Tag Archives: twilite lounge

Getting Fired Again

Sat, Dec 29, 2015 at 4:11 PM

“Hi Mike, as of this moment, the Gallivan Center is terminating your employment for insubordination and trying to entice the breakdown of a great working ice rink team by undermining to the rink staff of Kurt Butkovich of who has been employed at the Gallivan Center for over 10 years and has done an outstanding job.  Numerous ice rink staff indicated that you were disruptive and negative toward not only Kurt , but the whole team unity that we have worked hard to obtain.

Please turn in your keys and uniform to security no later than 6:00 pm on 12/30/15.  Please contact security at 801-834-4890 upon your arrival.

Thank you for your cooperation.”

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It hasn’t been fully confirmed as of this moment (*update: yes it has), but I think I’m about to be fired from another job, this time for insubordination. I am only so surprised. I mean, I’d only worked a few weeks before being fired, so it came out of the blue. I also didn’t do anything insubordinate, meaning the news caught me further off guard. To be fair, insubordinate is not the worst description of me, and although it’s rather disconcerting to be fired, as it does cause a certain amount of reflection, I’d never want to be “subordinate” to anything.

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Insubordinate. What the fuck? You’d think enticing the breakdown of “a great working ice rink team” was cool. Apparently not.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been guilty of exhibiting careless, rebellious behavior at jobs. I was fired from my first job at IHC (gross misconduct), my bartending gig at the Ex-Wife’s Place (conspiracy), Twilite Lounge (failure to conspire), on the middle of a cruise ship by MILK (supposedly for being “the worst person ever”), a tutoring/mentoring job for some rich girl (a tweet), my job making gravestones at the Salt Lake Monument shop (fired for being a bad laborer by a guy who was a good laborer and had the hunchback to show for it), two relationships (emotional instability) and a hockey team (my hair I assume). And that’s just what I remember.10574532_1023785017635244_4655788656227732916_n

I’ve also had job offers retracted from me a few times, most noticeably at the Gallivan Ice Rink (bad fucking credit [before subordination]), from the Economist (thanks to my alleged Marxist leanings due to my degree being earned at the University of Utah), and, ironically enough, the University of Utah (an article I wrote about the NCAA being full of shit).

Fuck that noise.

Still, losing this job makes me pause and reflect. I guess if I look at it from a comprehensive perspective, my employment portfolio shows some definite trends. There’s probably a reason why no one asks me to be a reference. The weirdest part is that I’m actually a good worker. True, I’ve always said there’s nothing more depressing than hearing someone say they’re good at their job, but outside of that one-liner, I actually strive to do solid work when treated with respect. Seriously, I mean that. Too bad I rarely get those jobs.

Now, on one hand it is clear that I’m badass, and am simply reaping the rewards of said badassery. On the other hand, maybe I’m confusing badass with dumbass, which explains why I’m currently on the way to a sandwich shop to organize a couple shelves in exchange for a sandwich and $10 bucks.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

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At what point did I develop this personality trait? I do believe in that whole nature-and-nurture thing, where we’re influenced both by our genetics and environment, but at some point I also have to blame myself, whoever or whatever myself is. Is it right to say I have a rebellious “nature” or is it something contrived within me? I’m not sure.

I guess when it comes to working for people who don’t value me, I’ll defer to the wisdom of my grandma; “Fuck it.”

*Update: I just got a short-term job working as a fixer for a documentary series. Stay tuned to how I get fired from that one.

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Official Zaqistan Press Release

Zaqistan is consuming my life to such a degree that I’m questioning who I am in the first place. Why am I working so hard on this insane project? Who knows. Anyway, we have a couple events coming up, so I thought I’d share with you our official press release I’m sending media outlets. Take a look if you’re interested…

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The 10th Anniversary of the Republic of Zaqistan

November 19th, 2015, marks the 10th year anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Zaqistan, and to celebrate Twilite Lounge is hosting an Independence Day party. CUAC is buying a beer for every official Zaqistani citizen in attendance, and Zaqistani citizenship can be applied for and granted by Rep. Michael Abouzelof at a pop-up kiosk in the bar. Citizenship is free for those who meet the criteria of truly wanting it.

