Category Archives: subculture

Stonewall riots @40

Stonewall riots @40

Stonewall riots @40[1] The Stonewall riots were a series of violent conflicts between New York City police officers and groups of gay and transgender people that began during the early morning of June 28, 1969, and lasted several days. Also called the Stonewall Rebellion or simply Stonewall, the clash was a watershed for the worldwide gay rights movement, as gay and transgender people had never before acted together in such large numbers to forcibly resist police. From the New York Times of June 29, 1969: HUNDREDS OF YOUNG MEN WENT ON A RAMPAGE IN GREENWICH VILLAGE, shortly after 3 A.M. yesterday after a force of plain-clothes men raided a bar that the police said was well known for its homo-sexual clientele.  Thirteen persons were arrested and four policemen injured. The young men threw bricks, bottles, garbage, pennies and a parking meter at the policemen, who had a search warrant authorizing them in investigate reports that liquor was sold illegally at the bar, the Stonewall Inn, 53 Christopher Street, just off Sheridan Square.—New York Times, June 29, 1969[2]  The Sanctuary epitomized the post-Stonewall era, when gay men had won the right to dance intimately together without worrying about the police.

From the New York Times of June 29, 1969:

HUNDREDS OF YOUNG MEN WENT ON A RAMPAGE IN GREENWICH VILLAGE, shortly after 3 A.M. yesterday after a force of plain-clothes men raided a bar that the police said was well known for its homo-sexual clientele.
Thirteen persons were arrested and four policemen injured. The young men threw bricks, bottles, garbage, pennies and a parking meter at the policemen, who had a search warrant authorizing them in investigate reports that liquor was sold illegally at the bar, the Stonewall Inn, 53 Christopher Street, just off Sheridan Square.–New York Times, June 29, 1969[2]

The Stonewall riots were a series of violent conflicts between New York City police officers and groups of gay and transgender people that began during the early morning of June 28, 1969, and lasted several days. Also called the Stonewall Rebellion or simply Stonewall, the clash was a watershed for the worldwide gay rights movement, as gay and transgender people had never before acted together in such large numbers to forcibly resist police.

Except for Illinois, which decriminalized sodomy in 1961, homosexual acts, even between consenting adults acting in private homes, were a criminal offense in every U.S. state at the time the Stonewall Riots occurred: “An adult convicted of the crime of having sex with another consenting adult in the privacy of his or her home could get anywhere from a light fine to five, ten, or twenty years—or even life—in prison. In 1971, twenty states had ‘sex psychopath‘ laws that permitted the detaining of homosexuals for that reason alone. In Pennsylvania and California sex offenders could be locked in a mental institution for life, and [in] seven states they could be castrated.” (Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution, by David Carter, p. 15) Castration, emetics, hypnosis, electroshock therapy and lobotomies were used by psychiatrists to attempt to cure homosexuals through the 1950s and 1960s.(Katz, pp. 181–197.)(Adam, p. 60.)

Subsequent nightclubs, such as The Sanctuary, often billed as the first modern DJ-led nightclub of New York, epitomized the post-Stonewall era, “when gay men had won the right to dance intimately together without worrying about the police.” —Peter Braunstein

Introducing Le Comte de Gabalis

Introducing Le Comte de Gabalis

Sourced via pierrepainblanc

I’ve just spent a good deal of hours researching Comte de Gabalis, a quest prompted by a new release on Creation BooksCreation Oneiros imprint and the reference I found there to occult fiction. Wikipedia has no entry on occult fiction but Googling them did bring up Gabalis.

I am not that a big a fan of occultism except when I find it represented in fiction, such as supernatural horror or le fantastique.

A recap of what I found:

The Comte De Gabalis is a 17th century grimoire (posing as a novel of ideas) by French writer Abbé N. de Montfaucon de Villars, first published anonymously in 1670. The book is dedicated to Rosicrucianis and Cabalism and based on Paracelsus‘s four elementals: Gnomes, earth elementals; Undines; water elementals, Sylphs, air elementals and Salamanders, fire elementals. It is composed of five discourses given by a Count or spiritual master to the student or aspirant. The Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology by the Gale Group notes that the work may be a satire of the writings of la Calprenède, a popular French writer of the 17th century.

