WELCOME TO V. VALE’s RE/SEARCH NEWSLETTER #101, JANUARY 2011
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1. MESSAGE FROM YOUR EDITOR, V. VALE: (Happy) New Year’s Resolutions (& Predictions)!
2. Counter Culture Hour is actually TWO Counter Culture HALF hours this month. 1) Carolee Schneeman 2) Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson (R.I.P.) of Throbbing Gristle. SF cable channel 29, also simulcast on-line (see below)
3. ** RE/Search now available as eBooks! For starters: “Confessions of Wanda Von Sacher-Masoch” now available on Kindle, along with a companion reading of “Venus in Furs.”
4. FORTHCOMING EVENTS
5. What We’ve Attended/What We’ve Been Reading/Seeing
6. Steven Gray review & Captain Beefheart Obituary/Reminiscence
7. Recommended Links – send some!
9. Letters from Readers
1. MESSAGE FROM YOUR EDITOR, V. VALE – (Happy) New Year’s Resolutions!
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS:
1) SIMPLIFY LIFE:
a) DO MORE by Doing LESS! (Get Rid of Conflicts, Interruptions, Distractions, Lesser Projects & Flaky People)
b) DO ONE PROJECT AT A TIME. (As Above. NO Multi-Tasking. Don’t Text&Drive. Don’t Walk & Chew Gum.)
c) Say **NO**… A LOT… (Your Only Free Will is Your Power to Say NO.)
2) More Time with OLDEST FRIENDS (You have To Do Outreach. They won’t call You!)
3) SAVE THE FIRST WAKING HOUR FOR YOURSELF. Don’t talk to ANYONE. Stay in Bed & Write in a Paper Journal. No Computer/Cell Phone/Music. Harvest Your Dreams & Verbal/Visual Ideas/Whatever Wells Up from Your Subconscious, before it flies away…
4) Make a Short List of Important Books You’ve Been Too Lazy to Get. Find them. Read them. Summarize them. ( Repeat: Find. Read. Summarize.)
5) The Books That Have Taught You the Most – Group ‘Em in One Place. Make a List. YOUR FAVORITES.
6) The Films That Have Affected You the Most – Make a List. YOUR FAVORITES.
7) The Most “Beautiful” and “Anthemic” Songs – Make a List. Get the Lyrics.
8) Go to More Parties. (Paradoxically) Stay Home More. Really Minimize Shopping.
9) Before Sleeping, Ponder a List of Problems for Your Subconscious to “Solve.”
10) Minimize Computer “Browsing.” Minimize Email. Erect your own Firewall Against the Billions of Distractions findable on the Internet.
11) Read some Burroughs & Ballard EVERY DAY! (Scatter their books everywhere). And, try to read every book by the living noir-futurist-sci-fi quadrumvirate William Gibson, John Shirley, Bruce Sterling & Richard Kadrey.
A FEW PREDICTIONS for 2011:
1. Even Fewer Jobs. So learn gardening/welding/plumbing/carpentry/electrician/fix-it/SOMETHING REAL!
2. Real Estate: In the Toilet Headed for the Sewer! It’s All Illusion; The Sky Is as Thin as Paper Here. Nobody can afford to buy a house or even pay the inflated rents (Except the Rich). Realtors/ Developers are revealed to be the Parasites/Con-men/Wreckers of Society they’ve always been…
3. Banks, Stocks, Bonds, Paper Currencies Worldwide: Truly, A House of Cards whose foundation is a massive shared hallucination fated to pop like a Global 3-D Bubble!
4. Travel: Do It Now! Sooner than we think, globe-trotting will just be a faint memory…
5. CARS ARE SATAN: Wean yourself of auto dependence. Oil will soon be $200 a barrel – eventually, $20,000! (Well, that’s when paper money will be proven to be worth the paper it’s printed on…)
6. Consider moving to Tahiti or some other Gauguin-land of milk and honey…
7. Make sure you have great-fitting shoes made for comfort, protection & speed. At least your feet won’t hurt…
8. Read survival books but don’t get hypnotized by their doom-and-gloom. Who wants to live off canned food and pressed rat & warthog for years?!
