Last week there was the horrible lady berating a Dunkin’ Donuts employee over an alleged receipt oversight, and now there’s this fire-breathing dickwad berating a Wendy’s drive-thru employee over a hamburger. You see, he didn’t want cheese on his hamburger so his response is… totally reasonable!
Like I’ve said before in prior posts, I’ve worked in the customer service industry and minimum wage is simply not enough to endure this particular breed of asshole. There’s no excuse for this stuff. No need to believe in a concept like “karma” to wish that his fast food purchases forevermore be spit upon by those he mistreats.
Dear lord, my brain was just scrambled, then fried, and then scrambled again with cheese, onions and a side order of LSD while watching this 60-second Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas homage by 1A4STUDIO.
One of the YouTube commenters is asking for a minute-long version of The Big Lebowski. That would be good, too.
Whenever listening to Leonard Cohen’s “The Story of Isaac”—a song in which war is conceived of as the semi-ritual sacrifice of a younger generation by an older one a la the Biblical myth— I have always savored its mysterious last line.
“Have mercy on our uniform,
Man of peace or man of war, The peacock spreads his fan.”
In 1968, when Leonard Cohen came to record it for Songs from a Room, he had already seen an impressive amount of action for someone whose name remains a byword for tremulous introspection. Not only had Cohen made a point of visiting Cuba during the fall of Batista (purportedly as a kind of freelance revolutionary), but he had also made a beeline for Israel during the Six-Day War, where he hooked up with an “air force entertainment group” and performed for soldiers going into battle! Cohen’s experience on (or relatively near) the front line was apparently a very rewarding one:
“War is wonderful. They’ll never stamp it out. It’s one of the few times people can act their best. It’s so economical in terms of gesture and motion, every single gesture is precise, every effort is at its maximum. Nobody goofs off. Everybody is responsible for his brother.”
The kind of conflict alluded to in the “The Story of Isaac,” though, sounds closer in type to the Vietnam War, which pitched, to an arguably unique degree, the old—who waged it—against the young—who fought in and against it. In 1974, Cohen expanded on the concept behind the song:
“One of the reasons we do have wars periodically is so the older men can have the women. Also, to completely remove the competition in terms of their own institutional positions.”
It’s an especially dark idea, this, that behind the draft and the domino effect and the military industrial complex, lurked (and forever lurks) an aging establishment’s instinct to safeguard its tribal, reproductive privileges—shipping off the emergent generation to distant killing fields.
That Cohen was apparently thinking in the above quasi-Darwinian terms inclines me to think that (as I’ve long suspected) the song’s last line—“The peacock spreads its fan”—is intended to evoke or echo Darwin’s famous misgiving: “The sight of a feather in a peacock’s tail, whenever I gaze at it, makes me sick!”
Darwin’s point is widely taken to refer to the egregious impracticality of a peacock’s fan, as being inhospitable to the notion of natural selection. The paradox of the peacock’s fan can be applied to the paradox of war—surely both should by now have condemned their native species to extinction. Or inevitably will,
Today is Bloomsday—the day that commemorates and celebrates the life and works of James Joyce across the world.
Bloomsday is the day on which the events of Joyce’s most famous novel Ulysses take place, June 16th, 1904. This is also the date on which Joyce first stepped out with his future wife, Nora Barnacle, to stroll around the city of Dublin.
To celebrate Bloomsday, here is James Joyce reading Episode Seven: “Aeolus” from Ulysses. This recording was made in 1924, on the insistence of Sylvia Beach, proprietor of the Parisian bookshop Shakespeare & Co. and publisher of Joyce’s Ulysses. As the recording is rather basic, a transcription of the extract is been included of below.
— Mr Chairman, ladies and gentlemen: Great was my admiration in listening to the remarks addressed to the youth of Ireland a moment since by my learned friend. It seemed to me that I had been transported into a country far away from this country, into an age remote from this age, that I stood in ancient Egypt and that I was listening to the speech of some highpriest of that land addressed to the youthful Moses.
