OFFICIALLY FAMOUS FOR BEING SUPER WEIRD(tm)
gregoryp™ is the web identity of real-life American journalist Gregory J. Pleshaw. Pleshaw began his career in the 'zine culture of the late '80s before moving on to newspapers and magazines that include The New Mexican, Wired, Fast Company, The Industry Standard, New Mexico Magazine, the Boston Phoenix's Erotica section, the Seattle Gay News, and many, many others.
Past beats include arts, entertainment, politics, social justice, technology, business, Internet security, online gaming, SEO, music, software, real estate, social networking sites, travel, and sexuality and gender issues. He spends an inordinate amount of time on the Internet, particularly facebook, twitter, and various blogs that he maintains. In 2004, he released a book entitled, The Collapse of Time: Confessions of a Quantum Humanist for Plaza Rat Press of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The book sold out to subscribers prior to publication, but Pleshaw declined to do a second printing, favoring his ongoing electronic publishing efforts. His "fan base" exists whenever he writes and publishes online.
In 1994, Pleshaw wrote a polemic about what he believed were two emerging forms of literature - "living-in-a-narrative" which he described as "memoir on acid," and "exploded narrative" which was intended to illustrate the ways in which the online world was intersecting with real-time to allow for rich-media narratives. His latest book, SubDrop, (release date: December 21, 2010, from Strident Press) is an example of the former idea and with the arrival of the e-book and the iPad, the technology has finally reached the time when the latter may be more fully explored. Pleshaw hopes to do this, both as a real person and a web identity. The pseudonym of gregoryp™ was born when Pleshaw wrote an essay on his website in 1997 on Monsanto's proposal (and subsequent approval) to be allowed to trademark seeds. The essay was titled Trademark Yourself before Someone Else Does, and thus gregoryp™ was born.
"The Pure Process Exploded-Narrative Trilogy"
(an editing fiasco)
In the spring and summer of 2009, Pleshaw's carefully constructed external reality and internal identity began to unravel - and then implode - as he realized he was fast approaching forty with the screeching howl of Johnny Rotten's "No Future"s still ringing incessantly in his ears.
Chronicling his own demise (and subsequent re-birth - yes, even sinners get a renaissance) - Pleshaw employed a method of narrative memoir that he had previously dubbed as "pure process narrative" whereby the writer follows the emergent tale of their own useless existenceto whatever actions and conclusions they lead the writer towards and accept each result as a necessary component of an unfolding narrative. No Future? Sure. And No Regrets either, and the result is a trilogy of works in which Pleshaw explores a multiplicity of ever-weirder themes, including identity, insanity, risk, addiction, internal & external discoveries, liminality, time, space, danger, sex, extreme circumstances, trangsgressive non-fiction, health, yoga, religion, redemption and finally - the complete dissolution of both the constructed self the notion of "privacy" through a process known as "pure process transparency" live on facebook with the final book(s) of the trilogy, otherwise known as 'Stumbling Towards Enlightenment" & "the Greatest Love Story of the Century."
A staid work in comparison to the last, the initial foray into this pure process explosion was a linear process narrative called "SubDrop," that explored the author's relationship to self via sexuality, gender and his lifelong battle with bipolar disorder. Briefly "sold" to a press that wished to publish it as an e-book, Pleshaw examined the book's contents in a cheap hotel on the Thai-Laos border and realized that if he could go public with such a work then no stone should be left unturned in what he was willing to write about, and he quickly penned "Tales from Thailand," a 200-page collection of essays and stories about the sex and prostitution culture of Thailand from the context of one who felt as if he were "living in exile" as an expat in Thailand on the eve of the then expected 2010 Thai "revolution" and rumored coup d'etat by the former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Fearful of the tense environment that gripped Thailand following the February 26th, 2010 Decision Day that determined the fate of the former PM's assets and also deeply intrigued by the possibilities that Eastern religions might offer him, Pleshaw withdrew "SubDrop" from publication and held back on the edits for 'Tales from Thailand" to plunge forth into the third and final narrative, "Stumbling Towards Enlightenment," an experimental novel/"live book" that began when Pleshaw fled Thailand and arrived in New Delhi in April of 2010 and posted his first India-based facebook status report.
At the time, (as is still the case) facebook was the #1 website in the world with close to half a million daily readers. Pleshaw would later dub it "the global newspaper," but long before that point, he saw within it an emergent venue for a new kind of literature - unfolding status report by status report and easily "contributed to" by other random "writers" from one's pool of "friends."
