follow us in feedly
Richard Hell and The Voidoids in ‘Blank Generation’
07.10.2012
05:32 pm

Topics:
Movies
Music
Punk

Tags:


 
Ulli Lommel’s Blank Generation is not the movie it could have been but what it is will have to do. Imagine a lower tier Fassbinder lensing a movie about the angst and ennui of New York’s Lower East Side as embodied in the life of disheveled punk rocker Richard Hell as he struggles to struggle with an emotional attachment to a Godard-spewing French film maker named Nada (Carole Bouquet looking more like a Bond girl than a Bond’s girl). If life in the New York City of the late 1970s was this dull and depressing, we’d have all left for Brooklyn a whole lot sooner.

While there’s some good footage of Hell performing with the legendary Voidoids, there’s little else to indicate that there was a burgeoning music scene right up the block from where the movies non-action occurs. This was 1979 and CBGB was alive with the sound of music…and the aroma of beer and piss.

When he’s not singing, Hell spends most of his time sulking. But who can blame him?  With his dour Parisian girlfriend spewing lines like “What are you afraid of?” “We’re all going to die anyway, so who cares?,” who wouldn’t be feeling a bit blank. The bellicose ice queen Nada makes Nico look like Laurie of The Partidge Family.

Blank Generation isn’t a bad movie. It’s just fucking inert and filled with the sort of angster posturing and world weariness that makes you wonder if gravity has a heavier tug below 14th street. Ultimately, it’s all kind of inconsequential and as Richard Hell himself put it “there’s not a single authentic, truthful moment in the movie.” Still, you should watch it for Hell and the Voidoids, the best of the Bowery.

P.S. - I had a chat with Hell a couple of months ago in Austin. He’s a big supporter of film-preservation and was hosting a screening of a re-stored 35mm print of King Kong at the Alamo Drafthouse for Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation. It was a thrill to see one of my favorite rockers looking and sounding good as he enters his mid-sixties. He was planning a road trip through Texas and in his black suit and boots he cowboy-walked down Sixth street with the self assurance of a post-modern gunslinger in a spaghetti western where blood comes in spurts and men do have names like “Hell.” 
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
‘I’m not homophobic…’
07.10.2012
03:19 pm

Topics:
Idiocracy
Queer

Tags:


 
A bit like wearing an “I’m with Stupid” tee-shirt that has an arrow pointing upwards, isn’t it?

Via Joe.My.God.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Ghosts of the Moscow Kremlin (Part II)
07.10.2012
03:01 pm

Topics:
Games
History

Tags:


 
This is a guest post by Zoetica Ebb, a Moscow-born, LA-based artist, writer, photographer and style technician. Follow her on Twitter @zoetica.

Read Part I of Ghosts of the Moscow Kremlin.

Fanny Kaplan lived her turbulent life in the early 20th century. A young Jewish anarchist in Kiev, she partially lost her sight at the age of twenty, during preparations for a terrorist action, when explosives accidentally detonated. Arrested while trying to flee the scene, she was sentenced to death. Because Fanny was under twenty-one, she was sent to a labor camp instead, where she spent most of her time in ill physical and mental health, eventually losing her vision entirely.

When the Revolution of 1917 came, she was released. Free again, Fanny underwent a series of treatments and her vision partially returned. She joined an anti-Marxist socialist party and, one year later, was arrested for the attempted assassination of Lenin, who was shot three times at a large-scale meeting. In a considerably shady turn of events, she was captured by the militia holding a gun and saying, “I did my duty.”
 

 
Considering Fanny’s impaired vision -at this time she could only make out shadowy shapes- and the fact that the well-aimed bullets weren’t extracted from Lenin to be checked for a match to her pistol, this confession was dubious (also see: Lee Harvey Oswald). Nonetheless, since she wouldn’t name any accomplices, Fanny Kaplan was executed at the Kremlin without a trial or an investigation three days later. She was shot and stuffed in a barrel, which was then set ablaze, leaving no room for confusion in least in one aspect of her story, making her a perfect candidate for eternal unrest.
 

