<strong>WELCOME TO V. VALE’s RE/SEARCH NEWSLETTER #125, APRIL 2014 </strong>NASA Space Universe, Philip K. Dick, Rudy Rucker, Kraftwerk, Vitamin D-3
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<strong>SPECIAL REQUEST: At your local library, please ask the librarian to order all of the RE/SEARCH books!</strong>
<strong>TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1. MESSAGE FROM EDITOR: NASA Space Universe, Philip K. Dick, Kraftwerk, Rudy Rucker, Vitamin D-3
1A. NEW FROM RE/SEARCH: Ed Hardy PocketBook of interviews
2. The Counter Culture Hour: Sat April 12, 6pm: Hector Penalosa Pt 2 (ZEROS)
3. FORTHCOMING EVENTS:
4. OUR PAST LIFE
5. Recommended Links – send us some!
7. Letters from Readers
8. Sponsors (Check ’em out! – they make this possible!)</strong>
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<strong> 1. MESSAGE FROM YOUR EDITOR: “Friends are a parallel existence.”
Someone said that it’s only at the very END of your life can you look back and know who your REAL friends were.
Wednesday, April 8, 2014, we at RE/Search were visited by members of a Southern California band calling themselves NASA SPACE UNIVERSE (NSU). About five years ago we met them in Los Angeles at our event at Beyond Baroque featuring Graeme Revell (SPK founder), Jerry Casale (DEVO founder) and Johanna Went (to celebrate the release in HARDBACK of one of our best books, The Industrial Culture Handbook aka RE/Search #6/7. This book apparently helped inspire hundreds (or thousands) of people to form “industrial” or “noise music” bands). There was a party afterwards at our friend David C’s house, and NSU came and played their record (at the time, really noticed the drumming and bass playing). Subsequently, the band members have visited us over the years, and now we consider them as friends.
After all, in a way our life has been changed by NSU. Two visits ago the lead singer Kevin Rhea went to City Lights Bookstore (200 feet from our office) and purchased a copy for us of Philip K. Dick’s BLADE RUNNER (original title: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep). Thus we became Philip K. Dick fans. Probably hundreds of people are appalled we weren’t PKD fans decades before, but… Long ago it seemed that everyone had told us to read his book The Man in the High Castle (PKD’s version of what would have happened had the AXIS won World War II) and we read it and were underwhelmed, as we felt that the author’s vision wasn’t VAST enough. (We will, however, give this book a second try, eventually—especially as it is set in San Francisco.) By the way, that afternoon we had had a long conversation about Philip K. Dick and his house in Orange County—really wished I had tape-recorded this.
Immediately after “Androids” we read PKD’s The Transmigration of Timothy Archer, and really enjoyed it—more as a philosophy work (pointing out numerous contradictions and weaknesses in organized religion texts) than a science-fiction book. Then we read Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said, about a talk-show celebrity who overnight loses his identity and i.d. papers, and what he has to go through to regain his former status; society is more totalitarian than it is now. There’s a memorable, surprising, spirited, kinky female character we liked a lot. Next we read The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch and were put off by the preponderance of extravagant drug taking descriptiveness, and we dislike traveling through Outer Space to other planets, besides. Then we read VALIS (this took awhile; it was much slower-going, for us) and felt that the only character we liked was the reincarnation of Jesus Christ in a new body and identity; every word she said was somehow amusingly “wise.” Now, which P.K.D. book to read next?
At a recent NSU visit Kevin the lead singer gave us a hardback copy of Alfred Bester’s THE STARS MY DESTINATION; sadly, we didn’t get to it. A few days ago the band were working hard, up to the day before they went on their mini-tour (to Bakersfield and Oakland), putting together their new hand-packaged vinyl LP, and, guess what, its title is: THE STARS MY DESTINATION. So, rest assured that’s the next science-fiction book we’ll read.
