Sunday, March 31, 2013
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Friday, March 29, 2013
Working many a late night on the next book, probably a long ways off, but as promised before, it's gonna be a monster!
Discovering incredible, cool, never seen before, stuff often. Here's a fun example of the crew on the roof of the original RUSH productions / DEF JAM offices at 298 Elizabeth Street, coincidentally just around the corner from where CBGB's once stood.
(click on the image to see larger)
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Artist Jay Shells combines his love of hip hop music and his formidable sign-making skills in "Rap Quotes," with "official-looking street signs quoting famous rap lyrics that shout out specific street corners and locations."
He installs the signs at those same street corners and locations throughout New York City.
Video below. [Animal New York]
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Monday, March 25, 2013
Sunday, March 24, 2013
My wife recently asked me: “So why aren’t you writing any more of your political screeds for the blog lately?”
Some readers have written in and asked the same thing: When did I stop hating on Republicans, anyways?
I promise you I haven’t, but generally speaking, I get pretty burnt out on politics after an election year. This time, though, I think it goes deeper than that. The main reason I think I care less about politics today than I did only five months ago is that for years I’ve long expected to see a steep decline in the size of the GOP’s voter base and the party’s influence and I think that’s now pretty much a fait accompli. We’ve seen it happen. 2012 was the very last year that the Republicans still had a decent shot at getting in on a national level and cementing the rules of, ahem, “democracy” to favor themselves—but as we all know, that didn’t happen.
I certainly think there were very valid reasons for fearing the rise of the far right—the brief Tea party moment was admittedly not something that I saw coming—but I’m not feeling that so much anymore.
The Tea party foolishness, Glenn Beck, the birthers and the rapid rise and fall of Sarah Palin can already be seen in the rear-view mirror as the frenzied flailing of a dying elephant. By 2016, a pretty good chunk of the Grand Old Party’s aging baby boomer base will have at least one foot in the grave and by 2020 and 2024, well, forget about it.
In the very near future, America will be truly unrecognizable to itself, and this will be especially hard on the folks who don’t even live in the present to begin with. Progress cannot be stopped. Entropy is simply not possible in a country this big and with such a radically changing demographic makeup, no matter how certain personality types—low IQ authoritarian, xenophobic, racists, religious busybodies, I’m talking about the GOP base, here, of course—try to force it on everyone else.
I’m just so over it. Aren’t you?
The dam has burst on a lot of issues: immigration reform, LGBT civil rights, cannabis laws, healthcare, and the water is rushing past the reichwingers and they just got drenched.
This is not to say that I’m not still amused by soaking wet Republicans, it’s just that the 2012 election showed, I think definitively, the hard and fast limits to their influence and that the national brand is truly a spent force, one perhaps best left behind as a relic of another era (like plaid golf pants, Brylcreem, Lawrence Welk… or Jim Crow laws).
To my mind, it all looks pretty downhill from here on out for the Republican Party. Any argument that posits a resurgent national GOP moving forward is an argument made by someone who apparently still thinks that the most recent US Census was just a big ole fat gubmint LIE and who probably voted for Michele Bachmann in the Iowa Caucus.
There simply aren’t enough of them anymore. That’s a demographic fact, Jack. Don’t believe me? Go argue with reality, I don’t care what you think. Get real: The so-called “two party system” is not some immutable law of American political physics that needs to carry on without end, especially not when one of the parties has opted to radically remake itself, taking on the classic features of an extremist fringe group.
Some Republicans kinda got the “voter revulsion” message, but not really. When Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus presented the 97-page report of the RNC’s “Growth and Opportunity Project,” a post-mortem on the GOP’s 2012 losses at the National Press Club on Monday, he said:
“When Republicans lost in November, it was a wake-up call. And in response I initiated the most public and most comprehensive post-election review in the history of any national party. As it makes clear, there’s no one reason we lost. Our message was weak; our ground game was insufficient; we weren’t inclusive; we were behind in both data and digital; our primary and debate process needed improvement.”
In short, a sizable majority of the American electorate think the Republicans suck eggs and their own internal polling backs that up to the extent that they don’t even try to spin it anymore! (Something remarkable in and of itself).
The report is actually pretty brutal, acknowledging that women, gays, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, college-educated Caucasians and the mainstream media basically hate Republicans. These, er, “special interest groups” are, for all intents and purposes, immune to the GOP’s charms. They’re not going to just suddenly jump on the Republican train for any reason, this much seems assured.
