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"Method of this work:
literary montage.
I have nothing to say only to show."
(Passagenwerk (1927 - 1940) - Walter Benjamin)

2005, Jul 02; 16:01 ::: Dian Hanson's: The History of Men's Magazine: Vol. 1 (2004) - Dian Hanson

Dian Hanson's: The History of Men's Magazine: From 1900 to Post-WWII (2004) - Dian Hanson [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Book Description
Open your notebooks, sharpen your pencils, and get ready for a history lesson like none you’ve ever experienced. Yes, that’s right: you’re about to learn everything you could ever want to know about the world history of men’s magazines—not sports, not fashion, not hunting or fishing or how to build a birdhouse in ten easy steps, but those titillating periodicals embracing the subject dearest to all heterosexual men’s hearts and other organs: the undraped female form. A twenty-five-year veteran of the genre, former men’s magazine editor Dian Hanson traces its development from 1900 to 1980 in six massive and informative volumes.

Volume I explores the period from 1900, when sexy magazines first started to appear in France and Germany, through the decades of subterfuge and censorship up to the great global change wrought by WWII. Along the way the USA, England, Argentina, and many other countries join the publishing fun.

Volume II starts in the post-war period of the 1940s when the US surged ahead in magazine production while the rest of the world rebuilt and recovered, and ends in 1957 when censorship at last began to ease.

Volumes III and IV cover the short but crucial transformation period of 1958 to 1967: ten years in which the world and its men’s magazines changed out of all recognition to anything that had came before. Volume III begins with the redefinition of American obscenity laws and follows the flowering of mass distribution, or newsstand, men’s magazines around the world. Volume IV traces the roots of "special interest" and under-the-counter publications during this same period, ending with the Scandinavian sexual/social revolution that resulted in the repeal of all obscenity laws for most of Northern Europe.

Finally, in Volumes V and VI you’ll find the years 1968 to 1980: the post-sexual revolution era of sudden publishing freedom. Volume V covers the newsstands of the world, showing everything from homemade hippie ‘zines to periodicals for big bottom fanciers.

Volume VI, the final word in this encyclopedic series, is reserved for the most daring and extreme edges of the publishing field. Here you’ll peek inside the adult bookstores of Denmark, Sweden, Germany, the US and Japan to see what sexual freedom really meant.

From the Publisher
Each volume contains over 400 pages and 15 to 20 chapters, profiling important or quirky publishers and their magazines, single countries in a given era, distinctive genres such as swinging ("Suburban Sin") or spanking ("Spank You Very Much!"), top models, and those back-of-the-magazine advertisements for male girdles and X-ray spectacles. Most importantly: while the books are amply supplied with fascinating and educational text, they are also chock full of magazine covers and photos—a whopping 5000 images in all! Who knew learning could be so much fun?

In 460 full-color pages you’ll learn how the first magazines appeared around 1900 in France, Germany and the US. Then follow along through the timid teens, the decadent twenties, the desperate thirties through the war and reconstruction. Covered in Volume 1 are men’s magazines masquerading as movie magazines, humor magazines, detective magazines, art magazines, nudist magazines, and “spicy” fiction, as well as items like the Tijuana Bibles that pretended nothing and made no excuses. --http://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalogue/books/sex/all/facts/03812.htm [Jun 2005]

This volume has an interesting chapter on detective magazines, the presence of which is referenced to Park Dietz.

Abstract: The origins of detective magazines can be traced to 17th and 18th century crime pamphlets and to 19th century periodicals that Lombroso called “really criminal newspapers.” Content analysis of current detective magazines shows that their covers juxtapose erotic images with images of violence, bondage, and domination; that their articles provide lurid descriptions of murder, rape, and torture; and that they publish advertisements for weapons, burglary and car theft tools, false identification, and sexual aids. Six case histories of sexual sadists illustrate the use of these magazines as a source of fantasy material. We postulate that detective magazines may contribute to the development of sexual sadism, facilitate sadistic fantasies, and serve as training manuals and equipment catalogs for criminals. We recommend that detective magazines be considered during policy debates about media violence and pornography --Detective Magazines: Pornography for the Sexual Sadist?. Dietz PE, Harry B, Hazelwood RR . 1986;31(1): 197-211.

see also: men - magazine - Dian Hanson - detective

2005, Jun 30; 00:04 ::: Weird Tales

Weird Tales (July 1936)
image sourced here. [Jun 2005]

see also: weird - tale - pulp

2005, Jun 29; 23:18 ::: Grotesque

Watt (1959) - Samuel Beckett [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

In Samuel Beckett's novel Watt there is a description of a remarkable family called Lynch, which reads in part as follows:

There was Tom Lynch, widower, aged eighty-five years, confined to his bed with constant undiagnosed pains in the caecum, and his three surviving boys Joe, aged sixty-five years, a rheumatic cripple, and Jim, aged sixty-four years, a hunchbacked inebriate, and Bill, widower, aged sixty-three years, greatly hampered in his movements by the loss of both legs as the result of a slip, followed by a fall, and his only surviving daughter May Sharpe, widow, aged sixty-two years, in full possession of all her faculties with the exception of that of vision. Then there was Joe's wife née Doyly-Byrne, aged sixty-five years, a sufferer from Parkinson's palsy but otherwise very fit and well, and Jim's wife Kate née Sharpe aged sixty-four years, covered all over with running sores of an unidentified nature but otherwise fit and well. Then there was Joe's boy Tom aged forty-one years, unfortunately subject alternately to fits of exaltation, which rendered him incapable of the least exertion, and of depression, during which he could stir neither hand nor foot, and Bill's boy Sam, aged forty years, paralysed by a merciful providence from no higher than the knees down and from no lower than the waist up, and May's spinster daughter Ann, aged thirty-nine years, greatly reduced in health and spirits by a painful congenital disorder of an unmentionable kind, and Jim's lad Jack aged thirty-eight years, who was weak in the head, and the boon twins Art and Con aged thirty-seven years, who measured in height when in their stockinged feet three feet and four inches and who weighed in weight when stripped to the buff seventy-one pounds all bone and sinew and between whom the resemblance was so marked in every way that even those (and they were many) who knew and loved them most would call Art Con when they meant Art, and Con Art when they meant Con, as least as often as, if not more often than, they called Art Art when they meant Art, and Con Con when they meant Con. And then there was young Tom's wife Magnee Sharpe aged forty-one years, greatly handicapped in her house and outdoor activity by sub-epileptic seizures of monthly incidence, during which she rolled foaming on the floor or on the yard, or on the vegetable patch, or on the river's brim, and seldom failed to damage herself in one way or another, so that she was obliged to go to bed, and remain there, every month, until she was better, and Sam's wife Liz nee Sharpe, aged thirty-eight years, fortunate in being more dead than alive as a result of having in the course of twenty years given Sam nineteen children, of whom four survived, and again expecting, and poor Jack who it will be remembered was weak in the head his wife Lil née Sharpe aged thirty-eight years, who was weak in the chest. (Grove Press edition, New York, 1959, pp. 101-2)

We may well ask ourselves what our response to this passage is, or ought to be. The question is likely to arise because chances are that the reader's reaction will be somewhat confused, or at least divided. He will presumably respond to the tragic, disgusting or deformed nature of the unfortunate Lynches with a certain amount of horror, pity—perhaps even nausea. On the other hand the undoubtedly comic aspect of the description will rather induce him to respond with amusement or mirth. Indeed, it may be difficult to resolve this conflict in response. Re-reading may serve only to reinforce what is essentially a clash between incompatible reactions—laughter on the one hand and horror or disgust on the other. --Philip Thomson via http://mtsu32.mtsu.edu:11072/Grotesque/Major_Artists_Theorists/theorists/thomson/thomson1.html [Jun 2005]

The basic definition of the grotesque: the unresolved clash of incompatibles in work and response. It is significant this clash is paralleled by the ambivalent nature of the abnormal as present in the grotesque: we might consider a secondary definition of the grotesque to be the 'ambivalently abnormal' (Philip Thomson, The Grotesque, 27).

see also: grotesque - incompatible - unresolved - abnormal

2005, Jun 29; 22:56 ::: Ambivalence

Ambivalence is a state in which one feels contradictory emotions at the same time for the same object or person. For example, love and hatred for someone or something. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambivalence [Jun 2005]

The coexistence of opposing attitudes or feelings, such as love and hate, toward a person, object, or idea. --AHD

see also: sensibility - quality

2005, Jun 29; 22:35 ::: Velvet

This was first published in the USA by Macfadden-Bartell in 1963, when it was known by the far more evocative title The Velvet Underground. --http://www.trashfiction.co.uk/yellow07.html [Jun 2005]

The Velvet Underground (1963) Michael Leigh

When it came to Britain in 1967, the cover design remained but evidently the title was considered too subtle for us illiterate Brits. More recently it's been republished here under the original title, though that of course is simply a cash-in on the band whose name it inspired. --http://www.trashfiction.co.uk/yellow07.html [Jun 2005]

Bizarre Sex Underground (1967) Michael Leigh

Remember those sexology books published by Luxor Press* and the like, often with lurid yellow covers? The ones that used to adopt a pseudo-scientific tone, were ideally written by someone with letters after their name, but were very clearly 'For Adults Only'?
No? Oh, well they looked kinda like this.. --http://www.trashfiction.co.uk/yellow00.html [Jun 2005]

see also: bizarre - sex - underground - velvet

2005, Jun 29; 21:09 ::: DJ Pogo Presents Block Party Breaks Vol.1 (1999) - Various Artists

DJ Pogo Presents Block Party Breaks Vol.1 (1999) - Various Artists [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Soul/funk. Rare Cuts from the Late 60's and 70's Including 'fatbackin' by the Fatback Band, 'advice' by Sly and the Family Stone, 'itch and Scratch Parts 1&2' by Rufus Thomas and More, all Chosen by UK Hip Hop Turntabilist DJ Pogo.

Track Listings:
1. Last night I changed it all (I really had a ball) - Williams, Esther 2. Hot wheels - Badder Than Evil 3. Jump street - Manzel 4. House of rising funk - Afrique 5. Mexican - Babe Ruth 6. Get into something - Isley Brothers 7. Letha - Earland, Charles 8. Funky buttercup - Chosen Few (2) 9. Itch and scratch (parts 1 & 2) - Thomas, Rufus 10. Fatbackin' - Fatback Band 11. Stone thing - Cash, Alvin & The Registers 12. Advice - Sly & The Family Stone 13. Got to get a knutt - New Birth 14. Maverick breaks - DJ Pogo

Block party
A block party is a large informal public celebration in which many members of a single neighborhood congregate to observe a positive event of usually local importance. Many times, there will be celebration in the form of playing music and dance. Block parties gained popularity in the United States during the 1970s, [especially in hip hop culture]. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Block_party [Jun 2005]

New York
The 1970s also saw the evolution of hip hop in New York City. Hip hop was a cultural movement that included music as an integral part. Hip hop music developed out of block parties in Harlem, where DJs isolated the percussion breaks of popular funk and disco songs, and MCs began rapping over the beats. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_of_New_York [Jun 2005]

