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Strange Trip: Artist takes LSD in 1955, while doctor interviews him on film
10.20.2014
06:15 am

Topics:
Drugs

Tags:
LSD
CIA

LSD Bottle
 
The study of the psychological effects of LSD was fairly widespread in the United States and the UK during the 50’s and 60’s producing thousands of pages of research. Cary Grant, Federico Fellini and even Bill Wilson, cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous, all took LSD under very legal psychiatric supervision in the 1950’s. 

The U.S. Central intelligence agency also conducted thousands of experiments with LSD and other drugs on subjects both willing and otherwise during the 50’s and 60’s through a clandestine operation code named MKUltra. The CIA was testing the effects of LSD in part to find out if the mind-bending hallucinogen could be used as a thought-control substance. MKUltra came the attention of the general public in the mid-1970s. Hearings and a collection of declassified documents have revealed all sorts of insane mental experiments like subjects being observed while tripping for up to 77 straight days and dosing random people without telling them that they were about to have their minds blown and then subjecting them to hours of interrogation.

Is the clip below a “CIA sponsored trip” as the YouTube poster’s title indicates or just one of many psychological experiments conducted openly by U.S. medical practitioners before LSD’s official ban? I’m not sure, but it certainly gives an indication of the bizarre clinical nature of what these government sponsored “psychological evaluations” might have been like. The subject in the video, entitled Schizophrenic Model Psychosis Induced by LSD 25, at least seems to be perfectly willing to go along with the test in this case.  He reveals himself to be Bill Millarc, a 34-year-old painter from Los Angeles. As the video begins, the doctor, Nicholas A. Bercel, M.D. of the University of Southern California Medical School’s Department of Physiology (himself the very first American to drop acid, in 1951), gives Bill a dose of 100 liquid micrograms of LSD and begins to narrate Bill’s trip while conducting an interview throughout the entire experience. (Interestingly, the opening credits state “Material furnished through the courtesy of Sandoz Pharmaceutical Co.” Sandoz is the same Swiss company for which Albert Hoffman was working when he both famously and accidentally discovered LSD’s hallucinogenic effects back in 1943.)

Before long, Bill starts to report a few changes in perception. The rug’s pulsating. He has a very pleasant feeling of nausea. He feels like he’s hearing the singing of angels. It’s a very odd thing to watch as the guy tries to stay focused enough to answer the doctor’s questions as he starts to go further and further into “the zone.”

Many of us have seen the drawing circulating around the Internet where people make art under the influence of various controlled substances.  Here, the doctor does something similar by having Bill draw a charcoal rendering of a person summoned to the room early in the trip. Later, as Millarc seems to be just about flipping his lid, the doctor asks him to draw the same person.  As you can probably imagine, the second picture’s a little different from the first one.

Truth be told, I haven’t done acid in years and, thankfully, all of my experiences were eye-opening ones, but I can’t imagine tripping balls and having the doctor in this clip breathing down my neck the whole time. At one point the doctor claps his hands to snap Millarc out of what seems to be a particularly revelatory moment and Millarc becomes obviously annoyed:

“I was getting somewhere and you interrupted it.  I was sort of getting somewhere I suppose.”

 

Posted by Jason Schafer | Discussion
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Anarchy on ‘American Bandstand’: When Public Image Ltd. met Dick Clark, 1980

John Lydon confronts America
 
American Bandstand with Dick Clark was a staple of American TV. Beginning in 1956, the clean-cut Clark hosted the program, staying at the helm for over thirty years. The show featured teenagers and young adults dancing to pop music, as well as musical acts. As previously acknowledged by Dangerous Minds, Clark had a fair amount of interesting up-and-comers appear on his show, including the Syd Barrett-fronted Pink Floyd, Captain Beefheart, and a young man by the name of Prince.
 
Dick Clark during PiL's performance
 
After the Sex Pistols imploded in early 1978, singer John Lydon would soon shed his “Johnny Rotten” skin, reinventing himself with a new band, Public Image Ltd. In April 1980, PiL were touring America for the first time, supporting album #2, which was a double LP. For Second Edition (originally released as Metal Box), the group abandoned the rock found on their debut, producing a sprawling post-punk opus that was both weird and danceable (think Can meets Chic). It’s an innovative and unique work—in other words, not exactly the kind of stuff that normally makes it onto American television.
 
