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RE/SEARCH eNEWSLETTER #24, JANUARY 2003

eNewsletter #24, January 2003
WELCOME TO RE/SEARCH eNEWSLETTER #24, JANUARY 2003. HERE’S THE NEWS FROM SAN FRANCISCO…
ALL READERS ARE INVITED TO SEND CONTRIBUTIONS AND FEEDBACK!

CONTENTS:
1. THOUGHTS FOR THE NEW YEAR 2003
2. WAR ON IRAQ: WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON?
3. WHAT WE’RE READING, LISTENING TO, WATCHING…
4. OBITUARIES
5. UPCOMING EVENTS (ONE WITH V. VALE)
6. RECOMMENDED LINKS
7. Articles on us & our books
8. About Us: What IS RE/Search?

**Dear Friends: Please note that our email address has CHANGED to:
info@researchpubs.com.
(Our former address was: research@sirius.com–delete from your records!)

1. THOUGHTS FOR THE NEW YEAR 2003 

This is a brand-new year — every year (actually, every day) we have a chance to have a “new” outlook on life and make new plans, resolutions/vows, and goals.

What if we had only a limited time left to live? (Actually, that’s always been the human condition.) Chances are we’d vow to have as much “key” or “essential” experience as possible, involving as much time with “loved ones” as possible. (We’d like to know what “love” truly is about–but that’s far too big a topic to deal with now. Anyway, “love” is a verb, never a noun…I’ve always thought silver was a better element for a wedding ring, not gold–silver requires regular maintenance, care, renewal…please excuse this “aside.”). “Culturati” who are obsessed with knowing “the best of everything” would not want to die without having experienced the “best” music, films, operas, comedies, tragedies, books, poetry, travel destinations, museum offerings, naive/folk/art brut environments, philosophical ideas …

It may also be safe to say that everyone craves the most insight as to “the meaning of life”–what it’s “really” all about … everyone wants to experience illumination, pleasure, beauty, exhilaration–even the occasional derangement of the senses–in other words, feel the fullest spectrum of the emotional and imaginative depths…

Some of us also want to leave something behind when we die — something of inspiration, value, and pleasure for those who live on earth after us…something that will last more than just a few years. Maybe something a little naughty, perhaps. How many best-selling authors from, say,1960 are still being read (that year, incidentally, was demographically a high point of literacy in the United States)? Very few–maybe William L. Shirer’s “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich”; maybe Will Durant’s “The Story of Philosophy”–that’s about it.

So what kind of work do we want to leave behind? Something striving to be “permanently subversive” to the status quo and its “reality” prison, whatever that may be? Something melding together “art/beauty,” “activism,” “eros” and “black humor” perhaps? Something filled with trenchant observations, wit, or aphorisms that will still be relevant decades from now?

It’s probably safe to say that on your deathbed, you will probably derive the most satisfaction from recalling loved ones, as well as whatever “art” YOU personally created–not necessarily in that order. Of course, a surrealist “goal” was that there be no separation between art and life.

This year we have twin goals — simplifying our life by focusing on “enlightenment” and “pleasure” (it’s great when the two merge, like when watching “Bowling for Columbine”). Toward that end we have adopted the words of Gerald V. Casale (founder, DEVO): “Whenever Bush comes on television [or radio], I change the station.” We do not want HIS WORDS, HIS VOICE internalized in our subconscious, where they might somehow become “commands.” Read William S. Burroughs‘ essay “Sects and Death” for more thoughts as to how George W. Bush acts exactly like an “evil” cult leader in the lunatic tradition of Hitler, L. Ron Hubbard, and Peoples’ Temple madman Jim Jones. In fact, Burroughs’ non-fiction essay/interview books (Adding Machine, The Job, Collected Interviews (and our own RE/Search #4/5) are more relevant than ever in this era of information-distraction or disinfo-diarrhea…

A recent New York Times article on the high rate of worker injuries in the steel industry quoted a manager as saying, “The people, they’re nothing. They’re just numbers.” [!] … “Managers linked this mindset to an updated version of the patriarch’s dictum: time equals [production], and [production] equals money.” (NYT, 1-9-03) Again, if company owners could get away with it, they’d pay workers nothing.