His listeners held their cigarettes poised to hear, their smoke ascending in frail stalks that flowered with his speech. And let our crooked smokes. Noble words coming. Look out. Could you try your hand at it yourself?
— And it seemed to me that I heard the voice of that Egyptian highpriest raised in a tone of like haughtiness and like pride. I heard his words and their meaning was revealed to me.
FROM THE FATHERS
It was revealed to me that those things are good which yet are corrupted which neither if they were supremely good nor unless they were good could be corrupted. Ah, curse you! That’s saint Augustine.
— Why will you jews not accept our culture, our religion and our language? You are a tribe of nomad herdsmen; we are a mighty people. You have no cities nor no wealth: our cities are hives of humanity and our galleys, trireme and quadrireme, laden with all manner merchandise furrow the waters of the known globe. You have but emerged from primitive conditions: we have a literature, a priesthood, an agelong history and a polity.
Child, man, effigy.
By the Nilebank the babemaries kneel, cradle of bulrushes: a man supple in combat: stonehorned, stonebearded, heart of stone.
— You pray to a local and obscure idol: our temples, majestic and mysterious, are the abodes of Isis and Osiris, of Horus and Ammon Ra. Yours serfdom, awe and humbleness: ours thunder and the seas. Israel is weak and few are her children: Egypt is an host and terrible are her arms. Vagrants and daylabourers are you called: the world trembles at our name.
A dumb belch of hunger cleft his speech. He lifted his voice above it boldly:
— But, ladies and gentlemen, had the youthful Moses listened to and accepted that view of life, had he bowed his head and bowed his will and bowed his spirit before that arrogant admonition he would never have brought the chosen people out of their house of bondage nor followed the pillar of the cloud by day. He would never have spoken with the Eternal amid lightnings on Sinai’s mountaintop nor ever have come down with the light of inspiration shining in his countenance and bearing in his arms the tables of the law, graven in the language of the outlaw.
Alice Cooper was described as “a violent and evil influence on the nation’s youth,” when he toured Britain in 1973. The dread Cooper inspired led six Members of Parliament to petition the Prime Minister to refuse the singer permission to enter the country. The petition failed.
Then, Mary Whitehouse, doyen of minding-other people’s business, campaigned to have Alice Cooper’s records banned by the BBC. Mrs. Whitehouse also failed, and “School’s Out” went to number one in the UK charts.
The fear of Alice Cooper and his like, led many on the Right to believe the end of civilization was nigh. Hard to believe now, but back then with a 3-day-working week, nation-wide power cuts, food shortages, rising unemployment, a failing economy, and an incompetent Conservative Prime Minister, there were those amongst the Establishment who considered a “Boy’s Own” military coup over their “salmon and lamb cutlets.”
Nothing happened, and Alice Cooper successfully toured the UK. But the “pace” of touring, with its chaotic hotel-living, took a considerable tool, and Cooper became an alcoholic. By the time he returned to the U.K. in 1978, the singer was sober and seemingly “rehabilitated.”
This rare (flickering) interview from the BBC News and Current Affairs show Tonight, in December 1978, has the late Donald MacCormick quizzing Alice about the changes to his life, his new show, and album From the Inside, which was inspired by Cooper’s stay in a New York sanitarium to cure his alcoholism.
As the word “hipster” is rendered more and more amorphous and diluted in meaning (perhaps currently used merely to signify some one who is young and wears clothes), it’s become increasingly difficult to take potshots at the people who might make us feel schlubby and out-of-touch. Luckily, folks are still doing creative things with the concept. Photographer Léo Caillard created a series called “Hipster in Stone,” wherein he “styles” famous sculptures in the fashions of today’s younger clothes-wearers. As a broke young person from Brooklyn with a creative job, I feel it is my anthropological duty to place the themes and characters of Caillard’s work.
