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

eNewsletter #23, October 2002

eNewsletter #23, October 2002
WELCOME TO RE/SEARCH Mini-NEWSLETTER #23, OCTOBER 2002 (a shorter version this time)!

1. Lawrence Ferlinghetti: Dissent is NOT Un-American (Let us repeat)
6. More Reviews of Modern Pagans
7. About Us: What IS RE/Search?

**Dear Friends: Please note that our email address has CHANGED to: (Our former address was: Remove it from your records!)

1. Lawrence Ferlinghetti: “Dissent is NOT Un-American” (Let us Repeat) 

Post 9-11, Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s City Lights Bookstore (in San Francisco’s North Beach) has had banners displayed on its landmark building with the message: “Dissent is NOT Un-American,” above various faces gagged by American flags. A new banner was recently hung: “NOT OUR WAR!”

A week ago Lawrence read a poem specially written for LITQUAKE, San Francisco’s (yearly?) celebration of local authors, and a successor to the earlier LITSTOCK(S) (thanks to Jack Boulware, Jane Ganahl and cohorts for pulling this off with zero initial backing). This was truly a D-I-Y event in the best underground tradition. A real inspiration, Lawrence showed that it is possible to keep one’s edge (and physical stamina) at the venerable age of 83 years. How many wars (declared and undeclared) and Presidents has he protested in the past 65 years? Let’s see: the Korean War, Vietnam, Nixon, Nicaragua, the Gulf War …

North Beach is, after all, just another neighborhood, albeit one where you can see the likes of Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Francis Coppola and Philip Kaufman just eating lunch or running errands. Which brings us to…


Since May, 1979 I’ve lived at 20 Romolo #B, where RE/Search Publications was originally launched (thanks to Geoff Travis and Rough Trade Records, who paid me and photographer Ruby Ray $200 a week salary to launch RE/Search), and have had an account at the closest bank about a block away. Today I was amazed to run into LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTI, who it turns out also has had an account there “for years” (like, decades?). Never saw him there before. He was sampling the free brownies laid out on a table by the door–probably the latest marketing gimmick–and he told me, “I just got set up to do all my banking on-line.” I didn’t recall seeing a computer at his home, but he said, “Yes, I have one. But the woman bank officer over there set me all up.” I said, “Did you actually learn in school how to touch-type?” and he said, “Oh yes. I’m pretty fast. When I was living in New York I applied at TIME Magazine for a job. I started taking the test, and in the middle of touch-typing I switched to hunt-and-peck, and passed the test! I’ve been hunting-and-pecking ever since.”

V: “You worked at TIME Magazine?!”

LF: “I started out working in the mail room. I figured I’d work my way up from the mail room, up to copy boy, and then up to editorial. But I finally noticed that the elevator I had to use didn’t even go up to the editorial offices! After working there about 8 months I’d had enough. I really fucked up their mail, though!” [laughs–Lawrence the Prankster?!] “Then I quit and decided to go to college” [Columbia University, for a Masters Degree].

V: “Didn’t you go to Italy recently?”

LF: “Yes, Genoa. It’s a terrible place–completely filled with cars and trucks swarming around–it’s Autogeddon! Don’t believe the tourist brochures! It’s an industrial city, terribly polluted now–noisy and smelly. Did you know that 3/4 of the Italians who settled North Beach came from Genoa? It’s a seaport town.

V: “What’s your favorite city in Italy?”

LF: Verona. That’s where my art dealer is. I had a big show there a couple years ago, and I went there for it. It’s beautiful. I sold a lot of art, too. You know the famous painter Francesco Clemente? He was a friend of Allen Ginsberg’s, and I met him through Allen. I asked him, “Do you know if there are any honest art dealers in Italy and he said, “You must be pretty naive to have asked THAT question!”… [end]

Lawrence’s LITQUAKE poem had some great lines: “So we’re having a quake/we’re going to have a literary quaking?…”Get ready to tremble/get ready to shake/the hour has come/the atomic clock is down to One…I am wondering, who will really be shook up?…who will be quaking in their boots?…will it crack the marble skies? will we have a ripple effect and revolution and then orgasms all around the world?/will it shred the fabric of society and cause inebriation or sobriety?…will it let loose the dogs of war or liberate the dogs of peace? Will it be the “scorched earth” or business-as-usual on the home turf?…where will be the epicenter of this quake?…will there be a lot of real estate for sale? Will the towers of power come tumbling down? Will it shake down the banks?…Will it derail tanks, and war…or bring down the war machine or other things obscene?…Will it open a great chasm in which we’ll see the huge spiritual void in America?…Will it move your heart and soul? Will it shake your mind? Will it wake up the humanity of all mankind?” [note: this transcript may be faulty]

