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  • William Burroughs: ‘When Did I Stop Wanting to Be President?’
    11:59 am



    The March 1975 edition of Harper’s featured an interesting essayistic gallery culled from the American populace to answer the question, “When Did You Stop Wanting to Be President?” The group of respondents included Theodore Sorensen (advisor to President Kennedy), George Romney (former governor of Michigan and father to Mitt), Kevin Phillips (author of The Emerging Republican Majority), and Eugene McCarthy (longtime Congressman from Minnesota).

    But there were two writers in the group that merit special attention, in part because one can scarcely imagine them sharing the same editorial space: Ronald Reagan and William S. Burroughs!!!

    At that moment Reagan was a year away from a failed attempt to wrest the Republican nomination from sitting president Gerald Ford and five years away from being elected president as a reactionary fuckwit.

    Reagan uses his space to spout a lot of aw-shucks baloney about not wanting to be president (“I never started”), to throw out a few potshots at FDR and government in general, and to express confidence that public confidence in the presidency is likely to go up in the future (hasn’t happened).

    For his part, Burroughs spins a funny alternate vision of himself as “Commissioner of Sewers” (as the item is sometimes known) of Los Alamos. Turned off by the notion of the president “pawing babies and spouting bullshit,” Burroughs engages in a reverie of being able to use his exalted position as an opportunity to engage in wide-ranging graft and shenanigans, including pressuring the sheriff “for some mary juana he has confiscated and he’d better play ball or I will route a sewer through his front yard.”

    Eventually Burroughs (or his fictional stand-in) realizes that he’s “simply the wrong shape” for that kind of position, noting that plenty of his “plump” boyhood friends had gone on to pull down hefty salaries in similar roles.

    You can read Burroughs’ original article in the pages of Harper’s (click on “Download PDF”) or you can read a slightly different version of it in the Google Books preview of Word Virus: The William S. Burroughs Reader.

    More amusing, though, is to hear Burroughs read it himself, as he does after the jump…

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    ‘Jayne Mansfield for President’: Hilarious cheesecake book from 1964
    11:15 am



    Not unlike the one culminating today, the 1964 U.S. Presidential election was in dire need of some levity. The nation was still reeling from the shocking assassination of the extremely popular President John F. Kennedy, and the Republican candidate was a conservative so far to the right that he lacked support from all but the nuttiest fringes of his own party.

    But those were arguably simpler times, and America had fewer problems that couldn’t be solved with boobies.

    During that election cycle, actress/model Jayne Mansfield, an intended heiress-apparent to the Marilyn Monroe blonde bombshell throne, was the subject of a book called Jayne Mansfield for President: The White House or Bust. Mansfield had just become infamous as the first mainstream actress to appear nude in a Hollywood film, Promises! Promises!, but Jayne Mansfield for President goes no further than bikini cheesecake and ribald political captions. And in the introduction, there’s this amusing passage:

    All right, now look down the portrait gallery of the American Presidency. What do you see there? Beards, side-whiskers, bald heads, scowls. What’s missing? I’ll tell you what’s missing, buster—a cupid’s bow smile, a false eyelash wink, a nifty cleavage. If a farmer, a clerk, a general, a Southerner can make it to the White House, why not a lady…better yet a WOMAN!

    We have a stand-out candidate in mind, and we want to show you what would happen when she rolls up her sleeves throws out her chest and takes charge of the political scene.

    What follows is a selection of favorite spreads. The complete publication can be viewed at Decaying Hollywood Mansions. Clicking an image spawns an enlargement.


    More more more Mansfield after the jump…

    Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
    Stereos from outer space: The golden age of kitschy record player design
    09:45 am



    When rock and roll came along the companies designing and manufacturing record players had to catch up to the teenage dream. Pop music needed pop art delivery systems that reflected a generation’s infatuation with color and style. The drab old wooden players of our parents just wouldn’t do. We wanted to spin our records on stuff that was as fun looking as the music was fun to listen to. Eventually even the higher end stereo equipment, the gear outside of the financial reach of teenagers started to get groovy as well. It was the 1960s and everybody was getting hip.

