|eNewsletter #22, April 2002|
|WELCOME TO RE/SEARCH eNEWSLETTER #22, APRIL 2002! HERE’S THE NEWS FROM SAN FRANCISCO…
ALL READERS ARE INVITED TO SEND CONTRIBUTIONS AND FEEDBACK!
**Dear Friends: Please note that our email address has CHANGED to: email@example.com. (Our former address was: firstname.lastname@example.org. Remove it from your records!)
1. Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael Moore: “Dissent is NOT Un-American” (Let us Repeat)
April 1, 6 PM: Was talking with Lawrence Ferlinghetti at a North Beach coffee shop. He had stopped in for a coffee–his third of the day (“It doesn’t keep me up at night”) and also to read “the Italian newspaper of record, Corriere della Sera. It’s left-of-center, is often very sardonic about U.S. foreign policy (they’re not afraid to call G.W. Bush an ‘imbecile’ and ‘the barbarian from Texas’) and has news stories you would never see in the American press, like this big article on the Falklands Defeating Argentina.”
I asked Lawrence about his thoughts on the impending U.S. invasion of Iraq and he reminded us that all of Iraq’s neighbors are completely against this, and that even though Cheney made a trip abroad to drum up allies, none were forthcoming. “It’s absolutely necessary to read foreign press to get another point of view. Besides the Italian papers, I try to read the French press too–Le Monde (the French paper of record, like the New York Times), andLiberacion. Liberacion was founded in Paris while France was still occupied by the Nazis during World War II; when de Gaulle became prominent one of the first things he did was to give Liberacion a building” (obviously, wish someone would do that for RE/Search).
Lawrence had just finished reading an S.F. Examiner article on the lawsuit won by Jeffrey Blankfort and others against the ADL’s (Anti-Defamation League) spying operation on liberal Jews sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians. Apparently the ADL, which has tax-exempt status, is not a “journalism” enterprise but a political organization working with the Israeli government, and enjoying illegal police insider cooperation. “Referring to themselves as an education group,” said attorney Pete McCloskey, “is simply a sham.” Lawrence reminded us that the U.S. Government is the “shadow force” behind Israeli bombing of Palestinians–all the weaponry, helicopters, munitions, etc, came from the U.S.
Lawrence said he’ll be reading at a benefit for San Francisco’s ROXIE THEATER–the legendary independent theater is in danger of “going under” because “They owe $35,000 in back rent. I’ll be reading some poems at a poetry reading next Sunday, 7 PM. Other than that, my next poetry reading won’t be ’til the end of June, when I go to Italy. I go there every year.”
MICHAEL MOORE – No.1 on the NY Times Bestseller List. Why?
A recent Q&A interview with Michael Moore in the S.F. Examiner, done by Dan Evans, featured some highly “satisfying” quotes. (Moore recently released a book, “Stupid White Men,” which, although nearly pulped by Harper-Collins, finally was released, uncensored, thanks to some intense letter-writing by incensed librarians. It shot to the top of best-seller lists…Why?)
Here are some excerpts from the S.F. Examiner interview with Michael Moore:
“As of now, we’ve been without a president for 14 months…The man who won is not sitting in the Oval Office. Everything spirals out of control from that point on… (laughs)
“The people at Enron completely bought this administration and they’ve been handsomely rewarded for it. I think the whole thing is a disgrace, and Bush should resign, and take Cheney with him. My present hope is that he resigns on Enron field on baseball’s Opening Day, April 2.
“The FBI assigned 200 agents to investigate a stain on a blue dress. How much better would we have been if they were protecting us from the people that would harm us? [9-11-01 reference] …I think they did know something was going to happen…
“I would like to know why the Bush administration gave (the Taliban) $43 million in humanitarian aid last May. I would like to know more about the Taliban and Halliburton connection. I’d like to know about all the Bush family connections with the Bin Laden family…”
The whole interview, hopefully, is still on the sfexaminer.com website…And here’s another Michael Moore quote: “[In Stupid White Men] Michael Moore comes out swinging at George W. Bush, the “thief-in-chief” and just about everything else in corporate America…”–WSJ, 3-28-02
What is America turning into? We can only judge by actions, not words. The same administration appointed by former C.I.A. head George Bush is now again in power, 10 years later. (We can imagine G.W. saying, “I’ll get that Saddam Hussain for you, dad–I’ll restore your good name!”) The present administration now has virtually Unlimited surveillance and phone-tapping powers without checks-and-balances; unlimited ability to wage war without checks-and-balances; disinfo “think tanks” attacking anyone who dares voice any dissent…where are we, in 1950’s Soviet Russia? Did America become what it feared most?
