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|WELCOME TO RE/SEARCH eNEWSLETTER #17!
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February is the shortest month of the year and so is this newsletter, mainly because we have been nose-to-the-grindstone finishing up our new book. ‘Nuff said.
2. WHAT WE’RE READING, SEEING, LISTENING TO…
3. RECOMMENDED LINKS
6. EVENTS (Bay Area Only; Feel Free to Skip if Elsewhere!)
7. REVIEWS OF OUR NEW BOOK (Real Conversations): Please order it & support us!
|[commercial: Our new book REAL CONVERSATIONS is out–please order it! And SAVE THE DATE: Friday JUNE 8, 7-10PM, aRE/SEARCH BOOK PARTY for REAL CONVERSATIONS, at the San Francisco Art Institute, 800 Chestnut/Jones in North Beach, San Francisco. No-host bar, rare videos featuring Jello Biafra, Henry Rollins, Lawrence Ferlinghetti (and hopefully, Billy Childish) will be shown, and perhaps one or more of the above may even be present. More later!]|
|Why is New Year’s the only time to make resolutions for the new year? It seems the month of May is a great time too. Arguably, the year should begin with spring and end with the dead of winter, anyway. Who made that calendar, and why should we put up with it any longer?! Especially if we don’t recognize “Christ.”But for now, Sun is finally here, it already feels hot and relaxing, at least part of the time in San Francisco. Why not make a resolution to experience more joy, more sensual pleasure, and be more activist rather than “me me me”? A number of ex-dot-commers (are there any other kind?) are gravitating now toward working for non-profits rather than the Man. It’s time to focus on what we really want to do with our lives–something truly worthwhile we can look back upon with pride.
We anticipated May with an April 29 Sunday Pagan May-pole celebration in Golden Gate Park–our first. Regardless of whether one is Pagan or not, this felt like a classic experience, without which one’s life will be lacking–like never having heard Martin Denny, for example, who incidentally celebrated his 90th birthday on April 10. His wife June came back from the hospital 2 weeks ago and is glad to be back! Marty reports having a good year. His recent CD, “Baked Alaska” is a not-for-profit release of a live radio broadcast from Anchorage Alaska circa 1956–find it on eBay, or somewhere. He plays 2 tracks on the latest Don Tiki CD, too.
Marty was scheduled to do a 90th birthday concert featuring the 106-member Hawaii State Orchestra behind him, but he cancelled; his wife June’s illness was more important to deal with than preparing for a big show. As he put it, “When you reach my age, you realize it ain’t no big thing. Somebody asked Irving Berlin when he reached 100 for an interview and he said, `Why? My whole life’s been documented already–just look around!’ I feel the same way.” Marty added that he’d been married to June now for 45 years (they have a daughter who’s 42) and when I said, “There are plenty of us who hope our marriages will last that long,” he said, “You will—just stick around.” (Maybe life is simpler than we thought.)
Back to the Maypole “archetypal” ecstatic hailing of Spring and fertility: take a tree-lined grove with hot sun streaming down, mix in a bunch of anarchistic Pagans and children who have (plan ahead) brought wires and flowers to make garlands with. Take a beautifully flower-festooned pole, hang hundreds of gaily colored long streamers from the top, then have all present gather into two circles, each person holding a streamer. Have the people rotate around in such a way that the streamers become woven into a rainbow basketweave, which at the end is tightly woven around the Maypole. Have everyone hand out free treats to others, saying “May you never hunger.” Oh, and do a few other little celebratory acts, like jump over a cauldron of flame, to symbolically help remove obstacles in one’s life. Sing a bit, hum a bit, hear people talk just a little bit–not too much. If you haven’t done the Maypole, make a resolution to do it next year. It felt positively ancient and eternally “now” at the same time…like we really are all, as Shakespeare put it, just actors in a play that keeps on being re-staged…let’s hope we’re happy with our roles, and if not, well, we better change them or why else are we living?…
|2. WHAT WE’RE READING, SEEING, LISTENING TO…
|While still wrestling with our Slavoj Zizek downloaded essays (search for him using google.com and surfwax.com), we’ve finally been reading Henry Rollins’ “Smile, You’re Traveling.” It is definitely within our Top 100 books for our time. It’s inspiring: the work YOU do is what matters; just keep doing it no matter what. It’s amazing when someone, right before your eyes, grows immensely–I’m talking about over the past 16 years.Rollins’ recent show, at the Palace of Fine Arts, attracted 1000 of the best people in the Bay Area and sold out ahead of time. Live, he used no notes, either. Unfortunately, being there reminded us anew how virtually impossible it is to get the “right” people together now. This was a great crowd and how could we ever get them together, all in one room, again? (If only this were a weekly event!)
Lenny Bruce is dead and Rollins is here to take his place–he and Jello Biafra and possibly Ian MacKaye, too, whom we expect to do Spoken Word one of these days–he has the talent, intelligence and anger enough. Nader can talk, too, but doesn’t do Spoken Word tours–yet, at least. Christopher Hitchens; Mike Davis; Alexander Cockburn; Noam Chomsky; bell hooks; who else can inspire us and clarify our vision so we can see through the avalanche of muck we’re being showered with?
