Yes, the nights are getting longer, and soon my favorite cashmere coat is coming out, Peg Entwistle is down from the Hollywood sign and Halloween is less than 6 weeks away. YIKES!
First of all, congratulations to Mark Norris, who bested his competition in the "Pitch Contest" at the New York Television Festival and talked his way into a real TV gig (the last paragraph of this article):
Although my future hasn't changed as drastically, the book I did with Crissy Sullivan and Ray Pettibon will be on the way to New York next week, and pretty soon we'll have a date with destiny, hmm? You'll be the first to know.
Anyway, as part of the celebration of Peg 10½, the Autumnal Equinoxe and the completion of my 41st year on planet Earth, I took a roll down to Baja and spent last weekend with one nice young lady and four maniacs right on the lovely beach of La Misión. This was indeed an exploration of the past--I hadn't been south of Tijuana since Geri & Miles wedding in 1997 (!) and not to Ensenada since the last 1980s. As I've noted in Tijuana, grown fat, rich and corrupt, northern Baja has been transformed by a flood of money from Alta California; here's a commie rant about it:
Border Invaders: The Perfect Swarm Heads South
By Mike Davis
It's going to take more than a few supermarkets and some condo highrises to scare me. I'm sure the Cachanillas are just as happily shocked by their popularity as we are here in LA. No, the coast is still as beautiful as it looked to me sneaking across the border in 1983. Woo hoo! I had a moment of sad parting with the S.S. Catalina (photo enclosed), known to you LA old-timers as the "Great White Steamer", which sailed across the channel from Pedro to Avalon from 1924 to 1975, and was eventually dumped in Ensenada Harbor. The ship eventually filled with water and settled on a sandbar (which is repairable) and according to the locals, broke in half last year (which is not). Poor, poor steamer, I barely remember ye. It looks so small in my photo, I've enclosed one from the glory days so you can see how large it is...now it's filled, eerily, with barking seals. Some folks are trying to save the ship here, but I can't say I hold out much hope for them:
On the brighter side, I took a small detour on the drive down to pay another visit to Queen Califia's Magical Circle (photo enclosed) in Escondido, the last major project by artist Niki de St. Phalle, which I was introduced to last year by Dr. Bays. Not only is it one of my very favorite pieces of art, it's also the most generous tribute to California I can imagine. To give you some idea of the scale, the figure of Queen Califia on the back of the giant parrot is 11 feet tall (note the tourist at the lower left); and that's not paint, but a lovely mosaic of glass and ceramic tiles. I'd say it's worth a trip all by itself...let me know so I can give you directions, because amazingly there is not one sign for the place, but you can see other photos here:
Speaking of art, while I was gone apparently I missed Banksy's LA premiere...poor me.
Pink elephants, cockroaches star in LA art show
I also forgot, for an unbroken streak of many years, to remind you about TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY, which was last Tuesday (thanks, Mike):
How about a real pirate, whose ship was recently discovered in the terrible barrier islands of North Carolina:
Illustrated presentation about Blackbeard, "the most notorious pirate in the history of seafaring," and his flagship the Queen Anne's Revenge. Features an overview of the "Golden Age of Piracy" (1689-1718) and details about archaeological activities related to the shipwreck presumed to be the remains of the Queen Anne's Revenge (off the Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina). From the North Carolina Maritime Museum.
Not that we don't have enough pirates in the world; this guy's been taking lessons from Blackbeard and Zizou both!
Romanian FA ban coach for headbutting his own player
The last date I guess needs mentioning, natch, was the late great 11 September. It's been 5 years and all the movies are coming out...how many years before we can start the sacrilegious jokes? Oh please, allow me to go first...well, maybe not, I can hear some of my friends in New York getting offended 3600 miles away. I do have to say this, though, my first thought on "Patriot Day" was a line from "Thundercrack!", a perverse movie from the 1970s. A guy picks up a hitchhiker and they observe a terrible road accident; the hitchhiker says, "We've got to go back! There might be people dying back there!" The driver tightens his hands on the wheel and replies, "There are people dying up ahead too."
Anyway, I distinctly recall telling Mrs. Beth that once we killed 3,000 people in Afghanistan, we should call it even and get the hell out. Well, it's a little too late for that now.
US Deaths in Iraq, War on Terror Surpass 9/11 Toll
Yeah, and we sure got our revenge, didn't we?
Return to Kandahar: The Taliban Threat
By Nelofer Pazira
The Belfast Telegraph UK
But we've got our dead heroes, the best kind, because they can't talk back:
Oliver Stone, 9/11, and the Big Lie
By Ruth Rosen
I mean, as I was reminded by this anti-Semitic Norwegian bastard down in Mexico, the Jews control Hollywood anyway, so the Arabs haven't got a chance, right? And neither does the truth, at least the way they paint it.
Gibson's Anti-Semitic Tirade -- Alleged Cover Uphttp://www.tmz.com/2006/07/28/gibsons-anti-semitic-tirade-alleged-cover-up/
I mean, if Mel can let it all hang out, why not?
Naked women leave police speechless
Life is short, as we keep getting reminded, so use it wisely...
Austrians urged to count dog droppings
Let's celebrate 11 September with more love and less killin', eh?