Second Edition
 
Public Image Ltd’s appearance on American Bandstand aired on May 17th, 1980. Moments after “Poptones” begins, the camera catches Lydon sitting off to the side of the Bandstand podium, seemingly unsure what to do. Soon he’s up and dancing about, trying to involve the studio audience.
 
John Lydon and the audience
 
But the But the crowd ain’t cooperating, so Lydon takes the next step, heading into the throng (ala Iggy) to force the issue.
 
John Lydon in the audience
 
The timid audience, largely consisting of teenagers, seem both excited and scared by the singer, and they take even more encouraging to break TV protocol, with Lydon physically pushing, shoving, and finally pulling spectators onto the platform. All the while, the former Rotten isn’t even bothering to keep up with the lip-syncing—a very punk thing to do, right? Well, there was a reason for it and all the anarchy, which Lydon later explained in his autobiography:

It all got off on the wrong foot when we arrived and they suddenly informed us that it would be a mimed thing. Our equipment hadn’t arrived in time, apparently, but we soon got even more upset when they said, ‘Oh no, you couldn’t play it live anyway, just mime to the record.’

They’d made up some edited versions of “Poptones” and “Careering,” and gave us a cassette to check it out beforehand. ‘Oh my God, they’ve cut it down to that? I don’t know where the vocals are going to drop. What are we supposed to do?’ None of us knew. Just thinking about trying to sing it like the record was…aarghh! You can fake it with an instrument but you can’t as the singer. ‘Okay, so you’ve cut out the point and purpose, it’s like removing the chorus from the National Anthem, just because it makes for an allotted time slot on a TV show. That’s arse-backways!’

 
PiL backstage
The calm before the storm: PiL backstage

As he knew he wasn’t going to be able to follow his own song, Lydon told his band-mates he was going to “freeform it” to distract from his inability to properly lip-sync, and his subsequent on-camera actions resulted in the best type of TV—the unscripted kind.
 
PiL and the audience
 
Even Dick Clark gets swept up in the fun, encouraging everyone to come up on stage before the start of “Careering.”
 
Dick Clark waves everybody up
 
Clark surely knew he had one for the ages. As Lydon noted in his autobiography, the man himself later cited the spectacle as one of the greatest American Bandstand performances ever.
 
John Lydon at Dick Clark's mark
 
The entire studio audience is on the Bandstand podium by the time “Careering” is in full swing, and smiles abound as the kids boogie to this weirdly danceable post-punk. As for Lydon, he’s clearly pleased with himself and the chaos he’s created—and deservedly so. He’s turned what could have been an awkward moment into memorable TV.
 
John Lydon likes what he sees
 

Posted by Bart Bealmear | Discussion
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Dumb, drunk & dangerous: Idiots throw sleeping friend from 2nd story balcony
10.20.2014
05:20 am

Topics:
Idiocracy

Tags:
low IQ buffoonery
alcohol

dumbassbalcony.jpg
 
With friends like these you won’t need enemies.

Some dumb Australians holidaying in Canada decided after a two-day bender that it would be fun to dump their sleeping buddy off the second floor balcony of their ski-slope chalet.

As one of these idiots allegedly said:

“Our mate Snowy passed out half naked on the couch after a 2 day bender. He needed a wake up, so we threw him off the second story balcony of our house into the snow.”

They’re lucky Snowy didn’t break his neck.

According to Live Leak, the video was allegedly pulled from You Tube and Facebook after complaints, and there are supposedly “rumours of a potential police investigation.” Supposedly…

(It’s more shocking than you think it’s going to be.)
 

 
Via Live Leak

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Unplugged: Controversial Xmas ‘Tree’ sculpture deflated by vandals
10.18.2014
07:05 am

Topics:
Activism
Amusing
Art

Tags:
Paul McCarthy
Christmas tree
Tree

xxfrgsnktrepmcc.jpg
 
This morning Parisians awoke to find Paul McCarthy’s controversial sculpture “Tree” looking like a discarded giant prophylactic after it was deflated by vandals at the Place Vendôme, Paris, during the night.