This feels like the ’70s BEFORE punk rock happened; a dire, dreadful, depressing time with no center, no possible way to rally everyone who also hated what was going on. Funny, almost everybody we know hates the spectacle supposedly representing “reality” that’s brought to us by TV, magazines, radio–corporate a..lickers, all of ’em. Everyone hates corporate anything. Everyone hates corporate media. Everyone hates George W. Bush–everyone we know, that is. We all know he & his family stole the election; Isaac Bonewits heard about a funny parody reporting our election as though it happened in some African banana republic (what with relatives “fixing” things here and there). But what can anyone do about it?
Well, we can drown our sorrows (don’t do that) and go see Iggy Pop on his latest concert tour; he played San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium Sunday night April 29, and no doubt offered some catharsis. (He’s still out there doin’ it.) Or we can write or draw or paint something that expresses our anger. And we can support the many marginalized independent artists who are all trying to make sense of being caught in some kind of massive mind-control experiment–at least, that’s how it feels to some of us. Those of us who DON’T want new SUVs or Beemers, who don’t want new corporate brand name clothes, who no longer care about the latest “in” restaurants or technological gizmos, who no longer care about ANYTHING but their own “real” personal, private lives and handful of friends and relatives who offer reliable sustenance and even occasional home-cooked meals… All we want is our own free time; it’s impossible to have too much of that.
If EVERYTHING is being turned into a symbol, then it’s time to shut out all those alien symbols out of our lives–as much as possible, of course. Especially since the average city dweller sees something like 3,000 corporate logos on an average work day. It’s funny how it’s LEGAL to let loud airplanes fly overhead advertising huge corporate banner ads (unintentional pun)…well, see what happens if someone tries to fly a plane with a huge banner saying “Defoliate Bush” or a similar “joke.” Well, to all who do pro-earth, anti-corporate and anti-Bush campaigning, we salute you, and hope you have lots of money in a Swiss bank account and an army of pro bono lawyers. Or can stay anonymous, like the Billboard Liberation Front angels who did a killer modification of a Jeff Bezos’ billboard, putting pennies on his eyes and changing the slogan to read “In the land of the dead, the one-eyed man is king…” To see it, click on http://billboardliberation.com
JOEY RAMONE died, big shock, and yours truly wrote a free tribute, thus adding value to a certain content site whose stock is now worth about 12 cents. Go to salon.com and search for “Joey Ramone.” Salon.com now offers adult ersatz-porn, desperately trying to reel in $$-paying subscribers before they bite the dust or get “acquired.” (We have little sympathy for VC-based websites, unless they pay us what they promised.) But back to Joey–In dying, he offered us a fresh wake-up call…no, you don’t live forever. And Big Daddy Roth before him. These are the deaths that really matter, not the deaths of the famous, yet boring & soul-less, power brokers.
Our friend Richard Ross of OVAL (techno-ish music innovators) screened for us a 1975-era Sun Ra Space Is The Place “end of the world” video that must be seen to be believed. It’s Ingmar Bergman’s “Seventh Seal” crossed with Rudy Ray Moore and “Shaft,” but New Age! If everybody in the world saw this, the future might actually turn out differently…
And speaking of films, we’re still savoring the last remaining videos sent to us by Memphis’s titillation master John Michael McCarthy–again, made in the guerrilla tradition of Herschell Gordon Lewis. Support him at http://www.bigbroad.com
BLOW BLEW: On an impulse (which can often be disastrous) we saw BLOW, starring Johnny Depp whom we like a lot. We hadn’t been able to see Agnes Varda’s “The Gleaners and I,” a semi-documentary about old people in France who basically do recycling for a living; the S.F. Film Festival was sold out. “Blow” was at the right time and place, so we went.
It’s always horrifying to enter the new mall-like multiplexes. We took the elevator, bypassing the “Dawn of the Dead”-like crowds and escalators, and sank into the semi-darkness. First, the loud, crass, titillating, bombastic trailers–why bother seeing these movies–after the trailers, you’ve already seen ’em! “Blow” started out promising, with documentary-like footage of peasants actually making the cocaine, which is dried under a rack of spotlights, finally wrapped in plastic bags, under the scrutiny of submachine-gun-toting guard peasants.
The best part was the beginning: the Sixties’ countercultural drug-experimenting “revolution” as depicted through the lens of a PSA Airlines magazine…actually, the airline stewardess outfits were great. My favorite ‘other’ moment was a shockingly sudden execution–just shoot somebody right in the face without any prior warning, uhh…. This wasn’t another educational how-to crime film, however; crucial major details were omitted.