Hip hop
Hip hop, including rapping and scratching, emerged from 1970s block parties in New York City, specifically The Bronx (Toop, 1991). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roots_of_hip_hop_music

see also: hip hop - breaks - Strut records

2005, Jun 29; 20:59 ::: DJ Pogo presents: Best of Pulp Fusion (2003) - Various Artists

Harmless presents: Best of Pulp Fusion (2003) - Various Artists [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Full Title - DJ Pogo Presents - The Best Of Pulp Fusion. 2003 compilation featuring two discs, one features 14 tracks remixed by DJ Pogo, the second features 12 tracks, including 4 bonus tracks exclusive to disc 2 , ('Fat City Strut' Mandrill, 'Chitterlings Con Carne' Pucho & His Latin Soul Brothers, 'A Joyful Process' Funkadelic, & 'Dear Limmertz' Azymuth), in all their unmixed glory from Gary Bartz NTU Troop, Dizzy Gillespie, Harlem Underground Band, Minnie Ripperton & more. 26 tracks in all. Harmless.

1. Lets Dance - Pleasure 2. Melting Pot - Boris Gardiner 3. The Watts Breakaway - The Johnny Otis Show 4. Crossword Puzzle - Sly Stone 5. The Jam - Graham Central Station 6. Matrix - Dizzy Gillespie 7. Fire Eater - Rusty Bryant 8. Turn Out The Lights - Larry Youngs Fuel 9. Boogie Woogie - Sound Experience 10. Smokin Cheeba Cheeba - Harlem Underground Band 11. Misdemeanor - Ahmad Jamal 12. Your Mama Wants Ya Back - Betty Davis 13. Celestial Blues - Gary Bartz NTU Troop 14. Every Time He Comes Around - Minnie Riperton 15. Fat City Strut - Mandrill (Bonus Track) 16. Chitterlings Con Carne-Pucho And His Latin Soul Brothers(Bon 17. Lets Dance - Pleasure 18. Celestial Blues - Gary Bartz NTU Troop 19. A Joyful Process - Funkadelic (Bonus Track) 20. Matrix - Dizzy Gillespie

see also: pulp - fusion - Harmless records

2005, Jun 29; 12:07 ::: Rousseau, master and slave

"Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains. One thinks himself the master of others, and still remains a greater slave than they." --Jean-Jacques Rousseau

see also: Rousseau - master - slave - power - free

2005, Jun 29; 11:55 ::: Hegel, master and servant

"The Servant", directed by Joseph Losey, is based on a Harold Pinter play and is a perfect example of the Hegel theory of the master-slave relationship. Hegel's theory is that both the master and slave are inevitably corrupted by the unhealthy mutual need in this relationship. The relationship between Tony and Hugo is the main focus of the film, and Pinter's screenplay is a scathing metaphor for the class war. The relationship between Tony and Hugo swings wildly from cutting, humiliating, gratuitous comments, to fumbled attempts at friendship. But with such inequities in position alone, any attempt at some sort of equality is ludicrous. The roles of exploiter and the exploited switch back and forth between Tony and Hugo as the power base in the household moves. --displacedhuman via Amazon.com

The work called in German "Phänomenologie des Geistes" (1807) has multiple names in English, due to the translation of the German "Geist" variously as "spirit" and "mind". The most important philosophical work of Hegel, it explores the concept of Geist, asking how it is that it can conceive of itself and of the world, and in the process lays out an entire system of metaphysics, ethics, and political philosophy. Considered one of Hegel's more radical works, it introduces his famous dialectic of the lord and the bondsman. To become free every man must engage in a life-death struggle. Those that shirk away from this struggle, those that live in fear of losing their life, become the bondsman under the domination of the lord. However, by working and laboring on the world the bondsman begins to understand its temporal nature and sees his own role in changing it, while the lord essentially loses the world by failing to engage it except through his servantile bondmen. This, for example, is at the root of the lord's faculty of desire-- the only way in which he relates to the world is not by working on it and altering it, but by desiring something that he may have enough power to acquire. The bondsman, according to Hegel, will one day rise up and realize that this life is nothing to him, thus risking his life and usurping power from the lord. Only by risking one's life is one able to achieve freedom in the full Hegelian sense. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenomenology_of_Spirit [Jun 2005]

Hegel used the words Herr und Knecht to denote master and slave or lord and bondsman.

see also: Hegel - master - servant - power - class

2005, Jun 29; 11:51 ::: Foucault on sadism

Sadism is not a name finally given to a practice as old as Eros; it is a massive cultural fact which appeared precisely at the end of the eighteenth century, and which constitutes one of the greatest conversions of Western imagination: unreason transformed into delirium of the heart, madness of desire, the insane dialogue of love and death in the limitless presumption of appetite." --Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization

see also: sadism - Michel Foucault

2005, Jun 29; 11:38 ::: Gothic culture

From posthumanist religious cults to psychotic serial killers to Gothic night clubs, contemporary Western culture is haunted by Gothic iconographies and mythologies.  They inform and are informed by popular psychology, science, ethics, academic theory, and a culture of violence that often seems to live out our myths.  With this context in mind, students will study Gothic culture from an interdisciplinary perspective, beginning with a historical overview from the post-Enlightenment to present-day incarnations in mass media culture, noting how Gothic has infused art, architecture, literature, film, and various social institutions.  Reading from Edmundson's Nightmare on Main Street: Angels, Aliens, Sadomasochism, and the Culture of the Gothic, Gelder's The Horror Reader, Davenport-Hines, Gothic, and Becker's The Denial of Death, we will take up Gothic intersections with several schools of thought - formalist, psychoanalytic, mythological, anthropological, philosophical, and feminist.

