RE/SEARCH, 20 Romolo #B, San Francisco CA 94133 | Call 415.362.1465 |

V. VALE’s RE/SEARCH NEWSLETTER SEPTEMBER 2007: Biosphere, Expo for The Artist. Genesis P-Orridge

WELCOME TO V. VALE’s RE/SEARCH NEWSLETTER #64, September 2007.

 

CONTENTS:

1. Support RE/Search: Visit Our Office! New WEBSITE soon!

2. Sat Sept 15, 2007, 8 & 11PM  RE/Search/RML presents BIOSPHERE video art surroundscape – reservations required (limited capacity); telephone 650-255-8947.

3. Sat Sept 15, 2007 EXPO FOR THE ARTIST. Meet RE/Search!

4. Sat Sept 22, 2007 RE/Search GARAGE SALE!

5. What we’ve been doing… COUNTER CULTURE HOUR Oct 13: LYLE TUTTLE

6. Stephane von Stephane on Minnie Driver

7. What We’ve Been Reading/What We’ve Been Sent:

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

9. Quotes

10. Feedback from Readers

—————

 

   1. Support RE/Search: Visit Our Office!… Not only can you get your books autographed by V. Vale; you can experience the “legendary” office which only Europeans and Japanese ever seem to visit. You can pick up the new **DVD**: LOUDER FASTER SHORTER (classic 1978 punk documentary). Or the dazzling PRANKS 2 – a follow-up to our first PRANKS book – which isn’t in many stores. Or the J.G. Ballard Conversations and J.G. Ballard Quotes. Or some rare out-of-print books, only at our office!

 

Also, out-of-print for years, RE/Search’s INDUSTRIAL CULTURE HANDBOOK is back! limited edition hardback (RE/Search’s edition 1000 copies on gorgeous, glossy paper; Amazon list price $60. Order direct for Special price $35 (plus $6 shipping U.S.; $15 Air Overseas). To order: info@researchpubs.com, call 415-362-1465, or use our on-line order blank at http://www.http://www.researchpubs.com.

 

() 8000+ “hits” to date: V. Vale plays a “different” version of “Mongoloid” (piano) with Jerry Casale, DEVO, singing: http://www.veoh.com/videos/v443333PHEfKjTG – Read an interview with Jerry Casale in our PRANKS 2 book! We have available JIHAD JERRY’S CD, “Mine is Not a Holy War” – http://www.http://www.researchpubs.com/cds/jjprod.php

() RE/Search is on MySpace: If you would like to be “our friend” – receive bulletins, etc, please Join Us! http://www.myspace.com/108198017

 

 

 2. Sat Sept 15, 8 and 11pm: RE/SEARCH, RML and 23Five Prods.

present BIOSPHERE video art surroundscape. Reservations required; limited capacity room; call Naut Humon at 650-255-8947 for reservations, or email inform@recombinantmedia.net. RML’s newly launched Language, Sound and Cinema Series featuring documented, exclusive, rare, real-time presentations by international artists who will demonstrate their special project prototypes to independent patrons who wish to subscribe and witness first hand & up close these uniquely engaging exhibitions, seminars, and intimate ‘testbed’ style dress rehearsals.

 

Sept 15 (shows at 8 & 11pm) features arctic ambient electronic pioneer Biosphere (aka Geir Jenssen, Norway) with panoramic visuals by Egbert Mittelst�dt (Germany). Sept 28 (shows at 8 & 11pm) features the world premiere artistic collaboration of Blixa Bargeld with Alva Noto (aka Carsten Nicolai) and guest performance by Kangding Ray (raster-noton).

 

For a full description of the amazing video music surroundscape you will experience Sept 15 – this is definitely a mind-expanding “futuristic” rare event – go to these websites:

 

 

http://www.biosphere.no

http://www.atelier-fuer-medienprojekte.de

 

To reserve tickets for the Fri Sept 28 BLIXA BARGELD-Alva Noto-Kangding Ray performance, in the same limited capacity video art surroundscape room, call Naut Humon at 650-255-8947 for reservations, or email inform@recombinantmedia.net.

