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Miles Davis and John Lennon shooting hoops, 1971
06:34 pm



Photo found at Awesome People Hanging Out Together

Crazy! Here’s some Super 8 footage of John Lennon and Yoko Ono at a party—perhaps one held at Allen Klein’s house, according to some accounts—in 1971 playing basketball with Miles Davis.



Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
First ‘official’ statement from the Occupy Wall Street movement

This was unanimously voted on by all members of Occupy Wall Street last night, around 8pm, Sept 29. It is our first official document for release. We have three more underway, that will likely be released in the upcoming days: 1) A declaration of demands. 2) Principles of Solidarity 3) Documentation on how to form your own Direct Democracy Occupation Group. This is a living document. you can receive an official press copy of the latest version by emailing

Declaration of the Occupation of New York City

As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.

They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.

They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.

They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.

They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.

They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless nonhuman animals, and actively hide these practices.

They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.

They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.

They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.

They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.

They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.

They have sold our privacy as a commodity.

They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press.

They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.

They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.

They have donated large sums of money to politicians supposed to be regulating them.

They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.

They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantive profit.

They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.

They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.

They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.

They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad.

They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.

They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts.*

To the people of the world,

We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.

Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.

To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.

Join us and make your voices heard!

*These grievances are not all-inclusive.

Via reddit

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Beyond The Black Rainbow’ will blow your mind
05:25 pm

Pop Culture


Panos Cosmatos’ Beyond The Black Rainbow, which screened at this year’s Fantastic Fest, truly earns the description “visionary,” not in the sense of being prophetic (though it might be) but in the sense of arising out of visionary states of mind. Cosmatos is not looking forward as much as he’s looking inward to a landscape where dreams and nightmares intertwine like the snakes of Athena, illuminating the darkest corners of the psyche. Beyond The Black Rainbow is bold, uncompromising, demanding and totally mesmerizing. It is an extraordinary debut for a first-time director.

Cosmatos, who looks a bit like a young Stanley Kubrick, draws inspiration from films like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Saul Bass’s Phase 4, George Lucas’s THX1138 and countless lesser-known and lesser-quality sci-fi films from the 1960s through the 80s and concocts something that, despite its influences, is personal film making of a highly original style. Mixing the grainy, saturated look of old videotapes with ultra-mod visual design and sets, while exhuming artifacts of lo-fi sci-fi kitsch, Cosmatos, in a deft act of cinematic alchemy, transforms it all into something artful, visually coherent and mind expanding. It is unusual and gratifying to see a young director aspire to a type of film making that decades ago would have been termed “experimental,” evoking Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage, Alejandro Jodorowsky and William Klein. What you end up with is pop culture tropes spun through a pure cinema aesthetic. A movie that asks nothing of you other than to SEE it with eyes wide open.

I couldn’t tell you what Beyond The Black Rainbow is about. I’ve only seen it once and the narrative is more stream of consciousness mashup than a tidy tale with beginning, middle and end. In that respect, the storytelling resembles the works of William Burroughs, who Cosmatos humorously references in the film. There’s a free associative dynamic to the movie where images play off each other like musical notes in a Beefheartian jam, always on the brink of chaos while the center is holding to some still point, the Tao of now. It helps that the score by Jeremy Schmidt (from the band Black Mountain) gives Cosmatos’ trippy epic a primal gravitational pull that, in the film’s wildest moments, keeps the lysergic shards of color and shape from dissipating into the void.

The movie’s central physical location is an institution/hospital/psyche ward that melds the cold clinical feel of David Cronenberg with the Technicolor eye candy of Dario Argento. Within this de-humanized world, a drug-addled scientist is attempting to create a new form of cosmic human being. Under the spell of a mad, new agey guru (Heaven’s Gate nutjob Marshall Applewhite comes to mind) the scientist performs drug experiments on a captive young woman who has either gone insane or is the only sane person in the film. The movie for the most part takes place inside her head…I think. The plot is serviceable but mostly irrelevant, serving as a jumping off point for Cosmatos’ true mission which is creating a modern “head movie.” And he succeeds.

I imagine many viewers will complain that Beyond The Black Rainbow is boring (some critics already have), but the same has been said of many films and directors that go out on their own, without concern for commercial prospects, who audaciously create something that is pure and original, that requires of the viewer an openness and a willingness to surrender to what is on the screen. What may be boring to some, I find hypnotic and riveting. To be ravished by Tarkovsky is bliss compared to being mauled by Michael Bay.