Not to mention:
“Young voters are increasingly rolling their eyes at what the Party represents…”
Yeah, the young people. They simply aren’t that into inheriting a country with insane wealth inequality, the 1% elite owning half of everything and keeping the productive capital within their own families, tainted meat, bad air and undrinkable water. Try rounding up an electoral majority when women, gays, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, college-educated Caucasians and young people of all races think you’re shit!.
‘Nuff said, eh GOP?
“We sound increasingly out of touch.”
That’s putting it mildly. The GOP talk about minority outreach, and then they introduce voter ID bills in their statehouses! It’s even a matter of Republicans appearing not to be able to differentiate fiction from reality anymore, let alone shit from shinola.
I mean, they’re exactly what Bobby Jindal said they—and be extension he, himself—are: “the stupid party.” Many Americans simply perceive the GOP as being closely synonymous with idiocy and they have no trouble articulating this to the GOP’s own pollsters. And like, this somehow appears to be NEWS to them! The stench of stupid is so thick on the modern Republican party brand that it’s going to be a really difficult odor to wash off.
Hands up, who wants to be a member of the stupid party? How about you?
“At our core, Republicans have comfortably remained the Party of Reagan without figuring out what comes next. Ronald Reagan is a Republican hero and role model who was first elected 33 years ago—meaning no one under the age of 51 today was old enough to vote for Reagan when he first ran for President.”
OUCH, OUCH AND DOUBLE OUCH! A knife thrust deep into the Republican heart! Why it’s conservative treason… even if it’s true!
They’ve had no new ideas since the Reagan era, either. Since before most people owned a personal computer. Since there were just three TV networks and PBS for most of America! Why would the smartest, most capable young conservatives of the up and coming generation want to make a career investment in the GOP instead of someplace… you know, not so dumb? How will the party attract talent?
And furthermore, how will the party raise money when they’ve proven to be such a shitty investment for their deep-pockets donors. Even the Koch brothers seem to be turning their back on the GOP. Who could blame them, they’re ruthless businessmen? They know the score. The ROI the GOP offer blows. Expect them to act accordingly. If Rand Paul would volt the party for the Libertarian party (as his father did) the Kochs would be right behind him.
“If Hispanics think we do not want them here, they will close their ears to our policies.”
Hahahaha. No shit. Well, then someone had better essplain that to the loudmouthed lamebrain from Texas, Rep. Louie “anchor babies” Gohmert, who insists that the GOP must never give into immigration reform because “they” will never vote for Republicans if offered a pathway to citizenship. It’s a “trap” Democrats have laid for the GOP, in Gohmert’s eyes.
Look, Louie Gohmert’s a fucking idiot, that’s glaringly obvious to everyone but him and his fellow idiots, but if you think about it, he’s actually quite right in this instance. It’s a real damned if they do, damned if they don’t sort of situation these Republicans have put themselves in regarding immigration reform, isn’t it? But they’ve insisted upon it, the Democrats didn’t trap them with anything. This is a giving them an awful lot of credit for what amounts to a Catch 22 that’s been hatching under their noses and in their own districts, literally for DECADES, don’tcha think?
As New York’s Jonathan Chait wrote about the RNC’s seemingly intractable woes:
The report determinedly avoids confronting the party’s most fundamental problem: Its attachment to an economic agenda that most voters correctly identify as serving the needs of a wealthy minority. Rather than confront the problem, the report is a detailed and generally shrewd plan for working around.
Yup. Tuesday on MSNBC, RNC chair Reince Priebus told Luke Russert that the party’s platform on gay marriage has not changed despite efforts to make the party appear more inclusive:
“I know our party believes marriage is between one man and one woman.”
That’s some “effort,” Reince (if that is, in fact, your real name).
Paul Ryan, the GOP’s pathetic idea of an intellectual…
Obviously there’s a gigantic problem with this entire RNC re-branding enterprise: It’s dead on arrival and anyone with a brain capable of critical thought on the level of, say, a peanut, can see the fatal flaw that’s got a flashing neon sign and a bunch of old coots in Revolutionary War uniforms pointing their replica muskets right at it. Republican voters, especially the ones who never went to college, the cranky old farts who are to varying degrees racist, close-minded Christianists, anti-immigrant homophobes and just angry, disapproving people, en générale, will have none of this shit!
And these troglodytes make up about half the party’s registration rolls and everyone knows it. Good luck with the fucking rebranding, boys.