David Teniers the Younger. The Alchemist. Oil on canvas. 44 x 58.5 cm. Palazzo Pitti, Galleria Palatina, Florence, Italy.  Comte de Gabalis The Comte De Gabalis is a 17th century grimoire (posing as a novel of ideas) by French writer Abbé N. de Montfaucon de Villars. The book is dedicated to Rosicrucianis and Cabalism and based on Paracelsus’s four elementals: Gnomes, earth elementals; Undines; water elementals, Sylphs, air elementals and Salamanders, fire elementals. It is composed of five discourses given by a Count or spiritual master to the student or aspirant.  It was anonymously published in 1670 under the title: “Comte De Gabalis.”  The meaning suggests the Count of the Cabala as the text is cabalistic in nature.  The “Holy Cabala” is mentioned explicitly throughout. The Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology by the Gale Group notes that  the work may be a satire of the writings of la Calprenède, a popular French writer of the 17th century.

David Teniers the Younger. The Alchemist

It was also very pleasant to find and wikify elements in fiction:

Shakespeare‘s plays abound in elemental beings including Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Ariel in The Tempest. Alexander Pope was influenced by the Comte de Gabalis in his Rosicrucian poem “Rape of the Lock.” Sylphs have been the favorites of the bards. The “Mahābhārata” is full of stories about beings of the elements and their heroic offspring with their human partners. Similar themes and references are found in Homer‘s The Iliad and The Odyssey in which the elemental beings appear as gods and goddesses such as the mighty Zeus, Hera, Aphrodite, Athena, Apollo, and Achilles, son of a mortal man and the goddess Nymph Thetis (see The Iliad by Robert Fagles, Penguin Classics, 1990). German writer Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué wrote about a beautiful water-nymph, “Undine,” and Sir Walter Scott endowed the White Lady of Avenel with many of the attributes of the nymphs. Other works or characters influenced include Lord Lytton‘s Zanoni, James Barrie‘s Tinker Bell; and the bowlers Rip Van Winkle encountered in the Catskill Mountains. The story of Melusina is based on the historical marriage of a gentleman and a water nymph. Charles Mackay, father of Marie Corelli, wrote “Salamandrine,” a poem about a great love between a human and a female salamander. Cabalism, in general, influenced many Mediaeval poems as well as the writings of Dante.

The most interesting aspect of The Comte De Gabalis is the sexual union of gods and mortals. I like half creatures and I like the sexual part of it. It was the work of the minor British publisher of  anthropologica Robert H. Fryar who most clearly brought this link to my attention by reprinting in the late 19th century the Comte de Gabalis with its tale of the immortalization of elementals through sexual intercourse with men and supplementing the work with long citations from the recently discovered Demoniality Or Incubi and Succubi[1], an eighteenth-century work by Father Sinistrari on the dangers of incubi and succubi.

RIP Stanley Chapman (1925 – 2009)

RIP Stanley Chapman (1925 – 2009)[1]

via www.tate.org.uk RIP  Stanley Chapman (1925 - 2009)  Fig.3 Stanley Chapman Cover illustration for Subsidia Pataphysica, no.1, 19 December              1965enlarge

via www.tate.org.uk

Cover illustration for Subsidia Pataphysica, no.1, 19 December 1965

Stanley Chapman (19252009) was a British architect, designer, translator and writer. His interests included theatre and pataphysics. He was involved with founding the National Theatre of London, was a member of Oulipo of the year 1960, founder of the Outrapo and a member also of the French Collège de ‘Pataphysique, president the London Institute of ‘Pataphysics and the Lewis Carroll Society. His English translation of Hundred Thousand Billion Poems was received with “admiring stupefaction” by Raymond Queneau.

RIP Christopher Gray (1942 – 2009)

RIP Christopher Gray (1942 – 2009)

Leaving the 20th Century: The Incomplete Work of the Situationist International (1974) – Christopher Gray [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Christopher Gray is a British writer and activist, editor of Leaving the 20th Century: The Incomplete Work of the Situationist International (1974). He was a member of the British SI and of King Mob.

