Monthly Archives: December 2021

RIP Mikey Chung (1950 – 2021)

 Mikey Chung (1950 – 2021) was a Jamaican musician who played keyboards, guitar and percussion instruments.

“Breezing” (1972) by Mike Chung & The Now Generation

Here with a cover of “Breezin'” (1970) by Bobby Womack.

“Breezin'” (1970) is a musical composition by Bobby Womack, originally released with Gabor Szabo on Blue Thumb Records as a seven inch single.

On the b-side was “Azure Blue”. The song was later released on Gabor’s album High Contrast.

RIP Sabine Weiss (1924 – 2021)

Sabine Weiss was a Swiss photographer, best known for her street photography in the humanist style.

Her work reflects the optimism of the Wirtschaftswunder, of ‘Les trente glorieuses’, of the post–World War II economic expansion.

Furthermore, the term humanist photography, strictly linked with the Family of Man photo exhibition which traveled around the world, was the instrumentalization of photography to obtain “niemals wieder Krieg!.”

RIP Jean-Marc Vallée (1963 – 2024)

Jean-Marc Vallée was a Canadian filmmaker, film editor, and screenwriter, known for such films as Dallas Buyers Club (2013). A masterpiece, in my opinion.

 Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

He was, next to David Cronenberg and Atom Egoyan, one of the more interesting post-war Canadian filmmakers.

He also directed and Big Little Lies (2017) one of the few television series of the television series era I have seen.

RIP E. O. Wilson (1929 – 2021)

 Sociobiology: The Human Animal (1977)

E. O. Wilson was an American writer, biologist and naturalist best-known for his book Sociobiology: The New Synthesis (1975).

This book met with great criticism from the political left. In Not in Our Genes (1984) these opponents rejected sociobiology and expressed their desire for a socialist society.

There is a film Sociobiology: The Human Animal (1977) by the BBC. I show it supra. It features interviews with Wilson and his main opponent, Lewontin, co-author of Not in Our Genes.

RIP Wayne Thiebaud (1920 – 2021)


Wayne Thiebaud was an American painter, one of the more interesting American painters of the 20th century.

I particularly like his Refrigerator Pies (1962) which I first came across in Art Now (1976) by Lucie-Smith.

Two good texts on the early period of his career are “The Slice-of-Cake School” (1962) and “An Interview with Wayne Thiebaud” (1966).

The first text has some intelligent remarks on lighting. The second has Thiebaud talking about the significance of pies in the American mind.

Not a Thiebaud painting: Mound of Butter (c. 1875–1885), a painting by French artist Antoine Vollon.

Because there is no good Youtube footage of Thiebaud and as an non-journalist I cannot reproduce content in copyright, I give you one of my favorite paintings, Mound of Butter.

RIP Joan Didion (1934 – 2021)

Joan Didion was an American writer.

Miami (1987) by Joan Didion

I don’t quite know what to think of Didion’s writing and whether I would like to read it.

She seems similar to contemporary Susan Sontag, however, Didion seems strictly non-philosophical.

Something did catch my eye, however, it is Philosophy and Vulnerability: Catherine Breillat, Joan Didion, and Audre Lorde (2019) by Matthew R. McLennan, a book in which Catherine Breillat, Joan Didion and Audre Lorde are called rigorous “nonphilosophers”.

Update 24/12: I was wrong. I came to that conclusion after delving into the White Album (1979) book, which seems to be an interesting portrait of 1960s counterculture. But not only that, she gave the world a beautiful nobrow analysis. In the book The White Album (1979)there is a passage where she writes about her habit of watching outlaw biker movies and she says:

“I suppose I kept going to these movies because there on the screen was some news I was not getting from The New York Times. I began to think I was seeing ideograms of the future.”

RIP Richard Rogers (1933 – 2021)

Construction phases of the Centre Pompidou set to the tones of “Black Cow” (1977) by Steely Dan.

Richard Rogers was a British architect. He is best known for designing and building the Centre Pompidou (1977), the first postmodern building.

The film above is a strange juxtapoem. It is a film of the construction phases of the Centre Pompidou set to the tones of “Black Cow” (1977) by Steely Dan.

RIP Eve Babitz (1943 – 2021)

Clip of what Fiorucci was like, Babitz wrote the best text I know of the brand and the shopping experience.

Eve Babitz was an American artist and writer. She is best known for playing chess in the nude with Marcel Duchamp.

She is a figure central to L. A. history of the late 20th century and has been called a groupie and a socialite.

She is also the author of Fiorucci: The Book (1980), a book which has become very expensive.

However, you can read the text of Fiorucci: The Book in I Used to Be Charming: The Rest of Eve Babitz (2019).

RIP bell hooks (1952 – 2021)

bell hooks was an American author and social activist, working in the intersectionality of race, capitalism, and gender.

bell hooks interviewed by Charlie Rose in 1995

She is perhaps best known for Ain’t I a Woman?(1981).

I first came into contact with her work by way of Angry Women (1991), a book in the RE/Search series.

She also wrote on Paris Is Burning (1990) in a vocabulary typical of her corpus:

“Within white supremacist, capitalist, patriarchy the experience of men dressing as women, appearing in drag, has always been regarded by the dominant heterosexist cultural gaze as a sign that one is symbolically crossing over from a realm of power into a realm of powerlessness.”

bell hooks on Paris is Burning in a piece published in Black Hooks (1992)

Each of these words, white, supremacist, capitalist, patriarchal, hetero-sexist sounds as meaningful and portentous as vacuous and meaningless. It is a description of a state of affairs that betrays a desire for change. The form of this change, however, is not spelled out. Would bell hooks prefer communism instead of capitalism?

Nevertheless, looking at old interviews on Charlie Rose, bell hooks comes across as a gentle, well-read and smart woman.

RIP Joe Simon (1936 – 2021)

“Love Vibration” (1978) by Joe Simon

Joe Simon was an American singer who worked in the soul and R&B idioms. Well-known recordings are “The Chokin’ Kind” (1967) and “Drowning in the Sea of Love” (1971).

But I give you “Love Vibration” (1978) because Larry Levan used to played it at the Paradise Garage.

Be sure to also check “The Chokin’ Kind” for its interesting percussion. Morevoer, that song was written by Harlan Howard, the same songwriter who gave us country music favorite “No Charge”.