A spendy sweater made by LA-based company Enfants Riches Déprimés
And yes, I do realize that this image of Lou Reed is taken from the cover of his 1972 album Transformer however, you really can’t deny that Reed looks rather sad to be a part of a sweater that costs more than most monthly mortgage payments. You might call it, at $2,730, a “steal.”
In fact when you translate the name of the LA-based company that makes the garment Enfants Riches Déprimés from French to English it becomes “Depressed Rich Kids.” Which further reinforces the appearance of despair on poor Lou’s 100% merino wool face, don’t it? If the Lou sweater is a bit too spendy for you, then the same image also appears on a coat from les Enfants that will run you (just) a cool $1,160.
The Enfants Riches Déprimés brand is wildly popular with young Hollywood types whose parents pay all their bills.
Their customer base routinely shell out all kind of ridiculous cash for t-shirts complete with holes that cost $378, and jackets like this one named for Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye that retails for $800. Speaking of being depressed, Enfants even makes a $7000 cashmere noose which while posh enough for the jet-set to use to end it all, isn’t likely to be strong enough to use to actually hang yourself with. Too bad.
‘Lou Reed’ coat.
An image of the $7000 cashmere noose by Enfants Riches Déprimés .
Rocky Raccoon sheet music; pictured here are its two very famous composers
There have been countless covers of Beatles songs over the decades, but surely one of the most regrettable has to be the version Raquel Welch and Bob Hope essayed of “Rocky Raccoon,” an original and enjoyable song off of side 2 of The White Album. The cover version Welch and Hope executed wasn’t a record, it was part of Raquel!, a Raquel Welch TV special that aired on CBS in 1970—DM’s Richard Metzger once described it as “a camp time capsule full of Bob Mackie dresses, Paco Rabanne spacesuits and Bob Hope singing “Rocky Raccoon” wearing a Davey Crockett hat.” Welch and Hope had a close relationship, she was a staple of his USO tours, one (perhaps two?) that the troops were always overjoyed to see.
The western motifs McCartney employed in his ditty provided the producers with an irresistible opportunity to put together a slapstick pastiche sketch à la The Monkees or Laugh-In or Benny Hill. Not that there’s anything wrong with that per se, but the gags are pretty lazy. Welch can’t pass up the chance to do Mae West, and I’m not sure if whatever Hope is doing qualifies as Sprechgesang or Sprechstimme, but it ain’t singing (he sounded better doing “Thanks for the Memory”). Welch’s voice, however, is very nice but she makes no effort to capture the spirit of the original.
John Lennon got the last word on this subject. As Geoffrey Giuliano reported in Blackbird: The Life and Times of Paul McCartney, Lennon’s quote on the subject ran, “I saw Bob Hope doing it once on the telly years ago, I just thanked God it wasn’t one of mine.”
In Aleister & Adolf the reader is taken behind the scenes of the capitalist spectacle and inside the boardrooms where corporate-occult marketing departments employ fascist sigil magick developed by the Nazis during WWII in today’s advertising logos. A place where the war for men’s minds is waged with symbols and catchy slogans. It’s a fun smart read and you’ll be much smarter after you’ve read it, trust me. And Oeming’s crisp B&W artwork is perfectly suited for getting across some often difficult and tricky philosophical concepts. He’s a unique talent indeed.
“Swastikas and other sigil logos become the corporate logos of our world. And given that we’re living in a moment where those logos are migrating online where they can move on their own, it’s kind of important that we consider the origins and power of these icons.”
Grant Morrison even wrote the introduction to Aleister & Adolf. I mean, how can you lose with something like this?
I asked Douglas Rushkoff a few questions via email:
Douglas Rushkoff: It’s almost easier to ask where didn’t I find inspiration for Aleister & Adolf. The moment it occurred to me was when I was in an editorial meeting at DC/Vertigo about my comic book Testament, back in 2005. The editor warned me that there was an arcane house rule against having Jesus Christ and a Superhero in the same panel. Not that I was going to get to Jesus in my story, but the rule got me thinking about other potentially blasphemous superhero/supervillain pairings. And that’s when I first got to wondering about Aleister Crowley vs. Adolf Hitler.
