WELCOME TO V. VALE’s RE/SEARCH NEWSLETTER #59, April 2007. HERE’S THE NEWS FROM SAN FRANCISCO… ALL READERS ARE INVITED TO SEND CONTRIBUTIONS AND FEEDBACK!
1. Sat April 14, 6:30pm: RE/SEARCH presents the COUNTER CULTURE HOUR featuring an interview with LI ALIN, improvisatory electronica diva from Montreal/Europe. Cable Channel 29 (S.F. only), 6:30pm.
See our two last months’ shows here (free for now!):
2. RE/Search in L.A.: Sat April 28, 7:30 PM, Beyond Baroque, Venice CA – come meet us in a small, intimate setting! Celebrating the latest release: the limited edition hardback Industrial Culture Handbook. Panel guests: Graeme Revell (SPK), Johanna Went. Rare films.
3. COMING UP April 21-22, Sat-Sun: Alternative Press Expo. RE/Search books discounted; meet V. Vale and Charles Gatewood and get your books autographed! A great 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
6. What We’ve Been Reading, Listening To, etc: Google “James H. Kunstler”
7. Recommended Links – thanks to: You Know Who You Are
9. PRANKS 2, Industrial Culture Handbook reviews
10. Feedback from Readers
OUR “AD” here: Out-of-print for years, RE/Search’s INDUSTRIAL CULTURE HANDBOOK is back! limited edition hardback (RE/Search’s edition 1000 copies – V. Vale will autograph on request), gorgeous, list price $40. glossy paper. Now $35 (plus $4 shipping U.S.; $15 Air Overseas). To order: email@example.com, call 415-362-1465, or try our order blank at www.http://www.researchpubs.com
Also, we have posted (2) Counter Culture Hour episodes at veoh.com – please check them out!
http://www.veoh.com/videos/v316630GefJq73s — Episode with Jonathan Moore (SRL) at Roboexotica
http://www.veoh.com/videos/v316647rCCRPG3H — Ryoichi Kurokawa, electronic filmmaker AND painter Masami Teraoka
**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
1. Sat April 14, 6:30pm: RE/SEARCH presents the COUNTER CULTURE HOUR featuring an interview with LI ALIN, improvisatory electronica diva poet from Montreal/Europe. Cable Channel 29 (S.F. only) (RE/Search’s Counter Culture Hour airs 2nd Sat of month, 6:30pm; set your “VCR”!) Note that Li Alin’s CD, ALL IN, is available for only $12 fromhttp://www.asphodel.com/releases/view.php?Id=90
[from website] “Li Alin has worked with many other media art forms before landing in the music world. From her experiences in building mobile sculptural robotics to crafting virtual sperm banks for the internet she brings very unusual perspectives to her fascination with reproduction, science fiction and soundtrack. “ALL IN” is an audio diary of “pop noir” love songs…
“These ten French and English parables were conceived in Li’s isolated “Nesthetik” lab in downtown Montreal… Selections to focus upon include “Killing Time is Killing Me,” “Little Girl,” and the final “J’aspire” track for those seeking an introduction to the album… Stylistic references may touch upon hints of Marlene Dietrich, Nico or aspects of Serge Gainsbourg, but the listeners for Li Alin are apt to find themselves in a fresher, fragile universe navigated by the obsessive nature of this spare and rigorous euphoric voice.” Google Li Alin for more info!
2. PRESS RELEASE: RE/Search at Beyond Baroque, Venice CA, Sat April 28, 7:30 PM
RE/SEARCH PARTY celebrating RE/Search’s latest: Industrial Culture Handbook limited edition hardback (ed. of 1000)
Sat, April 28, 2007 – 7:30 PM
Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Blvd, Venice, CA 90291 tel 310-822-3006
$10 (includes $10 coupon towards purchase of an autographed INDUSTRIAL CULTURE HANDBOOK hardback book – if you buy a book, you get in free!)
PARTY, Film Show, Panel/Q&A featuring:
() Graeme Revell (SPK founder; soundtrack composer)
() Johanna Went (performance artist)
() Host: V. Vale, RE/Search founder.
() Rare SPK Film Clips (edited by Gary Chong) & Visual Presentations.
