November 2009

Own Art (good art) and Rare Signed Books


The amazing photo magazine, Blind Spot will be hosting a live auction at X Initiative in Chelsea on December 15th. All sorts of signed books. original art and photography by dozens of artists (including one of my favs, Stephen Shore) will be auctioned. Art work preview and online bidding begins on December 1st. Click here for more details.

Categories: Events, art, Books, Photography

Reading List | The Official CIA Manual of Trickery & Deception

Below text via Dangerous Minds, where there's more links:

The CIA has released its official secrets of magic (stage magic, that is, don’t get any ideas) in a just-published book. Now THAT sounds like an excellent holiday present for quite a few people I know. From Wired:

At the height of the Cold War, the Central Intelligence Agency paid $3,000 to renowned magician John Mulholland to write a manual on misdirection, concealment, and stagecraft. All known copies of the document — and a related paper, on conveying hidden signals — were believed to be destroyed in 1973. But recently, the manuals resurfaced, and have now been published as “The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception.” Topics include working a clandestine partner, slipping a pill into the drink of the unsuspecting, and “surreptitious removal of objects by women.”

This wasn’t the first time a magician worked for a western government. Harry Houdini snooped on the German and the Russian militiaries for Scotland Yard. English illusionist Jasper Maskelyne is reported to created dummy submarines and fake tanks to distract Rommel’s army during World War II. Some reports even credit him with employing flashing lights to “hide” the Suez Canal.

But Mulholland’s contributions were far different, because they were part of a larger CIA effort, called MK-ULTRA, to control people’s minds.

Categories: Books, Reading List, Crime, Magic

Andy Warhol's Polaroids of Sports Champion at Danziger Projects

There's only two more weeks to see this show (it closes on December 12th), so what are you waiting for...


muhammad ali


willie shoemaker


wayne gretsky                                                                                                        ron duguay


kareem abdul-jabbar


dorothy hammil


john mcenroe & tatum o'neal                                                                                rod gilbert




chris evert

Show details at Danziger Projects

Vintage Ski Jackets to High End Schtuff

Vintage Ski Jackets (inexpensive options)



adventura                                                                                                               hudson bay


10x alpine designs                                                                                                 montgomery ward


the north face                                                                                                         white stag


the north face                                                                                                         black bear


black sheep                                                                                                           ski

All of the above are $34 at Vintage Trends


Mystery Options


the north face                                                                                                          ?

Money to Burn Options


fjallraven greenland jacket                                                                                   guy cotten derby jacket



guy cotten rosbras rednyl                                              fjallraven osaka jacket                                                   cp company quilted jacket



nigel cabourn cameraman jacket                                  barbour to ki to driving jacket



acne target jacket                                                                                                   oliver spencer peasant jacket


mhl by margaret howell zip pocket parka                                                           filson shelter cloth foothills parka



belstaff lannaer jacket                                                  mhl by margaret howell duffle coat                           fred perry laurel raincoat

belstaff danbury parka (with a shaun ryder haircut and the right pair of white trainers - you too can look like a manchester gangster ready to shoot up the hacienda)

All above available at Oi Polloi

Who Reads What Reading List

From 1988 - 2007 the Gardiner Public Library in Gardiner, Maine has been compiling an annual Who Reads What list in which they ask the most accomplished in their fields to suggest the books that have influenced them. Below are just a few of the many people involved with the project.




The Standard Oil Company by Ida M. Tarbell
One Thousand by George Seldes
Aims of Education by Alfred North Whitehead
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Shame of the Cities by Lincoln Steffens


Jonathan  Franzen


Independent People by Halldór Laxness
The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead
"Two under-appreciated twentieth-century masterpieces"






Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay
"I consider Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds a must-read not only for all investors - but for all thinking people. As Charles Mackay's classic so clearly demonstrates, follow the herd and you may just be headed straight for the slaughterhouse. With examples ranging from the Tuilpmania that occurred in the 1600's to the over-blown technology sector that we just experienced in the stock market, this recently updated classic is just as relevant today as it was the day it was published in 1841."





