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Website collects the mugshots and final words of prisoners executed by the state of Texas since 1982
03.19.2015
01:16 pm

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Crime
Politics

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“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me. So for the life for which I live now in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. I love you, Annie. You have been the best friend I have ever had in the world. I’ll see you when you get there, okay? I am ready, Warden.” Richard Foster, 47, Parker County 
 
Presented without polemic or political commentary, the blog “Lasting Statement” collects the final statements and mugshots of individuals executed by the state of Texas since 1982. Though a quick Google often brings up the crime associated with the name, no trial information is given, so the words and faces of the convicted are separated from the events leading up to the moment before their execution. It’s one of the more affecting archives I’ve seen.

Though a few people declined to make a statement, most gave very reflective—and sometimes quite moving—final words, likely owing to the fact that most of them waited for many years on death row before their execution, giving them plenty of time to meditate and receive counseling or spiritual guidance. Gratitude, both religious and familial, is very common (a few even thank their lawyers). Many apologize to family (both the victim’s and their own) and religious sentiments are predictably pervasive. Surprisingly, very few inmates used the opportunity to insist upon their innocence. Given the frequency of wrongful convictions, it leaves one to wonder if those who still deny the crime in their final hour are telling the truth.
 

“Yes. My last statement. I was wrongfully convicted of this crime against Michael Watkins and James Williams on 10th Street on August 31, 1993. I got convicted on a false confession because I never admitted to it, but my lawyer did not put this out to the jury. I did not kill those drug dealers. I send love to my family and friends; my east side family and friends. I am being real with the real. That’s all that counts in my heart. I will see you later. That’s it.” Gerald Tigner, 29, McLennan County

 


“Mama Isabel told me to tell you hello. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee; Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty! God in three Persons, blessed Trinity. Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty. All Thy works shall praise Thy name, in earth, and sky, and sea; Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty! God in three Persons, blessed Trinity. Oh, our Father who art in heaven, holy, holy, holy be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our sin as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Now, Father, into Thy hands I commit my spirit. Amen.” Jose Gutierrez, 39, Brazos County

 


“God forgive them, God forgive them for they know not what they do. After all these years my people are still lost in hatred and anger. Give them peace God for people seeking revenge towards me. I love you guys, I love you guys. God give them peace. I love you Chiquita. Peace, Freedom, I’m ready.” John Amador, 32, Bexar County

 


“Tell my family I love y’all. Watch out for Momma. Don’t want to talk too much, I will cry. I’ll just cry everywhere. I’m sorry, Teach, for not being a better son and not doing better things. It wasn’t your fault. You raised me the way you should, at least I won’t be there no more. I miss you, too. I see you there, you doing alright? I sent you a letter. Neckbone, there’s a sheet, I got your name on it. Keep on writing, now. Write to the, hun. Charles, keep the right, now. You people over there. You know what these people are doing. By them executing me ain’t doing nothing right. I don’t weigh 180 pounds and 5’7”. Take care, love y’all. Did Roger come up here yet? Tell Pat and them I love them. I’m gonna go ahead and let them do what their gonna do. Help your sister, see ya later Pat, love ya Becca. Do what you do, Warden” Vincent Cooks, 37, Dallas County

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
The whimsical anarchism of the White Bicycle revolution
03.19.2015
06:02 am

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Amusing
Class War
Music
Politics

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002whitebike.jpg
 
In the summer of 1965, Dutch designer and political activist Luud Schimmelpennink suggested a simple radical scheme that would eventually change the world. Schimmelpennink had an idea for creating a more sustainable environment by giving away free bicycles for communal use in Amsterdam’s city center. The suggestion was called the “White Bicycle Plan” and was part of a series of “White Plans” devised by the Dutch anarchist group Provo.

Provo is a Dutch word for “young trouble-maker” and was considered an appropriate name for a group of young anarchists to carry out political “happenings” and stunts that were inspired as much by DADA as by Herbert Marcuse. Provo was formed by artist and anti-smoking campaigner Robert Jasper Grootveld, writer and anarchist Roel van Duijn and activist Rob Stolk in May 1965. Their motivation, they explained, was to fight back against capitalist society that was “poisoning itself with a morbid thirst for money,” where its citizens were “being brought up to worship Having and despise Being.”