 
A pale, trembling Fanny with uncombed hair and a gun is sometimes seen inside one of the Kremlin towers to this day.

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin remains an iconic figure in Russian history, though national reverence and enthusiasm have waned since the fall of Communism. As someone who grew up during Communism’s final decade, I still find Lenin difficult to write about, since the shiny dogma we were taught in school and the details surfacing over the past twenty years are at considerable odds. Even so, his accomplishments are many and his work ethic alone is awe-inspiring, even if all of his ideals and doings were not.
 

 
He was the erudite revolutionary who fought the Great Civil War, helped overthrow the last tzar and built an entirely new government, transforming Russia into a Soviet State with a socialist economic system. He worked sixteen-hour days until his death, wrote entire books without the help of a stenographer, all the while managing to maintain communication with friends and allies. His pamphlets, reforms, and long, impassioned speeches before huge crowds made him into a national hero. Despite being a slight man with unremarkable looks, the propaganda spun by Lenin’s eventual successor, Joseph Stalin, inflated his newly broad-shouldered and strong-jawed image to near-leviathan proportions. After decades of his trademark hostile intolerance toward faith, which dubbed religion “a mass opiate to be eradicated”, Lenin became god. Stalin continued to cultivate this personality cult to legitimize himself during and well after Lenin’s lifetime.
 

 
Before he eventually worked himself to death in 1924, Lenin fell gravely ill, and, partially paralyzed, was ordered rest at his summer house outside of Moscow. Shortly before his end, a Kremlin security chief saw what appeared to be Lenin walking briskly through the corridor up to his former apartment on the premises. Confused by Lenin’s lack of cane and entourage, the chief made a call – only to confirm that Lenin was at the summer house, resting as prescribed. Numerous similar eyewitness accounts followed, in direct opposition with the anti-spiritual doctrine of the times. The matter was quickly covered up with a false story of Lenin visiting Moscow one last time.
 

 
After his death three weeks later, Lenin’s body was embalmed and displayed in the Kremlin Mausoleum, per Stalin’s orders, where it lies to this day, accumulating layers of mortician’s wax with each passing year. Lenin’s baths and maintenance are no longer funded by the government, but continue thanks to public donations. It’s been speculated that it’s this unnatural process that keeps Lenin’s troubled spirit trapped within his Kremlin apartment, which has been locked and sealed for decades. Sounds of restless pacing, shuffling paper and creaking furniture are heard by guards late into the night.

Read the rest of Ghosts of the Moscow Kremlin (Part II) after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Mitt Romney makes more than the median US household income in just 5 hours!
07.10.2012
02:09 pm

Topics:
Class War
Idiocracy
Politics
The wrong side of history

Tags:


 
This comes via Redditor “bigger_than_jesus”:

In an average work year there are 2080 work hours. He made $21.7m in 2010. The median household income is about $50,000. It will take the median household 433 years to make what Romney made in 2010. Here’s more showing how out of touch he is:

He suggested to borrow $20,000 from your parents to start a business. That is nearly half of the median household income in America. He made that in 2 hours.

He casually bet Rick Perry $10,000, with the cavalier attitude of someone betting their couch cushion change. He made that in 1 hour.

He characterized $374,000 as “not very much.” He made that in 35 hours, less than a work week. The median household income at 35 hours is less than $900.

It will take the median household 7.5 years to make what Romney earned in 35 hours.

I’ve tried to make it clear, in my writing here at Dangerous Minds, that I am no fan of either the Democrats or President Obama. The ONLY reason I vote a straight Democratic ticket is because I hate the Republicans more. If the American electorate is stupid enough to elect Mitt Romney (not that I am losing any sleep over this coming to pass) then the country will have gotten what it well and truly deserves: an oligarchy.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Best endorsement for weed EVER?
07.10.2012
01:37 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Drugs

Tags:


 
Former-white nationalist teen-pop duo Prussian Blue tell the world about their love of the chronic.