Which brings us to NSU’s visit (and concert) Wednesday two days ago. The band arrived at RE/Search headquarters about 1:15pm, just in time for a traditional RE/Search lentils, brown rice and salad lunch. Their friend and acting manager, Alan T–, asked if we had read The Letters of William S. Burroughs and we realized, a bit shocked, that we really hadn’t. We’d read a few letters in the beginning and then, for whatever reason, had stopped reading and laid the book aside (for years, as it turned out). He told us there were some very interesting letters back and forth between Brion Gysin and William Burroughs, in which Burroughs is discussing (and putting down) Scientology. So, we had to drag this down from our high bookshelf and look for these exact letters… Well, we went there and only found The Letters of William Burroughs 1945-1959…
Which brings us to the NSU concert at the Oakland Metro Opera house, 630 3rd St, three blocks from Jack London Square. (April 13, 2010, we had attended a concert here featuring the Zeros, Mutants, and Johnny Genocide’s No Alternative (with Max Volume on bass) — the venue was then called “Club X.”) We were told four bands were playing, and that NSU were on first. We left San Francisco early and encountered miles of cars at every on-ramp to the Bay Bridge; apparently a big pothole had caused three lanes to be closed. By a miracle (or rather, some perhaps-un-cool, last-minute lane-“crashing”) we made it onto the bridge, and then had no trouble getting to the venue in time for the first set. After we got parking close by and were almost at the club, we saw Kevin Hermes, the NSU drummer, getting out of the band’s van—he was immediately surrounded by his childhood friends Elisa and Lisa (who had moved up from SoCal to Oakland), plus Nathan (the band got into San Francisco at 4:30AM from their Bakersfield show and stayed at Nathan’s house in the Excelsior district). P.K. Dick somehow got immediately mentioned and Elisa said she had read (or was it: she had tried to read?) The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick (which someone else had once told us was “kind of heavy and arcane”) and made a face. We guessed there is a lot of “out-there” material in this enormous 1,000-page (?) volume, to wade through… (N.B.: we now want to find a copy of this book and give it a try.)
Elisa, Kevin’s childhood friend, asked me some basic questions, and a brief history of SEARCH & DESTROY and RE/SEARCH was elicited: Search & Destroy was the first Punk Rock publication in San Francisco. After that initial social movement seemed to suddenly evaporate, in 1980 I started RE/Search. My best-selling publication unexpectedly was MODERN PRIMITIVES, which various people have said “launched” the still-continuing tattoo “movement”—and particularly body-piercing, which almost nobody had known about, except for a few in the Gay Leather Underground. I said that Angry Women originally was supposed to be about Performance Artists; Performance Art was a recent movement (well, in the Seventies) in which people could get up on a stage and say or do almost anything, without the necessity for a band or music. Then it was time to rush inside and barely arrive in time for the first guitar noises from NSU.
I was really impressed by Kevin Hermes’s drumming, which reminded me exactly of the way Paul Whaley (when he finally joined the band) would impel Blue Cheer’s somewhat-improvisatory live performances… just by the power of his drumming. Guitarist John & Bassist were spirited and passionate; vocalist Kevin was down in the audience going around and singing in everybody’s face. Right after NSU’s 18-minute set, we ran into Anne-Marie Anderson (haven’t seen her for a long time) next to the NSU merch table; she was on her cellphone with Jello Biafra who was saying that he couldn’t get on the freeway to the Bay Bridge (she was saying, “But Vale’s already here!”). Sadly, Biafra missed the NSU show, which in my mind I compared to seeing Iggy Pop in the year 1969, before he got famous. Secondly, I ran into Ted Falcone, original Flipper guitarist, and how pleasant that was! We agreed to try to have lunch or dinner very soon. Lastly, the evening was made possible by the artist Chris Farris, who runs The Space Between Gallery at One Columbus Ave/Washington St in North Beach, San Francisco. Without his inventive driving and strategic maneuvering, we would never have made it onto the Bay Bridge in time to reach Oakland by 7:50pm in time for the show. So, the Fates must have decreed that by hook or crook, RE/Search would attend their first NASA SPACE UNIVERSE concert and make a little 18-minute video of it. The concert’s evening ended with a delicious Polish dog with fried onions, served up by two young men who were running a small pop-up barbecue table outside the club—and it only cost $4—Punk pricing! All’s well that ends well… —V. Vale, your editor
That warehouse move happened — it’s not quite over, but … don’t ask! (as they say)
So now this newsletter is also late.
