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A young Louis Farrakhan plays the violin and sings calypso odes to zombies and a trans woman
03.12.2014
10:05 am

Topics:
Kooks
Pop Culture

Tags:
Louis Farrakhan
Nation of Islam


 
Anecdote time! When I first started college, I went on a few dates with a guy I met at an event for the Indianapolis Urban League—the local division of a larger non-profit that focuses on under-served, traditionally black communities. At some point we went out for lunch and he made some off-hand comment about a girl wearing a short skirt—something to the effect of, “sad, when girls like that have no self-respect.” Immediately sensing some kind of underlying conservatism, I stopped returning his calls.

About a month later, I saw the same guy, passing out literature for The Nation of Islam—he had converted. And not just to Christianity, or Islam, or Buddhism, or whatever the hell else 19-years-olds tend to convert to in college—to an esoteric, hyper-masculinist religion based on black nationalism and the theory that white people are a race of “devils” created by a mad scientist.

That, ladies and gentleman, is what I do to men.

Apparently though, most people do not associate The Nation of Islam with college ex-boyfriends. Most people think of Louis Farrakhan, the movement’s infamous leader since 1978. He’s been implicated in the assassination of Malcolm X, and his absurd and offensive statements are too multitudinous to recount here. However, highlights include telling women to forgo careers in favor of homemaking—he once said, “You’re just not going to be happy unless there is happiness in the home.” He also proclaimed that Hurricane Katrina was “God’s way of punishing America for its warmongering and racism”. And of course he’s pretty prescriptively homophobic, all the while insisting he is not homophobic, once saying “I am not your enemy, I am you brother and I do love you,” but that “sin is sin according to the standard of God.”

Before all of that, however, Louis Farrakhan was a calypso singer of moderate success, known as “The Charmer.” And he was charming, singing joyful tunes like “Ugly Woman”—who doesn’t love that song? But the most fascinating recording The Charmer ever made was a bouncy little number called “Is She Is, Or Is She Ain’t?” about early trans celebrity, Christine Jorgensen. Around 1951, Jorgensen started a series of sex reassignment surgeries and became a world famous advocate for trans people.

If this seems like an odd subject for a calypso song, much less one by a future conservative black religious leader, you have to see it in the context that Jorgensen, a former Army private, made huge news, and Farrakhan was probably just trying to cash in on her fame. It’s a bit of a novelty record, obviously. Regardless, it’s still a little surprising to hear the guileless lyrics, “behind that lipstick rouge and paint, I got to know, is she is, or is she ain’t?” The song certainly isn’t an anthem of solidarity or anything, but it’s a far cry from the intolerant religious condemnation Farrakhan has come to be known for.
 

 
But Calypso wasn’t even Farrakhan’s first foray into music. In his younger years, an enthusiastic Louis Wolcott studied violin pretty seriously.  Here’s a 16-year-old Louis Farrakhan from 1945, on The Ted Mack Amateur Hour.
 

 
Though his musical aspirations took a back seat to The Nation of Islam, he returned to violin in the 90s at the urging of black classical musician Sylvia Olden Lee. He even staged a few public concerts in 1993, performing Mendelssohn’s “Violin Concerto, Op.64,” which you can see below. Farrakhan is pretty well-known for generally dubious, if not outright anti-Semitic views, so his choice of a Jewish composer and a Jewish violin coach was considered noteworthy at the time. His playing is quite lovely, and The New York Times praised a performance thusly:
 

Can Louis Farrakhan play the violin? God bless us, he can. He makes a lot of mistakes, not surprising for a man who had virtally [sic] abandoned the instrument for 40 years and has only owned one since 1974. Yet Mr. Farrakhan’s sound is that of the authentic player. It is wide, deep and full of the energy that makes the violin gleam.

