You’re No Good

The streets of Toronto in 1965 provide the backdrop for this punk / delinquent short film (28min), featuring a 25 year old Michael Sarrazin as a bored, alienated youth.    Filmed as a straight social commentary, the director uses some heavy-handed “symbolism,” which is so crude it works as a sort of cartoonish surrealist overlay […]

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Bob Dobbs was right… Wage Slaves must slack

Reading Jennifer Szalai’s article on Dwight MacDonald’s Masscult and Midcult in this week’s Nation, gave me pause to reflect on that seemingly outmoded way of characterizing the tension between high culture (the art of museums and mid-town cinematheques) and the kibble for the rest of us low-lifes, otherwise known as kitsch. When I first encountered MacDonald’s […]

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OccupyMeme

As Occupy Wall Street has grown from a demonstration to a social movement, it is inspiring to see many good things emerging.  Perhaps the most basic triumph of the Occupy movement has been to wrench the agenda away from the preposterous “all terror all the time” and “infinite war” protocols that have infested the public […]

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I’m Gandalf and Magneto, Get Over It

Although it is apparently a spoof made with Photoshop, I enjoyed this image of Sir Ian McKellan, who marched in London to protest the Pope.  Joining a crowd of thousands, the caption on the actor’s shirt actually read:  “Some people are gay, get over it.”   Of course, the really amazing spectacle has got to be […]

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The Situationist International redux

Here is a short documentary on the Situationists movement (in three parts) related to a show: “On the passage of a few people through a brief moment in time. The Situationist International (1957-1972),” which was exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston (October 20, 1989-January 7, 1990).  Thanks to Tosh Berman (publisher of […]

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Comité de salut public: “Monsieur, it’s time to go!”

Portrait of Marat While reading the remarkable book by R.R. Palmer, Twelve Who Ruled, the Year of Terror in the French Revolution, I began to wonder what sort of monstrous evils can be unleashed in the name of “protecting the people,” or in the French example, both liberating them from a corrupt aristocracy while at […]

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Having your Stalinist Cake & Eating it, too

I’ve had these wrappers laying around on my desk for over a year, already, sheesh!   Elizabeth Kaske brought them when she visited us for a brunch last summer, explaining that her Russian friend always had plenty to share.  These chocolates are part of the Red October (??????? ???????) series of confections, commemorating the Soviet takeover […]

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