gmail addresses only, mainly because it is much easier for me to consolidate the email into one or two places. I do agree that were I to start selling items directly it might be advisable to add a domainname email in the future. I also agree that it might be advisable to be accept to accept cryptocurrency in the future. I do have a coinbase account (etherium) but I was never able to get the printed wallet to work right (that was back in early 2019). Maybe I should try again.

Dangerous thought experiment

The video above, made April 1, 2018 as the Internet culture wars were starting (post-Charlottesville) and it needs to be pondered. I cannot let others speak for me as part of their tribe, and I cannot ask people for money for causes, without my own separate identity well-established. I cannot play the victimized-group identity card.

(Posted: Thursday, March 10, 2022 at 11 PM EST by John W. Boushka)

Note on the setup of my sites after restructuring (esp. for “business”)

Me (he, him, his)

I have gotten some questions about advertising, making announcements for others, and possible other business ideas in conjunction with the reorganization and downsizing of my web presence (at least the “1.0” static portion) so I thought I would state what I think I can do,

To recoup:  The 16 blogs on Blogger were removed on Jan. 3, 2022.  However select postings are gradually being restored to the “legacy” portion of this side (that is, flat html without content management) reachable at this link.  Users can contact me at the email address below if they want to request anything be reposted.

The four WordPress blogs hosted  by Bluehost are set to expire in early May, 2022.  It is a little bit complicated to explain here, and there is a chance that the two older blogs (set up in Dec. 2013;  the other two were set up in May 2016, almost six years ago) might remain until mid June.

The site “doaskdotell” remains as a “business site”, and is reserved through December 2023.  The business activities to be supported include direct book sales, links to main sites (POD at Author Solutions and also Amazon (Kindle) and Barnes and Noble (Nook).  They also include commentary on screenwriting activities as I am pursuing the possibility of films (documentary and/or conventionally casted and acted) based on the material in the books (including a pitch-fest at the end of April), support for work on music (in the sense that it might get performed), as well as new business ideas (startup support) such as data tracking or paywall consolidation.  

This site will not have its own blog.  I am finding that running multiple WordPress blogs on concurrent accounts can lead to complications. 

Instead I expect to set up a label like “doaskdotell-business” for the blog (which comes up directly from johnwboushka.com).  I may create “music” and “books” subcategories on this blog.

It would be possible to make courtesy announcements under another subcategory for this label, call it “announcements”. 

But in the meantime, right now, these “business” functions are being documented on my doaskdotellnotes.com blog, which will not be available after mid June 2022, after which it all migrates to the “doaskdotell-business” categories on the johnwboushka.com blog. 

The end result of the simplification will be at most two sites, “johnwoushka.com” (with a WordPress blog component and a legacy flat-file component) and “doaskdotell.com”.  With the exception of the “doaskdotell” label and possibly page, the johnwboushka site is the “personal” site based on a legal identity, for offering personal views on things, without too much gratuitousness.

“Business” in my context means, activity resulting in financial or “pseudo-financial” contact with consumers (which can be businesses, and which can involve crytocurrency or “likeconomics” or analytics), or activity intended to result in such. A business entity can be a non-profit and still be a “business” in this sense because it still needs to raise money or be paid somehow (for example, normally a non-profit can have a trademark).  But a business entity is separate from an individual who speaks publicly strictly under his/her (or “eir”) own personal agency. I need a grammatically singular pronoun and possessive case to define this concept!

(Posted: Saturday, February 19, 2022 at 10:30 PM EST)

Publishing under a pen name: Pros and cons

birth papers 1943

I’ve explained elsewhere that my legal name is John William Boushka, and that my parents gave me the nickname “Bill” when I was born, and that was how I was always known colloquially.

“Bill” sounds secular (based on a simplification of my very English middle name), whereas “John” is the name of at least two important apostles or disciples in the New Testament and sounds more somber.

My father was, in fact, “John Joseph Boushka” (b. 1903 in New Virginia, Iowa) and was often known as “Jack”, again secular, especially as a young man before marriage to my mother in 1940.

Amazon is quite OK with people publishing books under pen names, and there can be specific situations where (in many countries) it may be “dangerous” for your exact identity to be known. In my case, in the 1990s, I wanted to keep some “double-life” separation between income producing work and self-publishing for self-expressive purposes. (That turns out to be a somewhat eventful narrative that I have covered elsewhere.)

