FOLLOW US ON: follow us in feedly
GET THE NEWSLETTER
CONTACT US
Stirring images of two decades of political protest in New York City
02.28.2017
09:56 am
Topics:
Tags:


Pro-Sandinista rally, Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, June 1979
Photographer: David Gonzalez

Clearly the election of Donald Trump has revived interest in mass protest among the rank and file of the Democratic Party and its left-leaning allies, and it may seem to some as if we’re in the midst of a “revival” of truly vital protesting after decades of apparent hibernation. One might even conclude that the 1980s and 1990s will go down in history as a quiescent era of reaction and conformity.

Don’t believe it.

In recent decades, protests have never not been a thing—in the nation’s largest city, New York, there hasn’t ever been a year that wasn’t marked by significant protests over topics like abortion, AIDS, housing, police brutality, foreign affairs, queer rights, animal rights, and anti-war demonstrations.

In the more recent political era, there has been a notion that successful protests are always peaceful protests, but “Whose Streets? Our Streets! New York City: 1980–2000,” the remarkable exhibition currently at the Bronx Documentary Center (614 Courtlandt Avenue) gives the lie to that claim as well. The powers that be, including the police, aren’t always willing to permit righteous protest to take place in a peaceful manner, and sometimes blood is shed, automobiles are overturned, and large objects are set on fire.

The show ends on March 5, so if you’re in the vicinity, make sure to get out and check it out before it closes.

(Also, take part in any protests in your area that conform to your particular views!)
 

Nuclear Freeze Rally, Central Park, Manhattan, June 1982
Photographer: Richard Sandler

 

Memorial to AIDS victims, Central Park, Manhattan, June 1983
Photographer: Alon Reininger

 
More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Martin Schneider
|
02.28.2017
09:56 am
|
Witches plan mass hexing of Donald Trump tomorrow night outside Trump Tower
02.23.2017
02:52 pm
Topics:
Tags:


 
The so-called Wiccan “Rule of Three” (also called the “Three-fold Law” or “Law of Return”) is a moral code held by many witches. Karma is another word that (more or less) covers the same general territory. The energy that you “put out there”—whether good or ill—will return to you three times stronger. It’s not something that’s really a dogma among Pagans, but more of an admonition, or warning to neophytes, that there is a reward—or punishment—in harmony with the magic you work and the intent behind it.

Spit in the wind and it comes back to hit you in the face. What goes around, comes around. Treat others as you would like to be treated and someone is less likely to turn punching your fucking Nazi face into a popular meme.

Tomorrow night, February 24th, starting at one minute to midnight and going on for six minutes until 12:05 AM, a group of witches will perform a binding spell on Donald Trump and those who enable him outside of Trump Tower, or wherever they happen to be:

Join the largest mass binding spell in history as participants around the world, individually and in groups, focus their consciousness to prevent Donald Trump from doing harm.

 

 
An unflattering picture of the babbling orange idiot who knows the nuclear codes and a candle are all it takes to participate. The event’s Facebook page is here. If you can’t be at Trump Tower at the appointed time, face east and let ‘er rip… Some helpful instructions can be found here. Facebook event page here.

Fuck it. Sometimes you just have to exorcise the Pentagon, folks…
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger
|
02.23.2017
02:52 pm
|
Mutants and Grotesque Monsters: The Soviet Artist who rebelled against the fall of Communism
02.22.2017
11:27 am
Topics:
Tags:

01GeliK.jpg
‘The Butcher’ (1990).
 
Not every Russian citizen was pleased to see the end of Communism in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics during the 1980s and 1990s. Some, like the artist Geliy Korzhev (1925-2012) thought the changes wrought by perestoika were a betrayal of all the lives sacrificed in order to bring true equality to the Russian people. Korzhev thought the great socialist revolution had hardly started before it was being betrayed and abandoned by the politicians who had lived so well from it, while others had paid the price.

Korzhev was a hardline Communist who never gave up his political beliefs. In the 1980s, he began painting grotesque and surreal paintings of this new world of Russian capitalism he and his fellow Soviets were being forced to embrace.

