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The Sad Truth: Nauseatingly profound illustrations of what the world is turning into


 
Everything that’s bleak about the modern world is wrapped-up like a perfect, little package with these illustrations by London-based artist and animator, Steve Cutts. Rampant consumerism. Shitty jobs. Environmental devastation. Disinformation. Nonsense. Billionaire psychopaths. Overcrowded cities—all present and accounted for. We’ve featured Cutts’ work here on DM before with his dark animation about the current lives of ‘80s cartoon characters.

If a picture paints a thousand words, these pieces are Molotov cocktails for the mind.


 

 

 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Bernie nooooooo!!! Bernie Sanders released a pretty terrible spoken word folk music album in 1987
08.20.2015
08:27 am

Topics:
Class War
Music
Politics

Tags:
folk music
Bernie Sanders


Cassette cover for Bernie’s album
 
Since Bernie Sanders announced his run for President of the United States of America, his lack of polish has been far more endearing to the public than his detractors ever imagined. He’s not a slick baby-kisser; the man talks serious social democratic policy and stays on message with a self-possessed intensity. However, if Bernie’s impersonal style has given the impression he’s completely devoid of sentimentality, “Brothers and Sisters,” let me assure you otherwise! In 1987, Bernie Sanders released a spoken word album of lefty folk standards, and it is bad—positively Shatneresque, if you will.

According to Vermont blog Seven Days, Burlington-based musician Todd Lockwood got in touch with Sanders out of the blue to pitch the idea—they had never met before. At this point Bernie was the Mayor of Burlington, so Lockwood just called the Mayor’s office and left a message with a secretary describing the project. To his surprise, Bernie set up a meeting, later telling Lockwood, “I have to admit to you this appeals to my ego.” Originally, Bernie was supposed to actually sing the songs, but they quickly realized he can’t carry a tune in a bucket, so they went with spoken word. You can hear samples of the results below; all I can say is that it’s good that he’s never run on anything but the issues, because he is not winning any votes with his musical talent.

If you’re just dying to hear the whole thing (for who doesn’t require a recording of an old Brooklyn Jew sternly intoning the words to “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”), you can actually purchase the entire album, We Shall Overcome, on Amazon.
 

 
Via Talking Points Memo

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Take a look at the real ‘Warriors’ from the 1993 documentary film ‘Flyin’ Cut Sleeves’
08.07.2015
07:09 am

Topics:
Class War
Crime
Race

Tags:
gangs
Bronx
Flyin' Cut Sleeves

Savage Skulls gang, Bronx NY
Members of the Savage Skulls circa late 60’s, early 70’s
 
In the ‘60s and ‘70s, gangs not unlike the ones featured in Walter Hill’s The Warriors owned the streets of New York City. The 1993 documentary film Flyin’ Cut Sleeves takes a look back at the volatile years that eventually culminated in a truce and subsequent “peace meeting” held at the Hoe Avenue Boys Club in 1971 by the gangs themselves. The real-life events are strikingly similar to the storyline from Hill’s 1979 film.
 
Young members of the Savage Skulls gang
Young members of the Savage Skulls
 
According to the statements made in Flyin’ Cut Sleeves, in 1969 the NYPD put the number of organized gangs at 100, with membership as high as 11,000. Many gang members were just kids, barely in high school. Some of the most compelling footage in the film comes from interviews that were shot by Rita Fecher, a schoolteacher working at that time in the South Bronx. From her interviews with her students, Fecher was able to glean that the vast majority of her pupils were also active gang members. It is a gritty and dark exploration of a desperate time in New York City—Fecher notes at one point in the film that she received an absence note from a family that could not send their child to school because he had no shoes.

Flyin’ Cut Sleeves was released on DVD in 2010, and you can score a copy here. I’ve included a slew of vintage images of many of the gangs featured in the film as well as Flyin’ Cut Sleeves in its entirety. There’s also a brief NSFW video that was shot at the Hoe Avenue Peace Meeting for you to check out.
 