 

 

    3. Sat Sept 15, 11-6pm. Come meet RE/Search (with our pal Charles Gatewood) at the 8th annual EXPO FOR THE ARTIST, 834 Brannan St/9th St, S.F. $2; No one turned away. Come talk with us and buy RE/Search books discounted! EXPO FOR THE ARTIST is one of San Francisco’s signature yearly events celebrating those who truly make San Francisco an “interesting” city – no, not the rich, not the realtors, not the profiteers – but the artists, those who create the culture which endures long after the money-grubbing parasites are rotting in the ground.

 

The Expo is an all-day extravaganza featuring more than 100 Bay Area arts organizations, free workshops, performances, and hundreds of local artists and musicians. Attendees can browse tables staffed by local galleries, nonprofits, collectives and small businesses; present their portfolios; and join in workshops on grant proposals, censorship, arts marketing, underground art history, making a demo tape and more. For a video of the 2005 Expo go to:

http://www.somartsmedia.org/images/stories/expo.html

 

 

    4. Sat Sept 22, 11-4pm visit the RE/Search Garage Sale! Buy our books and other memorabilia along with misc. tables, shelves, plus (?!) 1250 Pacific Ave bet Jones and Leavenworth. Our pals Sandra D. and Steve S. will also be offering some treasures.

 

 

5. V. Vale wrote a blog on MySpace after seeing Genesis P-Orridge and friends (PTV3) show at the Independent. Here it is, below:

August 26, 2007 – Sunday – Psychic TV, Aug 24, 2007 San Francisco by V. Vale, RE/Search

Aug 24, 2007: Psychic TV (PTV3) at the Independent, San Francisco. With “The Dilettantes” and DJ Crack Whore. 628 Divisadero St.

 

I received an email from Genesis P-Orridge informing me that they were playing San Francisco Aug 24, Los Angeles the next day (Aug 25), and then flying to Europe where they were scheduled to do a 20-city tour starting in Russia…

 

My friend Gary Chong in L.A. called me up and asked if I were interviewing Genesis P-Orridge tonight. Which was a good thing – it prompted me to take my tape recorder. And next time I’ll take my digital camera with a completely blank memory card, mainly so I can shoot some low-fi video clips… Stephane, who worked on my first publication, Search & Destroy (1977-79) picked me up in her red-and-white truck…

 

The Independent is on Divisadero St one and a half blocks north of Fell St, and it has gone through various incarnations over the past several decades: the Kennel Club, etc. We’re guessing it holds about 600 people, including the rear balcony. As you face the stage, the bathroom is to the right, where the “merchandise” table/wall is located: T-shirts, CDs, etc. The interior paint is black.

 

It took about forty minutes to find parking – literally missed five spots. The logo for the Independent reads INdependent (but in all caps) and there’s a white neon marquee reading, at least tonight, “PSYCHIC TV.” People were in front smoking and talking, and a huge maroon tour bus was parked in front. We got our tickets plus yellow wristbands reading “The Independent” – I asked what they were for and the person taking tickets said, uncondescendingly, “They allow you into the balcony,” and then told me where the stairs to the balcony were. It turned out they weren’t “backstage passes.”

 

As soon as we entered the darkened interior we spotted Li Alin and Naut Humon – Naut knew the singer of the first band, the aptly-named “Dilettantes.” The singer had been with the Brian Jonestown Massacre. In his present “look” he wore a black wool cap, very dark glasses, and had short thick facial hair covering his cheeks and chin – kind of like a bear. But the songs seemed… boring, and worse, the volume was oppressively loud. Naut explained that this music was part of a traditional (70s?) “rock music” revival, but i thought, “So what?” After about ten minutes I finally said, “Let’s go outside,” and even though the weather was a bit too cool, this was infinitely preferable to being inside. I wondered why every club doesn’t have a “quiet room” for people who just want to talk, or escape from the loud volume / “bad” music of the main room.