2. WAR ON IRAQ or NORTH KOREA: What’s REALLY going on?

For the past year and a half we have been inundated with pro-war propaganda from the corporate media–paid press agents of the Bush Oil-Oligarchy Team. Uniformly this propaganda is depressing and dispiriting–sometimes a “news” article is such an outrageous con job that (this has been said before) satire seems redundant. In corporate newspapers, our favorite reading is found in letters to the editor or columns by the likes of Robert Scheer, Molly Ivins, Alexander Cockburn, Ruth Rosen, and a few others.

Corporate newspapers and magazines are never going to give what an independently-published book can provide. So here are some of the “best” books we’ve found on the topic of WAR IN IRAQ (thanks to M. Ryan; and Karl from City Lights). 1) WAR ON IRAQ: What Team Bush Doesn’t Want You to Know by Scott Ritter/William Pitt. Easy to read and full of history and facts–can be read in one night. 2) THE WAR ON FREEDOM by Nafeez Ahmed–23-year-old British wunderkind writes the most complete, footnoted, annotated book-in-print on “How and Why America was attacked September 11, 2001.” Very highly recommended. Can be read in three nights. 3) Don Paul’s “‘9-11′” FACING OUR FASCIST STATE. Fun to read, full of facts, very hard to put down. Raises a lot of disturbing questions, accessibly. “It goes deeply into the record of our so-called leaders’ uses or misuses of power and yet it also offers hope for us from collective action.”(blurb from Don Paul’s book)

All of the above are independently published and none have gotten reviewed by corporate media–not even the S.F. Bay Guardian (even though, for example, over 200 review copies of THE WAR ON FREEDOM were sent out!). All three can be mail-ordered from www.citylights.com or better yet, purchased live at City Lights, 261 Columbus (at Broadway), San Francisco CA 94133; 415-362-8193.

Why are journalists afraid to review books questioning the “official” version of 9-11-2001? One of the only explanations we’ve found as to why journalists are corporate slaves/shills is in Jeff Schmidt’s essential book,DISCIPLINED MINDS (incidentally, this book contains a great chapter on how “cults” and mind control work): “[They] don’t want anyone to think that their own views might affect their [writing], because that would be…unprofessional…As a result, the typical [journalist] doesn’t stand for anything. Thus, for example it was sad but not surprising when the National Lesbian and Gay journalists Association decided not to participate in the massive 25 April 1993 gay rights march on Washington, an event that drew several hundred thousand people…Both on and off the job they act like journalists who happen to be gay, not like gays who happen to work as journalists.” (Disciplined Minds, p. 206)

It seems that everybody you meet–at a party, wherever–has part of the puzzle as to what’s really going on: “The war on Iraq is about oil…North Korea is a bigger threat than Iraq–why aren’t we going to war against them?…Bush stole the presidency…Corporate criminals are running America now…Our civil liberties are almost gone…” Sadly, cynicism, not activism, seems to be the dominant mind-set. Again, quoting Jeff Schmidt: “These days one finds students and professionals who have some awareness of the big picture but who cynically adjust their behavior for the system. This is quite acceptable to the hierarchy because these individuals, even as they blast distant power figures such as the president, carefully avoid any confrontation with those who hold immediate power over them. As Max Horkheimer said in 1946 [ECLIPSE OF REASON]: “Well-informed cynicism is only another mode of conformity.” YES!–if the shoe fits…

SAT, JANUARY 18, 2003 is ANTI WAR PROTEST DAY in San Francisco! 11 AM meet at Embarcadero/Market, march to Civic Center.

