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First public reading of Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’ took place 56 years ago today
10.07.2011
12:06 pm

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Heroes
History
Literature
Queer

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“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness…”

Over at the indispensable On This Deity blog, Dorian Cope writes that today is the fifty-six anniversary of the first public reading of “Howl” by a then twenty-nine-year-old Allen Ginsberg. It was a revolutionary moment, in poetry, in literature, and the opening salvo in the counter culture battles of the 1960s:

As the hitherto forbidden content (drugs, mental illness, religion, homosexuality) emerged, Kerouac – two years prior to On the Road – was the first to realise the magnitude of what was happening. Sitting on the side of the low stage, he began to punctuate Ginsberg’s Whitmanesque-meets-jazz rhythms by banging his empty wine jug and, at the end of each long line, shouting “GO!” Soon, the entire audience joined in … their encouraging chants of “GO! GO! GO!” driving Ginsberg to a shamanic momentum and creating a tribal unity between audience and poet. By the time he finished, Ginsberg was in tears. So was Rexroth. Everyone in the room knew they’d witnessed a rare moment of duende – that mysterious higher state brought on by a burst of genuine inspiration – and henceforth nothing would be the same again.

Michael McClure would later recall: “We had gone beyond a point of no return, and we were ready for it. None of us wanted to go back to the gray, chill, militaristic silence, to the intellective void – to the land without poetry – to the spiritual drabness. We wanted to make it new and we wanted to invent it and the process of it as we went into it. We wanted voice and we wanted vision.”

The next day, Lawrence Ferlignhetti, who’d been in the audience, sent Ginsberg a telegram. And with a nod to the past but his eye fixed firmly on the future, he borrowed Ralph Waldo Emerson’s legendary words to Walt Whitman in 1855: “I greet you at the beginning of a great career.” The fledgling publisher then added:  “When do I get the manuscript?” The publication of “Howl” is another story… but, on October 7th 1955 and on the occasion of its first reading, a battle cry was sounded and the Beat Generation was born.

Read the entire post at On This Deity

Ginsberg reading “Howl”:
 

 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Rep. Eric Cantor:  Craven toady of the rich; man on the wrong side of history


 
Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor puked up the following ruling class talking points about Occupy Wall Street onstage at the 2011 Voter Values Summit in Washington, DC, this morning:

“If you read the newspapers today, I for one am increasingly concerned about the growing mobs occupying Wall Street and the other cities across the country.”

“Believe it or not, some in this town have actually condoned the pitting of Americans against Americans.”

He really ought to be concerned, if you ask me…

Some see the 99%, while others see only “mobs.”

It’s almost funny. Almost.

The clip isn’t online anywhere, yet, but even hearing his voice saying this shit in my mind as I read it is painful enough. I’m not sure I want to actually hear it. As TPM points out:

Seeding concern about the relatively undefined protest movement spreading across the county is a growing movement among the right. Tea Party types are turning the past criticisms of their movement on Occupy Wall Street. Meanwhile Republican presidential candidates are casting it as some kind of revolt by the poor.

For their part, Democrats are not sure what to do.

Republicans seem to have found their footing on Occupy Wall Street however, and Cantor exemplified it well today.

The “Clue Train” could smack these guys in a head-on collision and they wouldn’t feel a thing, would they?

Update: Here’s the video, it’s special:
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Scottish chilli eating contest goes wrong
10.07.2011
09:27 am

Topics:
Amusing
Food

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I know this is harsh, and my sympathies go out to everyone injured (including the unlucky “Curry” Kim), but c’mon, it’s also quite funny. Sorry but it is!

From the Edinburgh Evening News:

A CURRY house is under fire after its “world’s hottest chilli” competition went badly wrong, landing two people in hospital. Emergency services had to rush to Kismot Restaurant’s curry-eating challenge, on St Leonards Street [Edinburgh], after competitors started writhing on the floor in agony, vomiting and fainting during the contest. One participant, Curie Kim - pronounced curry - was so ill after sampling the “Kismot Killer” that she had to be taken by ambulance to the ERI twice in a matter of hours.