 

 
Who knew, right? Finally, here’s the future Minister Farrakhan singing a lil’ ditty about a zombie jamboree:
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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Shrek in the orgone box: William Steig’s misanthropic drawings for Wilhelm Reich


 
Cartoonist William Steig is beloved, and rightly so. Starting in the 1930s, his thousands of New Yorker panels (and over 100 covers) made him a giant in the cartooning world, and showed him to be an astute observer and renderer of human nature and the consequences of social class conditions (and a gifted ironist, to boot). His late-in-life career detour into children’s books yielded classics like CDB!, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, and the completely awesome Rotten Island. Then in 1990, he wrote a little 32 page book about an ogre named Shrek, which has been adapted into four massively successful films (so far) and more video game spinoffs than I feel like trying to count. Steig’s gifts were lost to us in 2003, when he died at age 95.

A bit of trivia: Steig was a devotee of the controversial theories of Austrian psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich.
 

Wilhelm Reich, after an apparent encounter with David Lynch’s barber
 
There is plenty to read online about Reich, both pro and con, so I will not go into great depth here. Reich was a psychotherapy pioneer, an associate of Freud’s in the 1920s, who went on to adopt some extreme positions. He was blindingly obsessed with the importance of orgasmic potency, and advocated levels of sexual permissiveness that alienated many of his contemporaries. Reich’s later career was devoted to the exploration of a cosmic energy that linked physical and mental/emotional health, “discovered” by and apparently detectable only to him, that he dubbed “orgone.” This led to his construction of supposedly therapeutic devices like the “orgone accumulator,” and “orgone cannons” (“cloudbusters”) that he claimed could be used as rainmaking devices. None of these claims have withstood scientific scrutiny, but they still have impassioned devotees.

US government medical authorities, believing Reich to be not misguided, but in fact a fraudster, won legal injunctions against the distribution of orgone accumulators as unlicensed medical devices in 1954. In 1956, Reich was imprisoned for violating that injunction, and, in one of the most notorious and singularly revolting episodes of official censorship in US history, the government supervised the burning of six tons of Reich’s books, devices, and clinical notes. Reich died in prison before he finished serving his two-year sentence, which, combined with the book burning, made a martyr of him among the types of people who think they can build perpetual motion machines in their garages and those knee-jerky “libertarian” paranoiacs who assume that anything that’s been suppressed MUST BE TRUE. However, despite Reich’s pariah status, there are ideas worth discussing in works like The Mass Psychology of Fascism and The Function of the Orgasm, among others. The title of his 1936 work The Sexual Revolution was certainly prophetic enough.
 

 
Reich and Steig’s works converged in 1949, when, frustrated that his work wasn’t being taken seriously by mainstream science (also a lil’ frustrated that he wasn’t being hailed as a savior of mankind), Reich penned an amazing and engaging screed denouncing the pettiness and stupidity of humanity, called Listen, Little Man! In it, he lambasted humanity for what he, with plentiful justification, saw as an overwhelming laziness in people, who eagerly favored their herd instincts over their greater potential, collaborating in the self-defeating destruction not just of society, but of the species itself, and so become less victim than harbinger. In the wake of WWII (ethnically a Jew, Reich fled Europe in the ‘30s), he saw little in the defeat of the Nazis to convince him that people weren’t just embracing different reasons to goose-step. The book loses some of its potency when you realize that he’s mainly so upset with people because his theories were being rejected, so ultimately you’re reading a self-mythologizing, self-pitying lashing out, a lengthy screed not unlike Bela Lugosi’s famous “I have no home” speech in Bride of the Monster. It’s still a great read if you’re in a misanthropic mood, and it contains wonderful artwork by William Steig.
 

 
Steig had skillfully handled this sort of content before, in his own books About People, The Lonely Ones, and Persistent Faces. Inspired by Picasso and Klee, he abandoned the relatively realistic brush-and-ink drawings that shaped his early fame and moved towards a more stark, abstract style, at once loopy and angular, obeisant only to the emotional truth of a character. And his assessments of wayward humanity became more and more brutal and incisive. This work was caricature as revelation. In his introduction to The Lonely Ones the great New Yorker writer Wolcott Gibbs wrote

Mr. Steig offers us a series of impressions of people set off from the rest of the world by certain private obsessions, usually, it seems, by a devotion to some particularly disastrous clichéd thought or behavior. They are not necessarily unhappy. Some of them, in fact, are obviously only too well pleased with themselves…