More than ever, it’s necessary to find truly alternative information from non-corporate media. We suggest reading independently-published books–not everything great gets reviewed in your local newspaper, either. Again, patronize your local independent bookstore (if there isn’t one, start one!). Read overseas media and see independent and foreign films. Television news has never been more worthless and blatantly propagandistic. A recent article in the syndicated mainstream media by George F. Will (right-wing has-been) compared G.W. Bush to Hemingway!–allegedly for his laconic “wit.” Fortunately, Norman Mailer thoroughly trounced Mr. Will as the paid-press-agent-ass-kisser he has always been, simply by providing direct quotations from Hemingway against war, cliched patriotism, “honor,” and more. Bush = Hemingway–NOT! But here, again, how many people ever bother to really GO TO THE SOURCE, and READ THE ORIGINAL?
How many people even remember what the Falklands War (20 years ago) was about? Again, this must be the Age of Amnesia…
THE WAR: WHAT DOES IT COST?
Since we’re now part of G.W.’s private crusade to wage war so the Bush Dynasty can gain control of all remaining oil reserves, let’s take a casual overview–WE have no say in this, anyway, do we? We like the following quotations:
“The Bush administration and Congress use the war on terrorism to justify huge increases in military spending, but most of the projected increases have nothing to do with stopping terrorism, including:
* $2 billion for the dangerous and accident-prone osprey tiltrotor aircraft * $2.5 billion for unnecessary and expensive “Virginia” attack submarines * $910 million for Comanche helicopters (plagued by delays and cost overruns) * $475 million for the Crusader artillery systems, too heavy… etc…
“Early estimates of the monetary cost of the war range from $1-$2 billion per month. (see http://www.csbaonline.org )
As for the War on Afghanistan–remember that?–“probably more than 4,000 innocent civilians have been killed in Afghanistan…how will historians judge the richest country in the world attacking one of the poorest, whose people were not responsible for the September 11 attacks?”–taken from a handout supplied by http://www.warresisters.org (War Resisters League)
Again, Harpers and the New Yorker have had some essential original reporting on the Bush dynasty, its war agenda, Afghanistan, etc. Subscribe! (It’s possible to get a $25/year subscription to the New Yorker–if you want it, you’ll find the magic postcard!)
2. WHAT WE’RE READING, LISTENING TO, WATCHING…
More than ever, it’s necessary to support independent book publishers, magazines, independent bookstores, record stores, farmer’s markets, etc. Get to know local merchants by their first names! As times get tougher, friends and networks of friends will become more important. Sharing will become essential–in fact, shared housing will become the Norm as an antidote to toxic, life-threatening rents. Remember that old Jello Biafra/Dead Kennedys’ song, “Let’s Lynch the Landlord”?! And, we love San Francisco’s car-sharing program–it’s another amazing glimpse of the future, maybe.
Having worked at City Lights during my formative years, I have a protracted love for independent bookstores. Diagonally across the intersection from City Lights in North Beach is the fairly new Black Oak Books (540 Broadway at Romolo) which is now definitely worth monitoring regularly. At this date they boast the most complete stock of RE/Search books in San Francisco (including the rare William S. Burroughs T-shirt with the legend, “We Intend to Destroy all Dogmatic Verbal Systems…” They also have an impressive stock of Beat and other “hipster” books by authors such as William Vollman. Only in independent stores can INDIVIDUALS make a difference; the individuals in this case named John, Rick, Fiona, Randy, and Ted. In chainstores like Borders and Barnes & Noble (which, incidentally, rarely or NEVER stock RE/Search titles) no workers have the power to order books–they’re all ordered by one corporate buyer in a corporate office far away. These chain stores don’t support/stock local publishers, and their profits get siphoned away to headquarters in other states (rather than into the local community). As a bumper sticker and banner at the recent S.F. Anarchist Book Fair (March 30) proclaimed, “Fuck Barnes & Noble!”
The 8th annual Anarchist Book Fair was an amazing gathering, a labor of love (nobody got paid; nobody made any “profit”), and a refuge in a country inundated by poisonous corporate effluvia; brand-name miasma. It was a blessing to the eye to see, for example, a table only filled with titles critiquing post-9-11 militarism, and espousing situationism, anarchy, and other stimulating theories. The power of having, concentrated in one large room, thousands of books and magazines daring to critique the status quo belief systems, offered a smidgen of hope that freedom might still be possible in an increasingly conformist and cowardly climate…cowardly in the sense that so few voices are arising to combat the amazing authoritarianism that has asserted itself so quickly since 9-11-01.
In these times of protracted distress and stress, information overload and disinfo overload, we find solace in mysteries. It’s almost possible to read one a night! But of course, we don’t read just anything. Here are some of our favorites.