Then Lawrence read his version of “The Lord’s Prayer”: “Our Father whose arse is in heaven, hollow be thy name (unless things change)/thy kingdom come and gone/thy will, will be undone/on earth, as it isn’t in heaven/give us this day our daily bread at least 3 times a day/and lead us not into temptation…” you get the picture. He finished with a Goya-inspired poem from his best-selling, 40-year-old “Coney Island of the Mind”–the final line was “cars/they have strange license plates/and engines that devour America…” Yes, how complementary: the marketing push to sell gas-guzzling SUVs, while marketing the War on Iraq, the world’s second-largest proven petroleum reserve…

San Francisco, although greatly decimated by the Dot-Com Black Plague, still has Diane Di Prima and Michael McClure (actually, an Oakland resident), who both read quite moving tributes at the Philip Whalen Memorial a couple months ago. This free event was apparently organized by Steve Dickison, formerly head of Small Press Distribution in Berkeley (who, by the way, distribute RE/Search titles). If this had happened in New York City it would have cost $20 and been sold out in advance; as it was, there were plenty of vacant seats. Anne Waldman, Dave Haselwood (the “Betsy Ross of the Beat Generation” publisher of gorgeous, hand-sewn poetry editions) and others also read…


Now that virtually all the TV stations and newspapers are publishing simply blatant propaganda [AKA mind control, or just plain lies] designed to market a “War on Iraq” to those who do not read books, we must remind ourselves of the parallels between the deeds of the Bush Team and the Hitler Team. Dissent per se simply doesn’t exist on mainstream television, and virtually the only dissent printed in newspapers is in Letters to the Editor, or by a handful of columnists such as Molly Ivins (try and find her column). There are also touring courageous lecturers such as Michael Moore, Scott Ritter, Gore Vidal, Lewis Lapham, and Daniel Ellsberg (lecturing in Berkeley 7:30 PM Wednesday, Oct 23, Zellerbach Auditorium, U.C. Berkeley campus). His theme: “Secrecy, Freedom, and Empire.” “Secrecy is the greatest threat to democracy. It masks the accountability of government officialdom…Ellsberg reveals the immorality of past leadership. Little has changed since…[Ellsberg] released the top secret Pentagon Papers, which electrified the nation by exposing the official lies, fantasies, and tragedies of our war in Vietnam.” [quotes by Senator Mike Gravel, and Ben Bagdikian]

WAR ON IRAQ (What Team Bush Doesn’t Want You to Know), the recently-published $8.95 paperback by Scott Ritter with William Rivers Pitt , published by Context Books (, seemingly establishes that Iraq has no physical capacity to deliver nuclear, anthrax, biological, or chemical attacks on other countries. Scott Ritter, a former U.N. weapons inspector and ex-Marine/Bush-supporter, has been called a “traitor” and “Iraqi agent” just because he has “told the truth” about the true weaponry status of Iraq. His documentary film, currently playing at the Roxie theater every Sunday, is a recommended must-see. As Ritter put it, “This war with Iraq is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of…It’s not that Iraq is denying us access to oil.” Did you know that Saddam Hussein is “a secular leader who has worked for years to crush fundamentalist Islam within Iraq” (in other words, he is anti-Islamic!) “and if he were to give weapons of any kind to [al] Qaeda, they would use those weapons on him first” [!] Here are some more quotes from this book:

“The borders that define Iraq today, along with the borders of most other Middle Eastern nations, were drawn arbitrarily by the British and the French in the early part of the century. These men who carved up the territory knew nothing of and cared little for the **tribal connections** that are the cultural essence of the Middle East. In 1921, the British Colonial office drew a new line in the sand…to create the nation of Kuwait…Seventy years later, when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, he claimed the little nation state was**always** part of Iraq…there appears to have been merit to his claim.” [italics ours]

“The Reagan administration began actively arming and supporting Saddam Hussein…At the same time, American interests in the rest of the world motivated the Reagan administration to provide illegal military support to Iran, even as it aided Iraq in the war.”