But as I considered the possibility, it occurred to me that they were practicing competing forms of magic at the same time. And then I began to do the research, and learned that the premise of my story was true: Aleister Crowley performed counter-sigils to Hitler’s. Crowley came up with the V for Victory sigil that Churchill used to flash—and got it to him through Ian Fleming (the James Bond author) who was MI5 at the time.
I’ve always wanted to do something about Crowley, but I’ve been afraid for a bunch of reasons. Making him something of a war hero, and contrasting him with a true villain like Hitler, became a way to depict him as something more dimensional than “the Beast.”
Did you think of the ending first? It’s a bit like a punchline, isn’t it?
Douglas Rushkoff: I didn’t think of the ending first. The first thing I thought of was to have a young American military photographer get sent to enlist Crowley in the magical effort. I wanted us to see the story through someone like us—someone more cynical, perhaps—and then get to have the vicarious thrill of being drawn into Crowley’s world.
Then, I decided I needed a framing story - just to show how relevant all this creation of sigils is to our world today. So I created a prologue for the story, that takes place in a modern advertising agency: the place where the equivalent of sigil magic is practiced today. I wanted to set the telling of the story within the frame of how corporate sigils are taking life on the Internet today. So the outer frame takes place in the mid-90’s, when the net was being turned over to marketers. The ending is pretty well broadcast up front.
Aleister & Adolph reminds me a lot of Robert Anton Wilson’s Masks of the Illuminatus—which I think is his best book—because it sort of forces its ideas into the reader’s head like an earworm that you can’t resist. Also Crowley is a character in that book, too, of course. Do you see it as a bit of a RAW homage?
Douglas Rushkoff: It’s a RAW homage in that the story has verisimilitude—it is told in a way where it’s absolutely possible for this all to happen. There’s no supernatural magic here; it’s just the magick of Will. There’s the black magic of the Nazis. But however extreme the Nazis, it was real. It’s got the reality quotient of Eyes Wide Shut or Apocalypse Now.
And that’s the understanding of sigil magic I got from Bob. It’s all very normal. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. Just that you have to participate in its perception. It’s just a different way of understanding the connections. So while the protagonist of the story starts off as a disillusioned atheist and ends up believing in magick as Magic, even Crowley (at least my Crowley) tries to convince him not to take it so literally.
I wouldn’t understand magick that way if it weren’t for Bob. It’s embedded in the fabric of reality. It doesn’t need to break the rules of reality to work.
Are you aware of a recent trend among some alt-right types to organize acts of group 4Chan “meme magick”? Some of it’s just blatant harassment and bullying over Twitter, but there’s actually a sophisticated intent behind some of it. Pepe the Frog has become a hypersigil. I’m not being admiring of it—the idea that certain reichwingers would want start a magical war via social media is alarming to say the least—but the concept is a sound one magically speaking: They’ve figured out how to amplify their signal’s strength like a radio transmitter.
Douglas Rushkoff: There’s a real crossover between the alt-right and the occult. I knew a guy writing a book about it, in fact. And remember, it was one of Bush’s advisors who once explained that the future is something you create. And there’s an any-means-necessary quality to libertarianism that is consonant with chaos magic.
Plus, you’re talking about homespun propagandists inhabiting the comments sections of blogs and things. They’re not reading Bernays and Lippman. They’re waging hand-to-hand battle in the ideological trenches. A bit of NLP, rhetoric, and magic are what you turn to.
The interesting thing here is why the left does not use these techniques. It goes against our sense of what is fair. We know we’re “right” and so we want to win with the fact. Sigil magic feels like cheating on some level. So we have to ask ourselves, isn’t the full expression of our Will something we want to unleash? If not, why not?
This isn’t the freethinking/pansexual “Generation Hex” types who seemed to be on the horizon a few years ago, but rather like an evil skinheads contingent at Hogwart’s.
Douglas Rushkoff: Alas it is not. That’s partly because the freethinking pansexuals got a bit distracted by other things. And most of them worked alone. I don’t think there were nearly as many, either. That’s pretty rarified air. Back in the 80’s, there were more kids taking acid in the parking lot at AC/DC concerts than there were in the dorms of Reid College. And likewise - as a result of economics as much as anything - there’s more gamergaters throwing sigils online than Bernie Sanders supporters. Sometimes magic gets in the hands of people you’d rather not find it.
