Never Pure Source: In Response to Merce Cunningham

1960s: Days of Rage

“… In 1960s diaries and letters, Merce Cunningham records days spent cooking beans and watching television, flipping between old movies, the news, and variety shows. In different spaces in which he lived and worked throughout the decades, I imagine him solo, or alongside his partner John (Cage), using chance to determine structure of movement in time and space—throwing hexagrams, flipping coins, tossing dice, opening his work up to other flows. TV waves discharging into the ether, refracted in choreographic form. Western movement, for the first time, unhinged from the frontal perspective of the proscenium, holding multiple centers, requiring many attentions—discontinuous, infinite, prismatic like nature and television. When you open your process up to the unknown, what other logics are let in? Does chance have interiority? Authorial voice, perspective, desire? Though many who worked with Merce insist chance was only one strategy by which he made dances, decisions made by generating…

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A Friend, An Enemy

1960s: Days of Rage

“On April Fool’s Day, 1965, Amiri Baraka (known then as LeRoi Jones) sent a postcard to the poet Kenneth Koch. The image on the front of the postcard is racist: three alligators chase a Black man, who looks up to heaven with tears streaming down his face. A four-line poem presents his ‘prayer’: Dese gater looked so feary / And yet dey ‘peered so tame / But now that I done met ’em / I’ll neber be de same. According to the Newberry Library, the Curt Teich Company began producing postcards with this image in 1940. But Teich produced similar postcards as early as 1918, and the ‘alligator bait’ stereotype has a much longer history. On the back of the postcard, Baraka writes: Dear Kenneth,  Better start saying your prayers, if you think you can spend your time playing chess while millions struggle!  Love, LeRoi 2X  The postcard was sent…

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“Is everybody okay? Let’s get something to eat”: On George Carlin and the Intellectual Bankruptcy of the Right

radical eyes for equity

In Season 4, episode 3 of Seinfeld, the show becomes a meta-sitcom. George and Jerry pitch a sitcom to NBC, Jerry, and establish what would become the short-hand way to describe the actual show, expressed by George:

George Costanza: I think I can sum up the show for you in one word. Nothing.

Russell Dalrymple: Nothing?

George Costanza: Nothing.

Russell Dalrymple: What does that mean?

George Costanza: The show is about… nothing!

Jerry Seinfeld: Well, it’s not about nothing.

George Costanza: No, it’s about nothing.

Jerry Seinfeld: Well, maybe in philosophy, but even nothing is something.

Seinfeld S4 E3

But, if you dig deeper, ironically, Seinfeld is not just a “show about nothing,” but the characters themselves are, well, let’s allow Jerry to explain (after being challenged by his girlfriend that he never gets mad):

Patty: OK, Jerry, enough. I’m…

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Banning Books Is Un-American

radical eyes for equity

[Submitted to newspapers across SC without response, so far; will update if/when published]

person holding Ray Bradbury book
Photo by Will Porada on Unsplash

In the fall of 1973, the Drake School Board in North Dakota banned Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five.

Vonnegut, born November 11, what is now celebrated as Veterans Day, was a World War II veteran who survived the firebombing of Dresden. That horrific event a couple decades later became Vonnegut’s most celebrated novel, the same novel banned after being assigned in Drake High School.

“I gather from what I read in the papers and hear on television that you imagine me, and some other writers, too, as being sort of ratlike people who enjoy making money from poisoning the minds of young people,” Vonnegut explained in a letter to the school board. There he also defended the value of his novels: “They beg that people be kinder and more responsible…

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The Deer Hunter – Michael Cimino (1978), Full Metal Jacket – Stanley Kubrick (1987), Apocalypse Now Redux – Francis Ford Coppola (1979)

1960s: Days of Rage

The Deer Hunter is a 1978 American epicwardrama film co-written and directed by Michael Cimino about a trio of Russian-American steelworkers whose lives were changed forever after fighting in the Vietnam War. The three soldiers are played by Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, and John Savage, with John Cazale (in his final role), Meryl Streep, and George Dzundza playing supporting roles. The story takes place in Clairton, Pennsylvania, a working-class town on the Monongahela River south of Pittsburgh, and in Vietnam. …”
W – The Deer Hunter, YouTube: The Deer Hunter Official Trailer #1

Full Metal Jacket is a 1987 wardrama film that was directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Michael Herr and Gustav Hasford. … The storyline follows a platoon of U.S. Marines through their boot camp