<strong>2. Counter Culture Hour – Sat April 12, 2014 6pm:</strong>
Hector Penalosa of The Zeros, including performances! Part 2.
Watch for it this month as Channel 29 re-airs our shows frequently.
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 Apr 12, 2014.
– 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, Apr 12, 2014
USA east coast: 9:00 PM Sunday, Apr 13, 2014
Tokyo: 10:00 AM Sunday, Apr 13, 2014
If you cannot get this online email us at email@example.com
See RE/Search channel on youtube: “researchpubs”
<strong>V. Vale interviewing Rudy Rucker</strong> is now on vimeo: http://vimeo.com/82404988
<strong>3. FORTHCOMING EVENTS (San Francisco </strong>unless Otherwise Noted)</strong>
() <strong>FREE Emerald Tablet</strong> presents…
AND for Emerald Tablet’s schedule of events: http://emtab.org/</strong>
() $ http://www.thrillpeddlers.com – our favorite local Grand Guignol Theatre Company at the Hypnodrome — now showing: “Pearls over Shanghai” — a hillarious musical, Thursdays through Sundays each week. We saw the new production and it grants renewed amazement, what with the huge cast, elaborate bigger-than-Carmen-Miranda’s headgear, super-detailed costumery, incredibly elaborate make-up, new material, and classic songs that embed themselves deep into your backbrain. We particularly liked the old silent B&W documentary film footage of pre-World War II Shanghai — this is where J.G. Ballard spent his childhood, and it looks like a wild Western urban city, but with Chinese everywhere in the streets. There is so much going on this 2-part production that it makes your head spin… but you almost wanna go LIVE in this stage set. http://thrillpeddlers.com/press/press.html. Ben Wa’s preview video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOWkxzzrcYw
() $ or FREE: **LONDON, U.K.** Hannah Hoch show at Whitechapel Gallery, London. ALSO: William S. Burroughs Photography Show at Photographers Gallery, London. www.thephotographersgallery.org.uk Tate Modern has a “Ruins” show featuring photographs by Jon Savage, who sent us interviews for Search & Destroy!
() FREE Tue Apr 1 Noon The 36th Annual St Stupid’s Day Parade will strut its stuff yet again to honor Saint Stupid, the patron Saint of Civilizations and Parking meters. This years parade will be of the sidewalk variety, thru the financial district, (the weekend version is thru North Beach). This DIY parade will stop at the traditional Stations of Stupid; the Federal Reserve HQ for the dead lottery ticket toss, the old Stock Exchange building for the ‘Sock Exchange’, the plaza of the bare-butt mechanics for the ‘Leap of Faith’, the Bankers Heart sculpture for the penny offering and the traditional Free Lunch. This FREE event is open to the public to participate. Odd costumes, absurd signage,noise makers and a willfully irreverent attitude to the business of religion and the religion of business are encouraged. Sponsored by the First Church of the Last Laugh, the world’s largest church. This yearly San Francisco Rite of Spring event updates the ancient European Feast of Fools and provides photographic fodder for those who think they know what a weird city we are. Fun for the whole family. WHEN: Tuesday, April First, noon WHERE: Embarcadero Plaza, foot of Market st. RAIN or SHINE…and if it snows, wear a snow tire Contact: ed holmes (bishop joey) 510 841 1898 firstname.lastname@example.org
() FREE Tue Apr 1, 7pm Ben Tarnoff’s “The Bohemians” new book discussion, City Lights Bookstore, 261 Columbus, SF
() FREE Tue Apr 1 (NEW YORK CITY) Joey Skaggs’s April Fools Parade: for details: Joey Skaggs, Committee Chair, 212-254-7878, email@example.com, aprilfoolsdayparade.com (Note that Joey Skaggs is featured in our PRANKS book, as well as PRANKS 2 (www.researchpubs.com)
() FREE Fri Apr 4 Winston Smith ART PARTY – buy Winston’s art cheap! North Beach First Friday art walk. https://www.facebook.com/events/1477816839101475/?notif_t=plan_user_invited
() FREE (**BERKELEY**) but advance registration required. Robots and New Media – Berkeley Center for New Media Symposium
WHEN: Friday 4 April 2014 9:30am – 4:30pm
WHERE: Banatao Auditorium (3rd Floor) Sutardja Dai Hall (CITRIS) UC Berkeley http://robotsandnewmedia.com/venue.html
For decades robots have diligently been tasked to perform a range of duties largely scoped within industrial manufacturing. More recently, we have seen the emergence of a new landscape of more social, personal, expressive, nurturing, and emotional robotic platforms. Increasingly, robots play a critical new role as extensions of ourselves, enabling our creativity, creating new objects, serving as companions, expressing emotions, empowering communities, and challenging our civil rights. What are the exciting opportunities as well as new legal, philosophical, and ethical dilemmas within this important cultural and technological milieu?