3. WHAT WE’RE READING, LISTENING TO, WATCHING…

More than ever, it’s necessary to support independent book/magazine publishers,independent bookstores, record stores, farmer’s markets, etc. Try to buy direct from the artists and producers themselves…Amazon is convenient, but it’s even better when, say, small publishers like us get the full 100% benefit of your largesse…

BOOKS:

So many books, so little time…

Gore Vidal’s Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace and Chomsky’s 9-11 are still worth reading for insights as to the CAUSES and HISTORY of America’s illicit war-mongering past, as well as to answer the question, “Why do ‘they’ hate us so much?” Additionally, dozens of books critically examining all aspects of 9-11 and the impending WAR ON IRAQ have been published–City Lights Bookstore has a whole window full of ’em. And Black Oak Books has a table full of these, too–check ’em out. (Readers are welcome to send in reviews of their favorites.)

MYSTERIES (OUR Preferred FICTION READING THESE DAYS): Our favorite sub-genre of the Mystery Genre is the “Police Procedural,” starring a detective who defies hierarchy, “rules” and hidebound convention to find the killer, even if that killer is highly placed in society, the government, or the Police Department itself. An excellent guide to all mysteries written prior to 1986 is ART BOURGEAU’S THE MYSTERY LOVER’S COMPANION. The owner of Philadelphia’s “Whodunit?” Bookstore, Bourgeau has seemingly read every mystery ever written, and spotlights some of the best in this essential handbook, broken down into “The American Mystery,” “The English Mystery,” “The Thriller,” and “The Police Procedural.” Of course, when we find a mystery writer we like, we then try to read EVERY BOOK by that author, and all the books merge into ONE BOOK (in our mind).

HENNING MANKELL is a Swedish mystery writer who for the past 30 years has been living in Mozambique, directing a theater company. He has written ten mysteries featuring the same detective, Inspector Kurt Wallander, who ages a bit in each, gets divorced, etc. In fact, each book contains references to earlier books, so by the time you’ve read the eighth book it feels like you’ve “lived” the life you’re reading about, thanks to the detail and complexity of entanglements.

“Mystery” seems to be the only “genre” allowing a writer to pen book after book featuring the same character and earn a living. Needless to say, in ten books an author really can exercise the opportunity to “develop” a character in depth…you can see somebody change and grow. Mankell did so well with his Kurt Wallander series that these days he can live half the year in Sweden and the other half in Africa. We liked every one of the eight novels translated into English, particularly THE WHITE LIONESS which seemingly gave us great insight into the daily horror of the racist state known as South Africa–hey, we don’t see the “freedom-loving” Team Bush propagandizing for war against South Africa! Fiction can supply the necessary 3-D emotional dimension which mere factual non-fiction lacks…

Sicilian author ANDREA CAMILLERI started writing mysteries around the age of 70 (there’s hope for all of us!) and has to date written eight novels featuring Inspector Montalbano (the name is an homage to Manuel Montalban, a Catalan mystery writer with an anarchist/radical background–we’re checking him out next!). To date there are only two Camilleri mysteries translated into English, but both are great, and different from any other mysteries we’ve encountered. First of all, Camilleri (as opposed to Donna Leon and Michael Dibdin, whose mysteries are set in Italy but are of U.S. and Irish/U.K. background, respectively) is a real Italian, with a native appreciation of fine food, beautiful women, art, well-designed clothing, architecture, interiors, and lusty sex–and how. Sensuality, earthy humor and lush, loving descriptions permeate his narratives…we can’t recommend them highly enough! You may want to savor certain passages over and over–Camilleri captures the fleeting aromas, the rarefied essences of…sex with $250/pound truffle sauce?! The Shape of Water and The Terra-cotta Dog are available now.