One big disadvantage can be that it can be much harder to make a book sell under a pen name unless you are already well-established, and there may be a notion that a pen-name should be a separate business.

Here is an article (March 31, 2021) by Daniel Rosehill on Medium, under a subject called Freelance Writing, “Reasons To Use A Pen Name For Your Amazon Self-Publishing — And Why Not To”.

Robert Brewer also discusses this for Writer’s Digest.

(Posted: Tuesday, January 25, 2022 at 11:30 PM EST by John W. Boushka)

My 1998 lecture on my first DADT book (at Hamline University)

I wanted to offer here a 1998 lecture I gave on my first book at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. I had moved to Minneapolis at the start of September 1997, which I have discussed in other places.

The embedded video runs one hour but has an intermission for the Libertarian Party of Minnesota. It was presented on a cable channel in Minneapolis in March 1998..

Two remarks about the second half.

One is that if I had it to do over, I would talk about the Second Amendment specifically, and whether it is an “individual right” in an absolute sense (Heller case in DC).  You can subsume it as part of property rights or self-ownership, as there needs to be a fundamental right to defend one’s property of life. Of course, this is difficult today given many recent events.

The entire speech lays bare the culture wars over group rights, systemic racism, and the like.

Also the idea of self-defense as a fundamental right should have been discussed in my 1998 “Our Fundamental Rights” booklet.

When mentioning copyright in the second half, I should have noted that facts themselves cannot be copyrighted.

(Update: Thursday Feb. 3, 11 PM EST: The portion that connects my William and Mary expulsion in Nov. 1961 to the debate over gays in the military and “don’t ask don’t tell” appears from 42:34 and 49:40, about 7 minutes.)

(Posted: Thursday, January 20, 2021 at 11:30 PM by Joh W. Boushka)

So “Bill Boushka” has to go get small (as in “Downsizing”)

Today, the website “BillBoushka dot com” is supposed to have been removed by my hosting provider.  The “Bill Boushka dot me” that had served as a Google custom domain for a Blogger blog had been removed on Jan.3 when the Blogger sites were removed as part of my online downsizing as promised for the start of 2022.

The domain name (for .com) is supposed to remain mine until March 8, 2022.  I’ll come back to the possibility of reuse in a moment.

The downsizing had been “promised” in late February 2019 to take effect this year.  In early 2021 I had written a couple of posts (on the doaskdotellnotes blog) anticipating the continued use of the nickname “Bill” as a leading node on the remaining site and WordPress personal blog.  In the late summer, I determined that it would be much “safer” going forward to use only my legal name “JohnWBoushka” as a name in identifying nodes.  I won’t give all the rational right now, but visitors are likely to hear more about this issue in debates on Internet censorship policy (Section 230, and trademark law also) this year. There is likely to be more objection to domain or blog node hoarding as potentially denying opportunity to others (especially in a world so now concerned with equity).  I expect to have the conversion to the use of the legal name as completed by the early summer 2022. 

Because my books, as listed on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and on various other places, were written under the nickname/pseudonym “Bill” starting in 1997 (for good reason, as I needed a double life with the workplace then over conflict of interest concerns – even leading to a corporate transfer to Minneapolis in 1997 at the same time as the first book’s appearance), there still could be a reason to use the “bill” as a node out of business necessity.  In general, I would use the idea of a subdirectory or better a subdomain (“billboushka dot johnwboushka dot com) where a the “billboushka” space as a separate ip address and is connected by an appropriate coded A record.

Such necessity could come out of a pitchfest in NYC in late April this year (hopefully coronavirus has calmed down).  But it is possible that a “business only” second blog like “billboushka dot wordpress dot com” could become the most practical solution and that could be accomplished by connecting the domain name to WP with an appropriately coded A record(s).

But the general idea remains: “JohnWBoushka” (my true legal name) holds writings or videos about my own vides on things, generally non-commerically.  “doaskdotell” and any future use of the nickname “Bill” must be for “business use” only (like in the workplace generally), but supporting screenwriting efforts related to the books counts as business use because there is evidence of interest “out there”.

(Posted: Saturday, January 8, 2022 at 9 PM EST by John W Boushka)