 

Li started screening the people outside waiting in the ticket line, selectively giving them invites to a forthcoming Blixa Bargeld performance. Outside, I could actually see her – she was wearing a thin black coat with a tiny bit of red Chinese silk trim hedging the collar and front. We agreed that, if you wanted to commit a crime, it would be handy to have a reversible coat that was red on the inside and black on the outside… reversible clothes could be useful in many situations – especially, traveling. It was cold, so Stephane loaned Li her heavy coat, claiming she didn’t need it.

 

Various people were hovering around; a very tall woman with the largest Queen Bee beehive dreadlocks I’ve ever seen (must have weighed 10 pounds); another very tall woman with two black schoolgirl “pigtails” and wearing a red dress with enormous black platform boots; a pageboy blonde wearing long buckskin fringe, a woman in a tight sparkly red minidress, a red-haired girl wearing an army green jacket with a Psychic TV shoulder patch, a gray-haired man (with a younger woman) wearing a dark leather vest with a big, homemade (?) Psychic TV emblem on the back, other people mostly in dark colors. A friendly Doobie Brothers-looking man was waiting for his friend, and talked about another Psychic TV show he had seen. One man came up to chat to Naut, heavily tattooed, and he said, “If only Boyd Rice were here – then it would be a perfect evening.” I said, “I don’t agree,” and he said, “Yeah, that fascist Nazi stuff…” as though he had instantly changed his mind. Li and I agreed that there really was a very mixed crowd attending…

 

In the tour bus outside Naut and I thought we were watching Genesis P-Orridge put on some make-up, but it turned out to be the blonde bass player, Alice. Everyone else had gone inside, including our friends Birch and Sara, plus my niece Laura, and the first band had seemingly stopped playing, so I went in, too.

 

Li, Naut and I started passing out flyers for the Blixa Bargeld show – various people stopped me: “John,” who always sees me at APE Shows; another John, a shaven-headed young Asian man – friend of computer artist Richard Ross; another couple (the blonde woman had met me at —). Finally Li said, “Why don’t we go upstairs?” so we did. It turned out there were no (or virtually no) chairs, but at least we could be quite close and lean on the guard railings.

 

The Psychic TV cross was being projected on the huge movie screen behind the stage, and some very fast tongue-clicking rhythmic a capella “music” started – quite interesting to me at least, as I had never heard it before. (Was it postmodern Tibetan?) Apparently PTV had “dictated” the “transition” music playing before their live stage appearance. The content of the video footage / visuals throughout the show was interesting: footage of GPO and Miss Jackie Breyer (his companion) taking the subway (in Manhattan?), both receiving plastic surgery (or some medical procedure for making lips fatter, etc – this was a bit “gruesome”); some beautiful stills of Miss Jackie in various archetypal nude Steichen-like poses, through the magic of computer software whirling around in space, zooming toward you, etc; various slogans or aphorisms or words like “HATE” and “LOVE”; what looked like art film clips; and more. Was I imagining things, or was there a slow long zoom deep into a human vag-na decorated with three piercing rings? Of course, there was a still of GPO (nude, with an apparent pen-s extension – or maybe he had some surgical enhancement?) floating off into Outer Space. (There were a lot more “loaded” images – Oh, to have a perfect “photographic” memory.)

 

As you face the stage, the dressing rooms are on the left, and finally we saw six band members ascend the stage and take their positions: first the bassist and tank-top-clad drummer, then the tall thin frizzy-haired guitarist; the blonde surfer-haired angelic-boy-faced keyboardist Marcus, the tall thin violinist / tambourinist, and Miss Jackie, tall and thin in a mini-dress with leggings, red hair (not blonde), sitting at the back at a small electronics set-up (she later told me she was “triggering samples,” although in one of the last songs I saw her playing percussively as though on an small electronic drum set-up). All the “stage outfits” bore different Psychic TV crosses, and the violinist had a jet-black Psychic Cross tattooed next to his right eye… that’s commitment! (It turns out that 20-year-old Hannah, one of the tour personnel, also had a big gray Psychic Cross tattooed on her left forearm. She made some of the Psychic Cross “jewelry” for the tour, etc.)

