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‘Suspiria’: Dario Argento’s masterpiece on Blu-ray for the first time in North America
12.08.2017
03:58 pm
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‘Suspiria’ 2017 39x55 Italian re-release poster

No less than three years in the making, Synapse Films’ deluxe edition of Suspiria—available on Blu-Ray in North America for the first time ever—is hitting the streets on December 31 in a lavish steelbook edition featuring an exclusive 4K restoration of the original uncut 35mm camera negative, with color correction by cinematographer Luciano Tovoli.  The 3-disc set (with two 50GB Blu-Rays and a remastered CD soundtrack by Goblin, with additional tracks not included on the previous US release) is crammed with a huge amount of extras and promises to be the definitive home video version of Dario Argento’s most celebrated film.  Significantly, it features the original 4.0 LCRS English-language sound mix (in DTS-HD Master Audio) not heard since its theatrical release in 1977.

Those of us who experienced it on the big screen back then—released by 20th Century-Fox’s International Classics in a slightly trimmed R-rated version—will never forget its eye-popping, ear-blasting, brain-frying impact.  This very dark fairytale, the last film to be shot on classic 3-perf Technicolor film-stock a la Hollywood’s Golden Age, follows the terrifying adventures of aspiring American ballerina Suzy Banyon (cult queen Jessica Harper) who arrives at Bavaria’s most prestigious dance academy on a dark and stormy night, only to discover it’s the home of a diabolical coven of witches… and a surreal, nightmarish funhouse of grotesque shocks.  It had the same impact on fans of ultraviolent splatter, the luridly macabre and the gleefully fucked-up as the same year’s Star Wars did on normal people.

When the Synapse release, coming hot on the heels of their other Argento steelbook editions for Phenomena and Tenebrae, showed up for preorder on Amazon for a steep $89.95, the blogosphere ignited with the indignation of those who’d neglected to pre-purchase a copy through synapse-films.com for under $50 late this summer.  As of today, Synapse has announced a near sell-out of their introductory-priced stock, but orders for the few remaining steelbooks may still be placeable by calling them at (734) 494-3502.  Peerless online DVD and Blu-ray store diabolikdvd.com has it for $52.99.

All posters available for 30% off now at WestgateGallery.com

 

‘Suspiria’ 1989 23x40 Original US VHS release poster
 

‘Suspiria’ 1977 27x41 Original US 1-sheet poster
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Christian McLaughlin
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12.08.2017
03:58 pm
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Art Basil: One man’s leafy-green salute to Miami’s contemporary art shitshow
12.08.2017
10:25 am
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It is that time of year again, in which thousands of wealthy people, celebrities, poseurs, trustafarian and scenesters descend upon the city of Miami for the international contemporary art expo known as Art Basel. Whether they are indulging in decadence for purposes of an elevated aesthetic, or maybe, just maybe due to a genuine appreciation of creative expression, the weekend has been scoffed at by critics over the years due to its excessive draw of party monsters and corporate sharks alike. Underrepresented artists (i.e. most of them) blast Art Basel as creating a false-pretense of how an artform should be perceived, all the while literally robbing the community of its authentic value all in favor of the dollars of some rich fucks (who don’t give a shit about art). Plus, it costs tens-to-hundreds of thousands of dollars in registration fees to even have your work showcased!

Leave it to a truly creative mind to come up with the starving artists’ alternative to Art Basel. John Kilduff is a Los Angeles-based artist who has defied the constraints of conventional craftsmanship through his humorous, off-the-wall interpretations of what one considers “art.” When I was a teenager, my friends and I used to prank call John’s public access television show Let’s Paint TV, a live program that featured Kilduff painting while running on a treadmill and blending mixed drinks. It was like watching a drunk version of The Joy of Painting, on speed. The absurd spectacle, a work of performance art in its own right, has since landed Kilduff’s schtick on programs such as The Tyra Banks Show, America’s Got Talent, and even the red carpet during Vh1’s 2006 Big Awards.
 