One area of emphasis will be the role of the Gothic in the development of cinema and the issues surrounding it, and we will screen up to five films and a number of film clips.  Another area of emphasis will be literature.  The course will be restricted by a broad core theme or archetype determined by a canonical Gothic text such as Shelley's Frankenstein, Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper", Bronte's Jane Eyre, or James' The Turn of the Screw.  Specific topics, media, and readings will branch out from that text.  For example, as a core text, Jekyll and Hyde would initiate course topics such as the degeneration theory, hysteria and the development of psychoanalysis, philosophical conceptions of evil, drug culture, male versus female Gothic, and detective story, the history and mythology of Jack the Ripper, and texts such as Moore and Campbell's graphic novel From Hell and the 2001 Hughes brothers film, the discourses of forensic science from the nineteenth-century to CSI, a Thomas Harris novel, and the "psychopathic" serial killer subgenre.  --Dr. Linda Badley http://honors.web.mtsu.edu/gothic_culture.htm [Jun 2005]

see also: gothic

2005, Jun 29; 10:40 ::: 666 - The Number of the Beast (1971) - Vangelis/Aphrodite's Child

666 - The Number of the Beast (1971) - Vangelis/Aphrodite's Child [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
image sourced here.

666 - The Number of the Beast is a double album by psychedelic/progressive art rock group Aphrodite's Child. It was published in 1971, and was the primary vehicle/effort for this Vangelis project. It had a minor Album Oriented Radio hit in The Four Horsemen, and a nearly pop hit with Break. The album was ostensibly an adaptation of Biblical passages from the book of the same name, but was also very experimental in lyrics and composition, including a curious piece of performance art which seems to be a woman struggling to chant a mantra while coming to climax. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/666_-_The_Number_of_the_Beast [Jun 2005]

inspired by Pirre

2005, Jun 29; 10:40 ::: London Fields (1990) - Martin Amis

London Fields (1990) - Martin Amis [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Martin Amis is not a crime writer. Yet murder and violence features repeatedly in most of his novels. The Rachel Papers (1973) confines its sadism to a literary hatchet job executed by the narrator on the girl he seduces and discards in the course of his nineteenth year. Dead Babies (1975) ends in an orgy of mass killings. Success (1978) has at its climax the suicide of the two protagonists' (step) sister, a victim of both their needs. Her suicide parallels the stepbrother's memory of his sister's murder by their father. Other People. A Mystery Story (1981) takes for its central character a woman who was murdered by her homicidal lover before the book even opens. Money. A Suicide Note (1984), as its title suggests, is meant to end, but doesn't, with the death of the protagonist and narrator - maybe he escapes his fate because he is also the narrator. Einstein's Monsters (1987), five stories set before and after a nuclear holocaust, is necessarily filled with death and mass destruction. London Fields (1989) follows the Machiavellian schemes of its female protagonist to have herself murdered by one of three potential murderers. Finally Time's Arrow (1991) recounts the life (backwards) of a Nazi doctor and mass murderer.

Why does death, murder and victimization appear so frequently in Amis's fiction? The answer lies not just in the murderous nature of contemporary civilization. It also has to do with the nature of the narrative act. In his later novels beginning with Other People this prevalence of violence against one or more of the characters is accompanied by the introduction into the narrative of the narrator in person (rather than as a disguised author-figure, such as the tutor near the end of The Rachel Papers). This typically postmodern device draws attention to the highly ambiguous role played by any narrator in fiction. Whoever narrates a story both creates and annihilates characters. Amis calls his books "playful literature" (Neustatter 71) and describes himself as "a comic writer interested in painful matters" (Smith 79). Brought up during the Cold War with its perpetual threat of nuclear annihilation, and finding himself in a world close to ecological disaster, Amis maintains that "it isn't a set purpose to make this life look frightful. It is, to the writer, self-evidently frightful" (Haffenden 7). In the postmodern world, he argues, the "idea that the novelist punishes bad characters and rewards good ones doesn't bear up any more" (Rayner 20). At the same time he points out that the author is not free of sadistic impulses. But, he comments, it isn't real sadism, because he doesn't believe in his characters in the same sense that he believes in real people (Haffenden 12). Nonetheless the author, in mercilessly manipulating his characters to suit his purposes, does vicariously participate in the viciousness of the age in which he lives. --http://www.csulb.edu/~bhfinney/MartinAmis.html [Jun 2005]

see also: Martin Amis - literature - fiction

2005, Jun 29; 09:24 ::: Taschen: Erotic Cinema (2005) - Douglas Keesey

Taschen: Erotic Cinema (2005) - Douglas Keesey [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

“Sexuality is limited by taboos and the domain of eroticism is that of the transgression of these taboos.” Georges Bataille

Since the first kiss recorded on film in 1896, erotic moving images have stimulated viewers and outraged public bodies. This book explores the meaning of eroticism and gives an overview of sex on the big screen by exploring different forms of sexual behavior or taboo-breaking in film. Included are intimate looks at ten of the most erotic movies ever made: including Last Tango in Paris, Betty Blue, In the Realm of the Senses, Romance, Law of Desire, Kids, Basic Instinct, Crash, The Night Porter and Y Tu Mama Tambien. Coverage includes erotic films from the silent era, pre-Code Hollywood, film noir, cheesecake and beefcake, the international art cinema, softcore and hardcore X-rated films, gay, lesbian, and New Queer Cinema, and the latest trend toward real sex in independent and art films. Readers will be able to relive some of their favourite erotic movie moments, and discover new ones as well.

