Saturday, July 03, 2010


This would seem to be an account by William Burroughs of his visit to Phun City. Phun City was a very strange rock festival – the unkind called it shambolic – near Worthing in the UK, organized by your humble servant in cahoots with Edward Barker, Boss Goodman, Jess Cox, Steve Mann, Su Small, and many more. The featured acts included MC5, the Pretty Things, the Pink Fairies, Sonja Kristina, Kevin Ayers, Edgar Broughton, Mungo Jerry, Mighty Baby, and a whole bunch of unlikely legends. I happened across this piece on The Adventures of Dick Headley – a comrade blog – where it appeared with no explanation, and I have no idea if it’s real or a very obsurist spoof. Maybe DH can clue us in on the provenance.

“I’m pretty sure it was Brion’s idea. Very simple, he said, you take a train from Victoria to Worthing, get off and look for a local bus. Just ask the first aimless looking hippie you see. Who knows, you may even get a piece of ass. And I strongly advise you William, he added, using his best mid-Atlantic phraseology, to shoot up before you go. The chances of finding any horse are slim to none and you don’t want to be caught carrying in Worthing. So nobody packed me a hamper. In fact I wasn’t carrying much apart from my briefcase and the tape recorder. The train mainlined me deep into the lush countryside of Surrey or Sussex or Somewhere. Such a civilized country England. Uptight but civilized. On the way I skimmed through the promotional literature. Phun City. A festival it said. Phun. Pretty Things? Pink Fairies? Hmmmm sounds promising. Just before the train pulls into a place called Brighton I crack a tab of Methadone (1,1-diphenylbutane-2-sulfonic acid and dimethylamino-2-chloropropane) developed in 1939 Germany by scientists working for I.G. Farbenkonzern at the Farbwerke Hoechst. They were looking for a synthetic opioid that could be created with readily available precursors, to solve Germany's opium shortage problem. People, all young, all with long hair, are sitting in groups around a stage. I notice some ominous looking scaffolding. Towers open fire. I get a whiff of hash smoke. Sweetish. Almost certainly Red Leb. There’s a light show. Music. Nobody pays much attention to me. Just the occasional ‘Who’s the old bloke in the suit with earphones?’ Words can hurt. It occurs to me that we could start a tapeworm club and exchange body sound tapes. The word ‘free’ comes up a lot. There’s a group called Free (who refuse to play for free apparently), a free food kitchen (nettle soup), a hamburger stand (under attack) and even a sign flashing a message …“London has been nuked, you are now free”. I start to feel faint. Too much fresh air. Where’s Doc Benway when you need him? Next thing I’m coming to in a kind of tent. Everybody is very helpful. One of the organizers hands me a cup of lukewarm tea. I switch on the tape-recorder. They are complaining about gatecrashers, especially a group called the Swampies, a bunch sleeping rough in the woods. But there’s no gate to crash. No fence. What do they expect? Funny really how even in a situation like this a hierarchy quickly develops. Politics. Outside again and it starts to rain. My trilby elicits some envious looks. I am approached by a girl holding a plastic bag. I make a modest donation. The rain gets heavier. I take a cab back to the railway station. On the train back to London I make a few notes. I’ll work them into something later…”

Click here for Uncle Bill doing Jim

The secret word is Lunch


A rare Edward Barker designed ticket to Phun City which became kinda redundant when circumstances dictated the festival was declared free before it even started.

Click here for classic MC5


One attendee at Phun City, your pal and my longtime collaborator Andy Colquhoun now has his webpage up on which he is incrementally posting his new album of guitar instrumentals titled String Theory. Click here.

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Friday, July 02, 2010


Today is the official publication date of my brand new book Speed-Speed-Speedfreak – a cultural, social, and political history of amphetamine. I say “official” because the book encountered a few bumps along the way. Printed in China and trimmed so it resembles a giant black beauty (dextroamphetamine capsule), the books were held up in customs for almost a month and, being of a paranoid disposition, I couldn’t help wondering if something was – as they say – up. All is now well, though. They’re at the distributor and have started shipping. I have posted the story below (from Time via Dangerous Minds) to prove – if any proof was needed – that speed is still a crucial topic. La Familia Michoacana is too recent a development to have made it into the book, but don’t worry, there’s plenty of meth, mayhem, mania, and the Mexican mafia, plus sex, celebrities, rock & roll, Federal corruption, and drug war stupidity literally to fill a book. And for the depression-friendly price of $12.95.

