WOW this film looks AMAZING! And NOT in the way that the creators intended!
Fuck For Forest is a new documentary following the titular eco-activist group FFF, who have a simple modus operandi: convince strangers on the streets of Berlin to film gonzo porn with them, which is then sold with all profits going to help save the Amazon rainforests. The movie makers travel with FFF to the wilds of South America to meet the people they aim to ‘help’, only to discover, unsurprisingly, that the locals are not enamored with their unique brand of spirituality (which seems to entail a lot of nudity.)
It sounds like it came from the mind of Sacha Baron Cohen, but alas, it’s real. Here is the Fuck For Forest group’s Wikipedia page, which states that they are the world’s first ‘eco-porn’ org.
In its first year of existence,[when?] the organisation’s website netted over $100,000 for rain forest protection through the sale of paid memberships. In their first six months of existence the group received seed funding from the government of Norway. They are the world’s first eco-porn organization.However, the organisation’s unorthodox methods have made it difficult to distribute the money it makes. The Norwegian chapter of the Rainforest Foundation Fund as well as the WWF both in the Netherlands and in Norway have refused to accept donations from FFF. As a result, Fuck for Forest is working on a project to work directly with indigenous communities in Costa Rica and the Brazilian Amazon rainforest.
The film has just gotten a very limited cinema release in the UK, and the reviews have not been good. In fact, it was a damning review by the Guardian that seemed to imply unintentional hilarity that really piqued my interest, making me seek out the trailer and to place it immediately on my “to see” list.
Seriously, check out the additional footage in that Guardian video review after you watch the trailer, it has me wondering if Fuck For Forest is the damning, hilarious portait that this “eco-punk” (or neo-hippy, crusty, whatever you want to call it) scene has always needed?
Photographer Steven Hirsch has been documenting the crusty punks (street dwellers) who live in and around Tompkins Square Park in Manhattan’s East Village. His blog, Crustypunks, is fascinating, beautiful, heartbreaking and provocative. The stories of these homeless folks are sad, infuriating and often tragic. These are hippies without a shred of idealism. And though they may wear the occasional Misfits t-shirt, few of them seem to have any connection to the punk scene of the 1970s other than their anger, which seems directed at virtually anything that moves.
As I looked at Hirsch’s powerful photographs, I realized anyone of us could become one of society’s damaged goods at any time. Our comfort zones are extremely fragile. While some of the crusty punks are just white kids slumming, there are plenty who have, for whatever reasons, given up on life. Many are victims of rape, domestic violence, mental illness, neglect, etc. There but for the grace of God…
Hirsch shot this video of a crusty punk (not the above pictured Trash Can) getting his kicks in a most unusual way. Talk about a cheap high. This makes sniffing glue look like part of a health food regime.
This promotional video was created by the Cotton Producers Institute, which explains the fabric fetish, beautiful models and ultra-groovy threads. Note that there are no hungry artists or bearded beatniks mucking up the mod world of “countrified cosmopolitans.” Kind of prophetic..
At the age of 18 I thumbed my way from Northern Virginia to Los Angeles. Picked up by long-haul truckers, who introduced me to Black Beauties, and an ex-con in a Rambler American who generously shared his Lucky Strikes, I managed to make the trip in three sleepless days and nights. When I got to the City Of Angels, I made my way to The Source restaurant, a hub of hippie activity that I was anxious to experience. The place had a rep for being a very cool gathering place for spiritually-inclined hipsters, Laurel Canyon rockers and Hollywood celebrities. John and Yoko frequented the joint. They liked the menu’s wide selection of salads and protein drinks. Woody Allen satirized the place in a scene in Annie Hall when he orders bean sprouts and “mashed yeast.”
The Source had energy and its long-haired white-robed staff generated some genuinely good vibes. For a hippie from the downcast East Coast, The Source radiated a sunny magnetism that drew you in and made you feel that the future might be golden. And for awhile, The Source was golden. It made money (as much as ten grand a day) and it made converts to the Aquarian Age philosophy spun from the ego of the restaurant’s massively charismatic owner, Jim Baker (Father Yod).
Baker was a former WW2 war hero, martial arts expert, bank robber and an acquitted killer (two quick karate chops, two dead bodies). He possessed the well-honed patter of a con man and an unquenchable lust for life. When he discovered the hippie movement, it was like a hardboiled character out of a Jim Thompson novel wandering into Richard Brautigan’s world of LSD, poetry and hippie pussy. A few hits of Orange Sunshine, some classes in Kundalini yoga and the scent of patchouli-basted pubes propelled Baker into a spiritual phantasmagoria that transmogrified the warrior into the cosmic Father Yod.
