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V. VALE’s RE/SEARCH NEWSLETTER #58, March 2007

WELCOME TO V. VALE’s RE/SEARCH NEWSLETTER #58, March 2007. HERE’S THE NEWS FROM SAN FRANCISCO… ALL READERS ARE INVITED TO SEND CONTRIBUTIONS AND FEEDBACK!

CONTENTS:

1.   Thur March 8, 2007, 7pm, the rare Exploratorium Night Party, Kal Spelletich, Ulrika Andersson & Other Artists!

2.   Sat March 10, 6:30pm: RE/SEARCH presents the COUNTER CULTURE HOUR featuring an interview with RYOICHI KUROKAWA, supersonic video artist who played RML (Recombinant Media Labs) awhile back; and a 9-minute interview with MASAMI TERAOKA, painter, taped at his recent Catharine Clark Gallery opening. (Both are of Japanese ancestry.) Cable Channel 29 (S.F. only), 6:30pm.

3.   March 17-18 Sat-Sun: Anarchist Book Fair. RE/Search books discounted; meet V. Vale and Charles Gatewood and get your books autographed! Free! and an amazing social event…

4.   Again: RE/Search Book Distributor declares bankruptcy! YIKES! Thanks to all who ordered last month! AND **Please help keep us alive – if there’s a book you’ve been wanting to order, don’t delay!** Do your gift shopping! Save on shipping by ordering multiple items!

5.   Stephane von Stephane’s column: “Factory Girl” reviewed

6.   What We’ve Been Reading, Listening To, etc: Google “James H. Kunstler” and “Vivienne Westwood“!

7.   Recommended Links – thanks to: You Know Who You Are

8.   Quotes from William S. Burroughs’ Ghost of Chance, etc.

9.   PRANKS 2, Industrial Culture Handbook reviews

10.   Feedback from Readers
OUR “AD” here: RE/Search’s INDUSTRIAL CULTURE HANDBOOK is back! limited edition hardback (RE/Search’s edition 1000 copies – V. Vale will autograph on request), gorgeous, $40. On glossy paper. Now $35 (plus $4 shipping U.S.; $15 Air Overseas). To order: info@researchpubs.com, call 415-362-1465, or try our order blank at www.http://www.researchpubs.com.

**RE/Search is on MySpace: If you would like to be “our friend” – receive bulletins, etc, please Join Us!

http://www.myspace.com/108198017  – thanks, v. vale & cohorts
**A few people have called RE/Search (Whisker Bill from Alaska; Lynn Peril from Alameda, Barry Malkin from NYC, etc) wondering if we survived the Telegraph Hill landslide last Tues 3:17AM, Feb 27. The landslide was triggered by heavy rains and extreme hail. Our answer is Yes – that landslide was a block away, and possibly caused by a huge, heavy, 45-condo building built by a “developer” in 1973 on a sheer cliff face (this got “approved”??) which had been caused by illegal dynamite detonation about a hundred years ago – in this case, the millionaire “perp” responsible finally got shot by a young man he cheated out of wages, a rare case of “justice.” Apparently around 2002 after a “preview” mini-landslide occurred, the 45-condo owners chose not to spend money to reinforce the cliff face with big metal bolts and netting, whereas adjacent neighbors DID just that and suffered no landslide. One insurance person predicted big lawsuits ahead against the 45-condo owners; the original “developer” is apparently beyond legal liability now – gawd knows what bribes HE paid to make his illicit millions…

 

 

1.   Thur March 8, 2007, 7-11pm, the rare Exploratorium (S.F.) Night Party, Kal Spelletich, Joe Mangrum, Project Bandaloop, Lead Pencil Studio, Ulrika Andersson & Other Artists do site-specific, “awesome” installations! Be there or be … Highly recommended! Google “Exploratorium March 8” for much more info. Show is titled “Liminality: Art on the Threshold.” RE/Search will attend; come up & talk to us!
2.   Sat MARCH 10, 2007, 6:30pm: RE/SEARCH presents an interview with RYOICHI KUROKAWA, supersonic video artist who played RML (Recombinant Media Labs) awhile back; and a 9-minute interview with MASAMI TERAOKA, painter, taped at his recent Catharine Clark Gallery opening. (Both are of Japanese ancestry.) Cable Channel 29 (S.F. only), 6:30pm (RE/Search’s Counter Culture Hour airs 2nd Sat of month, 6:30pm; set your “VCR”!) Google these artists or check their websites: http://www.ryoichikurokawa.comhttp://www.masamiteraoka.com – the Kurokawa interview in particular is an exercise in linguistic border-crossing, while Teraoka reveals a total commitment to resisting censorship in America… BTW, the Masami Teraoka Painting Show can be viewed for free (til March 31) at Catharine Clark Gallery, 49 Geary St, 2nd floor, San Francisco.