Via WFMU

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Looking down the throat of The Beast: Why the LIBOR conspiracy might knock the dominoes down


 
This is a guest editorial from Dangerous Minds reader Em, expanding on some pointed commentary he’s made elsewhere on this blog. Em—who’ll keep his last name to himself, thank you very much—works in the financial industry:

One day you’re going to arise from your habitual feast

To find yourself staring down the throat of the beast they call The Revolution

“They Call It Democracy”—Bruce Cockburn

When Bruce Cockburn sings these lines during a performance, his largely left-leaning audience will often cheer, apparently not comprehending that this is intended to be a cautionary tale. In They Call It Democracy, Bruce is informing the international 1% that time is running out, and that if they don’t use their disproportionately vast resources to reform and truly democratize access to goods and services and capital, then the 99% are going to lose faith in the system itself and eventually overthrow it. And Bruce is fully aware of the fact that The Beast isn’t well represented by romantic notions and Che Guevara T shirts. The Beast is often ugly and brutal and doesn’t always bring in something better. But by the time it comes to that, the 99% will be fully aware of the risks but just won’t give a shit anymore.

That’s why the LIBOR issue is so damned dangerous.

Back in 2009 I was working at a “Too Big To Fail Bank” on Canary Wharf in London, and during my lunch hour walked over to where LIBOR is set and took the above photo. (LIBOR is housed in that building on the left.) Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine, however, that the setting of this key rate upon which the price of mutual funds and derivative securities are indexed, could be easily manipulated by a tiny number of coked-up traders. Although I worked on the retail half of that TBTF Bank, for one summer, I did actually utilize the famous Ho-Lee model to analyze derivative securities for volatility risk. So I knew enough about LIBOR to understand that it is in some ways as important as the prime interest rate, set by the Fed. But I naively assumed that the US and UK governments, along with the Big Banks, would tightly control the LIBOR process because a loss-of-faith in LIBOR could set international markets into chaos.

And that’s the last thing we anyone really wants right now. Right?

But I was wrong. And who knew? Who knew LIBOR could be impacted by such a slipshod and unregulated process? What the hell? Conflicts of interest seem to be practically built into the system, but it only hands out benefits to those in special positions of power. And if I, a banker, can begin to view the system as this deeply corrupt, how will rank-and-file investors feel? Will they put their money into real estate? Hide it in mattresses? That can only accelerate a possible collapse or, worse yet, a revolution.

Revolution? Hah. No one in the US would seriously consider a socialist much less a communist revolution. But those aren’t the only kinds of revolution. The Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979 proves to us that even moderate and reasonably urbane and clever people will sometimes simply choose the devil they don’t know when the Devil they do know (in that case the Shah) has proven beyond all doubt that his system won’t work for most people by design. On purpose. Like the American version of capitalism.

And is that what we really want? OK, maybe in the US we won’t have an Islamic revolution. But who knows what our idiotic science-denying masses might come up with? Maybe the Tea Party was just a first try and all that’s needed now is some less idiotic reformulation that appeals to a wider audience. And remember, it doesn’t have to work in reality, it just has to be able to convince enough people that it might or could be better than the corrupt and closed system most people believe operates today. All it has to do is make a few promises while providing a sort of “purity code” that allows the rank-and-file to throw off outside influence. And for all of its bloodshed and hostages, the Iranian revolution at least returned Iran’s destiny back into the hands of the Iranians, rather than the US and UK-backed torturous regime that was impoverishing practically everybody outside a tiny cabal of the well-connected. And if the Iranians can do it (ie, create a populist strain of Politcal Islam that freezes out external meddling influences), there’s no reason to believe the Americans can’t come up with something of their own in order to lock out and dismantle predatory economics and access structures.

