Thursday, February 17, 2011

Caveat Donor

Has it really been nearly two years? Hardly seems possible. So much has happened in the world - and yet, for Tim Barrus, so much remains the same.

Every time, when after a lapse of weeks or months, I check on in things in NasTim-land, it's all much the same - repetitively, aridly, remarkably so. Recently he posted an absolutely classic-era Nasdijj/Barrus rant on his Open Salon blog, full of invective against publishing, indulgence of his vendetta against improbable target Danielle Steele, and the usual blather, all of which might as well have been published way back in '05 or so, just before LAWeekly first blew his cover. The apparently bottomlessly gullible Prairie Mary continues to indulge NasTim's ongoing fantasies about his selfless service to tragic little waifs (who just happen to lust insatiably for their mentor, but she ignores that). He continues, on and off, to come out with derivative little video bits and pieces, accompanied by the occasional rant or screed. Only one thing has been missing: his targeting of willing donors.

And now that's back.

He's now a partner in something called Art for Humanity, and if you find simply setting fire to your cash too much effort, I can't think of a better way to get rid of some than to mosey on over and follow the link to their fundraising. It's all, we're told, for the benefit of needy children in South Africa (and, somehow, eventually India), but these days I suppose even the struggling retail scene in Hendersonville, NC, can use a buck or two, so if the Grifter Family Barrus need some groceries, why not?

But for those who've never run across this exceedingly minor Internet phenomenon before, all I can say is, take care, and read the tale or two related below by previous willing donors to his little fantasies, and think whether this latest chapter makes any more sense then they did...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Le roi est mort

Yes, it's true. Tim Barrus is dead. I know it 'cause Prairie Mary said so.

Of course, it's not really true - not any more true than that there is a band of questing, transgressive, fatally ill but very, very sexy teens wandering somewhere around a tourist's fantasy of Europe. Or that Tim Barrus once interviewed Mao. Or that he's somehow managed to reconnect with the child he once adopted.

It's getting harder and harder to slog through the nonsense that roars out of NasTimWorld, and so I don't often bother. I sometimes wonder if he hasn't programmed an autotext generator, a program that randomly spits out prose based on a limited vocabulary, all of it focused on hating publishing, craving publicity, and terribly, terribly wanting to be "dangerous". Oh, and, of course, every once in a while randomly inserting the phrases "and I am Marie of Rumania" and "My eyes to the sky" into the proceedings.

So who knows what's going to happen next? And does anyone really care?

A sidenote: I happy to be very well educated, all allegations to the contrary not withstanding. I can hold my own discussing existentialism or dialectical materialism; I can talk about the causes of the Franco-Prussian war; I can even wax eloquent, if need be, on Tennessee Williams, Ernest Hemingway, Robert Mapplethorpe, or Mao Tse Tung, even though I never met a one of them. So there. Hell, at least I know that catacombs don't have windows...

And to a previous commentor: the prounciation of "Nasdijj" has been discussed here.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Well, it's still all much of a muchness in BarrusWorld, but his usual loops are closing in again. He's spent much time of late playing with his sad little homunculi, dragging the imagined imps through various hoops and to his fanciful lairs, most recently in a highly suspect "Amsterdam" that - as with his writings on Greece, Paris, Rome, and elsewhere - suggests strongly that he's never traveled much further from Lansing, Michigan than Hendersonville, North Carolina.

What's interesting, though, to the real aficionado, is that he's circling back in on the things that really interest him, returning to the screeds against publishing that did so much to endear him to that world back in the days when he actually did have a publisher; the horrible injustices done to him when Tim Barrus was exposed as Nasdijj (or is that vice versa?); and returning to his old themes of all the Great and the Good he once graced with his presence. It's a familiar gallery of faces: Mapplethorpe, Capote, etc., and undoubtedly just a matter of time before Tennessee makes his obligatory appearance. NasTim stands outside what despite himself he still sees as a charmed world and looks in, and it's really rather airless and sad.