DONNA LEON, the magisterial mystery writer living in Venice, Italy.We’ve read all ten of her mysteries (the 11th is due any day), and still judge her our favorite, for her modern feminist sensibility, sense of humor, lovable-yet-enigmatic protagonists, and depth of understanding of the collective “heart of darkness.” Venice, after all, has had more than 500 years to build up its mafia-like networks of privilege and black-money-profiteering. Ms. Leon can truly craft amazingly beautiful sentences…and a lot of them, too. One can simply admire her artistry…but what is most satisfying is her knowledge of human nature, her “cultural internationalism,” and her exposure of corruption in the highest places of our complex world. She’s really a poet.
THOMAS PERRY, possibly the greatest “mystery” writer living in the U.S.A. today. I have the feeling he’s read Burroughs. He certainly knows a lot about weaponry, having allegedly worked as a weapons technician (whatever that is). Amazingly intricate and “logical” plotting–really, just dazzling. Perry can also write some very philosophical/trenchant sentences–the kind that gives one pause to consider. And he respects the power of dreams. Great integration of Native American history/mythology, too. (This is much more fun than going to school, or attending a history class.) We just read seven novels in a row: Sleeping Dogs, Vanishing Act, Dance for the Dead, Shadow Woman, The Face-Changers, Pursuit, and Death Benefits. And we’re looking for the rest of his books, too. A word to the wise… We will discuss him further after all of his novels have been found…we’re looking for interviews with him, too–if you find any, please forward them to us.
We don’t like mysteries that blatantly glorify cops or serial killers or psychopaths. We also have a small problem with many of the wave of “feminist” mysteries that began in the ’70s with Marcia Muller, Sue Grafton and Sara Parestsky and continues to spawn hundreds more tree-killers. Some of these works seem curiously kitsch and dated now–’nuff said–we need to develop this critique–readers are invited to dialogue! (What I object to, in a nutshell, is the essential “middle-class-ness” (or is it “American provincialism”?) of many of the women-detective characters, most of whom would never appreciate, say, “Carnival of Souls” or Dario Argento’s “Inferno” — or J.G. Ballard’s Atrocity Exhibition, for example. Or stinky French brie. There’s not much “Dada”/or Poe-try in these books. We expect to receive hundreds of hate-mails for this…it’s not funny.
We urge Bay Area dwellers to support S.F. Mystery Books, 4175 24th St above Castro, 415-282-7444. They really KNOW their books, too!
IMAGINE – still one of the best “zines” (independent publications) in the world. Write email@example.com for details on how to obtain your copy. Imagine is not sold in stores! (Note: many devastating, censored news stories can be found here in all their grim glory.)
MUSIC: We’re still playing the new CD, “Tree House,” by Mary Lawler(she was in the ’70s S.F. punk all-girl band The Urge). Unpretentious, mysterious, simple-yet-complex songs in the venerable tradition of the Shaggs–what’s not to enjoy? Her musical producer, Hector Penalosa of the ’70s punk band The Zeros, has also recorded some highly-repeatably-listenable songs on a recent, home-pressed CD compilation involving both Mary Lawler and somebody named “Craig.” If you want to know more, please contact us!
Incidentally, Mary Lawler (and two musician friends) will be playing a few songs at our Modern Pagans May Day MusicFest at The Lab (May 1, 7-11 PM, THE LAB, 16th at Capp St, San Francisco)… more on that below. Please attend and support us!
At the RE/Search Modern Pagans party at Bernal Books, March 15 (too bad if you missed it!), the musical surprise of the evening, for me at least, was Earth First environmental activist Darryl Cherney. First of all, he was far funnier and wittier than I had expected. Secondly, he really could play and sing–he was a real musician. Seeing him in the small room playing what appeared to be new “hit” songs (the anthemic “Bush It!” and the very funny “Send George Bush a Pretzel”) almost was reminiscent of seeing the early Bob Dylan at the Gaslight (or wherever it was) in the early Sixties. (Like, this is amazing, we’re this close to him, this song is just what we need to hear now, and there’s only 50 of us here in the room!). Darryl Cherney’s newest CD is available from http://www.darrylcherney.com. Or contact us and we’ll help you get your own copy. We guarantee you will play it for all your friends–it’s that good. It deserves a lot of radio play, especially now.
At the above-mentioned RE/Search event, Sharon Knight and her husband Winter (of the Pagan band Pandemonaeon) were outstanding for a very low-tech reason: no amplification, no microphones (and no other backing musicians). It takes guts to sing without a mic, surrounded by people just a foot away. It’s difficult to play acoustic guitar without any amplification whatsoever. That’s why their songs were so compelling, and they pulled it off by proving they were (again) real musicians. For someone who has subscribed to the punk aesthetic (promulgating inspired amateurism) for years, their obvious mastery presented “a problem.”…but one easily surmountable: Just enjoy what they’re doing, because what they’re doing has definitely not been done to death. In fact, some seemingly very original-sounding musical scales, etc, were enough to intrigue this listener. Also, loved the deep-sounding drum that Sharon played perfectly well. For those seeking an image of Central Casting “Pagan Musician,” they also dressed to kill. Beautiful, handmade clothes, one-of-a-kind; very nice and rare “Pagan” jewelry.
