Monday, February 8, 2016

"School of Life" Monday's Watch and Listen This Week:

By looking back at the history of art, we can get a clearer sense of what the purpose of art should be in our lives.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

ZZ Top fan recreates the ‘Tres Hombres’ gatefold meal and then eats it.

from Dangerous Minds

It’s "arguably" the greatest LP gatefold image of all time: the drool-inducing food porn Mexican spread from the inner fold of ZZ Top’s 1973 Tres Hombres album. Only Coven’s Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reap Souls comes close to matching it’s exemplary use of the medium, but as far as gatefold images go, it’s hard to top THE TOP.

In what is destined to be the the greatest short film of 2016, Austin chef Thomas Micklethwait lovingly re-creates this enviable meal and proceeds to eat the shit out of it.

As someone who has often dreamt of being at that fabled table, all I can say is kudos to the chef for allowing me to live vicariously through him and yet not have to experience the following day’s Afterburner tribute.

Fans of ZZ Top or grande burritos, take note:


Friday, February 5, 2016

New Pussy Riot video
Explained in the New York Times

from The New York Times
Pussy Riot Video Mocks Russian Prosecutor Accused of Corruption

MOSCOW — Wearing police uniforms and fishnet stockings, they whip hooded prisoners and waterboard them in their prison cells. The well-made-up women gleefully throw wads of cash into the air and flirt viciously with their viewers.

The Russian punk protest group Pussy Riot sashayed back into the public eye on Wednesday with the release of a music video savaging the country’s prosecutor general, Yuri Y. Chaika, who locked up three members of the group in 2012.

It is a black satire of the Russian criminal justice system, in which the women, playing prison guards, rap lustily about money and torture a man with hot clothes irons.

“I run the war on corruption here, or to be precise, I run the corruption,” the group’s leader, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, sings alluding to accusations of high-level wrongdoing in Mr. Chaika’s office.

Those accusations were brought by Aleksei A. Navalny, the anticorruption activist, late last year. Mr. Navalny suggested that Mr. Chaika’s son jointly owned a luxury hotel in Greece and villas in Switzerland with Olga Lopatina, the wife of a deputy prosecutor general.

Ms. Lopatina’s previous husband had ties to a notorious organized crime group in southern Russia, the Tsapok gang. Ms. Lopatina has denied the ties and sued Mr. Navalny.

Mr. Chaika denied wrongdoing. The Kremlin’s spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, said he would not comment on allegations concerning the grown son of a federal official.

Ms. Tolokonnikova was one of three members of the protest group who were convicted in 2012 for performing a protest concert in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. Ms. Tolokonnikova and her bandmate Maria Alyokhina served a year and nine months in prison before they were released under an amnesty law before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Another member of the group, Yekaterina Samutsevich, had been released on parole.

In the video, Ms. Tolokonnikova plays, with a sly smile, Mr. Chaika, her old nemesis.

“I love Russia, I am a patriot, but I could live in Switzerland,” she sings.

The young women sway to the tinny rhythm, gorge on a lavish feast in a palatial setting and pout at the camera. One wears a bird mask, a reference to Mr. Chaika, whose name means “sea gull.” Ms. Tolokonnikova alternates between flapping her hands like wings and forming pistols with her fingers.

A framed portrait of President Vladimir V. Putin, the type that hangs in official offices here, looks down on Ms. Tolokonnikova as she eats a gold-painted loaf of bread. And there are subtle hints at life inside the zone, the Russian penal colony system, such as a checkerboard drawn on a table with spilled sugar. The game pieces are also lumps of sugar.

“Be humble, learn to obey, don’t worry about material stuff,” Ms. Tolokonnikova rhymes sarcastically.

“And son, if you do worry about material things in life, then be loyal to Putin forever, son,” Ms. Tolokonnikova raps softly. “You want to get away with murder, be loyal to your boss.”

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The rise and fall of a Fox News fraud

from BoingBoing:
Fox News invited bullshitting fraudster Wayne Simmons to appear on its "news" programs over 100 times posing as a CIA operative. Based on his hawkish proclamations, the Pentagon hired Simmons as a shill analyst to propagandize for them. Now that Simmons has been exposed, arrested, and charged with with multiple counts of fraud, he will never appear on Fox News again, but the lies he told on the network will forever be regarded as gospel truth by fear-addicted Fox TV viewers.