9. Make sure you have some very good friends.. . If that’s possible!
10. Try to Become a Comedian 24/7. You’re gonna need all the humor you can get! And, it will help you survive & prosper! (Or, get you killed.) Selah.
2. Counter Culture Hour – Saturday January 8, 2011 – 6:00 PM PACIFIC TIME. Our visit with Carolee Schneeman at her studio in rural NY State is paired with an interview (excerpt) with Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson (R.I.P.) of Throbbing Gristle taped in April 2009 when the band played a reunion concert in San Francisco.
Edited/filmed/produced by Marian Wallace; interviews & piano improvs [the “easy” part] by V. Vale.
The Counter Culture Hour (aka RE/SEARCH TV) is also simulcast ON-LINE as well as on cable access San Francisco Channel 29 — 6pm Pacific Time, Sat January 8, 2011
– see this link at broadcast time:
You need a fairly decent internet connection and computer to “get it.”
USA west coast: 6:00 PM Saturday, January 8, 2011
USA east coast: 9:00 PM Saturday, January 8, 2011
London: 2:00 AM Sunday, January 9, 2011
Tokyo: 10:00 AM Sunday, January 9, 2011
If you cannot get this online (we have heard some complaints about this, although it seems to have been working for us of late), please write us to get a DVD copy. ($20 postpaid USA domestic, $25 overseas – to cover our personal copying expenses/shipping).
Would you like to have a Counter Culture Hour showing in your town? Please write and ask us how you can do this. (write: firstname.lastname@example.org)
See RE/Search channel on youtube: “researchpubs”
3. RE/Search books are now available on Kindle! We’re just getting started, but our “Confessions of Wanda Von Sacher-Masoch” is now available along with a companion eBook of “Venus in Furs.” “Wanda” is the gripping narrative of a late 19th-century proto-feminist coping with the perverse demands of the father of her 2 children — a writer who singlehandedly book-published the behavioral archetype of SM (the masochist enslaved to his dominatrix). “Venus in Furs” is the novel, written from the husband’s standpoint, of his literary invention of the “classic” scenarios deployed in the Master-Slave relationship, complete with leather-fur fetishes, whips & all the accoutrements readily available in certain shops in the Castro/SOMA neighborhoods. These 2 books are still outside the mainstream, and posit many “consensual/power/relationship issues” still relevant today. A feminist classic, Wanda’s version of her life had to wait almost 100 years until RE/Search published it for the first time in English.
Support the digitization of RE/Search Publications and make your new Kindle even cooler! Get these fascinating books at http://amzn.to/eCM52a
More Coming Up
We’re partnered with [aerbook] in San Francisco ( http://aerbook.com ). They design and build enhanced eBooks for all the major eReaders, including readers on the iPhone and iPad. Look for more of our classic books in eBook form coming soon, as well as some all-new RE/Search publications that we think you’ll like. And get in touch if you’d like to help out on the project.
4. FORTHCOMING EVENTS (San Francisco unless Otherwise Noted)
() NOW Thru April 9: “Pearls Over Shanghai” – thrillpeddlers.com. A San Francisco classic.
() $10 THUR Jan 6, 8pm. JOHN LAW (featured in our PRANKS 2 book) and JONATHAN HAEBER A/V presentation on Forbidden Urban Exploration! Chez Poulet Gallery, 3359 Cesar Chavez/Mission St, SF.
() FREE THUR JAN 6 – 1st Thursday Art Receptions @ 49 Geary/Kearny St 5:30-7:30pm, 14 Geary & 77 Geary till 8pm.
() FREE. LOS ANGELES: FRI Jan 7, 6pm. Closing Reception for Laurie Steelink Art Show http://track16gallery.createsend5.com/T/ViewEmail/y/4E6D57F2207251B4/C1C0C9F5DEAB5FF5C9C291422E3DE149
() $ FRI Jan 7, 6pm A rare “Meet the Artist” appearance by MARK PAULINE (featured in our Industrial Culture Handbook & Pranks books), Survival Research Laboratories ( SRL ) Founder. Sonoma County Museum, 425 7th St/B St, Santa Rosa CA 95401. 707-579-1500. On 101 North take Santa Rosa 3rd St/Downtown Exit, and basically go left 1/2 mile – you’ll find it. For advance tickets contact Jennifer Bethke at email@example.com
() FREE FRI Jan 7, 6:30pm. Spy Emerson Performance Art (sexy, provocative, fun & free!). Jellyfish Gallery, 1246 Folsom/9th St, S.F. www.spygirlfriday.com
() $ SAT Jan 8, 8pm KAL SPELLETICH ROBOTICS/MACHINE PERFORMANCE. 1043 Marin St/near 3rd St & Illinois St, SF.