Leaving the 20th Century: The Incomplete Work of the Situationist International (1974) is an anthology of Situationist texts edited by British activist Christopher Gray. The original edition was designed by Jamie Reid.

Ruggero Deodato @70

Ruggero Deodato @70

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHfAc3CJStQ&]

Ruggero Deodato (born May 7 1939 in Potenza) is a controversial Italian film director, actor and screen writer, best known for his infamous 1980 film cannibal film Cannibal Holocaust.

Ruggero Deodato belongs to the same mantle that holds Joe D’Amato, Dario Argento, Mario Bava, Tinto Brass, Ruggero Deodato, Lucio Fulci, Riccardo Freda, Gualtiero Jacopetti, Sergio Leone, Antonio Margheriti and Bruno Mattei.

These were filmmakers of the pre-internet dark ages, the terra incognita of the 20th century, who exploited the ignorance of the general audience regarding prurient matters such as sex, drugs and rock and roll.

In 1979 Deodato started work on Mondo-style Cannibal Holocaust. Deodato caused massive controversy in Italy and the United Kingdom following the release of Cannibal Holocaust, which was accused to be a genuine snuff film. Deodato was forced to reveal the secrets behind the film’s impalement[1] scene and to parade the lead actors before an Italian court in order to prove that they were still alive. More importantly, Deodato was harshly criticized for the use of real animal torture in his films. Deodato’s film license was then revoked and he would not get it back until three years later

Younger viewers may have spotted Ruggero as a client in the film Hostel: Part II.

See also Italian exploitation, Italian horror film, Italian film, cannibal films

RIP Tom McGrath (1940 – 2009), co-founder International Times

RIP Tom McGrath

Logo (IT Jan–Feb ’69).

See “Invisible Insurrection of a Million Minds

Tom McGrath (born 23 October, 1940 in Rutherglen, Glasgow, died 29 April 2009) is a Scottish playwright and jazz pianist.

During the mid 1960s he was associated with the emerging UK underground culture, participating in Alexander Trocchi‘s Project Sigma and becoming founding editor of the International Times. He was involved with the International Poetry Incarnation and published in the anthology Children of Albion: Poetry of the Underground in Britain.

The International Times (it or IT) was an underground paper started in 1966 in the UK, based in central London. ITs first editor was the acclaimed playwright Tom McGrath.   Paul McCartney helped found the paper.The iconic logo for IT was a black and white photo of Theda Bara, vampish star of silent films. The original idea had been to use an image of actress Clara Bow because she was iconically known as The IT girl – but an image of Theda Bara was used accidentally and once deployed, it was never changed.

Tom connects with Hawkwind, John Peel, Alexander Trocchi, Schoolkids OZ, Arthur Brown (musician), The Pretty Things, AMM (group), Soft Machine, Felix Dennis, Jeff Nuttall, The Incredible String Band, Blackhill Enterprises, Children of Albion: Poetry of the Underground in Britain, Joe Boyd, Edgar Broughton Band, Steve Peregrin Took, Mick Farren, UK underground, International Times, UFO Club, Pink Fairies, Gay News, Martin Sharp, Oz (magazine), Freak scene, John Hopkins (political activist), Quintessence (English band), Tomorrow (band), The Deviants (band), Mark Boyle, Peace News, Third Ear Band, The Mersey Sound (book), Jimmy Boyle (artist), The Purple Gang (band), Gandalf’s Garden, Friends (magazine), The Black Dwarf (Ali), Barry Miles, James Haynes, Hapshash and the Coloured Coat, Pink Floyd, Thomas McGrath, Caroline Coon, Spare Rib, The 14 Hour Technicolour Dream, Michael Horovitz, Richard Neville (writer), Jim Anderson (editor), International Poetry Incarnation, Tron Theatre, Granny Takes a Trip, Play for Tomorrow, Release (agency), Derby Playhouse production history, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band and Germaine Greer.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti @90

Lawrence Ferlinghetti @90

A Coney Island of the Mind by you.

