Category Archives: Silliness

Mike Friedman is not the devil

For the record, Mike Friedman is most certainly not the Devil. I suppose it’s easy enough to understand why you might think that, but it’s not true.

Granted, he does have that happy “devil-may-care” attitude and really, who could get away with that sort of thing better than the Devil himself? It’s also true that Mike was the one who came up with the idea for Crazy Eight Press, and the very first story to come from that group was a tale called “Demon Circle”. Although it’s incriminating, it’s still just coincidence.

But the thing that really gets people wondering is his publicity photo. He’s got a spread of books laid out in front of him, and he’s dressed a bit like Han Solo. Then there’s the background: It’s not a fiery pit, but it’s certainly a deep, blood red. And Mike’s got a big smile, like he knows every sin you’ve ever committed; and his face appears to be reflecting that same blood red, as though he’s surrounded by some sort of flames.

I know that photo well. It shows up on various convention web sites now and then (Shore Leave’s been using it since 2010), and recently its been showing up in “meet the contributors” emails for various Kickstarter projects he’s participating in.

But that photo’s origins aren’t at all demonic. Back in 2009, when I had just recently purchased my first-ever digital SLR, I took it to Shore Leave and took photos of a bunch of the authors. I didn’t yet realize how little I understood about photography and between that lack of knowledge, and the hotel’s rather “unique” color scheme, some of the photos came out rather deeply saturated. Mike just happened to be sitting in front of a wall covered, not in brimstone, but particularly garish red wallpaper, and the camera did the rest.

That’s really all there is to it, Mike’s not the Devil; it’s just the photographer was (and still is) a real hack.

If you’ve spent any time at all chatting with Mike, you know, he’s actually a very friendly guy, and not the Prince of Darkness. Indeed, he’d likely be quite hurt if anyone thought otherwise.

And I’m not just saying that because he’s holding my soul hostage.

Vocabulary Builder

I’ve created a new word recently. The word is “Disenclutter.” You can prove that it’s a word, because it shows up on Google. Granted, the only site it currently shows up on is my own, but that sort of nitpicking detail isn’t worth worrying about. Gene Weingarten used a similar technique when he coined the term “Googlenope” (a phrase which has no hits on Google). If it’s good enough for Gene, then by golly, it’s good enough for me. (Unfortunately, I don’t have the same audience size as Gene, so any and all help in expanding the usage of “Disenclutter” is most welcome.)
In order that the word might propagate with a minimum of confusion, it is necessary to understand the word’s origins
The root word is, of course, “clutter” which the Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines as: “to fill or cover with scattered or disordered things that impede movement or reduce effectiveness.” The past tense form is “cluttered” which, quite accurately, describes the current state of my guest room and possibly one or two other areas of my house (e.g. the upstairs and the downstairs).
Likewise, the prefix dis- is defined as meaning “do the opposite of.” and “en-” means “cause to be.”
Therefore, the verb “Disenclutter” can be understood to mean “causing all the disordered things impeding movement in my house to impede movement in someone else’s house instead.”
Feel free to spread the word! 🙂
(Need any CD boxes? Any 3-ring binders?)