By the way, the “industrial music” CD we liked (by Ariel Sheen, Mike Meyer, et al, see last newsletter) may soon be available at this website: http://www.theScruDevice.com Very possibly the most interesting creativity is not coming from major urban cities these days…
Flaming Stars CD out on Alternative Tentacles label; the band will be in town soon. If you like the Cramps and garage rock, Bauhaus and Joy Division, you’ll like them. Singer Max Decharne, who has a great voice, will hopefully show up at our May 1 MayDay MusicFest, The Lab… http://www.alternativetentacles.com will have his schedule on their website.
Besides wanting to rent every Dogma 95 film available, we wanted to see“Yank Tanks” by local San Francisco filmmaker David Schendels (sp?). Besides the music, what was perhaps the most gratifying aspect of “The Buena Vista Social Club”? It was those perfectly maintained, gleaming, beautiful ’50s classic American cars on those European-architectured Cuban city streets. This film takes you behind the scenes–you see the back-yard and garage entrepreneurs who craft perfect replacement parts for their treasured two-tone (and mono-toned) Buicks and Oldsmobiles and Cadillacs. This film played a San Jose film festival recently, and hopefully will play somewhere in S.F.–in a perfect world, at the Roxie Theater. The filmmaker, incidentally, makes his living driving an S.F. taxi cab…time-honored occupation for many an S.F. artist. www.cinequest.org.
QUOTATIONS, OBITUARY, FEEDBACK
“We try to persuade India and China, don’t [nuclear] test. And yet, if we seem to be relying more heavily on nuclear weapons, and making it more likely that they can be used, even possibly pre-emptively, it seems to me we make ourselves less secure in the process because we won’t have any standing to persuade others not to follow a similar course.”–Sen. Carl Levin, WSJ, 3-28-02
“I’m a laissez-faire perfectionist, which is a really whacked-out combination. I’m an utter perfectionist, but at a certain point you just go, ‘It’s fine, it’s close enough.’ The thing about perfectionism is that you try but you never reach it.”–David Thomas (of Pere Ubu), Financial Times, 3-31-02
“Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us” – Bill Watterson, cartoonist
According to the head of Boeing Co., “The defense department is looking at a higher-order set of systems instead of looking at individual platforms–airplanes, tanks, howitzers. They are beginning to look at, how do I tie [all these different technologies] together? How do I build a system of systems?…It is higher-order information technology. This isn’t data processing. It is turning data into information into knowledge.”–Philip Condit, WSJ, 3-28-02 (Ever notice how CEOs are Masters of B.S.?)
“Prostitution is legal in Germany and prostitutes’ earnings were always liable to tax. But before the [new] law was passed, sexual services were legally declared “immoral.” Germany has an estimated 400,000 prostitutes, whose services are used 1.2 million times a day.”–Ben B.
“…NO legal brothels exist in Las Vegas (Clark County) nor Reno (Washoe County), but they are pretty much everywhere else. But if the potential customer goes to www.nvbrothels.com (or possibly .net; not sure), he can see lots of photos of women who should come close to his desires.”–Mark K.
“Did you know Lenore Cautrelle, ‘the Queen of Polk Street’ died on Wed, March 27, 2002? Obit in today’s paper. They also called her a senior citizen punk rocker. She was 93. I always enjoyed running into to her and chatting. That wacky accent and passionate interest in things.”–Johnny Strike (of ’70s S.F. punk band Crime). Note: Lenore was always at the Mabuhay during the 70s. She was a palm reader and rapped on stage with Ginger Coyote’s White Trash Debutantes; her apartment walls were covered with paintings she did. R.I.P.
“In reading your mention of the estimate of people who had contracted and/or died of cancer as a result of the U.S. nuclear tests, I was reminded of the ‘Genghiz Khan’ story, and have always wanted to read more about it.
“Seems like the movie ‘Genghiz Khan’ was shot in the Nevada desert during the early ’50s, while nuclear tests were going on close by. On several occasions, cast and crew would go outside during night testing to watch the fireworks show. An extremely disproportionate number of these people died of cancer, including the three stars, Yul Brynner, John Wayne and Susan Hayward. Is this yet another urban myth, or did it really happen? Understand, I often find myself asking the same question about stuff that happened last week.”–Roland J.