Geliy Mikhailovich Korzhev-Chuvelev studied at Moscow State Art School from 1939-44, where he excelled at drawing and painting and went on to become one of the greatest artists of the approved style of Socialist Realism. According to the Museum of Russian Art:

[Korzhev] is recognized by contemporary Russian art historians as one of the most influential painters of the second half of the 20th century; his work has influenced the style and subjects of two generations of post-WWII Russian artists.

Korzhev’s painting developed from the basic propagandist needs of Socialist Realism into a more personal and highly artistic style. His work ranged from the traditional Soviet style to a more Impressionistic studies. Then in later life he progressed towards a highly surreal and almost Bosch-like approach with a series of allegorical works. These attacked the political corruption and folly of the new Russia. They depicted weird parasitic creatures devouring the flesh of citizens and bizarre monsters celebrating their worst excesses. His paintings were disturbing, thought-provoking and radical in their revolt against the new capitalist politics of the time.

Korzhev made his first mutant paintings in the 1970s when he felt the Soviet leaders were ceding their belief in Communism. This was confirmed with the arrival of Mikhail Gorbachev the great reformer who started the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Throughout the eighties, Korzhev worked in “silent opposition to the new Russian leadership.”

Unwavering in his views, in the late 1990s the artist refused a state award bestowed upon him by the government of the new Russian Federation.

In a note explaining his decision, Korzhev wrote of his motives:

“I was born in the Soviet Union and sincerely believed in the ideas and ideals of the time. Today, they are considered a historical mistake. Now Russia has a social system directly opposite to the one under which I, as an artist, was brought up. The acceptance of a state award would be equal to a confession of my hypocrisy throughout my artistic career. I request that you consider my refusal with due understanding.”

It is said that Korzhev “did not seek to openly criticize the political or social system of contemporary Russia” but from his paintings during this time it is difficult not to see how the political loss of faith in the Soviet state did not affect his work.

In 2001, he said:

“For those who are running the country I have, as Saint-Exupery put it, a deep dislike. Those circles that are currently flourishing and are now at the forefront hold no interest for me. As an artist, I see absolutely no point in studying that part of society. The people who do not fit into this pattern, however - now they are of interest. The ‘superfluous’ men, the outsiders - today, they are many. Rejected, ejected from normal life, unwanted in the current climate… I am interested in their fate, in their inner struggle. As far as I am concerned, they are the real, worthy heroes for the artist.”

Among his last works were a hammer and sickle and portraits of the new Russian Adam and Eva.
 
015GeliK.jpg
‘Real’ (1998).
 
03GeliK.jpg
‘The Butcher #1’ (1990).
 
02GeliK.jpg
‘Mutants’ (1973).
 
More of Korzhev’s weird paintings, after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Paul Gallagher
|
02.22.2017
11:27 am
|
Live! from Capitol Hill: Bertolt Brecht’s Folkways LP
02.17.2017
07:24 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
On October 30, 1947, Bertolt Brecht gave a command performance for Congress. The House Un-American Activities Committee summoned the German playwright, poet, and Doors lyricist to the Cannon House Office Building to examine him about matters of the direst urgency and the gravest possible consequence to the Republic, such as the name of the leading actor in Hangmen Also Die! and the lyrics to Brecht’s song “In Praise of Learning.” By what vile, McCarthyist tactics they extorted from Brecht these most closely held secrets of the Third International, I dare not print.

The recording is presented by the critic Eric Bentley, whose narration bridges edits in the tape and provides historical context. Like most Folkways records, the LP comes with a booklet; this one reproduces the transcript of Brecht’s testimony and Bentley’s voiceover along with a facsimile of the hand-corrected statement Brecht prepared for the occasion but was not allowed to read. From the booklet’s introduction:

It is an encounter that rivals in drama some of the great trial scenes in Brecht’s plays, and it will fascinate equally both those interested in Brecht and those interested in the HUAC.

