WELCOME TO V. VALE’s RE/SEARCH NEWSLETTER #70, March 2008.
1. Meet RE/SEARCH at Anarchist Book Fair: Sat & Sun March 22-23, 11-5pm, SF County Fair Bldg, 9th Ave/Lincoln, S.F. Come talk with us and Charles Gatewood! RE/Search books available discounted!
2. RE/Search’s PRANKS FILM FESTIVAL, Tu-Wed-Thur April 1,2,3 at Roxie Theater, 16th/Valencia Sts, S.F. Thur 9pm show: special SRL TODD BLAIR BENEFIT!
3. Sat April 12, 6:30pm: RE/Search’s “Counter Culture Hour” (with host V. Vale). S.F. Cable Channel 29, 2nd Sat of the month.
3A. OTHER FORTHCOMING EVENTS:
() Thrillpeddlers Fri, Sat March 21, 22, 28, 29 thru May 3. 575 10th St, SF 94103. tel 415-377-4202. www.thrillpeddlers.com presents FLAM-ING SIN: LONDON’S GRAND GUIGNOL. Eddie Muller directs Noel Coward’s only Grand Guignol play: “The Better Half.” Christopher Holland’s “The Old Women” or “A Crime in a Madhouse” PLUS “The Blue Hour,” an After-glow Floorshow. Guaranteed greatness! March 24-28, EC Comics “Spring Break” Session — perfect for kids! Also, Support local independent over-the-top theater… For advance tickets: brownpapertickets.com or 1-800-838-3006.
() DARIO ARGENTO IN PERSON IN SAN FRANCISCO: Fri April 25!
4. Stephane von Stephane’s cultural column
5. What We’ve Attended…
6. What We’ve Been Reading/Seeing/Listening to/What We’ve Been Sent:
7. RECOMMENDED LINKS – thanks to our friends Phil G, Ferrara, James McN-, Derek B. & Others
9. Feedback from Readers
1. Meet RE/Search at Anarchist Book Fair Sat 3/22, 10-6pm, Sun 3/23, 11-5:00pm. SF County Fair Bldg, 9th Ave/Lincoln Way, S.F. FREE! Meet RE/Search and Charles Gatewood! Our books will be on sale discounted. Speakers, panel discussions, films, exhibits, kids/family space, and cafe lunches. http://sfbookfair.wordpress.com/
2. RE/Search presents the 1st Annual PRANKS FILM FESTIVAL, April 1,2,3 at Roxie Theater, 16th St/Valencia, S.F. http://www.pranksfilmfestival.com
3. Sat April 12, 6:30pm: RE/Search’s “Counter Culture Hour” (with host V. Vale). S.F. Cable Channel 29, 2nd Sat of month, 6:30pm (set your recorder). We are accepting underwriters for the Counter Culture Hour. We have a backlog of interviews but are short on resources for editing. Please consider becoming an underwriter! You would get on-screen credit. The channel is beginning on-line streaming now! Please check http://www.accessf.org – link to “access 1” at showtime
3A. OTHER FORTHCOMING EVENTS:
() Thrillpeddlers Fri, Sat March 21, 22, 28, 29 thru May 3. 575 10th St, SF 94103. tel 415-377-4202. www.thrillpeddlers.com presents FLAM-ING SIN: LONDON’S GRAND GUIGNOL. Eddie Muller directs Noel Coward’s only Grand Guignol play: “The Better Half.” Christopher Holland’s “The Old Women” or “A Crime in a Madhouse” PLUS “The Blue Hour,” an After-glow Floorshow. Guaranteed greatness! March 24-28, Thrillpeddlers present EC Comics “Spring Break” Session theater camp — perfect for kids! Support local independent over-the-top theater… For advance tickets: brownpapertickets.com or 1-800-838-3006.
() Wed 3/19/08 4-5:30pm, UC Berkeley, 110 South Hall. Free. Interesting debate sponsored by the UC Berkeley Center for New Media (Ken Goldberg) and friends: “Is the Web a Threat to Our Culture?” — A debate between Andrew Keen and Paul Duguid moderated by Geoffrey Nunberg. The term Web 2.0 was coined to describe this transformation on the Internet, where individual volunteers, not institutions, control its content. But few agree about what’s significant, what’s trivial, and what’s irrelevant. Critics such as Andrew Keen believe that the Web threatens our economy, our culture, and our values. Find bios and more information about this debate at http://www.ischool.berkeley.edu/about/events/dls20080319
() DARIO ARGENTO IN PERSON IN SAN FRANCISCO: Fri April 25!
�Dario Argento�s Mother of Tears will make its United States Premiere on Friday, April 25, at the 51st San Francisco International Film Festival. Dario is expected to attend, schedule permitting. Tickets to the screenings and complete Festival details will be available on April 3 (March 28 to Film Society members). For tickets and complete information (when available), visit www.sffs.org�
4. Stephane von Stephane’s cultural column: Culture Politics Depiction Disorder. Vale maintains that politics are not culture. And I would agree with him except in the case of this current election. And then, only in the sense that popular culture is driving this particular race. And then, only because of the Internet.
One of the highlights of February for me was attending a lecture at UC Berkeley: http://events.berkeley.edu/?event_ID=7280&date=2008-02-25&tab=all_events where Vale was speaking along with Naut Humon on the topic “Attention Depiction Disorders”: Art, Technology and Culture Colloquium. Particularly interesting to me was: when asked about the relevance of Wikipedia Vale said that he did not like Wikipedia. An audience member pleaded that the beauty of it was that anyone can edit it, and vast amounts of knowledge could be gleaned by many. But Vale pointed out that his own Wikipedia entry was fraught with errors and that a good friend who is even more Wiki-worthy tried multiple times to correct his OWN entry only to see the deleted falsehoods reinstated the next day. In other words, don’t believe everything you read.
Sadly, it is a trend these days to absorb the ‘viral’ ‘knowledge’ on the Internet and spread it without caring if it is real or not. Like a bad joke; everyone knows there may be a grain of truth in it — it’s mostly bullsh*t, but the fun is in the gratification of the instant laugh, and that is enough. The alleged truth is good enough. Most folks don’t want to take the time to research the real truth. This state of affairs is perfect for consumer society. If it sounds good and looks good, it’s good. “Reality is what you can get away with.”
And so it is with politics today. Thus we have Obamania. I am not a fan. From what we know, his policies and Hillary’s policies are practically identical, but his viral spin is “spinnier.” Her unfortunate predicament is: having been a target of attack for many years by the infant viral armies. This stuff works! Vale also pointed out in his talk at UCB that people think they are not being affected by the ubiquitous advertising on Internet sites, or on t.v. for that matter, but they are; it is slipping quietly into your brain and subconsciously affecting you. I completely agree with Vale on this.
Advertising is essential for consumer society. Maintaining the status quo, the structural hierarchy of class, sex, race very important to keep the machine running smoothly. Don’t be fooled by the appearance of choice — ain’t nothing really gonna change. I am not saying not to vote; it is important for our morale to have the illusion that we can actually affect things in our lives. As I see it, the office of President of the U.S. of A. is symbolic. And for me, the greatest amount of symbolic change that can occur in this election is if we elect a female prez. That would be chipping away at the patriarchy a little bit, and that’s important. [This is the opinion of Stephane von Stephane, and does not necessarily represent the views of RE/Search Publications]
Back to UCB: what a fun evening! Vale’s section of the presentation featured previously filmed images of himself on the big screen, behind himself sitting at the front of the auditorium. Himself on the screen doing the talking, and himself in person sitting and listening to himself along with us audience members. Very Andy Warhol! I can’t even remember most of what he was saying, but I realized that I really like Vale’s voice. The tone and cadence are appealing. He should put out an audio book of some sort. Funny how you know someone for so many years and then a thing will strike you about them that you never noticed before. That thing may not have changed, but your capacity for appreciation of it has. One of my favorite quotes from him that night was (paraphrased from someone else); “You can’t pour a gallon of knowledge into a quart-sized brain.” The way America has been (purposefully) dumbed down, we have a lot of quart and pint and thimble-sized brains and not a whole lot of gallons.
Naut showed footage of his work as an immersive audio musician, and early films of his art excursion field trips; cool ideas. One piece he showed featured MSNBC’s Soledad O’Brien reporting on Naut’s music. The crowd giggled every time she was on screen. Possibly because Stephen Colbert regularly jokes about her being the perfect girlfriend (she’s like, 45 different nationalities). Then Marian showed a split screen film from her own and another film-maker’s (don’t recall his name) perspective documenting a Mark Pauline SRL performance which took place a few years ago at the museum there in Berkeley. Also very cool. Mark was there with his wife and two boys. One of the boys during Q & A asked “Daddy, do you have a stinky bu-tt?” Adorable! I love life. — Stephane von Stephane
5. What We Attended: See V. Vale’s blog at www.http://www.researchpubs.com
6. What We’ve Been Reading/Seeing/Listening to/What We’ve Been Sent: see V. Vale’s blog at www.http://www.researchpubs.com
() Back in 1979 I [V. Vale] played bass in Richard Kelly’s [r.i.p.] The Alter Boys, whose members included saxophonist Richard Edson. Later Edson moved to New York City. Here’s a little bio: “Richard Edson began taking pictures in earnest in the late nineties. Since he has had four one man shows – two at the Bedlam Gallery, one at 410 Boyd, and most recently at ADM PROJECTS in Hollywood. He has also been in numerous group shows, mostly in and around Los Angeles. His work has been featured in the magazines, “Juxtapoz”, “The Propagandist”, “WaxPoetics”, and “Puta”.
“Richard Edson was the original drummer with Sonic Youth and New York based Afro-dance band Konk. He has continued to pursue music in Los Angeles with Jake LaBotz, Tito and Tarantula, Mr. Razz, Top Kat, and Gio and the Constellations, and currently his own band OilCan.
“As an actor he has been in 72 films, including Oliver Stone’s “Platoon”, Jim Jarmusch’s “Stranger Than Paradise”, and Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing”… Wim Wender’s “Land of Plenty”, three films by the young French filmmaker, Raphael Nadjari, “The Shade”, “I Am Josh Polanski’s Brother” and “Apt. 5C” … “The Astronaut Farmer” and “Starsky and Hutch”.
7. RECOMMENDED LINKS – thanks to our friend Phil G, Ferrara, James McN-, & Others who sent us the below:
() From Bruno R: vid�o pilots il y a des filles qui… :
http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=nvlSAJ6Yc8g OU/OR http://www.dailymotion.com/arelll/video/x2btug_il-y-a-des-filles-qui_creation
() d�o pilots il y a des filles qui… : http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=nvlSAJ6Yc8g AND http://lsont2sortie.free.fr/
() Didier Hanson’s website: www.moviemusicplastic.com
() Psychedelic: http://www.scrammagazine.com/technicolor
() They said it couldn�t be done. Deep Purple�s Smoke on the Water – Japanese style� http://davidthompson.typepad.com/davidthompson/2008/02/blended.html
() ballpoint pen madness: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=511688&in_page_id=1770&ito=newsnow
() http://www.weirdnj.com/stories/_local04.asp http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/12341
Dean of the Freaks: “…a deformed idiotic Negro boy, whom P.T. Barnum exhibited as the connecting link between man and ape. The advertising sheets used during these years by Barnum always listed among the freaks ‘What Is It? or Man Monkey.’
During the famous trial of John Scopes, a Tennesseean schoolteacher who dared to teach Darwin’s theory of evolution, Zip offered himself as evidence, and was ready to take the stand as a “missing link.” Always the consummate showman, that Zip.” – sent by Phil G.
() home of bozobama: http://www.senatorobamas.com/
() I’ve updated my website with lots of new photos: www.jamesstark,com
() From Phil: Give it up for Da Fuhrer! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feLqz1udhtY
() Phil G writes: “I was reading the obit of Dorothy Podber, and among other pranks, she and a cohort were famous for having “persuaded people they had just met to allow them into their apartments, where they would then play records used by speech therapists that contained samples of stuttering.” My, what a prank! I’d like more details on that one.”
() For years, US President George W. Bush was tops on Google for searches on “miserable failure” until last year’s Googlebomb “fix” solved his problem on Google. But Bush is back, sort of. People are spotting that Bush’s official White House page is ranking tops for who is a failure on Google. http://searchengineland.com/080221-180743.php
() Iggy & the Stooges performing for Madonna (being inducted into R&R Hall of Fame)? http://www.myspace.com/iggyandthestooges
() Bubblegum & la sunshine pop — Pr�face de Bertrand Burgalat — Faites le savoir www.cahiersdurock.com
() “Receive from the mysterious spheres the gift of knowing all things, of reading every thing in the world, of speaking and writing nobly, in a gay or serious vein, in verse or prose, for heat or for cold, in sleeping or waking, on wood and on sand, in joy as in pain, and in every language of the earth.” — “Seeing the World” by Fitz-James O’Brien (circa 1860!)
() “Beneath the varnish of poetical expression he discovered all the artifices of the poet. In the consoling truths in the eternal progress that history deduces from events, he saw nothing but an arbitrary arrangement of facts. The invention of a system of philosophy was nothing in his eyes but the desire of saying something new. For him there was no more music; the majestic harmonies of Haydn and Mozart struck him as only physical phenomena, as peculiar vibrations of the molecules of air. When he was among his relatives and intimate friends he read the evil thoughts in their hearts and the criminal designs that each nourished against the other.” Ibid
() “Why we’re powerless to resist grazing on endless web data: …we are infovores. For most of human history, there was little chance of overdosing on information… Today, though, we can find in the course of a few hours online more information than our ancient ancestors could in their whole lives… As we become more familiar with the Web and its torrent of information, we [need to] do a better job learning what is useful and what isn’t.” — WSJ, 3-12-08
9. FEEDBACK FROM READERS:
() John Trubee seeks a better job. (707) 545-7784 PO Box 4921 Santa Rosa, CA 95402 (he’s in our PRANKS book, RE/Search #11)
() “Hi Vale, Writing you from the Netherlands, where I’ve been working the last few months. I bought a copy of J.G. Ballard’s autobiography “Miracles of Life” the other day. It’s a bittersweet read, as his final chapter announces the fact that he was diagnosed with fairly advanced prostate cancer – he is as always a gentleman, praising his doctor for helping to relieve his discomfort and encouraging him in the effort of writing this book. The last line: “I am very grateful that my last days will be spent under the care of this strong-minded, wise and kindly physician.” I fear he will not be with us much longer.
“While much of this information is available in the various interviews, here he tries to make clear what was made up in “Empire of the Sun” (first 118 pages of 278 cover his childhood days in Shanghai). Some pictures included of him, his children (both young and grown), many I’d seen before but not all… – Curt Gardner”
() “Hi! RE/Search,
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) opened a new building for contemporary art. Richard Modiano and I went to a preview of the “Broad Contemporary Art Museum.” Afterward, I watched Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rope” — it was great! James Stewart was so young. We could only tell for sure of 2 breaks in the change of film in the continuous shot.
“Then Richard loaned me “Dial M for Murder” — another movie in one apartment. Timeless!
“Did you know that Martin Scorsese bought 3 pages of an unfinished Hitchcock movie with one page missing. He would like to remake the script in tribute to Hitchcock.
“You probably already know that Alfred Hitchcock appears in all his films after his 3rd film because they needed him as an extra in the 3rd film and it was his first success, so he continued to make cameo appearances in the rest of his films. In Rope, Richard said there is only his red neon profile in the background seen from the penthouse as it gets dark. In Dial M for Murder, he is sitting at the table in the B&W reunion photograph Ray Milland shows the strangler. — Cousin Gail”
() From Phil W: “All you need to know about the US War Against Iraq: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have perpetrated one of the great crimes of the modern era by invading and occupying Iraq. Iraq posed no threat to the people of the United States. Every reason they gave for invading Iraq turned out to be a lie.
“As many as one out of every three Iraqis have either been killed, wounded, forced to flee the country, or become refugees within the boundaries of Iraq. The status of Iraqi women has been gravely diminished and threatened. Tens of thousands of US troops have been badly wounded or killed. The total price tag for this illegal war and occupation is likely to reach $2 trillion, according to informed estimates.”
() From Joe Holliday: http://youtube.com/watch?v=ErXOR02jCpA
“I met Vale a while back at the Pranks 2 event at Beyond Baroque [recently saved from extinction; congrats to Fred Dewey and cohorts!] I thought the folks at RE/Search might enjoy this video I shot.
“This video was shot in an abandoned Nike nuclear missile base that is currently used for Los Angeles SWAT team live fire exercises. They even painted Arabic words on the walls in the bunkers to give officers a “more realistic” experience.
“I collected hundreds of rounds of spun ammunition and dropped them into one of the hatches of the bunkers on site. You and I paid for those bullets. Remember that!”
() “Borders is starting a campaign to face more books cover-out, thus reducing each store’s inventory by 5-10,000 titles. And the corporate titles get the most exposure. That’s why RE/Search books are not in Borders or Barnes & Noble — they’re not corporate, they aren’t bribing the stores to face RE/Search books cover-out. So please buy RE/Search books direct from www.http://www.researchpubs.com. But only if you want to see more books come out…” — intern
() “RE/Search has been doing the best and most important things for over two decades now…just amazing the body of work/ideas you folks have put out there…please keep it up…thanks so very much for all the beautiful things — Volcano Suns, MySpace”
“OH, I just picked up the Bob Flanagan book you put out at Beyond Baroque and I love it!” [still available from www.http://www.researchpubs.com]
“I saw your RE/Search #4/5: Burroughs, Gysin and Throbbing Gristle book on amazon and decided i would rather buy from the publisher.” (**THANKS, Travis K!)
“Vale, my package of 4 J.G. Ballard books showed up today…such beautiful stuff, Vale…the hardback Atrocity Exhibition is so nice…and I love the new small format on the Ballard conversations — what a tour de force of analysis and ideas. Really, Vale, thank you so much for putting these things out. I have been telling friends who are Ballard fans about the new things; they didn’t even know. Have also been telling them to order them straight from you and not amazon scuzzies …you are right on JGB Quotes: great handy little survival book…this summer I will probably contact you and buy a few more copies of that to hand out to friends…thanks again for the gorgeous books, Vale…regards, Jeff” (MySpace)
() SEARCH & DESTROY tabloids from 1977-79 perfectly preserved in black plastic are STILL AVAILABLE (for now) from www.http://www.researchpubs.com – mention this newsletter for special low price of $30 for 8 assorted issues (of our choice): email@example.com
MARCH 2008 RE/Search eNewsletter written by V. Vale & contributors. Newsletter and website powered by http://www.laughingsquid.com
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RE/Search Publications, 20 Romolo Suite B, San Francisco, CA 94133. Tel (415) 362-1465 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org website: http://www.http://www.researchpubs.com MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/researchpubs