"Mexico’s newest drug cartel, and certainly the most bizarre, is La Familia Michoacana, a violent but Christian fundamentalist narco-gang based in the torrid Tierra Caliente region of western Michoacan state. The group is infamous for methamphetamine smuggling, lopping off enemies’ heads and limbs, and massacring police and soldiers. (Most recently, on June 14, a band of Familia gunmen ambushed a federal police convoy in Michoacan, killing 12.) Yet La Familia’s leader, Nazario Moreno — aka El Mas Loco, or The Craziest One — has written his own bible, and his 1,500 minions hold prayer meetings before doing their grisly work. La Familia, which has started to expand beyond Michoacan, poses more than theological problems for Mexican President Felipe Calderon. His 3½–year-long military offensive against drug traffickers, a period that has seen 23,000 gangland-style murders in Mexico, looks increasingly on the ropes. And amidst it all, investigators tell TIME, La Familia is establishing a troubling new narco-business model: It doesn’t merely buy off officials, it puts its own candidates in power. “Other cartels just pay off the political structure in order to be able to do their business,” says a Michoacan investigator, who estimates the group controls 83 of the state’s 113 municipal governments. “La Familia is making itself the political structure.”

Click here for buying information.

Click here for the Move

The secret word is Bestseller


Yesterday we were talking about Tutankhamen’s missing penis. Today we’ve moved on to penises in general, courtesy of this emailing from our cohorts at Delancey Place. I do, however, wish people would stop sending me penis enlargement spam. I’m happy with what I have, and even if I wasn’t, I’m too old to do much about it.

"Ever since man began to walk upright, he had been obsessed when his penis would not behave likewise and searched for ways to fix the problem. The world's earliest known medical document, the so-called Edwin Smith Papyrus of Egypt dating from 1600 B.C., presents a strikingly sophisticated view of trauma surgery - except on the back, where one finds 'Incantation for Transforming an Old Man into a Youth of Twenty.' In ancient Greece an herb called satyrion, recommended by the philosopher Theophrastus in 320 B.C., was swiftly harvested to extinction. During the ensuing centuries cloves, ginger, and massaging one's genitals in ass's milk all had their vogue. In England around the year 1000, men were devouring 'love bread' (naked maidens romped in wheat, which was then harvested counterclockwise). The Middle Ages favored lubrication of the afflicted member with melted fat from camel humps. Charlatan – Pope Brock (Crown)

Click here for Isaac Hayes


Our pals at World of Wonder have provided us with this rotation of the President’s signature.


Predicate Frozdick embraced a belief system that included many unexplained rituals.
(Image supplied by Wendy)


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Thursday, July 01, 2010


I stumbled across this amazing conversation between Richard Nixon and Art Linkletter, two legendary 20th century drug warriors. I was stoned at the time so I forgot how it got to me but it totally sums up the ramshakle logic of drug prohibition by which billions were spent and millions were jailed. (Sigh.)

"Linkletter: “There’s a great difference between alcohol and marijuana.”
Nixon replies: “What is it?” The president wants to know!
“When people smoke marijuana,” Linkletter explains, “they smoke it to get high. In every case, when most people drink, they drink to be sociable.”
“That’s right, that’s right,” Nixon says. “A person does not drink to get drunk. . . . A person drinks to have fun.”
Then Nixon turns to the global history of drinking and using drugs. “I have seen the countries of Asia and the Middle East, portions of Latin America, and I have seen what drugs have done to those countries,” he says. ”Everybody knows what it’s done to the Chinese, the Indians are hopeless anyway, the Burmese. . . . they’ve all gone down.”
Nixon continues, “Why the hell are those Communists so hard on drugs? Well why they’re so hard on drugs is because, uh, they love to booze. I mean, the Russians, they drink pretty good. . . . but they don’t allow any drugs.”
“And look at the north countries,” Nixon continued. “The Swedes drink too much, the Finns drink too much, the British have always been heavy boozers and all the rest, but uh, and the Irish of course the most, uh, but uh, on the other hand, they survive as strong races.”
Linkletter says “That’s right.”
Nixon comes to his main point about the “drug societies:” they “inevitably come apart.”
Linkletter adds, “They lose motivation. No discipline.”
Nixon gets the last word: “At least with liquor, I don’t lose motivation.”

Click here for Zappa

The secret word is Dick


But talking of Dick, how could I resist this story from New Scientist, even though Stephen Colbert ran something about it last night? Some bastard has stolen Tutankhamen’s penis…

“I spotted a note admitting that the penis in question is no longer attached to the king's body. I smelled a conspiracy. Could ancient Egyptian embalmers have replaced the royal member to hide the fact that their king's manhood was somewhat lacking? What's more, the front of Tut's chest is missing, so it's impossible to check whether he did indeed have breasts. Was this part of the mummy's anatomy sabotaged too? I called John Taylor, who looks after the mummies collection at the British Museum in London. When Tut's mummy was first unwrapped in 1922, he reassures me, "the penis was there and was attached". The breakage must therefore have occurred in modern times, perhaps during a particularly brutal autopsy. (The wayward penis was reported missing in 1968, before it was discovered again during a CT scan in 2006, lying in the loose sand around the mummy's body.) The chest cavity was also damaged in modern times, probably by Cooper's team in 1922.” (Click here for the whole story)

Click here for The Bangles (yeah, it’s the obvious choice but, what the fuck, it’s Thursday)


“I flip this switch and the Earth dies screaming!”


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Click here for D. Bowie


Click here for some kind of wonderful.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I don’t blindly agree with Dennis Kucinich, but now we've used this cheap trick to gain your attention, check out his latest call for action.

“In a little more than a year the United States flew $12 billion in cash to Iraq, much of it in $100 bills, shrink wrapped and loaded onto pallets. Vanity Fair reported in 2004 that "at least $9 billion" of the cash had "gone missing, unaccounted for." $9 billion. Today, we learned that suitcases of $3 billion in cash have openly moved through the Kabul airport. One U.S. official quoted by the Wall Street Journal said, "A lot of this looks like our tax dollars being stolen." $3 billion. Consider this as the American people sweat out an extension of unemployment benefits. Last week, the BBC reported that "the US military has been giving tens of millions of dollars to Afghan security firms who are funneling the money to warlords." Add to that a corrupt Afghan government underwritten by the lives of our troops. And now reports indicate that Congress is preparing to attach $10 billion in state education funding to a $33 billion spending bill to keep the war going. Back home millions of Americans are out of work, losing their homes, losing their savings, their pensions, and their retirement security. We are losing our nation to lies about the necessity of war. Bring our troops home. End the war. Secure our economy."

Click here for gratuitous Zappa and the Captain

The secret word is Empire

Or does Facebook have you?

"WASHINGTON - June 29 - Late Monday, Facebook shut down the Boycott BP fan page, effectively locking out the page’s more than 700,000 members. After a backlash by users, Facebook reinstated the site this morning. Facebook has not said whether a complaint by BP prompted its decision to terminate the Boycott BP page. Regardless, Facebook’s decision to delete the page without warning or explanation was irresponsible. Facebook and other social websites have become the public squares of the Internet - places where citizens can congregate as a community to share their opinions and voice their grievances. Facebook’s ownership of this democratic forum carries great responsibility. At the very least, Facebook should provide warning and a reasoned explanation before destroying a large and active community. Although it is not clear whether BP is behind the page’s temporary removal, companies often complain to Facebook about fan pages that include their names. Here, nobody could be confused into believing that a page named “Boycott BP” is run by BP itself. People have a right to criticize a company by name, and BP has no right to stop it." Click here for more on BP boycott

Click here for something else BP might not want you to see.


Click here for a lot more images.

Click here for The Crystals


And they may be talking about us…

“Fundamental to computer science is transmitting information using electromagnetic communication - the 0s and 1s of binary code. But nature's tiniest lifeforms have used a very different method for eons, and figuring out how they do it could revolutionize computers. Bacteria make great use of what's known as molecular communication, in which they transmit and receive molecules to share information. One example of this is quorum sensing, where bacteria send around chemical signals to figure out their local population. This form of communication had long been ignored by information science, and it's only recently that the amount of information that can possibly be relayed using this method has been seriously considered.” (Click here for more)


Lemmy is going to be on The Simpsons next season. The teaser reads “And finally, brace yourself as cult icon and metal music maestro Lemmy (of Motorhead), takes Homer on hard rockin' heavy metal trip to Hell!”

Click here for another Farren/Kilmister tune

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


This comes straight from the University of Gothenburg in godless socialist Sweden. It might well be that any historcal Jesus of Nazereth was excuted in a far more excruciatingly nasty manner than by just three nails and a hammer. Hints of Vlad Teppes creep into the picture.

“The many different accounts of the crucifixion of Jesus find little support in historical sources. The reason is that antique sources generally lack descriptions of crucifixions, says Gunnar Samuelsson, University of Gothenburg, who recently finished his doctoral thesis on the topic. Encyclopaedias, monographs and bible commentaries generally agree on the type of punishment Jesus had to endure on Golgotha in Jerusalem. There is an ample amount of very colourful accounts of crucifixions in the literature, and researchers from all kinds of disciplines seem to endorse them. 'The problem is that descriptions of crucifixions are remarkably absent in the antique literature,' says Samuelsson. 'The sources where you would expect to find support for the established understanding of the event really don't say anything.' The 400 page thesis offers the reader samples of antiquity's most terrifying texts and gives examples of mankind's amazing resourcefulness in terms of mind-boggling cruelty against fellow human beings. Samuelsson has studied the available ancient Greek, Latin and Hebrew/Aramaic literature all the way from Homer to the first century A.D. While the texts indicate a vast arsenal of suspension punishments, they do not say much about the kind of punishment the Christian tradition claims Jesus was forced to endure. The thesis clearly shows that although the studied texts are full of references to suspension of objects and the equipment used to this end, no reference is made to 'crosses' or 'crucifixion'. Samuelsson therefore concludes that the predominant account of the destiny of Jesus is not based on the antique texts, but rather on for example the tradition of the Christian church and artistic illustrations. 'Consequently, the contemporary understanding of crucifixion as a punishment is severely challenged. And what's even more challenging is that the same can be concluded about the accounts of the crucifixion of Jesus. The New Testament doesn't say as much as we'd like to believe', says Samuelsson.”

Click here for Patti

The secret word is History


And while in metaphysical mood, I also discovered the story below. For years I have been pointing out, often unbidden, that the Nazis’ industrialized holocaust might not have been so effortlessly contemplated had not Hitler and his henchmen already witnessed the industrialized holocaust on the Western Front during World War I. I reasoned that, once you’ve seen 80,000 men slaughtered in an afternoon, the rest is easy. Finally it seems that academia and The Boston Globe have caught up with me. I would question, though, if our current malaise might have more to do with a growing awareness of the imminent collapse of planetary environmental systems than US neo-colonial warfare, and that’s why so many folk want to escape either via The Rapture or the promised apocalypse of 2012.

“A psycho-medical diagnosis — post-traumatic stress syndrome — has gained legitimacy for individuals, but what about whole societies? Can war’s dire and lingering effects on war-waging nations be measured? Can the stories of war be told, that is, to include aftermath wounds to society that, while undiagnosed, are as related to civic responsibility for state violence as one veteran’s recurring nightmare is to a morally ambiguous firefight? The battle zones of Fallujah and Kandahar are far away, but how do their traumas stamp Philadelphia and Kansas City — this year and a decade from now? The US Civil War did not end in 1865. Its unleashed spirit of total destruction went west, and over subsequent decades Blue and Gray veterans savaged the remnant native peoples. The Indian Wars built upon Antietam and Shiloh. World War I was only the beginning of industrialized nihilism, with the decadence of the 1920s and the global collapse of order during the 1930s Depression coming in train with the civilizational suicides of the Somme and Verdun. The extremities of World War II generated a pathological paranoia in the Soviet Union, and a debilitating American insecurity that spawned, on one side, cultural banality, and, on the other, a garrison state. After Vietnam, citizens of all stripes proved permanently unable to trust their government. That killed shared meaning. America’s wars left moral wreckage in their wakes. The chop continues.” (Click here for the whole thing)
Image by David DeFigueredo

Click here for P.J. Harvey


(Lifted from our pals at World of Wonder)

Click here for old school mayhem


Fantasia Frozdick would happily strip for watermelon.
(Image supplied by Wendy)


From National Lampoon in the 1970s. (Was this your brainchild, Munz?)

Click here for Elvis

Monday, June 28, 2010


Nobody messes with the G20. They want all of us to know they run the goddamned planet. Got it?

“I called Naomi Archer to find out. She is an indigenous rights worker from North Carolina who happened to be giving a lecture on the Miami Model yesterday at the U.S. Social Forum — the G20 for community activists.Archer, who was in Miami as a liaison between protesters and police, has a 40-box checklist to identify the Model. Here are the main themes.
Information warfare. This starts weeks before the event. Protesters are criminalized and dehumanized, and described as dangerous “anarchists” and “terrorists” the city needs to defend against. “Often, a faux cache is found,” says Archer. “They are usually ordinary objects, like bike inner tubes, camping equipment, but the police make them out to look threatening. It lays the groundwork for police to be violent and it means there’s a reduced accountability of law enforcement.”
Intimidation. Police start random searches of perceived protesters before any large rallies. They are asked where they are staying, why they are walking around. Police raid organizer’s homes or meeting places, “usually just before the summit, so there’s maximum chaos organizers have to deal with,” says Archer. “All this is meant to dissuade participants. The best way to make sure you don’t have a critical mass of people taking over the streets like in Seattle is to reduce the numbers at the outset.” This is usually made possible by last-minute city regulations, curtailing the right to protest. In Miami, the city commission passed a temporary ordinance forbidding groups of more than seven to congregate for more than 30 minutes without a permit.
“They threw rocks.” That’s the line police use after tear-gassing or beating protesters most times, Archer says. Urine and human feces are variations on the theme. But it’s always the protesters who triggered the violence. A popular police tactic is called “kettling.” Officers on bike or horses herd protesters into an enclosed space, so they can’t leave without trying to break through the police line. Take the bait; you provoke a beating or arrest. And of course, there are the famous agent provocateurs, outted publicly two years ago in Montebello. Police officers dressed up like militant protesters to protect the peaceful crowd, they say; Archer says it’s to instigate trouble. In Montebello, one of the three cops dressed in black was holding a rock. “It’s the same lies every single protest,” she says. “It’s justification by law enforcement for their violent actions. This is a propaganda war.” (Click here for the whole thing)

Click here for what it’s worth

Click here for NWA

The secret word is Gassed


“If this is Houston, I have a problem.”

Forget the Alamo. No blowjobs, no gays, no strip clubs, no porn. Yellow roses are still permitted. I think. But don't even mention the revised school textbooks. Maybe it really is time for Texas to secede from the union and become one huge backward and benighted theocracy.

“The Texas Republican Party gives a whole new meaning to the word conservative. The GOP there has voted on a platform that would ban oral and anal sex. It also would give jail sentences to anyone who issues a marriage license to a same-sex couple (even though such licenses are already invalid in the state). “We oppose the legalization of sodomy,” the platform says. “We demand that Congress exercise its authority granted by the U.S. Constitution to withhold jurisdiction from the federal courts from cases involving sodomy.” The Lone Star state initially passed a law barring sodomy in 1860. Violators faced anywhere from five to 15 years in prison. The ban was overturned in 2003. In addition, the platform says that homosexuality “tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit and leads to the spread of dangerous communicable diseases.” It also states that homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle in public schools and “family” should not be redefined to include homosexual couples. The 25-page proposal, presented last week as a guide for the state GOP over the next two years, includes other measures including outlawing “sexually oriented businesses” like strip clubs and banning “all pornography.”

Click here for Ig

Click here for Playdoh porn



“Every state has its assholes. Texas is just bigger so there’s more of ‘em.”

Click here


In these days when print mags – especially u/g and alt print mags – are dropping like flies, it’s amazing to see a new one hit the streets. Happily I weighed in with a short story for the first issue. The first issue is out next week. Click here for all you need to know.


The future is a decade behind schedule.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

SUNDAY BREAKFAST (with science)

Logic does not bulk large today...

"I sing the breakfast electric. In a world without pity, I mess with metres, in an ion-stream chaos divorced from dream. The eggs shoot sparks. Fires pattern the dark, visible from afar, all the way from Lucifer to Odin’s open bar. Yes, my human friends, I sing the breakfast electric supported by a lingering Tesla cruelty but mitigated by alternating leaves of grass. A crow and a bluejay square off in the window tree. They won’t back down nor pass. I sing the breakfast electric like the teenage girl who cuts herself to confirm that she can feel, but I’m still fucking sitting here pretending all is fucking real. I sing the breakfast electric to the bluejay and the crow, because I have a fragile suspicion that one of the them must know. But, damn it to hell, they won’t tell." (Image from Valerie)

Click here for Hank Snr.

The secret word is Dazed


Click here for The Jam


“Photoshop is such a tease.”

Click here for the 21st century