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Bill Ray’s photos of biker women 1965
10:06 pm


Hells Angels
Bill Ray

Digging the music. Biker women in San Bernadino, 1965

The girl kneeling by the jukebox is Ruthie and she’s the ‘old lady’ of Harvey, a Diablos member from San Bernardino. Harvey attends Angels’ meetings and rides with them but is not a member. It’s only two in the afternoon but Ruthie has already ‘crashed’ from beer and bennies .”

On assignment for Life Magazine in 1965, photographer Bill Ray spent a month hanging out with the Mother Charter of the Hells Angels (est. 1948) in San Bernadino, California. Life never published the photos, though they’ve recently made them available on their website. Last year Ray’s photographs were collected in book form, Hells Angels Of San Berdoo, that you can buy here.

The photograph of the two biker chicks at the jukebox is one of Bill Ray’s favorites and mine too.

Bill Ray ruminates on the photo:

There’s something kind of sad and at the same time defiant about the atmosphere. Ruthie is probably playing the same 45 over and over and over again. A real music lover.”

While all of Ray’s photographs are extraordinarily expressive and strikingly composed, his shots of the women are the ones that really get to me. Badass, beautiful and forlorn. These chicks could eat today’s hipsters for breakfast. I want to know them.

More photos after the jump…

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Dr. Seuss, radical environmentalist: ‘I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees’
04:42 pm


Dr. Seuss
The Lorax

The Lorax, the classic pro-environmentalist and rather strongly anti-capitalist Dr. Seuss book from 1971 had a big influence on me when I was a kid. That is to say, that it really bothered and upset me.

The book has a simple and powerful lesson at its core: “We’re killing the planet for often frivolous reasons. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Someone has to stand up for the trees. Someone like you.” The finger is pointed right at Seuss’s young readers. He means YOU, that’s right, you there reading this—YES YOU—and there is no escaping this fact.

The animated version that came out the following year spooked me ever more, although I loved it. When The Lorax (or any Seuss cartoon) was on TV, this was like a holiday to me. I don’t think its influence on my generations and the ones that came after can be overestimated. It’s one of the most subversive and powerful things ever written for grade school children. Both the book and the cartoon are veritable counter-culture classics. You simply cannot unlearn the message of The Lorax. It’s like Who Moved My Cheese?, but written by Karl Marx in verse. For me, it’s THE Dr. Seuss book, a stone classic.

In the story, a boy visits a sad old man known as “The Once-ler” who lives in a ruined wasteland in a remote area of town “where the Grickle grass grows.” We never actually see the Once-ler, who lurks in the shadows, only his hands You could argue that he represents not one specific person, but voracious capitalism itself. He tells the boy about his days as a wealthy man, running a factory to make a fad item of clothing (a “Thneed”!) woven from the colorful, woolly Truffula trees. The Truffula trees are not only beautiful, they support a vibrant and exotic ecosystem of happy and content forest-dwelling animals.

A Wilford Brimley-esque creature called “The Lorax” protests the destruction of Truffula tree forest, but is continuously rebuffed by the Once-ler and the red tape of “the system.” After the Once-ler has chopped down the very last Truffula tree he FINALLY gets what the Lorax was trying to tell him, but by then it is too late. The Lorax lifts himself up by the seat of his pants and disappears. The animals are all gone. What is left looks like a lunar landscape. The haunted old man, full of regret over his life, explains to the boy how greed will destroy us all UNLESS we—ALL of us—stand up to the corporations raping and pillaginging the Earth. He gives the boy the very last Trufulla seed and tells him to nurture it and to regrow the Trufulla tree forest so that the Lorax and his friends might one day return.

The near apocalyptic lesson of The Lorax was as haunting to my six-year-old mind as the Christian “end of the world” books like Hal Lindsay’s Late Great Planet Earth were to me a few years later. But whereas goofy Hal Lindsay’s projections of his own psyche’s pathology onto “Bible prophecies” were ultimately easy to dismiss as I got older and smarter, the message of The Lorax I’ve still never shaken, nor would I want to. It should be required viewing for all school age children, although this being America, these days screening The Lorax for public school students could probably get a teacher fired. (There have been attempts to ban the book in northern California logging towns).

I was glad to see that Chris Renaud (the story artist for the Horton Hears a Who! feature) is working on a new film version of The Lorax so that its message will be heard by another generation. Danny DeVito is playing the Lorax. Perfect casting. The film is set to come out in spring of 2012. Until then, watch the original and oh-so-subversive animated original, below:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
James Bond with a lightsaber
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‘Half A Person’ $185 Morrissey candle

There is a light that will go out eventually. You can pre-order this delightful, limited edition Morrissey candle from The Occulter. And if you think you can do better pun than that let us know in the comments.

Thanks to Stuart Lorimer.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Wheels of Fire: Danny MacAskill’s ‘Industrial Revolutions’

Described as “sheer bloody poetry”, this is Industrial Revolutions, the latest film from Street Trials riding phenomenon Danny MacAskill. Since arriving on the scene in 2009, MacAskill‘s films have been seen on YouTube by over 30 million people, now:

Industrial Revolutions sees Danny take his incredible bike skills into an industrial train yard and some derelict buildings.’ Filmed in the beautiful Scottish countryside Danny MacAskill’s latest film was directed by Stu Thomson for Channel 4’s documentary Concrete Circus.


Bonus clip of Danny MacAskill’s ‘Streets of London’, after the jump…
With thanks to Woody Mcmillan

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DeLoot London: The opposite of a boycott

Rioters may have helped themselves to the inventory of local shops, but DeLoot London wants to help insure that none of them shuts by pointing out to concerned people how they can support these damaged businesses with their purchases. DeLoot London aims to help these small business owners to get back on their feet with the opposite of a boycott:

DeLoot London’s mission is to make sure that not a single shop that was looted during the riots is forced to close. While a small number of people did the damage, we can all help our local, independent businesses recover by spending our money with them.

This map will show you where your money will do the most good. If you know a looted shop that’s not on the map, send details to and we’ll add it. Let’s go shopping, and DeLoot London!

I’m normally not one to try to encourage consumerism, but DeLoot London’s heart is in the right place. Find out more at De-Loot London’s efforts to mitigate the damage of the England riots at their official website.

Thanks, Gabriella Wingådh!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
PM David Cameron at a Rave in 1988?
01:22 pm


David Cameron

Around 12 seconds in you will see someone you might just recognize. Someone who looks very like a young David Cameron, enjoying himself at a rave, circa 1988.

If it is the Right Honorable Prime Minister, I wonder if he did any ecstasy? It would be refreshing if he did. I think we should be told.

With thanks to Mark MacLachlan

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‘Janitor Of Lunacy’: Nico performs on French TV, 1972
12:58 pm


Velvet Underground

Nico interviewed on French television’s Pop 2 program in 1972. She performs solo versions of “Janitor Of Lunacy” and “You Forgot To Answer” accompanying herself on her harmonium. The Pop 2 show also presented the famous VU “reunion” concert at the Le Bataclan nightclub that same year with Nico, John Cale and Lou Reed.

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
The Velvet Underground Live: ‘Symphony in Sound’

Nico: Remembering the Icon

‘The Inner Scar’: Obscure and Pretentious French Art Film Starring Nico (1972)

VU Reunion: Lou Reed, John Cale, Nico on French TV, 1972

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Rorschach Test ‘PsychoPlates’
12:43 pm


Rorschach test

Apparently these porcelain Rorschach test plates by designer Isabelle Foirest “discourage getting depressed from the routine of eating breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

They’re $180.00 for a set of four over at Fitsu.

(via Book of Joe)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Planet of the Apes: Trophies
11:41 am


Planet of the Apes
Jason Edmiston

Limited edition of 100, signed and numbered 13” x 19” print on fine art, acid-free paper
Limited editon print by Jason Edmiston.

This painting is inspired by the scene at the beginning of the first Apes movie. Gorilla soldiers are standing posing for a photo after the great human hunt. This is the view from the photographer’s perspective.

(via Laughing Squid)

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