Baker attracted a following of young hippies looking for alternatives to their suburban alienation and middle-class angst. In Father Yod they found both a guru and a sense of paternal security. He established a commune of about 150 flower children, the Source Family.
Transfixed by his personality and lulled into blissful acceptance of his “Enlightenment For Dummies” distillation of the teachings of Yogi Bhajan, Alan Watts, Swami Satchidananda, Krishnamurti etc., his followers got a brain-addling dose of the cosmic warm and fuzzies. Throw in some exotic rituals involving group sex and ganja and you had one very happy cult-like collective with the usual misogynistic tendencies lurking under the groovy free love surface. Yod ended up with 13 submissive wives, most in their late teens and early twenties. He was 50 years old and he knew how to nasty.
Despite Baker’s power-tripping ways, the Source Family was to many of its members the real fucking deal. In the downhome archival footage that comprises much of the new movie, The Source Family, you can see genuine happiness on the faces of Baker’s followers. In filmed interviews conducted in recent years with core members of the family, few have any serious regrets. Many attribute their successes in life (several are millionaires) to Baker’s teachings. Some, on the other hand, do bear scars, most of whom are women. Their deep love of Baker was betrayed by his lust for the seemingly endless flow of teenyboppers streaming through his bedroom door. Baker displayed the classic behavior of many new age gurus during the ‘60s and ‘70s. From Rajneesh to Chogyam Trungpa, these cosmic poonhounds couldn’t resist the power and glory of the peach-fuzzed meat pit of mortal delight.
The Source Family is a fair-minded film that benefits from a motherlode of footage and photographs taken over the course of several years documenting the group from its beginning to its bittersweet end. Behind the scenes at the restaurant, home births, group gropes, concerts by the Source Family’s psychedelic rock band (Sky Saxon was briefly a member) and various westernized tantric practices were filmed by one of Baker’s wives, Isis Aquarian, who also wrote a very fine book on the commune. This makes the movie uniquely intimate and powerful (even Baker’s death is filmed).
The Source Family is opening theatrically and on demand in May. I urge you to see it. It’s refreshing to experience a movie about American counter-culture, particularly the hippies, that doesn’t present its subject with a snicker and a sidelong glance. This is an honest exploration of something real and significant: the search to find what we already are but have forgotten, the search for the self. It ain’t easy and it can get sloppy, but it’s the only game in town worth playing.
In Alejandro Jodorowsky’s masterpiece El Topo , a cosmic gunslinger goes in search of his spiritual master in order to kill him. The idea being that in order to really be free, we must be free of our masters, our gurus. In the case of Jim Baker, he didn’t wait for his students to kill him. He did the job himself. After years of proclaiming his Godhood, he awoke to the revelation that he was a mere man and had nothing left to offer his followers. He calmly flew off a mountain cliff in a hang glider that he had no idea how to operate. The God literally crashed to earth and died nine hours later. The coroner found no broken bones or internal bleeding. His body was whole and intact. For three days his corpse was attended to by his beautiful young wives. As in life, Father Yod died with a contented smile on his face.
The Source Family band, Yahowha 13, has a growing reputation among fans of psychedelia and it is well-deserved. The following tune, “Fire In The Sky,” is pretty amazing. Positively Beefheartian. It’s from the rare and highly collectible album Savage Sons Of Ya Ho Wah.
A new ad campaign hit the streets of London two days ago, drawing attention to a surprisingly unrecognized state of affairs: the City of London is the tax haven in our own backyard. While the British government is busy protecting banker’s bonuses, a global grass roots campaign has set up to take on the rules which create the institutionalized inequality which sees 0.1% of the world’s population owning 81% of the world’s wealth, while 8 million people will die this year because they are too poor stay alive. It’s time to help make The Rules.
Half the world lives on less than $2 a day
30,000 children die every single day due to poverty
2 billion people have no access to electricity
20% of people in the highest-income countries consume 86% of the world’s resources. The poorest 20% account for a minuscule 1.3%
“Income inequality and wealth inequality even more so, are worse in the United States since the 1920s, and by some measures since the 1890s. Most of the economic gains in the past 25 years have gone to the top 15-20 percent of Americans, but more recently, in the past six to seven years, most of the economic gains have gone to the top one percent. . . . The average CEO is making about 380 times more than the average worker – a huge gap relative to what it used to be 40 years ago – it was about 30 times.”
