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RE/SEARCH Newsletter #37, June 2005

RE/SEARCH Newsletter #37, June 2005
HERE’S THE NEWS FROM SAN FRANCISCO….

CONTENTS:
1. CounterCulture Hour airs Saturday – Sat June 11, 2005, 6:30pm (7th episode) with Matt Gonzalez, recent candidate for Mayor of San Francisco
2. DEVO is playing a U.S. tour! A few words from Jerry Casale
3. A Few Things We Did…
4. What we’ve been reading, seeing, listening to…
5. Our Day in Los Angeles Small Claims Court, June 3, 2005

**Dear Friends: Please note that our email address has changed to:
info@researchpubs.com (not: research@sirius.com).
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1. CounterCulture Hour Sat, June 11, 2005, 6:30pm, Cable Channel 29 (Sorry, San Francisco only, but watch for video releases on our website.) The 7th episode will feature MATT GONZALEZ, mayoral candidate who on the actual day of voting received more votes than anyone else. Matt’s budget was only 10% of his opponent, and he could not afford to send out mass mailings countering the mass mailings full of untruths and false innuendos about his campaign (e.g., that he would raise homeowners’ taxes up the wazoo–not true). These mailings against Matt were mostly mailed by phony “citizens” groups with addresses that cannot be located in San Francisco.

It is refreshing, but sadly ultra-rare-, to find a political candidate with an extensive, in-depth cultural life that is genuine, not scripted by some PR agency. For about the past 15 years Matt Gonzalez has lived in or near the Mission district. He has supported local artists, buying their work, regularly buying poetry books, publishing and editing a book of poems and drawings by beat legend Jack Micheline–he even played in a rock band! Matt’s knowledge of poetry and literature is amazing, by the way. And his **ideas** are inspiring and illuminating! We strongly urge you to find someone with San Francisco cable TV and watch The Counter Culture Hour tomorrow, Saturday June 11, 6:30pm, on Channel 29/SF Access.

The first CounterCulture Hour aired Nov 13, 2004, and featured Dirk Dirksen of the Mabuhay Gardens, S.F.; the second featured Oberon Ravenheart and Thorn Coyle from our Modern Pagans book; the third featured R.U. Sirius and Dan Joy, authors of “Counter Culture Through the Ages,” programs #4 and #5 featured Winston Smith, creator of Dead Kennedys LP covers, and the 6th featured Mel Clay, a member of the Living Theater. The CounterCulture Hour airs the 2nd Saturday of each month at 6:30pm, on an ongoing basis, on Channel 29 San Francisco. Your interviewing host is V. Vale, and the program is produced by Marian & Marian (aka Wallace and Wilde). If you are interested in buying a limited-edition VHS dub of the show, please email to us and we’ll let you know when they’re available. Could be soon if there’s enough interest! Price per 2 episodes (2 hours): $15.00. We’re still working on getting them (or excerpts) up on the web, so watch for that!

2. The beloved original-generation punk band DEVO will be playing a small U.S. tour. Go to www.clubdevo.com and find out if they’re playing near you. We googled “Jerry Casale” and found the following excerpt (from Vermont Review), apparently recently recorded, here.

VR: Going back to your early days. You were present at the Kent State shootings in 1970. How did that day affect you?

JC: Whatever I would say would probably not at all touch upon the significance or gravity of the situation at this point of time–it would probably sound trite or glib. All I can tell you is that it completely and utterly changed my life. I was a white hippie boy and then I saw exit wounds from M1 rifles out of the backs of two people I knew. Two of the four people who were killed, Jeffrey Miller and Allison Krause, were my friends. We were all running our asses off from these motherf&*$#ers. It was total, utter bulls–t. Live ammunition and gasmasks � none of us knew, none of us could have imagined… They shot into a crowd that was running away from them! I sopped being a hippie and I started to develop the idea of devolution. I got real, real p–d off.

VR: Does Neil Young’s “Ohio” strike close to your heart?