Although tantalizing fragments of the recording have been heard in Brecht on Brecht, and the complete transcript has been printed by the government, this is the first time that the encounter has been brought to the public. Bertolt Brecht’s voice was recorded few times in any language, and this is almost certainly the only recording of Brecht speaking English.

You know you’re talking about an old record when its subtitle includes the phrase “an historic encounter” (or, in the cover artist’s words, “an historical encounter”). But the interests of these ghosts’ voices, speaking in the Caucus Room 70 years ago, are not so remote. Over a decade before this engagement, Brecht had addressed Germans’ perplexity about truth in politics under the Nazis and what the Führer really believed in his heart in “On the Question of Whether Hitler Is Being Honest,” which cut the Gordian knot in its concluding sentences:

Certainly, Hitler could be honest and mean well, and yet still objectively be Germany’s worst enemy. But he is not honest.

More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Oliver Hall
|
02.17.2017
07:24 am
|
Young kid’s EPIC rant on why ‘We Need Communism!’
02.16.2017
10:24 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
Ladies and gentlemen, meet YouTuber, Dylan AKA “Sceneable.” I have absolutely no idea how old he is, but I’m guessing around eleven or twelve years old. He’s posted numerous videos of himself on YouTube discussing weighty topics such as “God CAN`T be Omnipotent,” “Woman ARE Oppressed WEST AND EAST,” “We Still Need Black History Month,” “Trump`s Muslim Ban” and many, many more. Anyway, today I’m posting his EPIC rant on why he thinks we need communism.

I’m not posting this because I necessarily agree with him (entirely), I’m merely posting it because it’s something to behold! Just look at his political passion! He’s a star in the making! MSNBC producers, are you watching? Bill Maher’s bookers, have you seen this little guy yet?

YouTube commenter Kraig Adams sums up this video nicely:

“When you’re woke AF but still worried your parents might be watching you from the back door window.”

 
via reddit

Posted by Tara McGinley
|
02.16.2017
10:24 am
|
Grim postcards of executions and dead bodies from the Mexican Revolution 1910-17
02.16.2017
10:23 am
Topics:
Tags:

00mexpostexecution.jpg
 
The Mexican Revolution began as a middle-class protest against the oppressive dictatorship of the country’s President Porfirio Diaz (1876-1911). In 1910, wealthy landowner Francisco I. Madero (1873-1913) stood against Diaz in the presidential election. The election was rigged by Diaz and his cronies who then attempted to have Madero arrested and imprisoned. Madero escaped to San Antonio, Texas, where he wrote Plan de San Luis (Plan of San Luis de Potosí), a political pamphlet that denounced Diaz explaining why he should no longer be president.

Madero’s Plan was a rallying cry that asked the Mexican people to rise up against Diaz on Sunday, November 20, 1910, at 6:00 pm and overthrow his government. This is how the Mexican Revolution began. What followed was a bloody and ferocious civil war and one of the greatest upheavals of the 20th century. An estimated 1.5 million people died. Two-hundred-thousand were made refugees.

During the revolution (1910-20) hundreds of commercial and amateur photographers documented the events on both sides of the war.

Using glass plate cameras and early cut film cameras, primitive by today’s standards, the photographers faced injury and death to obtain negatives which would be printed on postcard stock and sold to the soldiers and general public on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border. Some of the views were obviously posed, and others showed the death and destruction resulting from the violence of a nation involved in a bloody civil war.

The following postcards are part of a collection held by the Southern Methodist University archive.
 