In the course of decades of obsessive crate-digging, I’ve turned up plenty of oddities. Most of them stay in the bins, but there will always be things too weird or wonderful to resist. But a really good dig is one which results in me exclaiming aloud in the store, to no one in particular, “HOLY SHIT WHAT IS THIS AND HOW HAVE I NEVER HEARD OF IT BEFORE?”
A couple weeks ago, that record was Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of the War of the Worlds—apparently a massive phenomenon in the UK and Australia (live productions and tours are frequent and extremely popular), but it’s arcana for the connoisseur in the US, where its initial 1978 pressing and its few subsequent reissues all failed to chart. Wayne was the son of a theatrical producer, and had scored his father’s production of A Tale of Two Cities in 1966. In 1973, after a career of composing music for TV ads, he distinguished himself in the rock world by producing and playing keyboards on David Essex’s unkillable beast Rock On, meaning we owe Mr. Wayne indirect thanks for that great Patton Oswalt bit about blowing Michael Damian behind the Tilt-A-Whirl at the state fair. Wayne was able to parlay that massive success into the rights to create a War of the Worlds concept album and interest from CBS Records in funding and releasing the massively ambitious (not to say BLOATED, no sir, nuh uh) project.
The result was a double LP of slick lite-prog laced with disco’s rhythmic tropes, featuring the voices of Sir Richard Burton, Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott, The Moody Blues’ Justin Hayward, and—surprise!—David Essex, adapting H.G. Wells’ novel for narration and song. Other notables in the credits include guitar ace and Sex Pistols demo producer Chris Spedding, and musical theater vet Julie Covington, an alum of Godspell, The Rocky Horror Show, and the first singer to record “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina.” The album comes packaged in a gatefold with a book containing the complete script and some awesome paintings, mostly by noted Lord of the Rings cover artist Geoff Taylor, a few of which we’ll gladly share. Clicking spawns an enlargement.
Collage by William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin, c. 1965 (via Print)
What’s that, friend? You say you’d like to consult the I Ching, but it doesn’t have enough erotic hangings, aftosa infections, hot shots, or horrible “schlupping” sounds to speak to your personal situation? Well, the internet might have fucked up a few other things you could name, but it’s “got your six” this time.
Every time you visit this page, it displays 23 randomly selected paragraphs from William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch. Press the “play” button at the top and you’ll also hear Burroughs read 23 randomly selected sentences from the novel. Here’s what the oracle just told me:
1 “Don’t look so frightened, young man. Just a professional joke. To say treatment is symptomatic means there is none, except to make the patient feel as comfortable as possible. And that is precisely what we attempt to do in these cases.” Once again Carl felt the impact of that cold interest on his face. “That is to say reassurance when reassurance is necessary… and, of course, suitable outlets with other individuals of similar tendencies. No isolation is indicated… the condition is no more directly contagious than cancer. Cancer, my first love,” the doctor’s voice receded. He seemed actually to have gone away through an invisible door leaving his empty body sitting there at the desk.
2 “They say somebody pushed him.”
3 The boy shied. His street-boy face, torn with black scars of junk, retained a wild, broken innocence; shy animals peering out through grey arabesques of terror.
4 “‘Doc, she sure is a dry hole…. Well, thanks for the paregoric.
5 “Brilliant chap Schafer… but…”
6 “Jesus! These ID’s got no class to them.”
7 “And I say unto you, brothers and sisters of the Anti-Fluoride movement, we have this day struck such a blow for purity as will never call a retreat…. Out, I say, with the filthy foreign fluorides! We will sweep this fair land sweet and clean as a young boy’s tensed Hank. …I will now lead you in our theme song The Old Oaken Bucket.”
8 “We sure did. And you know those citizens were so loaded on that marijuana they all wig inna middle of the banquet…. Me, I just had bread and milk… ulcers you know.”
9 The Embassy would give no details other than place of burial in the American Cemetery….
10 CAMPUS OF INTERZONE UNIVERSITY
11 “Oh say do that Star Spangled Banner yet wave…”
12 The old junky has found a vein… blood blossoms in the dropper like a Chinese flower… he push home the heroin and the boy who jacked off fifty years ago shine immaculate through the ravaged flesh, fill the outhouse with the sweet nutty smell of young male lust….
