‘Crafting With Cat Hair’
01:02 pm


Crafting With Cat Hair

Crafting With Cat Hair doesn’t hit the shelves until November, but you can pre-order here.

Got fur balls?

Are your favorite sweaters covered with cat hair? Do you love to make quirky and one-of-a-kind crafting projects? If so, then it’s time to throw away your lint roller and curl up with your kitty! Crafting with Cat Hair shows readers how to transform stray clumps of fur into soft and adorable handicrafts. From kitty tote bags and finger puppets to fluffy cat toys, picture frames, and more, these projects are cat-friendly, eco-friendly, and require no special equipment or training. You can make most of these projects in under an hour—with a little help, of course, from your feline friends!”

I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. Hoping for instructions on how to build a cat hair hammock.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
I-Spy Books
02:40 pm


Charles Warrell

I started off with the Famous Five, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Gerry Anderson, Edith Piaf, Spiderman, Geoff Love and Big Chief I-Spy.

Big Chief I-Spy was Charles Warrell, a retired headmaster who started a series of spotter’s guides in the mid-1950’s called I-Spy. There were some forty volumes, which were intended to encourage young British children to take an interest in the outside world.

Each book focussed on one subject - I-Spy Creepy Crawlies, I-Spy Birds, I-Spy Working Vehicles, I-Spy Trees, I-Spy Wild Flowers, you get the picture, pocket books with various things to “spy”, with pictures, information and a few dotted lines to be filled with where you saw them. 

Once all the contents had been marked up, the book was returned to the Big Chief (c/o his address at “Wigwam by the River”), who then sent you a feather and an order of merit. The I-Spy books lasted from the 1950s-1980s, and hundreds of thousands were sold to enquiring youngsters. In 1991 they were relaunched by Michelin, and again in 2009.

I’ve always thought it probable that the I-Spy books led to a generation of youngster taking greater interest in their environment, who then went on to become involved in various ecological or political groups. Charles Warrell died in 1995, at the age of 106, which suggests an active mind keeps you young.

The publisher and writer, Callum James uploaded these original I-Spy covers onto his website Front Free Endpaper, which is worth dipping into for its interesting book collections.
Via Front Free Endpaper

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
‘Read More Movies’: Every word from ‘A Clockwork Orange’ printed on poster
12:27 pm


A Clockwork Orange
Anthony Burgess

I guess in an effort to get people to read more, New Zealand online bookseller Whitcoulls came up with this interesting ad campaign which incorporates every word from Anthony Burgess’ 1962 novel “A Clockwork Orange” on posters. I wouldn’t mind owning one of these. 

Ad agency: DraftFCB, Auckland

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Alex from ‘A Clockwork Orange’ stuffed doll

(via Copyranter)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
Trippy book cover (may hurt your eyes)
02:42 pm


David Eagleman

Never judge a book by its cover, but on this occasion I’ll make an exception. A beautiful trippy design for Canongate Books’ edition of Incognito by David Eagleman. It reminds me of those fabulous paintings Bridget Riley and Victor Vasarely.
Via The Casual Optimist, with thanks to William Clark

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
Headshop Hobbit: Odd 1960s ‘Lord of the Rings’ stickers

The intersection of Tolkien and “The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers”???

Over on BB Submitterator Ethan Freak writes: “Legolas looks more like a crime-fighting Robin than elf, Aragorn wields an ax, Tom Bombadil is sporting some groovy bellbottoms, & Frodo resembles a pig on crack. The best might be Gandalf “Keep on Truckin’” the Gray. These groovy Lord of the Rings stickers were recently spotted at a Tolkien convention. As you’ll see, the anonymous artist has taken liberties with Tolkien’s vision. Where they originally came from, no one seems to know. Shall the stickers be destroyed in the fiery chasm whence they came?”

See more Tolkien hippie stickers over at Ethan Gilsdorf’s website. He has a fun back-story to go along with these unearthed stickers. 


Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
Ingenious ‘Read Your Bookcase’ bookcase
01:10 pm



Now this something I’d like to own. Eva Alessandrini and Roberto Saporiti designed this clever “Read Your Bookcase” bookcase for Italian furniture design firm Saporiti. I wonder what it looks like with books on it?

There’s no price listed on the website, but you can contact them here, if you’re curious. I have a feeling it’s going to be quite pricey, though.  

