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RE/SEARCH Newsletter #38, July 2005

RE/SEARCH Newsletter #38, July 2005
HERE’S THE NEWS FROM SAN FRANCISCO….

CONTENTS:
1. CounterCulture Hour airs Saturday – Sat July 9, 2005, 6:30pm (8th episode) with Babeth Van Loo, filmmaker from Amsterdam, & Search & Destroy staffer
 (1977-79)
2. Ana Barrado Photo Show ALSO Saturday July 9th, 7pm – 11pm
3. Jean-Jacques Perrey coming to town! And, some Bob Moog news…
4. What We’ve Been Doing…
5. Barry Pateman: “Chomsky on Anarchism.” Black Oak Books, Wed 6-29-05
 – Written by Andy Lyman
6. LINKS OF INTEREST

**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, July 9, 2005, 6:30pm, Cable Channel 29 (Sorry, San Francisco only, but watch for video releases on our website.) The 8th episode will feature Babeth Van Loo, who was on the staff of and contributed writing and photographs to SEARCH & DESTROY, V. Vale’s first publication (1977-79).

It almost seems that you never really get to know somebody until you actually “interview” them. Well, Burroughs said something like, “You never really know somebody until you **work** with them.” But, you can work alongside somebody for years and never know some basic facts until you come out and **ask.** Of course, you have to ask the right questions. Well, it turns out that in 1973 or so Babeth was in a short student film with the then-almost-unknown Patti Smith. Previously, she worked with Joseph Beuys and Stockhausen. She visited Teeny Duchamp in France. She filmed a lot of early (70s) punk bands, not just in the Bay Area but in Europe. She got Einsturzende Neubauten their first big show at Documenta in Kassel, Germany. She got Z’ev a gig there, too. Tune in to the CounterCulture Hour and you can see some of her rare film footage and hear her “take” on how early punk rock started…

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 7th show featured Matt Gonzalez, former San Francisco mayorial candidate. 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 some of the shows, please email to us and we’ll let you know when they’re available. Could be soon if there’s enough interest! (Projected) price per 2 episodes (2 hours): $20.00–each is handmade. We’re still working on getting them (or excerpts) up on the web, so watch for that! We are also working on DVD editions, so let us know if you would prefer to buy a DVD version. It might happen yet.

2. Ana Barrado Photo Show coming right up! Ana Barrado has contributed her stunning infra-red photographic masterpieces to 4 RE/Search books: 1) RE/Search #8/9: J.G. Ballard (1983), 2) the illustrated RE/Search edition of J.G. Ballard’s THE ATROCITY EXHIBITION (1990) and the two latest RE/Search books: 3) J.G. BALLARD QUOTES and 4) J.G. BALLARD CONVERSATIONS (back from the Hong Kong printer in August 2005). She also contributed a photo of JOHANNA WENT to RE/Search #6/7: The INDUSTRIAL CULTURE HANDBOOK.

So, if you’ve received this newsletter, you are invited to a reception for Ana Barrado herself, direct from Florida where she teaches photography. It will be Sat July 9, 7-11 pm, and you can attend it after watching THE COUNTERCULTURE HOUR on S.F. Cable Channel 29 at 6:30 pm. Refreshments & snacks.

It’s at The MEDUSALON, 300 Divisadero (at Page St), San Francisco, tel 415-626-4782. Some framed gelatin prints will actually be for sale.

What follows is some “explanatory” text recently written to promote Ana’s Photo Show:

“There is a poetic consonance between the haunting photographs of Ana Barrado and the visionary fiction of J.G. Ballard, which has been signposted by four books published by RE/Search merging the work of both artists. The beauty of decay, the mirage of technological hyperachievement, the despoilation of the earth, the corrupting influence of global communications media, the death of morality and idealism — all these are topics of investigation for both Barrado and Ballard, who produce a kind of prophetic art that transcends the boundaries of contemporary critical theory. — V. Vale, RE/Search”

3. Jean-Jacques PERREY, resident of France, plans to be in town in September and there will be a party for him. Watch this space for further developments, especially if you’re a fan of Perrey & Kingsley (both interviewed in RE/Search’s Incredibly Strange Music books). In a nutshell, they’ve produced some of the most amazingly inventive/humorous music ever collaged together with a razor blade and tape. J-J Perrey’s recent CD, Circus of Life, is one of the best recordings ever to grace our stereo system (every track is great), and is available from our website.