Because this bureaucratic society is choking itself with officialdom and suppressing any form of spontaneity. Its members can only become creative, individual people through anti-social conduct.

Because the militaristic society is digging its own grave by a paranoid arms build-up. Its members now have nothing to look forward to but certain death by atomic radiation.

Provo attracted anarchists, beatniks, activists, hippies, philosophers and even “charlatans,” “scratchers and syphilitics, secret police, and other riff-raff.”
 
00provbik.jpg
 
The group listed their beliefs as:

Provo has something against capitalism, communism, fascism, bureaucracy, militarism, professionalism, dogmatism, and authoritarianism. Provo has to choose between desperate, resistance and submissive extinction. Provo calls for resistance wherever possible. Provo realises that it will lose in the end, but it cannot pass up the chance to make at least one more heartfelt attempt to provoke society. Provo regards anarchy as the inspirational source of resistance. Provo wants to revive anarchy and teach it to the young. Provo is an image

In 1965, Provo announced their plan to stop all personal motorized transport within Amsterdam, making the streets safe for the public and only accessible by walking, cycling or public transport. Provo presented their proposal to the municipal authorities, suggesting that they should buy 20,000 white bicycles every year giving them away free for public use. This proposal was rejected by the local politicians. Provo then decided to supply 50 free bicycles themselves—this was the “Witte Fietsenplan” or “White Bicycle Plan.”

The White Bicycle Plan proposes to create bicycles for public use that cannot be locked. The white bicycle symbolizes simplicity and healthy living, as opposed to the gaudiness and filth of the authoritarian automobile.

 
00firstbikwhi.jpg
The first white bicycle is given away.
 
However, as soon as these 50 white bicycles were made freely available they were impounded by the police on the grounds the bikes were not “lockable.” Apparently, all bikes in Amsterdam at that time had to be lockable. Undeterred by the police actions, Provo waited until the bikes were returned and they then fitted each bike with a simple combination lock with the number painted on the bike’s frame. Of course, some of the bikes were stolen, but the White Bicycle revolution had begun.

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Root for Gramsci, Debord, Guevara, and Trotsky in the first annual ‘Marx Madness’ tournament
03.17.2015
11:28 am

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Class War
Politics
Sports

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Did you all see John Oliver’s takedown of the NCAA on Last Week Tonight last week? If you are in any way concerned about the rapacious nature of collegiate athletics today and you haven’t seen it already, you really must. (I’ve embedded it at the bottom of this post.) It’s tempting to say that they took it too far, but they simply didn’t—the NCAA deserves exactly that much vitriol and then some. They’re just that bad.

I’ve been a sports fan all my life, baseball football basketball, but it’s getting more and more difficult to reconcile any kind of progressive or left-wing identity with the cash-grab, bully-cities-into-building-expensive-stadiums, jockish wife-beating etc. mentality. It’s difficult to watch the Last Week Tonight footage of coaches abusing their charges on the court and not think that this is some sanctioned equivalent of slavery, much as (say) the nation’s prison complex is similarly enforcing a very nasty form of Jim Crow. The NCAA is so bad that it’s increasingly becoming a moral imperative to oppose it. I’ve recently made a similar decision regarding the NFL. (I’m hanging on to baseball for now, but we’ll see where that goes.)

If you’re on the Left and you can’t reconcile your love of sports with your progressive principles, then you should look into Marx Madness, the clever online bracket tournament that pits Gilles Deleuze against Angela Davis, Terry Eagleton against Mao, Louis Althusser against Slavoj Žižek, and Vladimir Lenin against Ulrike Meinhof.
 
Here’s the blank bracket:
 

(For both brackets on this page, you can click on the image to see a much larger version.)
 
The winners are decided by user votes—that’s right, you can have an impact on who wins this thing. The voting for Round 2 is open until Friday, March 20. The crowning of the champion will take place on April 20, so smoke up a doobie and invite your friends over for the Big Show (which will probably be anticlimactic because it takes just a few moments to find out who won it all).

Here’s the description of how Marx Madness works:
 

Marx madness relies on the power of the people. Click on the image of the bracket ... to zoom in at high resolution and see the match ups. Thinkers were randomly seeded into the first round. Each week, there will be a public online vote to determine which individuals move forward. Be sure to visit the site each week before Friday at midnight to cast your votes.