First off, pictured above is the hungover guy who ruins brunch. Seriously. You save up go to brunch once a damn month and he’s always there, using incredibly deliberate body language, expounding loudly on how wasted he got last night, sitting in his chair in such a way as to obstruct the servers as they attempt to do their jobs. Shut up, hungover guy, just drink your 10$ pitcher of mimosas like everyone else.
This is my old boss from when I worked at a third party political organization. He enjoys chambray, Instagramming graffiti, and rap. He’s really into weight-training and the Paleo diet.
This guy acts like he has no money, but he really has tons of money.
This guy acts like he has money, but doesn’t.
This girl has her MA in Public Policy, but can only find a job at my coffee shop 20 hours a week. Her ex-boyfriend’s a dick, and when she’s not trying to get a job with a living wage, she makes awesome weird paintings of her cat when she’s stoned.
This is just my friend, Steve. He’s a grant writer, and lives in Clinton Hill with his awesome wife, who’s a librarian. Steve is unpretentious, and knows all the dialogue to Big Trouble in Little China. Everyone likes Steve. If you don’t like Steve, then fuck you.
This one is actually me. I ran out of money before laundry day and washed my shirt in the sink. I’m waiting for it to dry, and attempting to get in my skinny jeans. I write for an arts and culture blog, work for a socialist organization, have tattoos, and make punk music. I’m probably a laughable stereotype, and it doesn’t bother me much.
This guy’s a Greenpoint dad, and when he’s not carrying the free-range lambs he breeds on his roof, he’s wearing a baby backpack, so he can bond with little Percival.
This girl and I were best friends for a night at a bar because I gave her some tampons and she gave me some cigarettes when all the bodegas near the bar were closed. That’s not her baby—she nannies for Percival. I can’t remember her name…. I never go to that bar anymore.
Here’s a little something you don’t see every day, a compilation of original video by bands associated with the “lesser” Factory-related record labels operating out of Brussels Belgium. It’s called Umbrellas in the Sun and consists of seldom-seen videos from more well-known Factory acts like A Certain Ratio, Durutti Column, Section 25 and even New Order, along with more more obscure groups like Crispy Ambulance, Josef K., The Names, Quando Quango and plenty of others.
The two Belgium-based labels, Factory Benelux and Disques de Crepescule, were founded by Michel Duval and Annik Honoré (if this latter name sounds familiar it should, as she was with Ian Curtis during the last years of his life), and featured music that didn’t exactly fit Factory’s profile or release schedule. Although practically anything that showed up on these labels was (at least!) kinda quirky, some of it was as good if not better than some of what was on Factory Records proper.
For instance, The Plateau Phase by Crispy Ambulance, was both too far out as well as perhaps too… proggy (?) for Factory, nevertheless it still sounds fantastic. Hell, this being the Internet, I can even pass you a toke (here’s “Travel Time” off that record):
In 2005, fellow Factory nut James Nice put out Umbrellas in the Sun on the LTM label. Here’s a chunk of that DVD featuring all sorts of exotic post-punk treats filmed between 1980 & 1985. Ah yes, another fine example of the Internet practically vomiting diamonds into our cupped hands. Feel free to slide them down your own gullet, though do be prepared for the fact that much of it will scratch and burn on the way down.
Dangerous Minds is a compendium of oddities, pop culture treasures, high weirdness, punk rock and politics drawn from the outer reaches of pop culture. Our editorial policy, such that it is, reflects the interests, whimsies and peculiarities of the individual writers. And sometimes it doesn't. Very often the idea is just "Here's what so and so said, take a look and see what you think."
I'll repeat that: We're not necessarily endorsing everything you'll find here, we're merely saying "Here it is." We think human beings are very strange and often totally hilarious. We enjoy weird and inexplicable things very much. We believe things have to change and change swiftly. It's got to be about the common good or it's no good at all. We like to get suggestions of fun/serious things from our good-looking, high IQ readers. We are your favorite distraction.