JC: Of course. It was strange that the first person that we met, as Devo emerged, was Neil Young. He asked us to be in his movie, The Human Highway. It was so strange–San Francisco in 1977. Talk about life being karmic, small and cyclical � it�s absolutely true. In fact I just got a call from a person organizing a 30th Anniversary commemoration. Noam Chomsky will be there and I may go talk there if I can get away. I still remember it so crystal clear, like a dream you will never forget . . . or a nightmare. I still remember every moment. It kind of went in slow motion like a car accident.

VR: You said that the Kent State shooting sort of served as a catalyst for your theory of Devolution, which spawned Devo–

JC: Absolutely. Until then I was a hippie. I thought that the world is essentially good. If people were evil, there was justice…and that the law mattered. All of those silly naive things. I saw the depths of the horrors and lies and the evil. The paper that evening, the Akron Beacon Journal, said that students were running around armed and that officers had been hurt. So deputy sheriffs went out and deputized citizens. They drove around with shotguns and there was martial law for ten days. 7 PM curfew. It was open season on the students. We lived in fear. Helicopters surrounding the city with hourly rotating runs out to the West Side and back downtown. All first amendment rights are suspended at the instant the governor gives the order. All of the class-action suits by the parents of the slain students were all dismissed out of court, because once the governor announced martial law, they had no right to assemble. [end of excerpt]

3. What We’ve Been Doing…

We attended one classic June Wedding, one of the happiest we’ve ever attended, for computer whiz Amy Miller (longtime SRL collaborator) and computerist/husband Brian Jenkins. The ceremony took place on the beach near the Cliff House — mercifully, no rain — and the reception was hosted in a green meadow in Golden Gate Park near Stowe Lake. Former SRL manager Mike Dingle (and friends) provided the delicious Mongolian barbecue. Local luminaries attending included Mark Pauline, his wife Amy Critchett and their son Jake; Scott Beale, John Law, SFAI curator Jill Miller, plus a host of SRL innovators such as Kimric Smythe and Kevin Binkert. The bride and groom were transported from the beach to Golden Gate Park in a faux covered wagon pulled by two felt “donkeys” — an amazing alterna-car handcrafted by Robert Collison (publisher of Filth) and friends…

We also went to Varnish Gallery at 77 Natoma St, probably the most adventuresome new place in town, to see New York artist Ron English‘s exhibit — very amusing and thought-provoking. We also attended a housewarming for Mark and Molly Bode, who’ve finally returned to San Francisco after 13 years in Massachusetts. Mark, the son of 60s cartoonist legend Vaughn Bode, is an extremely talented artist in his own right, and a dazzling piano player and singer (after a beer or two).

4. What we’ve been reading, seeing, listening to… Since our mentor Philip Lamantia recently died, we’ve been re-reading his interviews. Google him and find his books while they’re still available! A few are still at www.citylights.com. (Often books tend to disappear after the author breathes his last…)

We’re still reading Julia Solis‘s recently-published book, NEW YORK UNDERGROUND, chronicling her safaris into the New York sewer system, and we like her website even more because it’s almost endless. Go to www.darkpassage.com and see for yourself why…

We’ve read all but one of Michael Connelly’s mysteries starring Harry (short for Hieronymus) Bosch, an LAPD maverick detective. We’re almost done with Francis Stevens’ DARK PASSAGE. And we’ve re-read Andre Breton’s NADJA and J.K. Huysmans’ AGAINST NATURE–manuals and guidebooks for living a far richer life. We also listened to our favorite harpsichordist, Blandine Verlet… (google her)

Lastly, on Tuesday we sent to press (finally) the last of the corrections on our latest book, J.G. BALLARD CONVERSATIONS which may be pre-ordered from us online. The original projection was 160 pages, but we decided to add every tape sitting around here untranscribed for years, and the book is now 360 pages. Needless to say, we highly recommend pre-ordering for $14.99; the final price will be $19.99 due to more than doubling the original size.<br
5. OUR DAY IN LOS ANGELES Small Claims COURT, June 3, 2005.

We are posting the below in the hope it may be of assistance to anyone compelled to enter the court system.