Future episodes of the Counter Culture Hour will feature ROBOEXOTICA artists! [Over 12 hours of video was shot in Vienna! We hope to have help from Mattbot and David Fine…]
3.   Sat March 17 10-6pm, Sun March 18 11-5pm: 12th annual Anarchist Book Fair. RE/Search books will be discounted, even rare signed hardback editions! Meet V. Vale and Charles Gatewood and get your books autographed! This is one of the most amazing social events of the year, and it’s free. S.F. County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park near 9th Avenue/Lincoln (former Hall of Flowers). Speakers include Chris Carlsson, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, James Kelman, Ward Churchill, Michelle Tea and others. Scheduled Panel Discussions sound intriguing, too, especially “The Future of Radical Print Publications” (and on this topic, we’re none too optimistic)…
4.   Again: RE/Search Book Distributor declares bankruptcy! Yikes!
Perseus Distribution has stepped in to take over for publishers’ wholesale distribution, but during this especially barren transition period: **Please help keep us alive – if there’s a book you’ve been wanting to order, don’t delay!** If you don’t have our latest books (Pranks 2, Industrial Culture Handbook hardbound, JG Ballard Conversations and JG Ballard Quotes – not to mention the expanded Punk ’77) we recommend you order them while you still can! Already out-of-print are Search & Destroy Vol One (Vol Two is still available), and we have just handfuls of the following books left: Pranks (the original classic featuring SRL, Joey Skaggs, etc), Incredibly Strange Films, Incredibly Strange Music Vol Two, Angry Women, Charles Willeford’s Wild Wives, and Mike Bloomfield’s Me & Big Joe. These days, it will take a miracle to bring any of these back into print! Also, our William S. Burroughs T-shirt (“We intend to destroy dogmatic verbal systems”) – we’re down to 8 shirts, size Medium only. And, if you pay for priority or foreign-air mail, we’ll try to include a free item (of our choice) – an especially good deal for our overseas readers.
5.   Stephane von Stephane‘s column: I really wanted to like Factory Girl, the film about Edie Sedgwick, rich socialite artist-wannabe, Andy Warhol’s main muse and film superstar. Just like I was looking forward to the PBS documentary about him and was disappointed, so with this film. Though it wasn’t quite as disappointing or depressing as the doc…
There were some really nice moments, i.e. when young and impressionable Edie first hits the big city. Particularly when she enters The Factory and is overwhelmed by the energy of the art and freaky people buzzing around and being creative – we really get her sense of wonder and excitement. There is even angelic symphonic music playing… is she in Heaven?
At that point I had hope for the film. But, I had decided to try to view it objectively as a piece of art, pretend not to know the outcome already. See if it could stand on its own as a story. It failed that test. It just doesn’t give you enough reason to care about any of the characters. If it weren’t based on a true story, it probably wouldn’t have been interesting at all, except as an After School Special. We are left to fill in the details of the backstory and interrelations of the characters, and historical relevance, on our own. And if you don’t know that stuff already, you’ll probably be left out in the cold (like Edie). Next thing you know someone will be shooting you up with heroin and filming it whilst stealing your silverware and fur coat.
Once again, the vampiric nature of la Warhola is pointed out. There is a great scene where Andy is in a club looking down from a balcony lustily watching the Velvet Underground perform – reminded me of David Bowie in The Hunger zeroing in on his victim (the wonderful Ann Magnuson) in the dance club, whom he picks up, takes home and feasts on. To the credit of the filmakers, they do not seem to solely blame Andy for letting Edie waste away and die. The credit goes partly to the drugs abounding at the Factory – lots and lots of speed and later heroin, of which Andy doesn’t partake. And honestly, how could he really stop the influx? He wasn’t the den-mother. Yes, he may have enjoyed watching it all happen around him a bit too much. But, he really did seem to have a bit of a problem with engaging socially. Today he’d be on Zoloft or something. and who knows if his career or art would have happened at all?
In fact, today, a ‘scene’ like that might never be born. There isn’t enough impetus to ‘rebel’ against the status quo by simply doing drugs and dressing differently and making art. Art is so corporate these days. Marilyn Manson’s drag is about as freaky as it gets, and that’s pretty mundane now. Poor little rich girls are not the slightest bit innocent and corruptable… they start out corrupt (see Paris Hilton), do the corrupting (see Britney Spears) and we are not at all sorry for them when they crash and burn.
But for that timeframe, it was enough…it was radical when Jimi Hendrix sang in If 6 Was 9: “White collared conservative flashing down the street, pointing their plastic finger at me, they’re hoping soon my kind will drop and die. But I’m gonna wave my freak flag high, high. Wave on, wave on. Fall mountains fall, just don’t fall on me. Go on ahead Mr. Business man, you can’t dress like me….” Just making art, music and dressing differently was enough. Punk rockers did it too.
So, what’s radical now? Just look to Sunday’s Academy Awards show for the answer to that. Hosted by an ‘Out’ Lesbian, pretty shocking. An Academy Award winner (Melissa Etheridge, for best song), kissing her partner on camera and at the podium thanking her ‘wife’. Middle America was most assuredly as shocked by that as they once were by photos in Life Magazine of the tinfoil walls and long-haired freaks at The Factory. Thank god something’s still shocking. Middle America’s pointing plastic finger still points plastically. Too bad it’s at human beings just trying to be accepted for loving others of their same sex. Ellen DeGeneres, host of the Oscars, talked about what a diverse group of people were there that night and her best line of the show was: “If it weren’t for Blacks, Gays and Jews, there wouldn’t even be an Oscars… in fact there wouldn’t even be anyone named Oscar!”
But, I digress… Factory Girl, some good bits; overall… not so much.
Still flying my freak flag high, Wave on, wave on – Stephane von Stephane
6.   What We’ve Been Listening To, Reading, Viewing, etc…
() Our favorite “discovery” of the month has been JAMES HOWARD KUNSTLER – I know, what took us so long?! His latest book, The Long Emergency, is vital reading, and his website, kunstler.comis essential – and often very funny as well. If you google James H. Kunstler you will discover a great interview with him printed in Rolling Stone(http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/7203633/the_long_emergency/) , plus no doubt much more. As we ourselves are still immersed in reading everything we can by him, we are reluctant to just give a watered-down “summary” of his many, varied ideas, but let’s just say that his vision of the future seems the most “truthful” yet…and, somewhat alarmingly, it may not be that far off! So maybe some of those much-maligned “survivalists” may not be as crazy as most people think … Warning: if being absolutely politically-correct is uppermost in your mind, you may not like him as much as we do… We think he strives to tell “the truth” and if his language is occasionally “offensive” – just take it all with the proverbial grain of salt. It’s black humor, after all… He has other books like The Geography of Nowhere, and we recommend them… he needs support; the kind that comes from actually BUYING a book…