“What about chemical weapons?…Sarain and Tabun have a shelf life of five years…What they’re now storing is nothing more than useless, harmless goo…Contrary to popular mythology, there’s absolutely no evidence Iraq worked on smallpox, Ebola, or any other horrific nightmare weapons the media likes to talk about today…The idea that Iraq can suddenly pop up with a long range missile is ludicrous. There’s a lot of testing that has to take place, and this testing is all carried out outdoors. They can’t avoid detection.”

“Saddam…has spent the last thirty years declaring war against Islamic fundamentalism, crushing it. He fought a war against Iran in part because of Islamic fundamentalism…the Iraqis have been fighting Al Ansar for years now.”

“In Iraq, 60% of the population are Shi’a Muslims, theocratically aligned with Iran. Iran is, of course, a hotbed of anti-American Islamic fundamentalism…We really don’t want democracy in Iraq, because we don’t want the Shi’a to have control.”

“This is truly becoming the clash of cultures Osama bin Laden wanted. That’s one reason he attacked us: He wanted to turn this into a war between the West and Islam…[And] the **United States** is turning this into a war between the West and Islam. And we won’t win…we’ll lose by not winning…It could be devastating to our economy.”

If either the United States or Israel were to use a nuke against Iraq, I guarantee within ten years the United States would be struck by a terrorist nuclear bomb…Pakistan and Iran would turn over nuclear capability to terrorists…There’s Armageddon.”

“What would be the immediate human cost of a war in Iraq?…I don’t believe the Iraqi people will rise against Saddam, or if they do, they’ll be brutally repressed…We’ll kill 30,000 to 40,000 civilians…a tremendous number of civilian casualties, not to mention the tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers and security personnel who will perish.”

“The U.S. has about 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population. In this situation we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security…We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford the luxury of altruism and world benefaction. We should cease to talk about such vague and unreal objectives as human rights, the raising of living standards and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.”–famed U.S. State Department official George Kennan, speaking in 1948

WE MUST REPEAT: What is America turning into? We can only judge by actions, not words. The same administration appointed by former C.I.A. head George Bush is now again in power, 10 years later. (We can imagine G.W. saying, “I’ll get that Saddam Hussain for you, dad–I’ll restore your good name!”) The present administration now has virtually Unlimited surveillance and phone-tapping powers without checks-and-balances; unlimited ability to wage war without checks-and-balances; disinfo “think tanks” attacking anyone who dares voice any dissent…where are we, in 1950’s Soviet Russia? Did America become what it feared most?

More than ever, it’s necessary to find truly alternative information from non-corporate media. We suggest reading independently-published BOOKS–not everything great gets reviewed in your local newspaper, either. Again, patronize your local independent bookstore (if there isn’t one, start one!). Read overseas media and see independent and foreign films. Television news has never been more worthless and blatantly propagandistic. A recent article in the syndicated mainstream media by George F. Will (right-wing has-been) compared G.W. Bush to Hemingway!–allegedly for his laconic “wit.” Fortunately, Norman Mailer thoroughly trounced Mr. Will as the paid-press-agent-ass-kisser he has always been, simply by providing direct quotations from Hemingway against war, cliched patriotism, “honor,” and more. Bush = Hemingway–NOT! But here, again, how many people ever bother to really GO TO THE SOURCE, and READ THE ORIGINAL?

How many people even remember what the Falklands War (20 years ago) was about? Again, this must be the Age of Amnesia…


More than ever, it’s necessary to support independent book publishers, magazines, independent bookstores, record stores, farmer’s markets, etc. Get to know local merchants by their first names! As times get tougher, friends and networks of friends will become more important. Sharing will become essential–in fact, shared housing will become the Norm as an antidote to toxic, life-threatening rents. Remember that old Jello Biafra/Dead Kennedys’ song, “Let’s Lynch the Landlord”?! And, we love San Francisco’s car-sharing program–it’s another amazing glimpse of the future, maybe.

Perhaps someday we can have dozens of huge Cellspace-like “collectives”–all over the world–where only **independent** media, art, and creativity are showcased without corporate affiliations. Imagine occupying a huge abandoned factory and transforming it into an independent community space where, say, SRL could put on regular shows without pesky policing…where artists could produce and offer their art, music, poetry, theater, posters, etc. without middlemen and outside promoters involved. Hmmm…


Having worked at City Lights during my formative years, I have a protracted love for independent bookstores. In chain stores like Borders and Barnes & Noble (which, incidentally, rarely or NEVER stock RE/Search titles) no workers have the power to order books–they’re all ordered by one corporate buyer in a corporate office far away. These chain stores don’t support/stock local publishers, and their profits get siphoned away to headquarters in other states (rather than into the local community). As a bumper sticker and banner at the last S.F. Anarchist Book Fair proclaimed, “Fuck Barnes & Noble!”