Righty Reich…

The illustrations in Listen, Little Man! are obviously well within this particular body of Steig’s work, and they constitute some of its most trenchant examples. It seems clear that this style of Steig’s was shaped to a degree by his therapeutic relationship and friendship with Reich—Steig even wrote the preface to Reich’s Children of the Future. Steig’s follow-up to Listen, The Agony in the Kindergarten, was absolutely a Reichian work, in which Steig BLASTED, with breathtakingly powerful pairings of pain-filled drawings and simple captions, the way Western childhood development can be pockmarked or even derailed by adult repression. Which invariably leads to the cultivation of grownups like those in Listen Little Man!, who really are just awful, awful people.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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The most racist preacher in America?


 
Is Brother Donny Reagan of the Happy Valley Church of Jesus Christ in Johnson City, Tennessee, the “most racist pastor in America”? This is what The American Jesus blog is wondering. Surely he’s one of the dumbest.

Brother Reagan begins his remarks in the video below by informing his congregation that he is probably “going to make some people mad.” He’s apparently not self-aware enough to realize that some other people are going to simply point and laugh at him, but I believe it’s safe to say that self-awareness is not a quality the good Lord bestowed upon Donny boy here in any appreciable amount.

“Today we have so much fussing and stewing about this segregation of white and colored and everything. Why don’t they leave it alone? Let it be the way God made it.”

Wait, what?

“There is a move in the message, of blacks marrying whites, whites marrying blacks. And folks think that is alright, but you know, my God still has nationalities outside the city.’

“Nationalities outside the city”! I LOL’d at that line. Brother Donny’s congregation, clearly consisting of low IQ buffoons like himself, shout “Amen!” as Reagan reads from his prepared remarks. I wonder how these intellectually challenged folks vote, don’t you? [Me, neither, that doesn’t even qualify as a rhetorical question does it?]

“Hybreeding, hybreeding, oh how terrible. They hybreed the people. You know it’s a big molding pot. I’ve got hundreds of precious colored friends that’s borned again Christians. But on this line of segregation, hybreeding the people. What, tell me what fine cultured, fine Christian colored woman would want her baby to be a mulatto by a white man? No sir, it’s not right.”

At 2:19, Brother Donny makes an honest admission:

“Now friends I’m not very smart.”

Um, that’s right you inbred cracker fuck calling for MORE INBREEDING!!!!

DNA doesn’t work that way, Bro.

Dumb Donny goes on to say:

“If God wanted a man brown, black, white, whatever color he wanted him, that God’s creation. That’s the way he wanted it.”

Uh, you heard the man… As the Firesign Theater once said “Good lord, a stiff idiot is the worst kind.”
 

 
Via Christian Nightmares

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Man shouts ‘I love Jesus,’ breaks into cop car as Darth Vader looks on and Superman does nothing
02.12.2014
07:50 am

Topics:
Kooks

Tags:
Los Angeles
Superman
Darth Vader


 
This item is… so so many things.

Yesterday on the “Walk of Fame” near the Chinese Theater on Hollywood Blvd in Los Angeles, a man armed with an iron pipe was caught on video yelling “I love Jesus” as he smashed out the windows of a parked LAPD patrol car, before stealing the cops’ laptop! Then he just walked a few feet away and started using it!

Even better? A Darth Vader impersonator watched as a KTLA news crew captured the scene.  Additionally, a man dressed as Superman remarked “I saw the whole thing. It’s not my job to jump in the middle.”

Only in LA, kids, only in LA…

[The video autoplays, so I’m tucking it after the jump.]

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Google slaps ‘reported phishing’ warning on idiotic Republican scam website


This is what you get when you try to visit contribute.sinkforcongress2014.com

After the word got out earlier this week about their pathetic scheme to mimic Democratic congressional candidates’ campaign websites in a not-so-clever effort to trick would-be Democrat campaign contributors into donating to the GOP instead, the National Republican Congressional Committee has had to start offering refunds to donors who’d been misled by their scammy sites (and true to form, they are hilariously impugning the honesty, in advance, of anyone who’d dare request a refund! They simply cannot help themselves!)

