November 26, 2003

A Thanksgiving Favorite

A Thanksgiving Prayer
--- by William S. Burroughs

Thanks for the wild turkey and the passenger pigeons, destined to be shit out through wholesome American guts.

Thanks for a continent to despoil and poison.

Thanks for Indians to provide a modicum of challenge and danger.

Thanks for vast herds of bison to kill and skin leaving the carcasses to rot.

Thanks for bounties on wolves and coyotes.

Thanks for the American dream, To vulgarize and to falsify until the bare lies shine through.

Thanks for the KKK.

For nigger-killin' lawmen, feelin' their notches.

For decent church-goin' women, with their mean, pinched, bitter, evil faces.

Thanks for "Kill a Queer for Christ" stickers.

Thanks for laboratory AIDS.

Thanks for Prohibition and the war against drugs.

Thanks for a country where nobody's allowed to mind the own business.

Thanks for a nation of finks.

Yes, thanks for all the memories-- all right let's see your arms!

You always were a headache and you always were a bore.

Thanks for the last and greatest betrayal of the last and greatest of human dreams.

And where are the days I used to be friendly

Four photographs by Stephen Shore. More Shore shots are on display in the current issue of Index Magazine.

November 25, 2003

Tomorrow's News Today

Here are the Top 30 albums in Pitchfork's revised Top 100, which will be published on their site tomorrow:

030 - Liz Phair: Exile in Guyville (MITCHUM)
029 - Modest Mouse: The Lonesome Crowded West (BOWERS)
028 - Pixies: Bossanova (PETRUSICH)
027 - Guided by Voices: Alien Lanes (CARR)
026 - Weezer: Weezer (Blue Album) (DICRESCENZO)
025 - Yo La Tengo: I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One (MITCHUM)
024 - Built to Spill: There's Nothing Wrong with Love (MITCHUM)
023 - Beta Band: The Three EP's (SYLVESTER)
022 - Built to Spill: Perfect from Now On (MORRIS)
021 - BjËÝrk: Homogenic (LEONE)
020 - BjËÝrk: Post (MORRIS)
019 - Beck: Odelay (OMAR)
018 - Smashing Pumpkins: Siamese Dream (SYLVESTER)
017 - Public Enemy: Fear of a Black Planet (LINHARDT)
016 - Dismemberment Plan: Emergency & I (MORRIS)
015 - Radiohead: The Bends (MORRIS)
014 - Belle & Sebastian: If You're Feeling Sinister (PLAGENHOEF)
013 - Nirvana: In Utero (TANGARI)
012 - Slint: Spiderland (PETRUSICH)
011 - Talk Talk: Laughing Stock (DAHLEN)
010 - Guided by Voices: Bee Thousand (LEMAY)
009 - Bonnie "Prince" Billy: I See a Darkness (SCHREIBER)
008 - Pavement: Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (MITCHUM)
007 - DJ Shadow: ...Endtroducing (SYLVESTER)
006 - Nirvana: Nevermind (BOWERS)
005 - Pavement: Slanted & Enchanted (BOWERS)
004 - Neutral Milk Hotel: In the Aeroplane over the Sea (LEMAY)
003 - Flaming Lips: The Soft Bulletin (DICRESCENZO)
002 - My Bloody Valentine: Loveless (RICHARDSON)
001 - Radiohead: OK Computer (DICRESCENZO)

All mysteries are just more Needles in the camel's eye

* Rock critic Joe Fernbacher on the dead boys, blondie, the minutemen, and husker du. plus, an interview by Jim DeRogatis.

* Glen Campbell arrested.

November 24, 2003

The Metaphysical Significance of Sand-Cyclones

Three Paintings by DC artist dana ellen kaufman:

Bad Apple With Bomb

Dressed for Patriotism, Preoccupied by War

Take It Outside
"sometimes i drive out to topanga and park my car in the sand, watching and waiting for a pick-up from my man"

* Skimble asks: Is Halliburton the new flypaper?

* Nabokov, the worlds most famous Lepidopterist.

* The Predator Class:

"I believe there is now a professional, well-trained elite, supported by large institutions, that is adept and willing to use corrupt practices to accumulate wealth. Despite assurances from game-theorists and anthropologists that the criminal cadre in the species remains a constant percentage over time, I believe today's mainstream, sanitized, and institutionally sanctioned financial crime rackets are being run by a new breed of crook. There have always been scandals and crooks in the history of American money, but our predator class is a distinct creation of the late 20th century."