The author: Douglas Keesey was educated at U.C. Berkeley (B.A.) and Princeton (Ph.D.). He has published a book on Don DeLillo (Twayne), along with essays on Thomas Pynchon, James Dickey, Stephen King and Peter Weir. He is a professor of film and literature at California Polytechnic State University. Keesey is also the author of TASCHEN's Paul Verhoeven. --http://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalogue/books/film/all/facts/00120.htm [Jun 2005]

see also: mainstream erotic cinema

2005, Jun 29; 09:24 ::: Being rich

"Being rich is about acting, isn't it? A style, a pose, an interpretation that you force upon the world? Whether or not you've made the stuff yourself, you have to set about pretending that you merit it, that money chose right in choosing you, and that you'll do right be money in your turn." --Martin Amis

Wealth usually refers to money and property. It is the abundance of objects of value and also the state of having accumulated these objects. The use of the word itself assumes some socially-accepted means of identifying objects, land, or money as "belonging to" someone, i.e. a broadly accepted notion of property and a means of protection of that property that can be invoked with minimal (or, ideally, no) effort and expense on the part of the owner. Concepts of wealth vary among societies. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wealth [Jun 2005]

Acting is the work of an actor, a person in theatre, film, or any other storytelling medium who tells the story by portraying a character and, usually, speaking or singing the written text or play. From the Latin word ag?re meaning "to do", this is precisely what acting is. In acting, an actor suppresses or augments aspects of their personality in order to reveal the actions and motivations of the character for particular moments in time. The actor is said to be "assuming the role" of another, usually for the benefit of an audience, but also because it can bring one a sense of artistic satisfaction. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acting [Jun 2005]

see also: Martin Amis - actor - actress - behaviour

2005, Jun 28; 23:14 ::: The picturesque

From William Gilpin's Picturesque Landscape in Three Essays, 1792.

Though the concept of the sublime had roots in the connoisseurship of Antiquity, the "picturesque" was a new category in the incipient Romantic sensibility of the 18th century. "Picturesque," meaning literally "in the manner of a picture; fit to be made into a picture" was a word used as early as 1703 (Oxford English Dictionary), and derived from an Italian term pittoresco, meaning, "in the manner of a painter," but the idea of "the picturesque" as an esthetic category was first developed by the connoisseur and teacher Rev. William Gilpin. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picturesque [Jun 2005]

A few English, and soon some Germans, began to appreciate the picturesque character of ruins— "picturesque" becoming a new esthetic category. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gothic_revival#Survival_and_revival [Jun 2005]

2005, Jun 28; 23:14 ::: Roberto Cavalli

unidentified Roberto Cavalli campaign
image sourced here.

2005, Jun 28; 22:57 ::: Fiorucci

unidentified Fiorucci campaign
image sourced here.

Campaign for Fiorucci (1974) - Oliviero Toscani
image sourced here.

Fiorucci shops 1980 - 1983

Designers: Ettore Sottsass, Michele De Lucchi, Aldo Cibic

In the early 1980s Fiorucci commissioned Sottsass Associates to modernize the image of its shops. For this purpose linguistic elements that had already been identified in the work for Alchymia were applied to the design and were later revived and developed with Memphis and for the Esprit shops. --http://www.sottsass.it/en/interior/description.asp?prj=fiorucci [Jun 2005]

2005, Jun 28; 20:14 ::: False needs

The shops are shut. What do you do? Suck: Who needs shops when you can get all the food you need from your mother's breasts? Breast milk--the only food produced by the human body for the human body--is free, plentiful and needs no heating or packaging. Its mix of nutrients adjusts to meet your needs as you grow. It regulates your fat intake (bottle-fed babies get fatter than breast-fed ones), and its antibodies will keep you from getting sick: Bottle-fed babies in India are 14 times more likely to die of diarrhea. So why do 80 percent of American mothers feed their babies infant formulas made from cow's milk? Several reasons: Sometimes breast-feeding is not medically advisable (f you're lactose intolerant or your mother is HIV positive). Maybe your mother won't breast-feed in public (it's frowned upon in many countries). But we think it has more to do with economics. Just think: Human milk is perfectly balanced for human babies. Cow's milk is perfectly balanced for cow babies. The world infant formula market is worth US$7 billion a year.

You figure it out. --http://www.benetton.com/colors/issues/fat25/false/false_frame.html [Jun 2005]

The Nestlé boycott is a boycott launched on July 4, 1977 in the United States against the Swiss based Nestlé corporation. It soon spread rapidly outside the United States, particularly in Europe. It was prompted by concern about the company's marketing of breast milk substitutes (infant formula), particularly in Third World countries, which campaigners claim contributes to the unnecessary death and suffering of babies largely among the poor. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nestl%C3%A9_boycott [Jun 2005]

Ethical consumerism
Ethical consumerism is the practice of boycotting products which a consumer believes to be associated with unnecessary exploitation or other unethical behaviour. A single product may be the subject of a boycott if it is produced by factory farming, for example, or if it is considered to be harmful to the environment. Similarly, an entire corporation may be boycotted for perceived unethical behaviour by one of its subsidiaries, or for investing a portion of its profits in (for example) the arms industry. Such action can cause great damage to reputations, not to mention loss of profits, and has, in part, led to the development of corporate social responsibility. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethical_consumerism [Jun 2005]

see also: authenticity - needs

2005, Jun 28; 18:57 ::: Visual culture

The Matrix of Visual Culture: Working With Deleuze in Film Theory (2003) - Patricia Pisters [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

First Sentence:
Hitchcock's fantasy about directly entering people's brains seemed futuristic and absurd in the 1950s when he expressed these words to his scriptwriter, Ernest Lehman.

