Incredibly detailed hand-stitched Vogue covers by Inge Jacobsen. These are pretty terrific.
Incredibly detailed hand-stitched Vogue covers by Inge Jacobsen. These are pretty terrific.
Mitt Romney just can’t get a break. Right after officially announcing his presidential exploratory committee on Monday, Romney got smacked in the face (hard) with one of his greatest accomplishments as Governor of Massachusetts: near universal health insurance coverage for the state’s residents (and the model for “Omabacare”). The smack-down came via the unveiling of an especially damaging viral video prepared by Massachusetts Democrats. In the video (see below), Romney, speaking with Chris Matthews, clearly proud of this absolutely wonderful and noble legislative achievement, comes off like the kind of Democrat many of us (being serious here) wish Obama was…
Obviously this will not do Gov. Romney any favors in the GOP primaries! Get used to seeing this same footage often.
And then, to compound this embarrassing hoisting by his own petard episode, the results of a new national CNN poll show Romney, once the presumed front runner, is now coming in fourth in polling, behind Mike Huckabee (who’s probably not running anyway), Donald Trump (tell me that doesn’t sting) and Sarah Palin, who everybody knows has no chance of getting the nomination in this space-time continuum (and who is probably not running anyway). If this poll is to be believed, now Romney has even less of a chance of winning than someone widely regarded as having none??? Meanwhile Trump’s popularity amongst likely GOP voters doubles in a month!
After coming out of the gate so strong, already Mitt’s already down there wallowing with Newt in “no-hoper” territory??? Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch and double ouch! Romney must feel like he’s been cursed. The first fuckin’ Republican to come along in decades to do something nice for the common man and now he’s unelectable!
Serves him right for being such a hypocrite.
And as if you need any more evidence of what a massive hypocrite Romney is, this blast from the past will surely erase all doubt about the man and his deeply *cough* held *cough* convictions.
Charles Laufer creator of Tiger Beat magazine has died.
For teenyboppers of the 1960s Tiger Beat magazine spoke to them loud and clearly about the things they loved the most: pop stars, cute boys, fashion and rock and roll. With its colorful covers and bold poster-like graphics, Tiger Beat was a gateway magazine to Creem and Rolling Stone.
Charles Laufer, who as a high school teacher in 1955 despaired that his students had nothing entertaining to read and responded with magazines aimed at teenage girls desperate to know much, much more about the lives of their favorite cute stars, died April 5 in Northridge, Calif. He was 87.
Mr. Laufer’s best-known magazine was Tiger Beat, published monthly. With its spinoff publications and its competitors, of which the most popular was 16 Magazine, Tiger Beat had it all covered — or at least what mattered most to girls from about 8 to 14. The Beach Boys’ loves! Jan and Dean’s comeback! The private lives of the Beatles!”
While The Beatles and Beach Boys sold magazines, it was The Monkees that put Tiger Beat on the map and turned it into a profitable enterprise.
Recognizing the Monkees’ potential, he put them on the cover of Tiger Beat. That put the still-struggling publication in the black, and he signed an exclusive deal for special Monkee magazines, Monkee picture books and Monkee love beads, which added to the bonanza.”
Tiger Beat looked like pop music sounded, fun!
Obituary at the New York Times.
TV On The Radio’s new album Nine Types Of Light was released today and it’s the most accessible collection they’ve made to date and will undoubtedly attract a shitload of new fans. And it deserves it. The band has created an album of lush surfaces underpinned by deep grooves and beautiful hooks. I started listening last night and it’s that rare album that hangs together as a whole satisfying work, capturing you immediately and revealing new pleasures with each listening. This sucker has legs.
The band put together a film for Nine Types Of Light.
The movie is meant to be a visual re-imagining of the record, and includes a music video for every song on the album. The band personally asked their friends and the filmmakers they admired to help direct the music videos. Tunde Adebimpe, the director for the full Nine Types of Light movie, storybooked the music videos together with interviews from local New Yorkers on various topics, including dreams, love, fame and the future. Tunde also directed the music video for Forgotten.”
This when the Internet and music coalesce in a way that rocks my world. What a blessing.
Adebimpe’s take on the film: “We as a band always have so many ideas for things that aren’t just musical… And for less than the price of a Maroon 5 video, you can make a full-length feature.”
Watch it and listen.
For the past ten years, Los Angeles Times staff reporter Deborah Vankin has covered arts, culture and nightlife for the LA Weekly, Variety, Brand X and the New York Times. She has a special talent for observing and commenting on youth culture in particular.
Poseurs, her new grapic novel, is set amongst restless fashion tribes of Los Angeles and there will be a signing tomorrow night celebrating the publication of the book at LA’s premiere geek emporium, Meltdown Comics.
Vankin told the LA Weekly:
The crux of the story is that a shy, artsy teenage girl gets a part-time job as a “houseguest for hire.” She’s hired by this agency called “We The Party People” who rent out fake guests for peoples’ private parties. Why? Image is everything in L.A., you are who you know. They help “flesh out” the guest list. Thing is: you never know who’s real and who’s rented. Drama ensues.
Buy Poseurs on Amazon
Meltdown Comics, April 13th, 2011 7pm, 7522 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 9004
(via the delightful Tumblr Keep Your Boehner Out Of My Uterus)
Did you hear about the petition the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) put up this morning? With rumors rampant in the blogsphere that Obama’s speech tomorrow will endeavor to present the “Catfood Commission” plan as an alternative to the GOP “Ryan plan” for deficit reduction, and thereby allowing the parameters of the debate to be set somewhere “between the right and the far right,” as Paul Krugman wrote, PCCC is asking alarmed Obama supporters (including grass roots volunteers, voters and donors alike) to send a message to the President that unless he starts “acting like a Democrat,” as Rep. Peter DeFazio bluntly put it, they will hold back their support. They’re trying to get 50,000 digital signatures today and it looks like they’ll get that and more. (I signed it).
Of course Democratic strategists know fully well that when all is said and done, these motivated lefty types who would send money to PCCC in the first place are highly unlikely to leave the fold. But can they take their donations for granted? Their enthusiasm? The Republicans, to give them their due as pols, at least know how to throw red meat to the base during an election cycle, even if they are utterly craven about it. The Democrats, by way of contrast, seem to think that taking a piss on the heads of their stalwart supporters is a better strategy.
Take me, for instance. I’ve not voted for even a single Republican in my entire life (and never will). On a local level, I almost always vote for a Green-affiliated candidate or if a socialist candidate if that is possible, unless I really like the Democrat in the race. I’m not interested in a middle of the road, generic Democrat at a local level, I want true progressives. Where I live, at least, in Los Angeles, this is seldom an issue.
Stated differently, my voting is motivated like so: I have absolutely zero loyalty to the Democrats, but I LOATHE Republicans and vote accordingly.
I liked what Ralph Nader had to say in 2000—he was right about almost everything—but there was no way, none, that I wanted a Republican president emerging from a three-way race. My loyalty was to a Republican-free White House and so I voted as defense against that happening. (How worked up can anyone get about Al Gore? To me he was the candidate who was not George Bush. I felt much the same about that French guy from Massachusetts they ran in 2004).
I think there are a lot of people who, though “nominally” Democrats, vote like I do. Especially in cities, college towns and in blue states.
For the record, I’ve been lucky in recent years to have had a Representative whose votes I agreed with 95% of the time, Diane Watson, who retired from Congress in 2011. I surely can’t say that about Obama! He sucks!
Over at his Of Two Minds blog, our super brainy pal Charles Hugh Smith (no fan of either party himself) thinks that Obama is particularly vulnerable in 2012. In fact, Charles thinks he’s going to lose in 2012.
I’m not saying I agree with that, because I do see Obama winning again, the GOP field is full of midgets and seems likely to remain that way—especially if Donald Trump runs as an independent and splits the GOP vote—but it does make for a compelling read:
President Obama has several key flaws which have doomed his presidency.
1. His leadership style is one of consensus and compromise. This works OK in a caretaker setting in which there are no crises and no demands for bold changes of course. Unfortunately, this era is defined by structural crises, and a leadership based on gaining consensus and compromise is basically a rudderless one in this environment.
2. He does not understand economics or finance, nor is he secure about making decisions on financial topics. As a result he deferred to the “experts,” who just happened to be Wall Street cronies and insiders who easily swayed the President with their hobgoblin stories of financial meltdown and ruin if we didn’t “save the banking sector from losses.”
3. His grasp of history is poor. The same can be said of most presidents, but Obama failed to grasp the historic opportunity to set a new sustainable course for the nation’s banking and financial sectors, and thus for its economy. He opted instead to save and protect the corrupt and embezzlement-based banking sector from losses, and he continues to do so with “extend and pretend” policies.
In a similar fashion, he has allowed the National Security State and the Global Empire to expand without any limitations.
4. He has no visible core beliefs beyond a vague sense that the Federal government and its extension, the American Empire, are forces for good. His policies can be boiled down to: support and expand the Savior State and its many fiefdoms, support and expand the Global Empire and National Security State, and allow the banking system and its Power Elites to set the agenda and control the oversight agencies and institutions.
His signature accomplishment, the “Obama-care reform” of the nation’s sickcare system, simply extends the power of existing cartels and fiefdoms and delivers an ever-larger slice of the national income to their coffers. In its basic parameters, the “reform” could easily have been supported and passed by socially liberal Republican presidents such as Richard Nixon. There is nothing remotely progressive or radical about “pooling” insurance cartels and wet-paper-bag bureaucratic tests of “the most effective treatments.”
These are simply technocratic layers added to a bloated, corrupt, venal and destructive system that already costs twice as much as those of our advanced-economy competitors.