 
After the votes are tallied, the winners are announced and each matchup gets a little writeup in the breathless mode common to sports reporting—this is easily my favorite part of Marx Madness. For example, here’s the summary of the first-round matchup between Antonio Gramsci and Jacques Rancière:
 

Gramsci over Ranciere
In a clash European theorists of civil society from different eras, Gramsci strolled to victory over Jacques Ranciere in round 1. The little Italian theorist, dissident, and long-time prisoner quickly made the transition from war of maneuver to war of position, overwhelming Ranciere’s vaunted ‘police’ defense. Gramsci moves on to an Antonio derby in the round of 32 against Negri in a classic 20th vs 21st century match up.


 
Here’s the same bracket as the one above, with the results from the first round already filled in:
 

 
More Marx Madness after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘Encyclopaedia of Ecstasy,’ incredible anarcho-goth-punk zine from 1983
03.12.2015
11:34 am

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Media
Music
Politics
Punk

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I’ve hardly encountered a specimen from the postpunk years of the early 1980s that better exemplified how mixed up and stimulating all the categories were getting, than The Encyclopaedia of Ecstasy, Vol. 1, an utterly mind-boggling zine put out by Alistair Livingston in 1983. Livingston had/has associations with the anarchist collective/zine Kill Your Pet Puppy which ran from 1979 to 1984…. he references Crass and Bauhaus and Blood and Roses. While one wouldn’t necessarily expect that a “psychedelic goth punk fanzine,” as Livingston himself termed the project, would contain visions that might have emerged from Arthur Rimbaud‘s absinthe-drenched writings, the fact is that any movement led by Crass and Psychic TV was going to be awfully erudite and aestheticized, fueled by some pretty foreboding concerns over technology and culture. It’s so “political” that it fans out into almost pure (hyperverbal, psychedelic) sensation. In keeping with the absinthe feel, one page is titled “Vivé La Decadence, Paris 1893-London 199?”

The cover, complete with an all-seeing Masonic pyramid, reminds me a great deal of Gustav Klimt, which when you consider that it appears to have been executed purely with blocky magic markers, is awfully impressive. (The Klimt association is far from accidental—page 6 features a Xerox’d shout-out to Klimt’s “Jurisprudenz,” which was later destroyed by the Nazis.) At one juncture Livingston inquires, “why aren’t crass the psychedelic furs?” (Good question!) There are suggestive cut-and-paste headlines such as “whoops there goes another nuclear plant” or “man sees world saved by robots.” At the bottom of page 1 is an exuberant shout-out to the like-minded: “There is more… Like “Kill Your Pet Puppy” (a zine)…. The Anarchy Centres, the Black Sheep Co-op, punk lives (!), the people, the music, the squats, the whole beautiful chaoticness.”

Livingston is still active, he has run a stimulating blog called greengalloway for years—in this entry from 2005 he quotes from his own diary from this same era, name-checking Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV, Lou Reed, Blood and Roses, et al.

This is a pretty rare item—you can get one from Portland antiquarian project Division Leap for $125.

(If you click on any image in this post, you can see a much larger version.)
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Smackdown: World leaders brawl
02.26.2015
02:29 pm

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Amusing
Politics

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Turkish parliament, fighting over a security bill.
 
One of the fun parts about living in a (sort of) democracy is transparency (at least, ostensibly). Governments like to make overtures to the people, meaning there is the promise that you may witness legitimate battles of power between politicians and representatives. In America, this means a lot of sniping, bitching, disingenuous rhetoric and sometimes maybe a little yelling. In other countries, this can mean actual fighting.

Below is a series of shots from recent Skirmishes between lawmakers from various countries. I’m not going to say it’s a better way to do politics—Ukraine apparently does this a lot, and they don’t really seem to have their shit together—but there’s something refreshing about this kind of legitimate passion. Part of me suspects that this doesn’t happen in America because most politics are actually done behind closed doors, between politicians and private interests.

Then again, you’ve got Rob Ford who just blindly stampeded a woman to go after hecklers. Ignoble of course, but more interesting than C-SPAN!
 

Ukrainian parliament, brawling over a presidential decree to activate reserve troops.
 

South African lawmakers who accused the president of corruption were removed by police
 

Someone threw a chair at a Nepali Constituent Assembly meeting.
 