"Stumbling Towards Enlightenment" had many themes, but it's underlying praxis lay in one simple question, "What is a Friend?" a theme that Pleshaw would return to repeatedly as he posted status report after status report about yoga, gurus, street hustlers and World Cup updates from his four-month residence in Dharamsala, the home of the exiled leader of Tibet, the Dalai Lama. While the estimated number of status reports from what ended up as an eight-month experiment number between 1500-2500 posts, "Stumbling Towards Enlightenment" offered Pleshaw's 1200 friends a thrice-updated unfolding of a narrative adventure that even had its own romantic subplot, for prior to heading to India, Pleshaw met Dee Dee Clohessy, a writer from Buffalo, New York, whose seminal work "facebook status reports I hate," attracted Pleshaw's attention to the medium in which they were living.
As Pleshaw traveled and posted, Dee Dee, a denizen of cyberspace on the 24-7 clock thanks to her tireless smart phone, provided Pleshaw with technical, logistical and emotional support and soon became the better half of The Greatest Love Story of the Century, which quickly gained its own website and hundreds of fans who ponied up a buck to send Dee Dee to Thailand to meet Pleshaw, following his much-publicized proposal of marriage to her on facebook four months after their initial online meeting - but three months away from their actual face2face meeting in Phuket, Thailand. In the words of Pleshaw, "anyone who wants to share our innermost thoughts on facebook and youtube and then agree to marry me sight unseen - yeah, that's the kind of person I want to marry, no question about it."
In addition to many many status reports, Pleshaw's output during this period also included at least a dozen long-form "Notes" about everything from seeing the Dalai Lama to finding a cure for his psoriasis to "burying the meds" one full year after deciding not to take them anymore. Dozens of different friends contributed to the threads that Pleshaw seeded via both status report and "Notes," "contributing writers" all to both the journey and the unfolding narrative. Off-facebook, hundreds of emails, Skype calls and chats built a broad subtext of the many convergent and divergent notions, ideas, and themes that Pleshaw chose to explore during the course of the "Stumbling" project.
Originally intended to only encompass the period that Pleshaw spent in India, the "live book" format ended up perfecty illustrating the axiom that "sometimes even the best experiments can go awry," when upon returning to Thailand, Pleshaw's use of a tantric meditation technique caused him to go astral for nine straight days - a phenomena described by others as a Kundalini Awakening and whose revelatory nature took both Pleshaw and his astounded readership into triple-overtime - with the narrative only coming to a final "Stumbling" halt on January the 1st, 2011.
Currently, Pleshaw has disappeared into the remote provinces of Isaan, Thailand to teach English and learn the Thai language. At this time, all three books and their intended vehicle Strident Press are in hiatus pending further reflection and edits. In his words, "it was quite a process, y'know," and he intends to spend whatever spare time that lies ahead of him breathing deep, practicing yoga, drinking beer...and...editing. For more information...check out Strident Press from time to time. There might be something there you want to see.
Original Post - needs a seamless edit, but I am on the fly at the moment
Less than two years ago, Pleshaw joined facebook and immediately recognize its potential as a journalistic medium. Similar to the seminal WELL project of the mid-1990s, the use of asynchronous threading made it possible to treat the status report as a "column" with a threaded conversation beneath from "friends." Abandoning his other blogs (just google) he began to use the facebook status report as a place to "micro-blog" and was in the process of developing theory about "micro-journalism" when he stumbled across Deedee Clohessy's hilarious essay of "facebook status reports I hate" and he immediately friended her. A furious "lovers of the mind" relationship ensued as the two began sharing writing, ideas, feelings, thoughts, and emotion with one another - perfectly exemplifying exactly *WHY* social media blows traditional journalism out of the water -- by removing the intermediary of the "publication," (with all its attendant horrors of bias, so-called "objectivity" and the notion of bylined "author" as the center of all discourse,) social media and the Internet in general allow one-on-one communication *and* one-to-many communication simultaneously across the planet, as well as feedback loops from both "writer" and "audience," smashing any distinctions between the two, eliminating the "fourth wall" of communications forever - and completely re-defining what "news" really is.
Taking the "microjournalism" praxis to the next level, Pleshaw decided to write a "live book" on facebook about his experiences in India, status report by status report, and Deedee Clohessy was his constant co-presence companion on this four-month madcap journey ("personal, political, & mystical") which included at least 600 status reports and is now known as "Stumbling Towards Enlightenment" (available from Strident Press in May of 2011) with Clohessy as emotional support and love interest.
Okay - we admit it. Our love is a po-mo literary fantasy, perhaps, but we both actually believe in our Strange Kind of Love. We're both bookish and writers enough to know that 90% of love comes from our minds, and romantic enough to believe that the best kind of partnership evolves when you find that special someone who "gives good email." Deedee gives the best (her chats are pretty rad too) and I really love her mind. Please support our weird project. Cyberpunk isn't all doom'n'gloom after all - maybe this time around, the matrix actually will lead the two of us - and the rest of you - to understand that sometimes, the matrix really leads to true love.