    Unfortunately, as beautiful as many of these designs are they weren’t remotely audiophile quality. With heavy unadjustable tonearms and cheap carts/styluses and speakers the size of clam shells, these were intended for fun not serious music listening. In recent years, the market has been flooded with cheap knock-offs of these cute record players. Don’t buy them. Vinyl records are no longer $1.99 and these players are toys—vinyl killers—that will chew up that 180 gram Mobile Fidelity copy of Blonde On Blonde you paid $49.00 for. The “Record Eater” (see the ad below) was inadvertently truth in advertising.

    Here’s some cool ads from an era when pop culture really started to get crazy and magazine ads mirrored the new sensibility that said “yes!” to being cool.

    Thank you rock and roll.



    Many more after the jump…

    Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
    Iron Maiden holiday sweater
    09:38 am



    I normally don’t care about the whole ironic “ugly Christmas sweater” shit that rears its head pretty much right after Halloween every year. It’s not even Thanksgiving yet for Pete’s sake! But here I am blogging about one anyway as I kind of find this particular one sweater funny. I dig that it features Eddie in all his yuletide glory.

    The sweater is by MOB and sells for $84.99. That’s little expensive for a novelty sweater, in my opinion. However, it does appear to be well made. If that price is too steep for you, there’s also an Iron Maiden scarf selling for only $39.99. The design is very similar to the sweater.


    via Nerdcore

    Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
    Male tortoise having sex keeps yelling ‘WOW!’
    01:06 pm



    So we’ve all seen the adorable video of a tortoise mating with a Croc shoe, right? If not, here’s a refresher link. It’s stinkin’ cute. Well, here’s a video of two tortoises “making love” while the male tortoise mounts a female tortoise and repeatedly “says” what sounds like “WOW!” 

    Between the Croc video and now this “Wow!” video, I think I need to own a pet tortoise.

    via Geekologie

    Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
    Dispatches from the edge of the toilet bowl: Hunter S. Thompson’s deranged ‘hangover cure’
    12:15 pm



    Since this is a “hangover cure” prescribed by the good Dr. Hunter S. Thompson I wouldn’t get too excited about it actually working, much less the notion that you’d actually survive the experience of taking Thompson up on his extreme advice on how to rid yourself of a hangover.

    In this hand-scrawled letter from Thompson (penned on his Thompson’s own Rolling Stone Magazine “National Correspondent” letterhead) to then-Playboy editor David Butler, Thompson reveals his terrifyingly gonzo solution for ridding yourself of a hangover. Thompson was on assignment for the magazine tasked with writing an article about a fishing competition in Cozumel, Mexico which would become The Great Shark Hunt. In the event that you’re suffering from a hangover right now, I’ve transcribed Thompson’s dubious instructions below. Which in no way should be considered an endorsement of the good doctor’s advice:

    P.S.—inre: Qui’s request for “my hangover cure”—it’s 12 Amyl Nitrates (one box), in conjunction with as many beers as necessary. OK H

    I’ve had my fair share of hangovers and if you have too then you know how horrible they are, and that while suffering through a particular bad one that you’d consider selling your first-born if it meant this would relieve your self-inflicted symptoms. While there’s really no cure for a hangover (I’m looking at you delicious Bloody Mary) outside of not drinking alcohol I’m here to tell you that the only person who probably ever followed Thompson’s advice is likely no longer with us. Much like the thrill-seeking journalist himself. An image of Thompson’s “prescription” follows.

    More after the jump…

    Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
    Neutral Milk Hotel’s 1997 gig at an Athens Halloween party (full video)
    12:00 pm



    Archeologists will one day puzzle over the intense fandom Neutral Milk Hotel enjoyed from a certain kind of hipster after the combo’s breakup in 1999. For a while there NMH’s final album, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea became a talisman for a band who had become gone out of business around the time that Napster hit, generating intense feelings of FOMO (“fear of missing out”) among those checking Pitchfork multiple times a day and perusing early mp3 blogs like Fluxblog and Said the Gramophone.