Writing about the RNC autopsy at the NY Times, Thomas B. Edsall had this to say:
The highly visible presence of the candidates these voters prefer – recall the party’s Senate nominees in Missouri and Indiana, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, and their bizarre views on rape and abortion — suggests that the Republican Party has a severe, if not toxic, problem: a septic electorate that, in the words of the Mayo Clinic, “can trigger a cascade of changes that can damage multiple organ systems, causing them to fail.”
But let’s leave these trifling inconveniences aside for now, shall we? Suffice to say, there’s a major split occurring in the GOP that’s going to seriously impact their ability to ever get back to a place of national influence. This was already obvious at the start of the primary season. As a national party, they’re no-hopers within a decade, splintering into factions (Tea party and social conservatives, RNC establishment and the wealthy elites, “Ron/Rand Paul Libertarians,” etc) and facing an increasingly insurmountable demographic irrelevancy that will grow by leaps and bounds every four years.
I don’t think the Republicans can do that much—or at least as much—damage to the country moving forward. It’s clear that there are (at least) two factions of the party who are locked in a civil war. The endgame of everyone taking their toys and going home seems like a forgone conclusion. They’re not going to be able to work together anymore. Furthermore, they’ve been humbled, their electoral impotency was on full display for the entire country to see on election night.
There are boundaries now that they know they can’t cross. Those boundaries weren’t there before, but they are now. Public opinion can be employed much easier as a prophylactic against the worst Republican power grabs (like this talk of changing Electoral College rules, something that everyone is already wise to). Of course, I’m not suggesting completely ignoring what the GOP gets up to—I’m not usually someone to underestimate the power of stupid people in a group—but their best days are behind them, and I think that’s a pretty uncontroversial thing to say at this point, without any caveats coming readily to mind.
I’m noticing that this attitude is increasingly, and I think correctly, becoming the default position of the mainstream media, that the uh… I guess threat of low IQ authoritarian Republicanism has diminished considerably. Bill Maher touched on this topic on his Real Time program on HBO last week when he mocked Christian bluenose group One Million Moms (the churchladies who protest the Skittles and Geico commercials for promoting bestiality) who have not one million Twitter followers, but only 2600.
When Bill Maher is brushing off silly reichwingers as a source of comedy, like a canary flying out of a coalmine, hey, he’s probably onto something: They’re a joke.
It’s a pretty steep fall from Andrew Breitbart to Ben Shapiro to put it a different way.
The 2012 election was a real “man behind the curtain” moment for the “Grand Old Party” and its increasingly tenuous relationship to modern America and the up and coming generation. The slow, agonizing death of the Republican Party seems all but certain, done in by hubris, idiocy, greed, hypocrisy, terrible ideas, loathsome shit-for-brains politicians, moronic uninformed voters, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, the list can go on and on and on. They suck, but fuck ‘em, they’re not really worth nearly as much energy being expended in their direction.
Maybe it’s simply time to push past them and leave these fuckwits behind to play in their sandbox of stupidity. The zeitgeist is not with them and I think the big story of American politics in 2013 is that most people are starting to realize this.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
The nightmare (free market) scenario the GOP faces: THEY’RE A VERY BAD INVESTMENT
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Imagine it’s 1975 and you’re a young Black man obsessed with the music of The Who, Alice Cooper, David Bowie and The Beatles. You form a band that plays loud, fast, rock ‘n’ roll in a city where grooving to the Motown sound of Smokey Robinson, The Temptations and Gladys Knight is more than a past time, it’s a religion. What was Detroit to make of a kid with an Afro and a jones for Frank Zappa and T. Rex?
To the distress of your bewildered friends and Christian family, imagine calling your band Death and recording songs like “Rock and Roll Victim” and “Freaking Out.” Imagine that when the opportunity for success comes knocking at your door you sweetly tell it to “fuck off,” unwilling to pay the price of changing who are in order to make money being who you are not. Imagine all of that and you’ve put yourself into the world of David Hackney and his brothers Dannis and Bobby, three young cats who together formed one of rock’s most visionary and unique rock groups.
The idea for Death leaped from David Hackney’s imagination like a wild living thing that couldn’t be suppressed. It was a beast in search of its roar. This eruption had been a long time coming. Ever since he was a kid watching The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, David knew that there was something inside him that was restless and pressing its way toward the light of day. In time, he found the tools needed to excavate and give expression to this force, this beast - they’d been there all along: guitars and drums. The Beatles had pointed the way. The Who and Hendrix provided the maps. Ziggy Stardust drove the bus.