Let’s Paint TV

If you search for the hashtag #ArtBasil online, you will surprised to see how many stupid people commonly confuse a town in Switzerland (where the exposition began in 1970) with Ocimum basilicum, the common culinary herb. John Kilduff recognized the opportunity for witty, punsploitation in 2015 when he launched Art Basil, the very first satirical art show dedicated to the beloved and tasty leafy-green plant. Happening simultaneously with its Miami counterpart, Kilduff has opened his backyard in Van Nuys up to a worldwide community of artists. Each tiny gallery costs just $50 to participate and guarantees the use of a 12”x12” booth in Kilduff’s herb garden. Because the event is micro-sized, there is a lot of opportunity for creativity and conceptualization, including exhibits with tiny paintings, photos printed from the internet, bizarre installations, and very small sculptures.
 

 
This year’s Art Basil is currently underway and can be streamed throughout the weekend. If you live in Los Angeles, you can arrange to see the galleries for yourself, but please be advised that much of the city is currently on fire.
 
Below is a list of this year’s participants along with photos from previous galleries at Art Basil:
 

Regionals Hauptfest - Berlin, Germany / Vienna, Austria 
Catherine Dallaire - Ontario, Canada 
Douglas Alvarez Gallery - Los Angeles, CA
JT Steiny Gallery - Los Angeles, CA
Garbage Jungle - Los Angeles, CA
Kristine Augustyn Gallery - Los Angeles, CA
Alex Schaefer Gallery - Los Angeles, CA
Kate Carvellas Gallery - Pasadena, CA
Museum of Meaning - Los Angeles, CA
AFK Studios - Westbury, NY 
Illuminoidal Arts - Long Beach, CA 
Jeffrey Vallance Gallery - Canoga Park, CA 
Victoria Reynolds - Canoga Park, CA 
Zeina Baltagi Gallery - Los Angeles, CA
Teri Berman Gallery - Los Angeles, CA
Peter Hess Gallery - Los Angeles, CA
Words"R"Us - Altadena, CA 
BG Gallery - Santa Monica, CA 
Decorative Mediocre Gallery - Oakland, CA 
Where She Lies Gallery - Los Angeles, CA 
Rain Lucien Matheke - North Hills, CA 
Stevie Love Studio - Los Angeles, CA 
Bryon Rush Gallery - Riverside, CA
A.Stone Originals - Los Angeles, CA
New Jörg - Vienna, Austria

 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Bennett Kogon
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12.08.2017
10:25 am
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Santa knows when you’ve been wanking: Rude and offensive Christmas cards (NSFW)
12.08.2017
10:01 am
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It’s almost the Holidays. That cheery time of year when tempers are short and credit cards are maxed out. When the office party ends with a harassment suit, and the bars spill forth with amateur drinkers throwing-up on the sidewalk.

Bollocks, it’s Christmas.

Whatever your plans for this festive season, I’m sure there will come a point when you’ll have to add your signature to a card offering seasonal greetings and all good wishes for the New Year. It now seems mandatory that alongside the traditional cozy snow scenes, robin redbreasts, and fat jolly Santas emptying their sacks are the usual array of offensively rude and funny cards. This year’s batch features the expected selection of four lettered words and inappropriate suggestions which for many of us is no doubt more relevant than “peace on Earth and goodwill to all men.”

If the thought of sending a “Fuck Christmas” card to family and loved ones opens a door on your Advent calendar then take a sleigh ride here or here to see what’s availble this holiday season. But as it may already be too late to order some of these fine things, here’s a fine selection to see what comfort and joy you’re missing out on.
 