After some reflection, we conclude that NO LOGO, by Canadian author Naomi Klein, may actually deserve the hype on the back cover, e.g.: “The DAS KAPITAL of the growing anti-corporate movement.” [London Observer] “NO LOGO has been a word-of-mouth sensation, giving voice to a generation of people under thirty who have never related to politics until now. The band Radiohead were so inspired by No Logo that they have banned corporate advertising from their British tour, deeming all venues ‘logo free.’…Naomi Klein might just be helping re-invent politics for a new generation.” [The Guardian] “A complete,, user-friendly handbook on the negative effects that ’90s uberbrand marketing has had on culture, work, and consumer choice.” [Village Voice] BTW, Naomi Klein has a web site,

This is one of those very rare books which actually opens the eyes of the reader … to near-full comprehension of the multi-dimensional, nightmarish marketing inundating us from all sides (and from above and below, too). In San Francisco, there is almost no “unbranded” space left– without a corporate logo polluting our vision. Behind this marketing, and complete usurpation of our culture, intellectual and emotional and physical lives, there is…the corporation. More and more it is becoming apparent that the single-minded entity which we humans invented and “spawned,” the corporation, may prove to be our nemesis, our annihilator, our Final Solution. Why? Because, again, a corporation is merely a principle, a virus, which is: “Do whatever it takes to make maximum profits as quickly as possible.”

Humans (and everyone else alive on planet earth) never had a chance against this virulent pseudo-life form and unstoppably rapacious, all-consumptive imperative. Who needs humans, anyway–except to consume corporate products? Figuring out how to produce maximum-profit goods with the cheapest possible human labor–and the fewest number of workers, too–is the corporate Holy Grail. And in a globally corporate world, humans don’t stand much of a chance.

Happily, NO LOGO also contains a few funny stories of anti-corporate pranksters, adbusters, and hacktivists who offer a modicum of hope–a glimpse of remaining freedoms existing at least in the land of the metaphoric. Thanks to untrammeled poetic imaginings, intervention may still be possible–we’ll see.

In a decidedly more depressing vein is the oral history of L.A. Punk, published by corporate giant Random House (under its pseudo-“independent” imprint, “Three Rivers Press”), titled “We Got The Neutron Bomb.” It’s compiled by Masque impresario Brendan Mullen (who really did help L.A. punk gestate) and co-pro-writer Marc Spitz. Arranged chronologically, the book tries for a larger context of how punk just “happened.” The trouble is: after reading it, one doesn’t want to go out and raise prankish hell, start a band, make your own posters, rip and paint your own clothes, protest The War, et al, but just stay…depressed.

If only there were more focus on the causal…those seemingly eternal verities involving anger against the status quo…the things that apparently never change: cronyist privilege, economic and racial and sexual inequities, et al … The “eternal spirit of punk” just isn’t captured, nor is there any illumination as to how a person matures, develops, expands, and grows while honoring the original punk ethics or “principles” such as “Do-It-Yourself,” “Anyone Can Do It,” and “Always Ask, Is it Against the Status Quo?” One senses that much is still missing from the history. And there were some annoying transcription errors, such as “The Sensational Alice Harvey Band”–it’s “Alex,” by the way. Fundamentally, what one remembers are a bunch of sleazy stories of how x fucked over y. Is this the eternal human condition, or what?! I’d like to think: NOT. Nevertheless, this book is recommended–it’s all there is, so far.

MICHAEL DIBDIN. We’ve read all eight volumes of his Aurelio Zenseries and from a literary standpoint he is possibly the most exquisite writer of mysteries working today. Such nuance, such loving detail, such mastery of the deft phrase, the amazingly unfolded description, the seemingly endless depths and levels of Old World corruption. Well, the older the society, the greater the vice…

THOMAS PERRY, one of the greatest “mystery” writers living in the U.S.A. today. If anyone has an extra copy of his novel, Island (which was stolen from our car trunk) please let us know! We’ve read everything by him except Big Fish.