David’s brothers were quick to pick up on his calling. They shared his passion for rock ‘n’ roll and had faith in their brother’s vision of a Black trio that smashed musical stereotypes and re-invented itself in the style of trailblazers like Jimi Hendrix, Arthur Lee and Sly Stone. Death’s hard-edged, politically-charged rock ‘n’ roll had more in common with Detroit rockers like Iggy Pop, The MC5 and Bob Seger than the commercial soul coming out on Berry Gordy’s multi-million dollar record label. The cost that Death paid for being provocative and original was high. A record deal from Clive Davis was offered with the stipulation that the band change its name. David was unyielding. The name meant something too deep to fuck with. Where others saw darkness, he saw light. For the young songwriter and guitarist, Death symbolized transition and re-birth. It was more than just a name, it was a point of view. And it was precious to him. No, the name would never change.
Death stuck to their guns, recorded their music and eventually disbanded. David died of lung cancer in 2000. Dannis and Bobby formed reggae bands. It appeared that Death had died. But David’s longview in which death is just a process of passing through different dimensions became prophetic when The New York Times’ Mike Rubin wrote a piece on the long lost band in 2010. What had been an underground secret was now exposed to millions of people, with an enthusiastic endorsement from none other than Jack White:
“The first time the stereo played ‘Politicians in My Eyes,’ I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. When I was told the history of the band and what year they recorded this music, it just didn’t make sense. Ahead of punk, and ahead of their time.”
There was an immediate demand for the music of Death. Bobby and Dannis started considering what they once thought might be impossible: Death’s resurrection. David would like that. With the help of their spiritual brother, Bobbie Duncan, the brothers made David’s vision come to life again. Death was reborn.
Mark Christopher Covino and Jeff Howlett’s film A Band Called Death brings us close into the lives of the Hackney brothers, their family and friends. It takes us to Detroit, where Death found its sound in the grind and clang of industry. And it takes us into the spirituality of the band. The offspring of a Christian minister, the brothers found in rock ‘n’ roll a way to amplify their sense of the cosmic. With the coming of the hippie scene and psychedelics, they went further into the mysteries of being and found in their music a means to celebrate the dawning of the Aquarian Age. But into the mix of flower child trippiness, Death brought a blast of apocalyptic Motor City badassness that kept the psychedelic spaceship from tipping too far into the paisley zone. Their heads may have been drifting through the music of the spheres, but their feet were firmly planted on the cracked concrete of their Detroit garage.
A Band Called Death inspires as it illuminates the path the brothers took while riding out their dream with only their passion and positive vibes to carry them through. It’s a lovely film and deservedly won the Audience Award at this year’s SXSW. Drafthouse Films will be releasing it in May.
Earlier this month, I spent a couple of hours with Death, shooting the shit and sharing war stories. I filmed the following video after seeing the band the night before. I was pumped up. The band were absolutely phenomenal live, my concerns about David’s absence were supplanted by the belief that his brothers more than ably channeled his energy.
Death lives. Feel the vibe.
Friday, March 22, 2013
On the 44th anniversary (March 20) of her marriage to John Lennon, Yoko Ono tweeted this powerful photo of her late husband’s blood-splattered glasses, the ones he wore the night he was murderedthanks Dangerous Minds31,537 people are killed by guns in the USA every year. We are turning this beautiful country into a war zone.
Together, let’s bring back America, the green land of peace.
The death of a loved one is a hollowing experience. After 33 years our son Sean and I still miss him.” Yoko Ono Lennon
Thursday, March 21, 2013
"If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time or die by suicide." Abraham Lincoln was almost 29 years old when he said that during a speech he gave in Springfield, Ill., on Jan. 27, 1838.
It was as if he had seen the future of his young America. It was as if he knew that this powerful and rapidly developing country would be only as strong as its people were free.
Years later, the United States, which Lincoln called "the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil and salubrity of climate," tore itself in half and clashed for half a decade. Eventually, a bullet found him as millions of Americans set about on the long and uncharted journey to freedom and equality for all. Simultaneously, with equal amounts of zeal, millions of other Americans set out to destroy that which so many had died for, before it even got a chance to walk.
The 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, guarantees citizenship and equal protection under the law for all persons born or naturalized in the United States. One might think that the first of the five sections in this amendment that addresses all this would be clear enough to understand and obey, but that was not the case. Newly freed men and women often found their lives to be far more complicated -- and laws more restrictive -- than they ever could have imagined.
Through the 10th Amendment, states were able to enact laws that made it almost impossible for former slaves and poor whites to escape easy arrest. After arrest, for being unemployed for example, some found themselves being leased back to the farm where they used to work.