Gangs of the South Bronx in the 1970's
 
Sagave Skulls gang members
 
After the jump, more remarkable images of the Flyin’ Cut Sleeves gangs as well as the full movie (and a bonus video too).....
 

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Leon Trotsky’s run-down mansion only $4.4 million—FOR THE PEOPLE!
08.06.2015
09:30 am

Topics:
Class War
Heroes
History

Tags:
Istanbul
Leon Trotsky


 
After his exile from the Soviet Union in 1929, Leon Trotsky, having served as the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs and the People’s Commissar for Army and Navy Affairs from 1917 to 1925 and having generally been the Marxist revolutionary and theorist par excellence, moved to a decidedly un-humble three-story villa located on Büyükada Island near Istanbul.

This week the mansion—which boasts 38,750 square feet and 18 rooms and 5 bathrooms, was put up for sale for the affordable sum of $4.4 million. However, if you’re contemplating running a refurbished luxury hotel called The Trotsky Arms or whatnot, know that the property is protected from such renovations as a historical landmark.

Located in the Sea of Marmara, Büyükada is a popular day-trip destination and is accessible via ferry from the Turkish metropolis. Trotsky arrived there in 1929 after being deported by Joseph Stalin. According to Hürriyet, he lived in the house for four years with his second wife, Natalia, and his grandchild, Sieva. Trotsky eventually moved to Mexico, where he was murdered in 1940.
 

Photo: Selj via Flickr
 
The Hanifi family, which currently owns the house, has requested that the buyer preserve the Trotsky name; they had hoped that the Culture and Tourism Ministry would purchase the house to turn it into a museum.

“It is falling into ruins and needs thorough works,” said Mustafa Farsakoglu, a former mayor of Büyükada. “If the Turkish ministry of culture could give the money, it could be bought, renovated and turned into a cultural centre or museum. ... In any case, it is a classified building and whoever builds it can’t turn it into apartments, or a hotel, or a restaurant.”

According to a real estate agent familiar with the situation, “It’s actually not the first time there has been an attempt to sell this house, but no one wants it. Its owner, who lives in Istanbul, has not carried out the necessary works.”
 

Photo: Pinterest
 

 
via artnet
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
U.S. healthcare is a crime: Dick Dale should be retired, not touring with cancer & renal failure
08.05.2015
07:46 am

Topics:
Class War
Music

Tags:
health care
Dick Dale


 
In an interview with the Pittsburgh City Paper last week, Dick Dale made a seemingly hyperbolic statement: “I can’t stop touring because I will die.” It’s the sort of thing you hear often from an active man disregarding his suggested retirement age, but Dale followed it up with, “Physically and literally, I will die”: the 78-year-old is literally playing shows to stay alive.

Dale has extreme health problems—painfully damaged vertebrae, diabetes, renal failure, and rectal cancer that has left him with a colostomy bag. Dale has insurance, but it doesn’t cover everything, and little luxuries like changing a colostomy bag more frequently require him to work through the pain and discomfort. The hospital has advised him to stay thrifty, despite the risk of infection that has left him incredibly ill in the past:

“The hospital says change your patch once a week. No! If you don’t change that patch two times a day, the fecal matter eats through your flesh and causes the nerves to rot and they turn black, and the pain is so excruciating that you can’t let anything touch it. That has happened to me because I was following the orders of the hospital.

Once, his colostomy bag broke before a show, leaving his wife Donna (also very ill, with multiple sclerosis) to do the last-minute work of a nurse:
 

I had diarrhea coming all down my legs into my clothes and my pants, and my shirt. m supposed to be up on stage and I had to call [my wife] Lana and go into the bathroom.  Lana washed my clothes out in the sink, I wrung them out and put them back on and did an hour-and-a-half show soaking wet, and then I signed autographs for five-and-a-half hours after.