A Jordanian member of Parliament fired a Kalashnikov (though not towards anyone) outside of parliamentary chambers.
 

Rob Ford goes after hecklers, knocking over a colleague in the process.
 

A brawl erupts Taiwan’s legislature in July 2010.

Below, Venezuela MPs in punch-up over disputed election

 
Via Mother Jones

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
A magazine gave every San Francisco mayoral candidate the replicant test from ‘Blade Runner’
02.25.2015
07:06 am

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Amusing
Movies
Politics

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There’s nothing more irritating than the evasive non-answers politicians mete out for the press and public. Education, budget, jobs—the words get thrown around a lot (and always in positive terms), but candidates are cagey and it’s nearly impossible to cut through their bullshit. If the voters want to know who these people really are, we have to ask the tough questions. Questions like…

Are you a fucking replicant?!?

Of course, no prospective leader is going to admit they’re an advanced android, which is why we have the highly scientific Voight-Kampff Test, made famous in Blade Runner. Why it’s not administered to everyone running for office, I do not know, but in 2003, The Wave magazine managed to ask every single question to all of the San Francisco mayoral candidates. The results were troubling, to say the least.
 

The Wave: Reaction time is a factor in this, so please pay attention. Now, answer as quickly as you can.
It’s your birthday. Someone gives you a calfskin wallet. How do you react?

Gavin Newsom: I don’t have anything to put in it. I would thank them and move on.

TW: You’ve got a little boy. He shows you his butterfly collection plus the killing jar. What do you do?

GN: I would tell him to… You know what? I wouldn’t know how to respond. How’s that for an answer? Is this a psychological test? I’m worried…

TW: They’re just questions, Gavin. In answer to your query, they’re written down for me. It’s a test, designed to provoke an emotional response.

GN: Oh, I got you.

TW: Shall we continue?

GN: Sure.

TW: You’re watching television. Suddenly you realize there’s a wasp crawling on your arm. How would you react?

GN: I would quietly sit and wait for the wasp to move to the next victim.

TW: You’re in a desert walking along in the sand when all of the sudden you look down, and you see a tortoise, Gavin, it’s crawling toward you. You reach down, you flip the tortoise over on its back, Gavin. The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it can’t, not without your help. But you’re not helping. Why is that, Gavin?

GN: [Immediately] Not a chance. I would never flip the tortoise over in the first place.

TW: Describe in single words, only the good things that come into your mind. About your mother.

GN: Ethics. Commitment. Sacrifice.

CONCLUSION: Almost too close to call. Almost. Newsom displays a defensiveness when his empathy is questioned. He’s aware that he’s being probed for emotional responses, and even expresses concern about this. However, this concern is alleviated a little too easily by our crafty V-K interviewer. Newsom is definitely a replicant. Probably a Nexus 5.

My fellow Americans, that was the test for Gavin Newsom, who not only won that election, but ran and was elected for a second term in 2007, and now serves as Lieutenant Governor of the state of California. Forget about creeping sharia or David Icke’s lizard people—the replicant threat is real!

Via io9

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Republican politician fatally shoots herself in the eye adjusting her bra holster


 
I really loathe the idea of “Darwin Awards.” In addition to being utterly corny (and scientifically inaccurate), I usually find the idea both smug and unkind. For who among us has not pulled a total boner move that may very well have ended our life, right then and there? This is not to say I’m above laughing at an absurd, untimely death. On the contrary, some people are so awful, they inspire a fuck-youlogy, and I’ll be damned if I deny myself that pleasure. I can’t think of a more deserving candidate than Christina Bond—biker, Evangelical and Republican Precinct Delegate for Saint Joseph Charter Precinct 1 in Michigan, who fatally shot herself in the eye recently, adjusting the gun in her bra-holster.

The folks over at Raw Story noted that her Facebook page was heavy on the Bible quotes and Republican boosterism, with some choice words against Obama and the protestors at Ferguson. Her status after winning the election spoke of needing “people involved in taking our country back,” though she failed to mention if “taking our country back” would require firearms.