Join us as we deconstruct, debate, and explore this concept of Robots and New Media. This symposium is free and open to the public but registration is required using the link provided on the website.
() FREE Sun Apr 6, 230-430pm Mal Sharpe Big Money Band plays Original Joes, corner Stockton/Union St across from Washington Square Park. http://www.sfpdv.com/original_joes_parkside_cafe.html
() FREE (but donate 5 books, or give $5) TUE Apr 8, 730pm, Internet Archive, Funston/Clement-Geary, SF hosts Rick Prelinger’s Lost Landscapes of Oakland film shorts. http://blog.archive.org/2014/04/03/lost-landscapes-of-oakland-movie-in-sf-tuesday-april-8
() $ Wed April 9, 8pm sharp: **OAKLAND** NASA SPACE UNIVERSE plays Oakland Metro Opera House, 630 3rd St. RE/SEARCH approved!
() $ Sat Apr 12, **BERKELEY** Greek Theatre: WILLIE NELSON (Biafra-recommended)…
() FREE Sat Apr 12, 7-11pm, Brainwash, 1122 Folsom/7th Sts, SF: RUDY RUCKER, Erik Davis & others speak, read, et al. Pravic magazine’s 2nd Science-Fiction Extravaganza.
() $ SUN Apr 13, 3-5pm Duende in **OAKLAND** DON PAUL (and others) read poems- http://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-gallop-trio-with-don-paul-hamid-drake-and-alex-de-grassi-tickets-10958393851?aff=eorg
() $ MON Apr 14, **OAKLAND** Fox Theater: Bryan Ferry
() $ Tue Apr 15, Emerald Tablet, 80 Fresno Alley: DON PAUL, special guests! www.emtab.org
() $ FRI Apr 18, Warfield, Market/7th St: Motorhead (featured in Search&Destroy vol. two)
() $ SAT Apr 26, Great American Music Hall, O’Farrell/Larkin St: Flamin’ Groovies
() $ Sun May 4, 8pm at INdependent, Divisadero/Fell St, SF: EL VEZ (Robert Lopez of the 70s Punk Band The ZEROS) with his Punk Rock Revue. RE/Search would like to go!
() $ Thu May 8, **OAKLAND** Fox Theater: Brian Jonestown Massacre
() $ Fri May 9, The Chapel, SF: Nels Cline Singers
<strong>4. What We’ve Attended or WANTED to Attend/</strong>What We’ve Been Reading/Seeing/Listening to/What We’ve Been Sent/Given, or Seen
() JODOROWSKY’S DUNE. Great documentary by FRANK PAVICH, worth seeing more than once — and, it feels like we really saw the original Jodorowsky DUNE movie! (Sadly, this movie was never made.) H.R. Giger, Dali, Orson Welles, Jodorowsky and his son … what superb interviews and editing. Local musician KURT STENZEL, who we met years ago at a DEVO concert after-party, did the soundtrack; support San Francisco artists!
