The uncannily realistic sculptures of Milwaukee-based sculptor Marc Sijan have been displayed in museums and galleries from coast to coast. His life-sized works are full-time residents at thirty museums. The running joke about Sijan’s creations is that they look so “alive,” that you might actually feel compelled to start a conversation with one of them. This is not at all difficult to understand once you have seen Sijan’s people. Sijan’s subjects are relatable everyday people. Your neighbors and inhabitants of middle-America, people you know or might see in the grocery store—to rather grotesque versions of the human form that have been maligned by age, indulgence or perhaps circumstance.
Part of the rigorous process the now 68-year-old sculptor goes through to achieve the all too human appearance of actual skin for his works consists of 25 coats of paint and varnish. An incredibly private man, it can take Sijan anywhere from six-months to a year to complete one of his contemplative sculptures, which the artist creates with plaster casts derived from actual live models. Nothing, especially imperfections, are spared when it comes to the detail Sujan brings to his sculptures. Goosebumps, broken blood vessels, saggy skin - Sijan’s “people” are about as real as any of us. Like it or not.
Some of the images that follow may be slightly NSFW.
Yesterday on the In These Times website, Miles Kampf-Lassin alerted readers to a newly posted video that purports to be of a young Bernie Sanders getting arrested at a civil rights protest against school segregation in Chicago in 1963. The future Vermont Senator and Democratic Presidential candidate was then just a 21-year-old student at the University of Chicago.
Clearly—if this footage is indeed Bernie Sanders and it sure looks like him to me, he was rather a distinctive-looking fellow even in his younger years—then this is visual proof positive that Sanders has been consistent in his beliefs—and fighting the good fight—for his entire adult life. And yes, this was back when a young Hillary Clinton was a confirmed “Goldwater girl.” Feel the burn?
The footage was taken from Kartemquin Film’s ‘63 Boycott project, which chronicles the Chicago Public School Boycott of 1963, and was filmed by Kartemquin co-founder Jerry Temaner.
The protest on Chicago’s South Side took aim at racist education and housing policies being carried out in Englewood—namely the proposed construction of a new school for black students made up of aluminum trailers known as “Willis Wagons,” named after the Chicago Public Schools Superintendent Benjamin Willis who first ordered them. These trailers were used by the city to deal with overcrowding in black schools, thereby preventing integration of black students into less-densely populated white schools.
Sanders was arrested for his civil disobedience—specifically resisting arrest—and fined $25.
Look at the glasses. Also, compare the big chunky watch in the clip below with the big chunky watch the young Sanders is seen sporting in the photo below:
I wouldn’t bet my life on it that it’s a young Bernie Sanders in this footage, but I’d surely wager a pinky or a toe…
Former half term-governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, was in the news again this week. This time the inexplicable media darling made headlines with her bizarre “right-winging’, bitter clingin’” Donald Trumpin endorsement speech, and her assertion that President Barack Obama is the reason why her son, Track, hits women. Thanks Obama!
Palin, who has a history of insane rambling speeches, appeals to the “tell it like it is” crowd—as long as “telling it like it is” means a string of incoherent jingoistic, xenophobic talking points. Last night on The Daily Show, host Trevor Noah described her as a bag of Scrabble tiles come to life. If she sounds like an idiot speaking in tongues, it is because this is precisely what she is.
Now, you can create your own Palin rants with the handy “Palinisms” random phrase generator.
This phrase generator seems to work in much the same way as Palin’s own mind. You press a button and it mashes together a bunch of right-wing tropes that may or may not have any meaning whatsoever… but IT DOESN’T MATTER. The important thing is the “telling it like it is” part, the “special sauce” as it were…
That the music underground is so engaged with Bernie Sanders’ worker-friendly, anti-1% presidential campaign comes as no surprise—punk and left politics have always been extremely comfortable bedfellows (sorry not sorry Michale Graves), and it’s a big plus that Sanders’ oppositional candidacy is being run within one of the mainstream parties, and thus won’t serve as a potential election spoiler like the Nader insurgency that ultimately spelled disaster for both the Green Party and the USA. Last autumn, we at Dangerous Minds told you about Berned in DC, a Facebook group producing image macros of the candidate paired with invented quotations that mirrored hardcore scene purism, to utterly hilarious effect. Today, our task is to show you the work of L.A. artist Mark Mendez and Portland printer Rob Campbell, who’ve created a wonderful series of Sanders shirts based on well-known punk band logos. In an interview with Visual News, the pair offered:
It’s hard to think of Bernie as “punk rock” by his appearance alone. He’s a 74-year-old, white, veteran politician from Vermont. But his ideals are what make him the most punk rock candidate who ever ran for office. He’s been speaking about economic inequality, civil rights, and antiestablishment politics for over four decades. It is people like us who do what we can to support his campaign and raise awareness about who he is, what he stands for, and how we the people can make a difference.