() $ SAT Jan 8 TOKYO Michel’s “Untitled #3” screens http://www.moju-video.com/untitled3project.html
() This Month: S.F. Xmas Tree Burn, Twilight. Find it!
() FREE WED Jan 12, 730pm GEORGE KUCHAR film show, S.F. For details call RE/Search 415-362-1465.
() FREE WED Jan 12, 7:30pm RICK PRELINGER presents LOST LANDSCAPES OF DETROIT. CounterPulse, 1310 Mission/9th St, SF.
() FREE THUR Jan 13, 6pm. Art Show Opening, Adobe Books, 3166 16th St/Valencia St, SF. “Adobe Books Backroom Gallery is pleased to announce its 2011 inaugural exhibition, guest curated by Arden Sherman. The 770 Show is the first in a two-part series dealing with the site of the bookshop itself — as inspiration, illumination, and artistic material.”
() FREE THUR Jan 13, 7:30pm. Spy Emerson Performance Art (see above). Jellyfish Gallery, 1246 Folsom/9th St, S.F. www.spygirlfriday.com
() $ JAN 13-16 Existential Comedies of Japanese Filmmaker Yuya Ishii at YBCA Screening Room, SF. http://www.ybca.org/tickets/production/view.aspx?id=12718
() FREE THUR JAN 13-Feb 12. LOS ANGELES – ED HARDY ART SHOW: “Tat Cat Shack & African Barber Shop Shack from Ghana.” Track 16, http://www.track16.com/exhibitions.php
() $ SAT-SUN Jan 15-16, 7:30pm LOS ANGELES – ALEJANDRO JODOROWSKY IN PERSON (rare!). Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd, 323-466-3456. http://www.americancinematheque.com/archive1999/2011/Egyptian/Alejandro_Jodorowsky_ET2011.htm
() FREE SUN Jan 16, 6pm. Kottie Paloma Art Show Opening at Pharoah Maybelline, 3440 24th St/San Jose St, S.F. 2 blocks from BART.
() $$ MON Jan 17, 2 shows, 8pm and 10pm: Amiri Baraka & Roscoe Mitchell. Yoshi’s, 1330 Fillmore, SF. http://sfyoshis2.inticketing.com/events/136574/AMIRI-BARAKA–ROSCOE-MITCHELL–8PM
() $$ WED Jan 19, 10am: Burning Man Rites of Passage TIX go on sale
http://tickets.burningman.com While you’re at it, why not buy direct from us our BURNING MAN LIVE book, the “best” book about Burning Man? http://www.http://www.researchpubs.com
() FREE SAT Jan 22, 7pm. 2nd Floor Projects presents Daughters of Houdini, Marco Vassi ( Charles Gatewood ), Bradford Nordeen, at 3740 25th street, no.205, SF.
() $ WED-SAT Jan 26-29. MacWorld @ Moscone Ctr, SF http://www.macworldexpo.com
() $ THUR Jan 27. The BEST Burning Man Film, “Dust and Illusions,” plays at the Delancey Street Theater, 600 Embarcadero St, S.F. Director Olivier Bonin IN PERSON to answer questions. RE/Search will sell our BURNING MAN LIVE book; come meet us! Recommended: order advance tickets from http://dustandillusions.com/blog/san-francisco-screening-jan-27th-2011
() $ SUN Jan 30, 5:30pm. PUNK FILMS, curated by Steve Seid, including the RE/Search-produced LOUDER FASTER SHORTER. Some filmmakers including Mindaugis Bagdon in person, and RE/Search may have a table there. PFA Theater, 2575 Bancroft Way (bet College/Telegraph). http://www.bampfa.berkeley.edu/film/FN18949
() $ WED Feb 2, 7pm LOS ANGELES Ed Hardy Live Interview by Kristine McKenna @ Track 16, 2525 Michigan Ave #C-1, Santa Monica. Also Emiko Omori’s documentary “Tattoo the World.” http://www.track16.com/exhibitions.php
5. What We’ve Attended/What We’ve Been Reading/Seeing/Listening to/What We’ve Been Sent
Sorry – next time! It’s already 3 AM! (Do you think I’m really getting PAID for doing this?!) Oh well, I’ve GOT to review the new John Waters book, or I won’t be able to fall asleep…
() JOHN WATERS’ ROLE MODELS is yet another Waters’ contribution to the OPUS MAGNUM of Essential Counter Culture Guides to LIving. “John Waters is an American filmmaker, actor, writer, and visual artist best known for his cult films, including “Hairspray,” “Pink Flamingos,” and “Cecil B. DeMented.” He lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Great author photo by Greg Gorman.”