() A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil: Politics and the New World Order by William Engdahl (Pluto Press, 2004): “…the US agenda in Iraq was about oil [and] about geopolitical power above all… The last century was the American Century which rested on two pillars: the uncontested roles of US military power, and of the dollar as world reserve currency. The power of the dollar and the power of the US military had been uniquely intertwined with one commodity: petroleum. As Henry Kissinger once said: ‘Control energy and you control the nations.'” (sent by Thomas H.)

() Total recommendation: Underground (1995) by Emir Kustirica. A classic epic interweaving fake history, surrealism, fantasy, alternate “endings” and definitely larger-than-life characters in the Zorba the Greek or Henry Miller’s Colossus of Maroussi “tradition.” Seems impossible to have been made in this era of extremely diminished capacity. 3 hours of dark manic madness beauty poetry etc. Great original music! This is a film I’d like to actually own…

() Other films recently viewed: Life of Brian, Monty Python and the Holy Grail (classics, too)..

() Our pal KENT BEYDA from L.A. sent us a CD of some old radio programs he did back in the day – was life better then, or what?!

() Thanks to Lourdes Livingston, on March 4 we saw Vivienne Westwood answer questions from the mostly-student audience at the Academy of Art’s presentation of a “Doctorate” to her. She is definitely still “radical” after all these years. Google her (e.g., “Vivienne Westwood de Young”), and see her show at the de Young Museum, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, March 3-June 10. Sample quote from V.W.: “What has happened is that we are all consuming so relentlessly that we are losing sight of basic human values…My advice is to Buy Nothing.”

() The Vacuum Boys new CD: Space Breakdance Challenge. www.vacuumboys.com

() Google “Slomo Video” to find Ryan Junell’s amazing compilation of one-minute videos.