13 “Know Marty Steel?” Diddle.
14 Marvie does buy himself a shot glass of beer, squeezing a blackened coin out of his fly onto the table. “Keep the change.” The waiter sweeps the coin into a dust pan, he spits on the table and walks away.
15 All streets of the City slope down between deepen-ing canyons to a vast, kidney-shaped plaza full of darkness. Walls of street and plaza are perforated by dwelling cubicles and cafes, some a few feet deep, others extending out of sight in a network of rooms and corridors.
16 He paces around the boy like an aroused tom cat.
17 “With that milk sugar shit? Junk is a one-way street. No U-turn. You can’t go back no more.”
18 “Just two seconds,” I said.
19 “So long flatfoot!” I yell, giving the fruit his B production. I look into the fruit’s eyes, take in the white teeth, the Florida tan, the two hundred dollar sharkskin suit, the button-down Brooks Brothers shirt and carrying The News as a prop. “Only thing I read is Little Abner.”
20 Pigs rush up and the Prof. pours buckets of pearls into a trough….
21 Hauser had been eating breakfast when the Lieutenant called: “I want you and your partner to pick up a man named Lee, William Lee, on your way downtown. He’s in the Hotel Lamprey. 103 just off B way.”
22 “And all them junkies sitting around in the lotus posture spitting on the ground and waiting on The Man.
23 More and more static at the Drug Store, mutterings of control like a telephone off the hook… Spent all day until 8 P.M. to score for two boxes of Eukodol….
The great actor James Mason stands in a Victorian urinal in London talking about goldfish. Here, Mason says referring to this Holborn convenience, is true democracy as “All men are equal in the eyes of a lavatory attendant.” It’s one of the many quirky moments in an excellent documentary called The London Nobody Knows.
Another instance is Mason turning up at the door of a resident on Hanbury Street to view the garden where Jack the Ripper brutally murdered Annie Chapman. The streets look little changed in the seventy-nine years since her killing—dark, derelict, and foreboding.
Mason was a major box office star when he fronted this delightful short. He had recently starred in Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita and Hitchcock’s North by Northwest and was yet to make the few ill-considered choices that briefly dimmed his star at the start of the seventies. Between acting commitments in early 1967, Mason donned his brown brogues, wool cap and camel jacket to play—or rather perform—the role of inquisitive tour guide across the cobbled lanes, the dereliction, the people, the buskers, the down and outs, the nooks and crannies of a radically changing city.
The London Nobody Knows is a delightful yet oddly haunting film. The tone is set at the beginning when Mason visits the derelict Bedford Music Hall—the favorite venue of the legendary Marie Lloyd, the queen of music hall. As Lloyd is heard singing “The Boy I Love Is Up in the Gallery,” Mason recounts how the ghost of a little known performer Belle Elmore was said to haunt the theater. Belle, Mason explains, was better known as Cora Turner—wife and victim of one Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen—the notorious murderer. This mix of the comic and the darkly tragic filter through the whole film—as can be seen by the later sequences of down and outs and meths drinkers—those poor unfortunates who sought inebriation—and usually blindness and death—in the consumption of denatured alcohol. Even an almost picturesque scene by the River Thames is tinged by the tale of pirates chained hand and foot by the edge waters to drown. Locals came and ate picnics while watching these poor brigands die.
As a side note: the Bedford Music Hall was where Peter Sellers parents performed and Sellers was born and raised in a tenement apartment next to the theater. Sellers later claimed he was a reincarnation of another Bedford artiste—Dan Leno.
Now, when I said Mason performs as “tour guide”—he is in fact giving his interpretation of Geoffrey Scowcroft Fletcher—a journalist, writer, artist and long forgotten pioneer of what is now ponderously termed “psychogeography”—on whose work the film is based. Fletcher wandered London drawing its inhabitants, noting down events, sights and things of historical importance which he then wrote up in a weekly column for the Daily Telegraph. Fletcher’s books—The London Nobody Knows (1962), Down Among the Meths Men (1966) and a pinch of London’s River (1965) are the source material for Mason’s journey. (The Situationists were, of course, also known for taking similarly drifting “revolutionary” strolls, which they termed “dérive.”)