 

After the band started playing, Genesis P-Orridge came onstage with a Dynel blonde 60s poufy shoulder-length hairstyle, skinny tattoo-covered arms, sleeveless camouflage top, mini-skirt and leggings – very skinny legs – with black unisex booties about 7″ high.

 

The first song was one of the band’s “best” songs: “Are you really, really free?” but a much different version than I saw two years earlier at the DNA Lounge. It seemed slower and built and layered more gradually, but still, this is one of my favorite song lyrics, ever – a good question to ask yourself at least once a day, if not hourly.

 

It was too dark in the balcony to take my “traditional” notes, so I must rely on non-linear recall. A song that was both ironic and sincere at the same time contained these lyrics: “I like you…you’re very nice; I like you…you’re paradise” etc. Sang staring right at the audience, left and right. Another one of their best.

 

Midway through the concert, GPO announced, “The next song is for Dick Cheney, George W. Bush” [and etc]. “I never thought I’d write an anti-war song, but here it is.” Behind the band, a collage of old black-and-white “war” footage – reminiscent of first-generation “Industrial” live concerts – was projected behind. The lyrical hook was “What the hell are we fighting for?” – the best question, indeed…

 

A number of the songs started out more quietly or slowly, but suddenly slammed into full-bore hard-rock rhythms. The songs were long enough so that quite a few people seemed to almost go into a kind of trance state, dancing for eight or so minutes without stopping. Unfortunately, early in the evening a kind of “mosh pit” formed in the center front, causing some of the more attractive girls (including the blonde in the long buckskin fringe) to move to the side or disappear. The slam-dance virus refuses to die…

 

I have no idea how long the full set was, but it must have been at least an hour and a half, if not more. About halfway through, Naut came up and said that “they” were leaving – Li Alin was really tired and there was no place to sit down. Later, I was sorry she had missed the entire performance, because overall, it was an extremely variegated, well, “variety” show, really. From extreme noise to classic Rolling Stones-type rock music to almost New Age atmospherics… And lots of vocal effects, noise samples – a big variety of sounds and tonalities, often very musical – especially from the violinist, but really, from everyone.. The guitarist proved he could play with a band like the Rolling Stones and not be upstaged…

 

Near the end, the band members retired from the stage except for the violinist and GPO, who picked up a bottle/talisman and a black guitar and started playing pure noise and rhythm attacks, to the rather beautiful harmonic background (at least initially) provided by the violinist. It transformed into just pure noise and percussive sonics – which was resoundingly applauded by the audience. I felt GPO had “gotten away with something”…

 

One of my favorite songs’ lyrics could not be remembered by me, but it sounded very Sixties, with doo-doo-doo-doo harmony by GPO and the bassist – very pleasing song structure… At some point, GPO got very close to the audience and began holding hands, whispering (or shouting?) and kissing people – especially the more outrageous-looking girls in front. At one point there was a slightly “shocking” moment when a girl gave him a cigarette, lit it (big lighter flare) and he inhaled a puff, held it for a minute, then threw it down to the stage floor (the guitarist snuffed out the ash with his boot). GPO, after all, doesn’t smoke, but presumably accepted this “gift” as a symbolic, sympathetic-magic bonding of some kind…

 

At the end, GPO announced, “They tell us this is our last song… but they didn’t say how LONG it could be.” They played a long song, all right… exited the stage. After shouts, cheers and applause, they returned, led by the bassist, and did “I’m Suspicious,” whose basic harmonic structure pays homage to “Take a Walk on the Wild Side,” but mutates. Decidedly different musical hooks and melody lines were juxtaposed against the basic G-major to C-major chord background (or whatever it was). Genesis repeated, “They’ll let us play one more song… but they didn’t say how LONG it could be.” Another long improvisatory, transformative, song. Great.

 

After the show I ran into CUP who brought me to DUSTIN – both are in I AM SPOONBENDER who just improvised a live soundtrack to a screening of David Cronenberg’s CRIMES OF THE FUTURE at the Roxie Theater two weeks ago. Dustin said, “This film is a direct rip-off of Ballard. Cronenberg just ripped off Ballard.” I said I didn’t mind; Cronenberg has made a number of great films.