In the meantime, here’s some news of BOB MOOG (interviewed in RE/Search #14: Incredibly Strange Music, Vol One), forwarded from our pal Lisa Haugen:

“Dear Friends of Bob, This is Matt and Ileana, Bob’s son and wife writing you to let those of you who do not know that Bob was diagnosed with a Brain Tumor at the end of April. Since then Bob has been actively working with a wonderful team of doctors at Duke and Mission Hospital in Asheville. Bob has difficulty moving the left side of his body and is bed-ridden, but in very good spirits. He is pursuing a multi-pronged approach of conventional radiation therapy, chemotherapy, along with a very healthy diet and supplements. Bob is in good spirits and working hard to keep his limbs flexible and his body healthy.” As Lisa stated, “This is so sad–just a year ago Jean-Jacques Perrey and him were touring the U.K. lecturing!” Well, you certainly never know what’s going to happen in your future…

4. What We’ve Been Doing…

** We’ve barely begun our next book project, a follow-up to our groundbreaking PRANKS! book. If you would like to contribute, please contact us.

We’ve seen three movies, all of which we “recommend.” CATERINA in the Big City — its casual depiction of a longtime “communist” household in Rome, Italy could never be filmed in the U.S.A. ENRON – very funny despite its grim portrayal of the almost-overnight demise of America’s 7th largest corporation which was built entirely by fraud and deceptive marketing, underpinned by massive money-laundering and assistance by the Bush government and leading bankers, and THE BLACK STALLION, by Carroll Ballard at the Balboa.

** Now, please support the BALBOA THEATER, a great San Francisco “indie-culture” experience (they even have organic chicken-sausages at the concession stand). Last Sunday we saw director Carroll Ballard in person present his classic film, The Black Stallion, to a small audience of about 50, including two children. It turned out it was not his idea to make this (or any “animal”) film, but the this was film which his old school-mate, Francis (Coppola) agreed to produce for him. This was a break for Ballard: his first feature. He said that in today’s market it would never have been released — not commercial enough, but back in the day, positive audience response won over the decision. The movie features lots of beautiful close-ups which become abstract at times, and no less than fifteen horses, played the black stallion. There was a small “magical” dancing horse which gave the black stallion much of its sparky personality and a “swimming star” for the underwater shots. An amazing event! A nine-year-old girl was overheard telling the director, “Great film!”

We suggest you subscribe to the Balboa Theater e-newsletter here to keep up on their eclectic presentations.

** RICHARD H. KIRK, a founding member of CABARET VOLTAIRE (featured in Search & Destroy, RE/Search tabloids, and INDUSTRIAL CULTURE HANDBOOK), sent us a care package of a dozen-plus CDs & a DVD, including some quite rare offerings. We’ve started listening, and right way our impression was that these recordings sound surprisingly current–they haven’t dated at all. We started with a beautiful box set, CABARET VOLTAIRE, METHODOLOGY ’74/’78 ATTIC TAPES… groundbreaking! Then we played Richard H Kirk Earlier/Later with great photographs/artwork from the 70s pre-punk era. The whole experience just confirms the notion that time is cyclical (like a moebius strip) and that “progress” is an illusion, if not a downright dangerous delusion. (all right, we’re glad we live in a post-penicillin & Internet era). Next on our player will be ELECTRONIC EYE: THE IDEA OF JUSTICE. We are glad to observe that Richard H. Kirk has put an “H” in his name, just like William Burroughs eventually morphed into William S. Burroughs.

** We were privileged to meet members of HOP-FROG, a “band” named after an Edgar Allan Poe story. The band has produced some beautiful CDs and 45s including “Hop-Frog’s Fatwa: The Silk Road (Music for Minefields, and the children who play in them),” and Hop-Frog’s Drum Jester Devotional, recorded in the L.A. Department of Sewers (shades of Julia Solis, with her www.darkpassage.com website and New York Underground book). Google to find more about the band.

** We also “found” time to read a few mysteries: Andrea Camilleri‘s EXCURSION TO TINDARI, in which we were happy to note the return of “Ingrid,” one of our favorite minor characters in the world of Italian police procedurals. The 90-year-old mafiosi was an especially chilling creation, despite the brevity of his appearance. We will read any Camilleri mystery, and look forward to more translations (this is the 4th in English of his Inspector Montalban series). We also read Michael Connelly‘s TRUNK MUSIC, which is a minor masterpiece. The only complaint I have is his use of the slang verb “jazzed” — otherwise, quite flawless. Now am reading Robert Crais‘s LA REQUIEM – not quite as “good” as Connelly, but a runner-up. We also started John Baxter‘s biography of LUIS BUNUEL – highly recommended. And last but not least, the most recent hardback on the magisterial Surrealist artist LEONORA CARRINGTON, written by Susan L. Aberth.