Since its installation the art work has divided opinion with many Parisians outraged by the 80 foot sculpture’s similarity to an… er… adult novelty item. Well, it now turns out that “Tree” was indeed inspired by that very item as artist McCarthy told Le Monde newspaper that “It all started as a joke.”

“...I realised it resembled a Christmas tree, but it is an abstract work. People can be offended if they want to think of it as a plug, but for me it is more of an abstraction.”

The “abstraction” was lost on some Parisians with one irate passerby slapping the 69-year-old artist in the face and shouting:

“You’re not French and this has no place in the square.”

McCarthy was allegedly dazed but unhurt by the assault and asked:

“Does this sort of thing happen often in Paris?”

The sculpture was specially created by the artist for Paris’s International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC) that is being held in the city between 23rd-26th October. McCarthy’s previous work includes an enormous Santa Claus with what some critics claim is an unfeasibly large implement in his hand and a sculpture of former US President George W Bush getting intimate with pigs.

In the early hours of Saturday morning, vandals climbed the metal fence surrounding the giant sculpture before cutting the power supply that pumped air into the inflatable and slashing the tether that kept it upright.

According to the Daily Telegraph, McCarthy said he did not want the sculpture re-inflated or repaired. However, the paper also reported that organisers at FIAC said the sculpture would be “re-installed” as soon as possible. Now, that sounds painful…
 

 
Via the Daily Telegraph

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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‘All life is a blur of Republicans and meat!’: Zippy the Pinhead… live?
10.17.2014
03:25 pm

Topics:
Pop Culture

Tags:
comics
Zippy the Pinhead


 
One of the more improbably durable comics in American popular culture is Zippy, the adventures of “Zippy the Pinhead,” Bill Griffith’s non sequitur-spouting polkadot muumuu-wearing Ding Dong and taco sauce-obsessed pinhead everyman. Because so many readers are totally baffled by it, there is a primer for “Understanding Zippy in Six Easy Lessons” on the Zippy website. Robert Crumb called Zippy “by far the very best daily comic strip that exists in America.”

Zippy was born in 1971 when Roger Brand, an underground/mainstream comics writer-editor-illustrator asked Griffith to “Maybe do some kind of love story, but with really weird people” for Real Pulp Comics #1. The name comes from P. T. Barnum’s famous sideshow performer Zip the Pinhead (who probably wasn’t an actual microcephalic) but the character’s features and clothing are patterned after Schlitzie from Tod Browning’s Freaks.

After Griffith launched Zippy in The Berkeley Barb in 1976, his character went on to a daily strip in 1986 and a Sunday funnies version debuted in 1990. The comic is distributed by King Features Syndicate.
 

 
In 1980, Griffith wrote the scripts for a handful of live-action Zippy shorts that were (I think) produced and directed for San Francisco cable access by Erik Nelson and his Videowest production company. Here are some of my favorites (all are on YouTube if you search for “Videowest” and “Zippy”). It’s worth noting that the reporter we see in a few of these pieces is a fellow named Tony Russomanno, then of KSFO Radio in San Francisco, who was the sole radio reporter to cover the mass suicides at the Peoples Temple in Jonestown, Guyana.

Zippy is played by Jim Turner of NPR’s Duck’s Breath Mystery Theatre comedy troupe. Turner would go on to play MTV’s presidential candidate “Randee of the Redwoods” and you might also recognize him from HBO’s Arli$$ series where he played a sports agent.

The theme music is “Laughing Blues” by The Bonzo Dog Band.

“Zippy Stories—Take 1”
 
More live action Zippy after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Ugly Xmas sweaters inspired by ‘Gremlins’ and ‘Fargo’
10.17.2014
12:17 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Movies

Tags:
Christmas

Gremlins Christmas sweater by Mondo
 
The mad minds over at Mondo have really outdone themselves when it comes to the world of knitwear. In May they released “The MONDO 237 Collection” a selection of wearables and home decor that homaged The Shining.