 

Dustin asked if I were still “into the Occult” and I said I was “thinking of getting back into it.” He seems “really into” Manly Palmer Hall – he has the centennial edition of Hall’s magnum opus SECRET TEACHING OF ALL AGES, and told me he has about 70 books by Hall – of the 200 written; although a lot of the “books” are really just 40-page pamphlets. Dustin is friends with the guitar player [?] in PTV who presumably put them on the guest list, and said he had been so busy recording “somebody” he could barely make it to the PTV show. He spoke of some “Republican” conspiracy involving hundreds of young children who disappear on Saturday and return home on Monday claiming they were taken to the White House and submitted to some occult rituals. He urged me to go see the “free” films at the Scientology Center on Columbus near Washington St but I said I would never go there; I’m afraid of the Scientologists. We talked about mind control and clearing engrams and subliminals and William Burroughs and Brion Gysin and how the Bush administration really has some major occult “magic” going of the blackest and worst kind, in their think-tank campaigns to brainwash the American “public.” I Am Spoonbender tries to infuse “subliminals” [presumably “good” ones] into their recordings. On some level they’re related to PTV – they opened for PTV a couple years ago at DNA Lounge…

 

Went backstage and realized anew how much I hate digital cameras – it takes forever to turn them on and be able to take a photo, and by then the moment is lost. Genesis was on a couch snuggled next to 3 young girls (maybe one was a tranny; couldn’t be sure) but by the time I got out my camera two of the girls had gotten up to leave. I sat down next to GPO and turned on my tape recorder … and the rest will be, someday, transcribed … [end] – v. vale, RE/Search & Search&Destroy founder, 1977 [Note: interviews with Genesis P-Orridge are in V. Vale’s Search & Destroy No. 6, RE/Search No. 1 (tabloid), Modern Primitives, the Industrial Culture Handbook, and the latest V. Vale / RE/Search interview with Genesis P-Orridge appeared in MODERN PAGANS, still available.

 

 

 6. STEPHANE VON STEPHANE:  Minnie Driver at Cafe Du Nord August 13, Psychic T.V. at The Independent August 24 – by Stephane von Stephane

I’ll admit, I only wanted to see Minnie Driver and her band because I love her as an actress. I checked out their music on-line, and from what I could tell by the snippets, it was not really my thing. Too country/folk for my taste. But, seeing them perform changed my mind. The band live was more ‘rock’ sounding than country and Minnie Driver’s presence and charming personality added depth to the experience. She talked a lot between songs, sometimes revealing back-story to a song and sometimes just firing off witty responses to the drunk Scottish guy who kept yelling “We love you Minnie Driver” every chance he got. She laughed a lot and knocked back what looked like whiskey and sang her emotional songs convincingly. She says her songs are best listened to while sitting in the bath, drinking and crying over lost love, She seemed to be having fun. I think she’s fabulous and I am a sucker for the British accent.

 

She does a great American accent on her new TV show The Riches. So does Eddie Izzard who plays her husband. I always think there are enough actors in each country that no one should have to play another nationality, but in this case I am glad they do because I love these two anyway and they are so good together. The Riches is my favorite new show (about to start it’s second season on FX).

 

Ms. Driver and Mr. Izzard play Dahlia and Wayne Malloy, American ‘travelers’, gypsies who make a living grifting. Their teen-age son and daughter and a younger son are in on all the scams. Obviously home schooled. The show starts with the family picking up mom from jail and shortly thereafter high-tailin’ it from the traveler camp after ‘borrowing’ cash from the dying gypsy elder. A bit down the road they cross R.V.’s with another couple from the camp who decide to chase them down. Driving on the wrong side of the road while shooting at Wayne & Dahlia they end up causing an oncoming vehicle to swerve off the road and crash, killing the passengers. They don’t stick around to see what happened, but Wayne & Dahlia do. They attempt to save the lives of the man and woman to no avail. Instead they end up assuming the identities of these two (the Riches). They find an envelope with the keys to a house Riches had bought over the internet. The Riches were starting a new life in a new town and now so are The Malloys.