And the “lesson” the film offers? Don’t trust any women, not even your mother, and never reveal who supplies you. With the genre of “drug” films like these, the viewer/patsy remains under the thrall of one emotion: dread–the certainty of impending doom. Almost any other emotional state is preferable to that…and particularly if you’re paying for the experience. Next time we’ll see a Japanese manga–or better yet, some restored old classic! (We remain undecided as to see Amores Perros; it came highly recommended, but by a sardonic, literate cynic.)
Our almost-regular PUNK IN THE SUBURBS REPORT:
“Rented “Little Nicky” and I must say I laughed all the way through. A new-millennium revival. A place where Roman Polanski can sleep soundly at night knowing that someone has finally got the joke. Co-starring Klaus Kinski with a place to crash on those “bad patch” nights, without being kicked out. And John Waters as the “Tin Man”, free to go to a Head Bangers club and finally have fun. I wish I could claim Nicky as my son. –from our friend Luna, punk in exile in the suburbs
The April/May CLAMOR magazine has an interview with V. Vale by Eric Zass, plus a great article called “The Criminalization of Anarchism: Lessons from American History.” And much more, of course. http://www.clamormagazine.org
We’ve been enjoying the color reproductions of nouveau-surrealist paintings reproduced in “Suspense Above the Pool: the Night Vision of Carl Linkhart,” a limited edition art book. $17, order from 510-531-7635. Recommended!
We’ve been reading the new 2nd issue of COMET Magazine and it is highly recommended just for the Ian MacKaye interview alone, not to mention sapphire, et al. It’s beautiful, too. Support Bay Area quality publishing and order from http://www.cometmagazine.net
Has anybody out there read J.G. Ballard’s newest novel, “Super-Cannes,” published in the U.K. but not here yet? It’s available from amazon.co.uk Please send us a review!
Received for listening: Paula Frazer’s new CD, Indoor Universe. Mellifluous!
|3. RECOMMENDED LINKS aka URL’s for May 2001
|Below is a list of articles we read on the Internet and we hope they’re still up so you can enjoy them too. Thanks to friends Phil G., Chris T., Mike R., Violet Poe, and others for forwarding some of the below URLs with their comments.We finally went on Sharon Leong’s site, and it is definitely a new favorite. A large number of her erotic paintings are on display; since we are limited to 56K dial-up it took a very pleasurable, languid hour to see everything posted. And the text is great–and no typo’s. Some of her larger paintings come with matching panties, too! At these prices, her paintings are a steal. http://www.queenofbpaintings.com
Visit the virtual pagan lounge – http://www.rosincoven.com
links between cars and the industries which help to keep them on the roads THE CAR AND THE CAR / ROAD/OIL/TRANSPORTATION /MINING/PROCESSING /CONSTRUCTION/PIPELINE / SHIPBUILDING/CHEMICALS/MICRO-ELECTRONICS/MEDIA/WASTE DISPOSAL/ELECTRICITY / SUPPLY/WATER/TOURISM/FORESTRY /AGRICULTURE/MEDICAL /FINANCE/SPACE/NUCLEAR POWER/RETAIL/SECURITY INDUSTRIES Plain Text version:
The U.K. Army may have been the cause of the foot-and-mouth outbreak in England! There have been no other reports of this nature in the British press. I think it’s worth printing and saving this story–V.Poe
Brian Eno interview: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/et?ac=000647321007942&rtmo=QwawSkeR&atmo=HHHHHHXL&pg=/et/01/4/28/bmeno28.html
obituaries for Hiroshi Teshigahara, who made “Woman of the Dunes” and Face of Another,” two of our favorite films ever. Very almost-Ballardian/futuristic. http://news.independent.co.uk/people/obituaries/story.jsp?story=67859 and search for “teshigahara” on http://www.guardian.co.uk
one of the best pagan Web sites we’ve found: http://neopagan.net
obituary: look up “richard schultes” http://www.guardian.co.uk
Here’s the site called 120 years of electronic music: a must read for anyone interested the origins of electronically produce sound. It also could serve as an eye opener for those who believe it all began with Moog or more myopically the digitizing samplers of the 1980’s.–Matt Heckert
“I make cartoons on the web: please check out “The Blender”, the first cartoon on the site. The “Rebel Detector” interface on the site introduces some more characters to show up.”–Mike Morrison
In April, our friend Syd premiered the film he’s been working on for years:
From J. Strike, here’s a site on vintage ties, ties and more ties! (they’re cheap works of art & can be made into pastiche mini-skirts, etc)
A roundup of mullet sites: http://www.mulletlovers.com
Misc sites forwarded to us: For “Frog in the Blender” etc cartoons see http://www.joecartoon.com
Now you , too, can be a spy! New Web Site offers photos from satellites, planes; some fret about privacy: http://www.globexplorer.com
news from college papers: http://www.cpnet.com
“A focus on sharing, where many seek dot-com riches: M.I.T. has chosen to post virtually all its course materials on the web, free to everybody.” [Hal Abelson, a professor of computer science and engineering, said] ‘I don’t think we are giving away the direct value, by any means, that we give to students….In the Middle Ages people built cathedrals, where the whole town would get together and make a thing that’s greater than any individual person could do and the society would kind of revel in that.’… M.I.T. is a hotbed of the open source software movement.” NYT, 4-4-01
“A new Web site offers everything you wanted to know about brands in the Internet age, including articles like managing brands during a recession, reading lists, job information, profiles of brands familiar and otherwise, debates on subjects like corporate ethics, academic papers, trivia quizzes and even a scheudle of industry conferences” NYT 4-6-02:
Vermilion Sands’s Joey Ramone tribute:
“Here’s a wacky clip Francisco Mattos sent. Think you’ll enjoy it.”–J. Strike >http://user.tninet.se/~prv247p/hatt/hatten.swf
From KEN KNABB: “When Kenneth Rexroth was about to give a reading of his poems, he sometimes wryly asked, “Well, what would you like tonight — sex, mysticism, or revolution?” He loved to tell about the time a young woman in the audience responded: “What’s the difference?”