MAJ SJOWALL AND PER WAHLOO: this Swedish husband-wife team only wrote ten mysteries before Per Wahloo died at the age of 51, in 1975. But these ten, starring the philosopher-detective Martin Beck, are well ahead of their time, especially in their attitudes toward sex and sex-related violence, and their sympathy for “socialist” critiques of capitalist society. In fact, they’re all classics and “keepers.” Equally enjoyable is the novel solely penned by Per Wahloo, titled “Murder on the 31st Floor.” It’s a scathing indictment of a Conde Nast-like media conglomerate with a conservative, news-“managing” agenda. It’s not far-fetched that a corporation would literally commit murder and assassination and other cover-ups to protect its corporate image!

Other mysteries read include The Houdini Girl by British author Martyn Bedford. It was deeply enthralling, until the last third of the book! Ah, the unknowability of one’s fellow humans–even one’s own girlfriend! Great structural premise: the plot development is signposted by various “classic” magical illusions.

We urge Bay Area dwellers to support S.F. Mystery Books, 4175 24th St above Castro, 415-282-7444. They really KNOW their books, too! They actually import mysteries from overseas, such as Donna Leon‘s magisterial series, and the novels of Henning Mankell. This store is a local treasure.

Thanks to Ivan Stormgart, Ted of Black Oak Books, Gary McDonald (S.F. Mystery Books) Daniel Konhauser, and Mike Ryan, for their bountiful help.

MUSIC: We’re still, somewhat, reeling from the S.F. Weekly Music Awards: Welcome to the Future of Sound! last Thursday night at Great American Music Hall. Our favorite band, Project: Pimento, featured a truly virtuoso theremin player, Robby Virus (note: this instrument sounds fantastic “live”); a gorgeous “Valley of the Dolls”-era woman vocalist (“Lola Bombay”), and black-suited musicians who looked like Tom Waits’s cousins. Their five selections were exquisitely chosen, perfectly played, including “From Russia with Love,” “You Only Live Twice” and the theme from “Barbarella.” This is one band I actually want to see a complete set by…that theremin sounds so warmly “human”–especially the vibrato–yet bonafide futuristic. QUOTATIONS (& “Stories”–more “humorous” than usual) 

Actually, all the music of the evening was positively likable, on different levels, including opening act DJ Laureano who programmed obscure ’70s soul (with “sex” and laughter sounds mixed in, occasionally?), plus 60’s cover versions of classics like the Zombies’ “She’s Not There” (but by overseas bands singing in Japanese or German or Finnish?!), accompanied by go-go dancers Baby Doe and Monica Tiki Goddess (in silver mylar-like mini-dresses and booties). The film Barbarella played continuously alongside vintage Star Trek episodes and a simulated ’60s mini-light show.

Next the PHENOMENAUTS, dressed in Star Trek-like uniforms with a “P” logo, shouted out their peculiar space-age psycho-rockabilly-with-brute-intelligence. It was theatrical, unpredictable (the only time I glazed over was when they incited the audience to call-and-response “Rock and Roll! Rock and Roll!”). At the end, they reminded us that the basic primal rhythms of early rockabilly are just that–primal, therefore never to be fully obsoleted. Noisy, clever arrangements.

The very disturbing “conceptual” performance art group from Oakland, “Mono Pause,” demonstrated that humans have already interbred with robots. Without a doubt. They’ve also learned to talk backwards and move backwards in time, and use their bodies as musical/percussive instruments–who needs synthesizers anymore? You can imagine early Dadaists doing something similar. You got the feeling that these were beings onlypretending to be human.

After a surprisingly unsexy strip tease by Kari French–she came out wearing a clear plastic space helmet and removed at least 8 undergarments without revealing any natural plumbing whatsoever–upon reflection, her soundtrack was far too frenetic to showcase any earthbound sensuality. That was okay; the visual memory of her huge magenta wig burned itself on our neocortexes (or is it cortices?). The final act of the evening was Earth Circus, a somewhat spooky neon-clad dance troupe who pirouetted throughout the audience wearing self-illuminating dayglo-patterned stripes and circles…retinally intense. Not long ago, this fiber-optic, wearable-clothing technology didn’t exist.