A letter sent to the S.F. Bay Guardian by Darryl Cherney: First, you should consider that no one has written about this case in 6 months anywhere. The case on the face of it is a bay area story of national significance.
Secondly, the FBI is being given $40 billion to fight terrorism. Earth First! is being accused of being a terrorist group, as are many activist groups and individuals standing up to the system. And now they are suffering the indignity of being sued by the people they call terrorists for falsely accusing us in violation of the first amendment.
Thirdly, this is only the third time in history the FBI has been taken to trial on first amendment grounds (for violation of protected free speech).
Lastly, this case is a fascinating story remarkably under-covered (censored?) by the mainstream press. Compare it to, say Tim McVeigh’s rights being violated or Waco or Ruby Ridge. Or Richard Jewell and the Olympic bombings. Do you have to be a white supremacist to get media coverage if you’re attacked by the FBI? Jus’ wonderin’.
So there you have it. I can’t even imagine the Bay Guardian not covering this story, but then, I’m just a hopeless optimist. That’s why I’m an activist.–Darryl Cherney
From MERLE KESSLER (aka Ian Shoales –Henry Rollins’ label 2.13.61 has releases by him): “Have you read Jon Jackson? He writes a mystery series set in Detroit, police procedurals fronted by a detective named Fangs Mulheiser. And if you haven’t read Charles Willeford, you are really missing something there as well.
“And if you haven’t read them already, the so-called “Continental Op” stories by Dashiell Hammett are all pretty darn good.
“KC Constantine is the other writer I was telling you about. His series character is called Mario Balzic, the police chief in a very depressed and dying town called Rockburg, Pennsylvania. Sometimes his “mysteries” don’t even HAVE mysteries. The best parts generally involve him drinking wine with his cronies at the local mob bar and yakking about life. Balzic ages as the books come out. In the last few, he’s retired.
“There’s a sample chapter here: http://www.badattitudes.com/Constantine.html
“Most of these can be found very cheaply, in bargain bins.”–Merle
4. UPCOMING EVENTS
MAY 1–ANOTHER PARTY! RE/Search’s “MODERN PAGANS MAY-DAY MUSIC-FEST” Wed. May 1, 7-11 PM, The Lab, 16th at Capp St, San Francisco. This celebration of fertility and creativity will feature a Maypole ritual (courtesy of Sam and Tara Webster), plus musical entertainment/provocation from Sam Skraeling (of the U.K. punk/psychedelia band IOWASKA), Thorn Coyle (2 CDs currently available from www.serpentinemusic.com), and Sharon Knight backed by members of Pandemonaeon, San Francisco’s own Pagan Music band (CD available from www.pandemonaeon.com). Other surprises, including a few songs by Mary Lawler and friends. We’d really like to stage a “Rites of Dionysus,” but we’ll just see what happens…
A historical perspective on May 1: May Day, also known as May Eve, Beltane, and Walpurgis Night, celebrates sexuality, the height of Spring and the flowering of life. It is a festival of flowers, fertility, and delight. May Day has traditionally represented the sensuality and revitalization of love-making in all living things. In some cultures, the May pole traditionally represented a fertility symbol – specifically a phallic symbol. Dancing around it in celebration was a ritual of thanks for the time of season when “sweet desire weds wild delight.” Everyone is welcome to join in dancing around the Maypole at the Lab!
NOW Through April 28, 2002. DADA/SURREALIST ART exhibit at the Legion of Honor Museum, 34th/Clement, San Francisco. (Free every Tuesday) An absolutely fantastic show–be sure to allow time to sit through the 3 separate (and different) film shows scattered throughout. It’s amazing to see Duchamp’s works in person–you see them and think, “I could do that.” In person, however, they’re much more “beautiful” than any reproduction in a book allows–in terms of such formal considerations such as shades of color, texture, etc. There are also a number of lesser-known artists represented, some of whom produced some mighty erotic collages, with nudity, etc. There are also some publications and flyers, very rare, which foreshadow (and possibly inspired) punk rock flyers and zines. Very satisfying! And, don’t miss the New Guinea art on the ground floor–Andre Breton is shown with part of his collection in a B&W portrait, too.
April 5, 9-late, 21+. Bunny Bunny Jam Jam party, Gallery Spanganga, 3376 19th St/Mission. $$. Wear a bunny suit and join artists and fun-makers in a “happily transgressive, part art, part happening, part cultural explosion.” Event put on by the people who bought you the legendary Splosh–nuff said.
April 6, Burning Man Non-Profit Foundation Celebration, SOMARTS, 934 Brannan, S.F., $15. Burning Man kind of people will all be there in massive presence, so you know what that means…get there early!
APRIL 7 – clocks go forward one hour today!