Did they not think this would end poorly for them?

You have to wonder who it was that approved such a thing and WHAT they thought they would gain from doing something like this? You also have to wonder how many Democrats were fooled and gave money to the NRCC and IF IT WAS WORTH IT for the Republicans to look like total dickheads to just about everyone for perpetrating such a goofy move. No matter what your political affiliation might be, this simply makes them appear incredibly stupid, delusionally incompetent, and there very well could prove to be legal ramifications if this activity would be considered fraudulent in the states where it occurred.

To add insult to this bumbling self-inflicted injury, Google has put a “reported phishing” warning on at least one of the Republican scam websites (the one targeting Alex Sink of Florida.)

And of course this information is now being spread across the Internet. Nice work there, Republicans!

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
If you can’t beat ‘em, cheat ‘em: Republicans pull shenanigans to confuse voters—then brag about it

H/T Daily Kos

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Kooky, paranoiac Christian anti-Commie masterpiece: ‘If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do?’

If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do?
 
In 1971 Estus W. Pirkle and Ron “Mesa of Lost Women” Ormond teamed up to make the deliriously apocalyptic If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do? Pirkle was a Mississippi-based Baptist preacher who wrote several—books? tracts? whatever—about Hell, Heaven, and the Communist takeover of America, and Ormond is credited with directing the movie and also writing the screenplay, which was based on Pirkle’s words and narrated by Pirkle himself. In my brain Pirkle is the auteur here, but Ormond’s demented skill at concocting gruesomely vivid cut scenes is not to be denied.

If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do? is just under an hour long, and I would reckon that just about every single minute of it features a mind-boggling image of Communist oppression of Christianity in America or, at the very least, a garish dress pattern or two. The movie suggests a Chick Tract as directed by a redneck Ed Wood—if that description doesn’t make you want to hit “play,” I’m not sure what will.
 
Estus W. Pirkle
Rev. Estus W. Pirkle
 
The title of the movie comes from Jeremiah 12:5: “If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out, Then how can you compete with horses? If you fall down in a land of peace, How will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?” In Pirkle’s vision, the footmen and horsemen (which he references incessantly) represent the Communist overlords of a totalitarian America that is about to happen any minute—or is already happening? Pirkle’s not super clear about what’s documented fact and what’s a likely outcome if the Christ-hating collectivists get their way.

Pirkle sincerely expects there to be a mass conflagration in the United States “within the next 24 months” that will result in “tens of millions of Americans” being “shot down like flies in our towns. Many of you listening to me today are going to see hundreds of dead bodies on the streets of your hometowns.” (Hmmm, are flies really ever “shot down”?)
 
Horsemen
Eek! The dread Communist horsemen!
 
The movie really has to be seen to be believed. The narrative is episodic, insofar as it frequently returns to Pirkle’s own fervent face as he describes the horrors to come, before cutting away to yet another schlocky scene of bloodthirsty Communists torturing innocent Christians and whatnot. The Communists in Pirkle’s mindset are remarkably well organized, although why they use horses to get around in 1971 is anybody’s guess (because Jeremiah 12:5 says so!). One of the terrors the Communists will impose is the mandatory consumption of “lectures” in which phrases like “Communism is good! .... Christianity is stupid!” are repeated over and over again. If that phraseology rings a bell, it’s probably because Negativland used audio samples from the movie for their signature song “Christianity is Stupid” and their 1989 opus Helter Stupid. (If you want to see that bit of business, go to minute 34.)
 
Bamboo shoots
Time for the old bamboo eardrum torture
 
If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do? is awash with slow pans over the bodies of massacred Christians—as always, the evangelical proclivity to entertain visions of horrifying violence is right up there with that of any atheist. (Of course, it’s all worth it if it keeps the flock on the straight and narrow.) In the communistic society to come, a moustachio’d teacher insists, “I personally believe that premarital sex is necessary” before elucidating “the seven erotic zones of passion in every woman.” (Dagnabbit, I must have missed that class at the local indoctrination center!) Later, a dastardly Commie punctures a child’s ears with bamboo shoots and—oh, for Pete’s sake, just watch it. You will be amazed.
 