From Rolling Stone:
Simmons claimed to have spent 27 years with the CIA, but Paul Nathanson, the assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting the case, said in a court filing that Simmons "never had any association whatsoever with the CIA." (The CIA declined to comment – as a rule, it never confirms or denies agents – but said it is "working closely with the Justice Department on this matter.") Instead, prosecutors say Simmons spent those 27 years doing just about everything else: He ran a limousine service, a gambling operation and an AIDS-testing clinic; worked for a hot-tub business, a carpeting company and a nightclub; and briefly played defensive back for the New Orleans Saints. Along the way, he accrued criminal convictions, including multiple DUIs, plus charges for weapons possession and assault, and an arrest for attacking a cabdriver in Annapolis, Maryland, in 2007. "Fuck you, you can't do shit to me – do you know who I am?" Simmons told a cop, according to a police report, before insisting that he was CIA, and that the cabbie, who was Pakistani, had a bomb. A police dog found no explosives, and a CIA representative told the cops to take whatever actions they deemed necessary.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Jay Adams would have been 55 Today

Today would have been Jay's 55th birthday.

He was the Original, there is no other like him and there never will be.

Jay Adams was radical, he was an inspiration to many and that is why we celebrate him.

Although he was not perfect by any means, i personally feel its a disservice to all to dwell on the negative, because that did not inspire anyone. We want to remember the best that this man or boy was. in hopes to inspire the best in ourselves. It's happy birthday Jay, not unhappy birthday.

Lotsa love to brother Jay Boy and his memory.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Devil's Toy: The evils of skateboarding exposed!

from Dangerous Minds:


The first movie ever made in Canada about skateboarding is called “The Devil’s Toy,” and it’s a frothy 15-minute effort from 1966 depicting a couple dozen freewheeling youngsters gliding over the streets and parks of Montreal.

The weirdest thing about the “The Devil’s Toy” is that the people who commissioned the production may have been under the impression that this was to be a terrifying social guidance movie à la Troy McClure’s “Firecrackers: The Silent Menace,” but apparently the people who actually made the movie weren’t seeing it that way.

Three elements—the title; a portentous, nay grandiloquent dedication “to all victims of intolerance”; and a suitably over-the-top voiceover (one imagines someone like Gary Owens at the mic)—point to the movie’s ostensible purpose of alarming teenagers into selling their planks tout de suite—but for anyone with eyes to see, the movie clearly depicts youths having some harmless fun, plus precisely zero malign consequences are depicted as a result of the use of skateboards—not even a single scraped knee.



The director of “The Devil’s Toy” is Claude Jutra, an important figure in the history of Quebec film, responsible for 1971’s Mon oncle Antoine, among others. Based on “The Devil’s Toy” alone, there is no doubt that Jutra was a filmmaker of some talent. The proceedings are heavily influenced by the nouvelle vague, even as the effervescent score, featuring vocals by none other than Geneviève Bujold, can easily be imagined emanating from a Scopitone in some Gallic bistro.

Marc Campbell, my colleague here at DM, posted this gem back in 2012. He thinks “The Devil’s Toy” was intended to be a straight-up “mockumentary.” He might be right. That’s it’s so on the edge is what makes it even better.

By the way, can anyone clear this up? All sources seem to agree that the movie dates from 1966—it certainly feels like 1966—but “MCMLXIX” (1969) is plainly visible in the end credits, so I don’t know what’s up with that.

As stated, the scarifying elements of the movie seem well-nigh parodic. But as shocking social guidance films go, this one’s a pure delight.



h/t: Jeff Albers

Previously on Dangerous Minds:

Black and white pictures of famous people on skateboards

Monday, February 1, 2016

"School of Life" Monday's Watch and Listen This Week:
The Wisdom of Space

A series of images provided by NASA (and music by J.S.Bach) help to restore perspective and a sense of peace to our frazzled lives.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

George Orwell Explains in a Revealing 1944 Letter Why He’d Write 1984

from OpenCulture:

Most of the twentieth century’s notable men of letters — i.e., writers of books, of essays, of reportage — seem also to have, literally, written a great deal of letters. Sometimes their correspondence reflects and shapes their “real” written work; sometimes it appears collected in book form itself. Both hold true in the case of George Orwell, a volume of whose letters, edited by Peter Davison, came out last year. In it we find this missive, also published in full at The Daily Beast, sent in 1944 to one Noel Willmett, who had asked “whether totalitarianism, leader-worship etc. are really on the up-grade” given “that they are not apparently growing in [England] and the USA”:
I must say I believe, or fear, that taking the world as a whole these things are on the increase. Hitler, no doubt, will soon disappear, but only at the expense of strengthening (a) Stalin, (b) the Anglo-American millionaires and (c) all sorts of petty fuhrers of the type of de Gaulle. All the national movements everywhere, even those that originate in resistance to German domination, seem to take non-democratic forms, to group themselves round some superhuman fuhrer (Hitler, Stalin, Salazar, Franco, Gandhi, De Valera are all varying examples) and to adopt the theory that the end justifies the means. Everywhere the world movement seems to be in the direction of centralised economies which can be made to ‘work’ in an economic sense but which are not democratically organised and which tend to establish a caste system. With this go the horrors of emotional nationalism and a tendency to disbelieve in the existence of objective truth because all the facts have to fit in with the words and prophecies of some infallible fuhrer. Already history has in a sense ceased to exist, ie. there is no such thing as a history of our own times which could be universally accepted, and the exact sciences are endangered as soon as military necessity ceases to keep people up to the mark. Hitler can say that the Jews started the war, and if he survives that will become official history. He can’t say that two and two are five, because for the purposes of, say, ballistics they have to make four. But if the sort of world that I am afraid of arrives, a world of two or three great superstates which are unable to conquer one another, two and two could become five if the fuhrer wished it. That, so far as I can see, is the direction in which we are actually moving, though, of course, the process is reversible.