They’ve named the t-shirt line “Bern the White House” (simply brilliant—how has nobody used that before now?), and the shirts can be bought from the pair’s Etsy shop or from bernthewhitehouse.com. The profits from the sales will of course benefit the Sanders campaign up to the amount legally permitted for individual contributions, after which proceeds will go to “Bernie-friendly charities and grassroots organizations.”
“Cowardice! Are you serious? Apologies for freedom? I can’t handle this.”
On Wednesday evening, a capacity crowd of 10,000 people showed up at the Pensacola Bay Center in Florida for a Donald Trump campaign rally, complete with a trio of cheerleading singing moppets called the Freedom Girls who were there to debut Trump’s new “official jam.”
“Eve of Destruction,” written by teenage Bob Dylan fan P. F. Sloan and sung by former New Christy Minstrel Barry McGuire, spent eleven weeks on the Billboard chart in 1965, reaching number one that September. Apocalyptic, adolescent and aporetic, it was loathed as only a hit can be. “Even at the time, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Paul Simon, Pete Seeger, Noel Stookey of Peter, Paul & Mary, and Manfred Mann lead singer Paul Jones all slagged the song in the press,” Richie Unterberger writes. I suspect most of these musicians just thought the song was not a very good Dylan ripoff, but some public-spirited citizens were seriously concerned that the protest number gave ground to the Reds. “How do you think the enemy will feel with a tune like that No. 1 in America?” future respected foreign policy analyst Rose Parade host Bob Eubanks asked in the pages of TIME.
Staying at the Hollywood Sunset Hotel in the late summer of 1965, Dylan provided his own response to “Eve of Destruction,” as biographer Howard Sounes reports:
‘Get P. F. Sloan,’ Bob demanded. ‘Let’s have P. F. Sloan up here.’
Sloan was duly summoned to the Hollywood Sunset Hotel where Bob played him acetates of Highway 61 Revisited. Sloan rolled about on the floor laughing when he heard ‘Ballad of a Thin Man.’ Bob laughed too. He slapped his knees as if it was the biggest joke in the world. Then he said, seriously, ‘I gotta big problem here. Columbia Records doesn’t have any idea what this song is about. They think it’s communistic.’ Before Sloan had time to digest this shocking piece of information, David Crosby of The Byrds entered the suite and he and Bob went into the bedroom, leaving Sloan on his own. What happened next seems to have been an elaborate stunt arranged by Bob to cause the already excitable Sloan to freak out. ‘Two women come in from the bedroom half-naked – topless – sit down like book ends on the couch, and they don’t say a word, just sit there,’ says Sloan. ‘In from the window, from the outside, comes a man, flying in from a rope wearing a Zorro outfit, with a black hat and black mask, wearing black silk pajamas.’ The man dressed as Zorro sat between the topless girls and stared at Sloan. ‘I can only imagine that Bob had set this up, but I don’t know. And he’s in the other room with David Crosby. About fifteen, twenty minutes go by. The girls get up. Nobody says a word.’ Zorro and the girls exited via the front door, leaving Sloan again on his own. ‘David Crosby comes out of the bedroom and shakes hands with me and Bob continues to play me the rest of the album.’
