Today in Scotland a street campaign was launched warning the public of a highly toxic and dangerous man who is currently visiting the country. The public are advised not to approach this man under any circumstance or listen to any of the shite that spouts out of his mouth. The man is wanted for inciting racial hatred and very bad hair.
In other news, Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump has arrived in Scotland.
A few months ago we learned that Woody Guthrie once wrote a righteously angry protest song about Donald Trump’s slumlord dad, an occurrence that could only be topped by, say, a righteously angry comic strip penned by R. Crumb about his son, the ultra-wealthy asshole currently running for President of these United States of America.
Such a thing actually fucking exists!
In 1991 Crumb left America for France, but before he did so he put out “Point the Finger,” a comic about a certain over-publicized real estate mogul that appeared in his short run of Hup comics (Issue #3). In the five-page strip, “Crumb” (the character) has a run-in with Trump, whom he calls “one of the more visible big time predators who feed on society” and “one of the most evil men alive.” He also says, “Hey Don—Ugh! You’re so hateful I can’t even look at you!”
He enlists his chums Tracy and Marny to introduce Trump’s face to the inside of a toilet bowl. And then the three of them (not Trump—ew) have sex.
You can read the entire strip here, but be warned—it’s most definitely NSFW.
Michael Galinsky has documented many moments of political tension, from Klan rallies to Occupy Wall Street. Tagging along with a friend who worked for Reuters, Galinsky showed up at the Donald Trump rally in Greensboro, NC on Tuesday. He applied for press credentials as they were driving to the venue, although his plans from the beginning were to shoot something more akin to Jeff Krulik and John Heyn’s “Heavy Metal Parking Lot,” the legendary underground film made in the parking lot of a 1986 Judas Priest concert.
But whereas “Heavy Metal Parking Lot” is bust-a-gut hilarious stuff, Galinsky’s quietly observational footage of the Trump rally will probably just make you sad. He writes:
I had applied too late which was fine, but I still tried to talk my way in because there wasn’t much happening outside. When that didn’t work I sat down in the shade to figure out a plan of action. After about a minute of watching people trickle towards the venue, I heard a man yelling, “White Power!” I grabbed my camera and approached. He was wearing a big cowboy hat and a Willie Nelson shirt with Willie giving us “the finger.” Still, I wasn’t sure if he was being ironic until a minute later when the cops approached. They explained that we as citizens do have “free speech,” but that his incendiary language was dangerous and therefore prohibited. It was kind of a surreal conversation (see the video), and as I listened, it dawned on me that I wasn’t going to be allowed there much longer either. I was right. After they gave him and his friend the heave-ho, I was told I had five minutes to leave. I tried once again to get in with credentials, then I headed for the parking lot.
I often enter these situations with a vague idea of what I plan to shoot but try to remain open to what comes. I ran into a guy selling shirts and talked to him for a bit. They were vulgar, anti-Hilary shirts and people heading into the event loved them. I started to think about the people who sold things at the event and followed this up with another guy selling shirts. A few moments later, I saw a group of people who were representing the Militia Movement. I talked to them for a bit, and then a roving protest showed up. It was a loud mass surrounded by police. Having spent time with the militia guys, I observed the protest from their perspective for a while.
This event was taking place just days after the horrific events in Orlando, and this was largely an LGBTQ-led protest. After having filmed at dozens of protests, I get a little spooked around cops. These guys were generally working with kid gloves, but I still felt a bit unsure about going to shoot with the protesters as they were surrounded by masses of cops. I’m a “non-credentialed” journalist, and as such, I’m more at risk in these situations, so I try to be very cautious. The protesters set up shop across the street, and I made my way across the street to shoot a couple of people being interviewed by a local news channel. I like to shoot media doing interviews because it gives a context to the situation and how that situation is being portrayed.
And now without future explanation, because of course, none is really necessary, witness the pathetic gene pool who support Biff Tannen sorry, er President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho whoops, I mean Donald Trump as they cavort and gather and hoot and holler in “Trump Parking Lot.”
I’m at loss for words here. You just have to click “play” and watch it to see what I mean. Clearly it’s a parody of a Japanese-style “commercial” having a laugh at the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. What’s scary is, I’m 99% certain, if Donald Trump were to have actually made a Japanese campaign commercial, you know it would be something just like this. It’s not too far of a stretch.
Anyway, the “commercial” is by a musician named Mike Diva and it’s batshit. Just like Donald Trump.
On some level, a lot of the music we play for kids—and the music we teach them to sing—is propaganda. Not necessarily overtly so, but beyond learning the alphabet and numbers, the music we offer children is always going to serve as some manner of cultural value metric. And such music originating from a hypernationalist, militaristic culture is sure to seem utterly nuts to cultures that don’t go so completely all in for that kind of thing.