November 21, 2003

November 21
--- by david lehman

Being an evil man
I'll burn you like a candle
and I'll burn you on both ends
that's my blues for the day, and
forget tomorrow
as Frank wrote, the past is a
future that came through
that's my haiku
of the day and here's to you
Charles Bukowski
the comment on your last book
of poetry you liked best was
"you jack-off motherfuck,
you're not fooling anybody,"
my motto of the day

November 20, 2003

Some photos from the London Protests

Kingdoms of Experience In the precious wind they rot

* Chasing Bush: George Bush thinks he can escape an angry public. He's wrong.

* What separates North and South Korea: If you guessed cunninlingus, you are correct. For your reading pleasure: The North Korean cunnilingus manifesto.

* Think of George W. Bush as the Pointy-Haired Boss from Dilbert, and it all makes sense, a rant.

November 19, 2003

as the sun peaks in on an afternoon drunk

* Jim Carroll on Larry Clark's Kids.

* Terry Southern on Henry Miller and William Gaddis.
I am the tool of the Government And industry too
For I am destined to rule And regulate you

* NYC ACLU will file federal lawsuits challenging past police practices the group believes are to be used at next summer's Republican National Convention.

* Where do you fall on the political compass?

* Residents of Barrow, Alaska won't see the sun again until January 23.
The Necessity of Getting out of Art's Way

Two poems by sharon olds posted on her 61st birthday.

The Pope's Penis

It hangs deep in his robes, a delicate
clapper at the center of a bell.
It moves when he moves, a ghostly fish in a
halo of silver sweaweed, the hair
swaying in the dark and the heat -- and at night
while his eyes sleep, it stands up
in praise of God.

Sex Without Love

How do they do it, the ones who make love
without love? Beautiful as dancers,
gliding over each other like ice-skaters
over the ice, fingers hooked
inside each other's bodies, faces
red as steak, wine, wet as the
children at birth whose mothers are going to
give them away. How do they come to the
come to the come to the God come to the
still waters, and not love
the one who came there with them, light
rising slowly as steam off their joined
skin? These are the true religious,
the purists, the pros, the ones who will not
accept a false Messiah, love the
priest instead of the God. They do not
mistake the lover for their own pleasure,
they are like great runners: they know they are alone
with the road surface, the cold, the wind,
the fit of their shoes, their over-all cardio-
vascular health--just factors, like the partner
in the bed, and not the truth, which is the
single body alone in the universe
against its own best time.

November 18, 2003

London's Writing

Brits write letters to Bush on the eve of his arrival in London:

Dear President Bush,

If you should - by some security mistake - catch a glimpse of the enormous demonstrations expected during your visit, do not underestimate their meaning. This is not old Europe anti-Americanism. We are by no means an anti-American nation. Apart from the left fringe and the mohican fringe, we are broadly pro-American and always have been. No, this is personal. This is about you and your neo-conservative monsters who have illegitimately captured the White House with cash and hanging chads.

Tony Blair has made a catastrophic error in allying himself to you, when he could have built a social democratic alternative vision of western democracy with our European allies. Go now, don't come back, be a one-term aberration the world can forget as soon as possible.
Polly Toynbee
Writer and commentator

Dear President Bush,

I'm sure you'll be having a nice little tea party with your fellow war criminal, Tony Blair. Please wash the cucumber sandwiches down with a glass of blood, with my compliments.
Harold Pinter

Dear President Bush,

The child who has lost his arms
thought he was catching a ball
when the bomb his enemies dropped
bounced through his dapper hall.

Look at him here in his bed
washed by the camera glare:
the world must know what happened,
and show how truly it cares.

Was it in fact his foes
who threw this thing in his house?
Or was it perhaps his friends -
hence their exceptional fuss?

Guilt is the great disguiser,
blacking the white of the sun.
One thing we know for sure:
the ball goes bouncing on.

Andrew Motion
Poet laureate

Dear George,

There is no way to write this but in anger. For the dead and mutilated you have left in the wake of your shocking tread, from Afghanistan to Iraq. For the prisoners you have caged, manacled and tortured, from Bagram to Guantanamo. For your worship of the warrior. For the smart bombs you dropped from 30,000ft and the missiles you fired from 1,000 miles. For the flesh this hateful technology has charred and for the limbs it has severed. For your threats to the sovereign nations and international bodies who oppose your ambitions. For the crass lies you told the world. For your cynical corruption of law. For your naked plundering of a conquered people's wealth. For your blank cheque to Ariel Sharon. For every signature with which you consigned a human being to the death chamber in Texas. For the super-rich friends you have so handsomely rewarded and for the poor, unemployed and marginal in your own country whose lives you continue to blight. For making the world an infinitely more dangerous place.