Loved every single chapter but found “Outsider Porn” a bit “tough going” … but am, as usual, amazed that this world even exists. Predictably, my favorite chapter was “Bookworm” – I’m ALWAYS looking for exceptional but overlooked books. And, really liked the chapter on Rei Kawakubo — artistic clothing design, like tattoo, is an up-and-coming art territoriality and cultural heritage headed for (if not already at) the most prestigious museums of the world.
John Waters’ visual/sculptural/installation art seamlessly integrates with his cinematic visions — it’s easy to tell that it all sprang from the same creative cauldron, in which high, low and totally outré whirl in a blender to produce the most amazing Outsider Kultur soufflé imaginable. Yes, that’s a goal: to be a Permanent Outsider all your life while remaining über-creative. So, Buy this book or we’ll shoot this dog (just kidding)… If you “got” this last joke, please write me! 🙂 (And Thanks to Ian Webster, who gave us this for xmas!)
Our former intern, friend, writer and associate MORITZ from GERMANY sent us his first CD — a gorgeous hand-made production obliquely inspired by the best graphic design of Jim Thirlwell. It is necessary to untie a shining satin ribbon to access a spray-painted CD with 2 holes in it (!) securing the CD to its unusual CD box/wrapper. And once untied, it is difficult to thread the satin ribbon through ever again. You have NEVER seen or handled a CD/package like this — guaranteed! You will thrill to a brand-new “virgin” muscle-memory experience!
Liner notes excerpt: “The performance of this piece took place on October 2nd 2010 celebrating a wedding of close relatives. One performer, Charlotte, could not be present at the wedding so her part was recorded via internet. In the original version the right channel comprises her part while the performance on the wedding can be heard on the left channel. There were several disturbances in the recording process which are now considered part of the piece…The listener should feel encouraged to sing along any song whatsoever. If you are not sure about the lyrics, just hum.”
This WILL be one of your favorite CD possessions — it’s a hand-made, tactile, hand-airbrushed, highly lovable OBJET D’ART. For a copy write Moritz Cordes — he will tell you how to pay him via PayPal! 🙂
6. STEVEN GRAY on NEW YORK GRAPHIC, plus a CAPTAIN BEEFHEART OBITUARY
() NEW YORK GRAPHIC – a book review. Recently I found a used book in the Russian Hill Book Store and read the whole thing in a few days: “New York Graphic,” by Adam Lloyd Baker (1998). He is described as a “former grave digger, embalmer, theology student and movie projectionist” who lives in London. You could do worse than find those components in a novelist. The story begins with an exploding sewer and a manhole cover flying through the air which cuts off the head of a priest. There is some dark humor here, as the story follows the trials and tribulations of a Weegee-type photographer in modern-day New York. “Sick, cynical, and rather wonderful… you will be helplessly hooked.” (Time Out – London)
() CAPTAIN BEEFHEART (January 15, 1941 – December 17, 2010). WHERE’S THE BEEFHEART? – In 1971 I was living in San Pedro on the top floor of a rundown Victorian mansion. It was during my first year of college. One night I drove with a friend to a converted movie theater in downtown Long Beach. A man in a suit walked out on stage and proceeded to manhandle his bass guitar, producing the most atonal manic solo while sliding across the stage on one foot: Rockette Morton. Then the Magic Band came on, including Winged Eel Fingerling and Zoot Horn Rollo, followed by Captain Beefheart. He was about 30, well dressed, a bit stocky, and seemed like a figure out of the Beat era. He was growling the most disjointed blues songs. It was enthralling, and not only because I was on mescaline. There was a lightshow projecting amoebic wavering forms, but the minute he was onstage he asked them to shut it off.
