Inhuman Swill | Blog | William Shunn
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Why is my blog called Inhuman Swill? Because you can unscramble the pieces to make William Shunn.
          

Tuesday Funk, 100th show, December 6, 2016, 7:30 pm
I'm delighted to be appearing tonight at a very special edition of Chicago's Tuesday Funk reading series.

It's the 100th episode of the long-running series. In honor of that occasion, current hosts Andrew Huff and Eden Robins have invited all the former hosts back as guests.

Please come out to Hopleaf tonight at 7:30 to see not just me but also Connor Coyne, Reinhardt Suarez, Hallie Palladino, and Sara Ross Witt. It's upstairs and it's free! It'll be a terrific show!

It's Tuesday Funk—Chicago's eclectic monthly reading series where good writing and good beer mix. (Hey, I coined that.)

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Taboo Tales

I'm very excited to be part of the second Taboo Tales event in New York City on Monday, October 10th. Taboo Tales is the long-running show from Los Angeles where people tell stories about their fucked-up lives. Come out and see us at The PIT on Monday and I guarantee you'll feel better about yourself.

Now, I'll let Taboo Tales tell you more...


We've learned New Yorkers are pretty fucked up so we're putting on our second show on October 10th. It's Columbus Day so tell all your friends to come out and discover this one of a kind storytelling show where we talk about topics no one wants to discuss in public.

Our BRAVE storytellers for this show will be:

  • Allison Guerra
  • Tony Carnevale
  • Kent Koren
  • William Shunn
  • Karen Fratti
  • Bobby Hankinson

    Hosted by Vanessa Golenia and Kejal Macdonald
    Happening at the PIT theater (24th and Lex)
    7pm. Arrive by 6:30pm.

    Save some money and get your tickets in advance!
    $10 online tickets // $13 at the door

    Want to see how much fun we had at the last one? Say no more. Check our event photos.

    SEE YOU THERE!


    More info:
    http://tabootalestheshow.com/about-2/
    https://www.facebook.com/events/1781798598730652/

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  • Uh-oh! Oreo!

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    Oreo mayhem
    Oreo packet,
    rip'd open and crush'd on the
    subway floor. Tragic.

    —for the kid in all of us

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    Tarring and feathering of Joseph Smith
    The term "anti-Mormon" is tossed around too lightly.

    A few months back, I linked to a video in which Lewis Black read an angry rant submitted by an 18-year-old Mormon apostate named Trevor Sepulvida. A week after the video appeared online, Jana Riess of Religion News Service casually called it "anti-Mormon."

    One of my old mission companions emailed me recently to share his impressions of The Accidental Terrorist, which he wanted to read because I wrote about our time serving together. He generally enjoyed the book and had only minor quibbles with what I'd written about him. But, he told me, he skipped the chapters about LDS Church history because they were "anti-Mormon."

    My own sister is one of many church members I've heard call the Broadway musical The Book of Mormon "anti-Mormon," sight unseen.

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    Ella un-a-cyst-ed

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    Ella in her Surgi Snuggli after cyst surgery
    I've been so focused on my book for the past year or more that I can't even remember the last time I posted an Ella update here to the blog. I find that unconscionable, so I'm here to remedy that.

    First off, Ella is doing just fine, despite the fact that she had surgery last month, the second time this year. Like many wheaten terriers, Ella is prone to developing big sebaceous cysts, which for the most part we have left alone. They're mostly only a problem if they start to grow. In that case they can cause intense discomfort, or they can even burst and get infected.

    Normally we've handled Ella's cysts by having them drained with a needle when they get too big, but in February we finally had to send her under the knife for the first time to have four of them removed. One had burst, another was getting bigger, and we figured we would just take as many off as possible as long as she was under anesthesia anyway.

    This is considered minor surgery, but it's still nerve-wracking, especially because of the anesthesia. But Ella came through the first surgery fine, which made us a little less wary about doing it again last month.

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    Wired.com's Geek's Guide to the Galaxy Podcast
    Though it doesn't officially come out until tomorrow, my interview with the Geek's Guide to the Galaxy podcast is now live and available through iTunes and elsewhere.

    I really enjoyed doing this interview. Host David Barr Kirtley asked great questions, and we chatted not just about the writing of The Accidental Terrorist, but also how charismatic religious leaders manage to get away with so much and why there are so many Mormon science fiction writers.

    Dave does a heroic job with this podcast in general, and if you're not listening to it regularly, you should. In fact, you should listen to a few of the many great past episodes and then help support the show.

    Listen below now!

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    After years of work, The Accidental Terrorist, my memoir of Mormon missionary life, is out today! And what better way to celebrate than to mail a letter that, honestly, is years if not decades overdue...


    10 November 2015

    Member Records Division, LDS Church
    50 E North Temple Rm 1372
    Salt Lake City, UT 84150-5310

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    I lived it almost thirty years ago. I started writing it almost seventeen years ago. Today, at long last, The Accidental Terrorist is here. (Quick, lock your doors!)

    What more can I say to you about it? I hope you'll order a copy, if you haven't already. Here are some review excerpts. Here is a reading I did last week. And while you're waiting for the book to arrive, you can listen to this Spotify soundtrack in less than a mere two a half hours.

    Oh, yes, and don't forget to stop back in about an hour for a very important announcement...

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    Is there a religious equivalent to the term "civil disobedience"? As in, a term for defying one's church leaders when you find their edicts unjust or immoral? Something more warm-sounding than "heresy"?

    Oh, well. For lack of a better term, I'd like to challenge a Mormon bishop to commit heresy.


    Before I get to that, I'd like to talk about the Boy Scouts for a minute. I was very happy last month that the LDS Church decided not to sever its ties with the Boy Scouts of America over the issue of permitting troop sponsors to allow openly gay men to serve as Scoutmasters.

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    This will be a pretty technical post, so feel free to skip it if you're not interested in Perl coding and things of that nature.

    When I started building my Accidental Terrorist Missionary Name Tag Creator, I knew I wanted to use the Perl interface to ImageMagick to overlay a name in bold white text onto the blank space on a name tag image like this one:

    What's more, I wanted the name to look like it had actually been drilled out or stamped into the name tag, with maybe a slightly pebbled white surface to give things a nice feeling of texture.

    I had used ImageMagick before for some simple applications, and I knew it was a very powerful graphics-processing package. However, it's also very arcane, without much in the way of user-friendly documentation. (Oh, there's plenty of documentation. It just helps to be fluent already in graphics-processing-ese to grok it.) Stack Overflow, to name just one forum, overflows with questions about how to do this or that with ImageMagick.

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