But - in the past, the re-cropping up of these themes has heralded a change. Perhaps he's getting tired of this particular pretense - the maverick leader of this group of underage junkie hooker artists that he's been toying with for some months now; the "co-writer" with the equable Prairie Mary on what must indeed be a very odd book; the occasional vlogger. What could come next?

If I had to bet, I'd say: yet another coterie, in some mildly changed way, of glitteringly tragic boychiks, all agog at the greatness of Tim - followed by tirades against publishing, narcissistically autobiographical bits about great days with Robert and Truman - and then yet another hemi-semi-demi-metamorphosis.

At least, from I can see, he's had no success (and, in fairness, doesn't really seem to have tried) in actually scamming people to believe this latest saga. The next one?

I'll keep an eye out and let you know...

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Back in the Spotlight

Well, well, well - whaddya know? Our boy NasTim has returned to the headlines as the new year gets under way, thanks to the literary-hoax roundups prompted by the unmasking of yet another memoir-faker. The Tim Barrus/Nasdijj story has gotten itself star spots in at least two lists of "top ten" frauds, in Time and on the ABC News site.

I hope this little reminder of scams past doesn't cause too much angst for the poor troubled boys over at Too - God knows they have hard enough rows to hoe as it is, sad little imaginary imps. NasTim really loves putting them through their paces, coming up with ever more harrowing traumas for them to savor.

Meanwhile, he's also found the time - remarkable for someone supposedly running three shelters on three continents - to once again become something of a fixture on various New York Times blogs. Seems like that would be much easier if one were, instead (and just for an example), oh, I don't know - sitting around a house in North Carolina without much else to do?

Oh - and his rather baffling acolyte, the redoubtable Prairie Mary, is now accusing me of having written poison-pen notes to Barrus's sad little he-nymphs. All I can say, for the record, is: tain't so. NasTim's multiple paranoias can extend however far they like, but that doesn't change the fact that I obdurately remain not Lars Eighner or any of the other "persecutors" he or anybody else have ever mentioned. I'm just a blogger with an interest in truth.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Je ne suis pas Lars Eighner... I've mentioned before. That I'm not must, in his heart of hearts, drive NasTim mad.

Except - I've had a new idea. Perhaps NasTim invented Lars, just so he could hate him? Lord knows there's nothing he enjoys more than a good, thorough hate, and I suppose there's only so much venom you can spew at even such a capacious target as, for example, American publishing (or America). I wouldn't put anything past a man who would invent a gang of teen ex-hooker "artists" just so he could fantasize their various traumas and inevitable mentor-crushes.

I'm glad, I suppose, he's got a new dog, even if he is going the whole service-dog scam again; I wonder who's on his case about that bit of trivia?

As for who's obsessed, and who doesn't have a life? Darling, I've written little squibs some two-dozen times over two years or so, out of pure amusement and a glint of malice. Somebody else has made a cottage industry out of invective against my evil little self -reams of posts and blogs and poison-pen e-mails. You do the math. Pot, kettle, black.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Too, Too Bizarre

Well, it's been a long time, and frankly I'd more or less given up on the at times entertaining, mostly rather sad business of NasTim watching. Recently, though, things have been hotting up again, and perhaps it's worth putting in a word or two in case anyone still cares.

For the past eighteen months or so, NasTim has been nattering on about being the presiding spirit of a collective called Cinematheque Films, something that has, variously, been a solo effort presenting his work, a loft in a badly imagined Paris that I wonder if Barrus has ever actually seen, and the usual gang of transgressive young rebels he so loves to pretend he has around him.

Basically, just more of the same stuff seen so often since the Navahoax first brought Tim Barrus, blinking, out into the light of day as Nasdiij.

He's fallen in and out of love - another recurring pattern - with any number of websites, from the New Museum's Rhizome to various New York Times blogs to, most recently, video upload site He briefly developed yet another new persona, perhaps the acme of his gallophilia, a Frenchman named Janvier L'Un.