Norman Solomon Bush vs. Ahmadinejad: A TV Debate We'll Never See
"When Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, invited President Bush to engage in a 'direct television debate' a few days ago, the White House predictably responded by calling the offer 'a diversion.' But even though this debate will never happen, it's worth contemplating," writes Norman Solomon.
Well, in the Name of 11 September, I kinda doubt it...I have the bad feeling that in a few years 2006 will look like the calm before the storm:
Israel Plans for War With Iran and Syria
By Uzi Mahnaimi and Sarah Baxter
The Times UK
What Would War Look Like?
By Michael Duffy
Just remember this November, when you ALL VOTE, how the Fed took advantage of 3,000 people getting iced in the World Trade Center:
Bush Calls for Greater Wiretap Authority
By Anushka Asthana and Karen DeYoung
The Washington Post
Hidden Depths to US Monitoring
By Josh Meyer
The Los Angeles Times
Bush to Open New Maximum-Security Jail at Guantanamo
The controversy over the US-run detention centre at Guantanamo Bay is to erupt anew with confirmation by the Pentagon that a new, permanent prison will open in the Cuban enclave in the next few weeks. Campaigners pointed to Mr. Bush's claim earlier this summer that he would "like to close" Guantanamo. The revelation that Camp 6 is poised to open is proof that he intends to keep using the prison.
Bush Submits New Terror Detainee Bill
By Anne Plummer Flaherty
The Associated Press
Some people fight back, even some of George Bush's best pals:
Republican Says We Need a Dem Congress
The following is a letter from former Republican Congressman and Presidential candidate Pete McCloskey.
David Corn In the NSA Case, a Judge Says No to King George
In ruling on Thursday that the Bush administration's warrantless surveillance program is unconstitutional and must be halted, US District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor slammed the White House on several critical fronts. "In her decision," writes David Corn, "she accused the administration of dishonestly arguing that the lawsuit filed by the ACLU and others (including journalists, researchers and lawyers) against the NSA wiretapping should be dismissed because it would expose state secrets."
McCain Faults Bush Administration on Iraq
Republican Senator John McCain, a staunch defender of the Iraq war, on Tuesday faulted the Bush administration for misleading Americans into believing the conflict would be "some kind of day at the beach."
Shays Urges Iraq Withdrawal
By Anushka Asthana
The Washington Post
Senate Panel Defies Bush on Detainee Bill
By David Stout
The New York Times
And see where it gets them?
Bush Says GOP Rebels Are Putting Nation at Risk
By Jim Rutenberg and Sheryl Gay Stolberg
The New York Times
Dissidents' Detainee Bill May Face Filibuster
By Charles Babington and Jonathan Weisman
The Washington Post
I mean, these people are so fucking patriotic...
How the US Super-Rich "Dodge" Taxes
A Senate probe that has examined hundreds of documents and issued 74 subpoenas turns a spotlight on the murky tax dealings of some of America's richest citizens.
Tax Cheats Called Out of Control
So many super-rich Americans evade taxes using offshore accounts that law enforcement cannot control the growing misconduct, according to a Senate report that provides the most detailed look ever at high-level tax schemes.
They're also very pious:
IRS Warns Churches to Stay Neutral on Politics
By Stephen Clark
The Los Angeles Times
But the truth has a way of coming out, even through the smoke of 11 September:
Church May Fight IRS Summons Over Anti-War Sermon
By Scott Glover and Louis Sahagun
The Los Angeles Times
FOCUS Religious Left Gears Up to Fight Back
With a faith-based agenda of their own, liberal and progressive clergy from various denominations are lobbying lawmakers, holding rallies and publicizing their positions. They want to end the Iraq war, ease global warming, combat poverty, raise the minimum wage, revamp immigration laws, and prevent "immoral" cuts in federal social programs.
Our neighbors have their complaints, although this one rings a bit false, since the Canadians narked this guy out, one of their own citizens:
Canada May Protest US Treatment of Tortured Man
But gang-bang as the Fed "war on terror" may seem, the President is the Monster-in-Chief; he bears the responsibility, and he'll bear the onus in history:
Could Bush Be Prosecuted for War Crimes?
By Jan Frel
Bush Aims to Kill War Crimes Act
By Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith
Access the sent link:
SignOnSanDiego.com News Nation -- Proposed War Crimes Act protection for Bush administration would apply retroactively*
Bush Attempts to Change War Crimes Act to Avoid Prosecution
The Bush administration has drafted amendments to a war crimes law that would eliminate the risk of prosecution for political appointees, CIA officers and former military personnel for humiliating or degrading war prisoners, according to US officials and a copy of the amendments.
Remember 11 September, friends, but also remember to VOTE on 7 November:
Daniel Ellsberg Not in Our Name: The Voters' Pledge
"Americans must summon the civil courage to face what is being done in their name and to refuse to be accomplices. The Voters' Pledge is one way to do this. The Voters' Pledge is a project comprising many of the major organizations in the anti-war movement - United for Peace and Justice, Peace Action, Gold Star Families for Peace, Code Pink, and Democracy Rising - as well as groups with broader agendas like the National Organization for Women, Progressive Democrats of America, AfterDowningStreet.com, and magazines including the American Conservative and The Nation. The goal of this coalition is to build a base of anti-war voters that cannot be ignored by anyone running for office in the United States. We want millions of voters to sign the pledge and say no to pro-war candidates," writes Daniel Ellsberg.
Vive le screed!