The evening will encompass a Party, Film Showing (edited by Gary Chong), Panel Discussion, and Audience Q&A with two local Los Angeles artists who appear in RE/Search’s INDUSTRIAL CULTURE HANDBOOK. Panelists will explain their “philosophy and creative histories” and answer questions from the audience. All interested in Industrial Music, and in RE/Search’s 30 year history of cultural subversion are urged to attend. Hard-to-find RE/Search Publications will be available for sale discounted, and can be autographed. This is a rare opportunity to meet Industrial Culture pioneers, while supporting the counterculture RE/Search publishing team.
In this beautiful, intimate setting, attendees will be able to meet and ask questions of two of the most original artists on the West Coast. Additionally, the Punk Photography of Kamera Zie (from Search & Destroy, 1977-79) will be on display in the Beyond Baroque Gallery upstairs, and Kamera Zie herself will be present (tent.) to meet and answer questions. Original Search & Destroy issues from ’77-79 will be on sale, many of them featuring large centerfolds by K. Zie, which presumably can be autographed! (Incidentally, Kamera Zie has her own opening at Beyond Baroque, Fri April 20, 7:30pm)
RE/Search’s new “INDUSTRIAL CULTURE HANDBOOK” limited edition hardback is now available from www.http://www.researchpubs.com or call 415-362-1465 to order! Review copies are available; firstname.lastname@example.org (8.5×11″, glossy paper, $35)
3. COMING UP: April 21-22, Sat-Sun, 11-6pm: Alternative Press Expo. RE/Search books discounted; meet V. Vale and Charles Gatewood and get your books autographed! A great social event featuring small publishers and artists from all over.
() Kwisp, Winston Tong, Kristin Miltner and Lx Rudis transport the audience to a most surreal place, using realtime video manipulation, streamed content, ritualistic song and spoken word, props, puppets, sound sculptures, holographic video synthesis and electro-acoustic sound. – 21 Grand [416 25th St @Broadway Near 19th Street BART Oakland – http://www.21grand.org – Sat 4/28 9:00 PM $6-10
() JAMES STARK (Punk ’77 photographer) is having a photo show in Fresno early May – write us for more info if you will actually attend.
4. Aftermath: RE/Search Book Distributor declares bankruptcy —
Please order RE/Search books/CDs you’ve always wanted but procrastinated ordering, to help us weather this “transition” period in our 30-year Counter Culture publishing history. We recommend –
1) limited edition hardback Industrial Culture Handbook, on glossy paper stock. can be autographed.
2) JG Ballard Quotes – great bathroom reading, commuter reading (stop-and-start), etc.
3) JG Ballard Conversations
4) Due to changes in the book business, some of our books are going out-of-print (unless we can find a partner/angel/non-profit donation to bring them back to life): PRANKS. Incredibly Strange Films. R/S #4/5: Burroughs, Gysin, Throbbing Gristle. Etc. So, we recommend you order them while you still can. V. Vale will autograph on request.
Graham Rae did an interview with V. Vale and sent us the following note from J.G. Ballard: “I’m glad too that you’re an admirer of Vale and his remarkable publishing house — he has produced an amazing series of books over the years and kept the flag of independent publishing flying during a very difficult time — the most consistently interesting publisher in America, without a doubt — …” Well, THANKS, J.G. BALLARD!
5. Stephane von Stephane’s column:
Neva Chonin is the San Francisco Chronicle’s critic at large. Her weekly column is called Live!Rude!Girl! and it is the only thing I look forward to reading every week in the Chronicle. I almost always agree with what she has to say, which is pretty rare, as I have oodles of opinions that usually seem to clash with just about everyone.
So, who is this creature I continually find myself in cultural critical alignment with? I had to find out. We e-mailed and phoned, made arrangements and postponed…apologies abounded… I assured her I could not possibly be pissed off by someone who has the same habits as me for that would not please the gods of mood and whimsy (played by Robert Downey Jr. and Johnny Depp). We finally met up at the Castro Cinema Mezzanine where Neva may be found on any given evening doing an interview with (lately) Connie Francis or some other icon.