 

Turns out Doug Rich was a lawyer, so now Wayne must pretend to be a lawyer, and Dahlia a dental assistant. To complicate matters, they find out they are now Jewish. They have to enroll the kids in the private school, pick up the car from the shop, not knowing what kind of car they even have, etc. All kinds of drama and  hilarity ensue from the Prince and the Pauper switcheroo. Apparently, in reality there are quite a few non-cohesive communities of wealthy folks springing up here and there due to globally migrating giant corporations. So, it is conceivable that something like this COULD happen. The show explores the issues of class, personal and family identity, ethics from the ‘corporate’ perspective to the traveler perspective. It is brilliantly written and produced by newcomer Dmitry Lipkin. Eddie Izzard co-produces and I’ll bet it was his idea to have the Malloys’ youngest son be a budding cross-dresser. I love that the family doesn’t make him feel weird about it. The sexual revolution of the sixties and seventies which seemed to open people’s minds about how men and women are meant to look has been followed by a return to the fifties very non-androgynous code of dress and behavior. It is back to the closets these days for freaks.

 

One warrior for the cause of androgyny is Genesis P-Orridge of Psychic T.V. (at The Independent Aug. 24) A longtime performer all these years with Throbbing Gristle and then various incarnations of Psychic T.V. Genesis has always been ‘fringe’. But now s/he is even more so with the addition of breasts and removal of facial hair. I admit when s/he first took the stage with the band I was wondering, okay who is this Nico-like broad, and when is Genesis coming out? When I realized it was Genesis, I couldn’t help grinning and pretty much stayed in that happy frame of mind for the entire show. S/he was wearing a blond wig, and the lips were very Angelina Jolie – must have been plumped. I loved the film of the plastic surgery details projected behind the band. Very glamorous indeed: surgery as art.

 

The band were all wearing tasteful Army fatigues bearing the P.T.V. trademark crosses, very cool. From the opening song Slow Roman till the encore Suspicious I was transfixed. Particularly memorable was the I Like You song (which on the cd. {Hell Is Invisible, Heaven is H/ere} seems to called Just Because). Reminded me of the Rolling Stones We Love You. Audiences always love the love from the band. The overall sound is kind of Velvet Underground meets Joy Division. Slow and driving and sexy, with Genesis’s gravelly voice predominating. The guitar by David Max leads the sound. Bass player Alice was smiling the whole time and very cute – reminded me of Tina Weymouth. Markus, the keyboardest was bopping around all energetic, a good counterpunch to Genesis’s pretty stationary stance. Edley on drums and Lady Jaye on synthesizer & samples rounded out the sound. Marvelous!

 

I was speculating before the show just why Genesis wanted breasts, the official statement being that a person should not be judged by gender, but by their brain. And so it is a bold artistic statement.  But, s/he just seemed to be so into showing them off though, that I have to think s/he just plain likes being an amalgam. And why not? I’m all for it. – Stephane von Stephane

 

 

 7. What We’ve Been Reading/What We’ve Been Sent: We wish we could be at the Survival Research Laboratories show in Amsterdam Sept 21 , 2007. If you’re in the neighborhood of Amsterdam, check it out! For photos & more info go to http://www.srl.org/shows/robodock/

 

 

   8. RECOMMENDED LINKS – thanks to our friend Phil G, James McN-, & Others who sent us the below:

 

 

 

() Underground tunnel connecting two school building, 94 students in loop, traffic snarled for five minutes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHT_ufv2iY8

 

() sent by Kent B: staggering statistics: http://www.chrisjordan.com/current_set2.php?id=7

 

() [file under “CATASTROPHISM” – a RE/Search ongoing project] the following was sent by David L – full version at http://www.realitysandwich.com/transition_town_tonic_peak_oil_blues

 

“Transition Town: A Tonic for the Peak Oil Blues by Alex Munslow

 

“The term “Peak oil” warns of the end of cheap and plentiful energy. An expanding world population of 6.5 billion suggests a limit for growth will eventually be reached (if it hasn’t been already) and no combination of current alternative energy sources will sustain the world’s accelerating thirst for power. As oil production inevitably declines and resources become scarce, the world faces a turbulent descent. We depend on a globalized economy that is completely reliant on ready supplies of this non-renewable resource. But envisioning a life without the luxuries afforded by abundant oil can quickly lead one to denial. It’s much easier to absolve our responsibility to some higher authority – the government, the oil companies, technology, God.