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Plant the Habit of Loving by Ranney Campbell (HOW TO HEAL THE EARTH Series)

Silver Birch Press

starlight agnes martin 1963Plant the Habit of Loving
by Ranney Campbell

During all the time we continue to exist in this particular universe we will bathe in the far too cold for our eyes to see glow leftover from the Big Bang that was accidentally discovered by radio astronomers in the dark spaces between stars and galaxies in 1965 that was perhaps the black I saw and cold I felt when I floated away off that gurney in a San Bernardino emergency room in 1983 after suffering a by all evidence of medical science fatal head injury after the missed hairpin turn somewhere above Crestline and all these years later when I put some plastic into my trash can I try to remember this happening even if the thought just hovers vaguely omnipresent like the microwave background remains of our primeval fireball with no point of origin occurring everywhere at once rather than…

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Sylvère Lotringer (1938 – 2021)

1960s: Days of Rage

Sylvère Lotringer (15 October 1938 – 8 November 2021) was a French born literary critic and cultural theorist. Initially based in New York City, he later lived in Los Angeles and Baja California, Mexico. He is best known for synthesizing French theorywith American literary, cultural and architectural avant-garde movements as founder of the journal Semiotext(e) and for his interpretations of theory in a 21st-century context. He is regarded as an influential interpreter of Jean Baudrillard’s theories, among others. … In 1964, he entered the École Pratique des Hautes Études, VIe section (Sociology) writing a doctoral dissertation on Virginia Woolf’s novels under the supervision of Roland Barthes and Lucien Goldmann. His work was aided by his friendship with Leonard Woolf and his acquaintance with T.S. Eliot and Vita Sackville-West, with whom he conducted interviews published in Louis Aragon‘s journal Les Lettres Francaises during…

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Greta Thunberg and Climate Change

Flowers For Socrates

by IRENE FOWLER, Contributor

Mother Earth joins humanity to lament and weep
Together, wail and sob, crying out from the deep
Reverse our course, lest life, in all forms
Be damned, to eternal, lifeless, sleep.

– Irene Fowler

Whatever your preferred flavour of life is – sweet, savoury, spicy or somethin’ else, welcome to the melting pot. I am on West African time, so ‘servez-vous.’

Even though we are helpless to change things on a macro scale, we can in our own small ways, align with love and the positive. As we contribute our quota, we are building towards a critical mass which can force change/s for good.


Beauty And The Beast – Quotes:

She moves like beauty, she whispers to us of wind and forest—and she tells us stories, such stories that we wake in the night, dreaming dreams of a life long past. she reminds…

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Roundup of Recent “New York School of Poetry” News and Links (11/15/21)

Locus Solus: The New York School of Poets

Here is one of my semi-regular roundups of recent links and news related to the New York School of poets. (Previous roundups can be foundhere).

  • In exciting news for fans of the late John Ashbery, the first posthumous collection of Ashbery’s work was published this summer by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. With a preface by Ben Lerner and a in-depth and insightful introduction by editor Emily Skillings, Parallel Movements of the Hands: Five Unfinished Longer Works “gathers unpublished, book-length projects and long poems written between 1993 and 2007, along with one (as yet) undated work, to showcase Ashbery’s diverse and multifaceted artistic obsessions and sources.” The book has received thoughtful and interesting reviews, which often delve into the “unfinished” nature of these works, by Ange Mlinko (TLS) and Rowland Bagnall (LARB), Alberto Morillo (Poetry Foundation) and others. You can also find video of a panel discussion and reading…

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Surf’s Up – The Beach Boys (1971)

1960s: Days of Rage

Surf’s Up is the 17th studio album by American rock band the Beach Boys, released August 30, 1971 on Brother/Reprise. It received largely favorable reviews and reached number 29 on the US record charts, becoming their highest-charting LP of new music in the US since 1967. In the UK, Surf’s Up peaked at number 15, continuing a string of top 40 records that had not abated since 1965. The album’s title and cover artwork (a painting based on the early 20th-century sculpture ‘End of the Trail‘) are an ironic, self-aware nod to the band’s early surfing image. Originally titled Landlocked, the album took its name from the closing track ‘Surf’s Up‘, a song originally intended for the group’s unfinished album Smile. … In contrast to the previous LP Sunflower, Brian Wilson was not especially active in the…

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