The London Nobody Knows was directed by Norman Cohen and produced by Michael Klinger. Cohen went onto make his name as a director of hit British comedy films like Till Death Us Do Part (1969), Dad’s Army (1971), and Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall and the series of seventies sex comedies—-Confessions of a Pop Performer, Confessions of a Holiday Camp and Confessions of a Driving Instructor. While Klinger who produced Roman Polanski’s early films Cul-de-Sac and Repulsion went on to produce Michael Caine in Get Carter and Pulp and the Lee Marvin/Roger Moore feature Shout at the Devil.
If there’s one thing you are going to watch today then make it this—as it’s a rewarding look back at a world long gone (London during a year change) the year of so-called psychedelia and the “summer of love.” As can be seen from this film—that world was media hype—the world of The London Nobody Knows was very, very real.
If you recall, the Sentinel Sphere drills into its victims’ brains and is unleashed by supernatural undertaker, The Tall Man. (I’ve provided a video below of the deadly sphere in action.)
We teamed up with legendary filmmaker Don Coscarelli and our friends at Middle of Beyond to create the Sentinel Sphere replica ornament. It’s the perfect addition to your holiday horror decor!
It looks like the Sentinel Sphere ornaments are on pre-order and isn’t expected to ship until sometime in January 2017, so you won’t be able to use on this year’s tree. Boo! The piece is selling for $15.00 here.
Below, a scene from ‘Phantasm II’ with the spheres:
One of the contradictory artifacts of the Communist bloc was the arena of clothing design and fashion. Indeed, one might even say that in any self-respecting socialist paradise, the entire notion of physical beauty would always be suspect: After all, visual attractiveness by definition involves itself with appearances over inner substance. But that didn’t mean that Eastern Europe was just going to cede the territory to the capitalists entirely. The Communist bloc had to compete with the West on many fronts, and one of them was the objectification of women.
The best-known fashion magazine in East Germany a.k.a. the German Democratic Republic (GDR) was called Sibylle. It was in print from 1956 until 1995, and it was named after its founder Sibylle Gerstner. The magazine was a bimonthly, appearing six times a year, and its modest run of 200,000 would regularly sell out, implying a demand among East German women for increased coverage of fashion topics.
The question naturally arises whether how a socialist version of Vogue (people at the time were aware of that exact comparison) differed from the Western original. Certainly the Sibylle covers emphasize a more natural look and eschew materialistic or otherwise illusionistic makeup and other trappings—but it could also be that we’re reading into it, a bit; it’s possible that the covers are more similar than different. The article on Sibylle in German Wikipedia features the intriguing sentence “Auf die frauenzeitschrifttypischen Ratgeberteile wurde bewusst verzichtet,” which means that the typical women’s advice columns and similar content was consciously rejected. In the socialist East German paradise, women are not to be condescended to in matters of the heart!
For some reason the lion’s share of the covers available on German eBay are from the 1960s and the early 1980s but very little in between. I’m quite taken by the latter period but I’ll also show a few from the earlier span as well.
Glasgow 1951. Exterior night. A busy city street. Fogbound. Trams and buses gridlocked—their windows steamy, yellow-lit, blurred faces peering out into the darkness.
Inside one of the buses—a mother and daughter. The girl is about three years old. She is happy, singing quietly. The bus halts. People onboard groan frustratedly, complain about getting home. The girl looks at her mother. She wriggles free and stands in the middle of the lower deck of the bus. The girl is Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie. She starts to sing. She has the voice of a “nuclear reactor” with the face of an angel. The passengers on the bus are enthralled. They can’t believe this tiny child has such a powerful voice. Marie belts out one song after another. The traffic starts to move. The passengers applaud and throw coins. This is Lulu’s first experience of fame.
Glasgow 1962: Exterior twilight. W/S of cranes and ships along the River Clyde and docks. The evening sky is bright orange. The buildings sparkle with the light from tenement windows. There’s a sound of distant traffic—blue trains rattling to the suburbs.