 

“The exact tipping point in world oil production cannot be plotted exactly until a clear decline can be seen, by which time it will be too late. Experts analyzing this situation are divided between “early tippers” and “late tippers” – those who think world oil production has already peaked, or is about to peak in the next few years, and those who believe there are decades left. The Hirsch Report, a US Energy Department study into the effects of Peak Oil, claims that without at least a decade of preparation, the world economic, social and political cost would be “unprecedented.” Without this “timely mitigation,” confronting the effects of Peak Oil and climate change will be like trying to put up a new tent in the dark. If government reports warn us that at least a ten-year transition period is required if we are to survive the energy descent, the burning question is: When do we begin the transition?

 

“In the UK we have seen the emergence of the Transition Town as a preparation for the coming oil crisis. Like most good ideas, it doesn’t seem like a new one so much as an idea remembered. Its origins lie in the raised beds of Permaculture, the Australian agricultural design system pioneered by David Holmgrem and Bill Mollison. Inspired by the ideas of author Richard Heinberg and Dr. Colin Campbell of ASPO, a Peak Oil awareness organization, the first Transition Town began in Kinsale, Ireland in 2004… Strategies like this may one day stop the flow of money out of local communities, providing a protective buffer between a healthy local economy and fluctuations in the national currency.

 

“A general objective of Transition Towns is to preserve or reintroduce the importance of farming within a community, working towards local food production with less reliance on transport and chemicals. The benefits to this shift are obvious: local food production sustains the local economy and bolsters the overall well-being of a community. “Seed swaps” are an excellent means of strengthening local farming and working towards sustainability. At these events, heirloom seed varieties are freely exchanged in an effort to revitalize the genetic diversity of crops while bypassing legislations written to protect corporate monopolies. According to UK law, seeds cannot be sold legally unless they appear on the EU National Seed List. Registration is expensive, so only a few seeds make it on, and these are generally owned by a handful of companies who have dominated the commercial market with hybridized seeds. These genetically modified seeds are designed to produce sterile plants, forcing farmers to buy a renewed supply each season and resulting in the extinction of many seed varieties. Seed swaps side-step the corporate seed industry and thus play a crucial role in reclaiming control of local food production.

 

“Transition Town meetings often employ the self-organizing method of “open space.” According to this arrangement, attendees are invited to create the agenda and host their own discussion groups, within which participants freely move about. Whoever shows up to the meeting are the right people; whenever it starts is the right time; and when it’s over, it’s over. Those who attend have chosen to be there and are willing to contribute. Each group records the conversations, and at the end of the day, the full group reconvenes for feedback and comments, which are then made available via an internet wiki.

 

“Transition Towns provide training and courses to facilitate what has become known as “The Great Re-Skilling.” This begins by interviewing the elders of the community. To return to a lower energy future, it is necessary to engage with those who directly remember a lower energy society and re-learn skills that their generation took for granted. To instigate change, it is important to first understand the psychological barriers to transformation. The Transition Town model offers a set of creative tools for communities to engage with the dual problems of both Peak Oil and climate change. It deals practically with the physical manifestation of the problem and can be conveyed very simply to a large number of people at once.

 

“Cheap oil has allowed western societies to cut through the intricate web of beneficial relationships that once held communities together. Transition Town is a grassroots movement of people learning to relate to each other again. Behind the descent plan is the belief that with creativity and imagination, and under a well-designed strategy, the future without oil could be preferable to the present.” – www.transitionculture.org  [end]

 

 

   9. QUOTES [sorry, next time] our #1 chestnut from WSB: “Belief is the enemy of knowledge… all knowledge is a work in progress.”