() FOR NO GOOD REASON, by UK director CHARLIE PAUL, produced by his wife LUCY PAUL (we like husband-wife creative teams). Great(est) documentary on the visual artist Ralph Steadman, who created the graphics associated with Hunter S. Thompson’s classic Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. We didn’t know that R. Steadman was BRITISH, and that he said, “I learned to draw to try to Change the World.” There’s amazing footage of Steadman creating an art piece using his breath-powered airbrush, as well as a daring splatter-technique leading to a most complicated noir artwork featuring a face. It seems it took almost fifteen years (plus a camera placed over R.S.’s drawing table) to create this revelation of how an artist technically creates, as well as philosophically originates, his art. We also viewed footage of Pablo Picasso creating a drawing—equally amazing. Footage we’ve never seen of WILLIAM BURROUGHS shooting guns & making “gun art.” Oh, did we mention that Johnny Depp is modestly present? This is truly one of the best documentaries of an artist we have yet seen. Highly recommended!
() If you’ve ever wondered what “Young Adult Fiction” is about, then see the franchise-film DIVERGENT and read the book by 25-year-old Veronica Roth. As in “Hunger Games” the “hero” is a young (16-year-old) female who must REAL-ize and Develop all the intuitive-intelligence and combat-strengths latently within her. Shocking-but-beautiful apocalyptic-dystopian landscapes and environments, some noir-functional stylistically-compelling wardrobe contrasts. The survivors who live in Chicago are comprised into five factions (plus, of course, the faction-less—equivalent to the homeless of today): The Dauntless, Abnegation, Erudite, Amity, and Candor. Disturbing; facial-piercing fans will applaud.
() KRAFTWERK in 3-D at the Fox Theatre, Oakland, Tue March 25, 2014. One of our most memorable concert experiences; more like watching a film than a live show. We would have been just as happy if the four “real” humans onstage had been replaced by cardboard cutouts. Great updated retro-futuristic 3-D film footage plus perfect sound balance—not too loud; we didn’t need earplugs. Powerfully minimalistic archetypal imagery that put you in a receptive trance-voyage for two full hours (8:30pm-10:30pm), classic mechano-pop songs. Some themes: Money, People, Business, Numbers, Computers, Transportation, Robotics, Technology. Our perfect double-bill would have added DEVO, with their sexily-humoristic, satirical video-footage, for the emotionally-complete/full-spectrum mind/body concert experience. The future is already here; the man-machine is stalking the pavements of the earth’s cities, cellphone glued to ear…
() Our neighbor G.K. strongly recommended Vitamin D-3 for those feeling overly tired and losing their hair! She got a huge bottle of “Nature Made” brand at Costco. ‘Nuf said… Vitamin D-3 can also be bought with Calcium in a 500-capacity bottle at Costco, cheap…
() Long ago, before Punk Rock, we saw New Zealand’s SPLIT ENZ do their zany Dadaist musical revue. Sadly, we missed singer/founder Neil Finn’s band (wife Sharon on bass and vocals; sons Liam and Elroy on guitar and drums) play Palace of Fine Arts on Tue April 1. He has 7 solo LPs out now. His song “Divebomber” has fighter-pilot airplane-engine sounds…
() ROAD MOST TRAVELED zine (Punk lives!) $1 at City Lights Bookstore, zine shelf. Thanks to Julia T. for scoring us a copy…
() Loved the CAVELLINI (Mail Art) Show at Italian Cultural Institute Gallery, 814 Montgomery/Jackson St, North Beach, SF. The Tue April 8, 6:30pm Opening had a “painterly” performance art piece and we saw people we hadn’t seen in years! Cavellini tried to destroy a portion of his art, and the results are poignant… John Held Jr made some beautiful vitrines…
<strong>5. RECOMMENDED LINKS (send some!)</strong>
() from Amacker: http://youtu.be/9N5N0jSZrOY in 1997 Ron Turner of LastGasp pulls prank on the politcos
() from Graham R: “Vale, you have a mention in this: http://dangerousminds.net/comments/the_jg_ballard_book_celebrates_the_seer_of_shepperton
() from Skot A: http://www.theguardian.com/culture/australia-culture-blog/2014/mar/21/kyary-pamyu-pamyu-tinges-j-pop-horror-show
() from Karen M: http://youtu.be/wcUnE0tHcaI
() from Julia T: This is DATING-AI-esque: I was listening to this band and the lyrics caught me off guard! [DATING A.I. can be ordered from us at RE/Search – check our website!)