“Spanning six decades, from the 1920s to the 1970s, Rexroth’s poems include memorials to rebels and rebellions of the past (Emma Goldman, Sacco and Vanzetti, Kronstadt, the Spanish revolution, Hungary 1956) . . . satirical digs at T.S. Eliot and academia . . . an appreciative open letter to William Carlos Williams . . . a bitter diatribe on the death of Dylan Thomas (which probably influenced Ginsberg’s “Howl”) . . . a subversive Bestiary for his two daughters . . . street-wise lyrics written to jazz . . . memories of Chicago in the roaring twenties, and of journeys in Europe and Mexico . . . lovemaking in all sorts of circumstances (in an ancient Greek temple, on the beach, in the woods, and in one case in a floating canoe!) . . . Buddhistic meditations from his later years in Japan, where he also wrote a series of erotic poems in a feminine persona, which he pretended he had translated from a young Japanese woman . . .
“A generous selection of these poems is now online at http://www.slip.net/~knabb/rexroth/poems
One of our favorite West Coast artists, Scott Wilson, has new work up on a site. He did the “awesome” cover for IN Formation magazine #2 (see our site) and in April had a show at Mary Vitold Gallery in Seattle. Check out http://www.maryvitold.com/
NOTE: We actually have hundreds more website URLs to share, and by next month hope to have them on our site (we said that last month, too–sorry!) http://www.http://www.researchpubs.com
|We appreciate all who wrote in with comments and contributions. Wendy Yee from Last Gasp sent us this review of the Rollins Spoken Word event in S.F. Our recommendation: whenever Rollins comes to your town, never miss him again!Henry Rollins Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, San Francisco, CA. April 9, 2001
“Having never seen a Rollins spoken word show before, I was pretty psyched to catch him at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago. I’d heard that his talking shows were real three-hour marathons and this one was no exception. He delivered a couple of cheap shots early on in his set–one where he made a crass joke involving paedophiles, and the other at the spate of high school shootings in this part of the country. Both got a huge groan of displeasure from the sold-out crowd — and both had Rollins trying hard to dig himself out of the huge hole (literally) he had fallen into.
“But apart from these two minor quibbles, I thought that Rollins was pretty funny. Whenever he opened his mouth, something funny came out–be it crass or cheap or bitter or ironic or sarcastic or black-humor–no matter what, it made my sides split with laughter. I’m sitting there laughing so hard at his lines, that I miss the next one– his wit is that rapid-fire and relentless.
“I don’t remember all of his spiels that night, but the one I thought was particularly funny was his take on what he would do if he were elected President. His seven-day agenda included – ways to dismantle the KKK, without having to go out and kill them (because that would bring you on the same level as them) by rounding up a 3000-strong posse of Black Jewish gay people who would turn up at all the KKK rallies dressed in the most outlandish attire, and set out to embarrass them and their posse.
“His spiel on the ‘undoing of a man’ was a real laugh too. Here Rollins chronicled the various ways in which a man loses his ‘macho-ness’ – how every time he is henpecked by his wife/girlfriend he loses one of his balls – like when he puts curtains up for his girlfriend – and how he can get that ball back by hanging out at the Home Depot hardware department salivating over the hatchet set or leveller.
“Rollins has that ability to poke fun at himself and the male and female species in ways that are both insightful and funny. I haven’t laughed so hard and for so long in a while, and the fact that Rollins was the reason for this can’t be such a bad thing, can it?” –Wendy Yee (send feedback; it will be forwarded to her)
DEBORAH IYALL of ROMEOVOID (1980 S.F. punk band) responded to our Joey Ramone tribute on salon.com: “Hey, I remember that Savoy Tivoli Show…I thought their shoes were Converse *All Stars*! I have a “Ramones” signed T from that night. My pal from Humboldt, Joseph Brooks silkscreened them using the image on that first album cover. The neck and sleeves are cut out of mine.