Panos Cosmato grew up around big-budget Hollywood commercial film making. His father is George P. Cosmatos who directed Sylvester Stallone in Rambo 2 and Cobra, as well as the very fine Tombstone. He could have easily followed in his father’s footsteps (he has the skill to do so) but instead he opted to make a film that takes big chances and has done so with the delirium of an obsessed film nerd whose sense of cinema and creativity holds its own against many of his influences.

Cosmatos is a young guy and Beyond The Black Rainbow will open some doors. I hope he sticks to his guns and delivers on the promise of his mindtwisting debut. It will be released by the trailblazers at Magnet films sometime in the near future.

Here’s a trailer for Beyond The Black Rainbow followed by an interview with the director at Fantastic Fest.

Interview after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Freakies: Nearly forgotten 70s breakfast cereal
05:08 pm



Those of us of, ahem, a certain age might recall a brand of sugar-sweetened breakfast cereal called “Freakies.” It’s shelf life was from 1972 to 1976 and it was manufactured by the Ralston Purina company. They also had “Cocoa Freakies” and “Fruity Freakies.”

The marketing campaign was especially appealing to me when I was a kid and I flew my “Freakies” flag high: The Freakies, some tentacled mutants (John Wayne-esque leader Boss Moss, Hamhose, Gargle, Cowmumble, Grumble, Goody-Goody and Snorkeldorf) leave “The Old World” for “The New World” where they have heard the legendary “Freakies Tree” grows delicious high-fructose corn-syrup-laden breakfast cereal. They find the mythical tree and take up residence there, often singing 50s doo-wop songs about their favorite cereal.

They tried to revive the “Freakies” brand again in the late 1980s, but it didn’t catch on. No wonder, it really wasn’t very good. I only ate it myself to collect the “Freakies” magnets and plastic figurines (which now sell for a fortune on eBay).

Via PCL LinkDump who posted this clip with the great title “Cereal plus LSD = 1974”


Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Albert Camus vs. Jean-Paul Sartre
04:59 pm



They first met through a love of theater, at a production of The Flies. It drew them together, this collective experience towards a creative good. And then, of course, their love of literature and writing, and during the war through the Resistance, and endless conversations in the cafes, which later became famous through association with their names. Jean-Paul Sartre was the leader. Albert Camus the talented writer, a leader in waiting.

Though close, there were early signs of division - Sartre knew Camus was the better writer, something he would never acknowledge publicly - and when the war finished, it wasn’t long for their friendship to fail.

Against the background of Cold War tensions and the threat of nuclear war between East and West, Sartre took the side of the Soviet Union, while Camus said he was on “the side of life”.

“I’m against a new war. To revolt today means to revolt against war.”

But it was Sartre’s blind acceptance of Russia’s concentration camps that proved too much for Camus. He wanted Sartre to denounce them, in the same way they had once denounced the German concentration camps. Sartre refused.

This led Camus to question the idea of rebellion and revolution, in particular the value of the Russian revolution, this at a time when writers on the Left held it up as the socialist dream.

In The Rebel Camus wrote:

‘In order to exist, man must rebel, but rebellion must respect the limits that it discovers in itself.

“In contemplating the results in an act of rebellion we shall have to ask ourselves each time if it remains faithful to its first noble promise or whether it forgets its purpose and plunges into a mire of tyranny and servitude.

“In Absurdist experience suffering is individual, but from the moment that a movement of rebellion begins, suffering is seen as a collective experience, as the experience of everyone. Therefore the first step towards a mind overwhelmed by the absurdity of things is to realize that this feeling, this strangeness is shared by all men, and the entire human race suffers from a division between itself and the rest of the world.”

Camus’ intention with The Rebel was to change accepted ideas about rebellion, with a new concept of questioning revolutionary action. For many it was too abstract and too damaging to the communist cause.

Sartre, therefore, decided something had to be done to redress Camus’ apparent attack on Soviet Communism, and by implication all communist belief, and he organized a damning and high-handed response. It proved to be a devastating blow to Camus.

While Sartre could separate the world of ideas from his personal friendship, Camus could not. He believed friendship was essential, and depended on his friends like the strong camaraderie shared by a theater company. Camus believed friendship united people together in the struggle for a better world. He therefore saw Sartre’s actions as the worst kind of betrayal, and it finished their friendship.

This is a short but fascinating extract examining the friendship between Camus and Sartre.


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
IN ALL OUR DECADENCE PEOPLE DIE: Fanzines given to Crass 1976-84

We culture vultures out here on the West Coast may think we’ve got it good with the opening of Ann Magnuson and Kenny Scharf’s big East Village West show opening at Royal/T (and we do!) but New Yorkers have something pretty amazing to attend this weekend also:

“IN ALL OUR DECADENCE PEOPLE DIE” is an exhibit of fanzines that were given to members of Crass between 1976 and 1984, plus original punk-era artwork by Gee Vaucher. The exhibit also features a new audio installation from Penny Rimbaud. Curated by Johann Kugelberg

As someone who was a huge Crass fan (I saw them fuckin’ live, how many Americans can claim that?) this looks like something that can’t be missed! (Except, drats, I will miss it as it closes right before I get to NYC next month! Awk! Quel bummer for me.)

The exhibit opening and talk will be held tonight but is already closed to more RSVPs. The exhibit continues daily until October 20th, hours 11am to 6pm.

Boo-Hooray, 265 Canal St. #601, New York, NY 10013


Below, Crass: There is No Authority But Yourself, a Dutch documentary about the band:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Are Radiohead going to be at Occupy Wall Street today at 4pm?

Rumors are rife that Radiohead will be playing a set today in support of Occupy Wall Street.

As reported on Gawker, no permit has been granted, but since they’re going to be on The Jimmy Fallon Show tonight, the rumor sounds like more than a rumor. Apparently the NYPD is aware, too, that something is being planned.

Via Gothamnist:

UPDATE 12:19 p.m.: A spokesperson for Occupy Wall Street confirms “Radiohead will play a surprise show today at four in the afternoon. Press conference at one in the afternoon.”

Update 12:54 p.m.: The spokesperson tells Gawker they have no permit but the police are “aware” of the event. This is going to be interesting—a band with Radiohead’s popularity can easily draw a hundred thousand for a free show in New York City. You need permits for this sort of thing, and there, obviously, there are a lot of crowd control issues that are worked out in advance. However you slice it, this will be bananas.

We’ll be looking for the embed code for the video to post here when/if it happens. Fingers crossed!

UPDATE: It was just a rumor after all. The Wall Street Journal and The New York Observer have both confirmed that Radiohead is not playing the #OccupyWallStreet protest Friday.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
East Village 80s: Dany Johnson’s ‘Club 57’ mix
12:01 pm



Icon of perversion Jack Smith, Club 57 DJ Dany Johnson and Ann Magnuson at a party on Crosby Street, 1980. Photo by Ande Whyland.

In anticipation of the opening this weekend of Ann Magnuson and Kenny Scharf’s big East Village West exhibit at the Royal/T gallery in Los Angeles, original Club 57 D.J. Dany Johnson has made an exclusive two-hour musical mix for Dangerous Minds readers:

Club 57 was a magical little club in the basement of a Polish church at 57 St. Marks Place. This mix is like a mixed salad of all the kinds of stuff I played. I spent many nights digging through my old suitcase full of the 45s I had picked up at neighborhood thrift shops, mixing them with records by my contemporary favorites such as ESG, Bush Tetras, Tom Tom Club and the like. This mix may be a little more mixed up than a typical set I would have played, but not by much. There might be some places where I waited too long for the next record or put one on too soon, just like the old days. The only way it could be more authentic is if I spilled a gin and tonic on it.

  Club 57 mix by Dany Johnson

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Vintage Fashion: Swimming Caps from the 1950s
09:45 am



There is a wonderful richness of color to Pathé‘s news reels that is sadly lacking in our digital age. A warmth of lipstick reds, and oil painting hues, that is quite difficult to resist. This is a 1950’s fashion show of swimming caps against a Punch and Judy background, so beautifully surreal it could have been lifted straight out of a David Lynch movie.

Via the Pathé Fashion Archive

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Pink Floyd banana TV commercial
01:59 am



Pink Floyd’s “The Great Gig In The Sky,” a woman with a banana and one weird tagline: “If you feel it, peel it.”

Paging Dr. Sigmund Freud.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
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