Now that sweater weather has arrived again, Mondo has put out two new items; a sweater tribute to the 1984 film Gremlins and the 1996’s Fargo. Both will make great gifts for your nerdy sister or easily help you win you any ugly sweater contest in Anytown, USA. Each sweater retails for $85 bucks and pre-orders are going on now over at Mondo’s merch shop.
 
Gremlins Christmas sweater (back view) by Mondo
Gremlins sweater (back view)
 
Fargo Christmas sweater by Mondo
 
Fargo Christmas sweater (back view) by Mondo
Fargo sweater (back view)

Posted by Cherrybomb | Discussion
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Nothing lost in translation: The ‘acute malevolence’ of Morrissey
10.17.2014
10:47 am

Topics:
Activism
Amusing
Heroes

Tags:
Morrissey

Morrissey hugs a cat
 
In an interview earlier this month with El País, the largest newspaper in circulation in Spain, Morrissey unleashed his thoughts on bullfighting, his musical peers, his tenth studio record World Peace is None of Your Business, and compared the British royal family to the brood of Syrian President, Bashar Hafez al-Assad. In other words, Morrissey is still behaving just like Morrissey.

Since I ran the interview through Google’s translator so I could read it in English, it ended up a bit rough. However this only made the interview all the more amusing. It starts off with journalist Diego A. Manrique (whose own translated Wikipedia bio says he’s been “specializing in criticizing music since 1975”) noting that after sending off a “questionnaire” to Moz, the answers that were returned to him were unequivocally “Morrisseynianas,” and could without a doubt be attributed to him as they were filled with “acute malevolence” and Morrissey’s “recognizable narcissism.” It also states that Morrissey always comes to interviews with “loaded guns.” Here’s a few highlights from Google’s translated version of the interview:

Morrissey on bullfighting:

Bullfighters are vermin: they should kill each other.


 
There’s a track on World Peace titled “The Bullfighter Dies.” Remember, Moz is giving this interview to the largest newspaper in Spain where bullfighting continues to be an important part of Spanish culture. But just like Sweet Brown and her bronchitis, Morrissey just ain’t got time for that.

On the autobiographies of his peers (again, the text is translated by Google and I haven’t adjusted it):

I’m surprised that so many colleagues who actually think they have something to say! When you read his books, it does not. My Autobiography exists, is self-explanatory. So I will not talk about the book on television, radio or newspapers.

Translation aside, this is pretty much classic Moz refusing to answer a question while using many words to communicate said refusal.

On parting ways with his former label, Harvest Records:

I was not me, kicked me! They tried to keep my record but found that they had no rights. A very stupid mess, caused by an officer named Steve Barnett, who has less brains than an artificial flower. The fact that someone like that carry a label is a sign of how bad things are in the musical world.

You may remember that at a gig in Lisbon on October 7th, Moz’s band all wore “Fuck Harvest” t-shirts in protest of Morrissey’s claims that the label had “dropped” him and “botched” the release of World Peace. Despite this, the record ended up in the number two spot on the UK charts back in July following its release proving the fact that nobody kicks Morrissey, Morrissey kicks YOU!

On the upcoming apocalypse and the never-ending ecological destruction of the world:

Industrial agriculture and factory farming are destroying the planet. Every time I see the yellow M of McDonald’s think about death. Governments tolerate whatever brings money; benefit from the inclination of the human race by suicide. It amuses me that there are countries where the suicide attempt is punished while governments spend billions on nuclear weapons, which facilitate collective suicide. Just to be used once to disappear all here.

And there you have it. Morrissey translated by Google from Spanish to English is just as morose and as acutely malevolent as he ever was. God save the Queen.

Posted by Cherrybomb | Discussion
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Nope, not trash but meticulously made… ART (see for yourself if you don’t believe us)
10.17.2014
10:22 am

Topics:
Art

Tags:
Tom Pfannerstill


 
Tales on message boards that are unlikely enough to elicit significant doubt are often followed by “Pics or it didn’t happen.” In the case of the work of Tom Pfannerstill, we could update that to “Didn’t happen until I touch it.” The works in his “From the Street” series are pieces basswood carved into shapes and then painted to resemble, incredibly, folded and stained pieces of mass-produced detritus like beer cans and KFC containers. They’re close enough to pass for the real thing on first glance, for sure. Only when you look very carefully are traces of hand-painted type evident. My favorite is the legal pad.