When I saw photos of the band in the 60’s they looked like eccentric lysergic pioneers, but I read the 1970 Rolling Stone interview of Beefheart which noted that – like his old friend Frank Zappa, who he went to high school with in a desert town – he didn’t do drugs. That brings to mind the Salvador Dali line: “I don’t do drugs, I am drugs.”
He had the most scrambled way of forming lines and phrases, one reason he lost interest in school at a young age – it wasn’t in tune with his way of thinking, which may have been partly a congenital condition. How do you go through life with lines in your head like “… billiards cue white polas / night ribs day / sacroiliacs jab heaven’s chuckling back / relax armadillo xylophone in zodiac ‘n back…” He wrote that about his drummer, Ed Marimba. Concerning Rockette Morton: “The head catatonic from the roller rink / rank ‘n rambunctious are employed…” Also: “No B.O. for his boy / it’s like a winged eel fingerling / crawling through lime jello / it’s like a chrome black eyebrow / rolled out real long / a paper brow magnifying glass / fried brown, edge scorched, yoked / like a squeak from a speaker / behind forehead of the time…”
There are some recent interviews with Zoot Horn Rollo, who is still around. He definitely did a lot of acid in those days, and talks about the crazy dictatorial aspects of Beefheart as a band leader.
After the show, my friend disappeared (a propensity of his). I wandered the streets of Long Beach, drifting down the sidewalk with a police car following as I tried to remember what normal behavior was so I wouldn’t attract attention. I ended up back at the now-empty theater, where I saw Rockette Morton getting paid off in the lobby. I called my roommates in San Pedro and they came to get me. Then my friend showed up and drove me home. The roommates arrived at the theater and found me gone, but one of them saw Little Richard getting into a limo and called his name and got a wave and that made his night.
In 2007 I was in Manhattan and went to a gallery showing some paintings by Don Van Vliet, aka Captain Beefheart. He had gravitated away from music, never hitting it big, but maybe wasn’t destined to – given his originality, refusal to compromise, and certain contradictions. The art had always been with him though. I wasn’t impressed with most of it, resembling something done on LSD which is less interesting when the drug wears off – a weak abstract expressionism with distorted apparitions here and there. He had been living in Northern California, married to the same woman for forty years.
A few years ago I went to see Sleepytime Gorilla Museum at the Independent. After the show I was talking with one or two of them, and said they had the sort of original forces I found in Captain Beefheart long ago. The bass player took that as a major compliment, saying he would have given his right arm to see Beefheart.
The other day I heard he died at 69 (from multiple sclerosis), and it shook me like a seismic tremor. I have an old album of his – “The Spotlight Kid” (1972) – and I’m going to buy a turntable. What goes around, comes around. — Steven Gray, http://elfyourself.jibjab.com/view/Qf6CnjEnu30Snq6h
7. RECOMMENDED LINKS (send some!)
() Chris Cobb’s blog for SFMOMA (last month featured RE/Search & V. Vale)
() V. Vale appears for 5 seconds in this Burroughs “A Man Within” 2-min film trailer: http://veevr.com/videos/2vKhfj7Wf
() WikiLeaks lives! http://220.127.116.11 – ‘enuf said.
() Recommended: Twitter marketing article by our new intern Britton: http://www.tabou.li/tweet #marketing #twitter #twittermarketing
() From Little Shiva: http://www.fingerpaintingonmars.com/index.php/satellites
() Our former intern Brady Welch started a website featuring interviews with “innaresting” people: http://yrdoingagreatjob.com/2010/12/15/andrew-leland-magazine-editor/
() a bit exhausting: http://www.sott.net/articles/show/200327-33-Conspiracy-Theories-That-Turned-Out-To-Be-True-What-Every-Person-Should-Know-
() from Phil: http://glatz.com/content/homer-langley (more at glatz.com)
http://www.glatz.com/content/reacher-can-kick-butts-shaw-and-bauer (Lee Child rules!)
