The Friends of California Libre...

03 November 2001

Trouble in Paradise

Okay, friends, here's some more food for thought.

Back in the Sixties, Kenneth Anger (author of "Hollywood Babylon" and cultish underground filmmaker) was hanging out with the Rolling Stones. He wore this large onyx bauble around his neck, which he was told could present visions of the future. One day, Keith Richards was looking into the onyx, and saw a vision of a tower covered in blood. Thus inspired, he wrote the song "Ruby Tuesday" for Kenneth and not, as many assumed, for his girlfriend Anita Pallenberg.

This story came from Anger's friend David Del Valle. My incredulous reaction was, "Are you saying that "Ruby Tuesday" was Keith Richards predicting the destruction of the World Trade Center over thirty years ago?" David replied: "That's exactly what I'm saying." David also intimated that more such goodies could be found in his gossip column for "Films in Review". What do rock musicians staring into shiny stones have to do with an arcane journal of film criticism? That question, my friends, I leave to you:

Leaving work a few days ago, already a little rattled by our "emergency evacuation drill" (which destroyed any notion of safety we still harbored at the Central Library), several of us witnessed an unusual sight. A homeless guy we know as the "Mumbler" (in contrast to the "Screamer" or the "Boxer"), who usually sits at one corner of the building, having intense one-sided conversations with pedestrians, was standing in the middle of the Hope Street entrance, pointing some kind of remote control into the library. Oblivious to us, he pointed the remote inside and pushed it emphatically, like he was trying to shut down the whole building. I've seen a lot of weird shit around the library, but this took the cake.

Favorite Hallowe'en comments of 2001: (To a normally dressed guy) "Who are you supposed to be?" "I'm dressed like a guy wearing the same outfit as last year, except I forgot to wear it." (To a woman in a wire-hanger contraption) "That's a great costume." "I wear it all the time, but only on Hallowe'en do I get compliments."

Finally, I finally saw "JFK". What a piece of shit. It did, however, remind me fondly of two friends up in Santa Cruz, thanks, Beth and Bill, though I think Beth would be a lot more aggressive than Sissy Spacek (think "JFK" meets "Carrie"). It also made me think that, God forbid, the 11 September movie should be directed by Oliver Stone. He'd set the whole thing in one tiny windowless room in New York City, full of smoke, with a bunch of guys sweating and accusing at each other. I can't wait.

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