Saturday, August 08, 2009


However tasteless the homicide iconography may seem to some, LA is having itself a quite a Manson Family weekend, recalling how, if nothing else, Charlie scared the living shit out of the squares, which was a turnround for many of us freaks who had been feeling it was open season on longhairs. Tonight – while Charlie still lingers institutionalized in maximum security – I will attend the Sharon Tate Memorial Dinner at an undisclosed location , and tomorrow (Sunday) I will be drinking cocktails at Wacko, the amazing store at Hollywood and Vermont, as our pal Adam Gorightly launches the new edition of his Manson book The Shadow Over Santa Susana.


The secret words are Healter and Skelter

"We could still be out there, old but dangerous, lurking in the darkest shadow."


One approach to healthcare...

“MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian soccer fans have been told to drink whisky on their trip to Wales for next month's World Cup qualifier to ward off the H1N1 swine flu virus, the head of the country's supporter association (VOB) said on Monday.
"We urge our fans to drink a lot of Welsh whisky as a form of disinfection," VOB head Alexander Shprygin told Reuters. "That should cure all symptoms of the disease."
Russia's Health Ministry has issued a public warning against travelling to Britain because of the spread of the H1N1 virus but Shprygin said he expected at least several hundred fans would go to Wales for the September 9 qualifier in Cardiff.
"Health officials say this virus is very dangerous but being a fan myself I can tell you that for a real fan nothing is more important than the well-being of the team," said Shprygin, who also sits on the executive board of the Russian FA.
"Russian fans don't fear anything or anybody so this virus will not stand in our way of supporting our team."

Friday, August 07, 2009


I’d like to say that the news of Willy’s death came as a surprise. But it didn’t. There was that oh-shit moment of pain to know another of the Old Guard was down, but I can’t pretend we aren’t going thick and fast. The crapshoot is a dead pool, and those who survive are made increasingly to feel like the last men standing. I hung out with Willy and the late-crazy Toots in London when Willy was stealing his suits from Bernado of West Side Story, and we wrote a couple of songs, and then, a little while later, the two of them were good friends who made me welcome when I first moved to Manhattan – around the time the video below was shot – reminding me how, on 10th Street, there was no time off for good behavior.

Click here for Spanish Stroll

The secret word is Lamentation


"Oh yes. Reefer brawls."

Thursday, August 06, 2009


HCB sent this over and, although I’m not sure I wholly agree, I post it for the public consideration at a time when the accents of Southern California mall-youth already resemble speech impediments…
"By 1848, the new electric telegraph was already being hailed as a modern marvel that would revolutionize commerce, journalism, and warfare. In that year, a prominent New York attorney and editor named Conrad Swackhamer wrote an article predicting that it would transform the language as well. After all, he noted, the telegraph required above all else that its users be brief and direct. As people got used to sending and receiving telegrams and reading the telegraphed dispatches in the newspapers, they would inevitably cast off the verbosity and complexity of the prevalent English style. The 'telegraphic style,' as Swackhamer called it, would be 'terse, condensed, expressive, sparing of expletives, and utterly ignorant of synonyms' and would propel the English language toward a new standard of perfection.
"That was the first time anybody used the word telegraphic to describe a style of writing, with the implication that a new communications technology would naturally leave its mark on the language itself. It's an idea that has resurfaced with the appearance of every writing tool from the typewriter to the word processor. And now there's a resurgence of Swackhamerism as the keypad is passed to a new generation, and commentators ponder the deeper linguistic significance of the codes and shortcuts that have evolved around instant messaging and cell-phone texting. The topic got a lot of media play last month with the release of a study on teens and writing technology sponsored by the College Board and the Pew Research Center. According to the report, more than half of teens say they've sometimes used texting shortcuts in their school writing. The story was a natural for journalists. It combined three themes that have been a staple of feature writing for 150 years: 'the language is going to hell in a handbasket'; 'you'll never get me onto one of those newfangled things'; and 'kids today, I'm here to tell you ...'
"It wasn't hard to find critics who warned of apocalyptic consequences for the language. James Billington, the Librarian of Congress, said that IM and texting were bringing about 'the slow destruction of the basic unit of human thought, the sentence.' ..."I've got a little prediction to make myself a generation from now all this stuff is going to sound awfully silly. Did people really imagine that rules of written English sentence structure that go back to the Renaissance would suddenly crumble because teenagers took to texting each other over their cell phones instead of passing notes under their desks in class?"In fact, apart from contributing some slang and jargon, new writing technologies rarely have much of an effect on the language. They can give rise to specialized codes, but those tend to flow alongside the broad channel of standard English without ever mixing with it. As Conrad Swackhamer predicted, the Victorians developed a breathlessly compressed style for sending telegrams, like the message Henry James had one of his characters cable in Portrait of a Lady: 'Tired America, hot weather awful, return England with niece, first steamer decent cabin.' But that telegraphic style didn't leave any traces on Victorian prose - when you think of James's own writing, terse and condensed are not the words that come to mind. The linguistic features of the new media are sure to follow the same pattern. ...
"What happens in email stays in email. Kids catch on to this quickly. They may sometimes let texting shortcuts slip into their schoolwork, but they know there are different rules for formal writing, and that you ignore them at your peril."
Geoffrey Nunberg, The Years of Talking Dangerously, Copyright 2009
The secret word is Crypt

 one way to describe this video – descriptively titled Frankenstein Master-Race Radio Control – that I lifted from Adam Gorightly. So click here for b&w madness.

And while we’re doing moving pictures, click here for the video trailer for the new Thomas Pynchon novel.


Parthenon and Calpurnia Frozdick could turn a run to the store into a major production.


Wednesday, August 05, 2009


While the US mulls the unique concept of bringing its healthcare system out of the 19th century and not leaving millions of its poorest citizens to die untended, our pal Bernard sends us this piece from The Independent that illustrates the ugly logic and corporate brutality of big pharma.

"This is the story of one of the great unspoken scandals of our times. Today, the people across the world who most need life-saving medicine are being prevented from producing it. Here's the latest example: factories across the poor world are desperate to start producing their own cheaper Tamiflu to protect their populations – but they are being sternly told not to. Why? So rich drug companies can protect their patents – and profits. There is an alternative to this sick system, but we are choosing to ignore it.
To understand this tale, we have to start with an apparent mystery. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has been correctly warning for months that if swine flu spreads to the poorest parts of the world, it could cull hundreds of thousands of people – or more. Yet they have also been telling the governments of the poor world not to go ahead and produce as much Tamiflu – the only drug we have to reduce the symptoms, and potentially save lives – as they possibly can."
(Click here for the rest)

The secret word is Sick


From What Every Girl Should Know by Margaret Sanger, 1920.
* With acknowledgements to the lovely Cynthia Heimel.


The first generation of self-programming sex toys were, by definition, cumbersome.


Tuesday, August 04, 2009


Yeah, yeah, I know. Bill Clinton is really a terrible person and I shouldn’t have any sneaking liking for him or respect him for bringing this nation almost a decade of peace, prosperity, budget surplus, and bad tenor playing. It was so long ago – and is so obscured by the mist of 21st century stupidity – that now it’s hard to remember how it felt. I’m well aware that his dashing Lone-Ranger rescue of journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee from North Korea was a wholly orchestrated production in the fantasy world where international nuclear diplomacy meets global public relations. But compare Ol’ Bill’s excellent adventure to the corporate-sponsored sound-bite healthcare mini-riots, the hired thuglife-stormbands of baying goons being bused in by insurance and pharm lobbyists to disrupt any Democrat public meeting, or the horny rich-boy megalomaniacs in that house on C Street, and Clinton looks positively John Wayne, pilgrim, so cue the Rossini.

The secret word is William

And talking of guys named Bill…


Uncle Bill does not feel his suit is appropriate for a punk rock dressing room. But he does want you to click here to watch his moving pictures. (Contributed by Munz.)


Monday, August 03, 2009


If this report is only partially true, we are in one whole lotta of fucking trouble…

“The world is heading for a catastrophic energy crunch that could cripple a global economic recovery because most of the major oil fields in the world have passed their peak production, a leading energy economist has warned.
Higher oil prices brought on by a rapid increase in demand and a stagnation, or even decline, in supply could blow any recovery off course, said Dr Fatih Birol, the chief economist at the respected International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris, which is charged with the task of assessing future energy supplies by OECD countries.
In an interview with The Independent, Dr Birol said that the public and many governments appeared to be oblivious to the fact that the oil on which modern civilisation depends is running out far faster than previously predicted and that global production is likely to peak in about 10 years - at least a decade earlier than most governments had estimated.”
Click here for more.

The secret word is Doom
Simon Vinkenoog -- RIP


Some of you may recall how, back in April, Andy Colquhoun and I both took part in a Hawkwind tribute at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood. Now Valerie has sent us this report from Blacklight Basement with pictures and audio clips. Click here. Meanwhile the Modadelic website as nice things to say about the album Mona. Click here.


The late lamented Lester Bangs always equated fashion with fascism. But, then again, he was a scruffy bastard at the best of times.

Sunday, August 02, 2009


Here at Doc40 we have quite a predilection for animal tales and we are also very fond of cocaine stories, so you can imagine how exceedingly pleased we are when the two are combined. The story of Matilda the hippo, the former pet of Colombian drug overlord Pablo Escobar was brought to our attention by the UK Edition of The Week. It would seem that, after Escobar was murdered by what was supposedly an unholy alliance of the Colombian government, the Cali Cartel and the CIA, his private zoo, that housed Matilda and her mate Pepe, along with other exotic animals, was allowed to fall into chronic disrepair. Unhappy with their lot, Pepe and Matilda broke out and settled in the wild, but the same Colombian authorities, who had killed their previous owner, deemed the pair a health hazard and government hunters killed Pepe. Photographs of his death, however, so outraged public opinion that the government was forced to back down and a reprieved Matilda will be resettled to live out her days in an animal sanctuary.


Our pal Joly sent over this link to this a quite amazing opinion piece by a lady called Jessica Peck Corry...

“BOULDER, Colo. — As a Republican mother committed to legalizing marijuana, political life can be lonely. But while many in my party whisper about the Drug War’s insanity, we should shout it from the rooftop: the time to legalize is now.
Calling for a new approach doesn’t make me a pothead. In fact, while I freely admit to having previously smoked marijuana — as do more than 95 million other Americans, including our last three presidents — I choose not to be an active marijuana user today.
While opponents may argue that legalization is all about a bunch of twentysomethings wanting to get high, the debate deserves a more respectful and truthful analysis.”
(Click here for more)

The secret word is Inevitable


We recently came across a whole cache of this kind of thing, and Doc40 hates to let such a vivid reflection of family values go to waste. (Or maybe this is what happens when Republican housewives smoke dope.)