The Friends of California Libre...

20 May 2008

To My Beloved Guru, a Screed for Dr. Hofmann

Greetings, friends,
Even though I'm in the depressive side of my m/d cycle, it is hard to be sad when the air becomes so wonderfully sultry, no one can sleep until 3 or 4 in the morning, and across the city are splashes of purple, because the jacarandas are suddenly in bloom.

I also happy, finally, to congratulate my aunt Nona, Scott, David, Joe, Maynard, and any of my friends who have achieved the civil rights the rest of us take for granted:
California Court Affirms Right to Gay Marriage
By Adam Liptak
The New York Times

While I don't want to denigrate the efforts of our friends in Canada or Spain or New England, this is a huge day for human rights.  California is a major state in the world, with lots of lawyers, and soon rich, powerful gay couples from here will be traveling and moving and demanding their rights.  I predict plenty of suits and more religious zealots shaking their fists at the Golden State.  Shake away, baby...I'm shaking back, just a bit lower down.

On a note of real reverence, our comrade in New York, Mr. Spagnuolo, broke this news to me the other day:
LSD Inventor Dead

Yes, at the tender age of 102, the Swiss chemist Dr. Hofmann, who definitely changed my life for the better, has gone on to a better place.  It is inconceivable not to honor this gentleman with a wake.  The date I suggest is next weekend, 25 or 26 May (Memorial Day).  I hope all of you within the range of this screed will make the most of it, but here in Los Angeles, I want to meet somewhere out beyond the county line in Malibu, or perhaps in the depths of Topanga Canyon, to celebrate the life of Dr. Hofmann.  If you are interested, please drop me a line.  Even as you sleep and work, I am making the arrangements, and I look forward to sharing a lovely day with you.

If you want to know more, you can find it here:

Or perhaps this is more to your liking:
Infamous Dragnet "Blue Boy" LSD scene

That's how we do it in Cali. - Nearly 100 arrested in California university drug bust  
Or like this...another reason to hate Tom Cruise:

Tom Cruise to sue manufacturers of medical marijuana named after him

On that note, I'd also like you to know that Mr. Weigel has another album out, and will be playing in San Francisco early next month:

With a nod to another historic mind-addler:
Absinthe's Mind-Altering Mystery Solved

Perhaps great minds are being born even now, as we sleep, ready to save civilization (as I'm just about ready to pass the baton.)  I hope so because here's another one we lost along the way:

Edward Lorenz, Father of Chaos Theory and Butterfly Effect, Dies at 90

April 2008 obituary for Edward Lorenz, "an MIT meteorologist who tried to explain why it is so hard to make good weather forecasts and wound up unleashing a scientific revolution called chaos theory [in the 1960s]." His observations "that small differences in a dynamic system such as the atmosphere ... could trigger vast and often unsuspected results" led him to formulate what became known as the butterfly effect. From the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

And another:

And another:

Eugenia P. Butler, 61; conceptual artist explored perceptions,1,248584.story

And I found this loss particularly disturbing:
** 'World peace' hitcher is murdered **
A female Italian artist hitch-hiking to the Middle East to promote world peace is murdered in Turkey.
< >

I was also sorry to hear that Johnny Byrne, an Irish writer in England, died earlier this year.  Byrne was a principal writer for the classic early "Doctor Who", that ran on the BBC from 1963 to 1989 (and began again in 2005):

For those of us who are fans of this show, Doctor Who was probably as influential as Doctor Hofmann!  But unlike Dr. Hofmann, this doctor persists...hard to imagine, but they are now on the TENTH doctor.  Anyway, Byrne was also a principal writer for "Space:  1999", and if you don't remember this sci-fi classic of the disco era, here's a taste:

And also for "UFO"...if only 1980 had really been like this:

Just one more; it would not be right to honor all those who left us in the spring without a moment for Chris Gaffney of the  Hacienda Brothers:

And now, to cheer you up, something completely different...from very dead people to the very alive and very French mother of
writer Michel Houellebecq:
Just in time for Mothers Day!