The Civil Rights Act of 1875 was signed into law by President Grant. In 1883, the Supreme Court knocked it down, finding it in violation of the 14th Amendment. You can throw that on the pile of less-than-great decisions the SCOTUS has made.
In 1938, 100 years after Lincoln made his speech in Springfield, President Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act into law. This is a big one. It established a 40-hour work week, allowed for overtime and abolished child labor. Cool, right? He was roundly hated for it.
In 1957, four years after the Brown v. Board of Education decision abolished segregation in schools, Little Rock, Ark., seemingly didn't get the memo and sought to deny black students entry into Little Rock Central High School. The state's governor, Orval Faubus, went as far as enlisting the Arkansas National Guard to block the entry of nine black students into the school building. President Eisenhower, in an adroit use of executive power, ordered the 101st Airborne Division of the Army to go to Little Rock. He also federalized the Arkansas National Guard and ordered them to stand down. The students entered the school and now are known as the Little Rock Nine.
In 1964, carrying on the work started by President Kennedy, President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law, saying famously, "We have lost the South for a generation." The Southern states, also known as the Southern Bloc, vehemently opposed the act. Richard Russell, then a senator from Georgia, said, "We will resist to the bitter end any measure or any movement which would have a tendency to bring about social equality and intermingling and amalgamation of the races in our (Southern) states."
In 1965, President Johnson, in the commencement address he delivered at Howard University, said, in part, "We seek not just freedom but opportunity. We seek not just legal equity but human ability; not just equality as a right and a theory but equality as a fact and equality as a result."
Why would the president have to say such a thing? Weren't all the aforementioned constitutional amendments, laws, acts and decisions enough? If America is a nation of laws, very clear and easy to follow, why would he have to demand, albeit so eloquently, that which we have already been guaranteed?
Why do you keep telling the same person you love them? What, you think they didn't hear you the first time? Why do you need the Violence Against Women Act? Aren't the existing laws good enough? Aren't almost all crimes tinged with hate? Why do some get to be called a hate crime? Why are all these people getting so much special attention? It must be so easy to be a libertarian.
I think I ran through almost the whole damn playbook there.
So why the need for extra consideration? Because lobbyists, governors and activist judges relentlessly seek to erode your hard-won protections to further their own ends.
An example on the most fundamental level: The Fourth Amendment has taken such a beating over the last several decades that it now holds but a fraction of its intended power. Don't believe me? Mention it to the next cop who asks to search your car. I dare you. One of the strongest amendments in the Constitution and hardly anyone wants to roll the dice to use it. You can count me as one of them. There is no way I am getting into that discussion on the side of the 101 North.
Why have I mentioned all this? Because America would be a dark place without constant maintenance and improvement. Because when I hear Justice Scalia characterize section five of the Voting Rights Act as a "perpetuation of racial entitlement," I think he is not only categorically wrong but incredibly offensive. I bet he knows better. Who is he shilling for? This man is in the wrong place at the wrong time.
If anything, the section should be kept and the Voting Rights Act expanded to all 50 states. Walk any way you want, but keep the big stick in plain sight. Are you kidding? Vigilance always. ALWAYS. Forward only. No backsliding.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
To: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney
From: Tomas Young
I write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq War veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of those whose wounds, physical and psychological, have destroyed their lives. I am one of those gravely wounded. I was paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004 in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care.
I write this letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses, on behalf of children who have lost a parent, on behalf of the fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters and on behalf of those who care for the many thousands of my fellow veterans who have brain injuries. I write this letter on behalf of those veterans whose trauma and self-revulsion for what they have witnessed, endured and done in Iraq have led to suicide and on behalf of the active-duty soldiers and Marines who commit, on average, a suicide a day. I write this letter on behalf of the some 1 million Iraqi dead and on behalf of the countless Iraqi wounded. I write this letter on behalf of us all—the human detritus your war has left behind, those who will spend their lives in unending pain and grief.
I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.
Your positions of authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public relations consultants, your privilege and your power cannot mask the hollowness of your character. You sent us to fight and die in Iraq after you, Mr. Cheney, dodged the draft in Vietnam, and you, Mr. Bush, went AWOL from your National Guard unit. Your cowardice and selfishness were established decades ago. You were not willing to risk yourselves for our nation but you sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage.