Interior Night: The Lindella Nightclub. Blue wisps of cigarette smoke, tables along one side of room, a bar with a scrum of customers, eager to get drunk, happy to be out for the night. Backstage - a band, The Gleneagles, are ready to go on. They can hear the audience getting restless. The bass player asks if everything is okay? Over the sound system, the voice of the compere introduces the band. This is it. A ripple of applause, a rush, then the band is on stage.
At the rear, a young girl, who looks hardly in her teens, her hair bright red, sprayed with lacquer, and rolled in curlers. She has a cold, but smiles, and looks confident. She holds a beret in her hand—wondering of she should wear it or not. The girl goes on stage. A pause. There’s feedback from the speakers. She checks with the band. The audience are getting uneasy. There are mutters, snide comments (“Away back to school, hen”) and sense of menace. Now fourteen years old, Marie Lawrie is about to change her life. The band are ready. Marie starts to sing.
The voice is incredible. Little Richard, Jerry Lewis and The Isley Brothers all rolled into this tiny redhead at the front of the stage.
At the back of the room—a woman stands slightly away from the crowd. She is mesmerized by the young girl’s performance. The audience that were about to riot are now lapdogs to this girl. The woman is Marion Massey—she is an agent—and she has just found her biggest act.
Lulu: (V/O) When I was fourteen, I was very lucky. I was discovered - to use a terrible term - by a person who was absolutely sincere. Since I was five, people had been coming up to me saying: “Stick with me, baby, and I’ll make you a star.” In fact, nobody ever did anything for me. Then Marion came along.
CU of Marion watching Lulu perform.
Marion Massey: (V/O) She looked so peculiar that first time I saw her. Her hair was in curlers underneath a fur beret. She had a terrible cold, was very pale and wore three jumpers. But I was very intrigued by her. There was something tremendously magnetic about this girl. I knew she had the makings of a great star.
London, 1964. Interior Day: Lulu performs on television.
London 1965. Interior Day—a busy press conference. Behind a table covered with microphones sits Lulu with a vigilant Marion Massey. Cameras flash, TV crews jostle for best coverage, journalists talk over each other, shout their questions.
Reporter One: With all this success are you rich?
Lulu: I get £10 a week pocket money. I get through about £5 a week on taxis alone. They’re terribly expensive in London, but I don’t know my way about well enough to take buses and the only time I went on the tube by myself I got lost…
Reporter Two: What do you spend your money on?
Lulu: Shoes are my weakness, I’ve got eight pairs going at the moment plus two that have just about had it.
Reporter Three: Where are you staying?”
Lulu: At Aunt Janey’s.
Marion Massey: My Mother’s.
Lulu: Auntie Janey’s a wonderful cook. She does gefilte fish, boiled or fried.
Reporter One: Do you like it?
Lulu: Yes. I like it fried. (Pause) With ketchup.
Reporter Four: What’s going to be your next hit?
Interior Night: Lulu comes off-stage having finished singing “The Boat That I Row”. She is approached by writer and film director James Clavell—author of Shōgun.
James Clavell: That was wonderful.
Lulu: Thank you.
(Lulu is surrounded by fans who ask for autograph. The fans disperse happy with their prized signature. Lulu turns to Clavell.)
Lulu: Are you wanting an autograph?
James Clavell: No, no. I just want to tell you…that er…well…You’ve got the part.
Lulu: What are you on about? What part?
James Clavell: I’m doing this feature film and I want you to be in it.
Lulu: Aye, right. Your patter’s pish by the way.
James Clavell: No seriously, you’ve got the part.
Cut to: Footage of Lulu in from To Sir, With Love.
More hits and scenes from Lulu’s legendary life, after the jump…
Ever wanted your home to smell like greasy fried chicken made with eleven herbs and spices? Well now is your chance with this KFC chicken-scented candle. I’ve heard of bacon-scented candles before, but not fried chicken. I can’t imagine that it smells too good, but your mileage may vary.
Sadly, these candles aren’t available to purchase just yet as they’re part of a social media KFC giveaway contest. If you’d like to take part and try to win one of these puppies, click here.
And no, this isn’t stealthy paid advertorial. I just thought this candle was totally gross. That doesn’t mean I didn’t fall for the bait of reblogging their contest hook, line and sinker, of course…
A 27-year-old David Duke (the then Grand Dragon of the KKK) helping to keep the Mexican border safe, 1977.