APRIL 7 – BENEFIT: San Francisco’s Roxie Theater is scheduled to vanish soon! Readers are urged to DO SOMETHING–ANYTHING–to save the Roxie! Contribute art/books/etc for an auction! Send money! Brainstorm! Patronize the Roxie & see films! And attend the APRIL 7, 6 PM GALA ROXIE THEATER RENT PARTY BENEFIT (at the Roxie, 16th St bet. Valencia/Guerrero). If the back rent isn’t paid the Roxie–S.F.’s oldest theater–may disappear! Lawrence Ferlinghetti and many other notables will read, perform, socialize and sign your books, etc. Party donation-requested $20 or as much as you can afford. For more info–especially to help, call Eliot Lavine at the Roxie (415) 864-2767 or Tracey Bigelow at (415) 923-0222.
APRIl 8-MAY 24. The Trial of the Century: Earth First! vs. The FBI & OPD (Oakland Police Dept) . Open to the public, first come first seated. Dress well and be respectful. Oakland Federal Courthouse, (Bari vs. USA), 1301 Clay St/12th, 8:30 AM-1:30 PM. (To Recasp: Earth First!ers Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney were bombed in a car in Oakland in May 1990 while on tour organizing for Redwood Summer. They were falsely accused of carrying the bomb. This suit is for violations of First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution, which assure freedom of speech and freedom from false arrest. For more info go to http://www.judibari.org
April 12-13, CASTRO Theater: Andy Warhol’s Chelsea Girls, A super-rare, 2-projector, 16mm screening of perhaps Warhol’s “best” film, all 210 minutes–3-1/2 hours! Friday 8 PM only, Sat 2PM, 8 PM. Nico, Mary Woronov, Marie Menken, Pope Ondine and others improvise acidic, speed-fueled imaginative rants in a “legendary” documentary/art film. This was when Warhol was in his prime…can’t emphasize enough how “essential” this film is! Also don’t miss the May 11-30 documentary of San Francisco’s own The Cockettes–more evidence of underdocumented S.F. artistic genius!
April 13, 7 PM, Comet Magazine #3 Party, Adobe Books, 3166 16th St, S.F. Readings! Fun people! Free! Comet #3 contains interviews with filmmaker Valerie Soe, muralist Rigo 02, the author JT LeRoy, etc. http://www.cometmagazine.net
APRIL 15, City Lights Bookstore, 261 Columbus, S.F. Dave Eggers will read, ’nuff said. This will be a madhouse, so get there 2 hours early.
April 20, 6th Annual HempFestival, Studio Z, 314 11th St/Folsom, 4PM. 10 bands, including Zigaboo Modeliste’s band, and one of our favorites of all time: the Extra Action Marching Band–hopefully including their stunning majorettes! Must be seen to be appreciated! This costs $22. 510-486-8083. 5. RECOMMENDED LINKS (thanks to Phil G, Bruce J., Violet Poe, Seth R, Mike R, and Chris T.).
Interested in Situationism? Ken Knabb’s The Bureau of Public Secrets website has a new domain address: http://www.bopsecrets.org . If you have any links or bookmarks to it, please update them to point to the new URLs.
>From our friend Daniel: “Here is a link to the description of a Dogme 95 film (Truly Human) showing at this year’s SF International Film Festival on 4/27, 4/29, 5/1: http://sffs.org/fest02/titleDetail.asp?title_id=22
“Also, Lynn Hershman’s latest “franken-farce” (Teknolust):http://sffs.org/fest02/titleDetail.asp?title_id=72
Lastly, a link to my favorite alternative news clearinghouse (one sentence descriptions of links to 5-7 news stories per day): http://www.cursor.org
>From Violet Poe: [Check out] “Female Surrealistshttp://www.ed.uiuc.edu/courses/EdPsy387-Sp95/Steven-Clark/project/major.htm
Finally, our favorite 20th-century architect is being celebrated by his own country, Spain. We mean Antonio Gaudi, of course. “Antonio Gaudi was so shabby-looking at the end of his life that when he was run over by a tram as he crossed a busy stsreet in 1926, taxi drivers thought he was a vagrant and refused to take him to the hospital…Today…his buildings help attract 2 million tourists to Barcelona every year. The International Year of Gaudi [is happening now.]”–AP http://www.greatbuildings.com/architects/Antonio-Gaudi.html http://www.bcn.es/english/ihome.htm
>From Mike R: “Greg Palast: the equivalent of today’s I.F. Stone. He just released a book called http://www.gregpalast.com/contents.htmTHE BEST DEMOCRACY MONEY CAN BUY: An Investigative Reporter Exposes the Truth about Globalization, Corporate Cons and High Finance Fraudsters. I haven’t read it yet, but I will soon. Oh, that reminds me…per your recomendation in your last newsletter I reviewed The Terrorism Trap by Michael Parenti for Sex and Guts:http://www.sexandgutsmagazine.com/terrorism.htm But, back to Gregory Palast…this link in particular is an interview Palast gave focused on globalisation: http://www.gregpalast.com/detail.cfm?artid=128&row=1“Gregory Palast: Well, what I do and I’m offering this to any one who sees this tape. I like documents. You got some inside documents? Don’t steal anything. But if something falls your way that illustrates how the system operates within your corporation, within your organization which you think ought to be brought to public attention, I’m here. Go to my web site, get a hold of me www.gregpalast.com . Don’t break the law, please keep me out of trouble but if you’ve got something, if you’re a whistle blower I’m here. Lloyd Hart: The Pentagon Papers are a prime example of how the press should function. Gregory Palast: Very rare, but the press really doesn’t function. Watergate was so unusual that they had to make a movie of it…”
>From Mike R: “Jim Hightower is a down home-progressive-populist Texan, which makes him the Lone Star State opposite of George W. Bush. Hightower is a radio commentator, columnist and legendary champion of the working class heroes and farmers of America.