Trails Plowed Under by Charles m. Russell    

"Our greatest painter and sculptor of horses - better than Remington.  Also, great frontier-American humor in his story-telling.  Russell was a roper and a night wrangler; lived with Indians in Montana for 11 years - funny, funny reading!"


"The New New Thing" by Michael Lewis    

"Business journalist Michael Lewis has written a fascinating account of entrepreneur Jim Clark, founder of Silicon Graphics and Netscape, and Clark’s creation of Healtheon, his third billion-dollar company. This offers a new view of the future of the Internet, and an insider’s vision of Silicon Valley’s business."



The Eustace Diamonds by Anthony Trollope

Cousin Betty by Honoreé del Balzac

"The Eustace Diamonds of Trollope's, which is part of the Phineas Finn and Palliser series of novels, deeply moved me, and resulted in my reading all of Anthony Trollope. I found him to be one of the most pleasurable of English authors and his books have given me years of enjoyable reading. "Cousin Betty of Balzac's, part of his human comedy (one hundred novels) also affected me and I've since read all of Balzac that I could find in English."




Indian Givers by Jack Weatherford

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown 

Sacred Hoop by Paula Gunn Allen 

Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole 

Orlando by Virginia Woolf 

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton 

Ceremony by Leslie Silko

" Indian Givers by Jack Weatherford, Ph.D, by far the most thorough and readable book I've found about the contributions of Native American people to the world. lso, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Paula Gunn Allen (Native American and feminist subject)."

" A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. Funny, poignant, real New Orleans. Also, Orlando by Virginia Woolf, and The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton, and Ceremony by Leslie Silko, Native American."



Fifth Business | The Manticore | The World of Business by Robertson Davies
Night at the Circus by Angela Carter
Money by Martin Amis
Brazzaville Beach by William Boyd
The Viceroy of Ouidah by Bruce Chatwin
Libraby Don Delillo   

"I read something like three books a week, so trimming down became an exceptionally daunting prospect. These few are works that really stayed with me and I can assure the reader of a jolly good time with any of the following. Fifth Business, The Manticore, and World of Wonders by Robertson Davies. These books form a trilogy so read them in order. Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter. Wonderfully surreal. Money by Martin Amis. Funny, bitter, extremely British. Brazzaville Beach, by William Boyd. Caring, poignant and terribly romantic. The Viveroy of Ouidah by Bruce Chatwin. One of the greatest writers of this last twenty years. Libra by Don Delillo. Alarming and American."



Gone South by Robert McGammon
Gospel by Wilton Barnhardt
The Twelfth Angel | The Greatest Salesman in the World, Part 2 by Og Mandino
Collected Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay
A Few Figs from Thistles by Edna St. Vincent Millay




The Silver Chalice by Thomas Costain
The Robe by Lloyd Douglas
The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy

"By the time I was around twelve, some of my favorite books were The Silver Chalice, The Last of the Mohicans, and The Robe. As an adult I have thoroughly enjoyed 100 Years of Solitude and The Prince of Tides.

Both as Governor of Arkansas and now as President of the United States, I must spend a lot of time reading every day.  I also read about 70 fiction and nonfiction books each year."


Kim by Rudyard Kipling




The Foutainhead by Ayn Rand    

"This tale of an idealistic architech is a compelling tribute to man's quest for personal freedom. I read it first in college and it had a profound effect on me at that time."




Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf





Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy     

"The most beautiful love story ever."



People by Peter Spier    

"People, by Peter Spier, is a delightful book, for adults of all ages as well as for children. Beyond its charm, it is a smiling lesson of ecology. I am impatient to share my delight with my grandchildren."



Nothing if Not Critical by Robert Hughes    

"Nothing if Not Critical by Robert Hughes. The greatest art critic of our time brings us up to date not only with the Art of our Time, but the Art of Criticism."

Categories: Reading List, Books

Boy With Asperger's Syndrome Rides Subway for 11 Days

Usually I don't like to post news because you can get that just about anywhere else. However, I found this story heartbreaking and the main character poetic. It would make a great movie.



