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February 14, 2011



by Glenn Zucman

CSULB’s SOLO, “Student Of Life Organization,” has a bad acronym and a brilliant mission. Their acronym is bad in that they aren’t really promoting “Going Solo,” rather they’re promoting being a deeper, richer human being engaged in a wider cultural matrix. Their mission is brilliant because more than any other group, class, or program I am aware of, they embody the best and most powerful of what I believe the university experience should be about.
A message from the founders of S.O.L.O
Uploaded by SoloMinds. – Explore lifestyle, fashion, and DIY videos.

You can find out more about SOLO here:

And, yay, they’ve asked me to speak!
Tuesday 15 Feb 2010
5:30 – 6:30pm USU-305

Feel free to come check out the awesome group – don’t let the crappy speaker scare you away!! Anyway, their Vice President, Miki Fukusumi, asked me for a little more information on my talk and I thought I’d share with you what I wrote to her:

In our newsletter to our members we like to give some background on what our speaker is presenting about and a short biography we can introduce you with. So when you have the chance can you send those two things my way? Thanks in advance!



End Capitalism, Burn Down the University, and Start Your Own Publishing Company

Isn’t descriptive enough of what I want to talk about?

kk – here, off the top of my head are 20 things you might like to know:

1. SOLO is more about what I believe the University is about than any other group, course, or program at CSULB. SOLO is more university than this university is.

2. Harvard sucks.

3. MIT Rocks.

4. Oh wait, Harvard fully rocks.

5. None of the above have anything to do with Mark Zuckerberg. Although, since you brought him up, it is interesting to note that he built the world’s largest new media company with virtually no money, and with NO PERMISSION FROM ANYONE. That’s really important.

6. kk, so we’re burning down the University tonight, what are we supposed to do tomorrow?

7. Hmm… lemme guess… uh… “Start Your Own Publishing Company?”

8. SEE, I told you everything important was in the title.

9. Yes, I like the Q&A at the end. How long was my talk supposed to be? Let’s cut that in half so we can have even more Q&A. I can talk forever, and it might as well be about stuff the SOLO members actually want me to talk about.

10. Since you want me to blow their minds, and you want me to tell you what I’m going to tell them – In advance no less – talk about blowing the punch line – anyway – sounds like you want a “Call to Action” so here it is – it’s totally counter-intuitive and unexpected from my title so I’m sure no one would have guessed, but I’ll spill it anyway: I WANT THEM TO BLOG!

11. I want them to contribute to the SOLO blog because it fully rocks, and should rock even more than that but it only can if the members push it to the next level.

12. I want them to comment on blogs and websites all over the net. On everything. People are so busy making you paranoid about the drunken party photos you posted on Facebook and how no one will ever hire you now. News flash: I don’t give a crap about your drunken party photos on Facebook. What I DO care about is that when I google you I get a long string of impressive work. If mixed in-between some impressive projects are some drunken party photos, that’s fine with me. As far as I’m concerned, if you graduate and I google you and nothing comes up, then You, This University, and This Faculty have utterly failed.

13. Even though I want them to contribute to the SOLO Blog and edit Wikipedia and drop as much stuff all over the web as they possibly can, what I really want is for them to OWN their content – not “Intellectual Property” OWN – F-That! As enlightened beings I’d love for them to share their content freely with the human race under a Creative Commons Attribution license, but I mean I want them to “OWN” it in the deep spiritual sense. SO, to own their online content they should start their own blog as a repository of their online self. When they write something cool they should cross-post it to the SOLO blog and to their own blog. Insightful comments should track-back to them.

14. Back on the call to action thing… why “Call” when we can actually “Act”!? Why don’t we encourage peeps to bring their laptops and we can either do 1/3 talk, 1/3 Q&A, 1/3 OK lets all make blogs now… or we can do the normal program and then say, let’s hang around after and set up some blogs.

15. Oh yeah, and you wanted to know who I am. Geez. kk. I am an artist. I am a journalist. I give talks at BarCamp San Diego a lot. A few of my friends down there and I have been wanting to do a talk, “How to be an Elitist Without Thinking that You’re Better than Everyone.” Which is kind of where I’m at. I like elitism a lot. I like egalitarianism a lot. I like sharing culture. Hmm, is that called Socialism? Or Communism? That whole “central planning” thing didn’t really work out for them, but I think they had some interesting initial impulses. Eric Raymond, author of The Cathedral and The Bazaar, when asked if Open Source Software was Communism, replied, “Karl Marx did not invent sharing with your neighbor.”

16. Anyway, yea, so I used to paint. A lot. I still like it a lot. But I don’t have time for it anymore. It was fun. But I guess it’s in the past. Oh, yeah, I went to grad school. The purpose of grad school is to make you think different from where and when and how you started. So, naturally since I went in as a painter, I came out as a new media artist. Oh, yeah, I have a BA degree in Social Psychology from the University of Hawaii, and an MFA in Intermedia Art from CSULB. The MFA was 2003 and I started teaching here in 2005, so this is Year Six!

17. What do I do since I don’t paint anymore? Oh, before I answer that, I put out an artist’s book! I think you’d really like it. I will bring a stack of them (free, duh) for the SOLO members! Please remind me!!!

18. Anyway, I make blogs! And performance art in virtual worlds, and stuff like that. Oh, and I teach art at CSULB and Cypress College. And I used to do arts interviews on KBeach Radio. What an awesome gig that was. I’ve been so busy lately. But I’d love to start up again at KBeach sometime before the semester’s over I hope.

19. Uh, what else did you ask me? And is this ok? Or will the *slightly* stream of consciousness format of this drive peeps away? Do you want a more “normal” or organized or formatted or cleaner or shorter “blurb” about the talk?

20. Feel free to use any of this or all of this or none of this or reformat it or rewrite it or remix it any way you want. I said that everything I do is Creative Commons Attribution, right? So you already had my permission to do anything you want with this. You didn’t even have to ask. You’re welcome.

— Glenn


2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Feb 18 2011

    You rocked, our members really enjoyed hearing what you had to say…I wish we could’ve gone deeper into a lot of the things you briefly mentioned! Guess how I found your blog? I googled my name.

  2. Feb 22 2011


    hahaha – googled your name – love that!

    It was really nice spending a little time with you guys! Love the project; love the members; you guys are onto what the university really IS, or SHOULD BE, about!

    If I, or Art110, can ever help in any way, don’t hesitate to ask!


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