“Fella goes right through all the twaddle and the bull that passes for political debate in Washington like a dose of salts. Hightower is pure populist, all wool and a yard wide. He takes on the real power in this country-corporate money. He slams corporate corruption of Congress, corporate polluters, corporate media, corporate welfare and the gooberheads that get along with them. But he’s not just a get-mad guy; he’s a fight-back and get-even guy. And besides that, he’s funnier than the Texas Legislature and writes like a dream.” — Molly Ivins
BuzzFlash.com interviewed Hightower this week about his latest undertaking, the Rolling Thunder Down Home Democracy Tour (http://www.rollingthundertour.org)
For the complete Jim Hightower interview, visit BuzzFlash:http://www.buzzflash.com/interviews/2002/03/Jim_Hightower_032002.html
>From PHIL G: “learn what religion is closest to your profile:”http://aol.beliefnet.com/story/76/story_7665_1.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/29/obituaries/29WILD.html?todaysheadlines=&pagewanted=print&position=top Billy Wilder, a perfect master-PHIL G.
>From CHRIS T: “famed 1970s mockumentary “Alternative 3” – a conspiracy to transport the rich and powerful to secret slave-built colonies on the moon. Of course, with its clumsy jargon of “hot jobs” and “batch consignments”, the film was swiftly discredited: the population being systematically exploited by a tiny elite of industrialists and politicians, troublemakers being mysteriously “disappeared”, a world on the brink of environmental collapse – what kind of crank is going to believe that?”
>From PHIL G: “Use of hand-held technologies, such as mobile phones, GameBoys and computers, has caused a physical mutation in the under-25s, according to new research. The study, carried out in nine cities around the world, shows that the thumbs of the younger generation have overtaken their fingers as the hand’s most muscled and dexterous digit.http://www.observer.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,673103,00.html
“We’ve made a lot of strides, but like a Tom and Jerry cartoon, it’s a battle.”http://abcnews.go.com/sections/us/DailyNews/serialkillers_figures020325.html
“Color preferences = mood profile: http://www.colorgenics.com/
“periodical search engine – find stuff in old articleshttp://www.findarticles.com/PI/index.jhtml
“Recommend site: CTHEORY Online: http://www.ctheory.net
“The Grand Old Man of Stripping. His sexual prowess and fondness for breasts is as legendary as his leopard-print suits and silver-streaked mullet. But behind his year-round tan and twinkling eyes lies a prude who still winces at the mere mention of a strip club. Lynn Barber meets Peter Stringfellow:”http://www.observer.co.uk/life/story/0,6903,668693,00.html
6. MORE REVIEWS of Modern Pagans (needless to say, please order, and support our independent publishing). Funny, but nobody seems to have noticed all the radical sex discussion contained within!
MODERN PAGANS: Our newest book! (ISBN 1-889307-10-6). Some responses:
Here are some more quotations that may help explain why RE/Search did a book on “paganism”…
“The companion volume to 1989’s seminal Modern Primitives, which examined cultural precedents for tattooing, piercing, and scarification, Modern Pagans is an important sourcebook that goes a long way toward counteracting many decades of anti-Pagan propaganda, not to mention the persecution of those who don’t subscribe to a monotheistic perspective…One of the most interesting sections takes a look at the Ravenhearts, six pagans who live together on a small ranch as a polyamorous extended family.