 
Dale is currently on a 25-city, three-month tour across this godforsaken country, so if you’re able, check out Dick’s tour schedule and try to catch a show. Not only will you be seeing an absolutely brilliant legend, you’ll be helping a man raise the $3,000 a month he requires to stay alive and live with a reasonable amount of dignity. God bless America, land of the greatest health care on earth… if you got the money.
 

 
via Pittsburgh City Paper

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Attention, smart people: Over 100,000 have RSVP’d for tonight’s Bernie Sanders mega-event


 

“There are no coincidences, but sometimes the pattern is more obvious.”—Neil Innes

Attention, smart people! There is a MAJOR POLITICAL EVENT that’s happening—TODAY July 29th, 2015—across this nation that you might not have heard about for Bernie Sanders. Tonight Sanders will be speaking via the Internet to over 100,000 heavily-motivated people meeting for the first time at 3,520 Bernie-related house parties and get-togethers in bars and restaurants and union halls and church basements, etcetera, etcetera, all across the United States.
 

 
Yes, over 100,000 people have found other like-minded people in their area via this map and RSVP’d to get informed and to volunteer for Sanders’ increasingly astonishing campaign. I live in Los Angeles where there are well over 100 such gatherings. I’m married, but I would assume that a lot of smart, good-looking people would attend such events. Aren’t you even curious? Of course you are. Why not search for your zip code and see what happens?

Has there ever been a larger, more dynamic and more INSTANTANEOUS grassroots movement in American history? If there has been one, they must’ve kept it a secret. Even the Tea party movement didn’t grow nearly as fast as this. And after today’s event, what happens next?

I can’t wait to find out.

The sky’s the limit, but the goal is the White House. This can happen, people.

Bernie Sanders for President: It’s time to take it to the next level, America. He can’t do it without YOU.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The pornographic propaganda that was used against Marie Antoinette


 
Recently, the “newsish” website Gawker ran a nasty little expose on the CFO of a major media company, who had allegedly attempted to purchase sex from a porn star. Many readers were livid, citing an invasion of privacy, or even perhaps a whiff of homophobia in the story (the CFO and the porn star were both men). Gawker argued that their mission has always been to dig up dirt on the rich and powerful, and though there was some debate on whether or not the subject of their story was rich and powerful enough to constitute such focus, they argued the story constituted public interest before eventually retracting it with apology.

The scandal sparked a debate, with Jeet Heer over at The New Republic arguing that such nasty tactics aren’t productive praxis for class war:

The Condé Nast executive is seen as a legitimate subject for attack because of his wealth and class privilege. What the adherents to Gawkerism rarely consider is whether tabloid gossip is really the best tool for fighting a class war.

Unfortunately, Heer completely overlooks the fact that historically, gossip, libel and denigration have been an integral aspect of class war, and the tabloids have usually been the medium of dissemination. Just ask Maria Antoinette, for whom the libelle—a smutty little tabloid in the form of a political pamphlet—proved an incredibly effective piece of political propaganda. These were not sophisticated political tracts—they often simply depicted Antoinette in pornographic situations—orgies, incest, lesbianism—everything you could imagine. Sometimes the purpose of these cartoons was to actually accuse Antoinette of such acts, but often they were simply a form of degradation.

The cartoon above features Antoinette with the Marquis de Lafayette, a politician and general who fought alongside against England during the American Revolution. Considered a military hero, he was appointed to the National Assembly by the King, and though he remained a royalist, he sympathized with Revolutionary values and attempted to institute them politically. As a result, he was distrusted by both the revolutionaries and the monarchy. There is no evidence that he had an affair with Antoinette; the cartoon is actually intended to illustrate Lafayette’s allegiance to the crown. His “steed” is a pun, as the French word for “Austrian” is very similar to “ostrich,” and Antoinette was often referred to as “Austrichienne,” or “Austrian Bitch.”.