At one point in her career you would have found her behind the counter in the lobby selling popcorn. One of her co-workers suggested she try for an intern job at the Bay Guardian doing music reviews and she began doing that in the early 90’s. I wasn’t sure when she had started at the Chronicle as I had been in a non-media phase for some time. Turns out it was 1998, and started with Music reviews and has progressed to Critic of All Things. Though she claims to be a misanthrope, I think her lust for life betrays that. She doesn’t seem to mind doing things alone, like slogging through the snow in the Austrian Alps in the dark searching for pizza. That takes a certain passion, and ultimately you cannot love life and hate people. I think she and I (both Sagittarius) might have that trait in common. I had a Charlie Brown banner on my wall as a kid that said; “I love mankind, it’s people I can’t stand”.
Normally I like to ‘doll up’ a little when meeting someone new, but she described herself to me as slob, and told me she thinks she has a pretty boring life. I dressed down and was prepared to meet Dull!Frumpy!Girl! As it turned out, she is a trickster. She is attractive, charming and witty. I was delighted to meet Hot!Happenin’!Girl! (okay I know I am overdoing the word trio affect a bit, but it’s just so much fun.) It seems everyone I am meeting lately was at that infamous Last Sex Pistols Show at Winterland, Neva included. She came down from her home in Bellevue Washington, an enthused young punk rocker to pay homage, and ended up realizing, like many of us at that show, that this was the end of the scene. I know it hit me like a ton of bricks (though through the heroin haze, I guess it was a soft thud, rather than the concussive bonk it should have been) when Johnny Rotten intoned: “Ever get the feeling you’re being cheated?” Did he mean The Pistols were cheating us, or that Malcolm McLaren was cheating the Pistols, or the Pistols were cheating McLaren, or all of the above?
Neva has a different perspective as she had just come from living in London for three months in the fall of 77 and hanging out with the Clash and other young punk rockers (who were too inexperienced to act like rock stars yet). She had beenwriting for Twisted, Seattle’s version of Search & Destroy and had decided to drop out of high school and run off to find Joe Strummer and Johnny Rotten. She ended up being best buds with Mark P. of Sniffin’ Glue Magazine and the band Alternative T.V.
I had a great time meeting Neva, our conversation was way too short for my taste. I had the feeling this was a person who perhaps has more stories than me, and I got a lotta stories! We talked about the sad state of youth culture, her crush on Stephen Colbert, rock’n’roll, anal sex and other stuff. Here are a few tidbits:
Neva Chonin: They treat people at concerts like criminals now, especially rap or hip-hop. I had to go to so many Big shows, I couldn’t just go to the shows I wanted to go to, I had to review the Big shows, ‘cuz it’s a mainstream family newspaper – that’s my job. I had to go see Limp Bizkit and Kid Rock. Going to those shows made me give up on several generations of girls in terms of feminism. They’re lost. Just write ’em off, they’re gonna wind up barefoot and pregnant, ignorant, beaten up by their boyfriends. And there’s nothing to be done about it, that’s their choice, their generation. Another wave will come along. The Internet is the new frontier; there’s a huge wave of tech-feminism.
Stephane von Stephane: Do you think that in some ways certain music is a propaganda arm, that some record labels put music out there to keep people down?
N.C.: No, I think they’re just giving people what they want. We’re in a very conservative time. People want fast food, what tastes good, what looks good. Britney Spears looked good, no thought, pure pleasure, she had a Barbie Doll body, bubble-gum music. I reviewed her show, I had a great time, it was just spectacle, no interaction, nothing was demanded of you, you were entertained. It was a drug and I enjoyed it. It’s their choice, and it’s very sad. At the Kid Rock Shows “Show us your tits!” became a badge of honor. Girls up on their boyfriends shoulders, lifting their shirts, showing off their implants. Implants already and they’re just teenagers!
S.v.S.: Is fear of S.T.D.s scaring them away from sex, and is displaying yourself in public the new sex?
N.C.: I think it’s more about not getting pregnant, or twisted right-wing Christian ideas about keeping your virginity, and so anal sex is really big right now with teenagers. Blow jobs are not considered sex. And it’s considered amongst certain aspects of youth culture that a ‘real man’ doesn’t go down on women. Feminism is dead. They call them ‘bitches’ and ‘ho’s’ and they like it.