Almost forgot–in one night we read L.A. writer GARY PHILLIPS’ “High Hand, A Martha Chainey Mystery“–featuring a quick-witted Amazonesque female trouble-shooter; you’ll see a side of Las Vegas you’ve definitely never seen before! Born in South Central Los Angeles, Phillips has also written four Ivan Monk mysteries, including Violent Spring, Bad Night Falling, and Only the Wicked. These gripping novels shed light on the little-known world of African-American sleuthing, in the “street” tradition of great artists like Donald Goines and Chester Himes, but with an informed, compassionate overview embodying a kind of sadness toward those who yield to violence out of ignorance. Far less “bourgeois” than the best-selling novels of Walter Mosley, Phillips’ writing embodies a raw (and rare) honesty and direct intelligence. Like a sawed-off 10-gauge “Streetsweeper” compared to a .357 Colt Python or German Luger…

Local painter Sharon Leong, the Queen of B Painting and one of our favorite artists, hailing from the late ’70s punk era, is featured in Sherri Cullison’s VICIOUS, DELICIOUS, AND AMBITIOUS: 20th Century Women Artists (available at www.schifferbooks.com). This beautiful 9×12″ hardback includes 18 other women artists including Sunny Buick (featured in our SWING! book), Isabel Samaras, and Pam Roberts (sadly, R.I.P.). Sharon is quoted as saying, “People have a hard time talking about sex…Life is hard enough as it is, and I think that it’s one of the natural things that people could do to compensate for all of the awful things in life. Sex cam be very beautiful. Take away all of the power plays and all of the narratives that you may have heard; just strip it of everything and let it simply be what it is; let it take you where it wants to take you. People build walls between themselves and other people. That’s such a shame.” Couldn’t agree more, Sharon!

We recently reviewed three uncompromising social-critical and very dark graphic novels and poster books by Eric Drooker and recommend them all unreservedly. They’re in the social realist woodcut tradition of Lynd Ward, Edvard Munch, and no doubt others–we’re still doing our homework on this subversive “cultural anti-tradition.” City Lights and Cody’s in Berkeley stock these books. All we can say is, two pages of Drooker’s “European conquest of the Americas” [our title] scarred us for life…like reading Howard Zinn’s “People’s History of the United States” compressed into a 30-second hurricane of “true evil.” Yes, we have seen the Evil Empire and it is … us. America as we know it now was built on a foundation of deceit/treachery, murder, rape, genocide and wholesale thievery–if you rob a 7-11 you go to jail, but if you steal an entire continent and kill all [or most of] its inhabitants, you get statues built in your honor…

Having never read much Portuguese literature/history, with the exception of the Surrealist-recommended Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun (what divine anguish!), we read BLINDNESS by the Nobel-Prize-winner JOSE SARAMAGO and thoroughly “enjoyed” it. There are some very sexy, and sexually oppressive, scenes, plus some disturbing, “joking” insults and revenges exacted. If only Bunuel could have filmed this! Some back cover blurbs speak: “A superb novel by the internationally acclaimed Saramago…Echoes of Orwell’s 1984…a brilliant allegory that may be as revolutionary in its own way and time as were, say, Franz Kafka’s The Trial and Albert Camus’s The Plague in theirs. Another masterpiece.”–Kirkus Reviews. To that listing I might add Daniel Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year… Oddly enough, the book even sports a “happy” ending, we think… And sadly enough, this book seems to be readily available on-line for about $3.00, in hardback no less…

Speaking of which, has anybody noticed that the only ‘growth’ division of the ailing book publishing industry is in “remainders”–those books which are sold for pennies on the dollar to “remainder houses” who then sell them for whatever they can get. We’ve seen $24.95 hardbacks by writers like William Gibson on sale for $3.98 (here, the authors don’t get royalties, y’know). In fact, now there is a big yearly convention in Chicago just for remainders dealers–those who buy and sell other publishers’ fiscal mistakes. And of course this has nothing to do with the actual “quality” of the books…Unbelievably, to us, a number of J.G. Ballard books have been spotted on remainder tables…