An excerpt from her obituary:

Christina was born in Niles at Pawating Hospital on Oct. 8, 1959, to George Blake and Inez Brock. She was a member and administrator to Road to Life Church for 15 years. Christina left the safety of home and joined the United States Navy out of high school. She served two tours and was an active MP (military police) officer. As an active member of the Christian Motorcycle Association, Christina was “on fire for the Lord.” She often served at the Berrien County jail in ministry as well as being an active member on her church’s prayer team. Christina was recently elected as a precinct delegate for St. Joseph Charter Township Precinct 1. Always physically fit, Christina took home the 2013 Miss Michigan Figure Overall Championship. She was a light to the world and will be missed.

I added the link to her church for a point of cultural reference. The late Ms. Bond adhered to a pretty old-time religion; as someone who grow up around them, I can tell you that extreme conservatism and religious zealotry are pretty par for the course with Christian bikers. In fact, I feel quite the involuntary kinship with Bond—as if it was one of my very own dumb redneck aunts who shot herself in the eye. (She is not to be confused however, with my kind and reasonable redneck aunts, all of whom are perfectly delightful).

To be perfectly honest, I thought the biggest surprise in all of this is that she lasted this long—if she was stupid enough to keep a loaded gun in her tits, she probably didn’t wear a helmet either.
 
Via Raw Story

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Thousands of Bolivians take to the streets protesting ‘The Simpsons’ time slot
02.12.2015
09:33 am

Topics:
Politics
Television

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Austerity, repression, police brutality and skyrocketing unemployment—young people the world over have so much to fight for, but it’s the protesters of Bolivia who have stolen my heart. A few days ago an estimated 2000 Bolivians—most of them appearing to be under 30—took to the streets in a multi city defense of The Simpsons. No, the show was not canceled, nor was it censored—but the timeslot was changed, and the people were not having it. Perhaps even weirder than the mobilization itself is its success—a few hours of marching in the rain and not only did the network reverse the scheduling change, they bumped up the airtime from 45 minutes to two full daily hours of Springfield’s favorite family!

If it seems like a shallow crusade, it’s worth noting there may be more to this action than meets the eye. Latin Times ran this story under the decidedly bitter old man headline of “Don’t They Have Jobs?”—but likely, they do, as the Bolivian youth unemployment rate is less than half the youth employment rate of the US. The network that made the scheduling change however, Unitel Bolivia, is recognized as right-wing, so it’s possible “The Simpsons” are a sort of semiotic stand-in for other values. Either way, always nice to see civically engaged young people winning their battles, right? Viva Bolivia! And viva Bart!
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Via New York Post

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Republican idiot wants to ban genetically engineered glow-in-the-dark humans
02.12.2015
08:26 am

Topics:
Amusing
Kooks
Politics
U.S.A.!!!

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The serene face of a man with absolutely NOTHING on his mind!

If you live in the Georgia district represented by Republican Rep. Tom Kirby, rest assured that your government, via Mr. Kirby’s zany style of “leadership,” is “getting out in front of” the growing problem of genetically engineered glowing human beings. That’s right, Rep. Kirby introduced a bill in the state legislature, er… preemptively banning the mixing of human and for instance, jellyfish embryos. Forget about roads, schools, good jobs, that kind of shit, this is a real problem… or is it? Even Mr. Kirby himself isn’t so sure…

He told WSB-TV:

“I’ve had people tell me it is but I have not verified that for sure,” state Rep. Tom Kirby (R) told WSB-TV. “It’s time we either get in front of it or we’re going to be chasing our tails.”

Look at him. Look at that dumb Republican face on him. He looks like he DOES have a tail.

You could file this away with all the dipsy-doodles who want to stamp out sharia law in South Carolina, but that would be missing out on the special stupid that Mr. Kirby brings to the (grand, old) party. This is even a lower IQ fear than something like the Agenda 21 “thing.”

Kirby posted this on his website regarding his “Ethical treatment of Embryos” bill:

We in Georgia are taking the lead on this issue.  Human life at all stages is precious including as an embryo.  We need to get out in front of the science and technology, before it becomes something no one wants.  The mixing of Human Embryos with Jellyfish cells to create a glow in the dark human, we say not in Georgia.  This bill is about protecting Human life while maintaining good, valid research that does not destroy life.

Researchers have been able to splice jellyfish embryos with genetic material from rabbits, mice, cats, pigs and rhesus monkeys for well over a decade, this isn’t new, but the belief that science is trying—currently—to build “a glow-in-the-dark human” as Kirby puts it, is.