    So NMH became inordinately adored for a stretch, but the band’s extensive tour dates in 2013 through 2015 restored its reputation back where it belongs, as a fine band that is not, perhaps, the second coming of Jefferson Airplane’s Lonely Hearts Club Band starring Jimi Hendrix.

    The most FOMO-stricken of NMH’s fans would pretty much kill to have been able to attend the band’s gig at a Halloween party in 1997 in their base of Athens, Georgia. The show is noteworthy for being the first time Neutral Milk Hotel ever played “The King of Carrot Flowers Pt 1” and “Holland, 1945” as a full band.

    Plus some members of REM were reportedly in attendance, appropriately decked out in Halloween costumes, which certainly ups the show’s cool factor.

    Continues after the jump…

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    There’s a Cthulhu ski mask that’s only $4.23!
    10:51 am



    Boing Boing hipped me to this really inexpensive Cthulhu-style ski mask that’s selling here for only $4.23. Depending on the color you choose, the price does change slightly. I’m blogging about the grey one and that’s currently at $4.23. Now I can’t vouch for the quality of these masks. I do not own one. However, there are over 100 customer reviews giving the masks between four and five stars. Just 4% of the reviews have it at one star.

    I thought I’d throw this one out there since it’s getting cold out, it’s cheap and it could make for a great (cheap!) Christmas gift.

    In his house at R’lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming of a ski mask like this one.



    Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
    Floor plans of the homes from ‘Stranger Things,’ ‘Breaking Bad,’ ‘Mr. Robot,’ and other TV shows
    09:51 am



    Floor plans of the domiciles of fictional characters is not a new concept. As far back as the 1990s, an artist named Mark Bennett had bestowed upon us architectural plans for the houses of Boomer-era classics such as The Flintstones, Family Affair, Batman, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. I’m also aware of plans for Seinfeld and Friends and a few others.

    Many of the shows that receive this treatment are filmed on TV studio sets (often in front of an audience), meaning that such floor plans almost always have a large fictional element. The artists involved must use their powers of imagination to fill in necessary blanks, but the insights derived can often be startling. For instance, would anyone care to speculate on the price tag for the vast “Elliott Bay Towers” penthouse of a certain Seattle radio personality from the 1990s?

    Last week Ben Sanford of the real estate blog Homes posted a sorely needed update including floor plans for homes in recent hits, including Joyce’s house in Stranger Things, Elliott’s dumpy single-bedroom apartment in Mr. Robot, and the middle-class residence of Walter White and family in Breaking Bad.

    If you’re listening, Ben Sanford, my request list for any future floor plans includes the D.C.-area Jennings residence from The Americans, the bar in Horace and Pete, the Pfeffermans’ modernist Pacific Palisades house from Transparent, Jimmy Shive-Overly’s Silver Lake pad from You’re the Worst, and Sharon and Rob’s house from Catastrophe.


    Much more after the jump….....

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    Tattoo Tights: Decorate your legs without permanently inking your skin
    09:45 am



    If you’ve ever considered getting a tattoo on your legs but were a tad concerned that maybe one day you’d tire of its design and would be forever marked with a dubious nautical illustration or a fast-fading love heart, or the name of a long gone ex. Well, fret no more as there is a range of fashion accessories called Tattoo Tights that allows you to change your tattoos as easily as changing your pantyhose.

    Tattoo Tights is the idea of Silvana Ilieva—an artist who is passionate about creating “unique, hand-painted items with a soul.” Silvana produces individual pantyhose with tattoo motifs in her studio in Sofia, Bulgaria. Each pair of pantyhose are hand-painted using Silvana’s secret technique which incorporates ancient Asian inking methods.

    So far, Silvana has produced around 100 individual tattoo designs for her range of Tattoo Tights—which she sells online. These are more than just beautiful hosiery but delightful works of art to be exhibited on sorry, on top of your skin. More details here.
    More beautiful ‘tattooed tights,’ after the jump…

    Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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