() First generation Punk Songwriter MARY LAWLER has songs on MySpace – http://www.myspace.com/marylawler – well worth the listen!

() James Tracy’s Sparks and Codes – poetry chapbook given us at the Feb 28 debut party at Edinburgh Castle for Joe Donohoe’s Specious Species #1. BTW, V. Vale and Jun Ishimuro accompanied Tallulah Bankheist on vocals…
7.   Recommended Links:

() Great photos of Iran & more: http://www.lucasgray.com/video/peacetrain.html

() Spike Jones meets Dick Tracy: historic meeting: http://arflovers.com/index.htm
another meeting: http://www.comicbookresources.com/columns/oddball/index.cgi?date=2002-09-03

() “I photographed the ANTI-WAR MARCH on Saturday (Jan. 27), and put the photos online. Here’s the link: http://www.pbase.com/lautreamont/protest Someone made a mockup of the phony 911 Commission Report – it’s full of holes. Also, the Extra Action Marching Band was there.” – Steven Gray, photographer & blues guitarist (www.telepoetic.com; mp3’s of his music:http://www.myspace.com/somahexuals

() Global change documented by satellite photos: http://www.apple.com/pro/sessions/globalchange/

() “Hi Vale, apropos branding and so on, here is something pretty surreal:
http://…com/yszgtk Next time you land in the US, you’ll be greeted by Mickey Mouse!
PS – I’ve never read Danielle Steele, but maybe someday soon it will come to that?? – Julia”

() ARTHUR magazine R.I.P. – another independent publisher dies
http://www.villagevoice.com/blogs/runninscared/archives/2007/02/freak_flags_fly.php

() SAVAGE REPUBLIC has released a new recording, SIAM – for more information go to mobilization.com. Savage Republic, featuring our pal Ethan Port, is now on a March European tour! It’s all on the above-mentioned website, or go to myspace.com/savagerepublic

() Excellent commentary on the Aqua Teen Hunger Force viral marketing campaign and “the myth of certainty and security”: http://www.ctheory.net/articles.aspx?id=571

So this is what it has come to: Two young artists (their demeanor an echo of 1960s creative expressiveness), paid a pittance to playfully market a surrealist cartoon movie starring several talking base-level consumer commodities, have been labeled semiotic terrorists and criminals by official reality. What does this political panic reflex, played out in the gerontocratic and the politically correct Commonwealth of Massachusetts, tell us? [1] What are the object lessons that can be drawn from this emotive, mediated and bureaucratic externalization of early 21st Century nightmare and demons? According to the criminal statute applied, these crude LED “Mooninites” that literally flipped Boston “the Bird” were legally defined as “infernal machines.” [2] Among the eleven cities targeted by this particular guerilla marketing campaign, only in Boston were these innocuous “lite brites” perceived to be objects of terror. Only in Boston did official reality shut down major parts of the city, deploy the Bomb Squad, and make ritualistic arrests and arraignments. Therefore, the question can, and should, be asked: What does this say about the current ~conscience collectif~ in the land of the Puritans, Kerouac, and Kennedy? What is going on in this stubborn bastion of a once optimistic state-centered liberalism, as it reacts to signs that oddly refract images of a Vietnam-era collective self? Official and local media reactions constitute a classic case of what psychologists call “hostile attributional syndrome.” In this syndrome, subject inappropriately react to neutral stimuli as if such stimuli were signals of real hostility. Appropriately decoded, these reactions have significant diagnostic value. As a public event, the response of official organs displays complex patterns of displacement and condensation, as befits such symbolic event and product. Below are some (hopefully) heuristic disentanglements of a couple of these very complex threads…

() interview with John Waters on American Routes website
http://www.americanroutes.org/thisweek.html
this is a great program, American roots music, out of New Orleans:
http://www.publicradiofan.com/cgi/program.pl?programid=194 – they don’t include the music on their downloads, copyright restrictions – listen to the show live to get the full effect

() 51 best magazines ever, including the years they were relevant:
http://www.goodmagazine.com/section/Features/the_best_magazines_ever

() Attention must be paid: http://www.emusic.com/features/spotlight/289_200701.html

() Telemarketer prank: http://howtoprankatelemarketer.ytmnd.com/

() “I went to visit the old CBGB & OMFUG and shot some photos and then went to the new location where the “store” is: http://laughingsquid.com/the-ghost-of-cbgb-omfug/ I bet some of the old punks on your newsletter list would be interested in seeing this. I’m not sure if I should be sad or angry. – Scott Beale”