I joined the Army two days after the 9/11 attacks. I joined the Army because our country had been attacked. I wanted to strike back at those who had killed some 3,000 of my fellow citizens. I did not join the Army to go to Iraq, a country that had no part in the September 2001 attacks and did not pose a threat to its neighbors, much less to the United States. I did not join the Army to “liberate” Iraqis or to shut down mythical weapons-of-mass-destruction facilities or to implant what you cynically called “democracy” in Baghdad and the Middle East. I did not join the Army to rebuild Iraq, which at the time you told us could be paid for by Iraq’s oil revenues. Instead, this war has cost the United States over $3 trillion. I especially did not join the Army to carry out pre-emptive war. Pre-emptive war is illegal under international law. And as a soldier in Iraq I was, I now know, abetting your idiocy and your crimes. The Iraq War is the largest strategic blunder in U.S. history. It obliterated the balance of power in the Middle East. It installed a corrupt and brutal pro-Iranian government in Baghdad, one cemented in power through the use of torture, death squads and terror. And it has left Iran as the dominant force in the region. On every level—moral, strategic, military and economic—Iraq was a failure. And it was you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, who started this war. It is you who should pay the consequences.
I would not be writing this letter if I had been wounded fighting in Afghanistan against those forces that carried out the attacks of 9/11. Had I been wounded there I would still be miserable because of my physical deterioration and imminent death, but I would at least have the comfort of knowing that my injuries were a consequence of my own decision to defend the country I love. I would not have to lie in my bed, my body filled with painkillers, my life ebbing away, and deal with the fact that hundreds of thousands of human beings, including children, including myself, were sacrificed by you for little more than the greed of oil companies, for your alliance with the oil sheiks in Saudi Arabia, and your insane visions of empire.
I have, like many other disabled veterans, suffered from the inadequate and often inept care provided by the Veterans Administration. I have, like many other disabled veterans, come to realize that our mental and physical wounds are of no interest to you, perhaps of no interest to any politician. We were used. We were betrayed. And we have been abandoned. You, Mr. Bush, make much pretense of being a Christian. But isn’t lying a sin? Isn’t murder a sin? Aren’t theft and selfish ambition sins? I am not a Christian. But I believe in the Christian ideal. I believe that what you do to the least of your brothers you finally do to yourself, to your own soul.
My day of reckoning is upon me. Yours will come. I hope you will be put on trial. But mostly I hope, for your sakes, that you find the moral courage to face what you have done to me and to many, many others who deserved to live. I hope that before your time on earth ends, as mine is now ending, you will find the strength of character to stand before the American public and the world, and in particular the Iraqi people, and beg for forgiveness.
The Crucifixion of Tomas Young (TruthDig)
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
The second installment of my attempt to locate video clips of the songs appearing on the Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965-1968 box set (You can find part 1 here).
Not everything on the Nuggets box set can be found on YouTube, but what is available is a real treat.
Starting off with one of my favorites from the Nuggets, below, The Music Machine doing their great “Talk, Talk” number on Where the Action Is:
The Turtles perform Warren Zevon’s “Outside Chance” on The Lloyd Thaxton Show, 1965
“This is my Happening and it freaks me out!” The Strawberry Alarm Clock do “Incense and Peppermints” during the (brilliantly edited, utterly genius) party scene from Russ Meyer’s Beyond the Valley of the Dolls:
The Outsiders: “Time Won’t Let Me”
There’s sadly no music video or performance clip of Kim Fowley’s 1965 LSD novelty record, “The Trip” but I just had to include the song that Julian Cope’s Head Heritage blog called “flaming dogshit on the doorstep of your mind.” Forever.”:
Sky Saxon and The Seeds do “Can’t Seem to Make You Mine” on American Bandstand:
The Beau Brummels mime along to “Laugh Laugh” on Shindig!
The Five Americans performing “I See the Light” on Shivaree:
The Merry-Go-Round (featuring Emitt Rhodes) on The Hollywood Palace... with Don Knotts!
“Steppin’ Out” by Paul Revere & The Raiders on Canadian television’s Swingin’ Time:
Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band do “Diddy Wah Diddy” on Dick Clark’s Where The Action Is:
Syndicate of Sound’s “Little Girl” promo clip:
Blues Magoos, “(We Ain’t Got) Nothin’ Yet”
The fictional “Max Frost & The Troopers’ “Shape of Things to Come” from the film Wild in the Streets.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘Nuggets’ on video: Sixties garage rock, proto-punk megapost (Part 1)
Monday, March 18, 2013
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Students at Monument Mountain Regional High School in Massachusetts created their own school for a semester. "What did it look like? No quizzes. No tests. No grades. Students created their own learning materials and taught themselves and each other."
from the Washington Post: If students designed their own school… it would look like this
Friday, March 15, 2013
Hands off Einstein’s books, sticky hands! Check out this awe-inspiring doodle that comprised Einstein’s ex libris*. The star-encompassed mountaintop dweller in no uncertain terms tells you that this book belongs to someone who isn’t you and that this someone is responsible for defining a ridiculous amount of the physical laws that our universe (and technology) rely upon. Very cool.