Musician Ian Whitcomb records how, in November ‘65, one Singing Swallow, then the program director at a radio station in Santa Rosa, California, interpreted the success of “Eve of Destruction.” Whitcomb, who had recently shared the stage with McGuire (“a perfectly charming man, very warm and gentle, not at all like his hate-filled song”) on a Pittsburgh TV show, was visiting radio stations to peddle his single “N-N-Nervous!” Accompanying him was George Sherlock, the subject of the Stones’ “The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man,” who, in the excerpt below, has just spun the singer’s new disc. From Whitcomb’s Rock Odyssey:
Spinning his chair vaguely in my direction, [the program director] asked: “When you gonna make another record, son?” “But you just listened to a smash, Swallow,” said George with a boogaloo swing of his hips. “Naw—I mean one I can play.” Before I could answer, Swallow continued with: “Have you guys heard this ‘Eve of Destruction’ mother? It’s a stone fox smash!” And to emphasize his point, he burst open another can of beer, soaking my record. “A lot of the lyrics I can’t make out, but what I can is goddamn treason! Can you believe a guy who knocks our Draft, our senators, our church, our H-bombs—and all on a pop record?” “So I take it,” said George with a dismissive click of his fingers, “that the disc is negative as far as your big boss playlist is concerned?” “Not on your Hollywood scalp doily! It may knock the U.S.A., but I don’t knock success. I grab it by the balls and hang on tight. That ‘Eve’ disc is Dylan made commercial. It’s gonna open up a whole new area. It’s a new kind of loot music under the title of protest, remember that! Now, Whitmore, you got something I can play, something that fits the times and our format—and I’ll spin it like crazy. But until that time, it’s so long and have a happy day. Out!
As you can see, “Eve of Destruction” shocked and convulsed the nation with its radical message that everything might not work out so great. Here are five songs that strove to replace Sloan’s teenage “no” with a paternalistic “yes.”
The Spokesmen, “Dawn of Correction”
The most famous retort to “Eve of Destruction,” beloved of rock writers Greil Marcus and Lester Bangs, came from Philadelphia’s Spokesmen, a trio formed by the partners who wrote “At The Hop” and a local DJ. The three rock professionals bent Sloan’s ungainly rhymes to the service of their relentlessly cheerful view:
You missed all the good in your evaluation
What about the things that deserve commendation?
Where there once was no cure, there’s vaccination
Where there once was a desert, there’s vegetation
Self-government’s replacing colonization
What about the Peace Corps organization?
Don’t forget the work of the United Nations
I’m not sure where the TV clip of “Dawn of Correction” below comes from, but according to lead Spokesman John Madara’s website, they performed the song on American Bandstand and The Lloyd Thaxton Show.
The Spokesmen, “Dawn of Correction”:
But you tell me over and over and over again my friend that you want to hear more ‘Eve of Destruction’ answer songs? There’s more, plenty more, after the jump…
Yes, because God had nothing better to do that day than ask you two nitwits about your private planes.
Here’s five nauseating minutes of televangelists Kenneth Copeland and Jesse Duplantis defending their use and ownership of private planes. It was God’s will that Grandma’s Social Security check would be siphoned off towards these gentlemen’s need to travel in style and comfort. I mean, what if they came into contact with demonic DEMONS in a municipal airport? You can’t have that! It’s God’s will.
When I watched this the first time, I wasn’t aware of the fact that it was actually produced by a group of conservatives, the Public Integrity Alliance of Arizona, a nonprofit largely made up of East Valley Republicans. Frankly one doesn’t expect to see something legitimately amusing coming from Republican quarters—as everyone knows Republicans aren’t funny. But this is excellent, a pitch-perfect country-rock video starring Phoenix-based comedian Brian Nissen’s redneck “Dwain” character, a mullet-wearing simpleton who wants to “make America great again” by voting for a blustering, buffoonish billionaire who believes American wages are too high, that we need a border wall to keep out all of the Muslims and Mexicans and all kinds of other silly stuff tailored to the basest of the GOP base… Perhaps you know who he’s talking about?
As Raw Story’s Travis Gettys points out, although the song brutally mocks Trump’s most outrageous ideas “in the bizarro world of the 2016 presidential race, it’s not hard to imagine Trump playing the song at his own rallies.” Sadly this is all too true…
“I’ve noticed that some of the Trump fans loved it,” said Tyler Montague, founder and president of PIA. “They’re like, ‘Yeah, this is everything Trump is about, this is dead on.’ We’re like, ‘You’re kidding us, right?’”
Montague, who appears in the video as a redneck buddy, said the 501(c)(4) group — which is not required to report its donors but cannot be used primarily to influence elections — became motivated to act after Trump suggested a ban on Muslims in the U.S.
“When he said the stuff about Muslims, we were like, we’ve got to call that out and make fun of the absurdity of that,” Montague said.
He blasted Trump’s ideas as anti-conservative and un-American.