For all these reasons, do not be fooled by the flags you will see fluttering on the Mall. Do not be fooled by the red carpets the toadies will guide you to step upon.

Look about you, if your hosts will let you look, if your flunkeys dare let you peek from beneath the official shield. Look about you when you land. You will see people in their tens of thousands protesting against your visit. Do not say we are "lucky" to live in a country that permits free speech and free assembly. Do not insult us like that. Those rights were hard won.

I doubt that what you see will chasten you, still less change your mind - you are a man of conviction, of ideological certainty, you have truly global ambitions and power to match - but at least it should be clear to you, Mr Bush, that you are not welcome here.
Ronan Bennett

Hersch Silverman

a poem:

This Song is for You

I'm feelin' high and happy
High enough to sing a reefer song
You are my lotus blossom
My sunken treasure
My stratosphere where flamingos fly
I don't know why
But it's only 3 o'clock in the morning and I'm feelin' high and happy
Must be the stuff is here and it's mellow
And it's voodoo hoodoo
That's the way it is
Where there's a jumpin' in a julip joint
A-doin' the head-rag hop
Hey let's boogie
The moon is full
This song is for you
And I don't care what time it is.

from an

"I read a blurb in Danton Walker’s N.Y. News column in 1958 about Gregory Corso the great American poet starving in Europe, so knowing the address of the Beat Hotel I sent some bucks a couple or three times and a friend of mine in Bayonne, a trombonist, playing the Paris and Brussels World Fair, stopped in to see Allen and Gregory and gave them bucks from me. My friend said they were okay but eating poorly. I have a letter that Gregory wrote:

Dear Hersch thanks for your Hermes rainbow gift had a choice to pay part of rent or buy lots of food or go to a Champs Elysee movie
or buy some pot but wondered awhile about your kindness
and decided to give half to rent and half the rest to Allen
and with my part I bought a big cake and lots of cherries
and two bottles of Vitel and with the final 500 francs I bought some pot and got myself Allen Bill and BJ high and in the middle of our high we all mentioned our love for a man in New Jersey who runs a candy store and we decided that you were our neo-wizard flowing with goodies always with a smile always protecting the good in life. Allen sends his love. I send my love. And if ever I get back to America India hovers over me like a necessary light we shall met and you shall show me Bayonne exchange poems and perhaps in due time I can interest you to join me to find Neptune’s golden statue ten feet high that the Trojans had and worshipped until Ulysses came and took it away and drowned it somewhere in the Aegean.

November 17, 2003

An American Bard

Interview of ed sanders:

"The FUGS were a trio of poet-musicians, who included Tuli Kupferberg. We saw it as a way to have fun. I wanted to party and be like Bacchus: have a good time and work for the Revolution. We were sort of revolutionaries.

"We wanted a different world, a different economy. We wanted more of a share in the economy. We thought there would at least be a social democracy, like in Sweden or Norway, or something like that. But it didn't turn out that way.

"So that's how The FUGS got started. We played at the Peace Eye. We had our roots in the Dadaists and in the Cabaret Voltaire. We had our roots in the Happenings at Judson Church with Allan Capral. We had our roots in Jazz Poetry, with Jack Kerouac and Steve Allen playing together. We had our roots in the whole modern drama. We were influenced by Brecht's Living Theater, by Lennie Bruce, and by Beatnik Poetry.

"BUT mostly, we were influenced by the Dadaists;and the civil rights movement. We played in churches surrounded by the Klan, where they were threatening to kill us. This civil rights thing really made us into tough and ready-to-face-danger musicians. I wouldn't write some of the same songs today that I wrote then, but we were just wild, testosterone-maddened young men having fun."

I Heard they were taming the shrew

* Silver Jews test out a couple of new songs, play some old ones and just make shit up in front of Nashville crowd

* Disgraced PI won't cooperate with wire tap probe

* Check out the drug war clock

November 14, 2003

Life is strange and death is easy

Check this out. [via savethesnow]
Four Poems by Bob Kaufman

West Coast Sounds, 1956

San Fran, hipster land,
Jazz sounds, wig sounds,
Earthquake sounds, others,
Allen on Chesnutt Street,
Giving poetry to squares
Corso on knees, pleading,
God eyes.
Rexroth, Ferlinghetti,
Swinging, in cellars,
Kerouac at Locke's,
Writing Neil
on high typewriter,
Neil, booting a choo-choo,
on zigzag tracks.
Now, many cats
Falling in,
New York cats,
Too many cats,
Monterey scene cooler,
San Franers, falling down.
Canneries closing.
Sardines splitting,
For Mexico.
Me too.

Private Sadness

Sitting here alone, in peace
With my private sadness
Bared of the acquirements
Of the mind's eye
Vision reversed, upended
Seeing only the holdings
Inside the walls of me,
Feeling the roots that bind me,
To this mere human tree
Thrashing to free myself
Knowing the success
Of these burstings
Shall be measured
By the fury
Of the fall
To eternal peace
The end of All

Small Memoriam for Myself

Beyond the reach of scorn, lust is freed of its vulgar face.
No more blanch of terror at reality's threat of sadness.
No blend of grief can cause the death of laughter now.

In remembrance of certain lights I have seen go out,
I have visualized pathetic rituals and noisy requiems,
Composed of metaphysical designs of want and care.

As the 1960s began, difficulties with heroin, and prison terms, caused Kaufman to experience a sense of solitude. JFK was assasinated three days after Kaufman wrote "Small Memoriam for Myself," which prompted Kaufman to take a vow of silence in protest of Vietnam which lasted until 1973. During that period, he neither spoke nor wrote anything. On the day the war ended, he walked into a coffeeshop and recited a poem called "All Those Ships that Never Sailed."

November 13, 2003

Potluck Setlist

Cinnamon Girl -- Neil Young
Bubble Gum -- Sonic Youth
All the Nations Airports -- Archers of Loaf
Nefarious -- Spoon
Feel a Whole Lot Better -- Flaming Groovies
Can't Explain -- Black Tambourine
La La La Lies -- The Who
Cast a Shadow -- Yo La Tengo
Big Cat -- The Clean
Zoo Music Girl -- The Birthday Party
Stranger in Blue Suede Shoes -- Kevin Ayres
Dirty Boulevard -- Lou Reed
Daddy Never Understood -- Deluxx Folk Implosion
Tears on Fresh Fruit -- Sparklehorse
Androgynous -- The Replacements
Kozee Heart -- Yatsura
Unfair -- Pavement
Undress for Success -- McLusky
Session Man -- Scene Creamers
Love Ain't No Feeling -- Bill Fox
Song for Sex -- Neutral Milk Hotel
Free -- Cat Power
Mystery Hours -- New Pornographers
Play it as it Lays -- The Tyde
St. Ides Heaven -- Eliot Smith
Leave the Planet -- Galaxie 500
Smith and Jones Forever -- Silver Joos

November 12, 2003

What Will Bush's Trip to England Cost Taxpayers?

Happy Birthday Neil!
Let's wake up the neighbors, let's turn up our amps

What is your worst memory of touring with Yo La Tengo? [via chromewaves]

"Stephin Merritt, Magnetic Fields:

When we played with you at NYU, there was a convention of Baptists in the building. The Baptist students were having a Ben & Jerry's eat-a-thon on the rooftop patio, blasting Christian rock, directly under our dressing room. As everyone knows, the Magnetic Fields don't like rock. We disapprove of rock and Christianity, especially in combination."

November 11, 2003

You see reverberation in your latest incarnation

Gary Indiana on Kindegarden Governor Schwarzenegger:

"In May 2003, Congressman Darrell Issa of San Diego started his own recall effort, with a view to becoming governor himself, bankrolling the petition drive with $1.3 million of his own money, or at least what he claimed was his own money. What had begun as a quixotic canard then became a surrealist juggernaut, culminating in the ousting of Governor Gray Davis and the risible election of Arnold Schwarzenegger, action figure, as the custodian of the world's fifth largest economy.

"Like Schwarzenegger, Congressman Issa has a piquant history. In the early 1980s, his car-alarm company, which did work for a much larger firm, Joey Adkins's A.C. Custom Electronics, lent Adkins $60,000, then called in the loan. Issa went to court, and wrested possession of Adkins's firm. Three weeks after Issa quadrupled the insurance on parts and equipment in the building, the electronics facility burned to the ground.

"In 1973, Issa pleaded guilty to possession of an unregistered firearm, which he tended to brandish at his employees, purportedly in jest. He was arrested twice for grand theft auto. In his unsuccessful 1998 run for the Senate, he claimed that he had been a member of Nixon's security detail during the 1971 World Series. Nixon did not attend the 1971 World Series. After a 2001 trip to the Middle East, Issa, an Arab-American, announced that Hezbollah is not a terrorist organisation.

"It was quite forgotten by both the candidates and the press that the energy crisis was caused by deregulation and the leasing of the state's electricity to Enron and other now convicted Texas fraudmeisters, a disaster locked into place by Davis's Republican predecessor, Pete Wilson, whose advisers are now clustering around Schwarzenegger like flies in a privy. Davis hardly helped, renewing the corrupt contracts and allowing Texas corporations to sell California's energy back to California at an obscene mark-up. Last year, however, when the full effects of this wholesale looting became evident, Lieutenant Governor Bustamante, with Davis's blessing, filed a suit against Enron and the other power companies, under the Unfair Business Practices Act, to recover the $9 billion the companies had squeezed from the state. With Schwarzenegger in the Governor's Mansion, this unsettled lawsuit may become moot.