This event will be followed up by an academic symposium held at CUAC on December 3rd. On that night, we will be discussing the concepts behind Zaqistan, the recent media frenzy, as well as how the micronation fits with the history of Utah.

In case you are unaware, here is a quick background on Zaqistan. In 2005, New York artist Zaq Landsberg purchased two acres in a remote Utah desert for $610 off of eBay. After venturing out to the land that summer, Landsberg and a few friends who would become the first Zaqistani citizens declared independence from the United States and founded the Republic of Zaqistan. Ten years later, and with the help of writer Michael Abouzelof, Zaqistan has morphed into an international phenomenon that calls into question what it means to be a nation is in the first place.

Over time, Landsberg has built an array of monuments and public works on the land, including a Victory Arch, a customs booth immigration station, and robotic sentinels that protect the borders. Zaqistan has opened a temporary Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina and a Consulate-General in New York City in 2012. The Zaqistan State Department has issued more than 175 passports to date, and more than 300 people around the world hold Zaqistani citizenship.

Described as a “sovereign nation” by Conan O’Brien, “conceptual art project turned into a literal example of nation-building,” by Vice Media and acknowledged by US Congressman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) as a “country,” the Republic of Zaqistan exists on a multitude of different levels. While public figures joke about the micronation, refugees from around the world have sought asylum there. It is a plot of land, a severely weathered sculpture garden, a national identity, a conceptual art piece, a de-facto sovereign nation, and a probe into the meaning of sovereignty, legitimacy, nationalism, perception, and reality.

To date, Zaqistan has been reported on in 40 countries and in more than 27 languages. It has been featured in Vice, the NY Daily News, PEOPLE Magazine, ARTE (France), The New York Times, Deseret News, KSL, WGN Radio, New York Magazine, U.S. News & World Report, USA TODAY, Fox News, The Daily Mail, The Telegraph, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, Yahoo! News, Business Insider, The Seattle Times, The Miami Herald, The Denver Post, SFGate, Salon, DunyaNews Pakistan, Emirates 24/7, Irish Examiner, Egypt 1, Singapore News, Kenya Central, and many others.  

Michael Abouzelof is a writer and representative of the Republic of Zaqistan. In the past he has been described as “a living example of the dysfunction of the American medical system.” Currently writing for VICE Media, he specializes in radical economics with a pop culture twist, late night existential discourses, and potentially treasonous conceptual art projects.

CUAC, formerly known as the Central Utah Art Center, is an artist-run contemporary art venue located in the heart of Salt Lake City. Their aim is to continue to be a pioneer in contemporary art in Utah and to take a multifaceted approach to community development through education, exhibitions, symposia, criticism, education about art collecting, and collaboration.

Twilite Lounge is a Salt Lake City dive bar that has been in operation since 1947. Home to an assortment of people from all walks of life, it is a popular neighborhood spot for young and old alike. On the night of the decennial party, they will be serving an assortment of drinks that feature the finer points of Zaqistani mixology.

The Salt Lake City event on November 19th is part of a global celebration of Zaqistanis coming together to mark the country’s decennial. Concurrent festivities will be held in New York, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, Amsterdam and Paris. The event is free and open to anyone 21 and older.

November 19th, 2015

8 PM–1 AM

Twilite Lounge

347 E 200 S

Salt Lake City, UT

The symposium on December 3rd will be held at CUAC. The discussion will be held from 6–7, followed by a general mingling from 7–8. It is free and open to all.

December 3rd, 2015

6 PM–8 PM

CUAC

175 E 200 S

Salt Lake City, UT

Contact zaqistanslc@gmail.com for more information.

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