So far, so ordinary; just more in the ornery life and shadowy career of Tim Barrus.

In the last couple of weeks, though, he has slipped fully back into patterns not seen since the days of Refuge House, his mythical home for sexualized, damaged teens. Now he is the crusading mentor/father figure for what he calls a group of "at risk" adolescents, whom he apparently helps along the long, hard road of survival by dragging them around the world to hotspots like Bolivia (just the thing to soothe the weary soul, I'd say).

"They" have been chronicling their travails (and their unwavering devotion, of course, to Barrus) in a new blog, Too. The "boys'" entries are graphic and, since they are a menagerie of imagined nationalities, often hilariously misspelled - even though the vocabulary and syntax remain obdurately NasTimian. He has a rather repellent fascination, earlier seen in his handling of the pre-teens he imagined acting in his various Greek epics, in writing about fragile boys being driven to the edge of physical and mental collapse, and these entries are all about such goings-on.

He is also obsessed about outside threats - the "stalkers" and "haters" who have long haunted him - to the little paradise, of sorts, he has created. He raves, as he long has, about death threats and worse, about vague enemies and villains; he shows signs of renewing his fixation on writer Lars Eighner (who helped confirm the Barrus-Nasdijj connection).

In what may in fact be a better reflection of actual events in the Barrus household, he is also writing about the decline of his dog. If some of his current, obvious distress and anger comes from the impending or recent death of Navajo, for that I am truly sorry, for that is a very special kind of pain. As always, when writing about what seems to be actually part of his own life, Barrus is actually able to, at times, cast aside his paranoias and obsessions and simply - and rather eloquently - express himself.

I had long thought I would give up on writing about NasTim as long as I thought he wasn't scamming anyone else, wasn't, as before, begging for "help" via PayPal. He does appear to have one acolyte who actually does live in the real world (rather than in his own head), a Montana woman who writes as Prairie Mary. If she actually believes any of this folderol - the lives, loves, and exquisite traumas of Eavan O'Callaghan, Kilian Sullivan, Georges de Roland, Nino Fabriano, et al - well, she's a big girl and nothing I say will change her mind.

A recent comment, though, by someone more troubled by NasTim's doings - and more victimized by his past scams - is, I think, well worth keeping in mind for anyone considering the Nastim/Barrus oeuvre. He is a fantasist, and a dark one; but is also, in some ways, a predator, out for pity, sympathy - and, at least in the past, financial gain.

I'm going to the take the liberty - for which I hope she'll forgive me - of quoting this comment in full. I hope that anyone poking around the Internet for the comings and goings of Timothy Patrick Barrus, aka Nasdijj, keeps what Linda writes in mind:

Three years later, I am both sad and sickened that Tim is up to his old tricks. Even the characters are similar (Evan vs. Eavan? Crow vs. Crew?)

I was one of Tim Barrus' early "Supporters" when he first "started" Refuge House almost four years ago. At the end of that painful journey, in early 2006, I had lost hundreds of hours of my time, every scrap of my self-respect, and $11,185. I eventually worked through the grief and shame of having a con artist work me over, but the loss of $11,185 hurts to this day. I looked into filing a claim for Fraud through the USPS Inspector General but finally decided that since Tim and his wife Tina Giovanni had nothing, I couldn't recoup something from nothing.

But, good news! It seems Tim's fortunes have changed for the better and he is now indulging in such luxuries as purchasing cases of imported drink from France (see his blog entry dated October 3). Isn't this wonderful?

So, Tim! Hey, hi! Since you can now afford these upscale items, can I now have my $11,185 returned? (I know the amount because I saved all the paypal transaction verifications, as well as the money order stubs and all the canceled checks with Tina's endorsement on them.)