 
Here’s Negativland’s “The Mashin’ of the Christ” video, set to the tune of “Christianity is Stupid”

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Woman claims to see Jesus on bruised toe
01.28.2014
06:41 pm

Topics:
Belief
Idiocracy
Kooks

Tags:
Christians


 
According to KRQE-TV in Albuquerque, NM, a woman is claiming to see Jesus in painful bruises on her feet that she sustained after falling down the stairs

Paula Osuna’s fiancé rubbed some “holy” dirt from the town of Chimayo in New Mexico on her feet to help her heal. What happened next surprised her:

After putting the holy dirt on her foot and then bandaging it, she says the next day the bruise formed in the shape of Jesus on her second toe.

YOU DON’T SAY!

“My family has always done the pilgrimages to Chimayo and this is the first time I ever used it and I’m seeing something kind of come out full circle, I guess.” Osuna said.

Oh for Christ’s sake…

The best comment:

The caption should read “Crazy woman gets pushed down stairs and Jesus figured lets create an image of myself on this wacko’s toe.”

 

 
Via Christian Nightmares

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Sarah Palin 2.0: Why doesn’t the Republican Party just run a crackhead for the Senate in Alaska?


 
If this is the caliber of GOP political candidate one tends to find in Alaska, it goes a long, long way to explain why and how Sarah Palin ever got elected governor of that state.

Yep, check out this video, originally posted by Kathleen Tonn, who is running as a pro-life US Senate candidate, on her own Facebook page. In the clip Tonn is seen standing in a steam room, with all of her clothes on trying to “convert” a women by speaking/singing to her “in tongues.”

It’s pretty remarkable. Mind rot at its very finest. She wanted people to see this video. It was important to her, obviously. That’s why she made it and posted it, obviously…

“I’m at the Alaska Club West and I’m spending a little time in the steam room with Suzie. Suzie doesn’t know Jesus Christ as her savior, but ironically she has a pastor/priest who is her neighbor. So, she has allowed me to sing and deliver a message in the Holy Ghost and tongues.”

She mentions that her smartphone’s battery is running out and then:

“One point of clarification: Speaking in tongues or singing in tongues is very valuable because the message cannot be understood by Satan. But the Holy Spirit can use that message to bring deliverance, to bring clarity, to give discernment and words of wisdom and knowledge, and tongues is interpreted by a person who has the gift of interpretation. So I’m going to go fast.”

Tonn, who lives in Anchorage, is apparently setting her sights on running against incumbent Democrat Mark Begich on the Republican Party ticket. One day she would even like to be President of the United States. On her Google+ page, she declares:

“I love to worship the Lord! I love the Bible! I stand for limited government, the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution! I hate socialism with a passion!!! When the country collapses, what are you going to do?”

Obviously people have been poking fun at her, er, zaniness. One memorable comment, responding to her headline of “How To Get A Nation’s Attention,” described Tonn’s video as “an impromptu American Idol audition in gibberish for a stranger in a steam room.”

Tonn addressed her critics on Tuesday via her Google+ account:

“I have not deleted the stupid and insane remarks made by others, so people can see what comes forth from the mind of evil. Fortunately there are legitimate, wise, Godly people who have viewed the content of this video clip. They contacted me too! For those individuals who are searching to learn truth about a Creator, this has helped them.  So I won’t delete your dumb comments.  They are very revealing of who and what you are!”

So is posting a video of yourself acting like a lunatic when you’re running for the US Senate. Just sayin’...

I am reminded of the subtitle of Lenny Bruce’s Togetherness album: “I’m not a nut, elect me!” You would think that right about now there might be thousands, even tens of thousands, of Alaskans—many of them meth-heads—thinking to themselves, “If this fuckin’ loony toons can run for the US Senate, then so can I!

Think of that sweet Senate pension.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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‘Dylanologist’ AJ Weberman (supposedly) goes through Bob Dylan’s trash, 1969
01.08.2014
01:31 pm

Topics:
Kooks

Tags:
Bob Dylan
A.J. Weberman


 
What a bizarre piece of “history” this is…

“Dylanologist” AJ Weberman is infamous to Bob Dylan aficionados for being the obsessed stalker who Bob Dylan physically assaulted in 1971.