Case in point: China. A friend of mine with the dually cool distinctions of being both a university librarian and a badass sludge/doom bass player turned me on to some Chinese children’s (and other) records, dating I think from the early ‘70s, which had recently arrived in her employer’s collection via a donation. They were all pretty amazing—just the song titles alone sound alien enough to underscore incredible cultural differences:
THE PEOPLE IN TAIWAN LONG FOR LIBERATION
PATROLLING ON THE GRASSLANDS
THE OIL WORKERS ARE FULL OF ENERGY
CHAIRMAN MAO IS THE RED SUN IN THE HEARTS OF ALL NATIONALITIES
The killer item, though, was an 11-song 7” children’s record called I am a Sunflower, with wonderful cover art of smiling children marching with shouldered rifles and songs expressing totally overt themes of youth para-militarism:
LITTLE RED GUARDS GROW STRONGER IN THE FIGHT
GROWING UP AT THE SIDE OF CHAIRMAN MAO
LITTLE RED GUARDS ATTEND A REPUDIATION MEETING
I’LL GO TO THE BORDER REGION, TOO, WHEN I GROW UP
Now, it’s maybe easy to be cast aspersions at all that, but we have our school kids sing “The Star Spangled Banner” which is forthrightly a war song, and the differences between the Young Pioneers/Little Red Guards and the Boy Scouts are surely more a matter of degree of fanaticism than of kind…
CRITICIZE LIN PIAO AND DISCREDIT HIM COMPLETELY
OK, holy fuck, WHAT? That’s pretty disturbing: Lin Piao was an officer in the People’s Liberation Army, and was instrumental in the communist victory in China’s civil war. He died in 1971, in an iffy plane crash. After decades of enjoying high rank in the party—I mean HIGH rank, at the time of his death he was Communist Party vice-chair and Mao’s presumptive successor—he or his son led the Project 571 coup against Mao. The family was attempting to flee after the coup failed, and it’s been pretty widely speculated that the plane crash may have been an assassination. He was branded a traitor posthumously; his name was scrubbed from the Little Red Book, and there was a goddamn children’s song about how hard he sucked. Here it is. I will fully cop to having ripped this from the record and uploaded it myself. Ordinarily that’s a HUGE no-no, but I’m making an exception in this instance because I’d quite enjoy the comic irony of a DMCA copyright takedown coming from China.
That’d be really cute if you had no idea what it was about, right?
Often referred to as the one of the “fathers” of Pop Art, painter and illustrator Peter Saul has been creating his mayhemic, often politically charged masterpieces since the 1950s and at his current age of 82 (Saul will turn 83 in August), he shows no signs of slowing down.
‘Ronald Reagan (Abortion),’ 1984.
Saul’s vibrantly jarring style will likely remind you of the weirdness found on the pages and on the covers of vintage Zap Comix, and the artist himself has been quoted as saying that his aim with his art was to somehow mesh the art of Dutch American abstract expressionist Willem de Kooning together with the classic images found in MAD magazine. I’m pretty sure after looking at the images in this post of Saul’s face-melting paintings, you would agree that he has successfully mashed up both artistic concepts along with a large, LSD-laced dose of Surrealism. In 2008 the New York Times described Peter Saul as “a classic artist’s artist, one of our few important practicing history painters and a serial offender in violation of good taste.”
With over 800 works under his belt to date, Saul’s paintings will be on display for the first time in Moscow (something the painter “never imagined” would happen) at the Gary Tatintsian Gallery under the amusingly title “You better call Saul!” And speaking of LSD, you can put yours away for now as the images that follow of GOP sweethearts like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, and well as other despots and degenerates like Adolf Hitler and O.J. Simpson, will likely conjure up a bonafide, drug-free flashback just by looking at them. Some (such as Saul’s wonderfully bizarre depiction of a three-headed Andy Warhol that I had to include), might be considered NSFW.
Starting today, EU regulations require that cigarette packages carry large-format “Shockbilder” (German for “shock-pictures”) on them. You may have seen these before, especially in foreign countries—usually they are super-disgusting medical pictures of diseased lung tissue and things like that.
Such “Gruselbilder” (“gross pictures”) are definitely enough to give one pause, but all in all, they probably don’t affect cigarette consumption all that much. The left-leaning German newspaper taz.die Tageszeitung, however, ran a cover page today with an intriguing take on the issue—taz thinks that putting annoying public figures like Heidi Klum or right-wing politicians like Donald Trump, France’s Marine Le Pen, and Germany’s Markus Söder on cigarette packages might be fiendishly effective. Other pictures taz proposed were Korean leader Kim Jong-un and a thick, green smoothie. Here, look:
Donald Trump is so incredibly loathsome that taz hardly deserves credit for including him. Obviously the entire continent of Europe is quivering with dismay at the prospect of a Trump presidency.
I decided to speculate on what the cigarette packs might look like if they were targeted at a U.S. audience:
I’m pretty bad at Photoshop, but even I was able to alter a few of taz’s examples to get what I wanted. Here’s the original image. I’m sure that the talented DM readership will be able to surpass me in no time at all…...
Running for president is a pursuit that attracts control freaks—let’s just say freaks, full stop. For a candidate seeking the presidency, Bernie Sanders has embraced the power of relinquishing control to a remarkable degree.
Sanders’ campaign is all about restoring power to the people, and in keeping with that, his strong reputation among our nation’s artistic community has enabled him to establish a traveling art exhibition that feels a lot like a street art show. To a considerable extent, Bernie is picking up where the grassroots campaign of Barack Obama in 2008 left off, as Obama was able to secure the support of protest-oriented artists like Ron English and Shepard Fairey and many others.
Sanders’ exhibition is titled “The Art of a Political Revolution,” and features artists like Fairey, English, Aaron Draplin, Gilf!, and Jermaine Rogers.
“Strong America,” by Ron English
A few days ago Sanders himself visited the exhibition for the first time, during which he commented that “I gotta tell you, on a personal level, it’s a little bit weird ... to see all thee guys who look like me on the wall.”
As the Slate video below asserts:
“Bernie and unsanctioned art appeal to the same people. He is to establishment politics what street artists and graffiti writers are to blue-chip galleries.”