On October 27th, 1977, David Duke the then 27-year-old Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan held a press conference to announce that the members of the KKK would start independently patrolling the Mexican border in Southern California, New Mexico, Texas and Arizona. Duke dubbed his plan the “Klan Border Watch.”
According to Duke, Klan members would be disbursed throughout the 2000 mile border with 230 assigned to monitor and detain illegal aliens attempting to cross the Mexico/California border, 150 in Texas, 75 in New Mexico and a scant few in Arizona. During the first night of the KKK’s unofficial duties as border watch dogs actual Border Patrol agents said they didn’t see a single white hood. According to others there were apparently at least ten Klan members and six vehicles with cheap signs taped to the doors that read “Klan Border Watch” (classy!) sighted along the California/Mexico border. Much like you-know-who (whose father might have been a Klan sympathizer in his youth), Duke made statements to the media saying that he had the “full support of the American people” when it came to the Klan’s efforts to block Mexican immigrants from entering the country illegally and “taking jobs away” from American citizens.
The U.S. Border Patrol refused to work with the Klan, and their independent actions were denounced by government officials and minority activists. The rejection of the Klan’s plans to patrol the border led to a large coalition of anti-Klan activists protesting the Klan’s unwanted help along the border in San Diego. The U.S. Ambassador to Mexico at the time, Patrick Lucey, also released a strong statement condemning the Klan’s actions saying that in “no way would the Klan be allowed to patrol the border.”
Despite all the push back and assurance from government officials and the Border Patrol itself, Duke continued to spin yarns about how he had met with members of the Justice Department as well as other federal agencies insinuating that he had somehow received authorization for the klansmen to add “border patrol agent” to their resumes along with cross burning and you know, good old-fashioned lynching. Of course all of this was just a way for the attention-hungry Duke to shine a spotlight on himself and the Klan in an effort to somehow convince the general public that the KKK was trying to protect them from job-stealing illegal immigrants. Does any of this sound familiar to you?
If you perhaps think that over the decades the Klan has changed their perspective on how to secure our borders, you’d be correct. In 2014 during an television interview two KKK members in North Carolina dressed in their best white sheets and hoods advocated for shooting Mexican children (or “popping” them off) as they attempted to cross the border then leaving their corpses behind to rot in order to reinforce how “serious” they were about “immigration.”
If you voted for a candidate that the “modern” version of David Duke and the KKK vividly supported and endorsed during the election, that’s your burning cross to bear. After all, you could have taken a look at who all the bigots and white nationalists were going for and in the privacy of the ballot box voted for someone else instead. But you didn’t, did you?
And sure, sure I know the president-elect eventually denounced these endorsements (after trying to lie about having no knowledge of who Duke was), however he didn’t do much of anything outside of appear straight-up annoyed at all the fuss. And he only did it under duress. He gets no points whatsoever. Perhaps Trump could have taken a queue from the GOP’s beloved St. Ronald Reagan and copied the Gipper’s response to the hate organization that endorsed him in both 1980 and again in 1984. You see, even Reagan clearly understood how vile the KKK is and even wrote a letter to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in April of 1984 about how dangerous the Klan, and organizations like them really are. It read in part:
Those of us in public life can only resent the use of our names by those who seek political recognition for the repugnant doctrines of hate they espouse. The politics of racial hatred and religious bigotry practiced by the Klan and others have no place in this country, and are destructive of the values for which America has always stood.
Trump voters, though you can try all you want to rationalize that your vote was for “change,” your IQ test at the voting actually just confirmed that you—yes you—are in fact “okay” with racism. Which actually makes you a racist, too.
Mortierbrigade is an independent and integrated communications agency based in Brussels. Their motto is “confuse and conquer” which probably explains why their best work subverts the ordinary to make it interesting and original—which in turn explains why they have won over 250 industry awards. (They also run a hotel for trainees too—but that’s another story.) So not your ordinary run-of-the-mill bunch of creatives.
