Ann Beat, “Junkie Culture ,” excerpted from Books and Bookmen, November 1963.

1960s: Days of Rage

Norman Mailer describes Burroughs as ‘the only American novelist living today who may conceivably be possessed of genius.’ An odd offshoot of the adding machine family, he lives in a squalid Paris room where he appeared to the Observer as ‘grumpy’ but to the Sunday Times as ‘gentle and courteous’. His books, THE NAKED LUNCH, THE SOFT MACHINE, NOVIA EXPRESS, and THE TICKET THAT EXPLODED, are published by Olympia Press, Paris, but liable to be seized if imported to Britain (although B&B receives review copies without trouble). Extracts from these books will be published in late March or April under the title DEAD FINGERS TALK (Calder, 25s). Man, this guy Bill Burroughs is really square. You know something? He’s produced a book specially for the British. Can you imagine anything more philistine? His downfall started last Fall when some smartipants young British publisher named John Calder got Bill…

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A Poem by Billy Collins on His Birthday

Flowers For Socrates

Billy Collins was born on March 22, 1941, dubbed “the most popular poet in America” by Bruce Weber in the New York Times, was a two-term U.S. Poet Laureate (2001-2003), and has published many poetry collections, including Questions About Angels; The Art of Drowning; and Nine Horses: Poems. It was Questions About Angels, published in 1991, that put him in the literary spotlight.  Collins says his poetry is “suburban, it’s domestic, it’s middle class, and it’s sort of unashamedly that.”

To read his poem “Boyhood” click:

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Nоva – Samuel R. Delany (1968)

1960s: Days of Rage

Nоva is a science fiction novel by American writer Samuel R. Delany and published in 1968. Nominally space opera, it explores the politics and culture of a future where cyborg technology is universal (the novel is one of the precursors to cyberpunk), yet making major decisions can involve using tarot cards. It has strong mythological overtones, relating to both the Grail Quest and Jason’s Argonautica for the golden fleece. Nova was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1969. … By the year 3172, political power in the galaxy is split between two factions: the older Earth-based Draco and the historically younger Pleiades Federation. Both have interests in the even newer Outer Colonies, where mines produce trace amounts of the prized power source Illyrion, the superheavy material essential to starship travel and terraforming planets. Caught in a feud between aristocratic and economically powerful families, a…

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Florida: State Education Board Will Extend “Don’t Say Gay” Through 12th Grade

Diane Ravitch's blog

Florida’s state board of education voted to expand its ban on any mention of LGBT topics through 12th grade, effectively censoring the topic for all grades. This move is intended to protect the rights of parents who don’t want their children to learn that gay people exist, but it is a slap in the face to gay families in Florida, as well as to people who are comfortable with discussions of reality.

The DeSantis administration next month could effectively bar all public school teachers from providing classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity, a move that would expand Florida’s controversial 2022 law and go even further than the legislation Republican lawmakers are pushing in Tallahassee this spring.

A proposed State Board of Education rule, scheduled for a vote next month, says teachers in grades 4 to 12 “shall not intentionally provide classroom instruction” on either topic, expanding the prohibition…

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1960s: Days of Rage

KPFK (90.7 FM) is a listener-sponsored radio station based in North Hollywood, California, United States, which serves Southern California, and also streams 24 hours a day via the Internet. It was the second of five stations in the non-commercial, listener-sponsored Pacifica Foundation network. KPFK 90.7 FM began broadcasting in April 1959, twelve years after the Pacifica Foundation was created by pacifistLewis Hill, and ten years after the network’s flagship station, KPFA, was founded in Berkeley. … In 1963, KPFK ran the very first Renaissance fair as a fundraiser called the Renaissance Pleasure Faire and May Market (the event was managed by Theme Events Limited). At the 1964 fair, Art Kunkin distributed The Faire Free Press, a one-shot eight-page tabloid with the Los Angeles Free Press‘ logo appearing on an inside page. While the outside pages were a…

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The Complete Stax / Volt Singles: 1959–1968

1960s: Days of Rage

“Understanding the music from Stax is easy, understand the business of Stax could probably take you a lifetime, as the label has been intermixed not only with the old Atlantic record label, Gulf Western, Concord Records but that of the newer Rhino Disc company and its affiliates. In 1991, Atlantic released The Complete Stax Volt Singles Collection 1959 through 1968, on nine discs, containing all of the Stax ‘A Sides’ from the Atlantic era. This boxed set consists of 243 singles, measures 12 X 12 inches by 2 inches deep, and along with the nine discs [which are broken down chronologically], comes with a very large soft cover book, containing sixty four pages of information and pictures of the artists, recording sessions, and those who orbited these sessions, including the engineers and technicians. As far as the book is concerned, it is one of the better that I have…

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Steven Singer: The Importance of Being WOKE!

Diane Ravitch's blog

Steven Singer, a teacher in Pennsylvania, cannot understand why the word “WOKE” has become a term of derision, when it means being aware of racial and social injustice. Who wants to erase our sense of right and wrong?

He explains:

“I advise everybody, be a little careful when they go along through there – best stay woke, keep their eyes open.”–Lead Belly“Scottsboro Boys”

How can you understand a problem if you are not allowed to name it?

How can you fight injustice if you are forbidden from learning its history and connection to the present moment?

These questions are at the heart of a well-financed war against a simple term – woke-ness.

Since the summer of 2020, oligarchs and their tools in the United States have been waging a disinformation campaign against that term – especially as it pertains to our schools.

Chiding, nagging, insinuating –…

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thinking about collaborations


A lot of academic work is collaborative. It’s a fine irony then that academics are generally managed, promoted and audited as individuals. Citation measures like google scholar are a prime example – publications are seen as solo affairs, even when most of the work that is represented in an H index is the result of team work.

But teams are often organised hierarchically. Pyramid team structures can lead to a load of issues, not least of which is who takes credit for ideas, who gets acknowledged in publications, and how authorship is managed. Yes, there are principles and guides for how to manage collaboration, but you only have to read social media for a few days to know that those at the top of team trees don’t always abide by the authoring/recognition rules.

I’ve been wondering what would happen if we regularly thought out loud about team work and collaboration…

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1960s: Days of Rage

Barbie is a fashion doll manufactured by American toy company Mattel, Inc. and launched on March 9, 1959. American businesswoman Ruth Handler is credited with the creation of the doll using a German doll called Bild Lilli as her inspiration. Barbie is the figurehead of a brand of Mattel dolls and accessories, including other family members and collectible dolls. Barbie has been an important part of the toy fashion doll market for over six decades and has been the subject of numerous controversies and lawsuits, often involving parodies of the doll and her lifestyle. Mattel has sold over a billion Barbie dolls, making it the company’s largest and most profitable line. … The first Barbie doll wore a black-and-white zebra striped swimsuit and signature topknot ponytail, and was available as either a blonde or brunette. The doll was marketed as a ‘Teen-age Fashion Model’, with her clothes created…

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