A Coney Island of the Mind (1958)

Lawrence Ferlinghetti (born Lawrence Ferling on March 24, 1919) is an American poet, painter, Liberal, and the co-founder of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers. Author of poetry, translations, fiction, theatre, art criticism, and film narration, he is best known for A Coney Island of the Mind.

A Coney Island of the Mind is a collection of poetry by Lawrence Ferlinghetti originally published in 1958 and dedicated to Carl Solomon. It contains some of Ferlinghetti’s most famous poems, such as I am Waiting, and Junkman’s Obbligato, which were created for jazz accompaniment (see jazz poetry). There are approximately a million copies in print of A Coney Island, and the book has been translated into over a dozen languages. It remains one of the best-selling and most popular books of poetry ever published.

Coney Island was written in the conservative post-war 1950s, and his poetry resonates with a joyful anti-establishment fervor.

Carl Solomon (1928-1993) was an American writer, artist and criminal. He was friend of Allen Ginsberg and an important inspiration for Ginsberg’s “Howl” (full title: “Howl for Carl Solomon.”). Ginsberg had met Solomon in the mental institution of Bellevue Hospital Center and became friends with him. Outside of being a member of the The Times Square Underworld, Solomon was a Dada and Surrealism enthusiast (he introduced Ginsberg to Artaud) who suffered bouts of depression.

Solomon wanted to commit suicide, but he thought a form of suicide appropriate to dadaism would be to go to a mental institution and demand a lobotomy. The institution refused, giving him many forms of therapy, including electroshock therapy. Much of the final section of the first part of “Howl” is a description of this.

Ginsberg admitted later this sympathy for Solomon was connected to bottled up guilt and sympathy for his mother’s condition (she suffered from schizophrenia and had been lobotomized), an issue he was not yet ready to address directly.

Although in style and theme Ferlinghetti’s  writing is very unlike that of the original New York based Beat circle, he had important associations with the Beat writers, who made City Lights Bookstore their headquarters when they were in San Francisco. He has often claimed that he was not a Beat, but a bohemian of an earlier generation. Over the years Ferlinghetti published work by most of the Beats, most notably Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and William S. Burroughs. He was Ginsberg’s publisher for over thirty years.

“Sex Without Stress” is WMC #288

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OtuZjBc_H0

Sex Without Stress” by the Au Pairs

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. As I explained, I now do music on Facebook almost exclusively (join me there at Jan Geerinck with a brief note).

It’s been so long that I need to explain what WMC stands for: World music classics is an ongoing series of World Music Classics.

It had been a while since I’d heard “Sex Without Stress” by the Au Pairs.

Sex Without Stress” is a musical composition by the British post-punk band the Au Pairs first released in 1982. It was also released on their album Sense and Sensuality. The song is also featured on Stepping Out of Line: The Anthology.

From the lyrics:

“Would you like to express
your sex without stress?
Would you like to discover
physical conversations of different kinds?”

The Au Pairs were a post-punk band who formed in Birmingham in 1979. Musically they were very similar to bands such as Ludus, Gang of Four and the Delta 5. That is, the rhythm section was tight and funky (obvious influences were James Brown and Funkadelic), but the guitars were light and “scratchy” (like Subway Sect). All these bands shared a strongly left wing social outlook, but the Au Pairs stood out due to their frontwoman, Lesley Woods, being an outspoken feminist and lesbian: the band were greatly influential in this respect on the riot grrrl movement a decade later. Music historian Gillian G. Gaar noted in her history of women in rock (She’s A Rebel: The History of Women In Rock & Roll) that the band mingled male and female musicians in a revolutionary collaborative way as part of its outspoken explorations of sexual politics.

Stelarc’s third ear

Stelarc's Ear PORTRAIT taken by nina sellars by k0re.

Stelarc’s third ear, photo by Nina Sellars from the Flickr stream of  k0re

Stelarc’s third ear[1] is performance by Australian body artist Stelarc consisting of a subdermal implant of a cell-cultivated ear in his left arm, thus becoming a living example of transhumanism.