Tag Archives | Revolutionaries

In Defense of the Hipster: Part 2

HipsterShark2PART 2: AUTHENTICITY IS BULLSHIT, or: POP IS THE NEW PUNK

(Part 1, titled “What Is A Hipster, And Why Does Everyone Hate Them? or: You’re So Fake (And So Am I), can be found here.)

As noted in Part 1, the main thrust of the criticisms against hipsters have roots in a notion of authenticity.  Lorentz mentions the words “authentic” and “inauthentic” a dozen times in his article, and the Adbusters piece is just as bad. It’s a fair charge to say that hipsters fetishize the authentic, as Lorentz does. This is hardly unique to hipsters, though; one can find it in practically any sub-culture. It’s so common that I find it disingenuous to use it as a criticism of hipsters and Hipsterism. The problem, as I see it, is that notion of authenticity being used is utter bullshit.

Some years ago, before I became a hipster or had even heard of hipsters, I was confirmed as “real” at a party by a group of counter-culture kids.… Read the rest

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1896 Film: Loie Fuller’s Psychedelic Serpentine Dance

Via VictorianGothic.org:
This 1896 Lumière Brothers film captures a performance of Loïe Fuller’s “Serpentine Dance.” No, there was no LSD in the 1890′s, but yes, there were colorized films. In the technique used above, each frame was individually hand-tinted using stencils and colored dyes. It was a laborious, manual process, and it was first employed to recreate Loïe Fuller’s stage magic; acclaimed for its early use of chromatic theatrical lights that illuminated the dancer’s flowing white silk...
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New Theory Blames KGB For Albert Camus Death

Albert Camus, 1957

Albert Camus, 1957

Did the Soviet foreign minister have a hand in the death of famed french writer Albert Camus? Via AFP:

Famous French author Albert Camus, who died in a car accident in 1960, may have been the victim of a Soviet plot, new research suggests.

Italian academic Giovanni Catelli, an eastern European specialist, put forward the theory in the pages of the Italian daily Il Corriere della Sera. On Monday it was greeted with scepticism among other experts.

He noted that a passage in a diary written by Czech poet Jan Zabrana, published as a book, was absent from the Italian translation.

According to Catelli the missing paragraph concerns a meeting between Zabrana and and a Russian KGB contact.

“I heard something very strange from a man who knew lots of things and had very informed sources,” Zabrana writes in the unexpurgated version.

“He said the road accident that cost Albert Camus his life in 1960 was organised by Soviet spies.

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Mandela Releases A New Book Of Quotations As He Turns 93

Mandela_AuthQuotes_cover1Nelson Mandela, icon-hero of the world, turns 93 this month. He is hanging on despite family tragedies that claimed another great-grandchild in June. The child was born premature and died after just four days.

The man known by his clan name, Madiba, still evokes wonder and admiration and almost god-like reverence, with airport stores selling “We Love Mandela” posters and T-shirts. He is the one South African that most of South Africans take pride in, including the older generation that first knew him as an apartheid government designated terrorist.

He was so feared that his picture could not be shown in the media and his words could not be quoted for 27 years.

Ironically, all these years later he has released a book of authorized quotations (‘By himself”) that cull his thoughts from a life time of public and private utterances in letters, private papers, audio recordings and from generations of speechifying.… Read the rest

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Was John Lennon A Closet Republican?

John Lennon

Photo: Roy Kerwood (CC)

Via the Toronto Sun:

John Lennon was a closet Republican, who felt a little embarrassed by his former radicalism, at the time of his death — according to the tragic Beatles star’s last personal assistant.

Fred Seaman worked alongside the music legend from 1979 to Lennon’s death at the end of 1980 and he reveals the star was a Ronald Reagan fan who enjoyed arguing with left-wing radicals who reminded him of his former self.

In new documentary Beatles Stories, Seaman tells filmmaker Seth Swirsky Lennon wasn’t the peace-loving militant fans thought he was while he was his assistant.

He says, “John, basically, made it very clear that if he were an American he would vote for Reagan because he was really sour on (Democrat) Jimmy Carter.

“He’d met Reagan back, I think, in the 70s at some sporting event… Reagan was the guy who had ordered the National Guard, I believe, to go after the young (peace) demonstrators in Berkeley, so I think that John maybe forgot about that … He did express support for Reagan, which shocked me.

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South Africa’s Youth Face A Grim Future

School Children at Imperial Primary School in Eastridge, Mitchell's Plain (Cape Town, South Africa).

School Children at Imperial Primary School in Eastridge, Mitchell's Plain (Cape Town, South Africa).

“Don’t Know Much About History”

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA: I got into South Africa before I got there.

I did so through meeting a young woman whose given name was Pony, in the tradition of South Africans who call their daughters “Beautiful” or “Truth” or some other creative appellation.

She was on her way home to a small country town, after a year spent in Cuba where she was in a course teaching scientific sport. She was one of a number of scholarship students traveling on the plane with me from Madrid. Cuba had adopted the systematic training system, or Sports institutes, used in East Germany and put it to good advantage in its award winning State backed athletic program. Now they are sharing their knowledge with other Third World countries

Pony, in her late teens, was one of a large number of foreign students attracted to the idea, and was selected by the Cuban Embassy in Pretoria for the five year opportunity beginning with a immersive Spanish language course.… Read the rest

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Timothy Leary: Back In The Mainstream

Leary at peace rally with John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Photo: Roy Kerwood (CC)

Leary recording 'Give Peace a Chance' with John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Photo: Roy Kerwood (CC)

He may have turned on, tuned in and dropped out, losing his post as a Harvard professor and instead becoming an icon of ’60s counterculture, but Timothy Leary has finally (and posthumously) made it back into the mainstream. The New Yorker details the acquisition of his archives by the New York Public Library:

Sitting in a storage complex in Long Island City, waiting to be sorted and processed, are several hundred boxes that make up the complete archive of Dr. Timothy Leary, the Harvard psychologist turned fugitive drug propagandist. The material was recently acquired from Leary’s estate by the Manuscripts and Archives Division of the New York Public Library, whose collection includes Mesopotamian clay tablets from the third millennium B.C.; documents from America’s founding, including a handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson; letters and manuscripts by Hawthorne, Melville, Mencken; the papers of Fiorello LaGuardia and Robert Moses; and the archives of this magazine.

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Madame Restell: The Wickedest Woman in New York

Madame Restell ArrestedMadame Restell was a flamboyant 19th century abortionist whom history remembers as  “the wickedest woman in New York” —but had she been? Victorian Gothic takes a critical look:

The cover of The New York Illustrated Times for February 23rd, 1878 depicts the arrest of the notorious abortionist Ann Lohman, alias “Madame Restell,” by the moral crusader Anthony Comstock. Flanked by reporters and deputies, the statuesque crime-fighter is pictured with a search warrant in hand, which he reads to the lady villain in the attitude of a holy messenger, banishing evil by its sacred words. Comfortably situated amongst the opulent furnishings of her Fifth Avenue mansion, Madame Restell wears a cool, appraising expression, as if to say “Ah, Comstock, my nemesis—I have been expecting you.” Her right hand is clenched into a fist, which overlaps the womb of a veiled woman who weeps with shame in the background.

Dubbed the “wickedest woman in New York,” Madame Restell built an empire of cruelty; promoting vice, and profiting upon the mistakes of married women and wayward girls.

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