Here’s what Weberman told Rolling Stone about the time Dylan beat him up:

“I’d agreed not to hassle Dylan anymore, but I was a publicity-hungry motherfucker. . . . I went to MacDougal Street, and Dylan’s wife comes out and starts screaming about me going through the garbage. Dylan said if I ever fucked with his wife, he’d beat the shit out of me. A couple of days later, I’m on Elizabeth Street and someone jumps me, starts punching me.

“I turn around and it’s like—Dylan. I’m thinking, ‘Can you believe this? I’m getting the crap beat out of me by Bob Dylan!’ I said, ‘Hey, man, how you doin’?’ But he keeps knocking my head against the sidewalk. He’s little, but he’s strong. He works out. I wouldn’t fight back, you know, because I knew I was wrong. He gets up, rips off my ‘Free Bob Dylan’ button and walks away. Never says a word.

“The Bowery bums were coming over, asking, ‘How much he get?’ Like I got rolled. . . . I guess you got to hand it to Dylan, coming over himself, not sending some fucking lawyer. That was the last time I ever saw him, except once with one of his kids, maybe Jakob, and he said, ‘A.J. is so ashamed of his Jewishness, he got a nose job,’ which was true—at least in the fact that I got a nose job.

Weberman, a marginal figure in the Yippies, picked through the Dylan family’s trash (he calls his stinky style of sleuthing the science of “Garbology”) and staged demonstrations (with the “Dylan Liberation Front,” the students of his “Dylanology” classes) outside of their MacDougal Street brownstone.

I’ve posted here before on this character, at length, so I will refer you to “Tangled Up in Dylan: The twisted tale of AJ Weberman” from 2012.

In any case, this 1969 video of Weberman going through what he claims to be Dylan’s garbage is completely and utterly ridiculous.

At one point, AJ claims to have found a syringe. After a while, a Caribbean woman who lives in the building comes out and starts to berate him for this audacious invasion of privacy. She then informs him that Dylan has moved out.

He is genuinely surprised to hear this—you can tell from the look on his face—and doesn’t believe her. Later in the video she tells him that she knows that he brought his own prop garbage, as there was nothing in the trash cans earlier! She saw him bring three bags from the corner she tells him, and stash them in the bins. Weberman tries to deny this at first, but in the face of her relentless opposition, he finally opts to come clean and promptly blames the back-up garbage on the producer, John Reilly!

All this while videotape rolls… Oy vey!

He actually falsified Bob Dylan’s garbage—including the supposed discovery of a hypodermic needle—for the camera? How twisted is that? You can see how outraged Dylan’s former neighbor was by that in particular. She really lets this asshole have it. As she walks away from him, she reminds him once again that Dylan doesn’t even live there anymore and here he is bringing in bags of garbage and claiming they’re his!
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds
Tangled Up in Dylan: The twisted tale of AJ Weberman

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Hair-raising: Chief White Eagle flies through the air by the strength of his hair
01.03.2014
08:38 am

Topics:
Amusing
Kooks

Tags:
Stunts
Chief White Eagle

hairraising.jpg
 
Chief White Eagle had a damn fine head of hair, in fact he described his locks as being “stronger-than-steel.” Which was probably true, as Chief White Eagle, from Ponca City, Oklahoma, had quite an amazing stunt, where he would fly through the air, whilst being suspended by his long, lustrous follicles from the undercarriage of a bi-plane. He performed this stunt with the legendary 13 Black Cats, a daredevil flying team, famed for their heart-stopping aerobatics.
 
haisccsingrr
 
If flying by the hair was not impressive enough, the Chief also jumped from planes with only a parachute tied to his locks. Alas, it all ended badly, as one day the great daredevil’s hair failed to hold his weight whilst attached to a plane, and Chief White Eagle fell to his death. Now that really is a “bad hair day.”

Here you can see Chief White Eagle performing his famous hair-raising stunt, as filmed by Pathe Newsreel in the 1920s.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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