“I don’t want to overstate it, but [Trump’s] kind of a fascist,” Montague said. “It’s the closest thing to fascism that America’s had, at least in our lifetime.”
Here’s the video. Tell me if you think the average Trump supporter will get the joke or simply sing along?
If you’ve got a beard, you’d best tread carefully around riled-up Fox News viewers.
In one of the single dumbest news stories I’ve read in a year that’s been chock full of ‘em, Benedetto DeFrancisco, a transgender Chicago teaching assistant, was harassed and threatened at gunpoint after he was mistaken for a member of ISIS, apparently solely on account of—drumroll please—his beard.
“I literally just walk around the school, so on my second lap, he was definitely shouting [again], and it felt like it was aimed at me. It was getting louder and more aggressive. A lot of swearing. I honestly thought he was drunk. I took out my headphones and looked at him, and heard what he was saying: ‘I know what you’re doing, motherfucker. You’re scaring my wife — get out of here.’”
At this point DeFrancisco saw Jackson’s .45 caliber Ruger semi-automatic pistol and calmly walked away, calling authorities after he was safely around the corner. Police arrived on the scene soon afterwards.
“They were getting scared, because the ISIS attack happened in France, and getting more scared that ISIS was in Chicago. It’s clear that they had been watching me since the previous Monday — this happened on a Wednesday. I’ve been taking these walks since I’ve been working there. On my walk, I notice the same people come around. My thing to do is say hello. Unfortunately, with this man and his wife, their fear got the best of them. They could have just asked, ‘Hey, what are you doing here?’”
Mr. Jackson is due in court on Wednesday on charges of aggravated assault. He’s lucky that flagrant stupidity isn’t a crime because the judge would be obliged to throw the book at him.
Coming as no surprise to anyone, according to detectives, Jackson and his wife are avid Fox News fans! DeFrancisco’s “look”—which includes a beard—was making Mrs. Jackson nervous and so her husband decided to grab his gun and verbally assault him while waving a gun around. Cute couple.
This is kind of abject idiocy you can’t reason with. Fox News + Islamophobia + Republicans + GUNS = Modern America going completely insane. With his own experience being a vivid example of how this sort of irrational “thinking” can hurt totally innocent people, DeFrancisco believes that the Fox News fear-mongering has negative repercussions:
“[Jackson] is not the only person watching Fox News — it’s a toxin and it’s spreading fear, and this fear leads to hatred. Instead of wanting to know something about a culture or religion, they just shut it down in the most horrible or scary way.”
I’ll say it again: His beard is what set them off!
It’s too sadly moronic to contemplate, isn’t it?
Admirably Benedetto DeFrancisco is taking this unfortunate incident in his stride and although he would like a letter of apology from Mr. Jackson he doesn’t hope for him to spend any time in jail, thinking that his assailant, who was allegedly quite contrite upon his arrest, has learned a valuable lesson.
Fuck that. Make an example of this idiot. At the very least fine him an awful lot of money, so much that it hurts, AND TAKE AWAY HIS FUCKING GUN FOR GOOD.
If Fox News tries to make a martyr out of poor dumb-dumb sap William Jackson—he’s the new Kim Davis, a brave American going after an Islamic terrorist with a gun OR AT LEAST THIS IS WHAT THE FUCK HE THOUGHT HE WAS DOING, this story will crawl up its own ass in ways I can’t even anticipate. Perhaps Mike Huckabee will show up at his arraignment with a guy in a Santa Claus suit and a camera crew and the theme from Rocky playing over the PA system.
OK, so this post is probably breaking the first two rules of something or other, but check this out:
A new app is currently in development that will allow users to find and set up fist-fight “dates” much in the same way users of Tinder or Grindr find other interested parties to set up potential fuck sessions.
“I’d hit it.”
The app, called Rumblr, includes a chat tool and a map function to locate nearby fights and fighters. Users can upload their stats to see how they measure up against competitors. Unlike a certain other “club,” users aren’t required to fight—they can use the app’s “explore” function to find nearby fights to attend as spectators.
The app has yet to have an official release (is it even legal? How much liability can be attributed to the app or its platform when someone ends up murdered?), but the developers have a waiting list going for potential users to be notified when and if it becomes available.
Let’s file this one under “Apex of Western Civilization” or “What could possibly go wrong?”