I'm sure you remember: the $11,185 that I sent you over the course of fourteen months because I honestly believed I was helping you take care of sick, abused, and neglected children? I guess you now have a new batch of boys, but I remember the old ones: Crow Dog, Bane, Skylar, Evan, Michael, Dylan, Jamal, JJ, Garrett, Cameron, Simon Horse, Sean, Carlos/Fish, Zachary, Wayman, Jovan, Rico, Austin, Keith, Eli, Todd, Curt/Sky's-brother, newborn Sailor, Miguel, Alonso-now-Javier, Alejandro, Jean-Louis, Esteban, Hernando, Jacques, Bailey, Kimane, Rae-Kwon, Paki, Sol, Jimmy, Devon, Trick, Shane, Cookie, ChopShop, Demetri, Marcos, Adam (RIP), Chris (RIP), Manual (RIP), Tim (RIP), Juan (RIP), Paulo (RIP), Tyler (RIP), and Caden (RIP).

Except those boys didn't really die, did they, Tim? The boys didn't die because THE BOYS DIDN'T EXIST, except in your imagination.

Just like those poor boys you are writing about today.So I await a check, Tim! Even partial re-payment, however small, would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

I have to say that reading that really set me back. I started this blog in a spirit of rather mean fun. It's evolved, over time, into something else. I don't know how many other Lindas there are out there. I do know, though, that whatever you think about those tragic he-nymphs NasTim is so fond of, or about the tortured writing of the man himself, it's the Lindas who are the real victims. I suppose, not that there's anything noble about it, I keep an eye on him for them.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Whither Cinema?

Well, it's happened, and much faster than I would have imagined: NasTim has erased all trace of Cinematheque Films and its many, many contributions to the art of the YouTube video. Sometime in the last couple of days, he seems to have once again opted to deprive the world of his brave young circle's hard work - not only the main Cinematheque YouTube page, but what seems like virtually all of the dozens of separate Blogspot pages he's been keeping of late have just disappeared.

What brought on this digital debacle? Only a couple of days ago he was still posting merrily - well, not especially merrily, I suppose - on some of his regular haunts, such as the New York Times's "Screens" blog, with his all usual calm sagacity - and now, apparently, it was all for dust, gone to join the other previous incarnations, from Year of the Hyena to Immolation, from Killing Castro to My Derelict Hotel. Gone, gone, gone - the visual splendour of "Toilet Flag," the tributes to Virginia Heffernan, the footage of the dog, even the very special strangeness that was "Le Bookie Nookie," our fearless artiste declaiming, more or less au naturel, in some North Carolina hot-tub.

If one follows the comments on the previous post, below, it seems some viewer had the tenacity to point out that perhaps - just perhaps - not every second of the tens of videos that Cinematheque posted were the work, alone, of that happy band - that perhaps there was a certain amount of what some artists call "appropriation" and what others think of more often as - such an ugly word - stealing going on. It also appears that in doing so, this critic had the temerity himself to take on a false identity - the nerve! - and not just any false identity: that of NasTim's very special friend, Bane Bianchi.

Let the record show: just as Nasdijjfan is not Lars Eighner, Nasdijjfan is very much not Bane Bianchi. But, as I've observed to the anonymous commenter who may very well be: for someone who's bread-and-butter was the supposed worldwide controversy his work was able to stir up, poor NasTim would seem to have a very thin skin if this is all that has made him once again withdraw from the cybersphere.

So what's next? Right now, hard to say. But if previous experience gives any indication, it's just a matter of time - days, even - until we know. Cinematheque Films est mort; Vivre NasTim!

Monday, September 17, 2007

News Flash

Nasdijjfan is not, in fact, Lars Eighner.

More on NasTim's latest, manic ouevre, at some point when I get the energy. In the meantime, I'm really bummed I won't be able to participate in this year's Cinematheque Desert Video Workshop.

But how much desert is there in Hendersonville, North Carolina, anyway?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Accept No Substitutes?

At this point, I suppose nothing should surprise me.