You may find the tabloids gauche, you may find their targets undeserving, you may even argue that we live in a more civilized time—a time when tabloids should be retired in favor of more dignified debate and politics; but if you’re wondering whether or not tabloids are effective in class war, I’d remind you that the road to the guillotine has always been paved with smut.
 

Marie was often depicted in lesbian trysts, generally assumed to be Yolande de Poligna or Princesse de Lamballe. The text reads, “I now breathe only for you, a kiss my beautiful angel.”
 

In a subtler comic, Marie stepping from Versailles to safety, bearing the King and Prince on her back, giving the French people a view up her dress in the process.
 
More 18th century political smut after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
‘God is dead’: Piss yourself funny ‘short versions’ of Republican Presidential announcements


 
For the past few weeks I have been emailing friends links to YouTube editing genius Vic Berger’s “trash compactor” cuts of Republican Presidential campaign announcement speeches. I have laughed myself senseless at these things. They get funnier with repeated viewings. He really knows how to highlight the absurdity of these events (like the Jeb Bush one with the guy beating his “Jeb! sticks”—what would you call ‘em?—behind the candidate. I found this screamingly funny in a Tim & Eric kinda way).

Hard to say which is the best. They’re all different and each one is a gem. Stay with the Donald Trump clip, I thought it took a little longer to ramp up than the others did, but once it gets going, Berger takes it someplace you probably won’t expect.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Watch ‘Island of Flowers’ NOW, a Vonnegut-inspired dark comedy short on humans, garbage & freedom
06.26.2015
06:09 am

Topics:
Animals
Class War
Movies

Tags:
Brazil
Jorge Furtado


 
I had seen the brilliant 1989 short film Ilha das Flores (translation, Isle of Flowers) before, but in the original Portuguese with subtitles. The narration is so poetic and coy, I was thrilled to find this wonderful version dubbed in English, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Writer and director Jorge Furtado actually said the piece was in part inspired by Kurt Vonnegut, and you can certainly hear it in the cadence of the narration (and subject matter), but there is also a Pythonesque humor to this absurdist little “documentary,” very reminiscent of the black humor in The Meaning of Life. I mean the opening credits land the first punch with, “God doesn’t exist.”

The “story” of the film begins with a Japanese-Brazilian farmer, who grows tomatoes that are later purchased in a supermarket by a nice middle-class door-to-door perfume saleslady. She then cooks these tomatoes into a sauce for her nice middle-class family—throughout all this the narrator is taking little contextual detours along the way on matters like evolution and the Holocaust. The story spins back and forth with cutting little observations on labor alienation and capitalism, until eventually we arrive at the titular Isle of Flowers, the tragic, ugly side of all our modern conveniences.

I won’t give it away—you just have to watch.
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Wailing babies and children projected onto clouds of smog in horrifying message about air pollution


 
China’s air pollution is a serious issue, one that can be downright deadly, especially for small children. Predictably there is a lot of brutal Chinese environmental art out there, but this is one of the most legitimately creepy stunts I’ve ever seen—projections of wailing children and babies on columns of smog. My first impression of the spectacle was, “Oh, it must be a Chinese artist making an environmental message!” Nope, the installations and associated video are actually an advertisement for air purifiers. Yes, despite all those nifty overtures to communism, China is very much a country that runs on capitalism. The company’s statement on the ad:

Xiao Zhu wanted to stand out in a market that was almost as congested as the air. A market where half a million people, mostly children, have died due to air pollution related illnesses. So we decided to put a spotlight on air pollution’s biggest culprits—the factories—by using the actual pollution from the factories as a medium. People took notice, and the word spread.

Clear the air. Let the future breathe again.

Oh wow, I feel so hopeful about the future now that there’s a product to remedy this problem!

Remember kids, if capitalism caused the problem, you can certainly count on capitalism to solve the problem! (Right?)
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
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