Anyone who takes this much painstaking time and effort on artworks of this type has earned the right to expound a little on their meaning, which Pfannerstill does on his website. Here’s an excerpt:
 

Each of these objects was at one time a near-perfect clone of millions of others of it’s type. It was designed and manufactured to exacting standards. By the time I find it, it has become a tiny study of opposing forces. Mechanical geometric precision is altered by organic twists, bends and folds. The inherent rationality is overlaid with elements of chance. The sparkling clean surfaces are smudged and marked by everyday dirt, grit and grime. No two objects have exactly the same journey , so no two are marked in exactly the same way. Each wears a record of its own particular history, has become unique. It is this difference, this particular story of this particular object that I attempt to capture.

 
I almost wish we were Buzzfeed so that I could write a headline like “PAINTED WOOD AMAZING BLAH BLAH. NUMBER FOUR WILL BLOW YOUR MIND.”
 

 

 

 

 

 
More astounding pieces of carved and painted wood that will BLOW YOUR MIND after the jump…..

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Please God, make it stop! 90 minutes of the Grateful Dead tuning up
10.17.2014
09:36 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music

Tags:
Grateful Dead
supercut


 
On his “chat show,” Kevin Pollak has told the story more than once of a bit by the comedy troupe of Barry Levinson and Craig T. Nelson from some unspecified moment in the late 1960s or early 1970s when earnest folk duos were dominating coffee houses up and down the west coast. For one of their “songs,” Nelson and Levinson simply tuned their acoustic guitars for nine minutes. According to Levinson, after a minute or two the audience would cotton to the gag and kind of murmur in an abashed way. Around minute four, however, the audience would grow restless and hostile, as if to say, “NO. You are NOT doing this!” But sticktoitiveness has its benefits, after weathering the rough patch in the middle, more often than not the audience would find it even funnier than at the outset. Every time they did the gag, it would take everything that Levinson and Nelson had not to bail on the bit during the tough middle minutes. Hanging in there usually paid dividends, even if it was tough in the moment.

One wonders how “Tuning ’77,” a 90-minute supercut of the Grateful Dead tuning their instruments while touring in 1977, would go over if it were played live. For this unusual audio file, Atlanta-based artist Michael David Murphy sifted through a number of Grateful Dead live recordings on the Internet Archive that surely would tax my patience after ... well, twenty minutes maybe. And yet I find that listening to “Tuning ’77” is kind of pleasing in a background-music kind of way.

As Murphy states, the audio file is “a seamless audio supercut of an entire year of the Grateful Dead tuning their instruments, live on stage. Chronologically sequenced, this remix incorporates every publicly available recording from 1977, examining the divide between audience expectation and performance anxiety.” “Tuning ‘77” is available on archive.org, which also hosts the files that constituted its source material.

Here it is, go crazy:
 

 

 
via AV Club

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Slayer’s public health warning
10.17.2014
08:33 am

Topics:
Music
Politics

Tags:
Slayer


 
Close friends know that I’ve been in mourning since Slayer discontinued their signature line of rolling papers, but seeing this item in the webstore got me out of my black Slayer tee and into my faded black one in no time flat. I used to be in a Seasons in the Abyss mood, but today I’m blasting Show No Mercy. This handsome \m/ metal \m/ sign measures 12"x18”, retails for $15, and is a great way to let clients (prospective and actual) know where you’re coming from.

If I’m not very much mistaken, the idea for this awareness-raising sign came from the guerrilla sticker campaign of @CarveSlayer (see below), and not from OSHA. I rejoice that Slayer has given this message official sanction.
 

 
I don’t know why it isn’t mandatory to display this notice in every American workplace. It’s 2014, people, and this is the most cost-effective way of addressing the major public health issue of our time. My fellow Californians, let’s clean up our act and get this on the ballot in 2016. We Slayer fans are human beings too. #IAmASlayerFan

Posted by Oliver Hall | Discussion
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