NasTim has been busily working away these past weeks as the presiding spirit of Cinematheque Films, working YouTube and other outlets for his, I must admit, increasingly proficient little films. Proficient, at least, by contrast with his first efforts; even now, though I don't find his own self-presentation - becapped, bespectacled, deadpan and always close close close to the camera - anything but off-putting.

However, of late, the work of the mysterious "we" that is Cinematheque has been being channeled ever more narrowly into a single project: My Derelict Hotel, a combination of poetry and video on increasingly familiar themes of poverty, neglect, and alienation. As I said in a comment to a previous post, I didn't really see much point in following along this path too much; NasTim seemed to be getting a kind of satisfaction out of the chance to chant his little poems over stock footage, and really what's the harm of that?

Now, however, we have a new presence on the net, and I don't, truth to tell, know quite what to think. I half-believe that we have here is a Nasdijj impersonator. It's as if the past year never happened, and our happy warrior is back out on the road, saving a tragic HIV-positive prodigy (and gently, paternally discouraging the tot's inevitable advances), railing at publishing, singing the glories of his selfless work with Refuge House, and generally hitting all the notes that made him so very, well, so darn Nasdijjy in the first place. Could it be real? It's authentic-sounding, right down to the pleas for PayPal donations, but somehow just too perfect. What could be the possible motive for dredging all that up again?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Viva Voce

Yikes... who would have known - absent this video, that is - that NasTim would sound so much like an only slightly butcher Truman Capote? Well, like TC in a Che Guevara T-shirt and sun-goggles, I suppose. So much for his prole street-cred - he has the careful, crystal Midwestern enunciation of a male Joan Crawford impersonator, the sibilant esses of the kind of sensitive child that David Sedaris writes about. As for Nancy Sinatra as a framing device; well, that doesn't go far to dispell the fey impression...

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Why would a failed writer pretend to be a filmmaker living in France?

Yup - NasTim's back at it. Still hating the Internets, still can't keep away. Now he's running a film collective of some sort putatively headquartered in the City of Light.* He appears to have dumped his old Greek friends, and now he's taking credit for a number of indie/punk videos on YouTube, but other than that, much seems the same as usual. Of the stuff that's up that he himself may actually have done, what I mostly take away is just how much he likes the "old timey" filter on whatever software he's using; it seems like he can't get enough of that scratchy/jerky effect that's meant to call to mind the era of Griffith and Murnau. In NasTim's hands, however, the impression is far more Ed Wood.

So: Banished Films is dead; long live Cinematheque Films. At the risk of repeating myself (and secure in the knowledge of the subject's repeated declarations that he never reads blogs) ... yawn...

*The poor man's obsession with not being in Hendersonville, North Carolina, combined with his awkward Gallophilia, somehow always calls to my mind, of all people, Lorelei Lee, with her plaintive cry "Is this the way to France, Europe?" It doesn't help that he so transparently depends on Babelfish for his, let's be charitable, rough and ready French texts...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Exiled. Banished. Redux. (Yawn)

NasTim, it seems, is a fugitive. And he's happy - he's a fugitive - to tell you so - he's a fugitive - time and again.

(He's a fugitive.)

And he's found yet another band of scrappy outlaws to hang out with.

And he's even resurrected his old favorite trope (along with Danielle Steel, the adjectives "ephemeral" and "germane" - which I think would be a great name for a pair of cats, by the bye - and the, to me, extremely unattractive use of the interjection "duuhh" to indicate disdain), poor old Marie of Rumania, dead these nearly seventy years but still a punch line.