In publishing, money and intrinsic worth are rarely correlated in this day where hyper-marketing rules. A friend, Joe F., recently wrote, “I have twoDiane di Prima books, each biographical: “Memoires,” and “Recollections.”… Have you read RECOLLECTIONS? Wow! An amazing book, especially valuable because it is written by a woman. I haven’t come across anything like it…These books by di Prima probably made hardly any money for her. As I see it, if she didn’t make $500,000, she wasn’t well compensated for the time and effort necessary to develop such material. Why is it that such contribution is so poorly (and inefficiently) monetized in our economy? Tough question…Once you’ve actually read a book like di Prima’s you have the sense that it’s worth much more money per copy. Of course, a writer like di Prima is not creating such work for the money. Does our nation have the sense at least to grant some meaningful recognition of the huge contribution that writers like her make? I think not. Not in their lifetimes…” [This falls into the No Easy Answers Dept.]

Besides us independent book publishers, independent bookstores are facing peril. In North Beach, a great used bookstore owned by Jim Carroll (not THE Jim Carroll, but a genuine character nevertheless, who has lived in Paris for years, etc), Carroll’s Books, just closed their doors at the end of 2002. An interesting old movie memorabilia, vintage magazine and poster shop, Show Biz, also was forced out of business, as was Parallel Studios (furniture–but who buys new furniture in a dying economy?), and we hear that 101 Records, a great used CD & vinyl shop that’s been around “forever,” is in jeopardy.

Let us remind S.F. city-dwellers that small independent book, record and video stores are the main reason we live here–the Internet will never offer the capability of allowing us to physically browse quickly through hundreds of books, occasionally making a rare discovery–finding something quirky and amazing–weird, if you will. In North Beach, Black Oak Books is barely hanging on; City Lights is riding on the largesse of tourists (although the N.Y. Times reported that 65 million fewer tourists visited America last year (2002), so…you do the math. And have YOU gone through an airport recently? It’s not a “pretty” experience. Even if you aren’t guilty of doing anything, you’ll certainly “feel” guilty of doing something after the airport gives you the post-9-11 “shakedown” and “feel-up.” When you fly, be sure to leave your one-inch-long Swiss Army knife at home..By now, every airport in America could probably open up a used-knife-and-nail-clipper Outlet Store…

Actually, one thing we wish all airports had now were more used bookstores and–yes–thrift stores! (Why not–think of all that lost luggage; why not open a chain of “Airport Thrift” stores whose inventory is “supplied” by unfortunate travelers? The Durham-Raleigh, North Carolina Airport is the ONLY airport (as far as we know) boasting a used bookstore. And it was great. Thanks to the new post-9-11 regulations requiring flyers to show up at least two hours before take-off, we had plenty of time to examine every single book in the store. At the end a dozen books cost the princely sum of about $25–great prices, and, a lot of the books were old, from the Seventies or earlier…

Recently someone visited us who has lived in an unnamed San Francisco neighborhood for the past 20 years, during which she has patronized a local mom-and-pop grocery so often that she has gotten to “know” the owners. (This grocery has been there as long as she can remember.) She was told this somewhat disturbing story. The owners apparently come from a large “extended” Middle-Eastern family, and one of the family’s “sons,” a young man, simply disappeared for two months. Nobody knew where he had gone to, the police couldn’t help–the young man had just vanished. Two months later, he was “dropped off” in the neighborhood from a car. Apparently he had been interrogated “forever” until finally whoever it was decided that he really was “innocent” and he was driven back to his neighborhood with the stern warning not to go to the press. Hmmm…. Apocryphal?!

Speaking of All Things Bookish, Thanks to Ivan Stormgart, Ted of Black Oak Books, Gary McDonald (S.F. Mystery Books) Daniel Konhauser, and Mike Ryan, for their bountiful help. And thanks to the luminously psychedelicized SILKE TUDOR of S.F. Weekly for donating to our office a much-needed Brother Fax Machine. We also thank Seth Robson, a founder of Bunnyhop Magazine, for donating a 17″ monitor–it’s a lot easier to read our e-mail now!