() from Baba: Detroit images: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdcuJCuztZc&feature=share
() from Mako: www.greenroads.blog.com
() from Chris T: http://www.amazon.com/Pranksters-Making-Mischief-Modern-World/dp/081479629X/ref=cm_wl_huc_item
() from Tommy M: http://mongite2.collaweb.fr/lwexammc/zggseu.lrobxhhak.
() DATING A.I. readers, check out: http://futureofsex.net/robots/humanoid-gaze-closer-look-cutting-edge-animatronic/
() feature on MARK McCLOUD featured in our PRANKS book: http://www.vice.com/read/mark-mccloud-collects-acid-as-artwork?utm_source=vicenewsletter
() from V in London http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/09/06/how-to-build-a-universe-philip-k-dick/?utm_content=bufferbe15b&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
() “Art is the proper task of life.” – Nietzsche
() “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” — R. Buckminster Fuller
() “The Internet is a drug. The cellphone is a drug.” — Unknown
() “If you don’t do it, no one else will.” [Your idea!]
<strong>7. LETTERS FROM READERS:</strong>
() “Hello V. Vale,
Hope all is well. It was a few years ago, but I visited you a couple times when I lived in SF. I was the PhD researcher doing work on Brion Gysin, and we chatted on a few occasions about W.S.B. and Philip Lamantia. I was teaching at an anarchist college at the time… At any rate, I am writing my dissertation now on Burroughs and Gysin at the Univ. of Amsterdam, and when I read your addendum to your last newsletter I could not help but respond.
“There is an entire sub-genre of sci-fi that claims its literary lineage from Burroughs. It is called Cyberpunk or alternatively Neuromanticism, and its key text is William Gibson’s Neuromancer, which takes the typical Burroughs-ian noir ambiance (one part underworld + one part occultism + three parts drugs and violence) and adds a technophile futurism to it. Neuromancer is the first of a trilogy too, so ample reading to be done. Also, a Cyberpunk classic which owes a great deal to Burroughs is Neal Stephenson’s Snowcrash. Happy reading!
“For the wild, – Christian G”
() “HER was released a week ago and yesterday I watched it (German synchro). In my opinion it’s a pioneering movie – I am convinced we will see more movies where AI (and other concepts that used to be fantastic SciFi) take everyday roles without forcing themselves onto the viewer. RE/Search’s Dating AI book was a perfect preparation which made me see this movie from an informed angle. I hope my university’s philosophy library will buy a copy of Dating AI for the Alan Turing course, like I recommended. That book might have what it takes to motivate the students.
“Erika Anderson has a new album “The Future’s Void” is available as a stream on a German music magazine site: http://www.spex.de/2014/03/31/ema-the-futures-void-stream/ Check it out – it’s got a lot of SciFi references. In the credits she thanks William Gibson for inspiration…”—M from Germany
() “Hello V. Vale –
I wrote to you last week in response to your RE/Search newsletter (dated 6 February 2014), where I discussed my admiration (and once-upon-a-time obsession) of Philip K. Dick‘s writing. I somehow managed to digress from that groovy topic & further expressed my admiration for Gary Shteyngart as well as Jonathan Lethem. It’s worth emphasizing that Lethem, like you, is a major fan of P. K. Dick. It’s quite evident that his early fiction (such as “Gun, with Occasional Music”) was strongly influenced by P. K. Dick’s work.
What I didn’t mention in my letter last week was the writer & scholar Barry Miles, and his recently published biography of William Burroughs (titled “Call Me Burroughs”). I had the pleasure to attend a public conversation between Barry Miles & David Ulin at the Los Angeles Central Library last week.