The curators responsible for the evening were Silke Tudor, the No. One reason I read the SF Weekly and who reliably attends and reports on the most “edgy,” original, and lastingly-satisfying “entertainment” to grace the Bay Area. Her co-producer was Alan Parowski of Liftoff! SpaceCapades. Also memorable was the annoying Bette Midler-ish Jewish emcee–Beach Blanket Babylon’s LeMay (great furry, rags-and-tatters peekaboo outfit) and last but not least, Mig the Dancing Gorilla, plus Extreme Elvis and a porcine friend. Almost forgot the true unscripted highlight of the evening: a raucous, very confrontational awards presentation by probably my favorite Bay Area “acoustic/unplugged” act, The Extreme Action Marching Band. They, without a doubt, are truly “living on the edge”–no poseurs here, and probably no taboos left to break, either. Horns, drums–no electricity or amplification, but incredibly loud nevertheless–and the best spontaneous dance troupe, somehow all psychically choreographed in synch together. Wild, wild, wilder than the Wild Magnolias! See them, before they disappear gone with the wind–they’re the closest thing we have now to Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters! Truly, one gets the feeling that they live their art–like, continuous Living Theater, which they also are reminiscent of.

Jean-Jacques Perrey’s Circus of Life continues, by word-of-mouth, to attract new “converts.” At our office we must have played it fifty times, at least. The first new recording in 30 years by the master of cut-up and melody, this recent CD is available from us at www. — last week, someone ordered three copies as gifts! (His friends are lucky to know him; maybe they don’t know how lucky they are! And we’re all lucky that Jean-Jacques is still alive and making music.)

Our friend, virtuoso dancer/bandleader Lee Press-On has a new CDout called El Bando En Fuego! It was inspired partly by the Harry Breuer cover on Incredibly Strange Music. �Check out his Website ( for more details.


The most minimalistic recommendations follow:
() Asia Argento’s new film, Scarlet Diva (she was also featured in XXX). An okay, slight interview with her appeared in Rolling Stone recently. And a month ago, the Mario Bava retrospective at both Yerba Buena Center and the Pacific Film Archive (PFA). Incidentally, there are recommended, 9×12″ reference books out on both Mario Bava and Dario Argento–available at Black Oak books on Broadway in S.F.
() Also recommended: Scott Ritter’s revelatory Iraq documentary, On Shifting Sands . Sundays at the Roxie (16th St/Valencia in S.F.), and of course, () Michael Moore’s newest film, “Bowling at Columbine,” which has gotten a lot of subtly negative mainstream press.
() Finally, 24 Hour Party People if it’s still playing in town–the film captures a certain amount of “punk ethos”–Factory Records head Tony Wilson had the bands own all their own copyrights and recordings: a fair policy which possibly led to the demise of Factory Records…


Sorry, next time…


OCT 26: 11 AM massive “NOT OUR WAR” rally/march at Civic Center, Justin Herman Plaza. Meet your friends and celebrate!

OCT. 26, THIS SATURDAY at ATA GALLERY: Marian Wallace’s “MODERN PAGANS” FILM-IN-PROGRESS/Also featured: Charles Gatewood in person! 8 PM, ATA Gallery , 922 Valencia/20th St, tel 415-824-3890, George Kuchar’s documentary on V. Vale and Marian Wallace, “Spawn of the Pagan” will be shown, along with Marian Wallace’s work-in-progress, a documentary on “Modern Pagans.” Practicing Pagans Charles Gatewood and John Sulak (co-author of Modern Pagans) will be interviewed, and Charles will also show “Pagan” slides and narrate. Q&A follows. Also includes a “fire” ritual. All of the RE/Search and V. Vale’s publications will be on sale at reduced prices.

NOV 7, SF PUBLIC LIBRARY, Main Branch, (basement) Koret Auditorium, Grove at Hyde St. 6 PM. FREE! “Counterculture in San Francisco: Beat, Punk, and Pagan.” A presentation by V. Vale and Marian Wallace. A special edit of Marian Wallace’s work-in-progress “Modern Pagans” documentary will be shown. We are hoping that Jello Biafra will appear in person–he instructed us to use his name accompanied by the phrase “Schedule Permitting.” Other surprise guests may appear; Mendocino resident Darryl Cherney has promised to “try” to show up as well. The RE/Search-V/Search backlist will also all be on sale at reduced prices, so get gifts for your friends!

(Due to time constraints, we apologize for the above “events” listing being so “self-serving.” Next time we’ll “do better.”)