MUSIC/SPOKEN WORD:

JELLO BIAFRA’S 3-CD SET” MACHINE GUN IN THE CLOWN’S HAND features a great poster cover by Firehouse Graphics (Chuck Sperry, Ron Donovan), as well as a fold-out poster collage by Biafra himself. This hilarious, over-the-top, illuminating and provocative CD set is perfect for playing in your car–you can have your political consciousness raised [painlessly] while driving from point A to B. Jello is captured in the peak of form, with enough sardonic black humor to satisfy the most cynical “slacker” (if they still exist). The set is also available in a limited vinyl box direct from Alternative Tentacles, www.alternativetentacles.com. Support one of the original punk progenitors who–unlike his ex-fellow-bandmates–has always kept his integrity, intelligence, and imperatives honed razor-sharp and above all ethical. ANY live Biafra spoken word performance is sure to give you more than your money’s worth, in terms of ideas alone. Support him while he’s still around! (You didn’t expect Joe Strummer to go this soon, did you? You never know when the Grim Reaper will show up at your door, so the next time Biafra does something, take care to see him…!)

Jello Biafra’s Alternative Tentacles label has also recently released The FLAMING STARS’ Sunset & Void, featuring a hauntingly beautiful cover painting of a ’50s siren clad in white satin. Max Decharne’s vocals continue to be soulfully expressive; repeat, any Joy Division or New Order fans could do well to investigate this CD which draws from a foundation of the best roots, early rock, and noir soundtrack classics. It’s definitely Balm for our troubled times…It sounds old, but isn’t…

Jean-Jacques Perrey’s Circus of Life continues, by word-of-mouth, to attract new “converts.” At our office we must have played it fifty times, at least. The first new recording in 30 years by the master of cut-up and melody, this recent CD is available from us at www.http://www.researchpubs.com — awhile ago, someone ordered three copies as gifts! (His friends are lucky to know him; maybe they don’t know how lucky they are! And we’re all lucky that Jean-Jacques is still alive and making music.) And fairly recently, a 3-CD set of the entire recordings Perrey/Kingsley did for Vanguard in the ’60s was released: The Out Sound From Way In. If you’re interested in acquiring this, please email us, and we will provide!

Our friend, virtuoso dancer/bandleader Lee Press-On has a new CDout called El Bando En Fuego! It was inspired partly by the Harry Breuer cover on Incredibly Strange Music. Some great jump-up-and-dance tracks for your next swingers party! Check out his Website (http://www.leepresson.com) for more details.

HENRY ROLLINS was just in town and by all accounts gave his usual amazing, funny, impossible, spoken word marathon performance at the Palace of Fine Art. He’s on a 50-date tour, so try and catch him while you can (remember Joe Strummer) and buy his newest offerings atwww.two1361.com. Reminder: you can still get Real Conversations 1, featuring Henry, Biafra, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Billy Childish from us here at www.http://www.researchpubs.com. The first printing, if you care about such things, is almost sold out.

Our favorite local girl band BINKY has released its eponymous CD and it’s a lot of fun! They also play as often as possible, so watch for them. The CD, “Kiss The Mall Goodbye,” features BINKY members dressed in a kind of “tribute to DEVO”. A favorite track is titled “Jesus Goes to Hell…” If you’re interested in obtaining a copy, write us and we’ll put you in touch. This CD is very limited and hard-to-find, so…

An ending note: local hell-raiser Reverend Steven Johnson Lebya has published both an art book, COYOTE SATAN AMERICA, and a CD, “…UNITED SATANIC APACHE FRONT, Addressing The Corporate Fascist State, Selected Performance Recordings 196-2002.” ‘Nuff said. The book is filled with some shocking, beautiful, puzzling, repulsive photos, and the CD is probably the book’s sonic equivalent. Available from www.reptilianrecords.com or Last Gasp.