Friday, June 3, we were forced (at our own expense) to answer a Small Claims complaint that may have been illegally filed in Santa Monica rather than the proper venue of San Francisco, where our business has been conducted for the past 30 years. Without getting into the specifics of the case, we will convey a bunch of “dirty tricks” that almost, but not quite, worked against us:
1) plaintiff’s complaint listed a misspelled street “Romoto” instead of “Romolo”. But, we got our mail anyway! This incorrect address (accidental, right? SURE.) paved the way for plaintiff to win a default judgment — because if the defendant doesn’t show up, the plaintiff “wins” by default. But, it didn’t work!
2) we were told by an official court document to appear in Courtroom WEQ in the Santa Monica Courthouse. This does not exist. However, we asked where the Small Claims Courtroom was, and were told it was Courtroom Q. Why the “WEQ” typo in an official mass-printed document form?
3) When we showed up at 8:30 AM, the bailiff announced that Small Claims cases were being held later at 1:30 p.m. Instead of accepting that as a fact/truth and coming back later where we would most certainly have found out that our “trial” had already happened and we had lost because we didn’t show up (“default judgment”), we…
4) Smelling a rat, we went to check the court calendar on the computers. After being sent back and forth to Room 102, 101 and 116, and receiving indifferent/uncaring/clueless responses from clerks (the computers weren’t updated, if they even worked), we finally asked to speak to a Supervisor. The Supervisor took our paperwork, went upstairs, and 15 minutes later informed us that
5) plaintiff had, instead of “accepting” the 1:30 pm appointment, pulled some strings and had our case “added on” to Courtroom S at the last second. However, there was no easy/clear/foolproof procedure to inform defendant of this last-minute change! For example, the Small Claims Court, the bailiff did not tell us this when we checked in! By Sheer luck we found out — and if we hadn’t found out, we would have lost by “default” (i.e., not showing up in court when your trial is being held). An uncaring Supervisor could have simply not done this for us.
6) plaintiff had asked for and received “priority” status, meaning that her case was going to be called before most of the other 8 or so cases on the docket. Again, if defendants (us) didn’t get to the trial on time, the plaintiff wins by default judgment. And we barely found the correct courtroom in time–it took us over half an hour to find the right courtroom!
7) One of the essential procedures is to exchange evidence, defendant to plaintiff and vice versa. When we tried to exchange evidence with plaintiff, she snapped, “That’s not the way it’s done here!” (known as “Hometowning” us). But we went to the bailiff about this, and of course the plaintiff was WRONG, and we did exchange evidence. Twice the plaintiff testily asked for her evidence back (she had not made an extra copy for us and also one for the judge, as is the legal procedure), and we declined as we had not had time to fully read her “evidence” yet, which was about a dozen sheets of paper, mostly loose e-mails in no particular order. Not exchanging evidence could have complicated/delayed the trial.
8) Deducing from the state of the plaintiff’s evidence, she probably had never taken the trouble to even start a proper file on us! Yet she had taken our money.
9) Again, the trial should not have taken place in Santa Monica, but in San Francisco where RE/Search has always been headquartered.
10) The judge asked why I didn’t file a counter-suit, and I replied that I didn’t know you could do that in Small Claims Court! We would definitely have done that had we known… Now, our thanks to Marian Wallace and Cousin Gail for all their amazing, diligent work on this case…
11) The good news arrived yesterday: we “won” — we did not have to pay plaintiff one thin dime. However, we had to pay for our plane fare, plus the preparation took a couple weeks out of our lives, plus a week of help from Cousin Gail.

A Brief RE/SEARCH History
With $100 each from Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, in 1977 V. Vale founded SEARCH & DESTROY to document Punk Rock. In 1980 Vale founded RE/SEARCH which has produced to date about 30-odd projects, most notably the Industrial Culture Handbook, Pranks, andModern Primitives — a book which changed the world. BTW, many people don’t know that the original Search & Destroy (1977-79) tabloids are still available (11 issues, $40) and the rarer-still RE/Search #1-2-3 (1980-81) tabloids ($20, only 3000 or so were printed) fromwww.http://www.researchpubs.com or call 415-362-1465.
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June 2005 RE/Search eNewsletter written by V. Vale & contributors. Newsletter and website powered by laughingsquid.com

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