“Btw: I am living in the high desert near Joshua Tree, working with kids doing Native American cultural curriculum, leading hikes through the palm canyons of the Agua Caliente Cahuilla Tribe. (It got too expensive in S.F.) I also recently did a spoken word show at a local cafe, have a recent CD available through my website at http://www.iyall.com (and through Amazon, KnifeInWater’s Dialog on Pan Records). I should be doing performances in and around LA soon.” — Keep on keeping on, Deborah!
JOHNNY STRIKE ON JOEY RAMONE: “I remember that night at the Savoy. It changed everything. Same as when they toured the UK early on. Like a lot of the early Punks they emerged from the ashes of the dead glam scene but they were first out with it. We opened for them once but things I felt were dying at that point. Recently I went back and listened to their first two albums and man that is still some sweet stuff. Dee Dee’s book (Lobotomy) is a fun read.
“Did you catch the Dashiel Hammett piece (on his newly published Letters) in the Sunday Paper? I’m going to pass on the Patricia Highsmith I just finished when I see you. ‘Games For The Living’ takes place in Mexico City D.F. I put her up there with David Goodis, Jim Thompson, Cornell Woolrich and the rest.”–Johnny Strike, ex-Crime guitarist
From SETH MAXWELL, S.F. artist forced by dot-com plague to relocate to L.A.:
“Ron” tells us about an Algebra Suicide Web site:
From Hank Ford, ex-Breeders: “In reference to the stuff about corporate personhood, I have friends on north coast deeply involved in efforts to get charter amendments on local councils to reverse this supreme court thing. They are also involved with exploring histories of how it came to be this way. Most of the stuff of which you have an excerpt is at http://www.iiipublishing.com/alliancehtm.
From MICAH MOORE:
1. Billboard Liberation Front-
2. California Department of Corrections (local billboard manipulation)
3. Darwin Awards (awards given to people who die as a result of really stupid actions…thereby encouraging evolution of more intelligence in the human genome. heh. http://www.darwinawards.com/darwin/
4. The Dead People Server-(keep track of all the famous people that bite the big one. Can browse by year (up to current) or by Name to see if some old star is still kickin’ or not. Did you know by the way Ratfink himself, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth died? There’s an article on him in the La Times on line at:
5. Find a grave (find where someone’s buried)
6. Joey Skaggs site (lucky him! What a domain name!!!–see our PRANKS! book)
7. Disinformation (conspiracies, pseudo-science, rants, all categorized)
8. Chick tracks (weird Christian comic books on line, the most famous
9. Funeral Cast (actual service that broadcasts funerals over the web for loved ones that can’t make it. ha.)
10. Dying words (quotes of famous people’s last words, suicide notes) http://www.corsinet.com/braincandy/dying.html and you’ve probably used this one, but if not: Internet Movie Database–really popular resource. Awesome cross referencer. Can find everything even a bit actor has been in, etc.
From “JOHN”: “I just finished reading the newsletter you sent me. It contained a rant against corporate welfare and corporations in general, but absolutely no criticism of the biggest perpetrators of personal freedom today: the state. Why not? I’m not forced to deal with General Motors; they don’t jail me for driving a Honda. By contrast, I have to pay the Federal Government roughly the price of a new car–even though I don’t get to keep the car” [assume he means yearly taxes]. “I am free to not purchase M___’s products; I am not free to disassociate with Uncle Sam. Save a few shells for them please.” [Right on. Remember the days before there was an Income Tax?! Bring ’em back.
From SAVAGE REPUBLIC’s Bruce Licher: “Former SR members have joined and shared their experiences, etc at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Procession “In addition, I’m currently shopping to larger indie labels the new recordings from my current group, Scenic. It’s all-instrumental ambient spacerock, pretty unique-sounding stuff. Last year I also released a 3-song “Spheres” CD ep…The new album also features a guest on one track, ambient piano artist Harold Budd added his touch to a track titled “Under A Wing.” To order CDs contact Bruce at firstname.lastname@example.org. BTW, the four studio albums from Savage Republic may be re-released…
From our friend David S. Kahn: “I’ve come across a site which might be worthy. Basically it’s freedom of information documents on more popular topics, on one of the government websites. http://www.verdict.com
From Uncle Jack: check out the “Crime” website–a work in progress:
A timeline of 4,000 years of Egyptian culture, etc: http://www.thirteen.org/pharaohs
some hoax sites: http://www.urban-legends.about.com
From Tamara Smith (condensed): I thought you might want to know that your “favorite article” link (on Slavoj Zizek) seems to have a typo in it. I think the correct address is: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v21/n06/zize2106.htm.
