Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Movie Moment: Remember, remember

November 5, 2012

“Remember, remember.” It’s that day again. Tomorrow in my country is an election day. Since my country is very bossy, this will affect many other nations as well.

I have no idea which way the election will go. I gave up a decade ago on thinking I could understand people. I have no predictions for the outcome of this election, but I have my hopes. A motif in this film is the immutability of ideas: ideas are bulletproof, indestructible.

Are they, though?

I think they are entirely personal and held inside: no one and nothing is knowable. There is no way to trust that what someone says is what they’re really thinking, nor that anyone will do what they say they are going to. I know what I want to see happen in my country and in my life, but my doubts about those things are ebbing the spontaneity and passion from me, and I hate that, and it confuses me, and I don’t want it to be so. I once had a zeal for politics unmatched by almost anyone I know, and I still follow closely what goes on, but I feel like I’ve been burned over and over, like it’s scar tissue on scar tissue, and there are all these layers of dead hard flesh between the outside and my core.

I haven’t stopped caring. I haven’t stopped wanting to change the world and my own self, but I’ve stopped believing I can be touched or healed by what someone says, promises, proclaims to think or plans to do. I’m afraid that this is reflective of not just my political opinions and doings, but my approach to more interpersonal functions. And I don’t want that. I need to get back that optimism. It’s like I’m so sure of being broken that I throw myself off the shelf so at least it’s my own idea when I’m shattered on the floor. How is that consolation? I’m still in pieces. I don’t want to be bulletproof: I just don’t want to be glass.

This too. Man, if Pirate Bay goes down, my life is over. How fucking shallow am I? Such the molotov-lobbing anarchist, me. “I just want to download Walking Dead.” Waah, waah, waah — I don’t know how to love properly and I like illegally freeloading free loads of downloads. Spoiled and purposeless little shit.

Dr. King’s Day: An individual who breaks the law to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice

January 17, 2011

September 4, 1958. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is arrested in Montgomery, Alabama. Dr. King refused to pay the $14 fine, instead accepting the sentence of 14 days in jail for disobedience of an officer of the law. The commissioner of police, embarassed by the bad publicity and concerned at the public outcry over the incident, paid Dr. King’s fine himself.


I submit that an individual who breaks the law that conscience tells him is unjust and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the very highest respect for law.

Dr. King’s Day: Our impasse in the modern world

January 17, 2011

All of these words are chillingly accurate descriptions of the continued fractured state of the modern social scene, along the entire spectrum from politics to our treatment of one another.


History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.


Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies — or else? The chain reaction of evil — hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars — must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.


I challenge you not to adore this picture of Dr. King and his awesome wife.

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.

Jesus Christ, man, we have to help him be right.

Burroughs Month: If we controlled television, then we control America.

November 29, 2010


via D Billy over on And I Am Not Lying.

Rat: The movement is developing a different definition of news, a different description of what is important. If we controlled a television station, our news would be substantially different than Walter Cronkite.

Burroughs: If we controlled television, then we control America.


via comicallyvintage.

R: What would it mean if we had one station? We could, like the German SDS, make a demand for TV time. And then escalate our demand to a whole channel. What would happen if we got a channel?

B: We got to get them all. As soon as we get them all, we control this whole stupid middle class. We’ve got America.

(Rat Magazine Interviews Burroughs, 1968.)

This is an almost quaint discussion in retrospect, yes? Imagine if states gave a shit about the television. They do not, because they themselves are at the mercy of the same true boss that has come to wield all the power in this particular method of public communication.


Apaga la tele. Viva tu vida. Buenos Aires, Argentina. edit: Valpairiso, Chile.

It seems, to me at any rate, that the control of television has gone not to a political group, who are too busy eating one another alive like a coil of very stupid snakes, but to a far more sinister agenda: the networks cede over all to the dollar. They don’t care how you think and vote, or even if you think and vote. They prefer you complacent, uninformed, and unquenchably thirsty for high-fructose corn syrup. They don’t want you to support your local politician nor overthrow your government. They only want you to Buy Things. As long as you’re doing that, as long as you are spellbound by product placement and commercial breaks, the in-between drama of any particular channel is of utter unimportance to the true bosses. Keep up the good work: I’ve got my new diet pomegranate 7-up jampacked with important antioxidants right here beside me, so I know I sure am!



Note on the pictures: According to D Billy on the excellent And I Am Not Lying, both these illustrations come from an old Aquaman Big Little Book called “Scourge of the Sea.”

Girls of Summer: Jan Roberts, Miss August 1962

October 6, 2010


Photographed by Pompeo Posar.

Miss August 1962 was the lovely and talented Jan Roberts, who began as a bunny at the Chicago Playboy Club. At the time, it was usually the case that a centerfold may be offered a job as a Club Bunny. Though it would later become common for Bunnies to progress to a gatefold as Playmate of the Month, Ms. Roberts was the first to do it.


With this issue we present a neat twist on the customary Playmate-to-Bunny progression: she’s ingenuous Jan Roberts — the first (but undoubtedly not the last) Playmate to be discovered among the hutch honeys already decorating club premises. Like hundreds of beauties from every part of the U.S. and several foreign countries, Brooklyn-born, Toledo-bred Jan stormed Chicago specifically in hopes of landing a job at the Playboy Club.

(“Bunny Hug.” Playboy, August 1962.)


Her credentials (executive girl Friday for the Juhl Advertising Agency of Elkhart, Indiana, and honor graduate of a two-year medical technology course in the same city) were impressive enough to earn her a Bunny berth. Although the lissome — 39-23-35 — arrangement of her 120 compact pounds on a five-foot-five frame tends to belie it, Miss August prefers mental exercise to physical.

(Ibid.)

But she’s so pretty. What could she possibly need to think about?

[Ms. Roberts] thrives on chess and bridge bouts, reads omnivorously (mostly books on mathematics and theology), dabbles in graphology, and earnestly paints landscapes which bear, she believes, “an unfortunate resemblance to my favorite foods — spaghetti and cheese blintzes.”

(Ibid.)

Hell, yeah, EAT SPAGHETTI!


She can’t abide a sloppy pad, views beatniks with suspicious brown eyes, loves shoot-’em-up war flicks, feminine frills and Louis XVI antiques.

(Ibid.)

I like war movies too, but I wonder what was so objectionable about beatniks? Someone needs to dial Ned Flanders and make a lovely lonelyhearts hookup.



Jan regards her current welcome-to-the-club duties with honest satisfaction. “I’m interested in a show business career,” she says. “As a Bunny, I’m already leading a show biz kind of life. It’s a big step on the way up.”

(Ibid.)


WHAT I LIKE IN MEN: Good manners, men who are good and kind to everyone, a sense of humor.
WHAT I DISLIKE IN MEN: Wise guys.

Ah, hahaha … wise guys. I have the cutest picture in my head, please come along with me on my mental image: Ms. Roberts in the trademark Club Bunny outfit, saying, “Oh, a wise guy, eh?” and windmilling her arm around to punch a Stooge. Chain-reaction hijinks ensue.

As for her show biz ambitions, if that sought-after career progressed, it was under a different name. I tried Jan Roberts, Janice Roberts, and Janet Roberts on the imdb and came up empty. Then again, there is always the stage, yes? Or maybe her (by her account) cheese blintz-like and spaghetti-like landscape paintings took off. She has a sweet face and an endearingly semi-rabbity grill; I’d hope good things for her.

The colorblocks in this picture are frigging awesome. Such a great and articulate, high-brow art critic I am, yes? Did I just blow your mind? Lovely. “What do you think of this piece by Basquiat?” “I think it’s frigging awesome!” Then I crush a beer can against my forehead. Sorry, college degree.

Seriously, though — my favorite shot of the spread, because of the colors.

This issue of Playboy featured a piece by Arthur C. Clarke titled, “World Without Distance.” Clarke is the author of seminal sci-fi novel 2001: A Space Odyssey; togther with Asimov and Robert Heinlein, he was known in science fiction circles as one of the Big Three. At the time his piece was published in this issue, Clarke was living in Sri Lanka (long story — another day). For some years, he had been contributing speculative articles and essays to various magazines about how developing technologies would effect lifestyles in the coming decades and centuries.

In fact, he had a specific timeline for when he predicted certain innovations would come in to use, ending in the year 2100: as an example, he … for lack of a better word, “prophesied,” that a “global library” would be in use by 2005. People would be able to access this library from anywhere and have information at their fingertips. The articles and essays were eventually gathered into a book which Clarke titled Profiles of the Future, published in 1963. “World Without Distance” is one of those essays.

There was also an article in the August 1962 Playboy called “The Prodigal Powers of Pot,” by Dan Wakefield. I came up goose-eggs in my search for the full text of Mr. Wakefield’s article, but HollywoodFiveO‘s review that it’s “an article so dry and boring we were unable to finish it even after huffing copious amounts of the demon weed,” is enough to discourage me from further research.

However, it is a good opportunity for me to mention that two dear old friendohs, Jedi K and Marvelous Mr. C, will be performing in Reefer Madness in October, and if I’m not front and center, it means I’m frozen in carbonite. Actually, even if I’m frozen in carbonite, I might persuade Cinder and Milo to tote me along anyway.

To celebrate, I’ll be sure to squeeze in a Reefer Madness Movie Moment for both the original scared-straight piece of propoganda and the recent film adaptation of the campy musical which my friends will be putting on. It’s an interesting time to stage it in my gret stet of Californny, what with a proposition on the ballot in our upcoming election to legalize marijuana.* I predict they’ll pull in a fun and hopefully big crowd.

*It’s a square and unpopular opinion but, while I am neutral about marijuana as a recreational, albeit presently illegal, drug, I do not think its legalization will prove even at all to be the prompt financial panacea the yaysayers would have me believe, and that the difficulties of properly legislating its sale and distribution will ultimately prove more costly than the budget woes it proposes to solve; further, the proposition in its present form does not yet have a solid enough plan for implementing the legalization nor setting up a more specific system for local governments to go about filtering the monies to appropriate and needy civic channels to suit me. A really bad punster would say I find the idea “half-baked.” I merely say, take your time, rethink what it is that you want to accomplish, and come back to me with something I can consider solidly getting behind. My state has been propositioned to death. This is a big issue — give it the careful crafting it deserves if you want to succeed and be helpful.

That was all in small print because a) I don’t like bringing politics up on the journal; and b) every time I timidly speak against the proposition, people seem to think I am opposed to the drug itself and shout me down with tireless explanations of how it’s not dangerous and people are way better drivers on pot than alcohol (this latter argument actually comes from my uncle, a former cop in Idaho who stuck in his oar on a recent family vacation when he was chagrined to learn that I was probably going to vote no on Prop 19).

I don’t much care about the drug part. Seems to me like people are going to smoke whether it’s legal or not. That’s not my concern at all. What I care about is hasty-pudding legislation that I fear couldn’t pass a Pinto, let alone a majority vote in a state where the people who actually come to the polls are, statistically, retired persons who are, statistically, more conservative voters, and who would likely not vote “yes” on this proposition even if there were rock-solid figures showing that the tax revenue from the legalization of marijuana would go to blind limbless orphans, early-bird buffet discounts, and a television channel that shows all Matlock, all day. They’re still going to punch “no.” This legislation needs to be airtight and even though it’s trying, my feeling is it is not quite there.

Even if it passes, things have become so persnickety and partisan here that it is bound to get held up for years in appeals and counter-measures. Don’t get me wrong, I have hopes for my government in the future, but all I see right now at federal and state levels is a morass in which nothing can get accomplished.


Gesa Meiken photographed by Mario Casilli.

Man! Not only is that all downer stuff, but I actually do hate talking about politics on the internet. I may come back later today and delete all that. Anyway, Arthur C. Clarke and a smiley blonde — even an apparent square like myself can’t vote no on that!

William Blake Month: “The Divine Image”

June 10, 2010


Robert Demachy. “Mignon.” 1900.

To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
All pray in their distress;
And to these virtues of delight
Return their thankfulness.

For Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is God, our Father dear,
And Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is man, His child and care.


via smokeandacoke on the tumblr.

For Mercy has a human heart,
Pity a human face,
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress.

Then every man, of every clime,
That prays in his distress,
Prays to the human form divine,
Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.


Cairo, Egypt, photgraphed by Philip-Lorca diCorcia for W.


And all must love the human form,
In heathen, Turk, or Jew;
Where Mercy, Love, and Pity dwell
There God is dwelling too.


(William Blake, “The Divine Image.”)

“All must love the human form — there God is dwelling too.” We say things like this all the time, but consider that Blake wrote in the 1700’s. He prefigured all the poseur Romantics and social reformers, but transcended their work, too. And he really was disgusted by the inequities of life on earth in the Western world at that time.


Ryan McGinley, “Jake.”

Blake writes all the time about how his visions lead him to see that people truly, genuinely, are the same beneath, that plants and animals and even handmade objects hold a universal grain of likeness to people, being all made directly or indirectly by God and inhabited by a hierarchy of spirits, demons, and angels — that everything around us, ourselves and nature and all the things we make, are reflections of God because of our being made in His image.


Ryan McGinley, “Hysteric Fireworks.”

Logically, it followed to him that to raise your hand against these fellow creations was wrong and could not be God’s will; therefore all systems that enforced human governance over one another or intrusion in to nature was against God’s plan and was a sinful conception of man which had nothing to do with redemption — this included most organized religion, education, and politics, all of which he felt were offensive, grasping human attempts to control and oppress one another, which was the same as to try to bully God.


McGinley again — a Morrissey concert.

He really saw with the eyes of his heart: and almost more than anything else he truly did not understand why there would be starvation, child abuse, and especially war. And he knew well enough that he was unlike his countrymen in that way to write poems reminding them that violence and injustice were not the right paths. They all assumed he was crazy, of course. But look at his message, especially his emphasis on religious tolerance (an easy jump for him since he believed all people were equal plus his visions told him all religions had it all jacked up to begin with). It pretty obviously is still relevant and resonant today.


Ryan McGinley, “Fireworks.” He’s my new fave, if you couldn’t tell.

It is a reasonable enough message. If God created us and all things, then we must be peaceful and loving to one another and the animals and natural resources around us, and love them for being reflections of God. It is the only right way to be. So why is it such a challenge, again and again? Everyone claims to want it, so why it is always out of reach is depressing and mystifying. Kind of like how “the one thing we’re all waiting for/ is peace on earth and an end to war” to quote Queen’s “The Miracle.” I know I just went from Blake to Freddie Mercury, but I’m a maverick! Good people quote the Beatles. Great people quote the Beatles, Billy Joel, and Queen. Take it to the bank.

PSA: Talking politics socially

June 9, 2010

PSA: It was actually once considered rude to hound people about political issues instead of letting them make private, independent, informed voter choices and not descend in to pointless partisan debate (which often eclipses the issues entirely, creating ever-greater time-and-breath-waste) even and especially with people you claim to call friends. A high level of closeness was required before sailing in to such conversational and public discursive waters, once upon a time. We did not post bulletins and douchey status updates about it, even. Did You Know? Oh, the bygone era of manners.


Via comicallyvintage on the tumblr.

Damn, gorilla! You ain’t got to get punchy. A simple “I disagree” would’ve probably sufficed. But that’s how it is today. Keep your elbows out and your powder dry, kids.

Model Citizens: Can I get political with you for a second? (NSFW Carla Bruni)

October 20, 2009

New feature! Model Citizens! And I can think of no better inaugural edition.

Ladies and gentlemen, the lovely and talented Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, model, singer, songwriter, indie actress and … something else …. oh, right, First freaking Lady of France, if you please.

“Nothing was calculated, nothing foreseen. I’ve never been married before and I’m Italian and I don’t like divorce. Therefore I’m the First Lady of France until the end of my husband’s term, and then his wife until death. I know that can hold surprises but that’s just what I want.” — Bruni on her surprise wedding to Sarko, shortly after his split from wife Cecilia (who had her own lover, too, don’t panic — they’re European)


I said goddamn, Carla Bruni. Haters to the left! Her sister also is a singer/actress/model. Very slashy, those Tedeschi girls. Bruni started out modeling for Guess, Dior, and Givenchy, but gave it up to pursue her singing career. She met Nicolas Sarkozy not long after his divorce, at a dinner party in November of 2007. They were engaged by December (it is rumored). I like a woman who doesn’t let any grass grow under her feet, and it also confirms two of her often-reported quotes:

“I’m monogamous from time to time, but I prefer polygamy and polyandry.”

and

“I want a man with nuclear power.”

Kudos to keeping your eyes on the prize, Mme. Bruni-Sarkozy.


“It was immediate … I know you don’t get married in an instant and that even more, we were in the spotlight. But lovers, you know, have their own sense of time.” — On falling for Nicolas Sarkozy

Here is her cover of one of my favorite songs, widely charted by the Ink Spots and one Miss Patsy Cline, “You Belong To Me.” The track appears on her most recent album, the 2008 LP Comme si de rien n’était (It is as if nothing happened).

Carla Bruni – You Belong To Me

This has been your very, very NSFW inaugural Model Citizen dossier on Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. Eskimo kisses and you’re welcome!

Link a dink a doo and some sketches too

September 23, 2009

Did you know? My “estranged” husband, Husbandly R. Husbandson the First, Esq.*, is an artist. He has a blog now.

He puts up his pen and ink drawings on there. So far my two favorites are from a series he did while moseying about hipster haven, the city of Portland, which also has a strange intersection with the detritus of decaying industrialism, so you have these two disparate populations constantly mingling.


His note on this sketch was, “He was psyching himself up to do something,” and I like how correspondingly large the hands are as the subject contemplates them. Must’ve been something that loomed large in his mind, to need such big hands for doing it.

The other one I like is this one of a man at the Fred Meyer grocery, I can only guess the one right by our house, badgering the retired gentleman who is merely working as a greeter because this country cannot care for the elderly and who never signed on to hear personal political and social diatribes from some stained-shirt-sporting young pudgy stranger who is either a) a knee-jerk liberal which is just as ignorant and open to the dangers of hypocrisy as going in the other direction, b) a recent parolee whose brain is addled by meth, or c) a die-hard, Ayn Rand-reading, every-man-for-himself, you-must-pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps-even-if-you-are-paraplegic, bidet-sniffing son of a bitch who doesn’t believe in social programs or stop signs (in Portland, it could go either way):

So that’s my husband’s stuff.

*henceforth known as HRH

Per mi amico: Jonohs edition

September 21, 2009


Rooney: What’s the score?
Pizza Joint Owner: Nothin’, nothin’.
Rooney: Who’s winning?
Pizza Joint Owner: The Bears.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

(this is the 100th post. balloons and confetti just fell on all of us!)