FILM

Asia Argento was in town (at Best Buy, no less) a month or two ago to sign DVD copies of the erotic horror film she directed and starred in (at the tender age of 23), Scarlet Diva. She was charming, down-to-earth, humorous, yet still mysteriously alluring in that “European/continental/sex is no big deal” kind of way. Rumor has it she’s working in Los Angeles on the filming of a J.T. LeRoy book–Sarah, presumably. Repeat, her father Dario Argento is our favorite living Italian filmmaker…we wonder if he and Andrea Camilleri could collaborate?! If someone out there reads this, and is a Dario Argento fanatic, please contact us…and at least write some reviews of Argento’s films for us–especially since most of them have been re-released on DVD. (And we don’t own a DVD player.)

Pedro Almodovar’s “TALK TO HER” was so beautifully filmed, and featured such gorgeous music (some of it performed live), that we almost didn’t notice that the underlying “plot” was so outrageous, like: “How couldthis script have been made into a film?” We highly recommend this as a small masterpiece. The best, most satisfying films of last year seem to be coming from outside America, with the exception of Michael Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine,” which can actually be seen twice!

Tomorrow we plan to see the recent “indie” documentary on Jacques Derrida, our favorite living French philosopher. Apparently in the film, someone sees him in his library surrounded by thousands of books and asks the typical question/cliche, “Have you read all these books?” Derrida replies, “NO … I’ve only read three or four … but I’ve read them very well.”

Lastly, our friend the writer Mikel Aaland gave us a DVD of a recent film by French filmmaker CHRIS MARKER: “Immemory.” Marker, for those inhabitants of AmnesiaWorld, is probably one of the last great living filmmakers of the era which included Jean-Luc Godard. Marker did at least one classic, “La Jetee,” and no doubt numerous others of equal calibre which are almost impossible to find in TeamBush’s insular, provincial, xenophobic Amerikkka…or, possibly, only available at Le Video in San Francisco on 9th Avenue near Irving St. When the Goddess brings us a DVD player, we’ll let you know more about Chris Marker and Dario Argento…

4. OBITUARIES

Joe Strummer died too young and everyone knows. Why? We await the tell-all book and the biopic, probably on the Talk Media label. (We actually didn’t know that Patti Smith‘s brother had died awhile ago, along with both of her parents and her husband.) But almost nobody knows that Linwood Land, the charmingly good-natured bassist with first-generation San Francisco punk band U.X.A. died about a month ago in S.F. General Hospital. Former drummer “Richie” O’Connell (and Linwood’s companion, Linda) would like to organize a wake or memorial for Linwood, and if someone out there is interested in helping out please contact us and we’ll put you in touch.

5. UPCOMING EVENTS (ONE WITH V. VALE):

Party (not yet scheduled) to celebrate MATT GONZALEZ being made head of the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco. It’s utterly amazing and thoroughly heartening that this literate, culturally-informed, amazingly well-read, non-racist non-corporate-cronyist Green Party member has been promoted to this politically-empowered position. We, of course, would like to see Matt Gonzalez run for Mayor, and then Governor of California, president, etc, but we’ll hold our breath for now and hope he doesn’t get assassinated Paul Weller-style. Maybe, just maybe, there is still hope!

KAREN FINLEY is in the Bay Area performing for a week at the Berkeley Rep–it’s not too late to see her!. Karen gave us two classic interviews in our PRANKS! book and our ANGRY WOMEN book.

JAN. 18 THE ANTI-WAR MARCH in SAN FRANCISCO. 11 AM, meet at Ferry Building/Market St, and march to Civic Center. 

FEB 1-2 (Sat-Sun) APE Show (Alternative Press Expo). V. Vale will be present to autograph books — the full offering of RE/Search publications will be available, discounted–complete your collection or buy gifts! S.F. Concourse Exhibition Center, 8th/Brannan Sts. Plenty of free parking!