Statistically Improbable Phrases (SIPs):
modern political cinema, camera consciousness, happy despair, acousmatic voice, becoming animal, conceptual persona, segmental line, passive affects, rhizomatic network, cinematographic apparatus, audiovisual culture, motor situation, horror cinema, cinematographic image, active affects, double becoming, oral mother, political film, pure becoming, bad encounters, molecular line, aesthetic figures, sad affects, sound situation, crystal image

Visual culture is a field of study within cultural studies focusing on aspects of culture that rely on visual representations. Among cultural studies theorists working with contemporary culture, this often overlaps with film studies and the study of television, although it can also include video game studies, comics, traditional artistic mediums, advertising, and any other medium that has a crucial visual component.

Writers important to visual culture include Stuart Hall and Slavoj Zizek. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_culture [Jun 2005]

see also: visual - culture - culture theory - representation - film theory - Patricia Pisters

2005, Jun 28; 10:39 ::: Deep house

Club Shelter NYC V.1 (2004) - Timmy Regisford [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Deep house is a style of house music. It is loosely defined by the following characteristics that distinguish it from most other forms of house music:

  • relatively slow tempo (110–125 bpm);
  • de-emphasized percussion, including:
    • simpler drum machine programming;
    • gentle transitions and fewer "build-ups";
    • less "thumpy" bass drum sound;
    • less pronounced hi-hats on the off-beat;
  • sustained chords or other tonal elements that span multiple bars;
  • increased use of reverb, delay, and filter effects;
  • a featured solo R&B vocalist, often male, exhibiting soul, jazz, and/or gospel influences;
  • jazz influences or samples in the instrumentation.

Not all of these need to be present or fully satisfied in order for house music to be called "deep house"; fans of the style typically just identify it by its subjective "feel" rather than by the presence or absence of specific elements.

The term "deep house" first appeared in the music press in the late 1980s, usually in reference to the music of Larry Heard. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_house [Jun 2005]

see also: deep house music - house music - 1980s - Larry Heard

2005, Jun 28; 10:03 ::: Film ratings

Eyes Wide Shut (1999) - Stanley Kubrick [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

The orgy sequence contains some of the most explicit portrayals of consensual sex in mainstream cinema.

The MPAA had an objection. The film was scheduled to receive an NC-17 rating for its full male nudity, and Warner Brothers digitally altered the film by inserting the silhouette of a "man in black" in an orgy scene. This digital figleaf moved and stood in such a way as to block the objectionable body part. This alteration of Kubrick's vision antagonized many cinephiles, as they argued that Kubrick had never been shy about ratings: A Clockwork Orange had an X-rating.

In contrast to their usual behaviour, the British Board of Film Classification allowed Eyes Wide Shut to be released to British cinemas without the need for the digital alterations seen in US cinemas. The film was rated 18, viewable only by those aged 18 and over. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eyes_Wide_Shut [Oct 2004]

see also: 18-rating - banned films - BBFC - censorship - film - G - General audience - MPAA - NC17 - PG - parental guidance - ratings - R-rating - R18-rating - uncut - unexpurgated - unrated - X-rating

2005, Jun 28; 09:22 ::: Natural Beauties (2004) - Eolake Stobblehouse

Natural Beauties (2004) - Eolake Stobblehouse [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Book Description
A compilation of color nude photos from 20 erotic photographers, introducing a new style of Nude Art: Simple Nudes, focusing exclusively on a model's beauty. The Simple Nudes philosophy is to ""simply"" celebrate the model's beauty, and not subsume the model to any other purpose, not sex, not Art, not commercialism. Like the Dogma film movement from Europe, Simple Nudes are characterized by * the inherent beauty of the model in the natural state * no forced poses * no unnatural styling or props This new, independent form of expression, also named DOMAI style, from the web site which invented and champions it, is not a compromise between Art nudes and sex nudes, but is a true third art of nude appreciation. --Amazon.com

see also: domai.com Google gallery (Domai.com is the site of Eolake Stobblehouse, the editor of the book)

see also: beauty - nude - women - erotica

2005, Jun 27; 13:22 ::: Cultural studies wars

John observes rather wryly, in response to an article claiming that pop culture is “subversive”:

I see this point being made all the time in cult-stud writing. No doubt it explains why the recent collapse of capitalism, in the face of withering postmodernist critiques, began in the United States, the home of mass culture.

Cultural studies originated in a sort of Gramscian sociology of culture - rejecting the idea that “high art” was progressive and damning it for elitism. Rather, it was argued, popular culture expressed the resistance of the masses to capitalism. Though this seems inherently unlikely, there were some reasonable arguments made. Authors like the literary critic Raymond Williams picked up on the work of historians such as E.P. Thompson to look at the distinctiveness of working class culture and British sociologist Stuart Hall and his colleagues of the “Birmingham School” studied working class subcultures such as the Mods of the 60s and punks of the 70s.

Much of the effort of early Cultural Studies was directed against the cultural pessimism of the Frankfurt School - whose leading lights such as Adorno and Marcuse claimed that pop culture was the modern equivalent of panem et circenses for the masses, and had a passifying and politically disabling effect. Cultural studies theorists in the 80s who argued that people weren’t passive receivers of information and entertainment but interactively watched and reacted to television and films had a point. But the political argument that this implied, or might imply, “resistance” to capitalism was surely wrong.

Fast forward 20 years and we get people like Professor John Hartley arguing that Big Brother has the same value as Shakespeare.

The original political radicalism of Cultural Studies seems largely to have been lost sight of. It was interesting to read last year Cultural Studies academic Terry Flew write in Online Opinion that “Popular culture will never actually be left wing”, and:

Rather than automatically assuming that cultural studies is a left wing intellectual field, it may be time, now, to ask what an approach to cultural studies that is not self-evidently left wing, may look like, today, tomorrow and for the next influx.