() Nassim Taleb fans, this site has a handful of hour long talks by him.
() Every Monday we go to kunstler.com , get the latest weekly vitriolic critique from James Howard Kunstler, and we always feel better!
() from JPM: http://yourscenesucks.com/
() from Jen, Varnish: http://www.varnishfineart.com/?cid=9399&beid=24&tid=17
() from Pod www.XLterrestrials.org/plog
http://syirathefunkonipay0123445.blogspot.com OR http://lovelymike10.ru.gg OR THIS http://leejlydon22.noads.biz/wujfmmjuejyu.html
() Big interview with John Waters www.nudemagazine.co.uk
() Want to join the Yes Men (featured in our Pranks 2 book)? Lead a postering team! Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call Linda at 415-828-3743
() from Improv Everywhere:
New York: http://improveverywhere.com/2011/01/02/no-pants-subway-ride-2011-details-for-new-york/
Other cities: http://improveverywhere.com/2011/01/01/global-no-pants-subway-ride-2011/
() DVD of the HOWL Movie: http://www.kerouac.com/homepage.htm
Listen to John Cassady and Jerry Cimino review the film on KGO Radio:
() Detroit? http://www.palladiumboots.com/explorations/
() Celebrity roast for Jesus: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMg5IGyUH0o
() JG Ballard, in an act of refusal, called the “Commander of the British Empire (CBE)” award “a preposterous charade.” http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/220159/Honours-they-couldn-t-accept
8. QUOTES from V. Vale
() “WikiLeaks held up a gigantic mirror to American corruption & injustice worldwide – it’s like the Second Coming of Jesus!” (Will the crucifixion be next? Someone, create a painting of Julian Assange as The Christ, with light emanating from his hands beaming down over the whole tiny planet!!)
() “Ultimately, the greatest treasure we can give one another are MEMORIES…” [Actually, tax-deductible contribution$ and homemade fruit pies are always appreciated…]
() “Your ears were not intended to hear your own heartbeat…”
() “Eat Slowly, Avoid Carbs, Exercise Briefly & Intensely (Like a Cat)”
() “All magic is temporary…”
() ” Pragmatic often leads to traumatic…”
() “Do It Yourself, Do It Now / Do It Easy, Do It Great” (a variant on D-I-Y)
() “Strive to Give More Than Expected…”
() “On your Deathbed, All the Gold in the World Will Not Save You!” (So… help us publish a book!)
() “Wanna judge someone fast? Find out what they’ve actually DONE, CREATED, ACHIEVED. How have they made the world a better place? How have they added value? (Beware: many take credit for the work of others… 🙂 ”
() Shorter version of preceding: “Judge People by What They DO, Not What They Say… (or, What They’ve DONE, not What they PROMISE…)
() Why I despise the term “Post-Punk”: Punk was a REVOLUTION. If you’re POST-Revolutionary — that means you’ve given up!
() “All contemporary, neologistic language must be vetted/meditated over/critiqued to ferret out its deficiencies, lack of poetry, and potential for disastrous consequences…”
() “Realism Kills Surrealism (and Vice Versa)…”
() “Art Cheats Death…” (For a while, at least, at best)
() This Question is “corny poetry”: “ASK: Does What I Do/ Work or Play/ Make the World/ A Better Place/ in Every Way?” (It reminds me of Emile Coué’s mantra-to-be-recited-daily: “Every Day, In Every Way, I Am Getting, Better & Better”!!)
() Q: What 3 words have killed millions & destroyed cultures worldwide? A: Christianity, Islam, Judaism…:-)
9. LETTERS FROM READERS:
() “Greetings, Vale — good to receive your newsletter here in Bangkok, Thailand, and you may be interested to know i am currently reporting on the WikiLeaks documents, concerning Thailand, Burma and elsewhere in Southeast Asia.