Like where did this idiot hear about this “problem,” huh? AN ALL CAPS EMAIL FORWARDED BY HIS GRANDPA? Radio frequencies only he can hear? An Alex Jones-wannabe’s podcast, perhaps? An old coot in a bar outside of Atlanta? He practically comes right out and admits in the clip below that he has no idea what he’s talking about.

Roads, schools, good jobs… or this cartoon idiocy?

Buffoons like Tom Kirby get elected because… people vote for them and for no other reason.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Richard Pryor’s ‘Dynamite Chicken’ is a raunchy, NSFW time capsule of the hippie era
02.04.2015
11:33 am

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Movies
Music
Politics

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Sorting out who is and who isn’t in the 1971 “comedy” movie Dynamite Chicken, written and directed by Ernest Pintoff, is no easy matter. The montage-heavy movie relies so much on found footage that it’s accurate to say that John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Lenny Bruce, Malcolm X, Humphrey Bogart, and Richard Nixon “appear” in the movie even if they were scarcely aware of it or, in some cases, were long since deceased at the time. Not to put too fine a point on it, the makers of the movie were verging pretty close to fraud here.

Richard Pryor they definitely had, as well as a lot of countercultural figures like Paul Krassner, Tuli Kupferberg, Joan Baez, Sha-Na-Na, Peter Max, and a comedy troupe called Ace Trucking Co. that featured a young Fred Willard. The movie’s a bit like Kentucky Fried Movie, only far more political in intent; it’s chock-a-block with skits, snippets of musical performance, political debate, a strip-tease or two, and whatever else popped into the noggins of the filmmakers at the time. There’s tons of quick-cutting montage of newspaper clippings and just a ton of random footage.
 

 
The full title,  “Dynamite Chicken: A Contemporary Probe and Commentary of the Mores and Maladies of Our Age … with Schtick, Bits, Pieces, Girls, Some Hamburger, a Little Hair, a Lady, Some Fellas, Some Religious Stuff, and a Lot of Other Things,” is an accurate reflection of what the movie is like. The emphasis here is squarely on free expression; the movie starts with a scroll explaining, in a way we today associate more with Lenny Bruce, that Richard Pryor had been witnessed “in the late ‘60’s” by a policewoman saying the words “bullshit, shit, motherfucker, penis, asshole” during a public performance. The distance between “free expression” and “annoying the audience for the sake of it” is pretty small, and in addition to some salubrious footage of women in various states of disrobe, we also get a pointless and somewhat sickening exegesis of a comic book about slicing women in two with a buzzsaw. Early on, I had been thinking that Chicken Dynamite is an almost perfect cinematic equivalent of SCREW Magazine, when who should materialize on the screen but Al Goldstein and Jim Buckley themselves.

Andy Warhol was one of the few luminaries who apparently did consent to be filmed, for a short sequence in which Ondine reads aloud from Warhol’s book a: A Novel while Warhol looks on. John and Yoko weren’t involved; their bit is just a statement about peace from the Montreal Bed-In a couple years earlier. The link to National Lampoon, mostly a spiritual one, is made explicit with a clip of Michael O’Donoghue, then one of the chief writers at the magazine, in a spoof of a cigarette commercial. There’s a bit towards the end in which Ron Carey (known to me primarily as a bit player on Barney Miller) dresses up as a priest and does some soft-shoe in front of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral on 5th Ave., scored to Lionel Goldbart’s “God Loves Rock and Roll” that is pretty delightful.

The footage with Pryor was shot outdoors in a single day; Pryor riffs on a bunch of raunchy material while messing with a basketball somewhere in the projects. At this point in Pryor’s career, the similarities with Dave Chappelle were (in hindsight) particularly strong. After Pryor became a big movie star in the early 1980s, he apparently became annoyed with his association with Chicken Dynamite, as he successfully sued to bar “the distributors of the film ... from emphasizing his role in the film,” according to an issue of Jet from December 1982.
 

 
In the end, Chicken Dynamite was probably a little bit dated even when it came out. It’s a movie made by people who are waaaaay too “serious” to be funny, for the most part. It’s the kind of movie that even if you are “enjoying” it, you might choose to turn it off before reach the end of its 75-minute running time, just because it wears you out. Still, some parts are pretty entertaining, and it’s worth a look for those who missed the era and those who didn’t.
 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
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