010mexpost.jpg
 
06mexpost.jpg
 
More postcards from the Mexican Revolution, after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Paul Gallagher
|
02.16.2017
10:23 am
|
Real combat rock: Red Rippers brought the Vietnam war home
02.14.2017
10:55 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
The Vietnam era (roughly 1964 to 1975) is commonly considered the best years rock music ever had. It began with the Beatles and The Stones ended with Led Zep and well, The Stones, to say nothing of monsters like The Doors, Hendrix, Black Sabbath, Bowie, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, you get the picture. Before stumbling under the weight of feisty newcomers like punk and disco, “classic rock” ruled the airwaves, packed stadiums, fomented revolution in the streets and served as the soundtrack to a nearly endless jungle skirmish a world away that found teenage kids from middle America torching villages in Saigon and getting tortured and slaughtered by an enemy they did not understand in a fight they did not start. The country they came back to was undergoing its own war, one of class and race and sexual orientation, with assassination in place of napalm carpet bombs. It was barely recognizable by the time many of the soldiers finally made it home. And they were barely recognizable to their own families. If it wasn’t for the righteous jams, I don’t think anybody would’ve survived it.

But here’s the thing: while there was plenty of music made in ‘Nam era, how much of it was made by people who actually fought in the war? For whatever reason, Vietnam vets did not form a lot of bands when they came home. Jimi Hendrix and The Doors’ Ray Manzarek were both discharged before getting shipped off. Creedence main man John Fogerty was in the reserves. And that’s about it. Dudes with guitars were just not clamoring to sign up for the war in 1972 and when they came home, for the most part, they left the plucking and humming to the draft-dodgers.
 

Ed Bankston rocks the aircraft carrier.

But in 1983, a half-dozen years after the ill-fated “military exercise” had wheezed to a halt, a former Vietnam Vet decided it was high time somebody made a rock record about the horrors of jungle combat. Somebody who was there. And that’s just what Ed Bankston did. After serving in the war as a mechanic on an aircraft carrier, he returned home to Florida, picked up his guitar and started writing songs about his experiences, as well as the experiences of other vets he had met along the way, including the teenage marine that inspired “Firefight,” a vivid account of what it’s like to fight—and survive—in jungle warfare. Bankston found a band to back him up and started performing locally as The Red Rippers—an homage to a Naval squadron he had worked with.
 

Bankston writing Rippers jams, early 80s.

Eventually the band got around to recording their songs and Bankston self-released them on Over There…And Over Here. The album is affecting for many reasons, but one of the most notable is the tone of songs like “Body Bag,” “Who Remembers?” and “The Dark and Bloody Road.” There’s no macho, patriotic chest-thumping on this record, but there isn’t any bottled-up rage, either. It’s the melancoly sound of resignation, of sadness, the sound of a man who fought for his country and was thoroughly disappointed with the results. It’s brutally honest in a very low-key, disarming way. It’s raw and real and poetic, but it’s also kind of a breezy southern rock record, too. A real head-spinner.
 

The original Red Rippers ad as seen in Soldier of Fortune magazine

Bankston originally planned on using the album to shop around for a record deal, but in the meantime he sold them through ads in Soldier of Fortune magazine. Sadly, no money men were interested in the band’s fuzzy country-boogie and barroom rock n’ roll, and when no labels came knocking, Bankston gave up on rock and faded into the grind of the 9 to 5 world. And that was basically that. In 2013, the consistently compelling Paradise of Bachelors label discovered and re-released Over There…And Over Here, finally giving a now 60-something Bankston the kind of reach he’d always wanted. He didn’t get the band back together but seemed happy about it nonetheless.

Almost every song you’ve ever heard about Vietnam from Country Joe’s “I Feel I’m Fixin’ to Die Rag” to the Charlie Daniels Band’s ‘82 eye-roller “Still in Saigon” was created by dudes who never served in the war. If nothing else, Red Rippers deserves your attention for being the real thing.
 
Listen to Red Rippers after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Ken McIntyre
|
02.14.2017
10:55 am
|
Dope Man: Trump’s dad nearly ran for Mayor of New York, watch his racist 1969 test commercials
02.10.2017
10:50 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
UPDATE: Politico is now saying that the videos were a hoax. It looks like Sidney Blumenthal got punk’d. The spots were pulled on both Vimeo and YouTube. About an hour later the London Review of Books scrubbed the offending paragraph (see below) from their website with this message:

The original version of this piece contained two passages that require correction and clarification. At the time of the Roy Cohn leaks mentioned, the New York World Telegram was owned not by Hearst but by Scripps Howard. A paragraph referring to Fred Trump’s campaign for mayor of New York, although it accurately reflected Trump’s racial attitudes and his hostility towards Mayor John Lindsay, has been removed because the campaign ads referred to appear to be clever fakes.