How could you not revel in bountiful life, as my beloved guru, Dr. Hofmann, when young girls like Miley Cyrus are exposing themselves?  Oh puleeze, as she might say.  A 15 year old girl showing her BARE BACK.  Don't these people EVER get outside?  By the Goddess, doesn't this mild-mannered redneck, disguised as Hannah Montana, have enough trouble?

Miley Cyrus wants to be 'the girl no guy can get'

I mean, seriously, gag me with a spoon:

Christina Ricci wants to dedicate her career to family films

Well, it doesn't matter.  Sex is over.  Men are disappearing about 150,000 years, there won't be anyone left but women and their "assistive technology":'s_Curse

Unless we get there sooner:
Police: Motorcyclist flipped bird, popped wheelie, crashed
Man arrested for allegedly punching camel at Six Flags
Yankees-Red Sox argument ends in murder?

Although the very worst of all, a sure sign that man's dominion over the Earth is doomed, might be this guy...and there's no other way to put it (sorry, Mom) but to say he was fucking a picnic table.

That was in Ohio...didn't Hillary Clinton win that state?  Right, all my people, or I should say, my uneducated people have been voting for her in droves.  I'm almost embarrassed to come from Scots-Irish trash now...I was pondering just the other day how the mighty have fallen.  Perhaps it was while watching "Escándalo do an expose on yet another hapless Mexican singer and thinking, are these the children of warriors who, not five-hundred years ago, were ripping the beating hearts from their Spanish Conquistadores (or having their own hearts ripped out, natch)?  What is happening to our primitive selves, are we being softened up for the kill like those human in "The Twilight Zone"...TO SERVE MAN?  "It''s a COOKBOOK!"

I'd thought the same in Italy, catching a snippet of some topless game show and wondering what had become of my cousins who once enjoyed the blood-sport of the Colisseum.  Or a few weeks ago, when I saw the awful movie "Songcatcher" about some hoity-toity professor who gets off (literally) on recording the music of the Scots-Irish in Appalachia and thought, is this what my people, who used to enjoy killing Englishmen, Irish, Indians and Yankees, are reduced to?  Are we just going to get fat and watch Paula White?  What's happened to us, where we let poor kids in shitty neighborhoods do all our killing for us and where a million people in Pennsylvania can flip a lever for the Clintons?

Sorry, I had to throw that one in there.  I had the small satisfaction of seeing my people down in the Carolinas make Sophie's Choice.

Obama as Anti-Christ

Does the Book of Revelation describe the anti-Christ as someone with characteristics matching those of Barack Obama?

I was bemused recently by the remarks made in reference to the "bitter" working class people of America.  Has no one taken a drive lately?  My only beef with Mr. Obama is that country folk are relatively benign (unless you get caught out there at night...oooh, spooky.)  The real bitter people are in the 'burbs.
Why Shouldn't We Be Bitter?
By Michael Winship
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Like John McCain isn't an even bigger fucking snob, a former-POW Navy brat from Alexandria living in Phoenix.  He must DESPISE rednecks.  Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, well, she MARRIED one.

It's not surprising that Barack Obama doesn't know much about rednecks...though his mother and her parents were from Kansas, he grew up in Hawaii, moved to Indonesia, went to college here in LA, and then transferred to Columbia University.  He probably became exposed to real Americans like I did...stopping as truck stops on the Interstate.  Yeecch.

I like this triangulation of his recent speech on race in America with a speech Abraham Lincoln made during his campaign:
Two Speeches on Race
By Garry Wills
The New York Review of Books

Not that blacks, Latinos and any other race in America can't have some redneck qualities:

I Have a WHAT?

News report shows Martin Luther King Day celebrants holding misspelled signs.