*An ex libris is also known as a bookplate and was pasted into books as a sign of ownership.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
This is a really unique short interview with my friend Ian. I bet it will move you.
see the piece as it appears on-line at Paradigm Magazine with an introduction by Ed Templeton, click HERE.
Monday, March 11, 2013
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Friday, March 8, 2013
Thursday, March 7, 2013
An Original Cadillac Wheel.
My original multicolored Z-Flex (One of only eight made in the very first multi-colred batch, probably the only one that still exists. - I got Bobby Piercy riding it in my first center-spread in SkateBoarder magazine back in 1977).
Test Pressing of Black Flag's Six Pack 7" with hand drawn art
on the b-side by Chuck Dukowski.
Punched out record label from the very first pressing of Black Flag's DAMAGED LP, all of which had to be recycled since they changed the version (and time) of Rise Above after the labels were made and some of the records were already pressed up.
My backstage pass from Run-DMC's Raising Hell tour,
the night of the infamous riot at the Long Beach Auditorium Convention Center,
that forever changed security at hip-hop shows and got Rap shows banned
Remember "Long boxes"?
(click on any of the images to see them bigger)
Special thanks to "King James" Cassimus, for shooting all this stuff and about 100 more items for me last month.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
From the March 12, 1967 episode of Walter Cronkite's CBS show "The 21st Century," a short clip illustrating the home office of tomorrow, with satellite news summaries and consoles that bring the work to us. Paleofuture has a great post about the whole episode:3D-TV, Automated Cooking and Robot Housemaids: Walter Cronkite Tours the Home of 2001This equipment here will allow [the businessman of the future] to carry on normal business activities without ever going to an office away from home.
This console provides a summary of news relayed by satellite from all over the world. Now to get a newspaper copy for permanent reference I just turn this button, and out it comes. When I’ve finished catching up on the news I might check the latest weather. This same screen can give me the latest report on the stocks I might own. The telephone is this instrument here — a mock-up of a possible future telephone, this would be the mouthpiece. Now if I want to see the people I’m talking with I just turn the button and there they are. Over here as I work on this screen I can keep in touch with other rooms of the house through a closed-circuit television system.
With equipment like this in the home of the future we may not have to go to work, the work would come to us. In the 21st century it may be that no home will be complete without a computerized communications console.ons console.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Before he was a big game hunter, before he was a deep-sea fisherman, Ernest Hemingway was a craftsman who would rise very early in the morning and write. His best stories are masterpieces of the modern era, and his prose style is one of the most influential of the 20th century.
Hemingway never wrote a treatise on the art of writing fiction. He did, however, leave behind a great many passages in letters, articles and books with opinions and advice on writing. Some of the best of those were assembled in 1984 by Larry W. Phillips into a book, Ernest Hemingway on Writing. We’ve selected seven of our favorite quotations from the book and placed them, along with our own commentary, on this page. We hope you will all–writers and readers alike–find them fascinating.
1: To get started, write one true sentence.
Hemingway had a simple trick for overcoming writer’s block. In a memorable passage in A Moveable Feast, he writes:Sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, “Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there. It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that I knew or had seen or had heard someone say. If I started to write elaborately, or like someone introducing or presenting something, I found that I could cut that scrollwork or ornament out and throw it away and start with the first true simple declarative sentence I had written.
2: Always stop for the day while you still know what will happen next.
There is a difference between stopping and foundering. To make steady progress, having a daily word-count quota was far less important to Hemingway than making sure he never emptied the well of his imagination. In an October 1935 article in Esquire ( “Monologue to the Maestro: A High Seas Letter”) Hemingway offers this advice to a young writer:The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day when you are writing a novel you will never be stuck. That is the most valuable thing I can tell you so try to remember it.
3: Never think about the story when you’re not working.