"A 13-year-old boy with Asperger's Syndrome—a form of autism that often causes difficulty with social interaction—spent 11 days in the subway system last month. In a heartbreaking Times article, Francisco Hernandez Jr. tells how he took refuge in the subway for over a week because he got in trouble in class and "didn't want anyone to scream at me" at home. He says nobody spoke to him the entire time he rode the trains, and when the reporter asked him if he "saw any larger meaning in that," Hernandez replied, "Nobody really cares about the world and about people."

Hernandez subsisted on snacks bought on subway platforms and spent a lot of time sleeping, using his backpack as a pillow as he rode the trains from one end of the line to the next. "At some point I just stopped feeling anything," he tells the Times."

Via Gothamist

....and now back to our scheduled program



Born: Atlantic City, NJ
Occupation: Pro Wrestler & Stand Up Comedian
Height: 6-6
Weight: 444
Finishing Moves: The Atlantic City Avalanche / Giant Elbow Drop



Cool Ass Blog | The Acid Sweat Lodge














More @ The Acid Sweat Lodge

Matthew Stone | Photographer

Matthew Stone is an English photographer who stages performances that look straight out of some type of Otto Muehl actionist event crossed with Ira Cohen's Living Theater. Very cool.

* Most of these photos are done by him but some I pulled from his blog, which might have been shot by someone else...or maybe not.











Categories: art, Artists, Photography

From Kenneth Anger to Bobby Beausoleil to The Wizard of Oz

In the sixties Kenneth Anger, who's often called the "Godfather of experimental cinema", lived in San Francisco in a house referred to as the Russian Embassy, probably because it was the ex-embassy of Tzarist Russia. Bobby Beausoleil... you know the guy who Love named their band after... who then went on to murder people for Charles Manson, and then wrote the music to Anger's Lucifer Rising while in prison after Jimmy Page failed to turn in the score on time... well...he lived in that house too. Below is a picture of him in front of the house.

I'm sure you can imagine the type of wierd shit that went on in this house. One of the things I find most interesting about it is the library, which was stocked with hundreds of books on magick and volumes and volumes of fascinating stuff including the collected works of L. Frank Baum's Oz books.  This collection would later inspire Beausoleil to start the band, The Magick Powerhouse of Oz, which would set the foundation for the tunes he would later re-work in prison for the film. The record is a fucking amazing psych album that appears regularly on "Best of" lists. Below is the album cover and two songs from the recordings, all of which can be downloaded here.



To read more about this project, the Embassy and Beausoleil's account of his time spent with Manson you should read this interview with Beausoleil here.



Above are recent photographs of Anger, taken nearly 40 years after the Embassy episodes described. The photographs were taken in and around Hollywood by journalist and photographer, Mark Barry, who met up with Anger for a story that appeared in Bizarre Magazine. The story reads a little bit like Interview with a Vampire.

“Don’t disobey me. Do as I say and don’t talk back!” waspishly screamed the author, artist and filmmaker,
waving his fist and practically foaming at the mouth. This was not really an interview; this was more like a strange brief encounter with Kenneth Anger. “I can be charming,” he explained staring straight into my eyes, “but I’m not going to be!” This is a man whose volatile temperament is renowned and recently due to a rare medical condition hadn’t slept for six months. I had been warned though…

“He is Mr. Anger,” cautioned a neighbour of the cantankerous director while I awaited his arrival in the lobby of his apartment block. Actually, the author of the Hollywood Babylon books – insightful, salacious and scandalous tales behind the real film industry – and experimental filmmaker described by the American Film Institute as “the magus of cinema”, should be addressed fully as Dr. Kenneth Anger, since he was recently bestowed an honourary doctorate in humanities. Those that do not observe his wishes are risking the very nature of their existence – he is renowned for placing hexes and curses upon those that cross his path, his own beliefs surrounded by the Thelema religion and the black magick rites of Aleister Crowley.

My questions were pitched during car journeys, a trip to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, a tour of his youthful haunts in Hollywood – populated by many black magicians it seems - and a light lunch off Sunset Boulevard. All were interlaced with wonderfully detailed tales of old Hollywood, incredibly elaborate factoids, stories about his long list of celebrity friends and a politically incorrect stance on California’s black and Mexican communities.

The rest of the story and more images can be found here.

Categories: Music, Movies, Books