 

   10. Feedback from Readers:

 

() J.G. Ballard: Quotes [review] “… a bottomless font of insights and inspiration from the incomparable Ballard, a visionary novelist whose black-comedic critique of the postmodern condition is more trenchant, and wittier by far, than anything French philosophy has to offer. Read Baudrillard and Virilio as science fiction, and Ballard as philosophy or, better yet, self-help guru for the irreparably disaffected. I begin every day with a quote, chosen at random, from this book of daily affirmations—or, more properly, daily negations—and go forth with a spring in my step, intellectually well-armed to do battle with my local megamall, multistory parking garage, and other Ballardian horrors come to life.” – by Mark Dery, sent to us by John G. Order now from:  http://www.http://www.researchpubs.com/features/jgbqu.php

 

() “Just finished THE LONG EMERGENCY [by James Howard Kunstler] today. definitely a very provocative and well-reasoned book. this information should be required reading for every local, state and federal elected official. but i’m guessing the society we live in is driven by an unconscious thanatos wish to crash and burn. i always remember what terry wilson said to gysin in RE/Search’s HERE TO GO: Planet R-101 (a book that truly changed my world view when i read it in the mid-80s): he said that (i’m paraphrasing) the world is so rotten with illusion that its human inhabitants are just in a hurry to get it over with… hence the apocalyptic fixation in popular culture and the popularity of christian fundamentalism…

 

“So: are you planning on staying put in the city? i’ve had a wish to move out into the country for a long time now, onto some sort of rural agrarian commune. i was thinking of the rocky mountain region but reading kunstler’s book has changed my tune. a farm in inland oregon might be good. but coastal urban areas are definitely not going to be where i want to be, if i hope to survive… but as long as i am here i hope to enjoy the cultural benefits of SF. to which end i just reserved seats to BIOSPHERE and BLIXA BARGELD concerts (early show at 8 pm) at RML. maybe i will see you there… – ferrara

 

() FROM DANNIE D: “Hi everybody, I am taking this really exciting new media workshop this semester, for which I will be attending The Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium series (http://atc.berkeley.edu/). I would love for you to join me. It’s in Berkeley (not in Northgate Hall as advertised on the flyer, but at 160 Kroeber Hall) and it’s totally free. The first speaker is Trevor Paglen (http://www.paglen.com/) on 9/17 … PS: There are also some great films/series coming up at BAM/PFA: British New Wave, Tomu Uchida, and Girls will be Boys (http://bampfa.berkeley.edu/filmseries/)

 

() From TONY in Spain: “Seeing that we are living in an age of nothing but innocuous lists, it makes me think that those you gave in SEARCH & DESTROY as far as books to read & films to see were extremely pertinent in quite feasibly consolidating an attitude as you all made the scene move along. Unlike those done now that seem to carry some competitive/Olympian kind of connotation. I also mention this because I’d imagine that the punk wars would never have been won with mere knuckle-headedness alone, say. It’s good to know that some of you fought & gave it your best shot for sure, with the lists being signifiers in a way besides the F A B U L O U S S&D!!!” [note: original SEARCH & DESTROY tabloids still available – complete set for $75! http://www.http://www.researchpubs.com/books/sdprod.php

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SEPTEMBER 2007 RE/Search eNewsletter written by V. Vale & contributors. Newsletter and website powered by http://www.laughingsquid.com

DISCLAIMER & PROMISE — RE: V. Vale’s eNewsletter – If you’re receiving this newsletter, it’s because you **or someone you know** has sent your address to us. And if you want us to continue publishing, please note that amazon.com is killing off independent publishing and local indie bookstores. Save a publisher – Order DIRECT from us at http://www.http://www.researchpubs.com – or call 415-362-1465.

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RE/Search Publications, 20 Romolo Suite B, San Francisco, CA 94133. Tel (415) 362-1465  Email: info@researchpubs.com  website: http://www.http://www.researchpubs.com  MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/researchpubs

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