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Many more rude Christmas cards, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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12.08.2017
10:01 am
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Ronnie James Dio’s recipe for a wassail bowl
12.08.2017
09:50 am
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For the benefit of future generations, the 1988 cookbook Rock ‘N’ Roll Cuisine collected the recipes for Rod Stewart’s “SANDWHICH [sic] FOR HANGOVER,S [sic],” George Michael’s risotto, Ian Astbury’s “dangerously spicy” chickpeas, Debbie Harry’s nutty shrimp, Ozzy’s chicken curry, and so on.

Ronnie James Dio’s contribution, set in blackletter type, was something like the bill of fare for a feudal baron’s Christmas feast: roast suckling pig with bread sauce, served with cups from the wassail bowl. Not just any wassail bowl, either, but “The Wassail, prepared by Charles Dickens for the entertainment, on Christmas Eve, at the Charity of Richard Watts, Rochester, Kent, England, 1854.” People needed this kind of hot, sugary booze back then. I bet a few good slugs out of this here wassail bowl could make a person forget all about the symptoms of smallpox, typhus and the measles, not to mention the cares of the 10-hour factory shift.

Wassail Bowl

1 quart ale
1/4 ounce ground nutmeg
1/4 ounce grated ginger
1/4 ounce grated cinnamon
1/2 bottle sherry
2 slices toasted bread (1/2 inch thick)
1 lemon, juice & peel
sugar to taste
2 well-baked apples

Put ale in sauce pan and cook gently till it foams, then stir in the spices, add the sherry, lemon peel and juice with sugar. When sugar is dissolved, set pan aside on stove for twenty minutes to infuse. Then warm up, pour into punch bowl, let the toast and apples float in this and serve in cups.

Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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12.08.2017
09:50 am
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Get your own festive shitting Trump figurine in time for Christmas!
12.08.2017
09:15 am
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“We’re gonna start saying Merry Shitmas again.”*

—Donald Trump

*Or at least that is what I think he said


A couple of years ago I wrote here about the turd-related Christmas traditions of the Catalans.

Each December 8th, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, families in the Catalonian region of Spain bring out Tió de Nadal or Caga Tió  (which means “shitting log”). The log is painted with a smiling face and stands on two tiny stick legs.
 

 
Every night until the 24th, as tradition dictates, the children are instructed to give the Tió a little bite to “eat” and cover him with a blanket to keep him warm and cozy. On Christmas Eve, the Tió is placed partly under his blanket and the children order it to defecate. The children beat the log with sticks, while singing the Tió de Nadal song, in order to make it shit presents.

Parents place presents under the log’s blanket while the children close their eyes and pray for the really good shit.

The children’s song to Caga Tió is absolutely adorable:

“Caga tió,
caga torró,
avellanes i mató,
si no cagues bé
et daré un cop de bastó.
caga tió!”

Translated:

shit, log,
shit nougats,
hazelnuts and mató cheese,
if you don’t shit well,
I’ll hit you with a stick,
shit, log!

Coaxing turds from Caga Tió is a wonderful Christmas custom, but not the only scatalogical Catalonian tradition. Even more popular and beloved is the Caganer, whose name literally translates to “the crapper” or “the shitter”. The Caganer is a figurine, traditionally in peasant garb, who is bent over and taking a dump. This figurine is placed among the other figures in the Nativity Scene. The figure is hidden away in the Nativity and the children are instructed to try and find the Caganer.
 

Traditional Caganer
 
It’s not known for certain why the pooping character has been added to the Nativity, but it seems to have been around since at least the 18th Century. Some claim that the character represents fertilization of the Earth and others believe the Caganer represents “the spoil-sport we all have within us.” No one is really sure, but the character maintains a massive popularity despite some governmental attempts to ban the public display.

The Caganer statuettes are sometimes fashioned in the likeness of well-known figures from pop culture or politics, including what is certain to be this year’s hottest selling nativity-shitter, Donald J. Trump.
 

 
The Trump Caganer is available HERE for $24.97.
 