Back in the late 1990s and during the Bush II era, The Fed continued to lower interest rates in order to boost the housing sector. They did this precisely because it worked, and because the traditional industries that provided wealth and capital to the working classes had been strip-mined of value by not only upper-level managers but by Private Equity firms (such as Bain Capital) that searched for value and then capitalized it into their own pockets by moving jobs and manufacturing overseas. As the “Mighty Trucks of Midnight” (another lefty Bruce Cockburn ref there) moved whole industries overseas and Labor imploded, there were fewer and fewer investment opportunities for fund managers. So the steroidally pumped-up housing sector took up the slack while the level of personal indebtedness (to the banks, of course) skyrocketed. We were, in effect, borrowing chunks of our future in order to pay the bankers that colluded with an unregulated system to enrich a very few but without the creation of real new wealth.

When the Great Recession hit, we had to pay the piper for all that debt we had amassed but, Lo! We had no money left. A lot of the money we had been spending had come from debt but now we couldn’t borrow anymore, because the banks were failing and couldn’t make any more loans. And yet, no one really wanted to change anything because it looked like the system was essentially fair so we just had to let it recover a bit so we could all continue on our merry way.

But now, perhaps, we know that wasn’t the real story. And that the system was rigged. We are slowly becoming aware of the fact that only a tiny minority benefit from it while the rest of us work our asses off and still suck shit and struggle every day to feed our families and keep a roof over our heads. As awareness of what LIBOR-fixing really means begins to penetrate popular consciousness, more and more people will begin to question whether the system is even reformable at all. What the 1% and their Walking Dead-like minions do not comprehend, however, is that even if there is a way to reform the system and keep this party rolling a little longer, we are rapidly passing the time where anyone will still believe the system can be reformed. In other words, the window of reform and long-term survival of a system that resembles our current one is closing, and closing rapidly. It will have to be the 1% who choose to utilize their resources in order to give themselves (and their privileged families) a shot at longer-term survival.

That is the only chance the 1% has of keeping the 99% from invoking The Beast, in some form or another.

About the author: After living in China in the late 80s, Em worked in the physics and electrical engineering space until 2002, at which time he moved into the financial world. In July of 2010, Em returned to the US after living in London for several years.
 

 
“The Great Red Dragon and the Beast from the Sea” by William Blake

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Happy birthday Peter Serafinowicz!
07.10.2012
12:14 pm

Topics:
Movies
Pop Culture
Television

Tags:


 
Best birthday wishes to Peter Serafinowicz, co-creator (with Robert Popper) of the all-time genius comedy classic Look Around You and the voice of Sith Lord Darth Maul.

He’s also in a class of his own on Twitter, using the 140 character social media tool like a laughter-spitting machine gun. Peter Serafinowicz turns 40 today.

(Peter, they’ll tell you that 40 is a “good age for a man” but they’re lying: It is pretty much a mathematical certainty that it’s all downhill from here and you get to carry that thought around with you from here on out. Aging. I don’t recommend it.—Richard, 46)

Below, the “Germs” episode of Look Around You, one of the smartest TV comedies ever produced.
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Dutch TV news accidentally gives German chancellor Angela Merkel a ‘Hitler moustache’
07.10.2012
11:35 am

Topics:
Amusing
Belief
Current Events
Media

Tags:


 
Nos television’s six o’clock news are claiming they accidentally gave German chancellor Angela Merkel a “Hitler moustache” during a report this past Sunday.

Apparently the Hitler ‘stache “was caused by part of the news programme’s updated set decorations which crossed Merkel’s face with a black line.”

According to the show’s editor in chief Marcel Gelauff, “It was an unfortunate coincidence.”

Set malfunction gives Merkel a moustache
 

 
Via Arbroath

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Revered by Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder: Dennis Flemion of The Frogs R.I.P.
07.09.2012
11:40 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:


 
Dennis Flemion of Milwaukee duo The Frogs drowned over the weekend in Racine, Wisconsin’s Wind Lake. He was 57.