Have you read Barry Miles earlier works? Among other things, he edited the 50th anniversary re-edition of “Naked Lunch.” I strongly recommend Miles’ book “The Beat Hotel” which goes into detail about a low-budget & tolerant haven in Paris, France (@ 9 rue Git-le-Coeur, in the bohemian Left Bank) where a number of of writers/artists (including Allen Ginsberg & Gregory Corso & Brion Gysin & William Burroughs) lived in the late 1950’s & early 1960’s. In fact, most of “Naked Lunch” was written at Monsieur & Madam Rachou’s “Beat Hotel.”
At any rate, I would like to compare notes with you.
Ciao For Now, F.R.
Hello & Greetings & Salutations Mr. V. Vale –
You might remember me… I occasionally mail to you my LIBERTINAGE DADAzine… anyway, hello there!… it was curious to learn that you’ve only recently read the marvelous Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” & “Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said” & “The Transmigration of Timothy Archer” & “The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch”… welcome to the club! He was a fast & often sloppy writer, but WHAT AN IMAGINATION !!! …y’know, I was huge P.K. Dick FANATIC way back in the previous century (& millennium!) during the mid-70’s & up into the “punk” era… ah, reading those stories & novels back when I still had the temerity (or foolishness?) to dabble with psychedelics… what a combination… oh, my… y’know, I have several boxes in a closet stuffed with most/all of his books (lotsa Ace paperbacks & even novels & stories in Spanish & French as well as all sorts of ephemera related to his works)… you may be interested in seeing some of it, perhaps… y’know, there’s a rather good bibliography from the ’70’s (paperback, red cover) that I used as a bible of sorts way back then when I was attempting to be a completist… imagine that: a bound analog-media book from before the age of google & wikipedia… does your memory go that far back?… imagine!
By the way, have you read Gary Shteyngart’s EXTRAORDINARY “Super Sad True Love Story”? It is, among other thing, a tragi-comic elegy to printed books, wherein books are referred to being something to the effect of “smelly analog media-based artifacts” & the f*cking story is set in the very near future, no less… when it’s being comic, it’s LOL pee in your pants funny, but when it’s being serious… uh-oh… I truly fear that it’s going to be prescient, just as Dick & Ballard have turned out to be eerily prescient… and yet when it’s being comic, it’s laugh-out-loud, pee in your pants funny… don’t take my word or it, check it out yourself… you’ll be glad that you did.
Mr. Vale, I concur with you that the film “Blade Runner” was a very misfortunate attempt at making a translation of Dick into cinema, and in fact it led to a strong degree of disillusionment on my part… I eventually turned my attention to Thomas Disch and eventually to the extraordinary J.G. Ballad… but that’s a whole other story…
You know who else is major fan & scholar of P.K. Dick? Jonathan Lethem, that’s who… (his most recent novel, “Dissident Gardens” is a brilliant multi-generational portrait of American lefties that is both tragic & comic in the great tradition of Samuel Beckett or Vladimir Nabokov… I’m not kidding or exaggerating; it’s a serious MUST READ, but I digress…) as it turns out Lethem’s very first novel (“Gun, With Occasional Music” from 1994) was obviously and strongly influenced by P. K. Dick… check him out, if you haven’t already… among other things, Lethem wrote the very astute afterword/notes to the beautiful 1997 Library of America edition that contains “The Man in the High Castle” & “Three Stigmata of Eldritch” & “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” & “Ubik”. He teaches @ Pomona College and appear to be quite a nice guy… go figure, eh?
But I’ve gone on long enough, wouldn’t you agree? Anyhow, welcome again to the universe of Philip K. Dick!
Ciao For Now,
F– R–, Dean of Dadas
College of Pataphysics, Los Feliz Chapter to the World”
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APRIL 2014 RE/Search eNewsletter #125 written by V. Vale & other contributors. RE/Search website poweredbyhttp://www.laughingsquid.com. Add us (“firstname.lastname@example.org”) to Your Address Book
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