If you can’t wait for the Post-Rapture Party, then why not attend the Pre-Rapture Orgy? Organized by Ammon Kamutef Allred, Karen McCarthy, Matt Riddle, and Felonius Screwtape, who together have started a group page on Facebook inviting all to attend the orgy tomorrow night:
After the Rapture, America is going to be awesome! Universal health-care, gay marriage, easy access to birth control, a progressive tax code and strong environmental regulations.
You don’t want to miss all the fun! Come to our pre-Rapture orgy to make sure that you’ll be here come May 22, 2011.
The Pre-Rapture Orgy takes place Friday 00:00 - Saturday at 00:00, on the “Streets of America, Baby” and no doubt everywhere else, check here for details.
I don’t want to see these artifacts of a bygone age sent to the metal crusher. I may buy one and use it as a giant planter in my backyard. Yeah, they were once gas guzzling pollution machines, but stripped of their engines, they persist as art.
It must be Terry Riley week. How else to explain the sudden emergence of this pristine footage, which I’m sure some smarty-pants will shortly point out to me is actually from some DVD or such, this week along with revelations about the fine composer’s questionable eating habits. Terry Riley’s all night organ and tape loops concerts are the stuff of legend and it’s pretty marvelous to finally have a bit of filmed evidence to gawk at.
Even more interesting is this sadly brief little clip of the quartet of Riley, La Monte Young, Pandit Pran Nath and Marian Zazeela playing live in Rome. Riley doing a respectable job on the tablas:
And just for good measure and because it sounds great to me at the moment, here is a portion of La Monte Young’s The Second Dream of the HighTension Line Stepdown Transformer for your listening pleasure:
It was about Nuclear War. Of course. What else could it be about? Director Alex Cox on his first major movie, Repo Man. Yes. It was about Nuclear War:
And the demented society that contemplated the possibility thereof. Repoing people’s cars and hating alien ideologies were only the tip of the iceberg. The iceberg itself was the maniac culture which had elected so-called “leaders” named Reagan and Thatcher, who were prepared to sacrifice everything—all life on earth—to a gamble based on the longevity of the Soviet military, and the whims of their corporate masters. J. Frank Parnell - the fictitious inventor of the Neutron Bomb - was the central character for me. He sets the film in motion, on the road from Los Alamos, and, as portrayed by the late great actor, Fox Harris, is the centrepoint of the film.
Alex Cox is cinema’s great wayward genius who has continued to make films against the odds and on ever decreasing budgets. After Repo Man (1984) came his flawed punk biopic on Sid and Nancy (1986), which owed more to Cox’s imagination than fact. But let’s be fair, it’s Cox’s imagination that makes his films so interesting, even when it is demented, as was seen in his 1987 romp, Straight to Hell, which starred Dennis Hopper, Shane MacGowan, Elvis Costello, The Clash and Courtney Love in what was really a semi-autobiographical home movie as comic Spaghetti Western. The film was hated, but not quite as much as his next, the politically weighted Walker (1987), which paralleled the America’s involvement in Nicaragua in the 1800s with American foreign policy in the 1980s:
William Walker was an American soldier of fortune who in 1853 tried to annex part of Mexico to the United States. He failed, though his invasion contributed to the climate of paranoia and violence which led to Mexico surrendering large areas of territory shortly thereafter. Two years later he invaded Nicaragua, ostensibly in support of one of the factions in a civil war. But his real intention was to take over the country and annex it to the U.S. He betrayed his allies and succeeded in making himself President. He ran Nicaragua, or attempted to run it, for two years. In the U.S. he had been an anti-slavery liberal, but in Nicaragua he abandoned all his liberal pretensions and attempted to institute slavery. He was kicked out of Central America by the combined armies of Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Honduras.
Walker tried to go back twice and was eventually caught by the Hondurans and executed…
...Walker was made in 1987, in the middle of the US-sponsored terrorist war against the Nicaraguan people. We made it with the intention of spending as many American dollars as possible in Nicaragua, in solidarity with the Nicaraguans against the yanks’ outrageous aggression against a sovereign nation. Then, as now, this was not a popular position with certain people in power. But it was the right one.
Denounced by critics and politicians, Walker finished Cox’s Hollywood career - a damn shame, as it is Cox’s masterpiece, a brilliant piece of cinema, that exhibits the kind of intelligence, humor and political film-making Tinsel Town desperately needs.
While Repo Man may be Cox’s best film, it can only be hoped that the future will see Alex Cox given the opportunity to bring his own particular vision to the mainstream, and not tread water with the so-so follow-up Repo Chick (2010), or gimmicks like Repo Pup.
Mad Monster Party is a 1968 Halloween-themed children’s film created by the Rankin/Bass animation house and written by Mad magazine’s creator, Harvey Kurtzman (with Len Korobin).
Rankin/Bass were famous for their stop motion Christmas favorites like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman. The film was directed by Jack Bass in their signature “Animagic” process.
Many of the characters in Mad Monster Party were designed by Mad’s Jack Davis, a man well-suited for the gig by his earlier comedy/horror work in the pages of EC Comics. The film featured the vocal talents of Boris Karloff and Phyllis Diller who were represented onscreen by their own likenesses.
Mad Monster Party was very influential on Tim Burton’s short film Vincent, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride. Some of the monster characters in Corpse Bride seem to be in homage to the earlier film. It would also appear that the Sesame Street character, “The Count” made his first appearance here, too…
Nothing groovier than go-go dancing. And Linda Rogers is sublime in this 1970 video from Atlanta-based TV show The Now Explosion.
The Now Explosion broke new ground for broadcasting music on television, programming music in a free-flowing style and experimenting with video in a format that pre-dated MTV by 10 years. Check out their website. It’s a gas.
The special effects used in The Now Explosion were crude but state of the art for the early 1970 era. Video was shot with heavy, non portable studio cameras on large rolling tripods. The music videos were recorded on two inch magnetic tape. The video editing required the use of 3 massive and costly “quad” tape recorders allowing only simple transitions such as cuts and dissolves.
Most performers were young amateurs recruited from the Atlanta audience. Many appeared with home-grown costumes - often after midnight when station facilities became available - and were recorded dancing extemporaneously as rock rhythms were piped into an almost bare and darkened studio. The lighting often placed performers “in limbo” so that only the illuminated dancers were seen against darkened studio walls. Extensive special effects were added in post production as images were combined and distorted to form what production people often called “eye candy.”
Linda Rogers (Albritton) went on to have a career as a dancer and dance teacher. She continues to teach dance to this day.
In this segment from The Now Explosion, Rogers is simply dreamy as she does a sultry go-go to Bread’s 1970 hit “Make It With You.”
No-hoper GOP vanity presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista had glitter dumped on them by a protester Tuesday as the couple signed books at a “pro family” (ahem) event.
The activist, thought to be Nick Espinosa, AKA “Robert Erickson,” AKA my favorite person of the day, told the Gingriches to “Feel the rainbow, Newt! Stop the hate! Stop anti-gay politics!”
According to AP, the increasingly hapless-looking Republican smiled weakly as he brushed himself off and said, “Nice to live in a free country.”
I’m sure that’s exactly how Newt felt, aren’t you?
Espinosa said the glitter dump was a protest against a proposal to amend Minnesota’s Constitution to ban gay marriage. Next time he gets near that slimy amphibian, maybe he should consider throwing some salt on him?
Bonus: The Harlequin Romance of Newt & Callista Gingrich