 
More after the dump... er, jump

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Posted by Christopher Bickel
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12.08.2017
09:15 am
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Leo DiCaprio snorting coke ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ wall art is the feel-good Xmas gift of the season
12.07.2017
11:40 am
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The perfect gift for mother
 
Anyone who’s spent any time in America is familiar with the phenomenon of the elevation of Brian De Palma’s 1983 cokehead tour de force Scarface as a singular icon of worldly American success. Unsurprisingly, Martin Scorsese’s enervating masterpiece Wolf of Wall Street starring Leonardo DiCaprio seems headed down the same road, of a morality tale whose relevant audience seems to have missed the point entirely. 

I couldn’t tell you a single thing about financial operations of the real-life Jordan Belfort, but I do know that the man made a lot of money on Wall Street, did a lot of drugs and had a lot of sex, and then was busted by the feds for being a scumbag or something. Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street is the blackest of black comedies mainly due to its willingness to wallow in its protagonist’s point of view at such length. There’s an extended sequence towards the end of the movie that ranks up there as one of the core reasons I cherish the cinema as an art form, and if you’ve seen the movie you can probably identify the one I mean.

In any case, Leonardo DiCaprio, in addition to being a talented actor, is also famous for hanging out on yachts, which somewhat blunts the brilliance of his portrayal of Jordan Belfort. Stupid people everywhere appear to have seized on DiCaprio’s Belfort as a hero worth emulating, much as Martin Scorsese might have a different opinion on the subject.

Case in point. Right now on Amazon several canvas prints of DiCaprio-as-Belfort for use as “wall art” are available. All of them come in two sizes but if you’re the Belfort fan I think you are, you don’t want the small size, you want the full 44”x26” Big Kahuna, which will run you $124.99. There’s one of Belfort snorting cocaine off of a woman’s ass, that one’s my favorite. There’s another one of Belfort cavorting on the floor with his scantily clad mistress-then-wife Naomi Lapaglia (Margot Robbie) which covers similar terrain as the cocaine-ass one.

All of these can be shipped in time for Christmas, by the way.

There are a few others, including one of Belfort holding a glass of wine on a yacht that I think has extra resonance due to DiCaprio’s own hobbies, that you can see below. I wish they had thought to include a still of the early scene where Belfort is mentored by a senior trader named Mark Hanna (Matthew McConaughey) in the art of rapidly getting hammered during the luncheon hour. Hanna is given one of the movie’s more memorable lines when he says that the secret to success on Wall Street can be boiled down to “cocaine and hookers, my friend.”

Keeping on the subject of cocaine, in addition to the Wolf of Wall Street canvas prints I’ve thrown in one of Wagner Moura playing Pablo Escobar in the Netflix series Narcos and another one of David Bowie as Jareth in Labyrinth.
 

Naomi Lapaglia goodness
 

Sexy money armor
 

Leo on a yacht
 
More DiCaprio wall art after the jump…....
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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12.07.2017
11:40 am
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Pinups & PVC Pipes: The voluptuous bathing beauties of the Ridgid Tool Company Calendar


A photo of a 24-year-old Raquel Welch taken by Peter Gowland for the Ridgid Tool Company Calendar in 1964.
 
The man who shot the bikini models featured in the Ridgid Tool Company Calendar, Peter Gowland, was referred to as “America’s No. 1 Pin-up Photographer” by the New York Times in 1954. That same year Gowland was one of the first to shoot photos of a then 21-year-old Jayne Mansfield shortly after the blonde bombshell arrived in Hollywood. He published his first of more than 35 books, How to Photograph Women—a subject that Gowland mastered during his long career—that same year. That’s not to say that Gowland’s talent was limited to being behind the lens, he also built cameras himself (21 varieties to be precise) which led to the development of a twin-lens camera he called the Gowlandflex. The Gowlandflex attracted clients from the FBI to famed celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz.

In addition to images shot by Gowland which made their way to over 1000 different magazine covers, he was also the principal photographer for the famous Ridgid Tool Company Calendar for 40 years. During the calendars 81-year history it regularly featured racy pinup illustrations, most if not all drawn by artist George Petty (who came to prominence along with pinup king Alberto Vargas) before Gowland’s in-the-flesh bikini girls took over as eye candy for Ridgid’s annual calendar—including a 24-year-old Raquel Welch in 1964 pictured at the top of this post. The tradition would endure until just last year when Ridgid officially stopped using girls in bathing suits posing alongside wrenches and motor oil in their calendars. BOO!

Gowland and Petty’s contributions to Ridgid’s girlie tool calendar tradition are worth celebrating. Both men were remarkably talented and experts in their field of work which helped create a unique vibe for the promotional vehicle—as you will see while looking through the large selection of images from both artists taken from the Ridgid calendar as it appeared during the 50s, 60s, and 70s. In case you’re wondering, girls + bikinis = possibly NSFW.
 

A pinup illustration by George Petty for the Ridgid Tool Company Calendar, April 1952.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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12.07.2017
10:59 am
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Vintage X-rated parody movie posters from the Golden Age of Sleaze
12.07.2017
10:22 am
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(You can find several porn parody posters from the “Golden Age of XXX” like the ones in this post at The Westgate Gallery online, now on sale for 30% off!)
 
Once upon a time, making a porno meant a camera, some lights, a bedroom or some other suitable location, and a hot young couple (give or take) with firm (give or take) yet pliable bods.

Then things changed. Pornos started taking in storylines, so a scriptwriter was required and a sound recordist to capture all those well-delivered lines like “Hi, I’m Dick the..er..plumber, I’m here to..er…sort out your pipes.” 

As the storylines developed, the producers and directors started making longer and more complex films so they could have not just one big sex scene but two, three, even four, before the snot shot. This also allowed early porno to skirt certain censorship laws.

But writing scripts can be tough work. It meant thinking up stories, creating characters, and giving them reasons to take off their kit every few minutes. The easiest way to think up a porno, with a good story, fun characters and a built in marketing angle, was to make a Hollywood parody. This way the viewing public could give their hands a rest and have a few yuks while watching the action.

I have no idea what was the very first parody porn movie but I don’t need no PhD to tell you there have been a heck of a lot of parody pornos made since their first appearance circa 1968. Where the originals had a wit, verve, some comic invention and damn fine posters too, the more recent examples of parody porn tend to go for the easy sci-fi, fantasy and trendy television titles which are sold with rather unimaginative covers. I mean doesn’t Sleazy Rider look way more intriguing than say X-Men (shuerly they should have called it SeX-Men?) or Hairy Twatter?

Anyway…

Here’s a small selection of X-rated porn parody movies from the sixties to the noughties. Some are posters, some video and DVD covers.
 
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More porn parody posters, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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12.07.2017
10:22 am
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Monsters: ‘The Outer Limits’ trading cards

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This morning, while taking a browse of some favorite sites, I found myself watching a short compliation video of various monsters, creatures, and nefarious extraterrestrials from that old cult classic sci-fi series The Outer Limits. Though I never saw the show until my teens, I was given an Outer Limits annual, one snowy Christmas, when I was around pre-school age. This book was filled with comic strips about ravenous alien gloop and stories about crash-landed flying saucers. It started a passion for this kind of stuff that has lasted right through. But there’s nothing new in that.

The compilation clip was by Wah Ming Chang for a project called Monsters. Chang was a cinematographer, designer, and sculptor who is probably better known to Star Trek fans as Wah Ming—the mega-talent responsible for designing the tricorder and communicator on the original series, as well as a whole host of martians, monsters, and what-have-you. (Indeed, there’s a good blog to be done on Chang.) Anyhow, Chang also designed many of the monsters and special effects for The Outer Limits—hence the fine little compilation clip (see below) of various happy memories of scary things from outer space like the “Man from Galaxy ‘X’” or “The Zanti Misfits.”

All this, eventually, made me seek out a whole set of the Monsters From Outer Limits trading cards that were issued to coincide with the original TV series by Bubbles Inc. (Topps) in 1964. Back then, a packet of these cards (with a stick of chewing gum) cost 5¢. I was way too young to have ever bought or even thought about these magnificent works of pop culture, but know now I would have tried my hardest to collect a whole set if I had been. Nowadays, a single card from this set can fetch up to $50—which is fair return on an original investment all those years ago.

Having never actually seen a full set (I don’t get out much, I live in a trailer park, I like Wheetos), I thought it would be a fun diversion to gather all these past riches together for our delight and delectation. ‘Nuff said?
 
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#1 The Television Terror.
 
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#2 The Radio-Active Man.
 
More ‘Monsters from Outer Limits’ plus video, after the jump….
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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12.07.2017
09:50 am
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William S. Burroughs fronts Yellow Magic Orchestra, reprograms your mind
12.07.2017
09:29 am
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For 1993’s Technodon, Yellow Magic Orchestra acquired vocal tracks from cyberpunk novelist William Gibson, dolphin-dosing scientist John C. Lilly, and Naked Lunch author William S. Burroughs.

Burroughs’ contribution to the album’s first song, “Be A Superman,” is a short vocal sample, structurally integral, information-poor. But on “I Tre Merli” (“The Three Blackbirds,” an image from a Wallace Stevens poem that points directly to Burroughs and Gysin’s “third mind”), Burroughs reads a few lines from The Job. His text comes from the book’s “DON’T HAVE TO THINK” section, which describes an exercise for “becoming oneself” through liberation from mental conditioning. According to this counterintuitive practice, you find your true self by pretending to be other people:

What I am here to learn is a new way of thinking. There are no lessons and no teachers. There are no books and no work to be done. I do almost nothing. The first step is to stop doing everything you “have to do.” Mock up a way of thinking you have to do. This is one exercise derived from Scientology we have all studied at one time or another. Exercise loosens the hold of enforced thinking and extends the range of don’t have to think.

Example: You have to run the things you are going to do today write letters call so-and-so take clothes to laundry see about getting the radiators fixed. You run these items ten times when once is already too much. So mock up a run of imaginary errands. Now mock up some thinking you don’t have to do. Select a person whose way of life is completely different from yours and mock up his thinking.

(Example: You have to mock up interviews or situations in which you play an effective role before imaginary audience. Well, mock some up. Now mock up some enforced thinking you don’t have to do, somebody else’s enforced thinking what Dutch Schultz the numbers racketeer had to think, what a hotel manager has to think what a poor Moroccan farmer has to think.)

 

Genesis P-Orridge models a YMO shirt on the back cover of Throbbing Gristle’s ‘Greatest Hits’
 
A few paragraphs down, Burroughs provides a negative definition of this “new way of thinking”:

The new way of thinking has nothing to do with logical thought. It is no oceanic organismal subconscious body thinking. It is precisely delineated by what it is not. Not knowing what is and is not knowing we know not. Like a moving film the flow of thought seems to be continuous while actually the thoughts flow stop change and flow again. At the point where one flow stops there is a split-second hiatus. The new way of thinking grows in this hiatus between thoughts. I am watching the servants on the floor pointing to the map and not thinking anything about what I see at all. My mind moves in a series of blank factual stops without labels and without questions. The objects around me the bodies and minds of others are just there and I move between them without effort or comment. There is nothing to do here, no letters to answer no bills to pay no goals barriers or penalties. There are no considerations here that would force thinking into certain lines of structural or environmental necessities. The new way of thinking is the thinking you would do if you didn’t have to think about any of the things you ordinarily think about if you had no work to do nothing to be afraid of no plans to make. Any exercises to achieve this must themselves be set aside. It’s a way you would think if you didn’t have to think up a way of thinking you don’t have to do. We learn to stop words to see and touch words to move and use words like objects.

Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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12.07.2017
09:29 am
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