In the Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due dept, someone forwarded this as source for the great “corporations” article we ran last month:
And from Gerald V. Casale, founding member/theoretician/video director of DEVO: “Your impassioned rant on corporations is dead-on accurate – except for one crucial oversight. Corporations ARE people (as in human nature). The idea of a corporation was created by people (make that trial lawyers) to embody and formalize the worst aspects of people (i.e. greed, self aggrandizement, hypocritical behavior, etc.) In the corporate feudal state under which we all exist EVERYONE is a corporation! That’s why Bush is president, that’s why 62% of white males between the ages of 24 and 45 voted for him! What did they learn in college? We are a nation of pseudo-trial lawyers with no sense of shame – counting our shekels, despising the community, ripping off the artists who are now “content providers” and placing blame on the “other” guy. It’s over! The liberals and socially conscious lay down in front of the pig death machine. They are complicit in their passivity. It’s time for the big ream. No one is innocent.”–Gerald V. Casale
THANKS FOR FEEDBACK, EVERYONE!!
|“Prisons across America are turning themselves into profit factories…as a convict version of Kelly Girls, leasing inmates to companies in need of labor…Wardens are marketers of prison labor, and prisons themselves are little more than industrial parks with bars…It’s a chilling thought: the decision to consciously ‘grow’ prisons, as if they were any other industry…This is coerced, incarcerated labor competing in a commercial marketplace against free workers…using prison labor in America is no different from using prison labor in China.” WSJ, 3-15-01″One of the more profitable prison ventures is pay phones…long distance giants like AT&T Corp. and MCI began clamoring for convict callers…Prisons typically get a 50% cut of the calls, most of which are collect.” WSJ, 3-15-01
“We are all familiar with the destructive power of technology. We are especially famiiliar with the havoc it can wreak on the distribution of information. In libraries, the contest between old paper and new microfilm, the hot technology of its day, seemed no contest at all. Microfilm is easier to store, transport. …However, microfilm has problems of its own, including a propensity for fading to unreadability after a few decades!” Industry Standard, 4-16-01
“A couple in Italy, Renato Pasopiani and Tania Copechi, young artists whose medium is the Internet, turn their lives and e-mails into an art project…they are using the Internet to offer nearly total access to their computer, which they say represents their lives. “How data goes from one point to another, how software interacts, even the bugs: this is the real Net art…We don’t have emotions; we have a Hewlett-Packard,” Pasopiani said. Copechi added, “The more you work on a computer, the more it looks like your brain.” NYT, 4-16-01
“There are 300 million people on the Internet today. Ther eare 6 billion people on the planet…All the changes we’ve seen occur are just a prelude to all the changes still in front of us.” Louis Rossetto, Wired founder
“How do you rib a man for his failings and foibles if he spends much of his time ribbing himself? That is a question that President Bush and his aides have clearly asked and just as clearly answered.” NYT, 4-1-01
“George W. Bush’s inner circle include image guru Karl Rove, and chief of staff Andrew Card, who tightly script the President’s public appearances. And then there’s Dick Cheney, who was given much of the day-to-day responsibility for running the government–which is why his health has everyone concerned.” SF Chronicle, 4-1-01
“One company issued an e-mail security alert about a mythical virus and then touted its own virus-stopping product–for $39.95, marked down from $99.95” [source unknown]
“If you dig into a brand and find what’s at the core of it, there’s a soul, something deeper than how it ends up as a product on your table…But there are an awful lot of brands here whose souls are not being terribly well celebrated.” NYT 10-5-00
“Online booksellers like Amazon effectively subsidize sales by selling below operating cost. This implies that once you stop subsidizing the purchases, people buy a lot less. It almost calls into question all the juicy numbers about on-line retailing we saw 18 months ago.” NYT, 4-16-01
“Yukon. Sierra. Explorer. Range Rover. 4Runner. Cherokee. Grand Cherokee. Pioneer. Ram. Yukon. All these names redolent of the American West, of cowboys and raging rivers and range wars…It’s nostalgia for a time far away, when a vehicle that size might actually have had some use…But anything high and tippy with bad gas mileage and a long wheelbase–no, thank you.” Jon Carroll
“Regulations being rolled back have been crucial instruments for promoting a diversity of viewpoints in the news and entertainment businesses…They assure that the American public has access to news, information and programming reflecting many different perspectives and many tastes. The erosion of these rules portends a troubling sameness and enables a cartelization in which a handful of owners with increasingly common interests have the ability to shape public tastes…The relaxation of the rules is a consequence of a new conservative Republican regulatory climate, and an expansive reading of the First Amendment by the U.S. Court of Appeals.” NYT, 4-16-01
“Internet message boards are loaded with anonymous tirades ragging on a corporation’s stock performance or management. Lawyers are marching to court to pierce on-line anonymity and silence legitimate speech…A typical case goes like this: A company claims defamation and the judge quickly signs subpoenas to unasmk the cyber-ranters. Employees found posting messages get axed or reprimanded. Others, often shareholders, get ominous letters telling them to shut up. Presto, the case disappears…This is a perverted use of the pre-trial discovery process. The practice needs to stop.” SJ Mercury News, 4-16-01
“Thousands of decaying reels of audiotape, film and videotape are at the Poetry Project in New York City, the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University in Boulder, Colo., and the Poetry Archives at San Francisco State University…[If they aren’t preserved], otherwise we will have at best the corporate version of, say, Jack Kerouac–the cropped, airbrushed Beat posing in khakis–rather than the dense literary, poetic and social culture from which that photo was lifted in the name of selling pants.” NYT, 4-4-01
“Kafka’s novel THE TRIAL opens with the unfortunate Joseph K. being arrested without charges and ends up with his throat being cut ‘like a dog.’ Yet in between, rather than offering a linear narrative, the book traps K. inside a repetitious circle of bureaucratic and legalistic absurdities. As a metaphor for the surrealism of the totalitarian state, THE TRIAL is hard to beat.” NYT, 4-5-01
“On Wall Street, there is an economic indicator that is found not in the financial pages but on the pavement. Cigarette butts. The longer the butt, the better the times…It is the people who sweep the foyers, clean the smoking lounges and empty the ashtrays who notice the finer details in detritus.” NYT, 4-5-01
“A 1930 sexploitation film “Forbidden Adventure”… was a supposed documentary about explorers discovering a tribe of topless women who have sex with chimpanzees and gorillas.” NYT, n.d.