Recently Mortierbrigade linked up with Belgian humor magazine Humo (see what they did there?) to create an eye-catching and off-the-wall advertizing campaign that juxtaposed two seemingly innocent adverts into something far more saucy and subversive. Let’s call it “accidental porn”—where two incongruous images create…well...see for yourself….
Mortierbrigade and Humo clearly managed to convince their leading advertisers—such as Lidl, the Lotto, etc.—to play along.
Several years ago DM highlighted the reprint edition of Codex Seraphinianus, what we termed “the strangest book in the world.” For those who don’t know, Codex Seraphinianus is, as my DM colleague Em described it, “a figurative, as well as literal, encyclopedia of weirdness insofar as it describes in great detail the basic physics, flora and fauna, and even the vaguely human-like society of a world that doesn’t happen to exist,” all lovingly described in “a language—and even a script—that no one to date has ever decoded.”
I was tickled to learn that for the first time the Codex has entered the wall calendar market. For each of the twelve months there is a vibrant tableau brimming with curious creatures and Serafini’s fanciful invented script, and in case that isn’t enough, a good many of the individual days on the calendar part feature bizarre Serafini images on them as well. It’s simply a gorgeous visual feast of addictive weirdness.
Since I have already weighed in on the monumentally brilliant new 10 CD Marc Almond box set Trials of Eyeliner: Anthology 1979-2016 (spoiler: I loved it) I will just direct you to that, but I do want to say that several weeks later I am still deeply into it. If you are looking for something new to give your full attention to—especially if you’re a fan of, say Nick Cave or Scott Walker—then Trials of Eyeliner is the high quality rock snob box set of this Xmas season, hands down. Anyone picking it up who is barely familiar with Almond’s non-“Tainted Love” career is surely in for something… profound. As a long, longtime major major Marc Almond fan, I would almost envy the discovery of his genius via this one fabulous package and not doled out over the decades.
Anyway, when I posted about Trials of Eyeliner last month, there was one thing on it that I wanted to hold back on, and present later on its own to call your attention to it especially. One of the “deep cuts”—indeed one of the very deepest cuts of all—is Almond’s emphatic performance of one of the only songs known to have been composed (in this case co-written) by the Great Beast hisself, Mister Aleister Crowley.
The sheet music for this song, referred to in a footnote, was thought to have remained unpublished and lost. None of the major Crowley collections throughout the world had a copy, but in 1991, a copy was discovered.
“The Tango Song” was written by Aleister Crowley and set to music by Bernard Page. It’s a musical adaptation of Crowley’s poem “The Tango,” first published in The Equinox Vol I, No 9 in March of 1913 as part of a short play co-written by Crowley and Mary D’Este (the mother of the great madcap Hollywood film director Preston Sturges):
What is money to the bliss
Of the honey of a kiss?
What are rank and fame and fashion
To the ecstasy of passion?
Give me dancing!
Give me wine!
Bright eyes glancing—-
Yours in mine!
Up my breath—-
Give me passion!
Give me death!
Were the town of Paris mine,
Its renown should drown in wine
I would pay the land of France
For a day and night of dance.
Dreams entrancing float above
Music, dancing, wine and love.
Sober sinks the sobbing breath;
Smiles the sphinx of sleep and death.
Mike Myers, Penelope Spheeris and company weren’t the first people to capitalize on the out-there strangeness of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which as a six-minute song incorporating plentiful operatic elements and an incomprehensible melodramatic narrative of sorts, was not exactly the template of a chart-topping pop hit, which it was twice, once after Queen released it on Halloween 1975 and then again after Wayne’s World used it in a signature bit in 1991.
The song’s lyrics lay it all out there emotionally—“Mama, Didn’t mean to make you cry, If I’m not back again this time tomorrow, Carry on, carry on as if nothing really matters, I sometimes wish I’d never been born at all,” etc.—and in one of rock music’s most memorable bridges, sprinkles in a bunch of European keywords for spice: “Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango? Galileo Figaro Magnifico-o-o-o….”
Who knows what it all is supposed to mean, but it’s a catchy brew by any standard. Corridor Digital have just released “Literal Bohemian Rhapsody,” a short film in which 100% of the dialogue is simply the lyrics of the movie spoken without music, in order; you can do it if you conceive of the situation as an R-rated crime drama that is just a tad absurd.