(via KMFW)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
I have seen the future of rock and roll and there’s nothing there

Borders Books, Austin. R.I.P.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. In this 1978 newscast on movie piracy, we encounter the same wariness that greeted video cassette recorders three decades ago as we’ve seen in recent years with black boxes, CD and DVD recorders, Internet downloading and Youtube. E-books are next.

As art becomes increasingly inexpensive or free to own does it lose its value? Do we start to take it for granted? I know I do. I’m surrounded by CDs of music I’ve downloaded and burned and haven’t even listened to yet. I remember when buying a vinyl record was a big event.

Not only has music and movies become available at little or no cost, the devices we use to record and store them have become dirt cheap. In 1978, VCRs were selling for $1000. Videos, blank or pre-recorded, were ridiculously expensive. I remember buying Road Warrior back in the early 1980s on Betamax for $89.00. It wasn’t that long ago when blank CDs sold for $20, same with DVDs. Now you can pick up a dozen for less than the cost of the New York Times print edition…if you’re still buying newspapers. The cost of duplicating music and movies at home has gone from the absurdly expensive to the fatally cheap.

So now, with music, movies, and eventually books, available online for the cost of a 25 cent blank digital disc how does this work out for the creative community and the future of pop culture?  Free everything is terrific for the consumer (as distinguished from buyer), but what happens to the people creating the music, movies and books? What happens to the people working in record stores, video stores and bookstores?

In my hometown of Austin, three Borders bookstores have closed in the past two months. People have lost jobs. Large buildings are now empty, impossible to lease. Publishing houses are quietly freaking out. There’s no place for them to ship their books, other than Amazon.com., and they’re still very much in the business of selling books you can hold in your hands made by printing machines operated by actual human beings. How many people does it take to make a Kindle versus the publishers, printers, graphic designers etc. involved in the publication of a book?

As indie record stores close, the big chains aren’t picking up the slack. Hell no. They’re devoting less and less retail space to CDs and DVDs and will sure as shit eliminate them entirely soon enough. More people laid off. Blockbuster is bankrupt (as much a victim of their shitty customer as changing technologies) and Movie Gallery is dead and buried. More jobs lost.

In the next few years, I predict we’ll see the death of Barnes and Noble and what’s left of the independent book, record and video stores. There will no longer be neighborhood gathering places for lovers of literature, film and music. The artsy oasis in the shopping mall, that little bit of Bohemia that exists in culturally starved suburbs across America will be a thing of the past. The kids you see hanging out at Borders talking about the latest vampire books will end up congregating in front of Hot Topics sniffing screen-print instead of book ink. And there is a fucking difference!

In the midst of the death throes of the brick and mortar store, artists creating the “product” are left with fewer and fewer outlets that SELL what they create.

I know, I know, you’ve heard it all before. But this shit is real. A society that fucks its artists, is a culture that is destroying its soul. Download to your little heart’s desire, but one day the source of all this goodness will have been sucked dry and there won’t be anybody left who can afford to replenish it. And I don’t believe for a moment that there’s a wave of new young bands, film makers and writers on the brink of creating world class art for the sheer beauty of it. Deep down everybody wants to make a living doing what they love.

As art gets cheaper, the cheaper the art. While everybody was busy celebrating the Internet for providing a free outlet for aspiring rockers to get their music out there, did anyone stop to notice just how much garbage was being created in the name of rock and roll?  Far from being music’s savior, the Internet has become its sewage system.

Video killed the radio star. The Internet killed the rest of us. And yes, I’m part of the process.

Even the good old reliable adult video store is dying and “C.J., the video machine owner” (now in his 60s) is pulling his pud watching Youporn.

When did we collectively arrive at the point at which art was determined to be worthless?

Bootlegging, pirating, porn and the dawning of free art as reported on Cleveland TV in 1978:

The corpse of a bookstore after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
Creative Writing 101 with Kurt Vonnegut
05:31 pm


Kurt Vonnegut

Short, wry lecture by Kurt Vonnegut on the “simple shapes of stories.”

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
The Magic Christian: May 1 is Terry Southern Day in Dallas

I’ve been a huge Terry Southern fan for as far back as I can remember—I’d even go so far as to say that I’m a Terry Southern nut. Posting some of his unpublished work here on Dangerous Minds has been a thrill for me. In my day, I have gone about collecting a fair amount of first editions, magazines, memorabilia and just stuff that relates to Southern’s career. In fact, as I sit here typing this, there is a framed poster of The Magic Christian hanging on the wall in my office (it’s the exact one you see above). Terry Southern is a charter member of my personal pantheon of 20th century heroes.