The campaign, which encompasses phone boxes (60 in all across the capital), a mobile billboard, viral video, postcards (and more) will run from the 11th to the 24th of March, is being brought to the UK by new anti-poverty initiative – The Rules - on behalf of people from the majority world who have signed a petition by people online and via a new mobile innovation called Crowdring, which enables people to sign a petition via dialling a “missed call.” This is a similar mechanism to Indian anti-corruption campaign of 2011, which became the biggest petition-type campaign ever seen, allowing people to participate without internet access and at very low cost.
“Our world has never been more connected or more prosperous than it is today. Yet right now, one in every three of us alive today does not have access to the most basic needs for a decent life – food, education, medical care, a safe environment.
The good news is that for the first time, ordinary citizens like you and I have the power and ability to change the rules that are creating these injustices. Technology and the shift of global power mean that we can now demand our say in decisions that have traditionally been made by elites behind closed doors. But the truth is, these things will only change if we demand it.”
The campaign operates as a decentralised network with several campaign hubs around the world, including in Johannesburg, Mumbai, New York and Rio. The focus of these hubs is to identify issues, opportunities, technologies and regional strategies for each campaign.
The ‘engine room’ for their campaigns is the Working Group, which is made up of more than 70 people from around the world. Members come as individual volunteers, not as representatives of their respective organisations. They come from a broad range of organizations – from civil society, to grassroots advocacy groups, to policy think tanks, to technology providers.
The sole objective of the Working Group is to help create campaigns for viable, alternative rules that serve the interests of the world’s majority, with disproportionate benefit to the poor, vulnerable and marginalised among us.
There will be a day of action on 16 March, where representatives from the majority world, The Rules and UK activists from groups such as Occupy and UK Uncut will all come together to transform a space in the City of London into a “tropical tax haven.” Pete the Temp has been confirmed to MC.
So, spread the word and join the campaign. It is time to stop complaining about the rules, and start rewriting them.
Join The Rules campaign and be a part of the solution
After a year of speculation and rumors, it’s official: Bleecker Bob’s, New York City’s most loved and hated record store, is closing. It will be replaced by a Froyo outlet in May 2013. Soon, instead of rare punk 45s, you’ll have your choice of “sprinkles with that?” or a shot of protein powder with your 32 ounce container of probiotic bacteria. It seems progress means a total loss of identity in the once mighty Manhattan.
This is from Bleecker Bob’s Facebook page:
looks like the new tenant has signed the lease. we’ve heard they want to be open by June 1. it will take probably around 2 months to get work permits for the massive remodeling job they’ll need to do so we’re figuring we should be open until May 2013!! —-get ready for another chain of self serve yogurt/coffee/hot chocolate cafes NYC!!”
Bleecker Bob’s opened in 1968 as Village Oldies Records. In the mid-70s, as Bleecker Bob’s (named after its owner, ex-lawyer Bob Plotnik), it became a Mecca for people seeking the latest punk rock 45s and albums. Plotnik’s surly attitude, a borderline parody of the most tightly-wound rude New Yorker, added a certain manic energy that melded perfectly with the edgy music playing on the sound system. Imagine Johnny Rotten as a fat, pissed-off Jew and you might get a feel for Plotnik’s schtick. I could never tell if Bob was genuinely nuts or just playing nuts. He did usually follow his highly caffeinated rants with a sheepish smile. Whatever the case, his gruffness turned off a good portion of his customers. I knew plenty of people who refused to shop at his store, but I wouldn’t allow his vibes to keep me away from the thousands of records pouring in every month, most of which were D.I.Y singles from all over the planet. If dealing with Bob was part of the price of doing business with the guy, I didn’t mind. I wanted the vinyl!
When punk and disco hit the scene, people who had stopped buying records started again with real passion. I know I did. Bob’s shop was packed in the late ‘70s—lines snaking out the door and Bob barking at people to keep it moving. If you browsed too long without buying, you were out of there. It was Bob’s good fortune that Yelp didn’t exist at the time.
For a lot of musicians, Bob’s place was not only a place to buy records, it was a place to sell your own. At the height of the punk era, Bob was always interested in new stuff from new bands and would pay cash for a stack of D.I.Y. 45s. Between buying and selling, the store was a meeting place for rockers from all over the world. It wasn’t unusual to run into Stiv Bators, Joey Ramone or Billy Idol thumbing through the racks.