To some degree this might be a defensive re-positioning in the Nelson era, but it is hard to see (with some exceptions) what political force the increasingly institutionalised and disciplined Cultural Studies now has. The irony, of course, is that Cultural Studies continues to be attacked by the intellectual Right as an exemplar of all that’s wrong with Universities. --Mark, http://larvatusprodeo.redrag.net/2005/04/16/cultural-studies-wars/ [Apr 2005 / Jun 2005]

see also: culture theory

2005, Jun 27; 13:22 ::: Louis Janmot (1814-1892)

Poem of the Soul, Nightmare (1854) - Louis Janmot (1814-1892)

2005, Jun 27; 13:22 ::: Acid house

"Before house music, a lot of the DJs on Chicago radio were playing a lot of Italian imports because I think the Italians were the only ones that continued with the disco when it all died out everywhere else. --Juan Atkins

House music is disco's revenge. So said Frankie Knuckles, reflecting on the charged history of the genre, which emerged in hometown Chicago in the middle of the 1980s. In this case home, to quote Gil Scott-Heron, is where the hatred is, or was. The disco sucks movement had its spiritual and organisational headquarters in the city, and the organisation's campaign reached its vitriolic climax when the celebrity rock DJ Steve Dahl detonated fifty thousand disco records during the halfway break of a baseball doubleheader. Metaphorical retribution arrived, according to the Knuckles, when dance artists, revisiting the disfigured disco of Dahl's melted vinyl, melded it into house. Revenge indeed.

House music's birth, however, has been largely mystified by this Darwinian story of destruction, survival and evolution. The genre might have received its abbreviated name from the Warehouse, where Knuckles, proud and defiant, continued to spin dance grooves in the aftermath of Dahl's headline-grabbing histrionics. But the sound of house emerged from an acute and unexpected angle that was in many respects cut off from the past. And while Knuckles played a heroic role in keeping disco alive in a city where so many chanted for its death, the acclaimed "Godfather of House" was a secondary figure when it came to pushing the mid-eighties incarnation of the genre.

An alternative genealogy of house might propose the following. That the key musical reference point for house wasn't disco, but a range of off-the-wall sounds that spanned late sixties rock and early eighties new wave. That the genre's key venue was not the celebrated Warehouse or the magisterial Power Plant (where black gay men were dominant), but the ramshackle Music Box (where the crowd was black and straight-leaning-towards-pansexual). And that its most influential spinner was not the ambassadorial Knuckles, but the deviant Ron Hardy - a towering figure who, extraordinarily, was never interviewed before his untimely passing in 1992.

The heavyweight presence of New York has made it difficult to establish this alternative history. Drenched in disco, the city was initially suspicious of house, with Larry Levan, one of its most progressive DJs, notoriously slow to pick up on the genre. When Manhattan's spinners finally caught on, they tended to favour disco-flavoured cuts such as JM Silk's "Music Is the Key" over the obtuse, alien sounds of records such as "Acid Tracks". Experienced through New York's eardrum, Chicago house sounded like an offshoot of New York disco. This was, and remains, disconcerting for many Chicagoans. --Tim Lawrence, http://www.timlawrence.info/linernotes/2005/acidhousesj.php [Jun 2005]

see also: DJs - house music - disco - acid house

Thanks for that copy of Soul Jazz presents: Acid - Can You Jack? (2005) - VA [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK] , Tim and Stuart!

2005, Jun 27; 10:39 ::: Wood pulp in stead of linen pulp (late 1800s)

Using wood to make paper is a fairly recent innovation. In the 1900s, fiber crops such as linen fibres were the primary material source, but a shortage led to experimentation with other materials. Around 1850, a German named Friedrich Gottlob Keller crushed wood with a wet grindstone to obtain wood pulp. Further experimentation by American chemist C.B. Tilghman and Swedish inventor C.F. Dahl enabled the manufacture of wood pulp using chemicals to break down the fibres. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wood_pulp#History [Jun 2005]

Paper remained a luxury item through the centuries, until the advent of steam-driven paper making machines in the 19th century, which could make paper with fibres from wood pulp. Although older machines predated it, the Fourdrinier paper making machine became the basis for most modern papermaking. Together with the invention of the practical fountain pen and the mass produced pencil of the same period, and in conjunction with the advent of the steam driven rotary printing press, wood based paper caused a major transformation of the 19th century economy and society in industrialized countries. Before this era a book or a newspaper was a rare luxury object and illiteracy was the norm for the majority. With the gradual introduction of cheap paper, schoolbooks, fiction, non-fiction, and newspapers became slowly available to nearly all the members of an industrial society. Cheap wood based paper also meant that keeping personal diaries or writing letters ceased to be reserved to a privileged few in those same societies. The office worker or the white-collar worker was slowly born of this transformation, which can be considered as a part of the industrial revolution.

Unfortunately, the original wood-based paper was more acidic and more prone to disintegrate over time. Documents written on more expensive rag paper were more stable. The majority of modern book publishers now use acid-free paper. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paper#History [Jun 2005]

see also: paper - pulp - 1800s

2005, Jun 27; 10:28 ::: Rise of pulp

With dime novel sales declining due to the rise of motion pictures in the late 1890s, a number of enterprising publishers developed a new genre--pulp fiction, which was aimed specifically at adult readers. Frank Munsey, a dime novel publisher, consolidated his juvenile publications and transformed them into a story paper for grown-ups, The Argosy All Story Weekly. The team of Street and Smith responded in kind with Popular Magazine, a review featuring the early work of H. G. Wells and H. Rider Haggard. By 1920, pulp fiction was readily available at newsstands around the country and achieved a readership much larger than that of dime novels in their heyday. --http://www-sul.stanford.edu/depts/dp/pennies/1920_pulp.html [Jun 2005]

see also: 1920s - dime novel - pulp

2005, Jun 27; 10:19 ::: Penny dreadful

Spring Heeled Jack as depicted by Abraham Lincoln - English penny dreadful (c. 1890)
image sourced here.