“I am posting my published wikileaks stories on my website — continuously updated — so please consider linking it to your newsletter:
” You may remember we met in San Francisco in 2001. You can describe me on your website, alongside my link, as: Richard S. Ehrlich is a Bangkok-based journalist from San Francisco, California. He has reported news from Asia since 1978 and is co-author of the non-fiction book of investigative journalism, “Hello My Big Big Honey!” Love Letters to Bangkok Bar Girls and Their Revealing Interviews, published in San Francisco. Cheers, Richard”
() “great review on Berrett-Koehler.” – David P
() “V, First off, I love the e-mail newsletters. They are huge, informative, and make a great break from my studies. Maybe it’s because I’m in editing mode I caught what I think are two typos in this month’s newsletter. The first: “Or to invoke Star Wars mythology, this is the Independents vs. The Borg!” Should that be Star Trek, or am I getting my sci-fi mythos wrong? [YES!] The 2nd is from the BUILT TO LOVE review, and you were quoting a quote: “From the book’s cover quotes, we read, ‘Emotions have been under-researched and under-utilized in designing a product’s identity and strategy… BUILT TO LIVE uncovers the science of product emotion… ‘” Should that be BUILT TO LOVE [YES!], or is it a (sic) situation. My whole life is a sic situation.” – Fred H.”
() “Hey Vale! Where diid u hear that Twitter is censoring WikiLeaks? I don’t think they are – I know a few execs there, and that seems very out of character for everyone there. xo 🙂 Nina” Maybe you’re right, N!
() Hi Vale: In response to your posts about the WikiLinks, I have this to say:
It recently occurred to me that the Internet was from the first intended and designed as a means of controlling us, invading our privacy and, ironically, eliminating our right to free speech. Consider: The Internet began as a military research project. Why was it “released” to the public? In its wake, and intensifying by the day, the Internet is turning out not to be a global village but rather a global means of oppression. In terms of the United States, here is what I mean.
An employer, except in a few states, has the right to terminate anyone for anything they post online; it need not be “radical” or involve nudity. It could be as simple as an employer not caring for gay employees and discovering via the Internet that an employee has posted information revealing his or her homosexuality. The reasons for termination need merely be stated as, “Posting inappropriate material online.”
Secondly, there is a clear trend towards employers requiring workers to uphold “their” company’s image even while off duty. Thus, I have already heard from several people whose off-work activities are restricted by their employers. These restrictions go far beyond obvious political activism and even include charitable and educational work. In one of my Master’s classes, a student had to manipulate her project so as not to violate company policy.
Thirdly, the Internet essentially gives an employer 24/7 access to a worker’s home. An employer may essentially commit a breaking and entering and monitor an employee’s every online activity. The result? For all who require a job, the First Amendment has been eradicated. Sure, you can post anything you want online, but the new catchphrase is, “Watch what you post online,” the exact phrase spoken by the current president to a group of college students.
Privacy is obviously violated by these same means. Thus, to maintain employment, one can only portray a controlled and restricted *version* of the self online. The major means of communication, so often proposed as our road to total freedom, has “evolved” into the ultimate means of control.
As mentioned, I propose that this was the intent behind the creation of the Internet in the first place. What better way to control people than to imply over a couple of decades that they now have the right to unrestricted free speech, then turn the tables and use that free speech against them?
The crux of the problem is that as workers become ever-more replaceable, they become ever-more prone to accepting impositions like that of representing their company’s image 24 hours a day. In essence, they become human logos, and if they want to eat and maintain a roof over their heads, they will succumb to this demand.
Oddly enough, most do so without complaint. They begin “watching that they post,” minimize web presence, and fence themselves into a technopsychological concentration camp. This is too good to be true for those who wish to impose social control, and only they seem to be shaking their heads over the massive new power they lord over citizens. ~ Paul A. Toth
FINALLY: 2010 OBITS for Dennis Hopper & Blake Edwards R.I.P. (Try to See All Their Films!)
To Our Patient Readers Who Have Made It This Far, A tiny Notice: One of my favorite books, RE/Search #8/9: JG Ballard, is down to our last handful of copies. In today’s non-print-publishing eWorld, it is doubtful it can ever be reprinted (although one can always HOPE!). If you want a Brand New Copy, best get it now! And, I’ll autograph it… – V. Vale
JANUARY 2011 RE/Search eNewsletter written by V. Vale & other contributors. Newsletter and website powered by http://www.laughingsquid.com.
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