In case you don’t know who the grand and groovy Terry Southern was, here’s a brief bio, taken from the Open Road Media website, where his books are being made available as e-books beginning May 3rd:

Terry Southern (1924–1995) was an American satirist, author, journalist, screenwriter, and educator and is considered one of the great literary minds of the second half of the twentieth century. His bestselling novels—Candy (1958), a spoof on pornography based on Voltaire’s Candide, and The Magic Christian (1959), a satire of the grossly rich also made into a movie starring Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr—established Southern as a literary and pop culture icon. Literary achievement evolved into a successful film career, with the Academy Award–nominated screenplays for Dr. Strangelove, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), which he wrote with Stanley Kubrick and Peter George, and Easy Rider  (1969), which he wrote with Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper.

Truly a “writer’s writer,” Southern was lauded by the likes of William Burroughs, Norman Mailer, Stanley Kubrick, Hunter S. Thompson, Tom Wolfe. Joseph Heller and Kurt Vonnegut. He also wrote or co-wrote the screenplays for Barbarella, The Loved One and The Cincinnati Kid and for a while, worked for Saturday Night Live in the 1980s. He was declared “the most profoundly witty writer of our generation,” by novelist Gore Vidal, no slouch in the wit department himself and is one of the “people we like” chosen by the Beatles for the Sgt. Pepper’s collage. Now the city of Dallas, TX has proclaimed May 1st, 2011, “Terry Southern Day” in recognition of one of the Lone Star State’s few genuine literary legends.

On that day Dr. Strangelove will screen at the historic Texas Theatre (where Lee Harvey Oswald was apprehended, btw) and Dallas City Councilwoman Delia Jasso will present Southern’s son, Nile Southern, with the official proclamation for “Terry Southern Day.”  Nile Southern will also be showing a portion of his upcoming documentary Dad Strangelove, about his famous father. A Q&A session will afterwards will be moderated by The Dallas Observer’s Robert Wilonsky, who recently wrote a fascinating article about Nile and the important job he performs of archiving his father’s legacy for cinema historians and literary scholars of the future.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
William Burroughs, Gus Van Sant and the discipline of ‘do easy’

The Discipline Of DE is a short 16mm film directed by Gus Van Sant. It’s based on a story in “Exterminator!” by William Burroughs that at times reads like Buddhist noir:

DE is a way of doing. DE simply means doing whatever you do in the easiest most relaxed way you can manage which is also the quickest and most efficient way, as you will find as you advance in DE.You can start right now tidying up your flat, moving furniture or books, washing dishes, making tea, sorting papers. Don’t fumble, jerk, grab an object. Drop cool possessive fingers onto it like a gentle old cop making a soft arrest.”

Van Sant discusses the early stages of making the film:

This was my first film outside of my school projects, made in 1977 or so, and was the occasion that I was able to first meet William S. Burroughs, whose writing I much admired and who lived at the time in New York City. I wanted to get in touch with him to ask his permission to film this small story, and found him listed in the New York telephone book. I was under the impression that if I visited him and asked his permission in person that I would have more of a chance. And that may have been true—he did give me an okay—but also I was able to ask a few questions about the ideas in the story.

One of the things he said during our visit, not in the film or story, was, “Of course, when anyone knocks something over, or trips over something or breaks anything, they are at that moment thinking of someone they don’t like.”

...every time I knocked something over or tripped over anything I stopped to think, and I was always thinking of someone or some¬thing that I didn’t like. This was illuminating. Time and again, when I fumbled and broke something, there it was, I was thinking about some unfortunate incident in my past where I had been misjudged, ridiculed, or caught red-handed by someone, or when I stubbed my toe, I realized that I was thinking of a meeting in the future with someone about something that I didn’t want any¬thing to do with. So, the answer was possibly to not do too much moving around when things appear in your mind that could lead to someone or something that you don’t like. I haven’t mastered this one, however.

“Exterminator!” was published in 1973. A couple of years after its publication, Burroughs came to Boulder, Colorado to conduct a series of readings and workshops for the Jack Kerouac School Of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute. His concept of doing things easily fit in perfectly with the Dharma teachings of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. In an atmosphere dominated by Tibetan Buddhist iconography and terminology, Burroughs’ approach was refreshingly Western while still capturing the essence of Trungpa’s crazy wisdom, a Zen-like attitude, both rigorous and lighthearted.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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