6. RECOMMENDED LINKS (thanks to Phil G, Bruce J., Violet Poe, Seth R, Mike R, and Chris T.)

Sorry, next time we promise more links! We literally have hundreds saved up for just you! A few follow, below:

Excellent “Interview with Noam Chomsky about US War plans”:§ionID=15

Mike Ryan’s review of J.G. Ballard’s Running Wild:

Consider the following quotations from the web site
“The U.S. propels a war on terrorism in order to pursue its entirely different agendas of redistribution at home, and solidifying empire internationally–not least solidifying control over Iraqi oil–and of course the predictable horrific increase in terrorism is then used to fuel additional terror war policies and responses.” AND,
“If you peruse the War/Terror site you will find the observation, made just days after 9/11, that bin Laden is most likely interested in inciting the U.S. to actions which will destabilize the Mideast and surrounding areas, leading to the overthrow of hated regimes and the rise of Taliban-like rulers. Amazingly, this scenario is unfolding pretty much as we hypothesized bin Laden intended, with Bush acting as bin Laden had hoped he would, and as anyone could and many did predict in turn, we unsurprisingly have mayhem and murder, repression and racism, and, as well, fundamentalists growing in strength, most recently electorfally in Pakistan.”
Highly recommended: subscribe to zmag!

6. MORE REVIEWS of Modern Pagans (needless to say, please order, and support our independent publishing). Funny, but nobody seems to have noticed all the radical sex discussion contained within!

MODERN PAGANS: Our newest book! (ISBN 1-889307-10-6). Some responses: 

Here are some more quotations that may help explain why RE/Search did a book on “paganism”…

“The companion volume to 1989’s seminal Modern Primitives, which examined cultural precedents for tattooing, piercing, and scarification,Modern Pagans is an important sourcebook that goes a long way toward counteracting many decades of anti-Pagan propaganda, not to mention the persecution of those who don’t subscribe to a monotheistic perspective…One of the most interesting sections takes a look at the Ravenhearts, six pagans who live together on a small ranch as a polyamorous extended family.

“Leave it to V. Vale and the good folks at RE/Search Publications to give us another thought-provoking, educational and highly entertaining tome that makes for fascinating bathroom reading. ‘Modern Pagans‘…focuses on providing both novice and expert with a wide variety of Pagan knowledge, encompassing religions from Wicca to Santeria…[It] doesn’t lost the uninitiated reader, thanks in part to the interviewers’ every-man, conversational style.

“There are some interesting interviews such as one with Thorn, a Pagan priestess, who detailed her multi-pathed religious journey. Thorn spoke at great length about how the Pagan aesthetic of self- and group-acceptance was appealing to her as a punk, a belly dancer and a stock market analyst (“As an anarchist, I wanted to see for myself what it was like on the inside of an engine of capitalism.)

“Dr. Carol Queen, a writer and ‘sexologist,’ detailed her lifelong struggle to define her own sexual diversity as well as working as a ‘sacred prostitute.’ ‘The priestesses of the temple were erotically available to worshippers who would come to experience the Goddess by consorting with them,’ Queen said. ‘There is a subculture of contemporary prostitutes, men as well as women, who have chosen to revive that understanding of the prostitution work they do.’

“Like other RE/Search publications, Modern Pagans is chock-full of pictures, outside reading sources and Web site addresses. But what makes this book such a great read is its thoughtful examination of religion…no one had condemnations to offer or judgments to make–refreshing, because they most likely wouldn’t get the same consideration from a similar Christian-themed work. All in all, another tasty, easy-to-digest offering from RE/Search.”–Melissa Folwer-Presock, Impact Weekly

“The focus of the book for me was on the growth of a non-paternalistic spirituality. For this reason alone the book was a welcome read. I enjoyed it tremendously and shipped off copies to Midwestern Pagan groups.”–Valerie Kunz

“The reason this book is so valuable is because it talks about experiences. Contemporary Paganism is an **experiential** religion…There is great emphasis placed on sexuality in this book, and to some, that may look as if Pagans are obsessed with sex, but let’s face it: there are people who are Pagan because it gives them the opportunity to express themselves in a highly sexual manner…I recommend it highly!–Stormy from Del City, OK