() Kal Spelletich NY show: http://www.monkeyview.net/kal@seemen.org/billboard_proposals/index.vhtml

() Futurist Vernor Vinge: http://rohan.sdsu.edu/faculty/vinge/longnow/index.htm)
While he predicts a singularity event (something unpredictable) may “save” us, he has several scenarios for the future envisioned, including “The Age of Failed Dreams.” Software simply continues failing to keep pace with hardware improvements. One after another, enormous billion-dollar software projects simply do not run, as has already happened at the FBI, air traffic control, IRS, and many others. Some large automation projects fail catastrophically, with planes running into each. So hardware development eventually lags, and materials research lags, and no strong AI develops.” Another scenario would be: “The Wheel of Time.” Catastrophes and recoveries of various amplitudes follow one another. Enduring heroes would be archaeologists and “software dumpster divers” who could recover lost tools and techniques.” (writing by Stewart Brand – http://www.longnow.org/projects/seminars/ ; sent by Jim M.)

() 1963 Steve Allen Show appearance – pre-mustache, reminiscent of PDQ Bach http://globalia.net/donlope/fz/videography/Steve_Allen_Show.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGPPBwDBJDs
and lest we forget…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Uw03hS_EMY

() RE/Search presented monochrom from Vienna, Austria, at the Exploratorium last month (Feb 11; thanks Liz Keim! and guest Jennifer Granick–google her) and photos are available here:

http://laughingsquid.com/monochrom-comes-to-san-francisco-for-taugshow-10/#comment-105724 (Scott Beale photos)
http://laughingsquid.com/taugshow-10-photos/
http://baddcafe.com/article/eab79866-53f2-f4f8-3540-46c09c415279
 (btw, baddcafe is a “good” site, as are the EFF and Bittorrent sites. Go there and you’ll see what we mean.)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/laughingsquid/sets/72157594532535294/
Karen Marcelo’s photos are here: http://flickr.com/photos/k0re/sets/72157594533199989/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/hrlori/sets/72157594532968890/ (photos by Lori Dorn)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/violetblue/sets/72157594532488019/ (Violet Blue photos)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/raindrift/sets/72157594532452491/ (Ian Baker photos)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rubin110/sets/72157594531422655/ (Rubin Starset)
8.   QUOTES

() from William S. Burroughs‘ Ghost of Chance, *1991* [this book was remaindered! – what a crime] – “America is turning into Stalinist Russia, becoming a complete control state with zero tolerance for dissent on any level.” (p.50)

() [On the topic of how to take over a country:] “Whoever needed a majority? Ten percent plus the police and military is all it ever took. Besides, we’ve got the media, hook, line, and blinkers. Any big-circulation daily even hinting that the war against drugs is a red whale? Anyone asking: why more money isn’t going into research and treatment? … about money-laundering? … offshore bank accounts?” – ibid, p. 30

() “The teachings of Christ read like biological suicide. Shall the deer seek out the leopard and offer its throat to his fings? Shall fish impale themselves on hooks and leap into nets? No animal species could survive by seeking out and loving its enemies. This is madness as practical advice… On a psychic level, if you can get that close to an enemy you can turn him into a friend… A wise old magic man once told me: ‘I have no enemies, I turn them all into friends.’ He was the most deadly practitioner I have ever encountered.” – ibid, p. 26

() “When we see the planet as an organism, it is obvious who the enemies of the planet are. Their name is legion. They dominate and populate the planet… Did Homo Sap think other animals were there just for him to EAT? Apparently. Bulldozers are destroying the rain forests, the cowering lemurs and flying foxes, the singing Kloss’s gibbons, which produce the most beautiful and variegated music of any land animal, and the gliding colugo lemurs, which are helpless on the ground. All going, to make way for more and more devaluated human stock, with less and less wild spark, the priceless ingredient–energy into matter. A vast mud-slide of souless sludge.” – ibid, p. 18-19

() “Beauty is always doomed.” – ibid, p. 17

() “If you wish to conceal anything, you have only to create a lack of interest in the place where it is hidden.” – ibid, p. 9

() sent to us by James M.: “James Lovelock will go down in history as the scientist who changed our view of the Earth from a barren rock covered with a thin coating of life to a self-organising system that in many ways resembles a single organism. Following a conversation with the novelist William Golding, Lovelock named this self-regulating system after the Greek earth goddess Gaia. Viewed with suspicion by Darwinian fundamentalists, Gaia theory is now widely accepted and used in scientific disciplines. Its implication is that humanity is part of a much larger system that it cannot control, still less master. The Earth’s self-regulating processes impose limits on human ambitions, and if humanity acts to destabilise the system, the Earth will readjust in ways that show no regard for human welfare. James Lovelock [in The Revenge of Gaia] writes that the root of the environmental problem is a lack of constraint on human numbers, and I am sure he is right. With a population of a billion or fewer, the planet would be healthy whatever humans did to it. As it is, unchecked human expansion [population nearly 7 billion now] has disrupted the mechanisms that keep it stable. The question is not how humanity can retain its planetary dominance, which was always an illusion. It is whether humanity can use science and technology to mount a sustainable retreat. If not, Lovelock warns, we face “a global decline into a chaotic world ruled by brutal warlords on a devastated Earth.” – John Gray, author of Straw Dogs, writing in the Independent

“Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the universe is winning.” – S.F. Chronicle, 2-27-06, sent by Mindy Bagdon

“A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history, with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.” – ibid

“Consumerism itself is a vast desert… a desert without a single oasis, as far as I can see.” – J.G. Ballard
9.   PRANKS 2, Industrial Culture Handbook reviews

() [Re: Industrial Culture Handbook] “This book was an inspiration not only to subsequent “Industrial” musicians but to the “Goth” movement as well. The early Industrial Culture Movement involved far more than just making “noise music,” but sought to infuse subliminals, cut-ups, randomness and enlightening memes into all cultural production. With its focus on little-known amazing books, films and magazines, this guide is designed to tell you everything you need to know to experience the full range of delight derived from forbidden knowledge and its sources. You will learn many fascinating histories and ideas, the distinct differences by which concepts are evaluated, the standards by which life can be re-evaluated, how and where “black” knowledge can be obtained, and the secrets of how to live a creative life which minimizes bourgeois restraints stifling authentic and original creativity. Far more than a “book,” the Industrial Culture Handbook is one total guide to the exploration of a truly exciting area of expertise and enjoyment involving discernment possessed by very few. This is a handbook for those rare select individuals who seek total knowledge and connoisseurship, regardless of danger…” order from www.http://www.researchpubs.com, or call 415-362-1465.

() PRANKS 2 Review by Manny Otiko
“Published by RE/Search Books, Pranks 2 is written by V. Vale, a longtime figure in the Bay Area independent press. He published the 1970s punk tabloid “Search and Destroy,” and has been described by The Washington Post as the underground’s answer to Studs Terkel…
Activist rocker Jello Biafra launches a stinging attack on the Bush administration in his article. He said the Bush administration has played several costly pranks on the American people, including rigging the 2004 election by using electronic voting machines. He also alleges that Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” photo op was shot on an aircraft carrier off the coast of San Diego, not in the Persian Gulf.
Jihad Jerry, a founding member of Devo, sees pranks as “cultural Trojan horses,” which might seem funny, but also allow pranksters to jolt society’s sensibilities. He cites Stephen Colbert’s speech at the foreign correspondent’s dinner, where he mocks the president, who is sitting a few feet in front of him. Throughout the embarrassing event, the president has to grin and bear it.
Although the interviews are supposed to be about pranks, the interviewees also provide great insight into society and pop culture. Jihad Jerry points out that when a subculture is commercialized, it becomes a tool of suppression. In the case of hip hop, the original values of the movement, creativity and social expression, have been replaced with the sensibilities of corporate hip hop, namely guns, cars, and bling. In his chapter, John Waters said he likes watching porn because he is sometimes surprised with acts so bizarre that even he has never heard of them…
“Pranks 2” is a coffee table book…
www.rsee.com
…order PRANKS 2 from RE/Search or call 415-362-1465.

() Review of PRANKS 2 in the new Vol 4 HI FRUCTOSE, beautiful publication from artist Attaboy. Google “Hi Fructose” for more information… “This brand-new sequel to 1989’s wildly influential PRANKS! features… Jarico Reese and The San Francisco Bike Rodeos spoof deadly serious bike activists with Critical Mass-turbation! Crack Hacker Marc Powell shows how to prank with gourmet food; The Yes Men lay a giant erection on The World Bank and many, many more… My personal favorites: Julia Solis and Dark Passage with spine-tingling tales from the (actual) underground and America’s most perverse (and hilarious) master prankster, L.A. Cacophony Society’s Rev. Al Ridenour (Burn Victim Birth-Day Party at Chucky Cheese, infiltrating a G.I. Joe convention with the diorama Wall of Pain, and the classic Drunken Passenger-Jet Captain pre-flight Bar Crawl.) If you’ve ever seen a gang of hundreds of vomit-encrusted Santa Clauses drinking Pine Sol and mobbing department stores around Christmastime and wondering what the heck they were all about, this book has the answer…” – Thanks, Attaboy!
10.   Feedback from Readers:

“Dear Vale, I think I have at least 50% of everything you published…. mostly before there was the Internet. Nowadays I get your mailings, and I just HAD to order something because of your distributor-trouble. It didn’t hurt either that I read Pranks! twice because it is such a laugh riot and a good lesson in public disobedience… Say hello to Monte Cazazza – my band did a song with one of his lyrics… but that was 15 years ago and we DID get approval via fax – which I copied and still have today.” – Frans Stummer from Bavaria, www.frans-strummer.de

() Photographs by our adopted son, YOSHI YUBAI (back in Hiroshima, Japan), at http://www.photomanhattan.com/students13.htm#november92006

() V. Vale recently was a guest lecturer Feb 7, 2007 at Amanda Field’s class at CCA (California College of Arts), 1111 8th St, San Francisco. Students were asked to buy the two ZINES books published by RE/Search, and Amanda gave us a video starring her husband, Caveh Zahedi featuring songwriter Will Oldham: “Tripping with Caveh.” Yes, they took psychedelic mushrooms together and filmed the results! Order from amazon.com … She also gave us a copy of the latest Zyzzyva (devoted to West Coast writing/art only), published for nearly 20 years by local stalwart Howard Junker. We were surprised that it read like a Grove Press anthology (in the best tradition) and couldn’t help but be envious of all the ads and patrons listed. Non-profit Zyzzyva Inc. has perhaps figured out the “best” survival path for an independent publisher — because these days (when “free” Internet “content” rules the world) it sure isn’t by book sales alone…

() Hi Vale and Marian: Vale, I see from the last newsletter that your piano playing days are here for the benefit of all, finally. Yea – go get ’em! Speaking of going and getting, I just finished the J.G. BallardConversations book, and enjoyed it immensely, as well as the wonderful Pranks 2. Not only that, but it looks and feels so good, I could barely bring myself to open it up for risk of injuring its pristine smoothness. Lo and behold, even after going through the whole thing over the course of a few weeks, it STILL FEELS GOOD! Yummy great publishing – what accurate paper cutting and beautiful illustrations. Vale, your interviews are the best, you don’t hold back anything and your passions are right there in the mix. Love to the whole family – am intrigued about Marian’s new film, too – Nik & Nancy Phelps

() “Dear V. Vale, Thank you for rushing the RE/SEARCH #1-2-3 tabloids to me. This is exactly what I was expecting. I enjoyed the personal touch and communication as well as the free “gift”. Very thoughtful. I also want to thank you for putting out such illuminating and thought-provoking studies and interviews and for offering much-needed exposure to true artists and performers. I was indeed intrigued by SPK and Throbbing Gristle in the early ’80s and your periodicals have filled a void as far as my study goes.

“While most would contend that the artists represented in your publications are odd, quirky performance artists or musicians, there is so much more to their art… and that is a raw, unfiltered truth in information. One could take, for instance, this mainstream (main-line) media, et al (news, programs, music, printed media, politicians…). As I observe it, I am in awe of the manipulation, dis-information, redacted reports, fabrication and lies.

“Now, I’m not the smartest person in the world, but they insult my intelligence–from Hillary, Rosie, Oprah and Bush to Rather, Brokaw and O’Reilly. Each has an agenda, take, opinion to shape. Wants to conform and persuade one to go along with their thought patterns.

“In closing, you are the finest conduit of pure information-classified as sub-culture or counter-culture, call it what your will, it is a truth not found anywhere else. I and many others owe a debt of gratitude to you for posessing the drive and desire to publish and being able to do so with verve and consistency. Kindest regards, William H–”

() “Hey guys, the PRANKS 2 event Thursday [Feb 1, 2007] in New York City at Bluestocking Bookstore/Cafe was a complete success. Here’s my write-up and photos: http://laughingsquid.com/pranks-2-new-york-book-release-photos/ –
Saturday (Ron English gallery show in New Jersey, Feb 3) was even better than Thursday’s event. http://laughingsquid.com/pranks-2-jersey-city-book-release-photos/” – Scott Beale

() “Yesterday at the post office I mailed a package of CDRs to a friend. The return address I stamped with a stamp I had made at a stationery store. According to the stamped address, the sender of the package was THE SEXUAL FREEDOM LEAGUE OF CALIFORNIA care of HEATHER PUDENDA, NUDE MASSAGE THERAPIST…The postal clerk admonished me that …the Federal authorities can come to my home and take my computer to access the hard drive to see what questionable and dangerous activities I have been up to… I know the Patriot Act grew out of 9-11. What is most idiotic is this mindless fear, this idiotic hysteria, this ninny humorlessness that has crept into the attitudes of the average person. All fun, spontaneity, and laughter has been scrubbed from their lives in service of the greater good, SECURITY. This is a stupid, idiotic state of affairs. It confirms all my worst fears about the mindlessness of the average person. Do you enjoy living in a world devoid of irreverent humor? Have you traded your freedom for security? What ever happened to fun and laughter and joy and happiness?” – John Trubee (John was featured in PRANKS, available fromwww.http://www.researchpubs.com)

() “Have got out from the library JG BALLARD QUOTES and JG BALLARD CONVERSATIONS. Just wanted to express my appreciation for putting those together – am reading them cover-to-cover, and I rarely do that. Much thought-provoking material, Vale. – Mako Sano”

() “…I don’t have your other Ballard volumes, but I’ll probably be back for those in a while (and quite a few other titles as well, I imagine). I’m on a budget these days, so I try to spend my money in controlled bursts. Yes, your monthly newsletter is more than welcome. Best wishes from beyond the Arctic Circle” – Svein Svarverud

() Pranks 2 is as fun as the first one. It makes me ‘reminisce’ over the things I did in High school! I’m working on my finishing touches on my Levittown CD – Peter Grudzien plays on it too! Thanks/no thanks to you guys !! I collect strange music/ Howard Johnson’s restaurants stuff/ Suburban studies/ comic books/ fanzines, so love your books. Hoping for a 3rd “Incredibly Strange Music” – Bob Koenig, www.bobkoenigmusic.com

() “Hey Vale and gang! I just thought I’d give you a heads up that over the last week I have been tracking down videos of a number of your Pranks subjects. I’m getting a rather decent collection posted up on one of my blogs: http://firebreathertv.blogspot.com Thought you might like to see all of them collected in one place like that. I’m trying to update about once a day. It’s not always Prank related, but it has been for a while. Maybe someone will get interested and go order from you. I have a link to RE/Search in every post… Have the fun, guys. – Andy”

() “I recently worked a Science Convention in downtown S.F. and learned that it’s official: the world is on its way to the shit can! – duh. I would pop my shrunken head into room after room and the news was all bad… something like 90% of the largest 10% of fish are gone, and 75% of the next largest 50%. This may not make sense from a math standpoint but I failed algebra three times so too bad. But factor in global warming, etc. and the upshot is… we’re fucked.” – Joel H.

() “Comrade / Sister / Brother / Other: One of the corporate thieves who distributes the books of many independent publishers in the States has “declared bankruptcy,” leaving many of our friends in financial peril: (http://news.bookweb.org/news/4972.html)

“RE/Search Publications (http://www.http://www.researchpubs.com/), run by our agent “Vale” in Sam The Clam’s Disco, has been thrown into financial chaos. For those who have not yet meditated upon them, let me explain that, RE/Search published the textbooks for all THE KIDS studying in — or cutting class from — Old School. (http://www.http://www.researchpubs.com/books/storepage.php)

“Guardian of the Impossible, Vale transmitted to us ’77 Burroughs Gysin Ballard et al, brought us the words of Angry Women Freaks Modern Pagans et al, motivated the Tattooed Industrialized Swingers et al. Teaching us by example and interview to “Do It Yourself!,” all we kids who ever put out a zine dreamed one day of being “just like Vale.”

“In the States, we are all accustomed to living by the skin of our teeth, but when the marrow scrapes away to expose the marrow and nerve underneath we *do* HOWL in pain. I urge all and every to help support RE/Search and “Vale” by ordering a book immediately, a minute ago, yesterday!
(http://www.http://www.researchpubs.com/order/orderpage.php)

“Take care. Stay free. Your pal, Mitchell Cowen Verter, El Libro Libre http://www.waste.org/~roadrunner
MARCH 2007 RE/Search eNewsletter written by V. Vale & contributors. Newsletter and website powered by http://www.laughingsquid.com

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