There are a number of upcoming Events (FREE) at City Lights Bookstore, 261 Columbus, S.F. We are too lazy to list them, but you can find them fast on their web-site. Also, you can subscribe to City Lights’ own newsletter athttp://www.citylights.com

6. RECOMMENDED LINKS (thanks to Phil G, Bruce J., Violet Poe, Seth R, Mike R, and Chris T.). Sorry, next time. (We now have about 1,000 [literally] great “links” or URLs which we’d love to pass on to you–they’re all funny, enlightening, political, et al–but we lack the time to transfer them from our “IN” box … if you’d like to help out, contact us!) 

7. ARTICLES ON US AND OUR BOOKS

We are grateful to ASIAN WEEK for printing a large color feature on the history of RE/Search and founder V. Vale, whose Asian background was spotlighted for the first time ever in print, anywhere. RE/Search was never an “ethnically subcultural” enterprise, yet in a number of subtle ways the publications have been informed by the upbringing of its editor/producer. The feature may still be found on www.asianweek.com. Editor Neela Banerjee and photographer Jennie Sue (who uses a Canon Powershot S30 digital camera–great instrument) deserve our personal thanks. That was the fastest photo shoot ever!

Last Gasp recently published a four-color paperbound 9×12 artbook,Recent Litter from the Firehouse Kustom Rockart Company: Chuck Sperry and Ron Donovan, featuring a lengthy interview by V. Vale. The artwork is compelling, beautiful, sexy and incendiary, and the interview gives much-needed depth; too many “hipster graphics” books these days can be “consumed” in less than an hour, leaving the reader dissatisfied as to “who the artist really is.” Chuck and Ron have a lot to say about the function of art in a corporate world, and how anarchist collectives in Italy may give us a glimpse of A Better Tomorrow (thanks, John Woo)…

MODERN PAGANS (needless to say, please order, and support our independent publishing). Funny, but nobody seems to have noticed all the radical sex discussion in MODERN PAGANS! (ISBN 1-889307-10-6). Here are some more quotations that may help explain why RE/Search founder V. Vale chose to do a project on “paganism”…

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.

“…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

REAL CONVERSATIONS 1 – To find out more about Real Conversations 1 (called “inspiring” by numerous readers), and read excerpts: See more! Click here!http://www.http://www.researchpubs.com/rc1/rc1prmain.shtml 

“In Real Conversations 1, I really enjoyed Henry Rollins talking about the state of the publishing industry, and reading in this country.”–Joseph, a Black Flag fan and a reader

“I think the best interview was with Lawrence Ferlinghetti–I wanted a lot more!”–Australian reader

To find out more about Real Conversations 1, and read excerpts: See more! Click here! http://www.http://www.researchpubs.com/rc1/rc1prmain.shtml 5″ x 7″, 240 pages, 30 illustrations
Trade paperback $12.95 US, $4 shipping plus 8.25% state sales tax if applicable.
ISBN 1-889307-09-2
order by email or phone 415-362-1465.

NOTE: 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. http://www.sanfran .com

8. About Us: What Is RE/Search? RE/Search is a publishing project, begun in 1977 by V. Vale and inspired by the Punk Rock Cultural Revolution. It 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 reshape our future. We also aim to bring you the “best” out of the information overload engulfing us. Please feel free to contribute to this project–and say how you wish to be credited.

NOTE: The Los Angeles Times printed a comprehensive and insightful article on the history of V. Vale‘s publishing, written by Susan Carpenter: “So cutting edge that no one else was publishing such things.” It was reprinted in the San Mateo Times, the Japan Times, etc. (N.B.: Watch for Susan Carpenter’s book on Pirate Radio.)

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 onhttp://www.sanfran.com

JANUARY 2003 RE/Search eNewsletter written by V. Vale

DISCLAIMER & PROMISE (Thanks to City Lights!) — V. Vale’s eNewsletter is a free service to our esteemed customers, comrades and critics. If you’re receiving this email, it’s because you or someone you know has sent your address to us here. We will NOT trade your address, sell your address, or in any way make your address available to anyone else, EVER.

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