Or that the US is way ahead of the curve on racial relations:
US Quietly Breaks UN Discrimination Treaty
By Leslie Griffith
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Here's a redneck making a move I've been waiting Beth put it so succinctly, "Obama/Edwards = eye candy":
John Edwards Endorses Barack Obama
By John Sullivan and Julie Bosman
The New York Times

This is going to be a fun summer:
Already, Obama and McCain Map Fall Strategies
By Adam Nagourney and Jeff Zeleny
The New York Times
Obama Would Ask His AG to "Immediately Review" Potential of Crimes in Bush White House
By Will Bunch
The Philadelphia Daily News
What Obama Can't Do for the Progressive Movement
By Joe Brewer and Evan Frisch
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
(thanks, Beth)
One more reason to support john mccain ;)

Hard to believe, but we've only got 10 more months of Mr. Bush to look forward to:
81 Percent in US Poll Say Nation Is on the Wrong Track
By David Leonhardt and Marjorie Connelly
The International Herald Tribune
The Great Silence:  Our Gilded Age and Theirs
By Steve Fraser
Conservative Bias Alleged in Textbook
The Associated Press
USA 2008: The Great Depression
We knew things were bad on Wall Street, but on Main Street it may be worse. Startling official statistics show that as a new economic recession stalks the United States, a record number of Americans will shortly be depending on food stamps just to feed themselves and their families.

I'm not as worried about the election as my father; John McCain, once you dig down an inch, is a real piece of work.
McCain More Conservative Than His Image
The Associated Press
The Man Who Would Be Bush
By Robert Scheer
10 things you should know about John McCain (but probably don't):
McCain vs. McCain
By Fareed Zakaria
How McCain Lost in Pennsylvania
By Frank Rich
The New York Times

There's been a lot of chat about the Rev. Wright's impact on Mr. Obama, but wait until more people discover Mr. McCain's friend the Reverend John Hagee, a wonderful televangelist in Texas who's entertained me for years:
The All-White Elephant in the Room
By Frank Rich
The New York Times
The Right's America-Hating Preacher
By Robert Parry
Consortium News

The good news is, after George these Bible thumpers feel a little cheated by politics:
US Evangelicals Call for Step Back From Politics
By Ed Stoddard

I think we may be preparing for the end of the world in 2012 with a return to the New Age.  Exploring my new digital TV receiver the other night, I came across "Chantal:  Live at the Pyramids", a Canadian singer born in Egypt, performing in Giza with the Cairo Orchestra and a huge chorus of white clad singers...a scene right out of a James Bond movie.  Not really...the only movie moment I could really compare it to would be the scene where the Playboy Bunnies entertain the troops in "Apocalypse Now".  I wished for our old friend Bill Graham to show up and set off a gas canister.
Chantal Chamandy - Beladi - A Night At The Pyramids

I want to clarify, before I start arguing with all my friends, that John McCain is probably the best candidate the Republicans have put up since Bob Dole in '96 and Barry Goldwater in '64 (sorry, but the Arizona roots run deep.)  He's not some scumbag Christian oil industry coward with Yale Nazi roots.  His father and grandfather were both admirals, and he survived three plane crashes before he even got to 'Nam.  He saved another pilot and nearly got blown to smithereens in the Forrestal fire, and then spent almost 6 years in the Hanoi Hilton.  Sure, he took $100K off Charles Keating in the Eighties, but on average he hates the corporate scum who shorted his boys in 'Nam even more than you do.  In short, you may not want him running the United States, but he's not as easily dismissed as George Bush; John McCain is like that obnoxious father of your friend that likes to be a prick and you've got to deal with him.

You can start by dealing with this:

And hope that this isn't true:

Diebold Accidentally Leaks Results Of 2008 Election Early

Hey, they do things different in AZ:
Arizona City Seeks Moat to Secure Mexico Border
By Tim Gaynor

Instead of fearing Mexico, we should do the smart thing and do to them what we did to it up and exploit it!
South of the Border
By Ike Wilson
The Frederick News-Post

Seriously, the world is in trouble, and we need to help:
Six Crises That Jostle the World
By Marie-Béatrice Baudet
Le Monde
Tomato Pickers Say Burger King Spies on Allies
By Tiffany Ten Eyck
Labor Notes

But in honor of my beloved guru, Dr. Hofmann, I'd like to talk about what is going on in the rest of the world.  Especially during this election year, we are looking inward here in America.  But that's when we need to be most aware.
Study: 93% Of People Talked About Once They Leave Room