Building on his previous advice, Hemingway says never to think about a story you are working on before you begin again the next day. “That way your subconscious will work on it all the time,” he writes in the Esquire piece. “But if you think about it consciously or worry about it you will kill it and your brain will be tired before you start.” He goes into more detail in A Moveable Feast:When I was writing, it was necessary for me to read after I had written. If you kept thinking about it, you would lose the thing you were writing before you could go on with it the next day. It was necessary to get exercise, to be tired in the body, and it was very good to make love with whom you loved. That was better than anything. But afterwards, when you were empty, it was necessary to read in order not to think or worry about your work until you could do it again. I had learned already never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.
4: When it’s time to work again, always start by reading what you’ve written so far.
T0 maintain continuity, Hemingway made a habit of reading over what he had already written before going further. In the 1935 Esquire article, he writes:The best way is to read it all every day from the start, correcting as you go along, then go on from where you stopped the day before. When it gets so long that you can’t do this every day read back two or three chapters each day; then each week read it all from the start. That’s how you make it all of one piece.
5: Don’t describe an emotion–make it.
Close observation of life is critical to good writing, said Hemingway. The key is to not only watch and listen closely to external events, but to also notice any emotion stirred in you by the events and then trace back and identify precisely what it was that caused the emotion. If you can identify the concrete action or sensation that caused the emotion and present it accurately and fully rounded in your story, your readers should feel the same emotion. In Death in the Afternoon, Hemingway writes about his early struggle to master this:I was trying to write then and I found the greatest difficulty, aside from knowing truly what you really felt, rather than what you were supposed to feel, and had been taught to feel, was to put down what really happened in action; what the actual things were which produced the emotion that you experienced. In writing for a newspaper you told what happened and, with one trick and another, you communicated the emotion aided by the element of timeliness which gives a certain emotion to any account of something that has happened on that day; but the real thing, the sequence of motion and fact which made the emotion and which would be as valid in a year or in ten years or, with luck and if you stated it purely enough, always, was beyond me and I was working very hard to get it.
6: Use a pencil.
Hemingway often used a typewriter when composing letters or magazine pieces, but for serious work he preferred a pencil. In the Esquire article (which shows signs of having been written on a typewriter) Hemingway says:When you start to write you get all the kick and the reader gets none. So you might as well use a typewriter because it is that much easier and you enjoy it that much more. After you learn to write your whole object is to convey everything, every sensation, sight, feeling, place and emotion to the reader. To do this you have to work over what you write. If you write with a pencil you get three different sights at it to see if the reader is getting what you want him to. First when you read it over; then when it is typed you get another chance to improve it, and again in the proof. Writing it first in pencil gives you one-third more chance to improve it. That is .333 which is a damned good average for a hitter. It also keeps it fluid longer so you can better it easier.
7: Be Brief.
Hemingway was contemptuous of writers who, as he put it, “never learned how to say no to a typewriter.” In a 1945 letter to his editor, Maxwell Perkins, Hemingway writes:It wasn’t by accident that the Gettysburg address was so short. The laws of prose writing are as immutable as those of flight, of mathematics, of physics.
Monday, March 4, 2013
Tardigrades, also known as water bears, are some of the most fascinating animals in the world because they can live happily in the most extreme conditions. The small, segmented animals come in many forms - there are more than 900 species of them - and they're found everywhere in the world, from the highest mountains to the deepest oceans.read way more here.
Boil the 1mm (0.039 in) creatures, freeze them, dry them, expose them to radiation and they're so resilient they'll still be alive 200 years later. Water bears can survive being heated for a few minutes to 151 C ( 304 F), or being chilled for days at −200 C (-328 F), or for a few minutes at −272 C (-458 F). They can hack 5,700 grays of radiation, when 10-20 grays would kill humans and most other animals. The animals can also live for a decade without water and even survive in space.
Sunday, March 3, 2013
Saturday, March 2, 2013
Friday, March 1, 2013
My friend Theo Constantinou (I first met him a couple of years ago when he interviewed me for his great on-line magazine, he's done a lot of really cool interviews worth reading or watching), from Paradigm Magazine is going to interview, one of my personal heroes, Noam Chomsky this afternoon up in Boston.
As soon as he told me he finally got the time with Noam, I asked if I could come along and make some photographs. He said he'd call the office and see if it was cool. Few days later he called me back and let me know all was go, so we're headed up on the train today.
I'm a bit nervous. I've never met Noam, never even seen him speak live, and I'm really excited. I hope the camera works and the film ain't bad...
I think this is a similar situation as we'll be in tomorrow, (half hour in his office):
Here's a speech Mr. Chomsky gave just a few weeks ago: