Friday, June 26, 2009


So – while thanking the deities it’s Friday – we wait to see what exactly the coroner decides laid Michael Jackson low, try to imagine what the hell the funeral is going to look like, and note in periphery how po’ Michael’s passing temporarily wiped South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and his gaucho senorita-on-the-side off the news cycle. With all that going on, ol’ Doc – working on the principle that nothing succeeds like drugs and furry animals – can only spin the tale of the junkie wallabies sent by both Valerie and Facebook Aaron…
“Wallabies in Tasmania — the island off the south coast of Australia — have been accused of hopping into the state’s hundreds of commercial poppy fields, getting “high as a kite”, and then stumbling around forming “crop circles” in the paddocks.
In an amusing exchange during a parliamentary Budget estimates committee in Hobart on Wednesday, the Tasmanian Attorney-General, Lara Giddings, was addressing security issues at the state’s poppy plantations when she made the drug accusations against the island’s wallabies.
“The one interesting bit I found recently in one of my briefs on the poppy industry was that we have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting high as a kite and going around in circles.”

Click here and here for more.


The secret word is Footsy


Thursday, June 25, 2009




Our great and magnificent friend, Boss Goodman, is back in the hospital. Seemingly he’s doing okay, but our thoughts and hopes are with him. (Details are private until someone tells me otherwise but I stress again that he’s doing okay.)


The delightful Valerie sent us this tale of mindless feline violence, but we have not allowed Finn to read it…

“You don't want to mess with Hoppy.
A pet that has twice raced out from its south Minneapolis yard to attack passing dogs and their owners was returned home Tuesday after Animal Care and Control impounded it for the second time in two years.
Hoppy is a cat.
Reports of cats attacking dogs in Minneapolis are rare, and last week Hoppy became one of just two cats currently labeled "potentially dangerous," said Dan Niziolek, manager of Minneapolis Animal Care and Control. By contrast, the city has a list of about 140 dogs that have been declared a threat.
The felonious feline ran afoul of the law in fall 2007, when a man walking his dog said he was charged by a large black cat in the 3900 block of Drew Avenue South. The man, Thomas Buchberger, reported that he fell to the ground and was bitten and scratched several times before Hoppy let up. Buchberger's dog, Walden, ran to the safety of the middle of the street.
The city impounded Hoppy, an adult male, and ordered him destroyed, but his owner, 82-year-old Leo Noltimier, got the ruling overturned, according to city records.
Then, last month, Hoppy did it again, according to the city. A second victim, Russ King, told the city he was walking his dog, a Maltese named Charlie, past the same house on the evening of May 20 when a cat matching Hoppy's description pounced. When King scooped up Charlie to get the dog out of harm's way, the cat scratched King instead.
When Animal Control came looking for Hoppy after that attack, Noltimier refused to hand over his pet, prompting city workers to get a search warrant for the cat.
Calls to Noltimier's house were not answered Tuesday evening.”
Hoppy was taken into custody earlier this month and held for several days, Niziolek said. He was released Tuesday on several conditions. Hoppy has been microchipped and given a rabies shot. Noltimier must register the cat with the city each year. When outside, the cat must wear a harness with a leash held by an adult, and he must be kenneled or shut in a room when visitors are in the house. If Hoppy acts up again -- and "hopefully it won't," Niziolek said -- the city could order him destroyed.
Last year, the city had 268 cases of animals that were declared a threat or ordered destroyed, Niziolek said. Just one was a cat.
The only other "potentially dangerous" cat, Ralph, lives on the 4000 block of Beard Avenue S., Niziolek said. Ralph also attacked a dog."

The secret word is Hissssss

ELVIS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING (A photographic study)


In which Marilyn, heavily disguised, disgusted with the status quo, fleeing the Dionysian anarchy, and carrying her own hat, also leaves the building.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


This picture from 1973 is pure ego, but it kinda symbolizes one of the major problems of the 1960’s counterculture that has most recently surfaced in the comments on Monday’s post Flip To Reality. The shameful truth is that, somewhere around 1975, we freaks made the classic revolutionary misstep and allowed not only the means of production, but even those of distribution, to slip back into the hands of totalitarian corporate management. And that is the root cause, as Roldo notes, “for outlaw/Underground artists finding so few gigs.”
If, as he says “economic crucifixion does seem the current method-of-choice” it has a lengthy and decidedly sorry history. Between approximately 1966 and 1975, give or take, the counterculture did it’s damnedest to run it’s own mom and pop store, walking a hard-to-follow line between cooption, prosecution, and hip capitalism. We printed our own propaganda, we dyed our own ties, we smuggled our own dope, and where the squares gathered, we sold retail. Jobs for hippies were generated so they didn’t need to join the Manson Family.
By the mid-seventies, however, a serious combination of weariness and greed had set in. I was as much to blame as anyone. On the music side of things, The Deviants had packaged and distributed the first album PTOOFF! ourselves, but later we’d look for a deal with a major label because it made life easier. IT, Nasty Tales and the other print publications with which I’d was involved had been independently organized from paste-up to newsstand. After years, however, of police raids, poverty, and preparing for one bullshit trial after another, the idea of writing for a corporate music tabloid like the NME seemed damned attractive. Of course, NME was owned by the IPC mediaglomerate, but I rationalized that there weren’t too many content clashes with management, and punk was on the horizon, and I getting to promote the shit out of the Ramones, the Pistols, and The Clash, and also make records of my own. How bad could it be? But something very crucial was in the process of being lost. What remained of the counterculture was hard wired to global total media – Every Boredom Entertained – and only survived if handled accordingly. South Park. The revolution will be animated.
Thus when Matt and others commented on the need for a broad, ground-up revision of our ideas, it felt like a return to ideas long lost. A whole lot of mom & pop micro-economies functioning on a local level. “We can choose to be active Americans in our local communities who build our direct economies rather than join the entrenched top-down Republican-Democrat-Corporate collusion (no matter who their symbolic savior/figurehead is at any given moment).” This may actually be the path out of totalitarian capitalism.

The secret word is Comintern
Nigel Cross provided the pic.


The rest of the family were never comfortable around Mandrake and Lothar. And Penny was only tolerated as the lone Frozdick penguin.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


The following disturbing tale was sent over by MrMR…
“It’s a plot better suited for a John Le Carre novel. Two Japanese men are detained in Italy after allegedly attempting to take $134 billion worth of U.S. bonds over the border into Switzerland. Details are maddeningly sketchy, so naturally the global rumor mill is kicking into high gear. Are these would-be smugglers agents of Kim Jong Il stashing North Korea’s cash in a Swiss vault? Was the money meant for terrorists looking to buy nuclear warheads? Is Japan dumping its dollars secretly? Are the bonds real or counterfeit? The implications of the securities being legitimate would be bigger than investors may realize. At a minimum, it would suggest that the U.S. risks losing control over its monetary supply on a massive scale.
Think about it: These two guys were carrying the gross domestic product of New Zealand or enough for three Beijing Olympics. If economies were for sale, the men could buy Slovakia and Croatia and have plenty left over for Mongolia or Cambodia. These men carrying bonds concealed in the bottom of their luggage also would be the fourth-largest U.S. creditors.”
(Click here for more.)

The secret word is Slush

“Rumors circulate that Farren is becoming concerned about his health. That would be sooo tedious. We only liked him for his recklessness.”


The Rotwang M90 full body suit was always very suspect. And those who wore it even more so.

Monday, June 22, 2009


One might think this is nothing more than a 1930s girlie book with an anatomically implausible cover, but, if you look very carefully, it’s just possible to see a small NRA logo on the right-hand side of the page. Part of the First New Deal, the NRA was a Federal Agency that gave the Roosevelt Administration the power to develop voluntary agreements on work hours, pay rates, and price fixing. The NRA, symbolized by the Blue Eagle (a stylized thunderbird) was popular with workers. Businesses that supported the NRA put the symbol in their shop windows and on their packages. That the Blue Eagle should be featured on the back-then equivalent of soft porn is an odd but telling confirmation of the trust and loyalty that FDR enjoyed among the American workers during the New Deal. Oh that Barak Obama could manage the same.
On November 6th, 2008, two days after the American people directed Barack to the White House, the tabloid LA CityBeat published my cover-story love-letter to the new President Elect, in which I likened him jokingly to Superman, but unequivocally demanded that he counter the corrupt collapse of free-market capitalism with massive, FDR-style public works and job creation. It was maybe an arrogant demand for a writer of gothic novels and one-time rock & roller, but I did have Nobel Laureate economist Paul Krugman at my back.
As I write this now, moving into the end of the first six months of the Obama administration, I see very little of either what I hoped for, or was tacitly promised during the campaign. LA CityBeat is history. Some 6000 writers are out of work and most without prospects.
My TV is a clogged artery of bickering politicians, with Obama under fire from both a dangerously insane GOP and turncoat, bought-and-paid-for Dems. We are being shown no awe-inspiring public works, no valiant and visible job creation, or any clear and present hope being offered to the unemployed and evicted. Layoffs continue, unions are sacrificed for the survival of corporations, and zombie banks dare to declare profits while putting the screws to their customers. Peace is nowhere near the horizon. Healthcare likewise. Obama is amused by the idea of legal, revenue-bearing marijuana, and any minor moves in the direction of a new socialism are tentative and apologetic.
Last Friday Bill Maher brought progressive dissatisfaction with the current state of Barack-Knows-Best into the open with a comedy bit that instructed those who accuse Obama of being a Marxist to realize that he’s “not even a liberal”, and explained how the Democrats were the new Republicans. “Shouldn’t there be one party that unambiguously supports cutting the military budget, a party that is straight up in favor of gun control, gay marriage, higher taxes on the rich, universal health care, legalizing pot, and steep direct taxing of polluters?”
I’m still not saying that Barack Obama isn’t astute and talented, but he may not be The One for whom we all worked so hard. Maybe we believed too hard just to get rid of McCain-Palin. Barack may still turn out to be a creditable head of state, but he is looking less and less like the Superman who could ease us through what may ultimately be the collapse of capitalism. I fear many of us will have to face reality and start making our own demands. As loudly as is needed.
The secret word is Tarnished


Can one be a connoisseur of riots? I have been in one or two in my time, and, as the pictures come in of the theocracy clearing the streets of Tehran and, I guess, attempting to put the djinn of dissent back in the bottle, while the shrieking US domestic right cries freedom as though nothing like every happened or could ever happen here, my attention is drawn past the politics to all those riot police on motorcycles. I have never seen anything like it before, and it would seem to add an entire Rollerball aspect to business of civil unrest and urban mob protest. I also figure that any rioters worth their Che t-shirts will rapidly figure a way to unseat and upend a cop on a bike – maybe by the use of long poles – and this new threat, although highly photogenic, will be effectively neutralized.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Without risking a total lapse of modesty, I think I can justly claim I lent a willing hand in the founding of the international weekly tabloid press. In the beginning, it was known as the “underground press” but later – after it kissed the ass of the advertisers one time too many – it changed its hooker name to “alternative.” Alas it is now all but gone -- destroyed in no small part by its own management attempts trying to ape the corporate, and the way in which these efforts culminated in the long-term agenda of the porcine Michael Lacey of Village Voice Media to sell what was left of the once u/g press to Goldman Sachs.
For the first time since 1970, I find myself with a bee in my bonnet – in this case that we may be buying too totally into “Barack Knows Best” – and nowhere to exercise it as a cover story on cheap newsprint. And this is really a loss to the world and blow to my ego. On the other hand, our pal DH has just clued us in on the IT Database. IT (originally called International Times until there was a lawsuit) was maybe the fifth or sixth 1960s-style u/g tabloid on the planet, and this data base – coordinated by the tireless Mike Lesser, and abetted by Miles, Hoppy, others – is truly amazing offering facsimiles of every page of every issue, at a time when a complete set of the real thing sells for $3000-$5000. (Click here for the full wonder.)

The secret word is Letraset


Almost two years after the first plans were announced construction has finally begun in New Mexico on Spaceport America. The spaceport, which will serve as the launch pad for Virgin Galactic flights, is the first of its kind anywhere in the world, and represents the first serious commitment of infrastructure to manned commercial spaceflight. Right now Richard Branson only has two spaceships, barely capable of achieving sustained orbit, but, after the track record of Virgin Records, Virgin Airlines, Virgin Rail, Virgin Megastores, and even Virgin Cola, growth would seem inevitable. And, in a strange connection with the story above, Branson began his galactic empire building with an underground mag called The Student. (Click here for more.)

“Very soon the world will wise up that there’s more to being a writer than merely owning a computer.”