Hey Dangerous Minds - after frustrating discussions with family members about why health care reform is needed, I decided to make a 3-minute video describing how no reform equals a bad future for me and millions. Well, I posted the video to Sarah Palin’s FaceBook page, to try and show people the views of one, simple, hard-workin’ American and what I got was an anti-gay comment, skewed views on Christianity, and lots and lots of paranoid-driven misinformation. It’s a great example of how disinformation spreads like a virus that can’t be controlled after a while.
Awesome story in today’s NY Daily News about pioneering female rapper, Roxanne Shante’s successful battle to get Warner Music to pay for her doctoral degree:
But Shante, then 19, remembered a clause in her Warner Music recording contract: The company would fund her education for life.
She eventually cashed in, earning a Ph.D. in psychology from Cornell to the tune of $217,000 - all covered by the label. But getting Warner Music to cough up the dough was a battle. “They kept stumbling over their words, and they didn’t have an exact reason why they were telling me no,” Shante said.
She figured Warner considered the clause a throwaway, never believing a teen mom in public housing would attend college. The company declined to comment for this story.
I was quite amused by this post from Choire Sicha over at The Awl this morning. In some respects, this is a good example of how Obama’s policies are helping the economy! Only $56.76 for their Extreme (Extremist?) Fax Package! Wow! What a bargain! I will say that I wholeheartedly endorse the (covert) aims of this organization, that is, to extract money from the pockets and bank accounts of the dumbest, meanest, most ill-formed people in America (i.e. the ones who are against health care for all citizens because they’re cheap, evil, Republican and already have health insurance for themselves). Way to go FaxDC Army, bleed ‘em DRY:
Among the opponents of The Health Care Bill are people who don’t like it, and people (companies) who will lose money because of it?
Great 1978 essay from the Cienfuegos Press Anarchist Review where sainted SF writer Michael Moorcock takes a heavy swing at right-wing science fiction writers and fans. Great stuff in here.
An anarchist is not a wild child, but a mature, realistic adult imposing laws upon the self and modifying them according to an experience of life, an interpretation of the world. A ‘rebel’, certainly, he or she does not assume ‘rebellious charm’ in order to placate authority (which is what the rebel heroes of all these genre stories do). There always comes the depressing point where Robin Hood doffs a respectful cap to King Richard, having clobbered the rival king. This sort of implicit paternalism is seen in high relief in the currently popular Star Wars series which also presents a somewhat disturbing anti-rationalism in its quasi-religious ‘Force’ which unites the Jedi Knights (are we back to Wellsian ‘samurai’ again?) and upon whose power they can draw, like some holy brotherhood, some band of Knights Templar. Star Wars is a pure example of the genre (in that it is a compendium of other people’s ideas) in its implicit structure—quasi-children, fighting for a paternalistic authority, win through in the end and stand bashfully before the princess while medals are placed around their necks.
Star Wars carries the paternalistic messages of almost all generic adventure fiction (may the Force never arrive on your doorstep at three o’clock in the morning) and has all the right characters. It raises ‘instinct’ above reason (a fundamental to Nazi doctrine) and promotes a kind of sentimental romanticism attractive to the young and idealistic while protective of existing institutions. It is the essence of a genre that it continues to promote certain implicit ideas even if the author is unconscious of them. In this case the audience also seems frequently unconscious of them.
It used to pain me to think that the only footage in existence of the Velvet Underground performing was silent. Think about it: Have you ever seen any sync-sound film of the Velvets in any of the various documentaries made about them, Lou Reed, Nico, John Cale or Andy Warhol for that matter? I didn’t think so, but thanks to the rather enterprising employee of either the Museum of Modern Art or else the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh who liberated Symphony in Sound you can now see the Velvets in action and actually hear them too! That’s the good part.
The bad part is that this film, made to be screened behind the band onstage during The Exploding Plastic Inevitable “happenings” is pretty boring. It goes on for a LONG time with not much happening besides a drony primitive jam and a frenetic camera zooming in and out. Nico is there (with her young son Ari) but she’s not singing, just hitting a tambourine. Lou doesn’t sing either. At one point the camera droops on its tripod and no one readjusts it for a while. So it’s boring, most Warhol films were boring—Warhol himself always said his movies were better discussed than actually seen—but it is the freaking Velvet Underground playing live on camera for what is probably the ONLY time during their original incarnation, so it’s worth looking at for that reason alone. If you can get over how dull it is, it’s actually pretty cool. There are several versions of this online, this one, from Google Video is merely the longest. I don’t know if this is the whole thing but in the later moments of the bootleg DVD I have, it gets better when the cops show up due to a noise complaint and Warhol has to deal with them himself.
It’s Doctor Who week here at Dangerous Minds! Feast your ears on one of the most iconic sci-fi theme tunes—not to mention opening credit sequences—in TV history. Composed by Ron Grainer, but actually “constructed” by BBC Radiophonic Workshop employee Delia Derbyshire (more on her later in the week), the Doctor Who theme music is considered a landmark in the development of electronic music. Its distinctly shimmering sonics, elevator cable bassline and crystalline melody were recorded many years before commercially available synthesizers were available. In this clip you can hear several permutations of the theme from throughout the years. Although I like all of them, I like the 80s themes the least. It just got over-embellished. When Russell T. Davies revived the Doctor from his long hibernation in 2005, he and composer Murray Gold wisely moved back towards the original 60s theme, but adding a nice modern orchestral twist. It’s like outer-space Wagner!
I first wrote here about my many year devotion to the more traditionally-named Sue McLane. But outside her highly recommended work with Suburban Lawns (Baby, Suburban Lawns), further Su Tissue material has been limited to her long out-of-print solo album from ‘82, “Salon de Musique.” It’s a less poppy, piano-driven side of Su that’s lovely in its own right. If you’re curious as to what a “chilled-out” Su might sound like, follow this link over to Dualtrack. Like I said, lovely! And for more Lawns-style surfpop, here’s the Jonathan Demme-directed video for Gidget Goes To Hell.
Here’s the shorthand: out making the rounds one night, sexy tutor-slash-call girl Sachiko Hanai (played by the adorably game Emi Kuroda) winds up with a bullet in her brain. She’s cool with that. In fact, the bullet gives her a genius-level IQ. She even—if I’m remembering things correctly here—starts quoting Nietzsche. But the plot really kicks in when Sachiko learns she’s come into possession of George Bush’s severed finger. His cloned severed finger. Unlike what I’ve seen of Bush the man, though, his finger has an unstoppable sexual appetite. Oh, and it’s also wanted by North Korea to trigger a nuclear holocaust.
What’s Meike saying with all this? I couldn’t put my finger on it. But here’s both a warning and a possible enticement: Bush’s finger winds up exactly where you think it will. The (vaguely NSFW-ish) trailer for Sachiko Hanai follows below:
In his four years at the Times, Blair wrote nearly 600 articles about the war in Iraq, many of them factually suspect or, worse, distorted by design. Well, who better to handle your “career crisis” than someone like that?! Oh, and Blair’s also able to guide you through the choppy waters of substance abuse and bipolar disorder! Blair’s website makes no mention of his past misdeeds, but there’s no mistaking his still-evident talents as a writer:
I firmly believe in harnesses the beautiful things about mental illness—whether its creativity and depth, or energy and daydreaming—so that the client can live a safe and healthy life without giving up the things that make them unique.