5. Barry Pateman- Chomsky on Anarchism. Presentation, Black Oak Books. Wednesday June 29
Written up by Andy Lyman, who is visiting San Francisco from Indiana, via Savannah, GA

Last Wednesday I attended a presentation at Black Oak Books, near the intersection of Broadway and Columbus. I knew next to nothing about the event, other than it was somehow associated with Noam Chomsky and his new book on anarchism, appropriately titled, “Chomsky on Anarchism.” put out by AK Press. This was more than enough to draw me out of the house. It turned out to be a reading by Barry Pateman, the man responsible for putting together, as well as conducting most of the interviews in the aforementioned book. Pateman, after a brief introduction by one of the Black Oak’s staff, ambled out from behind a row of books. He was a large man with wild hair, even wilder mutton chops, and large, boxy glasses. He spoke with a thick northern English accent. In other words, not a thing at all like Chomsky, aside from similar hair color, and, I supposed, similar choice of eyewear. He began by explaining that the event had little to do with him. He was only there to serve as a medium, and to speak, as best he could, for Noam Chomsky. From there he mostly read passages from the new book to offer brief glimpses into Chomsky’s views and approach to anarchy. He outlined the difference between anarchy and anarchism. Anarchism, he said, is the idea. It is passive in the sense that it is only a philosophy. Anarchy is active. It is a state, it is a lifestyle, it is a way of being. Anarchy is a system of social organization based on consent and agreement between individuals rather than on the enforcement of laws and power. The idea behind it is predicated on the belief that all forms of government are inherently violent and therefore, wrong. Anarchy strives for the removal of government through the dissolution of its necessity. It is a system based on cooperation and consent. Laws are not required to maintain order. Laws create, rather than suppress, conflict.
A point that Pateman stressed was central to Chomsky’s approach to anarchy is that the most important area of conflict in a capitalist system is class. All conflict, he explained, is a result of class struggle; the attempt to pass the burden of responsibility on to the lower classes. Chomsky says that in any conflict, class will be at the root of it; whether clear on the surface or not. Anarchy’s aim is for the obliteration of the need for class in the first place. Class, it is argued, is a nonessential part of society.
Another point that was hammered in, that may come as a surprise, especially to the “wild in the streets” breed of anarchist is; “that the way to destroy the state is to strengthen it.” If this seems contrary to logic, you are not thinking about it deeply enough. If the state is strong, it can provide for people the necessities of living–i.e., health care, sanitation, welfare, education (in the future, maybe even basic rent and food, given the rise of widespread real estate profiteering). When people’s needs are met they have more freedom, and therefore more power. Strengthening the state is the first step to dismantling it. It’s also a way of fighting back against private industry gone out of control. At this point the state is very weak. It is private businesses that really control the government. By ousting these corporate interests and re-establishing the state as the primary moderator and organizer of society, we bring a great deal of power back to the people. A power that they could one day use to do away with government rule all together.
It all came off sounding quite well founded, as ideas presented by Chomsky usually are. It was a refreshing contrast to the popular image, mostly fueled by the media, or the lawless, destructive, criminal anarchist. It was a kinder gentler anarchy that was being presented. A very cooperative, humanitarian, creative, nurturing sort of system. Not at all chaotic, but rather, highly organized, and a very peaceful, organic form of organization; able to change and modify itself based on the consent of the people. It is a very human system because there is nothing more to it than humans. Humans interacting and cooperating with other humans to build a better society. Very idyllic, but founded on very solid, pragmatic ground. And besides, there is nothing wrong with idealism. Idealism is simply hope, and if we aren’t hoping for a better future, what are we doing?
As long as we play by their rules we are subject to their control, but the moment we create new rules, we create entirely new possibilities for our future. Control is maintained through domination of thought and attitude. It forces us to make choices between a limited number of options. It forces us to be blind to all the other choices that exist. Break from these constraints and the power is gone. That is the path to anarchy. That is the message that Barry Pateman, speaking for Noam Chomsky, was trying to convey last Wednesday. I think it came across quite clearly. — Andy Lyman

6. LINKS OF INTEREST

() Prankster extraordinaire JOEY SKAGGS forwarded us this website on The American Taliban: http://www.reandev.com/taliban/. This is the most amazing site we’ve seen in quite awhile, and is a role model for more of the same in the future. It looks totally professional–minimalist in design and concept–with sharp well-focused photographs and exact quotations — THAT’S ALL. No editorializing or commentary. You could send this to 1000 people instead of just a handful of people who “think like you do.”

() Ever wondered what exactly a movie “producer” (like Kathleen Kennedy [Spielberg]) does? (Marian Wallace’s answer: “Anything & Everything To make sure the Movie Happens. Makes sure of the Legality.”) This article may shed further light. Apparently Ms. Kennedy is The One who initiated J.G. Ballard’s Empire of the Sun being turned into a film.

() Media Pranksters worthy of study: www.newsbreakers.org – they were written up in the New York Times Sun June 26, 2005.

() google to find MAKE Magazine websites – Mark Frauenfelder (& friends’) latest project fills a contemporary need: do-it-yourself projects for alt-culture tekkies with a “prankish” gleam in their eye. For example: Make a coffin from Ikea “parts” for less than $400! Reprogram your outdated Sony Aibo “dog” to sniff out toxic waste repositories!

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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July 2005 RE/Search eNewsletter written by V. Vale & contributors. Newsletter and website powered by laughingsquid.com

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