A penny dreadful is the British equivalent of a dime novel

Spring Heeled Jack (also Springheel Jack, Spring-heel Jack, etc.) is a character said to have existed in England during the Victorian era. The first recorded claimed sighting of Spring Heeled Jack occurred in 1837. Later sightings were reported from all over England, from London up to Sheffield and Liverpool, but they were especially prevalent in suburban London and later in the Midlands, where they peaked between the 1850s and 1880s. Although some unconfirmed reports claim that he could still be active, he is generally believed to have disappeared after 1904, the year of the last recorded incident. Many theories have been proposed to ascertain his nature and identity, none of which have been capable of clarifying the subject completely, and the phenomenon still remains unexplained.

The story of Spring Heeled Jack gained immense popularity in its time due to the tales of his bizarre appearance and his capacity to perform extraordinary leaps, to the point that it transcended the role of a mere paranormal phenomenon and attained the status of urban legend. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring_Heeled_Jack [Jun 2005]

2005, Jun 27; 10:06 ::: First dime novel

Malaeska: The Indian Wife of the White Hunter (1860) - Ann S. Stephens
image sourced here.

In the United States is the 19th century, a dime novel was a low-priced novel that could be purchased for a dime. The original dime novels were published in a tabloid format.

The British English equivalent term was "penny dreadful."

Dime novels and penny dreadfuls often involved melodramatic tales of vice and virtue in conflict, often with strong elements of horror and cruelty.

Many American dime novels, on the other hand, had inspirational themes. Horatio Alger, Jr. was a notable writer in this genre. Theodore Dreiser and Upton Sinclair often wrote dime novels under pseudonyms. New York City-based firm Street & Smith, founded in 1855, was one of the most prolific publishers of the genre.

On June 9, 1860, Malaeska: The Indian Wife of the White Hunter became the first dime novel to be published.

Philip Pullman has written several "modern penny dreadfuls" in this style including Ruby in the Smoke, The Shadow in the North, The Tiger in the Well, (The Sally Lockhart Trilogy) which, while themselves penny dreadfuls, also incorporate the atmosphere in which the novels thrived.

Stanford University has a collection of over 8,000 individual dime novels, and a web site devoted to the subject. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dime_novel [Feb 2005]

see also: 1860 - adventure - dime novel - pulp - fiction - escapism - exploitation - sensationalism

2005, Jun 26; 23:45 ::: The Girl on a Motorcycle (1968) - Jack Cardiff

The Girl on a Motorcycle (1968) - Jack Cardiff [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

see also: biker - 1968 - André Pieyre de Mandiargues

2005, Jun 26; 22:58 ::: Style Wars (1980) - Peter York

Style Wars (1980) - Peter York [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

More than that, Style Wars and its essays prefaced what the British press would soon dub "the style decade of the Eighties". Punk's binbags finally got binned, and in a few years street couture reached the catwalk and people began to consider that the way their homes looked was a "statement" about their lives made to the wider world. In new monthly glossies like The Face, i-D and Blitz, this fresh scene was written about and photographed, reported and celebrated with vigour and with the very style that its journalists and graphic designers were so enthusiastically recording. --http://www.popmatters.com/columns/warner/011120.shtml [Jun 2005]

see also: style - war

2005, Jun 26; 22:58 ::: May 18th, 1964: Mods and Rockers jailed after seaside riots

In Context
From the early to mid-Sixties young, mainly working class, Britons with cash to spend joined one of two youth movements.

The Mods wore designer suits protected by Parka jackets and were often armed with coshes and flick-knives. They rode Vespa or Lambretta scooters bedecked with mirrors and mascots and listened to Ska music and The Who.

Rockers rode motorbikes - often at 100mph with no crash helmets - wore leathers and listened to the likes of Elvis and Gene Vincent.

Inevitably the two gangs clashed. The 1964 Whitsun weekend violence in Brighton was famously dramatised in the film Quadrophenia (1979).

In August that year police had to be flown into the Sussex resort of Hastings to break up fights between the two gangs.

But two years later, most Mods had turned their attentions to the burgeoning, more laid-back, hippie culture. --http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/may/18/newsid_2511000/2511245.stm [Jun 2005]

  • Peter York says that the first "style wars" were between the mods and rockers. --via Streetstyle, Ted Polhemus

  • comments from Jeremy from misterbijou.blogspot.com [Jun 2005]

    That bbc text you feature:

    The Mods wore designer suits protected by Parka jackets and were often armed with coshes and flick-knives. They rode Vespa or Lambretta scooters bedecked with mirrors and mascots and listened to Ska music and The Who.

    is somewhat troubling -- a re-writing of history.

    First division for dancing were Jimmy Reed, John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf, Tommy Tucker, etc; early Tamla [Motown], My Guy by Mary Wells was big; and stuff that was released on the UK Sue label: Donnie Elbert, Bob & Earl, Chris Kenner, etc. I can't remember on which label came the late, great Major Lance: The Monkey Time (1963) and "Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um" (1964). Ska? Yes. Following which came Blue Beat (1965). Prince Buster was considered blue beat. However, by 1966, blue beat had transformed to rocksteady. The Mod thing was over by 1966, anyway.

    The Who, along with the other Brit groups mentoned below, were very much in the second division.

    Wikipedia gets much closer to the reality:

    Mods were obsessed with clothes and music, including Black American R&B and Soul, Jamaican Ska, and Bluebeat and a select few British groups such as the Small Faces, the Kinks, The Spencer Davis Group and The Who. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mod_%28lifestyle%29

    see also: biker - 1964 - Mod - style - war

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