As to the comparative immunity of Britain and the USA. Whatever the pacifists etc. may say, we have not gone totalitarian yet and this is a very hopeful symptom. I believe very deeply, as I explained in my book The Lion and the Unicorn, in the English people and in their capacity to centralise their economy without destroying freedom in doing so. But one must remember that Britain and the USA haven’t been really tried, they haven’t known defeat or severe suffering, and there are some bad symptoms to balance the good ones. To begin with there is the general indifference to the decay of democracy. Do you realise, for instance, that no one in England under 26 now has a vote and that so far as one can see the great mass of people of that age don’t give a damn for this? Secondly there is the fact that the intellectuals are more totalitarian in outlook than the common people. On the whole the English intelligentsia have opposed Hitler, but only at the price of accepting Stalin. Most of them are perfectly ready for dictatorial methods, secret police, systematic falsification of history etc. so long as they feel that it is on ‘our’ side. Indeed the statement that we haven’t a Fascist movement in England largely means that the young, at this moment, look for their fuhrer elsewhere. One can’t be sure that that won’t change, nor can one be sure that the common people won’t think ten years hence as the intellectuals do now. I hope they won’t, I even trust they won’t, but if so it will be at the cost of a struggle. If one simply proclaims that all is for the best and doesn’t point to the sinister symptoms, one is merely helping to bring totalitarianism nearer.

You also ask, if I think the world tendency is towards Fascism, why do I support the war. It is a choice of evils—I fancy nearly every war is that. I know enough of British imperialism not to like it, but I would support it against Nazism or Japanese imperialism, as the lesser evil. Similarly I would support the USSR against Germany because I think the USSR cannot altogether escape its past and retains enough of the original ideas of the Revolution to make it a more hopeful phenomenon than Nazi Germany. I think, and have thought ever since the war began, in 1936 or thereabouts, that our cause is the better, but we have to keep on making it the better, which involves constant criticism.

Yours sincerely,
Geo. Orwell

Three years later, Orwell would write 1984. Two years after that, it would see publication and go on to generations of attention as perhaps the most eloquent fictional statement against a world reduced to superstates, saturated with “emotional nationalism,” acquiescent to “dictatorial methods, secret police,” and the systematic falsification of history,” and shot through by the willingness to “disbelieve in the existence of objective truth because all the facts have to fit in with the words and prophecies of some infallible fuhrer.” Now that you feel like reading the novel again, or even for the first time, do browse our collection of 1984-related resources, which includes the eBook, the audio book, reviews, and even radio drama and comic book adaptations of Orwell’s work.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

How to make a week’s worth of vegan meals for under $30 from Trader Joe’s

from the College USA Today:

Cooking under time constraints is hard. That’s why competitors get so sweaty and frazzled during cooking competition shows. In real life, when you’re a student or busy working adult, or just not feelin’ up to spending hours in the kitchen, assembling a healthy meal in a short amount of time can be a challenge.
Luckily, shortcuts exist. Like pre-cut, pre-bagged vegetables and squash, quick-cooking grains, and frozen pre-cooked grains (thanks, Trader Joe’s).
Here are 7 healthy, plant-based meals, all of which take less than 15 minutes start to finish, are budget-friendly (less than $30 total), and most importantly, delicious! You can customize these to your liking (such as by picking your favorite vegetables and beans).
Make one trip to the grocery store, and for the price of 2 cocktails in Manhattan, you can have an entire week’s worth of fast, nourishing meals at your fingertips (assuming you have cooking oil and salt and pepper at home already). But if you’re not vegan, you can make a week’s worth of dinners from Trader Joe’s for under $25 like this.
#SpoonTip: All of these meals are gluten free friendly if you use corn tortillas and swap quinoa for farro.