Highly respected among fellow rockers like Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder and Billy Corgan, Flemion was an outrageous performer, singer, songwriter and artist. While never achieving the popularity of the bands he influenced and inspired, his work with his brother in The Frogs will long be remembered for its provocative humor, style and devilishly witty punk rock attitude. 

Here’s a piece I wrote for Dangerous Minds two years ago on the fabulous Frogs:

Love them or loathe them, The Frogs, brothers Jimmy and Dennis Flemion, are undeniably one of the most outrageously tasteless bands in the annals of rock and roll. While no group will ever equal the exalted standard of rock depravity set by G.G. Allin, The Frogs have definitely earned a spot near the throne.
 
The Frogs are USDA grain fed rock and roll dadaists, improvising their songs and recording them on the fly in their home studio,utilizing genres as disparate as Appalachian ballads and glam rock to satirize pop culture and subvert sacred cows. They pissed off some of the humorless members of the Gay community (you know who you are) with their hilariously insincere celebration of homo love, It’s Only Right And Natural (1988), which featured campfire singalongs like “I Don’t Care If U Disrespect Me (Just So You Love Me),” ” Been A Month Since I Had A Man and “Hot Cock Annie.” And when The Frogs brought their record label, Homestead, the uber politically incorrect Racially Yours (2000), the label refused to release it even though the album had sure fire hits (in an alternate universe) like “Darkmeat 4 Sale” and “Two Blacks Don’t Make A White.” It seems record execs are just too fucking dumb to understand satire. The Frogs are The Fugs for a new generation - The Frugs. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is off limits for their deliriously weird and often very funny vamps, particularly sex (of all sorts), drugs and rock and roll, with The Frogs themselves often the butt of their own jokes. Their take-no-prisoners attitude to rock star poseurs is particularly brutal.

The Frogs actually did release an album that was radio friendly, a sardonic piss-take on rock stars called   Star Job, which contains two of the best rock songs of the past 15 years: “I Only Play 4 Money” and “Weird On The Avenue.”
 

Dennis, Kurt and Jimmy.
 
Unfortunately, most of The Frogs videos on the Internet are shitty quality and really and don’t do the brothers justice. Having seen the band live, I know what they’re capable of. Yes, they could be sloppy, but they were often awe-inspiringly good. I’ve put together some of the best videos I could find, including clips from their never released long film Toy Porno.
 

 
Frogs with Vedder, Toy Porno and more after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Get one of Ann Magnuson’s infamous ‘Fake Basquiat’ paintings!
07.09.2012
09:09 pm

Topics:
Art
Music

Tags:


 
DM pal Ann Magnuson is a genius at painting “parody” fake Basquiats.

And now, for a low, low price you can own one, too! Ann’s got these two paintings on offer for a mere $1000 donation to her “The Jobriath Medley: A Glam Rock Fairy Tale” project. I know Basquiat never painted with glitter, but he really should have!

WHAM BAM, JUST THE PAINTING, MAAM: Don’t give a damn about glam rock but you want one of Ann’s Fake Basquiat paintings? Okay! Done!

This tier is for those who want Ann to create an original Fake Basquiat painting CUSTOMIZED JUST FOR YOU! With or without glam rock themes. That’s right, YOU pick the colors YOU like and give Ann YOUR specific likes, dislikes, loves and/or select experiences from YOUR life and she will incorporate some into a special Fake Basquiat painting just for YOU! 16”x20” canvas. Glitter optional.

*We’ll also add The Jobriath Medley CD whether you like it or not!* (One of Ann’s rare Fake Basquiats sold at auction at a LACE benefit for $1,600 so this is quite a bargain!)

Just five days left!
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Page 919 of 1922 ‹ First  < 917 918 919 920 921 >  Last ›