“In 1952 an unknown-hobbyist entered his completed version of a paint-by-number painting, Abstract No. One by artist Dan Robbins, in a San Francisco amateur art contest. It won third prize. When it was revealed to be the product of a paint-by-number kit, the judges were too embarrassed to comment.” Smithsonian, 3/01
“To get moving, the mind needs food that has not already been chewed.”–Jean Dubuffet
To get the heart of any matter, always ask: “Who gains? Who profits?”
Our artist friend from Mexico City Vicente Razo, who did a great art installation based on former Mexican dictator-President Salinas, moved to New York City awhile ago and writes us:
“Living in New York for the past 6 months has been a shock treatment in American culture. Have you been in the New Times Square? It’s like Leni Riefenstahl after a trip to Las Vegas.
“Here in the USA I feel this really intense flow of aggressions, real state imperialism, media manipulation, subtle lobotomies and creative warfares. This is happening badly all over the world, but I feel it differently here…” He sent us the NY Sunday Times Magazine on “How Jonathan Lebed, a suburban school kid, made $800,000 in the stock market and drove the S.E.C. nuts: His So-Called Life of Stock Fraud.” [2-25-01], commenting, “The big financial mafia’s want to keep control of financial propaganda, manipulation, and the fragility of that [stock market] construction…”
Vicente sent us an NYTimes article (8-27-00) on Allen Ginsberg’s apartment, which noted that the two students who moved into it didn’t know who he was! Vicente says, “This article really depressed me for some days. I still don’t know exactly why; I guess because it was kind of a bad trip on cultural assassination and maximum frivolity.”
Vicente sent us a book his sister edited, titled “Capital Art: On the Culture of Punishment.” It was published by the very hip smart art press/Ram Publications/Track 16 gallery — all at 2525 Michigan Ave Bldg C1, Santa Monica 90404…one of the most prescient art organizations going. See http://www.track16.com
The back cover quotation is great: “Conventional wisdom would have one believe that it is insane to resist this, the mightiest of all empires, the victor in the Cold War, the empire that devastated Iraq and all that. But what history really shows is that today’s empire is tomorrow’s ashes. That nothing lasts forever, and that to not resist is to acquiesce in your own oppression. The greatest form of sanity that anyone can exercise is to resist that force that is trying to repress, oppress, and fight down the human spirit.”–Ona Move, Long Live John Africa, Mumia Abu-Jamal
|6. EVENTS (Bay Area Only; feel free to skip if you live elsewhere!)
|[again] SAVE THE DATE! Friday JUNE 8, 7-10PM,a RE/SEARCH PARTY for our newest book, REAL CONVERSATIONS, at the San Francisco Art Institute, 800 Chestnut/Jones in North Beach, San Francisco. No-host bar, rare videos featuring Jello Biafra, Henry Rollins, Lawrence Ferlinghetti (and hopefully, Billy Childish) will be shown, and perhaps one or more of the above may even be present. More later!(Weekly on Wed?) Wed, May 2nd, Club Deluxe,1511 Haight St, San Francisco. FREE Comedy Showcase w/Cabel (Southern Saccharine) Wilkinson, Mike (You don’t know me!!!) , Bill (the Latin Lover) Santiago, Jeremy Beth (What I did w/the football team is my business) Michaels, Darrick (Awwww Yeah ) Richardson, Larry Bubbles (what’s up with the 3some?) Brown. contact: email@example.com
Wed, May 5: The world’s only alternative Dixieland band, the Chandler Travis Philharmonic, plays Cafe duNord, S.F. Sunday May 13 they play at Beckett’s in Berkeley, CA.
Wed 6-9PM, May 2nd, Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia/15th St. FREE opening for CODE 33, an Installation by Suzanne Lacy, Julio Morales, Unique Holland, David Goldberg, Michelle Baughan, Raul Cabra and Patrick Toebe. Code 33, the police code for “emergency, clear the air,” was a two-year project by a coalition of artists, activists, youth, and police that culminated in a performance event with 150 youth and 100 police officers in Oakland in October 1999. This installation – a condensed archive of the event in a gallery environment with video documentation, original audio soundtrack, event artifacts and ephemera, and youth-produced work.