In short, once more 'round the same block, but somehow I'm not summoning up much enthusiasm.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Geez, the way NasTim is going, he's going to be mounting Farewell Tours ala Cher - his complete, utter, total withdrawal from writing and from the evil Internet lasted just under three weeks, and that's even if you credit his current claim that the various videos mounted during his stint as a Digital Video Artist weren't even his. He appears to be disowning, wholesale, not only those now-deleted works, but pretty much everything written since his Navahoax exposure. Perhaps, indeed, someone dreamed up Immolation, Immolation: The Sanity of Salo, A Debris of Stones, and Killing Castro on his behalf; perhaps all of it is, as he now contends, lies, lies, lies:

Many of the things posted to the Internet about me or supposedly by me are either complete lies or if they were supposedly by me were not written by me nor would they ever be written by me. I am amused to note that on the Internet these are people often referred to as the haters. The shoe definitely fits. It's easy to pose as if you were either Nasdijj or Tim Barrus. You simply use the name or names. These people are stalkers (they call me and hang up) and their intent has been to humiliate me and facilitate me to leave writing and publishing altogether. You can't beat them and they know that. They use the web as if it were a stick and I'm tired of their lies and distortions and writing as if this writing was being done by me. It wasn't written by me. Much of this stuff was simply written by people posing as me and they win. I am simply not interested in having anything to do with a space they now completely dominate. Life is too short. I don't read the Internet anymore and I haven't posted on the Internet for some time now with the exception of this post. Videos supposedly made and produced by me were not anything I had anything whatsoever to do with. I am simply not the monster they have made me out to be but that impression is what always reigns. So be it. I am not going to expose myself to this place where it seems to be the hate that always wins. -- Tim Barrus

The preceding is drawn from a site linked directly from his own LitKicks profile, so it's just about as much verifiably his as possible. Of course, that goes for all the material he' s now disowning, so it all becomes something of a house of mirrors.

Well, given that, unless my cyber-searching skills have failed me utterly, I'm pretty much the only one out here even thinking about NasTim, I guess those "haters" are, in toto, me. For the record, I don't consider myself a "hater" (and what a vague, inadequate, and silly term of opprobrium that is, really), but rather, in a way, an appreciator. I don't think of him as a "monster," although I do admit to finding some of his work grotesque, some of it simply a shade over the top, and much of it quite entirely half-baked. I am genuinely surprised by NasTim's ability to surprise, albeit within a very narrow conduit of predictability.

For example, I would have guessed that a rant like the one above would in fact be the harbinger of a whole new direction in his work, and - voila - here it is: now he is a crusading artist/documentarian, using his own groundbreaking, transgressive work to illustrate the mindscape of (what else?) children (read, I am all too sure, boys) with HIV, under the, um, shall we say slightly...derivative title Speaks Memory (perhaps Mr. Nabokov is taking over the psychic real estate formerly and quite firmly occupied by Mr. Hemingway during NasTim's Islands in the Dream phase?).

This newest venture seems to fall between a project of its own - his film (and I do look forward to finding out how his dauby abstracts are meant to "document...the lives of children who live with HIV all around the world") and some larger venture: "We take your images, your art, and work with artists to find the story that flows all around them in that narrative we refer to as time." apparently he does this by creating slides shows set to music.

Ah, you say, but how could I, as a potential user of NasTim's services, know I was getting quality work? Just check out his client list: "Banished Films, the Children's Rights Group, the Ford Foundation, the United Nations, the Janus Artist's Collective, Photography International Foundation, and the Manhattan Children's Writers Group."

And then, just for a bit of a reality check, go and try to Google any of them but the UN and the Ford Foundation. Banished Films, you may remember, is in fact the hardy group that labored so to create first Immolation and then A Debris of Stones, NasTim's own now apparently abandoned projects. He's already been called out on the Photography International claim, and the rest have left similarly slim trails.

I suppose what we really need to do is just sit down and wait for his promised appearance in the LA Times. Perhaps with that all will become clear.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Mother of Mercy...

...Is this the end of Niko?

Sorry. I can never resist a Cagney reference.