“Christianity is not derided here; rather, the book focuses on those who found their spiritual path elsewhere…Most of those interviewed describe the way in which ritual is an integral part of their daily lives. The message is that community is extremely important, and that by extension, we must learn to take better care of one another and of the planet that we inhabit…An excellent primer…”–Christopher Luna, Rain Taxi
“Leave it to V. Vale and the good folks at RE/Search Publications to give us another thought-provoking, educational and highly entertaining tome that makes for fascinating bathroom reading. ‘Modern Pagans’…focuses on providing both novice and expert with a wide variety of Pagan knowledge, encompassing religions from Wicca to Santeria…[It] doesn’t lost the uninitiated reader, thanks in part to the interviewers’ every-man, conversational style.
“There are some interesting interviews such as one with Thorn, a Pagan priestess, who detailed her multi-pathed religious journey. Thorn spoke at great length about how the Pagan aesthetic of self- and group-acceptance was appealing to her as a punk, a belly dancer and a stock market analyst (“As an anarchist, I wanted to see for myself what it was like on the inside of an engine of capitalism.)
“In another interesting interview, author Patricia Monaghan talked about participating in the first relighting in more than 1,500 years of the Beltane Fires, an ancient Celtic tradition.
“Dr. Carol Queen, a writer and ‘sexologist,’ detailed her lifelong struggle to define her own sexual diversity as well as working as a ‘sacred prostitute.’ ‘The priestesses of the temple were erotically available to worshippers who would come to experience the Goddess by consorting with them,’ Queen said. ‘There is a subculture of contemporary prostitutes, men as well as women, who have chosen to revive that understanding of the prostitution work they do.’
“Like other RE/Search publications, Modern Pagans is chock-full of pictures, outside reading sources and Web site addresses. But what makes this book such a great read is its thoughtful examination of religion…no one had condemnations to offer or judgments to make–refreshing, because they most likely wouldn’t get the same consideration from a similar Christian-themed work. All in all, another tasty, easy-to-digest offering from RE/Search.”–Melissa Folwer-Presock, Impact Weekly
“…outlaw Paganism, where embracing the spirituality of nature and the Goddess means choosing alternative styles of living, relating, working, and dressing. From tattoos to environmental activism to group marriage, the many possibilities in the Pagan community are celebrated by the people interviewed in this entertaining anthology.”–Carl McColman, Aquarius Weekly
“The focus of the book for me was on the growth of a non-paternalistic spirituality. For this reason alone the book was a welcome read. I enjoyed it tremendously and shipped off copies to Midwestern Pagan groups.”–Valerie Kunz
“My favorite interview was with Joi Wolfwomyn, a Pagan/Mother/Radical Faerie. Drawing on the isolation and ‘otherness’ she felt as a bi-racial adopted child in a conservative Christian family, and the time spent in a mental institution as an adolescent, she tells how she transcended her painful past and has been performing death rituals for loved ones and strangers for over a decade. Her forthright insights on life, death, and dying, culled from years of firsthand experience, are refreshing and inspirational–especially in a culture predominantly focused on avoiding death.”–Kathleen LeClair, Reclaiming Quarterly Reclaiming Quarterly
“212 pages of eye-opening, sometimes mouth-dropping interviews and paragraphs…Wickedly good stuff.”–Mark Edward Marston, Stillwater Gazette
“RE/Search has reliably published excellent interview books on a number of sub- and anti-cultural groups, so it is not surprising that their latest, Modern Pagans, is as well-executed as it is…RE/Search truly distinguish themselves by exploring the thinking of contemporary leaders with much greater depth than has been shown before…brings into focus the challenges and level of discussion within it today…Definitely another success for RE/Search.”–Jason Kelly
“A crucial addition to the canon of subcult literature. If you’re interested in alternative lifestyles–and San Francisco once prided itself on being a haven for them–it demands to be read.”–San Francisco Magazine, March 2002 issue
5″ x 7″, 240 pages, 30 illustrations
8. About Us: What Is RE/Search? RE/Search is a publishing project, begun in 1977 and inspired by the punk rock cultural revolution, that seeks to demystify the “control process” that thwarts our creativity, joy, pleasure and exercise of freedom. We seek to reclaim and reconstruct our lost insurgent history. RE/Search is engaged in a long-term cultural remapping which aims to honor overlooked innovation, innovators, and provide a forum for theory, dialogue and creativity which will shape our future. We also aim to bring you the “best” out of the information overload currently engulfing us. Please feel free to contribute to this project–and let us know how you wish to be credited.
NOTE: Q&A interview with V. Vale by DAN EVANS, SF Examiner, April 1, 2002 with extremely flattering photo by Karen Vibert-Kennedy. interview “may” be available online at http://www.sfexaminer.com. (it was today, at least). Repeat, another article on V. Vale by Marc Weingarten in San Francisco Magazine, March 2002 issue, available from San Francisco magazine, 415-353-7035, for $5 postpaid. It may still be found on http://www.sanfran.com
April 2002 RE/Search eNewsletter written by V. Vale