Participants were required to sign a legal disclaimer prior to taking part in the competition, and two members of the British Red Cross were on hand, but they could not cope with the nature of the injuries sustained. Curry house owner Abdul Ali admitted that he would have to “tone down” the contest, but said the challenge had raised hundreds of pounds for charity CHAS. He added that half of the 20 people who took part in the challenge had dropped out after witnessing the first 10 diners vomiting, collapsing, sweating and panting. Previously the restaurant’s Kismot Killer dish has caused diners to suffer nose bleeds and one elderly man had to go to hospital.

Looks like the “Kismot Killer” is well named. Oh dear!

UPDATE:

Via commenter stussyboy99, here‘s a BBC News report about the contest. Victim Curie “Curry” Kim, who is actually American, described the sensation after eating the chilli as being like “a chainsaw covered in tabasco sauce going up and down your esophagus”. Yikes!

 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Pictures of Henry Rollins with long hair
10.07.2011
06:51 am

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Amusing
Fashion
Music
Punk

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image
 
I wonder if Henry Rollins cut off his straggly, rock star locks because they gave a hint of Michael Hurchence-lite?
 
image
 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Does Henry Rollins pass the ‘Man Test’?


Henry Rollins’ high school yearbook photo: ‘Skate mean, live clean.’


Donald Sutherland’s hairstyles throughout the years


 
Photos via Hello Henry, Fuck yeah, men with long hair!, I am a mountain, you are a sin, Only The Young Die Young, Scab Boy
 
3 more from Henry Hutchence, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Charles Napier star of Russ Meyer films has died
10.07.2011
01:46 am

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Charles Napier in Supervixens
 
Charles Napier had a mug that made him perfect for acting roles that required an iron-jawed heavy or psychotic hayseed. I first discovered him in Russ Meyer’s Supervixens and Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls. In all, he starred in four of Meyer’s films. He went on to appear in a multitude of B-movies, mainstream blockbusters and television shows. Napier died this past Wednesday at his home in Bakersfield, California. He was 75.

In this clip, Napier was definitely cast against type as some kind of intergalactic hippie in an episode from the original Star Trek TV series called “The Way To Eden.” He looks about as much like a hippie as I do Kitten Natividad.

No matter what role he played, Napier was never less than memorable. Whether you remembered his name or not, the face was unforgettable.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
‘Occupy Austin’ day one: 2000 gather at peaceful protest
10.07.2011
12:03 am

Topics:
Activism
Class War
Politics

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Day one of Occupy Austin has been orderly, enthusiastic, and free of any confrontations with police. An estimated 2000 people were massed in front of City Hall when I left the scene earlier this evening. It was a diverse gathering, ranging from young granola heads to gray-haired retirees, the unemployed, students, cowboys, members of the military and office-workers. The crowd was predominately white and anglo, but the number of Hispanic activists was encouraging. In Texas there can be no political uprising without the support of the Mexican-American community. Fortunately, Austin has one of the most vital, proud and potentially powerful Hispanic populations of any state in the Southwest and I think they’re going to become increasingly engaged in the OWS movement.

Overall, the atmosphere was festive, with pockets of people engaged in political discourse and speculation as to how long the occupation will last and in what form it will manifest.

It is against Austin city ordinances for the protesters to pitch tents or sleep overnight in the area around City Hall, so the occupation is quite limited in contrast to what has been taking place at Zuccotti Park in New York City. Many of the protesters say they may disregard the law and attempt to pitch tents or lay down bedding around City Hall. That would be the first test to see how much Austin authorities and the chief of police are willing to bend. So far the cops seem to be enjoying hanging out with the crowd and soaking in the sun. Hopefully they’ll continue to serve their roles as peace keepers.

I expect the crowds to grow over the weekend and I’ll be there to add my voice to the mix and film the action.

Here’s a short hi-def video I shot of today’s protest. The photos are by Mirgun Akyavas. Watch it full screen.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
‘The Ballad of Sacco and Vanzetti’: Extraordinary Joan Baez performance
10.06.2011
10:06 pm

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Activism
Music

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I suppose this could be a well-known fact in certain circles, but until this afternoon, I, myself, was unaware that the late Steve Jobs dated folksinger/activist Joan Baez in the late 70s/early 80s and according to several sources, wanted to marry her. On Joan Baez’s Wikipedia page it says the pair split up when the matter of Baez’s age (she was in her early 40s at the time) meant children would have been unlikely. Think about it: Baez dated Bob Dylan, Steve Jobs, and she knows Thomas Pynchon! She’s still has a Bacon Number of 2 in the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game. How can this be?