In addition to these flaws, he has made fatal policy errors which doom the economy to implosion by November 2012. All of his administration’s policies can be distilled down to these three points:
1. The banking sector is the most important foundation of the economy. The Central State and its proxy, the Federal Reserve, pumped some $14 trillion (by some measures, $23 trillion) in cash, credit, guarantees and backstops into the banking sector and its cloaked twin, the Shadow banking System.
Meanwhile, little to nothing was done for the cash-strapped consumer or citizenry. Why?
2. The “problem” is lack of credit and “confidence.” If the State and Fed flood the banking system with credit and “restore confidence” by goosing the stock market, then people will start borrowing and spending again, and everything will be “fixed.”
This presumes demand is strong, and all that’s needed is credit for people to satisfy their thirst for more goods and services.
Meanwhile, back in reality, people realized they didn’t need a third car, fourth TV, 17th “cute blouse,” 23rd pair of shoes, etc., and now that their home is worth less than their mortgage (or their remaining equity is minimal), they can’t really afford the luxury travel, boats, etc. they enjoyed when they thought their house would keep rising in value forever and tapping that rising equity was painless.
Demand is slack because everyone who could afford more crap already owns more crap than they need or even want. The percentage of the populace who would like more stuff cannot afford more stuff. Their household incomes and wages are declining, and their expenses for essentials are rising.
The Fed’s largesse to banks (free money in unlimited quantities) doesn’t reach them; all it does is boost assets held by the top 10%.
3. Boosting the assets of this top 10% (or 20% if you include those who have equity of some sort beyond the $2,500 in their IRA) will cause a “wealth effect” that will “trickle down” to the lower 80% as the top 20% buy more Coach handbags, enjoy fine dining at tony upscale restaurants, etc.
Unfortunately, this may help boost Coach’s profit margins, but the vast majority of the “trickle-down” consists of low-paying retail clerks and busboys.
In other words, the “wealth effect” is bogus, a charade deployed to defend the pillaging of the economy via financialization and Fed intervention.
4. Pushing the dollar lower in a “beggar thy neighbor” currency war is the best way to boost the U.S. economy. Apparently no one in the President’s team looked at financial history to identify the nations which grew rich and powerful by debasing their currency.
In a perverse blowback to this misguided policy, corporate profits earned overseas were certainly goosed, but so were import prices, one of the reasons (along with the Fed’s easy-money quantitative easing) for rising costs to consumers.
If you set out to design a policy that impoverished 80% of the citizenry and channeled a larger share of the national income to the top 10%, then this is precisely the set of policies you would pursue.
Nothing important has been fixed; nothing important has even been addressed. The institutions of governance are captured and corraled by the monied Elites to the point that the government has lost control of its own institutions, which now rule as quasi-independent fiefdoms. The citizenry, bought off on the cheap by stale Bread (rapacious student loans, food stamps which offer the veneer of normalcy, extended unemployment benefits so no angry mobs form, etc.) and dazed and distracted by the Media Circus, keep quiet in their complicity, while the Power Elites revel in the freedoms offered by a caretaker Administration.
If President Obama had fought for fundamental structural reforms and lost, he would still have support.
Read more of Obama Will Lose in 2012 (Of Two Minds)
Below, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) tells it like it is on MSNBC last night to Cenk Uygur:
Spotted in Soho, New York
Clever. It reminds me a lot of the Tom Hank’s trash can.
(via Wooster Collective)
It’s time to even out the love for Throbbing Gristle members Genesis P. Orridge and Peter Christopherson here on DM, with some overdue appreciation of the original “Other Two,” Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti. If you need an introduction, I will refer you back to yesterday’s post on the excellent interview with the pair at their home studio, courtesy of Electric Independence.
Electronic music pioneers, and also of dance music strains that went on to be called “Italo” and “Industrial,” C&C have been re-issuing their back catalog over the past few months. The first two albums of four, Heartbeat and Trance came out in 2010 the duo’s own CTI label, and the final two in a series of four, Exotika and Songs Of Love And Lust were re-issued earlier this year. The releases have been remastered and repackaged for limited edition vinyl, and are also available to download digitally.
The closest comparison between the works of Throbbing Gristle and Chris & Cosey (now known as Carter Tutti) would probably be that of Joy Division and New Order. Without sounding particularly similar, both TG and Joy Division were dark, intense, noisy and at times morbid bands who gave birth to projects that took electronic music in a much more upbeat, danceable, poppy direction. It’s complete supposition on my part, but I can’t help but think that tracks like “October Love Song” had a big influence on Sumner & chums:
Chris & Cosey - “October Love Song”
Chris & Cosey - “Walking Through Heaven”
Chris & Cosey - “Exotika”
Chris & Cosey - “Re-Education Through Labour”
The albums I mentioned above are linked to their respective purchase/listen pages on Boomkat—however there is LOTS more C&C material that can be purchased on the site (two pages worth)—just type in “Chris & Cosey” and have a look.
Mean-spirited? Perhaps, but hilarious and surreal, too. Jerry Lewis is big in France, you know…