But, alas, it seems to be case. Work on Killing Castro appears to have stalled, and now, in the latest version of his frequently mutating LitKicks profile, NasTim says he is leaving writing behind altogether. Now billing himself as a "digital video artist," he writes:

I have quite happily left publishing and relocated. I am now producing videos and am involved with doing video installations in a number of galleries. The work is charged with a visual and narrative creativity and I am having a lot of fun. The people are young and up and forward-looking and being around that is invigorating... My new work takes me to many new and far away places (filming deserts is a secret passion). I won't be publishing and I won't be on the Internet like I used to be. I am now that strange guy you see (or rather don't see) behind the camera. I am now the Old Man surrounded by much younger blood. I have a lot to learn and that is a big part of the creative challenge. No artist should ever get all that comfortable. -- Tim Barrus

I suppose it could happen.

And I will be good, restrain myself, and not, based on what has been seen of this new work, make any cracks about not quitting his day job. He has a good ear for pop, I'll grant you that.

Selfishly, I kind of hope he has, writing/publishing-wise, Left the Building. I think I've pretty much mined out my interest in the man and his work, and can happily, barring further fascinating new discoveries, put him to rest. It's been a useful and interesting exercise, thinking about identity with Timothy Patrick Barrus as a prism, but perhaps it's time to speak of other things.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Island Hopping

Well, to paraphrase Mrs. Federline -- oops, he's done it again.

Apparently the fascination of Mykonos, Delos, et. al. has proved to be all-too-exhaustible, for in recent days, NasTim has abandoned A Debris of Stones and turned his attention to a new project. Recent messages from him (after a vitriolic spate of musings on the death of culture and, of course, the horrors of publishing) taken a turn for the voodoo-esque. At one point, he was heading to New Orleans to research a new work (as if the poor place hasn't suffered enough); at another, things Haitian seemed much on his mind.

Now, however, this new project has moved further south, and it looks like the newest destination for the wanderer is Cuba, for he tells us that his next novel will be something to be called Killing Castro. Since NasTim is, to put it mildly, rather predictable, I decided to check around and see if there were yet any online signs of this new creation, and, lo and behold, there are.

So far, it's only the barest of sketches, an opening salvo as it were, albeit one in which the author manages already to find his usual mystic depths: "The emptiness of Cuba is like the Beggar Queen whose blindness confines in wombs strange new midnights wrapped succumbed in all the music of the dark..."

A few traces of his Attic adventures remain, for illustrating this new work are videos from a familiar name - this new work will apparently be just as much a multi-media extravaganza as the last. Yes, that 18-year old Greek prodigy Drakon Kerberos is now a YouTuber, creating slideshow videos rather like those that showed off the film side of the novel/film that NasTim's other alter ego Niko Samos posted to Google and used on the various Debris of Stone not-a-blog Blogspot pages. I supposes it's quibbling to note that our author shows his usual exquisite cultural sensitivity and ear for local flavor by setting images of Cubans at work and play in threadbare Havana to music by Santana, which somehow gives at least one of the pieces approximately the same effect one might have wandering through Covent Garden listening to Piaf.

But here's where things get a little (to use one of NasTim's favorite word's) disturbing. Unlike the MySpace profiles that underpinned A Debris of Stones (as of this writing accessible from here), which NasTim clearly said were meant to be a walled garden in which the various characters did not interact in any way with more, um, reality-based Internet users, Drakon has given us some insight as to what other YouTube content he finds interesting. If you guessed "postings by teen boys who have a tendency to take off their shirts," you wouldn't be far off. If I were a parent, I'd been uncomfortable just thinking about this pseudo-Hellene being aware of my child's existence...

I somehow don't have the feeling that this latest new direction will have the legs that the Greek phase did. From its first stirrings early in the summer through just the past week or so, it waxed and waned and shifted shape but, whether as a journal of NasTim's exile, as Immolation-that-morphed-into-Pasolini-Lite, or as a teen murder mystery/movie, it was clearly much on the author's mind. Cuba somehow seems more of a feeler. If nothing else, it would seem to be a risky thing to stake a new novel on the premise of Killing Castro, something that time and a lifetime's cigar habit seem to be taking care of on their own.