For example, I saw a lot of bad press recently because a nice old man in Austria was keeping his daughter locked in the basement for twenty years, fucking her and breeding.  Is that so unusual?
Austria appeals for witnesses to incest horror

The Chancellor decided to start a campaign to "restore Austria's image abroad".  That's nice.  I'd suggest taking back Südtirol from Italy (Günther likes this idea already) and perhaps executing the surviving Habsburgs for starters.  Here's how you DON'T do it:
Austrian rugby strip show caught on video

Hmm.  Well, in the similarly mountainous nation of Nepal, they also got rid of the monarchy and had their first election since 1999:
Nepal Begins Tallying Votes
The Associated Press

Surprise surprise, you let people vote and look what they do:
Maoist Victory in Nepal: View From India
By J. Sri Raman
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Boo hoo, after years of misery the small country of Paraguay also kicked out the jams, but you didn't hear it on the evening news:
Paraguay Elects Ex-Bishop as New President
By Patrick J. McDonnell
The Los Angeles Times

Democracy has a way of biting you in the ass:
Ecuador's Leader Purges Military and Moves to Expel American Base
By Simon Romero
The New York Times

The American response is typical; reform the 4th Fleet, which was disbanded in 1950:
US Navy Deploys Around Latin America
By Lamia Oualalou
Le Figaro

We should be doing it like they do it in Brazil:
Firm in trouble for slum tour with a twist

Well, maybe not.  Perhaps like they're doing it in Canada?  Here's an article by a woman who moved from the US to Canada and was  blown away by how NICE they are, and she lived in the Bay Area...which is like what, 10 times nicer than LA?
Outright Barbarism vs. the Civil Society
By Sara Robinson
Campaign for America's Future

And a much better place to get sick:
Mythbusting Canadian Health Care
By Sara Robinson

I was recently reading about the Rebellion of 1837, when the working class English and French residents of Canada banded together against the English aristocracy running the country, and tried to create a republic based on the United States (which had attacked Canada for resources 25 years earlier.)  William Lyon Mackenzie, one of the leaders, spent nine years in exile in the US after the rebellion failed, and wrote to his son "after what I have seen here, I frankly confess to you that, had I passed nine years in the United States before, instead of after, the outbreak, I am sure I would have been the last man in America to be engaged in it."  Nasty.

Yeah, we have a way of inspiring from a distance, and then poisoning the atmosphere up close.  One problem with whacking a hornet's nest, is that you must expect to get stung:
Crude Jolt for US as Iran Scraps Oil Trade in Dollar
The Economic Times
Dollar's Clout Sinks Worldwide
By Alan Clendenning
The Associated Press

International experts foresee collapse of U.S. economy

Not that Iran is a political monolith, as our government would have you think:
Iranian Blogosphere Tests Government's Limits
By Neil MacFarquhar
The New York Times

In Europe, as I've stated many times, they do things differently:
Europeans Are From Venus
By Geoffrey Wheatcroft
The New York Times | Book Review

And their model seems to work, doesn't it?
Eurozone posts EUR 28.3bn trade surplus for 2007
The eurozone countries chalked up a trade surplus of EUR 28.3bn in 2007 despite record strength of the euro last year, first official EU estimate shows.

There are always problems, as we have here:
Spanish unemployment up for first time since 2003
by Editor
MADRID, Jan 25, 2008 (AFP) - Spain's unemployment rate rose to 8.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007 from 8.3 percent in the year-earlier period, the first such rise since 2003, the national statistics institute said Friday.
Click here to read more on our site

And they still have plenty of petty squabbles left over that were not solved by the bloodletting of World War II:

I'm also sorry to see that Italy cannot get its act together; anyone who thinks Europe or even a single part of it is monolithic needs to read this:

At least the pigeon problem is under control:
Venice to fine tourists who feed pigeons

And I discovered recently that Piaggio is making the last Vespas this year...there are only 1000 left!
Vespa P 125 X "Ultima Serie"

Meanwhile, across the border in France, the Citroën 2CV celebrated its 60th anniversary this year!  This car went out of production in 1990 but like the VW Bug, there are still plenty of them all over the world:

Anyway, now that we've moved over to la France...
Best Baguette in Paris Award 2008
Our selection of the best bakeries in Paris
Fogón restaurant - Spain in the heart of Paris

Or a prize more to my liking:
Paris gets racy Guide to Pretty Women

And if you go soon, you could go in style:
France's Le Pen selling bullet-proof car on eBay

Which you might need if you whack a hornet's nest in Paris:
Protest Disrupts Torch Relay in Paris
By Katrin Bennhold and John F. Burns
The New York Times
Olympic Torch Relay Descends Into Chaos
By Jerome Pugmire and Elaine Ganley
The Associated Press

Even so, who wouldn't want the peace and quiet of the European countryside?

Courtney Love to leave L.A. for English countryside

"Washington, Mar 24 : American rock singer Courtney Love is eager for a more sedate kind of lifestyle, and wants to leave her hectic life in "dirty" L.A. behind to settle in the English countryside."

And this Brit thinks he has something on us:

Rupert Grint cuts move to LA

Finally, as someone with a fondness for "port cities" like Oakland, New Orleans, and Long Beach, I'm very glad to see that the home of the Beatles, Liverpool, has become a target for restoration:

But I'm not beyond posting some awful jokes about Liverpool, courtesy of Barry Neaves of Portsmouth; just so you know, Liverpudlians are somewhat insulting known as Scousers by "Mancs" from rival Manchester...

1)  Three Americans and three Scousers become friends in Liverpool and decide to take an excursion out to Blackpool.  At the train station, the three Americans each buy tickets and watch as the Scousers buy only a single ticket.  "How are all three of you going to travel on only one ticket?" asked one of the Americans.  "Watch," answers a Scouser.

After they board the train, the Americans take their seats but all three Scousers cram into the toilet and close the door behind them.  Shortly after the train departs, the conductor comes round collecting tickets.  He knocks on the toilet door and says, "Ticket, please."  The door opens a crack and a single arm emerges with a ticket in hand.  The conductor takes it and moves on.  The Americans saw this and agreed it was quite a clever idea.  So, on the return trip from Blackpool, the Americans decide to copy the Scousers and save some money.  When they get to the station, they buy a single ticket.  To their astonishment, the Scousers don't buy a ticket at all.  "How are you going to travel without any ticket?" asks one of the perplexed Americans.  "Watch," answers a Scouser.

When they board the train the three Americans cram into a toilet.  The train departs.  Shortly afterward, one of the Scousers walks over to the toilet where the Americans are hiding.  He knocks on the door and says, "Ticket, please".

2)  Three men, a Scouser, a Manc and a Rasta, are all in the maternity ward waiting for their partners to give birth.  The midwife comes out and tells them, "Congratulations, you're all fathers of beautiful healthy boys.  However, unfortunately we've had a bit of a mix-up and run out of name-tags, so if you could each go in and help identify your son..."  The Manc rushes in first and comes out with a black baby.  The Rasta looks a bit confused, and says, "Excuse me, but don't you think he's likely to be mine?"

"Probably," says the Manc, "but one of them in there's a Scouser, and I'm taking no chances!"

3)  A Scouser girl goes to the local council to claim benefit.  "How many children do you have?" asks the benefit officer.
"I have ten kids," replies the Scouser.
"Ten?" says the benefit officer.  "That's quite a lot!  Well, what are their names?"
"Wayne, Wayne, Wayne, Wayne, Wayne, Wayne, Wayne, Wayne, Wayne and Wayne."
"Ummm, do you not get confused with them all having the same name?" the benefit officer asks suspiciously.
"Nahhh," replies the Scouser, "it's great when they're out in the street playing, for I only have to call 'Wayne' once and they all come running!"
"What if you want to speak to one of them individually?" asks the benefit officer.
"Oh, that's easy too," replies the Scouser, "I just use their last names!"

I'll bet Gwyneth Paltrow would laugh...if she's drunk on Guinness!

Vive le screed!

No comments :

Facebook Blog Networks

Valid Atom 1.0!
To subscribe via e-mail, fill out the form at ; for RSS readers, use the feed link at FeedBurner , or this drop-down menu: