Monday, March 31, 2014

Out Of Order

I am en route on my road to recovery. I have been out of action for the last few days with a classic case of the grippe! That and trying to catch up with the 21st century...I mean how many people do you know who have never owned a cell phone before? I got one on Saturday from Free...great plan...I paid 17 Euros for the phone and 2 Euros a month for their basic service. I had to go 16 kilometers to Hautefort to pick it up at the little store there because the delivery service claimed they couldn't find my house! Then, I fucked up the installation of the SIM card. The card was in a pop out multiple size format that fit the model of phone it was to go in. When I tried to pop it out, the littlest size piece just popped out, so I put it in the phone and it disappeared. The phone ate it. I realized to my horror that I had put in the wrong size format. I couldn't easily get it out. So I tried to call Free customer service...big mistake! Finally, I took it to my buddy's house because he is an electronic wizard and inventor of sorts. We took the damn phone apart, retrieved the card, carefully put the phone back together and  was able to fit the little SIM card back into the right sized formate and reinstall it correctly. The phone works fine now and I learned how to take apart a cell phone. My wife of course thinks I am a total idiot. You know how it is. You are only as good as your last mistake. Then I spent a few hours setting up the Free account and figuring out how the phone works. Things went downhill from there. I was sick for 2 I felt I could work on the garden for a few hours as the asthma effect of my illness abated. Then my mechanic finally showed up...I had to order 2 new tires after a blow out last week. We decided to change the air and oil filters and the oil at the same time. It's a pretty cool deal. The mechanic, Gerard, has big van with an air compressor and mobile atelier. Out here in the backwoods, there aren't a lot of garagistes around. Our local garage in Hautefort, where I had always taken my car, closed about 2 months ago when Mr. LaFaye retired after his wife died.  So Gerard is a life saver. We order the parts off of the internet pretty cheap. He comes out here and does the work for 35 Euros an hour, has plenty of good energy and money saving advice and understands my clumsy attempts at humor in my retarded French. Sometimes I tell a joke and get totally lost in the sea of verbs and pronunciation...I have trouble remembering the gender of things...there is no simple logic. So, the car is back together and next month we will put in a new alternator and plugs. I went the entire winter with out being sick, no colds, no flu. Usually, I'm pretty tough, but I think I picked up the bug when I was down in Terrasson last week. The elections here were pretty rough. I will write about them tomorrow. If NKM had become mayor of Paris, I was ready to emigrate to Thailand!  She lost, and Pais has new woman Socialist Mayor, Ann Hidalgo! She's pretty neat and very independent! It should be an interesting week. The Prime Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault resigned today Manuel Valls is the new one!  I am waiting to see if Hollande has the balls to appoint his ex partner, Segolene Royale into his new government! Some how, I just do not think he is up to it......
NAME THAT FILM! Hint: 1972

Sunday, March 30, 2014

How Can I Be Happy?

This was such a joy to hear. A wonderful audio essay on Secular Humanism. I am such an admirer and fan of Stephen Fry. I listen to BBC radio and for years he was on some of their most hilarious improv radio panel shows.  I have most of his written work and most of his work with Hugh Laurie on Video. Most Americans know him from the Laurie/Fry collaboration of their adaptation of the P.G. Wodehouse Jeeves and Wooster Books and then the entire Rowan Atkinson Black Adder series.  But they had been working together for years since their days at Cambridge University. If you want to see what they had been doing as a creative team, check out A Bit of Fry and Laurie, their BBC series. Here's a sample of the level of intellectual madness they inflicted on an unsuspecting public:
But, here's further evidence of the intellectual subversion perpetrated by Stephen Fry. An encounter with Robin Williams. Two improvisational comic geniuses are sort of interviewing each other and it is like two insane computers with different operating systems finding the perfect interface. 
Fry is a fucking genius. If you are interested in reading some of his novels and collected work, try for starters: Liar, a novel. Moab Is My Washpot, a sort of autobiographical piece or his collected essays, Paperweight....

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Fiend Without A Face

“The brain may be regarded as a kind of parasite” (Schopenhauer)
The brain may be regarded as a kind of parasite of the organism, a pensioner, as it were, who dwells with the body: and leisure, that is, the time one has for the free enjoyment of one’s consciousness or individuality, is the fruit or produce of the rest of existence, which is in general only labor and effort. But what does most people’s leisure yield?—boredom and dullness; except, of course, when it is occupied with sensual pleasure or folly. How little such leisure is worth may be seen in the way in which it is spent: and, as Ariosto observes, how miserable are the idle hours of ignorant men!—ozio lungo d’uomini ignoranti. Ordinary people think merely how they shall spend their time; a man of any talent tries to use it. The reason why people of limited intellect are apt to be bored is that their intellect is absolutely nothing more than the means by which the motive power of the will is put into force: and whenever there is nothing particular to set the will in motion, it rests, and their intellect takes a holiday, because, equally with the will, it requires something external to bring it into play. The result is an awful stagnation of whatever power a man has—in a word, boredom. To counteract this miserable feeling, men run to trivialities which please for the moment they are taken up, hoping thus to engage the will in order to rouse it to action, and so set the intellect in motion; for it is the latter which has to give effect to these motives of the will. Compared with real and natural motives, these are but as paper money to coin; for their value is only arbitrary—card games and the like, which have been invented for this very purpose. And if there is nothing else to be done, a man will twirl his thumbs or beat the devil’s tattoo; or a cigar may be a welcome substitute for exercising his brains.
From The Wisdom of Life by Arthur Schopenhauer (translation by T. Bailey Saunders).

Fiend Without A Face (1958)
After all these years, still one of the creepiest b/w low budget films
ever made! I saw this in 1962 and it still haunts my dreams!
What floor please? I'm just here to help!

I'm just here to help! Go ahead. Ask me anything!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Sound of Music. The Bonzo Dog Band 1968

Donny's New Home?

Hey, Donny, I'm sure you might find a nice comfy little palace to molder away in Brussels. They'd probably give you your own TV show on Belgian TV why you wait to be extradited to the Hague for your war crimes trial, or probably die first while fighting extradition. Belgium is not a bad place, it's a little country, but in my experience, there are a lot of racist assholes per capita who would welcome you with open arms. You'd love the chocolate, and they have a frikin' King, too. In case you were curious, Belgium has a history that you could personally relate to, I'm sure. Here's a handy little graphic showing the most blood thirsty dictators of modern times. King Leopold is #4! Just under Hitler! Cool, huh? Hey, Donny, you are piker compared to these guys!

I knew Donny would get a kick out of this, because he seems to be totally in tune with the crazy Belgian sense of satire. What a coincidence! The same day he made a joke on Greta Van Susteren's FOX News Program stating that a "trained ape" could do a better job as a diplomat than Barack Obama:
The Belgian Flemish language newspaper, Die Morgen published this picture of Barack and Michelle Obama on the eve of their visit to Belgium to commemorate the end of WWI.

 They claimed it was "satire", but if you live in Europe and have had contact with Belgians, for the most part, except for the comic strip artists, they are not known for their sense of satire. The most apt comment I saw in defense of the picture included an un photoshopped picture of George Bush Jr.
Donny, move to Brussels. You'll knock em dead and it's just an hour on a high speed luxury train to The Hague, where they have a luxurious suite awaiting you in the Slobodan Milosevic wing of their facility....I heard there is actually a pool there with wheel chair ramps.....

I try to stay away from the NYTimes, but I read this today and in the context of Rumsfelds continuing descent into senility, in a historical context, this piece was pretty good in explaining that he never really had anything relevant to say in the first place.

Citizens United Act 2 Scene 3.......

I have been following the Hobby Lobby case claiming their right to deny their female employees contraception coverage based on religious grounds that is going to be heard in the Supreme Court today. Again, the insane concept of the rights of a corporation as a "person" is central to their claims. I'm not sure if this is a relevant "legal" argument, but if Hobby Lobby is claiming personal religious discrimination, I would only hope that a corporate person would have to be baptized or somehow fit into the rituals of the religion they are trying to use as a legal ploy. I saw this piece on Media Matters today by Joy Reid with a excellent history lesson of the legal justifications of the concept of corporate personhood. 
In this cases, at least one of the justices is going to have to figure out how to get around his own rulings if he wants to find in favor of these corporate persons.
In 1990, Scalia wrote the majority opinion in Employment Division v. Smith,concluding that the First Amendment "does not require" the government to grant "religious exemptions" from generally applicable laws or civic obligations. The case was brought by two men in Oregon who sued the state for denying them unemployment benefits after they were fired from their jobs for ingesting peyote, which they said they did because of their Native American religious beliefs.
"The right of free exercise does not relieve an individual of the obligation to comply with a valid and neutral law of general applicability," Scalia wrote in the 6-3 majority decision, going on to aggressively argue that such exemptions could be a slippery slope to lawlessness and that "any society adopting such a system would be courting anarchy."
"The rule respondents favor would open the prospect of constitutionally required religious exemptions from civic obligations of almost every conceivable kind," he wrote, "ranging from compulsory military service, to the payment of taxes, to health and safety regulation such as manslaughter and child neglect laws, compulsory vaccination laws, drug laws, and traffic laws; to social welfare legislation such as minimum wage laws, child labor laws, animal cruelty laws, environmental protection laws, and laws providing for equality of opportunity for the races."

You would think that opinion could haunt Scalia if he seeks to invalidate the birth control rule. But
Given Scalia’s perverse nature, I’m sure he will look upon it as a challenge; particularly since it fits in so well with his love affair with corporations. As demonstrated with Citizens United, the conservative majority clearly has no qualms with ignoring precedent when it comes to serving corporate interests.
So, it's not a question of if he will try, but the question is how will he try to do it.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Stupid Fuck

1988 at the Knitting Factory on Houston St. in New York City. I had the honor of being the mover  of this band with my old lime green Toyota pick up truck. One of the ultimate power trios led by the one of the greatest and I have to add unrecognized free jazz/rock artists of all time, Sonny Sharrock. Sonny could take you from the gentle heights of sheer lyrical beauty to the horror of the depths of sonic hell in a micro second with his improvisational whims. He was a true genius. One of the greatest jazz/rock guitarists ever. He transcended the all categories. This is a great piece, never released on a record, but he lets it say all that is need to be said about the subject.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Rising Cost Of Fascism.....

A moldy oldie by microdot. I made this photoshop version of La Grande Jatte by one of my favorite artists, George Seurat, in 2011 after I saw the video of Lt. John Pike of the University of California Police, who will live in infamy as Sergeant Pepper Spray strolling through a crowd of peaceful protesters, blasting away with his extra large economy size can of pepper spray with gay abandon. The protesters were being told to leave, but in reality, the police had made it impossible for them to leave. There were private monetary settlements later made with the protesters and resignations of police officials. Pike was fired, but later to the outrage of everyone, was able to legally get a settlement of $38,000 for his mental anguish. I can only hope with my viral image that I somehow contributed to his mental anguish.
Meanwhile, at the same time in Oakland, California, a few miles away, Occupy protestors were being brutally suppressed by the Oakland City Police Force. I wrote a lot about what was going on at the time. There were many incidents of outrageous unwarranted naked brutality and many victims whose lives were destroyed by the injuries they received from the Police. Most of these cases went to court and the judgement is brutal against the tactics that the Police used. In Oakland, last July a group settled a class suit for over 1 million dollars against the city. There was a settlement with former Army Ranger Kayvan Sabeghi, who I wrote about in the links above for $654,000. In NYC, there has been a few million dollars paid out in settlements with victims of police aggression during the Occupy Wall Street Protests including a judgement for the Occupy Librarians who had their books consficated, computers destroyed and were brutalized in Zuccotti Park on November 15, 2011. They alone were awarded $365,000!
But one of the most tragic stories was the story of the Iraq War Vet Whose Skull Was Fractured By Oakland Cops During Occupy Protest Settles For $4.5MAfter he was struck with a lead-filled bean bag fire by a police officer from 20 feet away on Oct. 25, 2011, Scott Olsen, who was 24 at the time, suffered a skull fracture and permanent brain damage.

I hope you remember this. This was a real tragedy -- and an outrage:
An Iraq war veteran whose skull was fractured by a police bean bag during the Occupy Oakland protest has settled with the city for $4.5 million, his attorneys announced Friday, as part of a federal civil lawsuit. After he was struck with a lead-filled bean bag fire by a police officer from 20 feet away on Oct. 25, 2011, Scott Olsen, who was 24 at the time, suffered a skull fracture and permanent brain damage.
Today, Olsen can speak and do basic tasks. But, according to a recent interview with the East Bay Express, his memory, concentration and speech are still impaired, and he still owes $200,000 in medical expenses. According to his suit, Olsen is unable to work as he once did as a computer systems administrator at Opswat in San Francisco.
"I didn't win, uh, part of my brain back that's dead," Olsen said, faltering a bit at a Friday news conference outside Oakland City Hall. "Um, but you know, I.. I... It's hard, it was a hard recovery process. This isn't everything."
In a statement, city attorney Barbara Parker said: "Mr. Olsen suffered a tragic injury that will affect him for the rest of his life. This settlement will save the city the far greater costs of a trial and potentially much higher judgment. This is a fair settlement given the facts of the case and the significant injuries Mr. Olsen sustained.”
Oakland will pay Olsen $1.8 million, according to the city, with the rest paid by the city's insurance company.
Olsen, in many ways, became the national symbol for what the "99 percent" viewed as police brutality during the Occupy movement. Vigils for his recovery at Occupy camps across the country, including in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia, were held -- all in Olsen's name.
His past -- serving two tours of duty in Iraq as a Marine -- galvanized the already disenfranchised protesters, and became a negative, lasting PR nightmare for Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, who came under attack for not doing more to control what many saw as an overzealous police department.
Quan was on her way back from Washington, D.C., when this protest occurred, and police had evicted the Occupy camp from Frank Ogawa Plaza, prompting a crush of people to return to downtown later in the day.
In a statement released Friday afternoon, Quan said, "We wish the best to Mr. Olsen and hope for success in his continued recovery. I want Oakland to know that because of that evening’s events we took determined, constructive steps to change our policing procedures,” Quan said in the statement.
Democracy Now's Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzales spoke to Olsen about his ordeal, and you can watch their interview with the former marine below: Scott Olsen, U.S. Vet Nearly Killed by Police Beanbag at Occupy Oakland, Settles Lawsuit with City.

Fascism is not acceptable. Maybe Vladimir Putin can get away with these tactics in his Police State, but we still have the right to protest and the duty to resist as well as the legal means to fight back. The bastards who enabled the violent suppression of the Occupy Movement have cost the taxpayers they represented many millions of dollars, not to mention the $38,000 paid to Sergeant Pepper Spray for his mental anguish. The conservative press tried to demonize the movement, but it still stands and is an active force for positive social change and action that has brought many different and seemingly disparate groups together in a common goal.  But there is a punch line here. You might as well burn your abaci...I guess that is the plural of abacus, because a paltry few tens of millions dollars means nothing. It is a bargain if you are the financial institutions of America, the world which made gazillions of bucks scamming everyone. That is what this little David, The Occupy Movement was up against. A few skulls crushed? A million bucks here, a million bucks's all part of the reality of doing business as usual. 
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Saturday, March 22, 2014

The End Of Something...Or The Beginning Of Something Else

I had to post something about the death last week of Scott Asheton. He became friends with this guy, Jimmy Osterberg in 1965 when Osterberg was working in a record store in Ann Arbor, MI. Jimmy played drums for a local A2 band called The Iguanas, but he had big ideas. Jimmy lived in a trailer, albeit a nice trailer outside of Ypsilanti. Osterberg was in love with my sisters best friends younger sister, Suzy (she was the inspiration for his mid 90's hit, Candy) so he was hanging around my neighborhood in Northwestern Detroit. Scott asked Jimmy to teach him how to play drums. Scott was a natural and his brother, Ron played guitar. Scott didn't even have a proper drum set...he kind of rigged up a set with industrial spackle drums and over time, he acquired more professional equipment. But the band I saw in 1967 which called itself, The Psychedelic Stooges, featured Scott on his jerry rigged drum kit, Ron playing a Woolworth's guitar full of useless push buttons through an over driven cheap amp which of course made the ugliest sound possible and Jimmy, who had become Iggy improvising incoherent lyrics and playing a primitive slide guitar that was more of an art project. In Detroit, or anywhere in 1967, this had very little relationship to anything that was happening anywhere else on the planet. This became the primal template, the original design. The touch stone that any musician who wanted to play raw crazy original music was inspired by. They became The Stooges. Iggy was a self contained totally original art project. He closed his eyes and walked off the edge of stages and his feet never touched the ground. He danced on the hands of the crowd. Many performers were inspired by him and wanted to become him, but no one could ever touch him. He was a surreal fantasy incarnate. And of course, he could actually sing and write. The first Stooges album was produced by John Cale in 1968. They were the ultimate power trio. With a bass player they leveled any venue they played in. Scott was the ultimate raw roots rock monster drummer. His brother Ron was the raw template that so many guitarists were inspired by. Nothing fancy, just raw power and what ever was required to get the job done. Yes, they lived through the excesses of the late 60's and by the early 70's had burnt themselves out gloriously. Ron became an alcoholic zombie back at his parents house. Scott was playing for the very brilliant Ann Arbor Art/Punk Ensemble, Destroy All Monsters. He also played for years with Fred Smith's unacclaimed but brilliant Michigan band, The Sonic Rendezvous...Fred died in the mid 90's after raising a family with another great artist, Patti Smith in East Detroit. The Asheton brothers were not really talking. Iggy had a pretty incredible career that took him to Berlin and Europe. He evolved as a vocalist and artist. He was always always his own personal art form. In 2000, the brilliant bassist, Mike Watt had the inspiration to reunite the Stooges. He had experienced his personal loss when his best friend, D. Boone, the guitarist of his band, The Minutemen died in a traffic accident. He worked in his own projects and produced and played on a lot of other peoples projects, but he became obsessed with reuniting the Stooges. He contacted the Ashton Brothers and began to play gigs with them around 2000. The brothers realized what they had and gradually, they were able to convince Iggy to put his toes in the pool...That did it.  Ron in spite of his massive weight gain, began to slim down and play like he had never stopped. Scott was the drummer he had always been. I think the force that was Jimmy Osterberg inspired them and made them excel. They released 3 albums over the next few years that proved they had lost nothing. In 2009, Ron died of a heart attack. They were touring constantly, as if the magic of the music and their world could keep them eternal. He was 60, but the idea of the Stooges kept on with James Williamson, who had been a member of the band in the 70's. They released their last recording in 2013, Ready To Die and played their last gig in September. On March 15. Scott died of a heart attack at age 64. I believe they were one of the most influential bands in modern rock. They were never "successful" but perhaps the most emulated fantasy figures that fueled the dreams of artists for the last 45 years. Jagger could never have been Iggy. David Bowie wanted to be Iggy. Lou Reed hated and loved Iggy. Iggy could never have really been Iggy with out the teen age shared fantasy of lower middle class kids in the hinterlands of Michigan.  As Mr. Osterberg said a few days ago, "I don't want to say that I'm done with the band. I would just say that I feel like the group has always included the Asheton brothers. When Ron passed away, Scott represented him. Nearly everything we play, Ron played on originally. I don't feel right now like there's any reason for me to go jumping out onstage in tight Levi's. What am I going to scream about?" Iggy is 66, but he can't stop. He has to keep on doing what he does...I've been connected to these guys for years. I kept running into them individually through out the decades. I have Iggy stories that I am a little wary of telling. We ended up being neighbors on Avenue B in the 90's. Their music is vary big part of what keeps me an eternal adolescent. I try to explain my musical tastes to my friends...I like everything, but there is a lot of stuff I really love that might sound to you like an incredibly horrific industrial catastrophe with a good beat.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Please excuse my next couple of posts...I have a troll lurking under my bridge and I have to feed it. Have another banana, Babe!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Equinoxe Heureux, A Tout le Monde!

Three pictures. The first is a picture of East Broadway in Lower Manhattan going through
the bottom of the expanded China Town area towards the Manhattan Bridge ramp in 
the distance. It was actually taken a few days ago. One winter storm after another and another is on it's way according to the latest forecasts. I lived there for almost 27 years. I used to ride my bike every day in the winter in this stuff. I think I liked it, though I am having a hard time remembering exactly why. I have so many friends who still live in NYC and I get constant reports of the slimy wet frozen misery they go through. 
The 2nd picture was taken this morning, the first day of spring of my house here in the Sud Ouest where we have had the warmest and wettest winter on record. About a week or so ago, it finally stopped raining. Everything started blooming. We are experiencing temperatures in the 70's. Suddenly, I was in a race against nature. My strawberry plants started to grow fast and I had to cultivate them. I had to dig them all up, separate the plants, rework the soil and then replant them in the newly fertilized plot covered with an agricultural fabric cover. Sop here I am, about 4 pm this afternoon with about 240 strawberry plants in the ground ready for another season!The poles in the background are the supports for my raspberry plants whichare putting out leaves at an alarming rate. The tree in back of me is one of my figs which I have to cut back constantly because they want to take over the world. I already have had to mow the lawn. Of course, since it is the first day of spring, c'est la tradition, the weather is going to change...After a week of incredible warm and blue skies, we go back to the normal foggy grey, chilly and wet weather of the Dordogne. My biggest fear is a cold snap. That happened the last 2 years after a warm winter and was catastrophic, but I checked the extended forecast and after a few days of cool clouds, the temperature is going to come up again and no freeze is predicted. We have a tradition here...the moon cycle and La Lune Rousse....La Lune Rousse is phase of the moon after Easter. This year it extends from the end of April through May. They call it La Lune Rousse because that is when freezes can occur and frozen tender buds often turn red. The other tradition is Les saints de glace....the ice saints, which are the dates of three saints, St. Mamertus, St. Pancras and St. Servatius, which occur on the 11th, 12th and 13th of May. You can see why we are a little nervous. Normally, the fear of frost does not disappear until the second week of May, but, in spite of all of that, Equinioxe Heureux, a tout le monde!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Conte russe

A new video by my favorite Quebecois surrealist, Alex Fatta.
I love Fatta's work. His use of collage is a direct link to the work of one of my favorite artists
of the 20th Century, Max Ernst. I think I get the point, but I wish I understood Russian!


Last January, Stanford University and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France jointly released a vast online collection of documents and images from the French Revolution via the French Revolution Digital Archive. With around 14,000 high-resolution images, it is an overwhelmingly large collection but the website is thankfully very user-friendly with content tagged in multiple ways and organised according to various themes. This is undoubtedly a fantastic resource for not only historians but also a wider audience interested in the tumultuous events of the late eighteenth century considered by many to mark the start of political modernity.
Drawn into the archive, I spent quite some time trawling through it with a particular eye for caricatures, satirical illustrations, and other allegorical depictions of the revolution. Here is a selection of a few of the images I found most striking or noteworthy along with translations and contextual information where necessary. Hopefully these will be of some interest to readers of this blog. I won't say that I am a an expert on this period, but I am fascinated with this period of history and a life long interest in political art. Needless to say, this has been a real educational opportunity for me and has taken up quite a bit of time which I should have been doing something else...

Patriotic Hunt of the Great Beast (1789) [link]
“Posterity will tell us that in 1789 on the 12th July around four o’clock in the evening, several people claimed to have seen in the vicinity of Paris, on the road to Versailles, a Beast of an enormous size and a shape so extraordinary as to have never before seen the like. The news spread universal alarm in the city and put its people in a state of violent agitation. Cries of “to arms, to arms” were heard everywhere without any being found; it seemed that the Beast had swallowed them all along with their munitions. New weapons as extraordinary as the animal that had to be combated were immediately forged. On the 13th, people continued to agitate themselves, arming themselves and running after the Beast without being able to encounter it. On the the following day of the 14th, forever memorable for the France that suffers, a hundred thousand individuals ran to the Hotel des Invalides from which they carried away canons and sixty thousand rifles, such that there were two hundred thousand armed men who tracked down the Beast everywhere. Suspecting that it had retreated to the Bastille, the people flew to it with heroic courage and this lair of Despotism, despite its hundred bronze mouths vomiting fire, was taken by assault in two hours. With this victory appeared the monster with a hundred heads; its hideous form revealed that it was of an aristocratic kind; suddenly our bravest hunters seized upon her from all sides and it was to whom would cut the most heads. This monster that dragged behind it desolation, famine and death disappeared instantly under a hundred different forms and fled languidly abroad, taking with it the despair and shame of its defeat.”

The Revolution of 1789 or the Conquest of Liberty – Heroic Allegory Dedicated to the Nation (1789) [link]
We have here a rich phantasmagorical image in which we see the revolutionaries crowd around a statue of Liberty with her Phrygian cap set on a rather weary “ship of state” surrounded by rowing boats named after different regions of France. Above each of the canons pointing out of the ship’s port holes are inscribed the principles of the new order: “declaration of rights”, “feudalism destroyed”, “privileges abolished”, “armed citizens”, “popular elections”, etc.
The early revolution took aim at aristocratic power and perceived abuses of power such as the lettres de cachet but not at the monarchy itself. So atop the ship’s highest mast flies a flag that proclaims “the Law and the King” and the monarch is here favorably depicted in the foreground. He is “happy with the success” of his people, the text below tells us, his “throne shining with more majesty” as it becomes “the altar of laws and liberty.” You have to look to the right of the image to see figures of oppression being ousted, carrying with them chains and the aforementioned lettres de cachet - their seemingly oriental appearance presumably a play on Enlightenment associations of the Orient with despotism. In the top left is a castle with its defeated residents – it doesn’t particularly resemble the Bastille so my guess is this is a stand-in for foreign powers (the coat of arms would probably identify them more accurately).

Regeneration of the French nation (1789) [link]
Another image from the early days of the Revolution, it depicts France in the figure of a woman whose chains have been cast off by cherubs and is illuminated by heavenly figures holding the scales of justice and beaming the light of Reason at her. At her side is Louis XVI wielding a sword in his right hand and holding in his left a piece of paper on which the word “constitution” is inscribed. France is casting bolts of lightening at a monstrous assortment of noblemen, tyrants, and priests, toppling the Bastille and setting fire to papers on which we find “superstition”, “slavery”, “privilege”, and “the orders.” To the left of the image are the enslaved four corners of the world, joyously witnessing the spirit of liberty manifest in the “triumph of France.”

Mortals are equal – it is not birth but only virtue that makes the difference (1794) [link]
At the centre of is image is Reason (above her head is “the sacred flame of the love of country”) who puts on a same level the “white man” and “colored man.” The latter holds in his hand the declaration of the rights of man as well as the decree of the 15th May 1791 that recognised the equality of rights to non-whites in the French colonies… as long as they were born of free parents.

The French Genius/Spirit adopts Liberty and Equality (1794) [link]

Liberty armed with the scepter of Reason blasts Ignorance and Fanaticism (1793-95) [link]

I shit on the aristocrats (1790) [link]

Bombardment of all the thrones of Europe (1792) [link]
In this rather arresting output of the scatological imagination, the National Assembly sprays the crowned heads of Europe and Papacy with the scented juices of liberty. A “violent emetic” is fired into the French King’s rear from a cannon on which can be read “the free will of the French people”, the monarch spewing the Latin words bella horrida bella (“wars, horrible wars”). The Sans-Culotte behind him harangues him: “Traitor and perjurer. Give [vomit] it all back… and go to hell.” The mood is increasingly turning against the king.

Dialogue: I lose a head / I find one (1793) [link]
Ceci n’est pas une guillotine.

This is the Guillotine (1793) [link] and this is not a Rene Magritte painting....

The People devourer of Kings. Proposal for a colossal statue to be placed at the most eminent points of our borders (1793) [link]

Robespierre guillotining the executioner after have guillotined all the French (1794) [link]
The Terror is in full swing. Robespierre is sitting on an obelisk on which is inscribed “Here Lies all of France” and is trampling the constitutions of 1791 and 1793. Behind him is a sea of guillotines, each associated with particular groups that fell prey to revolutionary justice, among which noblemen and priests, military men, Girondins, Jacobins, the National Convention, the Committee of Public Safety, “people of talent” and “old people, women and children.” Robespierre would of course himself meet the same end in July 1794.

The Governement of Robespierre (1794) [link]
“Admire the supreme intelligence of Sanson. By the fatal blade, he has made everyone perish. What will he become in this dreadful state? He guillotines himself.”
Issued from an illustrious family of executioners, Charles-Henri Sanson was responsible for releasing the guillotine on Louis XVI, Robespierre and Danton among the almost 3,000 individuals he executed during his long career.

A little dinner, Parisian-style – or – a family of Sans-Culottes refreshing, after the fatigues of the day (1792) [link]
An image from England, by James Gilray where revolutionary violence and regicide were received with widespread horror. Caricatures of the time commonly depict the Sans-Culottes as a monstrous affront to civilised values with the English constitutional monarchy favourably compared to the perceived ungodliness of the revolution.

Hell Broke Loose, or, The Murder of Louis (1793) [link] They were definitely freaking in England!

Unity and Indivisibility of the Republic. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, or Death (1793) [link]
As the revolution radicalises and the French republic is drawn into protracted wars with the remaining monarchies of Europe the rallying cry of the nation becomes the uncompromising “liberty or death.”

Bonaparte, First Consul of the French Republic (1802) [link]
The years of war that ensued would eventually see the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte with the 18 Brumaire coup in 1799, heralding the end of the revolution and the Republic formally giving way to the Empire in 1804. This engraving commemorates the Battle of Marengo of 1800 in which Bonaparte led the French army to victory against the Austrians, thereby strengthening his grip on power following the coup.

The French people or the regime of Robespierre (1794) [link]
The sign hanging from the liberty tree reads “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, Death” with each idea embodied by one the characters surrounding the blindfolded Frenchman. The text below the image says:“In vain I extend my members on every side;All flees from beneath my hand when I think I will touch it;In this game it is I that one wants to catch;And I will long be, I believe, its chamber pot.”
let me tell you your fortune, free....

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Hey Rand, Ayn told me she wants her pubic hair back,

Friday, March 14, 2014

Life can be so complicated and so simple at the same time. I must be outside at least 8 to 9 hours a day, covered with sweat and making my self all achy. If I don't shed blood at least once each day, then I think I've been slacking. But, then I am obsessed with my techy existence...trying to do something new with the media tools I have acquired. I come in the house, sit down at the computer and get grimy finger prints all over my pristine imac as I feverishly catch up with unanswered emails and then read the latest crap from my favorite information sites...I was outside all day today digging up and dividing my strawberry plants so I can expand, fertilize and replant then in a nice new plot with a tarp to discourage weeds....It can not wait, some of the plants were already setting flower! So I'm achy stinky and tired, but then I had this idea...

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Yer Mouth

wow, I just scanned this piece of paper I found in a folder from something I saved over 40 years ago.
My illustrated lyrics for Frank Zappa'a Yer Mouth Is Yer Religion....

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Playhouse

"Not long ago a friend asked me what was the greatest pleasure I got from spending my whole life as an actor. There have been so many that I had to think about that for a moment. Then I said, "Like everyone else, I like to be with a happy crowd."
Joseph Frank ‘Buster’ Keaton
The Playhouse, 1921, wrtitten, starring and directed by BusterKeaton.
At one point, Keaton is the entire audience, a minstrel revue on stage and the orchestra.
He worked in front and in back of the camera and in the editing room. If you had an original vision in film making back in 1921, you had to invent the technique. Here we see one of the first and most original uses of split screen editing. Keaton was a totally original American Genius. I still think that his film, The General is one of the greatest films ever made!

Saturday, March 08, 2014

The Mike Flowers Pops Meets the Aphex Twin Downtownin "The Freebase Connection"
Featuring Funkl Porcini
Your Godzilla Moment

The Extremely Large Closet

I'm not sure who originally came up with the Big Tent concept to describe the "inclusive" strategy of the Republican Party. Was it Lee Atwater? Or Ronald Reagan? No matter, it became a cliche that seems to have imploded. But at this weeks CPAC Event, once again, we realize that the Big Tent has devolved into an extremely large closet.
Over the years, CPAC has developed a reputation, as sex blogger Tony Bravo put it, “ for being one of the biggest gay hook-up destinations this side of the White Party.” The Craigslist “No Strings Attached” section, over the years, has become a convenient spot for the same people who regularly attempt to deprive the LGBT community of equal rights–to get down and dirty with some hot, steamy “discreet” M4M action!
In the past, the Huffington Post and others have chronicled some of the ads found in the Craigslist scene. This year is sure to be no different, with many ads already popping up–though some, while entertaining, seem to exist just for the humor–but they are hilarious! As with everything right-wing, the line between farce and reality is so blurred that it can be difficult to tell the difference.
Here are just a few of the ads that have appeared so far. 

CPAC 24 m4m NSA – m4m (CPAC)
It is that time again and I want to have some NSA fun after the speeches
I want to f*ck your mouth while I sign you up on the health care market place.
I want you to be the gipper and go down on my jelly beans.
I want to be discrete

CPAC – I need a MAN. NOW! – m4m – 36 (CPAC convention)
So. I spend so much time in rural Indiana, CPAC is my only outlet for this sort of thing.
What I’m looking for, you, a masculine Ayn Rand, me, the 47%. And I want you to slap me around hard and give it to me good.
Or. . .you could bust in my room, catch me trying to enroll in a healthcare market place/state exchange, and the punish me for it. Punish me good.
We can meet at the bar first, if you want. I will be wearing khakis and a navy blue blazer.

@CPAC looking for my Allen West – m4m (CPAC)
What an incredible day today was! Christie and Jindal and some great sessions. I am ready to unwind and have some fun. I am looking to make one of my biggest fantasies come true.
Me: Police Uniform
You: Army Uniform
I want you to bring a couple other guys for this fantasy too!
We begin by you storming into my room with the other guys. The other guys will proceed to beat me (paddles, whips, floggers is up to them! or be creative ;-)
After I have been beaten, I want you to threaten my life and tell me that I am going to die for what I did. I got a nerf gun for this fantasy and I want you to blindfold me and place a garbage can next to me.
Here is the most important part…
Shoot the nerf gun at the garbage can and NOT me. I want to feel like you are going to shoot me but at the last moment you do not.
It may seem like a crazy fantasy but we all have our kinks
Afterwards we can hj, bj and a2m

Young and VERY curious wants older teacher – m4m – 24 (Gaylord Hotel)
Am 24y/o MWM at conference and its the first time I have been away from home. Have been very curious about what it might be like to experiment with another man. I have a fantasy where he dresses me in some sexy panties and has some lipstick for me to wear, and I make him a drink and sit in his lap while he enjoys it, and try to flirt with him and make him want me. I would like to feel what its like to be a girl for him, and feel him kiss me as he enters me. Its scary, but exciting at the same time. I figured at a hotel this might be the only chance I could explore this kind of thing. It would make it feel safer if it was with an older man who would be patient with me.

mwm for discreet action – m4m – 38 (Gaylord resort)
mwm athletic blue eyed guy looking for hot action while in town for conference. Looking for another bi straight or married guy in hotel or close by. Have some pics for trade before we meet.

College Freshman in Town for CPAC – m4m – 18 (Gaylord)
Coming into town Thursday afternoon through Sunday afternoon for a convention and looking to have some fun while here. Mostly looking for very hung individuals to mess around with. I have a thing for really big c*cks. So if you have one of those, hit me up. ;) I can deepthroat anything, and love to swallow.
Mostly bottom here. But enjoy topping cute twinks and am fairly hung myself.
Into a lot of different stuff and can get freaky.
Besides the big c*ck thing, I prefer that you are around 18 to 30 give or take. HWP and attractive.
Just hit me up and let’s see where things go. Can be very discreet, only here for a few days.
Please include a pic or two. I have more.

Jack off bud at my hotel – m4m – 36 (Convention Center /Downtown)
36 yr old horny prof guy here on biz, str8 attached, 5ft9 8uc told goodlooking, fun and horny and up for a laugh and mess around, hosting similar guys for a jack off session to some porn…. Hit me up with pics for response, hosting at hotel. Lets get whacking!
CPAC Head – 34 (DC)

Masculine, super discreet and clean cut blk guy looking to give head to masculine guy in town for CPAC. DDF only. Any race 

CPAC – m4m – 43 (National Harbor)
Radical libertarian would like to tie up and abuse proglodyte and leftover journalists.
Boys who look like Sally Kohn or Chris Hayes who need to be tied up, slapped around and fucked.
Also any Rick Santorum supporters in the closet or younger versions of Lindsey Graham or John McCain.
Or if you are just a decent constitutionalist type, we can have regular non-hate sex, or even a drink.
Your place

Looking for discreet fun while in town – 37 (Gaylord)
Horned up from being cooped up in speeches all day. Looking for some discreet fun tonight with one or more guys. White, 37, vers, 6’3”, 180, athletic shape, married, in town for a couple nights. Ideally looking for others close by or at the Gaylord with me. Hit me up with pics and stats in first email. Not looking for a lot of back and forth 

I don't even want to go near the Santorum thing, he brought it upon himself....But as psychotic sociopathic billionaire and Santorum mega donor, Foster Friess put it, Ricky Santorum is the "most persecuted man in America"! Wahhhhh!
 Friess also said, “What people love about Santorum is he is who is he. He speaks his words. He loves God. He loves his country and he loves gays.” Boy's, let's try to attempt a little decorum here. We all know Ricky really loves the fabulous people, because he is one, secretly. So what's the big deal?  Outing Republican politicians has become a national past time. It's not because we don't like gay people. It's because to be a conservative republican politician, you have to actively persecute gay people and nobody likes a tourist...especially a sociopathic psychopath who will do anything and destroy anything in their quest for power.  At the risk of violating Godwins Law, sort of like Joseph Goebbels. I'll just leave this here....

Friday, March 07, 2014

The Steps of Odessa

In 1905, The Russian sailors on the Battleship Potemkin mutinied and inspired the citizens of Odessa, in the Ukraine to join their revolt. The Tsarist government sent the Cossacks to brutally suppress the pre 1917 Russian Revolution and the citizens of Odessa were brutally massacred.  The 1925 film by Sergei Eisenstein is considered one of the most brilliant silent films ever made. This sequence of the massacre on the stairs of Odessa has never been equaled for the sheer emotional impact and truly economical use of the media to convey a message. Can I quote Karl Marx here? "Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce."  Welcome to your nightmare, Vladimir.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

This is your brain on drugs.
Over easy or sunny side up? What's the problem?

So Sue Me, Sue Everybody!

It would be great if every one who cannot stand the hypocritical scumbag grifter Steve Stockman participated in this, because I would love to see him try to sue everybody who posts the facts about his past...A phony born again con artist fascist grifter who is now a TeaBrained Notzi from Texas who will say anything fucking thing he thinks will make good press about anyone he wants to destroy is now threatening to sue anyone who posts any real info about his sleazy past....we aren't even going into his failed porno nude modeling business in the mid 80's...I guess that was before he was "born again"....
The web site, Shady Stockman has conservative Senate candidate Steve Stockman up in arms. No, it’s not because they reminded people that Stockman violated federal ethics laws in 2012. No, it’s not because he alluded to victims of gun violence as being “useful” idiots, or lied about his NRA endorsement.
Stockman’s underwear are in a bunch because people remember the time in 1977 when he reported to jail for a two day sentence for a traffic violation and was caught attempting to sneak some Valium into the jail…in his underwear. Stockman wants so badly to forget that incident that he is threatening anyone who publishes his mugshot with prison time!
According to Stockman’s campaign website:

“Michigan’s 43rd Judicial District Clerk stated Stockman was never convicted of any charge and the documents were supposed to have been destroyed in 1978. Another Michigan official has advised Stockman he has grounds to file criminal complaints against any person or media organization that published the documents.”
The Stockman campaign says that the publishing of his mug shot is “some of the most outrageous, malicious defamation ever recorded in Harris County.” Stockman accuses the group that circulated his mug shot of “falsely asserting that he was charged with a felony.”
The felony in question is one Stockman mentioned himself in a 1995 interview with the Houston Chronicle. “I may have been in jail a couple of times, two or three times,” he told this newspaper. As for the felony charge, he says that his girlfriend hid the Valium in his underwear. “When they found that they charged me with a felony,” he said.
Police records state that an officer “found, in doing a strip search, that Stephen Stockman had 3 Valium tablets 10mg each inside a cellophane cigarette wrapper which was tucked inside the (fly) portion of his undershorts. Subject stated that his girlfriend had given them to him to take while serving his sentence.”
Stockman referred to this as a “nice gesture,” but Madison Heights police simply calls it “possession of
a controlled substance, non-narcotic,”a felony punishable by up to two years in prison and a $2,000 fine.
The felony case was ultimately dropped, and Stockman plead “no contest” to “use of a controlled substance,” a misdemeanor with the understanding that the charges would be dropped after a period of probation.
Stockman now claims that Sen. John Cornyn’s campaign has committed libel against him. “Of course, I have never been charged with or committed any such act, and these anonymous Cornyn supporters know it,” he said in a statement issued by a campaign aide.
Perhaps he should have a chat with 1995 Steve Stockman to get those details worked out.
 Here it is, his mugshot:

And fingerprints:
So, sue me Steve Stockman, you psychotic sociopathic asshole!, sue everybody. And anyone who has a blog and thinks Steve Stockman isn't even worth wiping your ass with a piece toilet  paper his mugshot was printed on should post his mug shot and get in line to let this asshole waste his money and everybody's time trying to suppress the truth about this psychotic fascist grifting sociopath.