Thur 8PM, May 3, ATA Gallery, Valencia/21st St. May Day and Labor History Film Night. The Reclaim May Day Coalition presents “Strike Story” — a documentary about the famous 1934 general strike in San Francisco and other short films. Recommended; radical history is our weak point.
Fri & Sat May 4-5, 9 PM. Big shows at the Swedish American Hall (upstairs from Cafe duNord) 2174 Market St/Sanchez, San Francisco. $30 at the door or advance tickets- $22.50 (pricey, but it’s a benefit). Call (415) 401-1152. These will be two retro stylin’ events with gorgeous gals and bodacious boozers. Fisherman’s Famous Burlesque *starring* San Francisco’s cabaret-style cuties: The Cantankerous Lollies!! This is one wild fundraiser to help get all these fine folks out to Tease-O-Rama 2001 (www.teaseorama.com). This show also features: MC Mad V Dog, The Go Going Gone Girls, Aloha Betty, Kitten on the Keys, D’Milo, Molatov & Felicity, Kaotica du Flambeau, and Fisherman’s Xylophonic Brass Orchestra and the Hob Knobbers.
Fri at 8PM, May 4, Yassir Chadly performs music of Morocco, Clarion Music Center, 816 Sacramento/Grant, $15 advance (pricey, right–our friend Max says he’s seen 3 excellent shows there, however). This is part of a series of monthly world music performances, held on the first Friday of every month. 415-391-1317. http://www.clarionmusic.com.
Thu, Fri, Sat May 3-5. The 2nd Annual San Francisco Electronic Music Festival Presented by SFEMF, 23five Incorporated, Cellspace, 7hz and Southern Exposure Miya Masaoka, Thomas Dimuzio, & others! Cutting-edge e-musick! Complete information is available at http://www.sfemf.org
May 17 at 7PM, City Lights Bookstore, 261 Columbus, SF. FREE. Dale Hoyt, who recently completed a video titled “Transgenic Hairshirt,” is reading a piece from Left Curve Magazine called “Edwardo Kac Fails His Rabbit Test”–about that damn fool that has made the glow in the dark bunny!
May 20, Cafe du Nord, S.F.: JOHN SHIRLEY will be “performing a weird amalgam of drama and fiction reading, etc.” See a living legend sci-fi/cyber writer and an ex-punk-rocker DO IT! Tell him we sent you. This is a rare event–bring John Shirley books for him to autograph, and “John Cutter” books, too.
MR LUCKY DATES: Thurs, May 24 at 8PM, Will the Thrill’s Parkway Theatre, Oakland: Mr Lucky with Connie Champagne and Nick Phelps and the Sprocket Ensemble! Monday, May 28–this same show in SF at 111 Minna. Fri June 1 at 9PM, Mr Lucky with The Cocktail Party at Club Deluxe, Haight St!
SAVE THE DATE IN JUNE:
|7. REVIEWS of OUR NEW BOOK (REAL CONVERSATIONS): Again, please support us and order it
|“…Vale could probably make an interview with Julia Roberts interesting…talk flows freely, loosely centered on preserving the bohemian spirit in a corporatized world…touching on everything from paganism to `what I’m reading’…Whatever the topic, interviewees Biafra, Henry Rollins, Billy Childish, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti have plenty to say…interviews are insightful, fascinating, and often hilarious, from Rollins’s surprising view of the major labels versus the indies and Biafra’s take on the unpleasant aspects of celebrity to Childish’s art theories (`Everyone–try painting!’) and Ferlinghetti’s stories about the early days of City Lights bookstore. It’s a must for all RE/Search fans.”–SF BAY GUARDIAN, 4-26-01, by John Marr”I read it all in one night!”–Wendy Yee, Last Gasp
“Enjoyed your new book. My favorite interview is with Billy Childish. Where does one find his books? Like you, I don’t agree with all his ideas, but that maybe makes a more interesting interview; the give and take and varying perspectives. Besides he’s very funny. I especially like what he says about the importance of always getting back to your own process! But thought he was way off on Jack’s classic. To me “On The Road” was like Punk to literature; a breath of fresh air into a mostly stuffy scene.”–Johnny Strike, guitarist from ’70s S.F. Punk band CRIME, now a writer
“I wanted to let you guys know that I received my copy of Real Conversations 1 yesterday, and I am already half through it. I am very impressed with it, and have been recommending it to the more enlightened of my friends (i.e. those into independent music and/or have an open mind to such things). Quite a fascinating and interesting read.”–Brian Newbury
See more! Click here!
Henry Rollins, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jello Biafra & Billy Childish discuss:
– The Internet, dot-com backlash and SillyClone Valley
Real Conversations 1 will interest musicians, literati, and pop culture enthusiasts alike….Theory that isn’t stuffy.
Rollins: World-traveler, Cultural critic, Rock icon
5″ x 7″, 240 pages, 30 illustrations
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