Click here to watch an extraordinary live performance of one of the songs from the Sacco and Vanzetti soundtrack, circa 1979 on YouTube (I can’t embed the clip).

Below, The Ballad of Sacco and Vanzetti, lyrics by Baez from the actual words and letters of Bartolomeo Vanzetti, music written and conducted by Ennio Morricone. This is an absolutely incredible piece of music.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Frozen ‘Jack Torrance’ from ‘The Shining’ Halloween costume
10.06.2011
07:59 pm

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Fashion
Movies

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This looks more like a frosty Noel Fielding (from The Mighty Boosh) Halloween costume than Jack Nicholson in The Shining, doesn’t it? It’s all about the face! And this is the face of Vince Noir!

Below, Nicholson as “Jack Torrance” in The Shining. No way, right?


 
(via Super Punch)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
What sparked the Occupy Wall Street movement in the first place?
10.06.2011
07:48 pm

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Nice short article at Salon from Justin Elliott, who asked editor-in-cheif, Kalle Lasn about the role Adbusters magazine had in instigating the growing Occupy Wall Street movement:

SALON: You issued the original call to occupy Wall Street back in July. How did that come about and what was the thinking behind it?

ADBUSTERS: It was a poster that we put in the middle of the July edition of Adbusters magazine and a listserv that we sent out to our 90,000-strong culture-jammers network around the world. It was also a blog post on our website. For the last 20 years, our network has been interested in cultural revolution and just the whole idea of radical transformations.

After Tunisia and Egypt, we were mightily inspired by the fact that a few smart people using Facebook and Twitter can put out calls and suddenly get huge numbers of people to get out into the streets and start giving vent to their anger. And then we keep on looking at the sorry state of the political left in the United States and how the Tea Party is passionately strutting their stuff while the left is sort of hiding somewhere. We felt that there was a real potential for a Tahrir moment in America because a) the political left needs it and b) because people are losing their jobs, people are losing their houses, and young people cannot find a job. We felt that the people who gave us this mess — the financial fraudsters on Wall Street — haven’t even been brought to justice yet. We felt this was the right moment to instigate something.

SALON: One Adbusters editor was quoted saying the role of the magazine in this is “philosophical.” Can you define the philosophy behind this?

ADBUSTERS: We are not just inspired by what happened in the Arab Spring recently, we are students of the Situationist movement. Those are the people who gave birth to what many people think was the first global revolution back in 1968 when some uprisings in Paris suddenly inspired uprisings all over the world. All of a sudden universities and cities were exploding. This was done by a small group of people, the Situationists, who were like the philosophical backbone of the movement. One of the key guys was Guy Debord, who wrote “The Society of the Spectacle.” The idea is that if you have a very powerful meme — a very powerful idea — and the moment is ripe, then that is enough to ignite a revolution. This is the background that we come out of.

1968 was more of a cultural kind of revolution. This time I think it’s much more serious. We’re in an economic crisis, an ecological crisis, living in a sort of apocalyptic world, and the young people realize they don’t really have a viable future to look forward to. This movement that’s beginning now could well be the second global revolution that we’ve been dreaming about for the last half a century.

Read more of The origins of Occupy Wall Street explained (Salon)

Occupy Wall Street FAQ (The Nation)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Blackboards in Porn
10.06.2011
06:48 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Sex

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Blackboards in Porn is a blog dedicated to figuring out if the mathematical equations seen written on blackboards in classroom-themed pornos are correct. The website actually breaks down the formulas for you.

Whilst this lesson appears to be aimed at quite a high level, such elementary errors may affect comprehension.

5/10 - rather sloppy.

I’d imagine there must be a lot of “teacher/student” scenarios in porn. The person responsible for this site is gonna’ be busy.


 
(via Publique.de )

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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