S.v.S.: Is it the Rap lyrics?
N.C.: Rap music didn’t start out that way, but it’s what commercial Rap has become. And I wouldn’t be surprised if that wasn’t deliberately co-opted. The same way they put crack into the ghettos when the Black Panthers got too powerful.
S.v.S.: Is there no hope? Who knew I could ever be a fan of Tipper Gore?
N.C.: Tipper Gore’s looking damn good! Stephen Colbert, who is one of my heroes, lists the things Nixon stood for and was in favor of, and compared to now, Nixon was a liberal. He was more liberal than the Democrats we have now. We’re living in the Dark Ages. I just had this same conversation with Joesph Gordon-Levitt (3rd Rock From The Sun TV star and Indy film actor) and he’s only 26. We both said “Dark Ages!” But he said “After the Dark Ages came the Renaissance!” We both agreed that the Internet is going to be a conduit to whatever comes next. There is a minority of youth culture out there who are really smart, so much more savvy and sophisticated than we were, and they’re online.
S.v.S.: So, would you like to interview Stephen Colbert?
N.C.: NO, because I’m too infatuated with him, I would make a fool of myself. Did you see the White House Correspondents Dinner address? That was a watershed moment – from that night on, the Press was shamed into starting to question; became bolder.
S.v.S.: I can’t even believe they invited him. Were they not watching his show?
N.C.: They had no idea what they were getting into.
S.v.S.: Can I ask you some stupid questions, like what your favorite color is?
N.C.: Yes, I love stupid questions, those are the best questions. I don’t get to ask stupid questions ‘cuz people call my editor and complain that I must be on drugs.
S.v.S.: So, what is your favorite color?
N.C.: Right now it’s a light blue, like in the sky of Florentine paintings. And, of course, black.
S.v.S.: What’s your favorite scent?
N.C.: I wear Opium perfume and that’s the kind of scent I like: spicey, nothing floral or fruity. But no patchouli; I spent many decades running from patchouli.
S.v.S.: What’s your favorite food?
N.C.: Right now I am into raisin bran; I could eat a whole box easily. And instant oatmeal! I have 20 boxes of instant oatmeal because they keep coming out with new flavors. I have to try them all. So yeah, manufactured processed grains…
S.v.S.: What is your standard drink to order?
N.C.: I am a wussy girl. I like Lemon Drops, no sugar on the rim though. And it has to be Absolute Citron.
S.v.S.: Favorite dinner?
N.C.: Lately I like squid in its own sauce.
S.v.S.: So I know you don’t get up early – me neither, I don’t even speak for the first hour I’m awake, not for any religious reasons….
N.C.: I can’t make phone calls for the first hour I’m awake because it is just going to turn out badly.
S.v.S.: Guilty pleasure TV show? (we know you watch that ‘Pussycat Dolls’ show already, so is there another, even guiltier one?)
N.C.: “What Not To Wear.” Masochism.
S.v.S.: Favorite film of all time?
N.C. “All About Eve.” I’m really a gay man.
S.v.S.: Favorite band of all time?
N.C.: This is hard. Probably REM.
N.C.: Don’t have one since they tore down the “17 Reasons Why.” (SE corner of Mission/17th St, S.F.)
S.v.S. If you lived in a past time period, which would it be?
N.C.: 19th-century fin-de-siecle Paris.
S.v.S. Favorite book?
N.C.: Anything by David Sedaris.
S.v.S.: Favorite book from childhood?
N.C.: A Wrinkle In Time, by Madeline D’Engle
S.v.S.: Do you have a routine? Or are you more free-form?
N.C.: I’m amorphous and disorderly, like entropy with bad teeth! [end]
6. What We’ve Been Listening To, Reading, Viewing, etc…
() A historical aside: V. Vale recently was a guest lecturer March 13, 2007 at Kota Ezawa’s class at CCA (California College of Arts), 1111 8th St, San Francisco. Topic: Punk, Critical Theory, Fashion, and Creativity. In 1999 KOTA and his wife produced an “interesting” music CD titled THE HELEN LUNDY TRIO – google it!
() Our favorite recent “discovery” continues to be the author/ architectural-environmental critic/ cultural theorist/ futurist JAMES HOWARD KUNSTLER. His latest book, The Long Emergency, is essential reading for any wannabe “futurist,” and his website, kunstler.com is not only critical, but 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. We’ve now read The Geography of Nowhere, and more than ever the aphorism “only (s)he who knows can see” comes to mind – especially, every time you leave your house. After reading this book, numerous “design flaws” in your city / suburb / wherever will immediately pop out at you, leaving you more appalled with the world than you already were…
Here is some text from the dust jacket of The Long Emergency: “The industrialized world is built on cheap energy. Over the past century, we have used the stored energy of millions of years of sunlight – in the form of oil, coal, and natural gas – to create the marvels and miracles essential to modern life. But now the cheap fossil-fuels fiesta is ending, climate change is upon us, and our models of global industry, commerce, food production, and transportation may not survive… the American people are sleepwalking into a future of hardship and turbulence… Globalism will wither. Life will become profoundly and intensely local… Suburbia… will become untenable… We will struggle to feed ourselves … There will be no hoped-for hydrogen economy. No combination of alternative fuels will permit us to run things the way we are running them, or even a substantial fraction of them … Say farewell to easy motoring and commercial aviation… we will endure a grueling contest over the world’s remaining oil resources…”
“With his usual engaging wit and verve, [Kunstler has given us] a new kind of post-apocalypse scenario… the United States after the oil runs out and a great economic collapse occurs… But Kunstler has fleshed it out with delightful quirky insights and provided our science-fiction writers with a fresh mise-en-scene.” Well, our favorite shade of humor is black…
() What we missed: Mark Pauline: Survival Research Laboratories – Media Arts lecture – Thursday, March 15, 7:30 pm – Nahl Hall, Oakland campus – Info: 510.594.3656 – curated by Todd Blair
Survival Research Laboratories (SRL) was conceived of and founded by Mark Pauline in November 1978. Since then, SRL has operated as an organization of creative technicians dedicated to redirecting the techniques, tools, and tenets of industry, science, and the military away from their typical manifestations in practicality, product, and warfare. Since 1979, SRL has staged over 45 mechanized presentations. Each performance consists of a unique set of ritualized interactions between machines, robots, and special effects devices, employed in developing themes of sociopolitical satire. Humans are present only as audience or operators.
() Received: Bob Koenig‘s CD about Levittown – in an adjacent zone to David Lynch‘s “Straight Story” Lawnmower Man turf. Google and find it!
() Music for Squares by Erik Ian Walker (piano) and Joe Cunningham (guitar). “Folk music” for our ironic times by two great San Francisco musicians. Google and find it!
() Received: Bryan Lewis Saunders (3) “incredibly strange” CDs – Google and find them! Or write email@example.com
() Received: AVENGERS CD re-release, Tour Only Edition. Go to penelope.net to get your copy!
() Received: JAMES TRACY‘s Sparks and Codes – poetry chapbook full of “rage against injustice – let’s have done with the system that exploits and degrades us” – Google and find it!
7. Recommended Links:
() go to JOEY SKAGGS‘ new website: pranks.com – highly recommended!
() we are all mutants, and if we don’t understand that then we don’t understand our humanity.
() The BlackBerry Trickster – great con story
() weddings can bring out the worst in people – check out John Waters‘ “court TV reality show”: http://www.courttv.com/onair/shows/til_death_do_us_part/index.html
bonus: read the comic book
() Subscribe to this sound art newsletter: http://www.vibrofiles.com
Ian Svenonius has an interview show called Soft Focus. Guests so far: Henry Rollins, Genesis P-Orridge, Ian MacKaye, Chan Marshall (Cat Power), Will Oldham (Bonnie Prince Billie) – Staying warm in Ithaca, Mike Ryan (assistant editor of our J.G. Ballard Quotes book, available from http://www.http://www.researchpubs.com)
() Collyer Brothers Syndrome – Obsessive compulsive of bringing home junk and refusing to throw it away — avoid thrift shops, or you could end up in what police refer to as a “Collyer Mansion”:
More strange ways to die:
() LP Cover Art: This site has always been great. It’s currently under construction… http://www.showandtellmusic.com/
() For chocolate lovers, a guilt pill: BITTER CHOCOLATE: INVESTIGATING THE DARK SIDE OF THE WORLD’S MOST SEDUCTIVE SWEET by Carol Off (Random House Canada, $34.95)
() LISA BUFANO: an oddity – will do for springs what Edward Scissorshands did for scissors – quite an imaginative artist http://www.lisabufano.com/morphology/
() INTERNET COPYRIGHT discussion: Goliaths Kill Davids. “We’re continually being told the Internet empowers the individual. But speaking as an individual creative worker myself, I’d argue that all this Utopian revolution has achieved so far in my sector is to disempower individuals, strengthen the hand of multinational businesses, and decrease the pool of information available to audiences. All things that the technology utopians say they wanted to avoid….Instead of fighting the big corporations, the technology utopians have decided to fight the law that protects the little guy. The Orphan Works Bill – If it goes into law, it will much make all content on the web easier to steal and much harder to pursue and stop.
“So in practice, it discourages professionals putting high quality images on the web and creates the very cultural barrier which Copyleft and Creative Commons advocates seek to abolish. Advocates who put out material under a “copy me” license or in the public domain usually have a day job. I don’t. My photography is my job. Authors who do this – it’s usually a publicity gimmick or a loss-leader.
“Most anti-copyright arguments are based on a distaste for unfairly held ‘property’. But for individual authors, it’s not, and never really has been a property issue – it’s our labor we’re talking about. Copyright exists to allow us to earn a living, but routine flouting of this law simply strengthens the ability of large companies to seize that labor and sit on it for profit � as their property.
“In reality, what is happening on the web is the transfer of the authors’ labor to large corporations for nothing. [Most of them will be on Flickr (owned by Yahoo!), MySpace (owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation) or the major corporate image portals.] Anti-copyright lobbyists have become either unwitting allies, or shills, for big business.” – Sion Touhig (http://www.sionphoto.com/) blogs at SionPhoto (http://sionphoto.blogs.com). Above article at http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/12/29/photojournalism_and_copyright/
() March 6, 2007: Jean Baudrillard died (he was born June 20, 1929). Here are a few quotations from the TIMES obit to consider:
“the novelist J. G. Ballard held that he was the most important French thinker of the past 20 years.”
Baudrillard recognized that “a profound shift had taken place with the development of consumerism.” He noted the emergence of “a society dominated not by commodities as such, but by objects now consumed more and more for their image, or as he called it, their “sign-value” [brand, aura].
Baudrillard thought that “Marxism, like socialism, was part of the system it sought to overcome.”
“Baudrillard was one of the first sociologists to have written on simulation and “hyperreality” � a realm created by entertainment, communication and information technologies which is more pleasurable and “real” than ordinary life.”
He was “stigmatising the doctrines of democracy and human rights as alibis for increased western penetration, globalisation, and elimination of other cultures (paradoxically after having virtualised its own)…
Such radicalism was not accepted by the conventional left because it rejected all forms of political correctness, socialism, feminism, and democratisation.”
() Jean Baudrillard, a French philosopher and social theorist known for his provocative commentaries on consumerism, excess, and what he said was the disappearance of reality…died at his home… Baudrillard, a sociologist by training, is perhaps best known for his concepts of “hyperreality” and “simulation.” – AP Press obit
() () Upon learning of the death of JEAN BAUDRILLARD on March 7, Graeme Revell responded: “Woah. Brings back memories. A profound thinker! – GR” – Needless to say, we’ll be asking Graeme about Baudrillard at our Industrial Culture Handbook celebration April 28 at Beyond Baroque, Venice, CA.
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,” deploying subliminals, cut-ups, randomness and enlightening memes into all cultural production. Citing little-known books, films and magazines, this guide enables one to experience epiphanies solely derived from occult knowledge. Fascinating histories and ideas; secrets of how to live a willfully creative life. The Industrial Culture Handbook illuminates taboo/overlooked culture; it’s a handbook for rare individuals who seek cultural connoisseurship, regardless of danger…” order from www.http://www.researchpubs.com, or call 415-362-1465.
() PRANKS 2 Review
“Twenty years later, Vale and Company finally return to the land of pranksters with Pranks 2 (RE/Search). These interviews, mostly done by V. Vale himself, illustrate just how deep pranks run in our current cultural milieu � and how far they’ve spread since the last volume (RE/Search #11: Pranks). From the spread of culture jamming and parody to the mainstays of satire and social commentary, pranksterism is standard fare. Heck, just the mainstreaming of the lyrical spoof, which has nearly put Weird Al Yankovic out of business, is proof enough. All of this makes it that much more difficult to shake things up with a good prank. Well, the time has come for the O.G.’s and the current reigning few to get their due.
Veteran pranksters � and repeaters from the first volume � Jello Biafra, John Waters, Frank Discussion, Joey Skaggs, Mark Pauline, and Paul Krassner, are joined by newcomers (newcomers to the book, not necessarily to pranks) The Yes Men, Jihad Jerry, Marc Powell, Ron English, and Bambi Lake, among others. The pranksters in these books have done everything from rearranging billboards (Billboard Liberation Front) and random street happenings (Cacophony Society) to crazy fake news stories (Joey Skaggs) and hijacking CNN and the WTO (The Yes Men), as well as comedy (Paul Krassner), the Web (Marc Powell), and movies (John Waters). No form of media or establishment is safe from these warriors of the mental battlefield, and � with its in-depth interviews, photos and media artifacts � Pranks 2 is the latest and most complete document of their many important exploits. – Roy Christopher, http://roychristopher.com/blog/?p=42
Note that ROY CHRISTOPHER has recently authored a must-have collection of his interviews, FOLLOW FOR NOW – order from roychristopher.com or frontwheeldrive.com This is possibly the most “cutting edge” grouping of folks on the intersection of futurism/technology/art yet seen. We couldn’t recommend it highly enough! Check out pages 120-121, 242, 265 as an example…
10. Feedback from Readers:
() John Trubee, featured in our first PRANKS book (available from http://www.http://www.researchpubs.com ) recently wrote that “Art Kaufman, a songwriter featured in Jamie Meltzer’s film OFF THE CHARTS, is including [John’s song “Blind Man’s Penis”] in a stage show [“Songs-Poems Wanted!”] in Chicago. If it gets me any money or noteriety I’ll crap my pants in amazement. Life has taught me that amazing, exciting things [sometimes happen] due to forces in the universe beyond our control. That this prank still generates interest in widely scattered locales at this late date never ceases to amaze and amuse me. The song WAS MERELY A DUMB PRANK I WHIPPED OFF IN 5 MINUTES WHEN I WAS 19, FOR GOSH SAKES!”
() Bruno Richard sent this: “Some US troops in Iraq have reportedly been wearing T-shirts with slogans like:
“Eat Pork or Die” (in English and Arabic)
“Shrine Busters” (which show burning minarets, etc)
“Napalm: Sticks Like Crazy”
“The road to Paradise begins with me.” (Usually in Arabic, often with sniper’s crosshairs)
“Guns don’t kill people. I kill people.”
() “This is from my neighbor who is a cool musician guy. He is the one who plays at Geezerpalooza with his band. He actually was at those electric koolaid acid tests (1965 or 1966). – Stephane von Stephane
“Yeah, pretty much what I feared about the Edie film. Underground or countercultural scenes are pretty hard to capture as re-creations, I think … they tend to come off as one-dimensional and stilted and the characters turn into cardboard cutouts of someone who actually existed. There must be exceptions, but I can’t think of any. (Disclosure: I always thought the Warhol scene looked pretty boring anyway, but to each his/her own.)
“20th century scenes especially seem to lack life. Easier to do something on someone who lived in Paris in the 1890s or whatever because then you at least have the patina of history to work with … See, for example, the one or two films made of Kerouac‘s works … awful stuff. Funny though, the real thing may even look more boring than a fictional film, IMHO.
“Case in point: If you view Ken Kesey‘s old videos of the Acid Tests, they pretty much just look like a bunch of people partying … nothing all that special. To the folks on acid, amazing sights were felt and seen, but to a straight observer, nothing much appears to be happening. You can’t easily turn deeply personal (mental and emotional and spiritual) experience into film art, especially when the experience wasn’t yours to begin with. Just a thought … I think it can be done, but it’s rare, very rare. To me, for example, the best renderings of the 60s scene are Tom Wolfe’s Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and a novel called Be Not Content by a biker, William J. Craddock. Oh, and Divine Right’s Trip by Gurney Norman. Hmmmm, and poet Michael McClure did a book with Freewheelin’ Frank, a Hell’s Angel, that’s good. Film? May be a few but I can’t think of any offhand. Some of the best writing I have seen about the 60s was in Rolling Stone’s issue on the 20th anniversary of the so-called Summer of Love. They had readers submit their first-person stories of the 60s …
“Otherwise, poetry does it best, I think. It seems clear that the zeitgeist of a (counter-)cultural movement is what really gives it its power. When the historical context changes, as it did around the early to middle 1970s, you can take all the acid you want but you won’t re-create the 60s. The best “art” of the 60s to me remains the music … some of that very aptly recreates the time and experiences … without drugs even.
“That’s one of the amazing things about the film The Queen. The actors very deftly let the audience know when they are experiencing moments of insight, and it is a very subtle thing, not the hit-you-over-the-head, hot car chase stuff of Hollywood. Curious to me also that while we pay verbal homage to our revolutionary past, so few films (and even fewer GOOD films) are made about the people who are enshrined as our historical heroes. I think that kind of nuance is pretty much beyond Hollywood’s scope. And the broader audience’s too, for that matter. I guess that’s what PBS is for and why good books still get published.
“OK, I’ve rambled on long enough … While we were partying, the greedheads were gaining control of almost everything … Maybe it’s tilting back the other way now, I hope so. – Grampie”
() In answer to Vale’s question, “Do you know of any archaic books about how the planet is going down the drain?” artist FRANS from Germany replied:
“Hello Vale! – The books I refer to are translations of old stuff – none speculate about how and when the sky falls 😉
“‘The Bible’ is (imho) a mixture of various sources (stolen) and badly translated/mutilated so it’s pretty useless in that regard (or any)…. I don’t pretend to have THE answer, but some good parts of the puzzle are to be found in the works of HP Blavatsky, who translated some of the oldest manuscripts known to man. Beware, these are dense, have a LOT of pages and are “controversial”.
“Most of these info can be read in “THE SECRET DOCTRINE” – there are various facsimiles of the 19th century printings – in one edition these info is in vol. 1, in others in vol. 3 … HP Blavatsky was the founder of the Theosophical society, cult leader, etc.
“So here is a short rundown:
“We are race no. 5 in “round” no. 4 – that means, every man/woman/pony/fish/insect of the 3 preceding rounds perished. These “rounds” take some time. THIS round began ca. 400.000.000 or 500.000.000 years ago. Each makes way for a better evolved creation. It implies that in the grander scheme, planets are used and discarded like paper cups. You don’t have to buy a book, you can search the net because works from the 19th century have lost their copyright and the Theosophical Society puts up all the stuff for free.
“Another source for “old” is the East Indian Vedas, BUT as usual they suffer from totally inept translation as, and here is the juicy thing: EVERYTHING that old is written in code, a code which has at least 8 different meanings at ONCE. Either you have the key or you are out. If you are out, you take the text literally which leaves meaningless babble – same for the bible (or the texts it was stolen from) or Sumerian texts, etc. HP Blavatsky takes the time to lay down 1 or 2 of these keys to illustrate the layers, and even this is tough to understand…
“So where do you go from here? … IF the blue ball is going to hell – what do we do in the remaining time?
The Mayan calendar is said to end at December 2013… Slim Spurling’s … harmonizers to clean up environmental pollution (I use one here) — that is another thing the mass media will not let you know about: there is hope. It remains to be seen if that is sufficient.
“All so far, and have a fun day in a fascist country 😉 — Frans, http://www.frans-stummer.de
() I’ve always enjoyed RE/Search because it’s an “ideas” publication. It’s not just a compendium of events and “cultural” figures – it’s a how-to book if one chooses. – Jim Hayeshttp://home.comcast.net/~jim.hayes/wsb/html/view.cgi-home.html-.html
APRIL 2007 RE/Search eNewsletter written by V. Vale & contributors. Newsletter and website powered by http://www.laughingsquid.com
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