"Schwarzenegger, as it happens, held a secret meeting on 17 May 2001 with Kenneth Lay of Enron and the convicted stock-swindler Mike Milken. What deals were struck remains a mystery. Governor-elect Schwarzenegger's current plan is to continue the ruinous deregulation process, though he also wants 50 per cent of new homes to be equipped with solar heating panels. This kind of qualifier used to be called throwing peanuts to the monkeys, though some benefit may come out of it when the number of new homes outstrips the number of old homes - say, in 2030.
"One can only surmise that the 'hatred' of Gray Davis (who was, after all, California's governor 'in the last few years'), the inflated deficit figures and the economic fear-mongering that so much of the nation's press whipped up to add 'substantive issues' to a special election that was really about celebrity worship and circus acts were simply the latest tweaks in a media oligarchy's implacable manipulation of consciousness, indifferent to its deleterious effect on the remnants of the American democratic system. It's a significant advance in the melding of politics and entertainment: a photogenic straw man gets inserted into office and a cabal of shadowy advisers dictate policy and carry out the dirty work. This formula was polished during Ronald Reagan's first Presidential term, and until recently it had much of America hypnotised by the glove-puppet posturings of George W. Bush. Whether it will work with Arnold Schwarzenegger depends largely on how much egregious puppetry a conniving narcissist is willing to abide. There have been plentiful signs that Schwarzenegger has a few maverick ideas of his own, and it's too soon to assume they're all bad ones."

Deep Pockets, Maybe Deeper

* America, under Bush, is a danger to the world. And I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is.

* President Bush Declares War On Whales and Dolphins:

"Only weeks after new scientific studies revealed that U.S. Navy sonar testing is lethal to whales, the Bush administration won approval on November 7 to authorize the use of military sonar whenever and wherever Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfied wishes to deploy it.

"The Bill moves to the Senate next week and it is expected to pass.

"'Whales and dolphins are now to be sacrificed to George Bush's ridiculous strategies to combat terrorism.' Said Captain Paul Watson of The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. 'The President says that the security of the United States from terrorism justifies these extreme measures but I can't think of one terrorist organization deploying nuclear submarines and that is the only thing that justifies low frequency sonar detection. This is simply another pork barrel windfall for the defense industry.'"

My Mother Orders a Children's Book
-- by Michael Burkard

All the rain is exhausted from so much falling
My mother orders a chirdren's book to replace the book
which is lost. If the rain cries anymore
I will sell the house and become another one.

In the phantoms of the heart
is the harbor of a youth,
and the night comes on
when love least expects.
A city begins and ends,
a face effaces itself
before any moment is translated.
And the ships rock furiously in the waves.

My mother has climbed a hundred steps
but never these, never this shadow, never this sun,
never this high ending up against love.
Where nothing at all seemed untrue.
Where she believes the house is mine,
fraught with red questions, white sentences,
voices crossing with rain.

This is true: I have never been home.
The name is an infinity of space
I am in, I have never left.
The face tries to leave again,
but it cannot.

November 10, 2003

Scales of silver mirror mesmerize

Dong Resin interviews the Patriot Act:

DR: Well, interesting you bring that up... the definition of "terrorist" is getting a lot more broad... I see you now define even small time drug possession as "narco-terrorism." You really think people are buying into that?

PA: Are buying?! Sold, Bwanna! That ship is a just a dot on the horizon. Once again, it's about fear, okay? People don't reason out their fears, they have lives to lead. Drugs are scary if you have children, and the people who vote have children. I'm not about civility, dong, I'm about popularity.

DR: Well, drugs are a pretty corrosive influence, right? I mean it's not an irrational fear-

PA: Ha! The threat of recreational drugs is not about the addiction, that's just a simple health issue, illegal drugs a larger threat; a breakdown of control. When you're the kid escaping the control, it's fun, but not so fun where you're the parent, so, drugs make a one fucking neato boogyman. Very dependable.

DR: Heh. You sound like a countercultre conspiracy theorist, now.

PA: Yeah, well, the truth is that we're not so far removed, the tinfoil hat gang and I, we're two passing cars on the same road; they're morbidly toying with fear as an explanation of their problems, I'm using it to provide easy answers.

DR: Right.

PA: See, parents, the majority of people who vote, understand only two things: fear, and how what scares them applies to their kids. Hell, it's a survival mechanism. So, you can marvel all you like at the willful handing over of civil liberties, but parents will always outnumber you useless self-centered single dweebs at ye olde voting boothe, and they'll always make the decisions based on the concept of security, not liberty. Freedom is scary, dong.

DR: That's real depressing, P.A.

PA: Well, you libertarians all seem to think there's this great parallel universe where things are as they should be, and if only you could get the right sort of government in power, you could live that way. That's just silly. People are all the same: once you have kids, you're all conservatives. God, Government and Mandatory Seatbelts. Let the fear do the thinking.

DR: Great. Now I'm very depressed.

PA: Well, cheer up. I love your site.

Louis Armstrong was a viper

"A little history can help -- in the form of a jazz story.

"Something to let Grandma know that Reefer Madness is really Hello, Dolly.

"That, yes, Satch was a viper, and his wonderful world was wasted, but it was wonderful all the same.

"In the years after the Second World War, Louis Armstrong was bigger than popes or presidents. More than a jazz legend, he was the world's most beloved entertainer -- a symbol to war-ravaged Europe of America's goodness, courage and indomitable cool.

"No wonder that at the height of the Cold War the U.S. State Department tried repeatedly to send Armstrong and his All Stars to the Soviet Union to play; he was such an American turn-on.

"He was also a daily marijuana smoker from about age 27 until his death in July 1971, one month short of his 70th birthday.

"'We always looked at pot as a sort of medicine, a cheap drunk and with much better thoughts than one that's full of liquor,' Armstrong told biographer Max Jones in his last years, when he decided to 'tell it like it wuz.'

"Armstrong, of course, couldn't tell it exactly like it wuz. He had to deny he was a present user, but he was unequivocal in his praise of 'gage,' as he called marijuana.

"'We did call ourselves vipers, which could have been anybody from all walks of life that smoked and respected gage,' Armstrong said. 'One reason we appreciated pot, as y'all calls it now, (was) the warmth it always brought forth from the other person.'"

"Despite his habit, he was always a meticulous professional, dependable, emotionally stable and universally cherished for his folksy wit and wisdom. "

"You can say Armstrong did it to feel good -- call it recreational if you like.

"Or you can point to the unimaginable poverty of his childhood, the racism of his time, and say he used it as a crutch to take the edge off life's pain.

"You can risk ridicule and say he did it because it helped connect him to the truth as a man and an artist.

"You can definitely say it's too bad he smoked so much -- he died of heart failure and, like the late Israel Asper, might have lived on for another decade if he didn't smoke like a chimney.

"But no one can say the mature Armstrong should have been denied his daily muggles -- any more than you could deny Asper his daily packs.

"They came and went in clouds of smoke.

"End of jazz story.

November 7, 2003

the dance faction, a little too loose for me

Join us for a good time.
we never argue because we're never in the same place

* Is Lambchop your friend? [via chromewaves]

* Old creem magazine William S. Burroughs interview. [via tim thompson]

* Hunter S. Thompson's The Rum Diary will be made into a film, with Johhny Depp once again playing HST. [via bookslut]

November 6, 2003

What Will Ballard Have to Say About Arnold?

"Incidence of orgasms in fantasies of sexual intercourse with Ronald Reagan:

Patients were provided with assembly kit photographs of sexual partners during intercourse. In each case Reagan’s face was super imposed upon the original partner. Vaginal intercourse with "Reagan" proved uniformly disappointing, producing orgasm in 2% of subjects. Axillary, buccal, navel, aural, and orbital modes produced proximal erections. The preferred mode of entry overwhelmingly proved to be the rectal. After a preliminary course in anatomy it was found that the caecum and transverse colon also provided excellent sites for excitation. In an extreme 12% of cases, the simulated anus of post-costolomy surgery generated spontaneous orgasm in 98% of penetrations. Multiple-track cine-films were constructed of "Reagan" in intercourse during (a) campaign speeches, (b) rear-end auto collisions with one and three year model changes, (c) with rear exhaust assemblies...

Sexual fantasies in connection with Ronald Reagan:

The genitalia of the Presidential contender exercised a continuing fascination. A series of imaginary genitalia were constructed using (a) the mouth parts of Jacqueline Kennedy, (b) a Cadillac, (c) the assembly kid prepuce of President Johnson...In 89% of cases, the constructed genitalia generated a high incidence of self-induced orgasm. Tests indicate the masturbatory nature of the Presidential contender’s posture. Dolls consisting of plastic models of Reagan’s alternate genitalia were found to have a disturbing effect on deprived children.

Reagan’s hairstyle:

Studies were conducted on the marked fascination exercised by the Presidential contender’s hairstyle. 65% of male subjects made positive connections between the hairstyle and their own pubic hair. A series of optimum hairstyles were constructed.

The conceptual role of Reagan:

Fragments of Reagan’s cinetized postures were used in the construction of model psychodramas in which the Reagan-figure played the role of husband, doctor, insurance salesman, marriage counsellor, etc.

The failure of these roles to express any meaning reveals the nonfunctional character of Reagan. Reagan’s success therefore indicates society’s periodic need to re-conceptualize its political leaders. Reagan thus appears as a series of posture concepts, basic equations which reformulate the roles of aggression and anality. Reagan’s personality. The profound anality of the Presidential contender may be expected to dominate the United States in the coming years. By contrast the late JFK remained the prototype of the oral subject, usually conceived in pre-pubertal terms. In further studies sadistic psychopaths were given the task of devising sex fantasies involving Reagan. Results confirm the probability of Presidential figures being perceived primarily in genital terms; the face of LB Johnson is clearly genital in significant appearance--the nasal prepuce, scrotal jaw, etc. Faces were seen as either circumcised (JFK, Khrushchev) or uncircumcised (LBJ, Adenauer). In assembly-kit tests Reagan’s face was uniformly perceived as a penile erection. Patients were encouraged to devise the optimum sex-death of Ronald Reagan."
-- from J.G. Ballard's 1970 essay "Why I Want to Fuck Ronald Reagan."
Nailed It

"It stands to reason that self-righteous, inflexible, single-minded, authoritarian true believers are politically organized. Open-minded, flexible, complex, ambiguous, anti-authoritarian people would just as soon be left to mind their own fucking business."

Mondo 2000 editor R. U. Sirius, in this piece by John Perry Barlow.
and the water looked like tarnished gold

Republicans would never play Politics with children's lives, would they?. [via skimble]

From Charles Bukowski's Aftermath of a Lengthy Rejection Slip:

"Dear Mr. Bukowski:
Again, this is a conglomeration of extremely good stuff and other stuff so full of idolized prostitutes, morning-after vomiting scenes, misanthropy, praise for suicide etc. that it is not quite for a magazine of any circulation at all. This is, however, pretty much a saga of a certain type of person and in it I think you've done an honest job. Possibly we will print you sometime, but I don't know exactly when. That depends on you.
Sincerely yours,
Whit Burnett

"Oh, I knew the signature: the long "h" that twisted into the end of the "W," and the beginning of the "B" which dropped halfway down the page.

"I put the slip back in my pocket and walked on down the street. I felt pretty good.

"Here I had only been writing two years. Two short years. It took Hemingway ten years. And Sherwood Anderson, he was forty before he was published.

"I guess I would have to give up drinking and women of ill-fame, though. Whiskey was hard to get anyhow and wine was ruining my stomach. Millie though - Millie, that would be harder, much harder.

"But Millie, Millie, we must remember art. Dostoievsky, Gorki, for Russia, and now America wants an Eastern-European. America is tired of Browns and Smiths. The Browns and the Smiths are good writers but there are too many of them and they all write alike. America wants the fuzzy blackness, impractical meditations and repressed desires of an Eastern-European.

"Millie, Millie, your figure is just right: it all pours down tight to the hips and loving you is as easy as putting on a pair of gloves in zero weather. Your room is always warm and cheerful and you have record albums and cheese sandwiches that I like. And Millie, your cat, remember? Remember when he was a kitten? I tried to teach him to shake hands and to roll over, and you said a cat wasn't a dog and it couldn't be done, Well, I did it, didn't I, Millie? The cat's big now and he's been a mother and had kittens. We've been friends a long time. But it's going to have to go now, Millie: cats and figures and Tschaikowsky's 6th Symphony. America needs an Eastern-European....

November 5, 2003

All secrets sleep in winter clothes

* Yo La Tengo will not be performing the eight nights of Hanukkah at Maxwell's, or anywhere else for that matter.

* The Naked Lunch.

* JG Ballard still enjoys stirring the pot.

Make an Informed Decision

Question: Have You Used Marijuana

* Howard Dean: Yes
* John Kerry: Yes
* John Edwards: Yes
* Carol Moseley Braun: I'm not going to answer
* Dennis Kucinich: No, but I think it ought to be decriminalized
* Al Sharpton: I grew up in the church. We didn't believe in that.
* Wesley Clark: Never used it
* Joseph Lieberman: I never used marijuana, sorry.

[via drug war rant]
The Dust Congress has now been online for one year. Thanks for stopping by.

November 4, 2003

My Blood Runs Cold My Angel is a Centerfold

Its here, the 80s lyrics quiz.
Add Your Own Caption

And the beer I had for breakfast wasn't bad, So I had one more for dessert

* Fidel Castro on California Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger:

"During a five-hour speech at the closure of a conference of Latin American academics, Castro said Friday that the Hollywood star and former bodybuilder 'at the very least' deserves credit for being physically fit.

"'But they haven't done an X-ray or other study that shows a very important fact: how many muscles he has in his brain,'' Castro said.

"'Hopefully, the man has as much strength in his head as he does in his arms,' Castro said."

* Our Geopolitical Situation, Dispassionately Assessed.

* Krugman:

"Just as the federal government is in no immediate danger of running out of money, our forces in Iraq are in no danger of outright defeat. But in both cases, current policies appear to be unsustainable: we can't go on like this indefinitely. And things that can't go on forever, don't."

Maud posted a small portion of Robert Birnbaum's interview of Charles Baxter during which Baxter says:

"I’ve written an essay about how most writers now don’t describe faces anymore, either as an index to character in the way the 19th-century novelists tended to do, or as a dramatic inflexion. You are more likely to get descriptions of clothes or body language than you are of faces. I just wanted to ask myself why."

It might be because, as James Salter once wrote, "great faces cannot be explained."
Three Poems by William Corbett

Dead of Winter

Factories close, the harbor stinks
our bridges rot and roads decay
we sail farther and farther out
to take fewer fish,
we refuse to educate our children
and they are murderous and murdered,
our leaders tell us nothing
we do not want to hear.
Real Estate robbed some of us
and illness bankrupts others.
Out of complicated laws
endless litigation.

For Joe Pernice

The sky behind
grape jelly clouds
shows through in white
cuts and rips.
It's cold enough
to be under the electric
blanket with a book
and not yet 9 p.m.
watching the jelly clouds
come to a rolling boil
and for a flicker
think nothing.
The book falls
from my hands
and I catch myself.
Frost's wand might
zap the baby tomato
and pepper plants black.
Let it come.
Is there a farewell
poem the equal
of Raymond Carver's
"No Need"?
Reach out the light
cold too beyond
the clouds where
stars swarm.
So much to take in,
so hard to hold,
so little we can say.

Thelonious Sphere Monk

cold, the day you leave
you can use that hat.
Ahh Monk, the station fades
as the suburbs begin
you bent the notes right
they will not lose their ring.
I see your shuffle dance
up from the 5-Spot piano
and hear you, wordless, sing.

November 3, 2003

Wasting time in numbers and rhymes

the guardian on Mark E. Smith:

It all began one wet night in Rochdale, during the late autumn of 1993, at a dingy recording studio called Suite Sixteen. I had come to visit Mark E Smith - the ex-communist, former docker, and founder of one of the most innovative groups to emerge in contemporary music, The Fall. With an engineer, he was mixing a new album, Middle Class Revolt, and he looked as though he'd been up for days. He was, in fact, unconscious when I first arrived - stretched out on the kind of broken-down sofa that you might see outside a minicab office on a warm summer evening. Waking, he had seemed immediately to pull together all the strands of himself, acquiring a coherence - like the shards of a cubist portrait suddenly shooting back into their figurative state - that somehow denied that he'd ever been asleep.

A class warrior, dandy and intellectual, Smith is one of nature's aristocrats. Born and raised in Salford, he is now resident in Prestwich, north Manchester. His performances with The Fall - delivering the elaborate code of his lyrics in explosive, spoken bursts from the corner of his mouth, across rigid, relentless repetitions of rock chords - can seem virtually shamanic. He is Beuysian in this respect. He is also famously acerbic.

Example: a music paper once decided that it would make an interesting story to have various rock celebrities take a train journey together, their wit and conversation being noted down by a journalist. Smith arrived carrying two plastic bags filled with cans of lager, and settled in for the duration. Some hours later, one of the assembled stars was attempting to prove that he had the ability to read a stranger's personality simply by studying their face. Smith sat in silence throughout the demonstration. Had the amateur analyst been more accomplished, he might have noticed that Smith's eyes had narrowed a fraction - always a bad sign. But, at first, all seemed well. "I can do that, mate," Smith announced, amiably enough.

"OK, Mark," came the bright reply, "tell me all about myself!"

"You're a cunt."

Continue reading the article [via TMFTML].

The work of British artist Patrick Brill, who is better known as Bob and Roberta Smith. He says his intention with his art is, " communicate the idea that people can make their own art, that they do not have to have me do it. I think that art is changing and the business of viewing is changing."

For more information about Bob and Roberta Smith, read this as well as this.