“Dope Man” also made Snopes just now.

Yet another skeleton hiding out in Donald Trump’s closet, these unused TV spots were created when his father, Queens-based real estate developer Fred Trump, was mulling over challenging Republican mayor John Lindsay—who had angered Trump by refusing him certain city contracts—in the New York City mayoral race of 1969. Ultimately Trump Sr. decided not to run, but at least two television commercial tests were produced, proving, if nothing else, that the nut didn’t fall very far from the tree in his son’s case.

At first glance, the “Dope Man” spot almost seems like a parody or media-jamming meta-prank. I mean, WHO would have been so classless as to do something like this? [Editor: A Trump?] Although the two commercial tests have been posted on YouTube and Vimeo since mid-October of last year, no one has really touched them. It just doesn’t seem like they could be real… (like that Woody Guthrie song about “Old Man Trump” that seemed so Snopes-worthy at first) but here’s a citation from an article written by Hillary Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal that appears in the February 16th issue of the London Review of Books.

Check it out, folks:

In 1969, Fred Trump plotted to run for mayor of New York against John Lindsay, a silk-stocking liberal Republican. The reason was simple: in the wake of a New York State Investigations Commission inquiry that uncovered Fred’s overbilling scams, the Lindsay administration had deprived him of a development deal at Coney Island. He made two test television commercials. One of them, called ‘Dope Man’, featured a drug-addled black youth wandering the streets. ‘With four more years of John Lindsay,’ the narrator intoned, ‘he will be coming to your neighbourhood soon.’ The ad flashed to the anxious faces of two well-dressed white women. ‘Vote for Fred Trump. He’s for us.’ The other commercial, ‘Real New Yorkers’, showed scenes of ‘real’ people from across the city, all of them white. Fred Trump, the narrator said, ‘is a real New Yorker too’. In the end he didn’t run, but his campaign themes were bequeathed to his son.

There are no more words. NO MORE WORDS.
 
Watch ‘Dope Man’ after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Richard Metzger
|
02.10.2017
10:50 am
|
Donald Trump bong
02.08.2017
10:00 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
This is truly a bong that could go for any political party or group affiliation. Whether you’re a Republican, Democrat, alt-right, liberal, socialist, libertarian etc. it could work for you! (With the caveat that you are smoking with like-minded individuals who feel the same way that you do about the current inhabitant of the White House who apparently doesn’t know if it’s a strong US dollar that’s good for the American economy or a weak one?)

You can hate smoke out of a Trump bong or alternately you can believe you’re making America great again with every toke of your “Grown in the USA” herb stash when you inhale it via this unique tribute to our illustrious talking yam leader. It’s entirely up to whatever you project onto Trump. Kinda genius in that way.

“Make America High Again” should be the marketing slogan for this. Lord knows we need more like it. Weed brings Americans together.


 
The bong is designed by Tom Mason, an artist from Byron Bay, Australia. I looked on the website where it was being sold for $89.00 and couldn’t find it. Maybe it’s already sold out? Perhaps contact the site and they’ll bring it back!


 

Posted by Tara McGinley
|
02.08.2017
10:00 am
|
Donald Trump Valentine’s Day cards
02.07.2017
09:14 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
When I first saw these Donald Trump Valentine’s day cards I found them mildly amusing. After giving them a second look… they only depressed me. Why? Even though I recognize that these sentiments are exaggerated for the yucks value, they’re all based on things Trump has actually said, or worse, done. They’re an accurate reflection of his real policies.

That being said, I probably won’t be giving these Donald Trump Valentine’s day cards out. They give me a queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. Like the man himself.


 

 
More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Tara McGinley
|
02.07.2017
09:14 am
|
Page 3 of 157  < 1 2 3 4 5 >  Last ›