  • 1 package cut and cubed butternut squash or sweet potatoes, can substitute 3 large sweet potatoes ($2.29)
  • 1 package kale or romaine ($1.99; $2.29 for organic)
  • 1 package arugula or spinach ($1.99; $2.29 for organic)
  • 1 tomato ($0.29)
  • 1 apple ($0.69-$0.79; $0.99 for organic)
  • 1 avocado ($0.99)
  • 1 lemon ($0.49)
  • 1 lime, optional ($0.29)
  • 1 bag Vegetable Medley with broccoli, cauliflower and carrots, can substitute broccoli-cauliflower blend, Healthy 8 Chopped Veggie Mix, or Stir-Fry Vegetables ($2.29)
  • 1 large cucumber ($1.49)
  • 1 package firm tofu ($1.69)
  • 1 package Organic 3 Grain Tempeh ($1.99)
  • 1 box frozen Microwaveable Brown Rice, can substitute frozen quinoa, Rice Blend, jasmine rice, or frozen Organic Cauliflower Rice ($2.99; $3.49 organic)
  • 1 can black beans ($0.89; $0.99 for organic)
  • 1 can chickpeas ($0.89; $0.99 for organic)
  • 1 jar salsa of choice ($1.99-2.29)
  • 1 package 10-Minute Farro, barley, or quinoa ($1.79)
  • 1 package Taco Seasoning ($0.79)
  • 1 package seaweed snacks ($0.99)
  • 1 package corn tortillas can substitute whole wheat or white flour ($0.99)
  • 1 bag cilantro, optional ($1.79)
  • 1 bag frozen edamame, optional ($1.79)
Total: $30.00 (+ tax), Organic Total: $31.50 (+ tax)


(Photo by Katherine Baker, Spoon University)
(Photo by Katherine Baker, Spoon University)
Beans and squash make for a filling, delicious twist on conventional tacos. Find out how to make these plant-based tacos here.


(Photo by Katherine Baker, Spoon University)
(Photo by Katherine Baker, Spoon University)
Skip the lines at Chipotle, and make a sofrita bowl with tofu at home. Learn how here.


(Photo by Katherine Baker, Spoon University)
(Photo by Katherine Baker, Spoon University)
Haven’t you heard? #Grainz are the new #gains. Find out how to make this here.


(Photo by Katherine Baker, Spoon University)
(Photo by Katherine Baker, Spoon University)
Kale salad with a protein punch. Chickpeas and tempeh give this salad major staying power. Add whatever nuts and dried fruit you have in your pantry for extra yums. Find out how to make it here.


(Photo by Katherine Baker, Spoon University)
(Photo by Katherine Baker, Spoon University)
Way tastier, faster, and healthier than take-out? Triple win. Recipe here.


(Photo by Katherine Baker, Spoon University)
(Photo by Katherine Baker, Spoon University)
It’s like sushi you can justify eating with a fork. Directions here.


(Photo by Katherine Baker, Spoon University)
(Photo by Katherine Baker, Spoon University)
As the week ends, use up all your leftover veggies, beans, and grains and make this delicious soup. Extra tortillas can make tortilla chips for dipping in 3 minutes flat. Make it like this.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Go-Go's July 1981
from my Instagram

The GO-GO's Beauty and The Beat record release (July 1981), and fan signing at Licorice Pizza on the Sunset Strip across the street from the Whiskey. (I really have no idea why i went and took this photo, but guessing it was probably for a SkateBoarder's ACTION NOW magazine feature or something like that)... Nah, most didn't consider them a punk band any longer by this point, but it was clearly where there roots were. Did you know Belinda was actually the GERMS first drummer? (I think thats the story)... I saw them at several Punk shows way back before they had a record out, even got in a fight at one and remember being thrown out into the alley behind the Whisky after getting in one good last punch, while the fucking GO-GOs were on stage, imagine that! #theGoGos #punk #girlsinpunk #womeninpunk #feminism #groundbreaking #girlband #hollywood #5piece #thefewtheproud #beautyandthebe Kathy Valentine on Facebook: #TBT July 1981 --This is taken at the very first in-store appearance The Go-Go's made, at Licorice Pizza on the corner of Sunset and San Vicente. Any old timers remember that record store? What's interesting about it is that this was one of the most exciting days of my life, and how I screwed it up so stupidly. Here's the story, read it and judge accordingly, ha : ) It was exciting, because, well, look at the background!! The very first album I'd ever recorded, and we were invited to do a record signing at a Sunset Strip record store. This was a long way from Texas, and exactly the sort of thing I'd dreamed of happening. The night before, we played a sold out show at the Palladium, with the Rockats opening. It was the biggest show we'd played, sold out, and I was so HIGH with the absolute thrill of everything that was going on. I took that high, and went to a party after the show in Laurel Canyon--it was actually where Charlotte was living with Peter Case, from the Plimsouls. Someone there asked if I wanted to take some LSD--something I hadn't done since junior high. Sure, why not? I thought, tipsy and on top of the world. MISTAKE. GIANT MISTAKE. (Go to her FB to read the rest)

A photo posted by glen E. friedman Ⓥ (@glenefriedman) on