“I’m what you call a peripheral Pagan…My favorite interview was with Joi Wolfwomyn, a Pagan/Mother/Radical Faerie. Drawing on the isolation and ‘otherness’ she felt as a bi-racial adopted child in a conservative Christian family, and the time spent in a mental institution as an adolescent, she tells how she transcended her painful past and has been performing death rituals for loved ones and strangers for over a decade. Her forthright insights on life, death, and dying, culled from years of firsthand experience, are refreshing and inspirational–especially in a culture predominantly focused on avoiding death. With an extensive glossary and an exhaustive recommended reading/resource list… Modern Pagans is a priceless addition to any well-read theologian’s collection, and a fascinating, approachable introduction to Paganism for the novice. I was never bored; every page provided new information, every interview a fresh perspective. I hope Modern Pagans find a home in every bookcase.”–Kathleen LeClair,Reclaiming Quarterly

“The companion volume to 1989’s seminal Modern Primitives, which examined cultural precedents for tattooing, piercing, and scarification,Modern Pagans is an important sourcebook that goes a long way toward counteracting many decades of anti-Pagan propaganda, not to mention the persecution of those who don’t subscribe to a monotheistic perspective…One of the most interesting sections takes a look at the Ravenhearts, six pagans who live together on a small ranch as a polyamorous extended family.

“Christianity is not derided here; rather, the book focuses on those who found their spiritual path elsewhere…Most of those interviewed describe the way in which ritual is an integral part of their daily lives. The message is that community is extremely important, and that by extension, we must learn to take better care of one another and of the planet that we inhabit…An excellent primer…”–Christopher Luna, Rain Taxi

“Find out what happens when people chuck boring old monotheism and get down with the Goddess.”–Annalee Newitz, SF Bay Guardian

“The ins and outs of Paganism, from rituals to child-rearing–212 pages of eye-opening, sometimes mouth-dropping interviews and paragraphs…Wickedly good stuff.”–Mark Edward Marston, Stillwater Gazette

“RE/Search has reliably published excellent interview books on a number of sub- and anti-cultural groups, so it is not surprising that their latest,Modern Pagans, is as well-executed as it is…RE/Search truly distinguish themselves by exploring the thinking of contemporary leaders with much greater depth than has been shown before. This book provides a brilliant snapshot of the people whose influence will shape the direction of the Neo-Pagan movement in the future, and brings into focus the challenges and level of discussion within it today…Definitely another success for RE/Search.”–Jason Kelly

Modern Pagans, written with local author John Sulak, is an exhaustive survey of this back-to-the-earth religion, which draws inspiration from classical mythology, feminism, Celtic witchcraft, humanistic psychology, and pop culture. It’s a crucial addition to the canon of subcult literature. If you’re interested in alternative lifestyles–and San Francisco once prided itself on being a haven for them–it demands to be read.”–San Francisco Magazine, March 2002 issue

REAL CONVERSATIONS 1 (almost sold out of its 1st printing of 5,000 copies): 

“In Real Conversations 1, I really enjoyed Henry Rollins talking about the state of the publishing industry, and reading in this country.”–Joseph, a Black Flag fan and a reader

“I think the best interview was with Lawrence Ferlinghetti–I wanted a lot more!”–Australian reader

To find out more about Real Conversations 1, and read excerpts: See more! Click here! http://www. 5″ x 7″, 240 pages, 30 illustrations
Trade paperback $12.95 US, $4 shipping plus 8.25% state sales tax if applicable.
ISBN 1-889307-09-2
order by email or phone 415-362-1465.

8. About Us: What Is RE/Search?

RE/Search is a publishing project, begun in 1977 by V. Vale and inspired by the punk rock cultural revolution. It seeks to demystify the “control process” that thwarts our creativity, joy, pleasure and exercise of freedom. We seek to reclaim and reconstruct our lost insurgent history. RE/Search is engaged in a long-term cultural remapping which aims to honor overlooked innovation, innovators, and provide a forum for theory, dialogue and creativity which will shape our future. We also aim to bring you the “best” out of the information overload currently engulfing us. Please feel free to contribute to this project–and let us know how you wish to be credited.

NOTE: The Los Angeles Times printed a comprehensive and insightful article on the history of V. Vale’s publishing, written by Susan Carpenter. It was reprinted in the San Mateo Times and the Japan Times.

Q&A interview with V. Vale by DAN EVANS, SF Examiner, April 1, 2002 with extremely flattering photo by Karen Vibert-Kennedy. Interview “may” be available online at (it was today, at least). Repeat, another article on V. Vale by Marc Weingarten in San Francisco Magazine, March 2002 issue, available from San Francisco magazine, 415-353-7035, for $5 postpaid. It may still be found on

October 2002 RE/Search eNewsletter written (in a hurry) by V. Vale

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