One day while visiting Bob’s, I found around 50 copies of my latest single sitting on the counter. These were records that I paid to have pressed with my own money. The distributor had just sold them to Bob for cash. I never got an accounting for that sale. The distributor pocketed the money for himself. If you think major labels are the ultimate rip-offs, you haven’t had the experience of working with indies. I later mentioned it to Bob and he laughed. “It happens all the time,” he said. I didn’t find it funny.
In recent years, due to health issues, Plotnik passed the day-to-day activities of running the store to his management team. The place somehow managed to survive without its resident bully or the help of a music movement like punk to fuel record sales.
In the annals of great record stores, Bleecker Bob’s will always stand tall. Ironically, at a time when vinyl sales are on the rise, one of the pioneers of the indie record scene is closing. Another casualty of escalating rent. Thanks to an unfriendly environment for independent business in New York City, we won’t have Bleecker Bob to kick us around anymore.
Hazel Sheffield and Emily Judem’s For The Records is a bittersweet tribute to Bleecker Bob’s record store and the man who nurtured it for over four decades.
Fragments from a meteor explosion over the Chelyabinsk region of Russia, approximately 920 miles to the east of Moscow, injured up to 500 1000 people, as windows were shattered, tiles fell, and the roof of factory collapsed.
The meteor has been estimated to have weighed around 10 tons and its explosion lit-up the sky with a massive flash of light, leaving an enormous plume of smoke.
According to the first news reports, Vadim Kolesnikov, a spokesperson for the Russian Interior Ministry, said 102 people had called emergency services for medical assistance following the incident—mostly for multiple injuries caused by broken glass and falling objects. This figure has now risen to over 520 1000, and includes dozens of children, and 2 that are currently in intensive care.
Footage of the explosion has been variously captured by cell phones, CCTV and on-board car cameras.
In 1983, French director Bertrand Tavernier took a road trip through the American south. Along for the ride was veteran film maker Robert Parrish (who was born in Georgia). Together they documented the customs, folklore, religion and music of rural areas in and around Oxford, Mississippi. The result is Mississippi Blues, a lively, beautifully filmed movie that is permeated with the soul and spirit of a rapidly disappearing part of America.
The yin/yang of the two directors creates a nice balance between Tavernier’s romanticism (he seems to find poetry in everything) and Parrish’s down-to-earth sense of a culture he knows well.
This is truly a wonderful bit of film making that offers not only marvelous imagery but a beat you can dance to.
Mississippi Blues is out of print on VHS and has inexplicably never been released on DVD. Here’s a rare opportunity to watch it.
Maciej Winiarczyk’s beautiful time lapse photography of an aurora display on Sandigoe Beach in Caithness, Scotland, from January 17th, 2013.
Winiarczyk explains that ‘each frame was exposed for 8 sec. with ISO 3200 and lens aperture set to f/2.8. All frames were shot in RAW and later postprocessed in Adobe Lightroom 4.3 and LRTimelapse software.
‘Equipment used, Canon 7D with 10mm Sigma diagonal fisheye lens.’
Here’s a video excerpt from the New York’s World Fair of 1964 production of “The Wonderful World of Chemistry” featuring a couple of actors rapping about the virtues of Dupont chemicals Valclene, Zerex, Zepel and Freon. This is just a small excerpt of a show that lasted 28 minutes and was performed 48 times a day!
The elaborate celebration of better living through chemistry took 203 actors, actresses, singers, dancers, hosts, hostesses, musicians, technicians, projectionists, stage hands, crew members and administrative staff to stage.
Watch a longer version of this clip after the jump…
Dangerous Minds is a compendium of oddities, pop culture treasures, high weirdness, punk rock and politics drawn from the outer reaches of pop culture. Our editorial policy, such that it is, reflects the interests, whimsies and peculiarities of the individual writers. And sometimes it doesn't. Very often the idea is just "Here's what so and so said, take a look and see what you think."
I'll repeat that: We're not necessarily endorsing everything you'll find here, we're merely saying "Here it is." We think human beings are very strange and often totally hilarious. We enjoy weird and inexplicable things very much. We believe things have to change and change swiftly. It's got to be about the common good or it's no good at all. We like to get suggestions of fun/serious things from our good-looking, high IQ readers. We are your favorite distraction.