Archive for May, 2008

youth steals car on his birthday

Posted in history, los angeles, made in usa, youth culture on May 23, 2008 by All Conference Vintage


Youth steals car on his birthday… Hollywood station, 1952
Description:
2 images. Youth steals car on his birthday… Hollywood station, 21 March 1952. Detective Sergeant C.C. Forbes; Reid Collett — 19 years (stole car, purportedly to go to his residence for a topcoat, due to bitter cold winds).

from USC Digital Library

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The Masque of Red Death promotional art

Posted in how much art can you take?, movies on May 22, 2008 by All Conference Vintage

via Dr. Hermes

The Temptation of St. Anthony

Posted in reading list, religion on May 22, 2008 by All Conference Vintage


“The Temptation of St. Anthony”, Bernardo Parenzano, c. 1494

“And the devil, unhappy wight, one night even took upon him the shape of a woman and imitated all her acts simply to beguile Antony. But he, his mind filled with Christ and the nobility inspired by Him, and considering the spirituality of the soul, quenched the coal of the other’s deceit. Again the enemy suggested the ease of pleasure. But he like a man filled with rage and grief turned his thoughts to the threatened fire and the gnawing worm, and setting these in array against his adversary, passed through the temptation unscathed. All this was a source of shame to his foe.” – St. Athanasius “Vita Antoni” c. 356-364

Crudos at Chaos en Tejas 5/17/2008

Posted in Uncategorized on May 18, 2008 by All Conference Vintage

Making of America: the Cornell University Library digital library

Posted in history, made in usa on May 15, 2008 by All Conference Vintage

From the website:
Materials accessible here are Cornell University’s library’s
contributions to Making of America (MOA), a digital library of primary sources in American social history from the Antebellum period through Reconstruction. The collection is particularly strong in the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. This site provides access to 267 monograph volumes and over 100,000 journal articles with 19th century imprints. The project represents a major collaborative endeavor in preservation and electronic access to historical texts.
Wow, this searchable (!) digital library captures what I love about living in the future- it seems as though the sum total of human knowledge and experience is but a few mere keystrokes away. This is a startlingly interesting treasure trove of American history. For example, a cursory seach for “baseball” leads one to the fully digitized copy of the May 1899 issue of The Atlantic monthly, which beyond a brief mention of baseball, also features an article by William James about his pioneering work in the new (at the time) field of psychology and an article by photographer Jacob Riis discussing the aftermath of the publication of How the Other Half Lives in the same issue. Idle searching turns up a wonderful article entitled “In defense of pugilism”, a search for “huckster” turns up an absolutely fascinating article about Peter Idlewild, the railroad king and robber-baron. Tangential searching and reading reveals marvelous turns of phrase around every corner: “going through the gloomy portals of the Tombs”- “the chain of bluffs frowned with batteries on the summit and sides”–“Your average thief looks in the crowd, says Byron, exactly like the rest or rather better”.
I have found my ultimate time-waster.

excerpt from George Jean Nathan and H. L. Mencken’s "The American Credo: A Contribution Toward the Interpretation of the National Mind" 1920

Posted in made in usa, reading list on May 13, 2008 by All Conference Vintage

“There is no American who cannot hope to lift himself another notch or two, if he is good; there is absolutely no hard and fast impediment to his progress. But neither is there any American who doesn’t have to keep on fighting for whatever position he has; no wall of caste is there to protect him if he slips.”

overthinking Iron Cross

Posted in punk rock on May 13, 2008 by All Conference Vintage

Iron Cross is a terribly suspect but wholly endearing mess of a band. They are virtually talentless musicians, sophmoric song writers, and fronted by an inelegant lyricist in Sab Grey. But somehow they just fucking WORK on a visceral level. The controversy surrounding the release of their classic second seven incher “Hated and Proud” in the early 80s DC Hardcore scene is well-documented. However, it seems the band was seldom taken to task for their xenophobic lyrical streak, which seems odd given the outcry within the early DC scene against the “violent subject matter” of their equally uneven yet classic “Skinhead Glory” 7 incher. Iron Cross’s regrettable lyrics are a lamentable snapshot of a young man trying to make sense of a changing world in which white priveledge no longer assures success and reacting violently. One assumes Mr. Grey has matured since then. I empathize.

Witness: “You’re a Rebel”- a lyrically misguided but insanely catchy Sham 69-rip off anthem of xenophobic paranoia. Excerpt:
Backed up against the wall
The animal makes his final stand
He spits and growls and shows his teeth
He’s a foreigner in his own land
When there’s nowhere else to run
You’re a rebel
No more battles to be won
You’re a rebel
Stands out there with his pride
Fights with no one on his side
You’re a rebel
Without mercy the pack descends

Sab’s romantic image of a nameless Last Angry White Male literally singlehandedly facing a descended pack of presumably undocumented immigrants is an embarassingly juvenile fantasy at best, but beneath the poseur-townie-level intellectual failings and raging against hoards of foreign animals, there is an odd sense of paradox (the victim is an animal as well) and hopelessness. This wistfulness seems accidental and a bit comical, but the strained melody (I guess you call it) and amateur musicianship is utterly charismatic. Sab Grey immodestly described Iron Cross as “America’s First Oi Band” – which is a difficult claim to deny. Grey’s mix of the street rock sound blended with a slightly less thrashy version of early hardcore produced throbbing simplicity in his music and his lyrics. You sing along in spite of yourself to the worst kind of knuckledragging ‘Merican patriotism cum Anglophile nonsense. Jeff Bale called it “amazingly catchy” in his review of the ep in Maximum Rock N Roll #9.

Iron Cross’s paradoxical Anglophilia evident in their melodies and songwriting yet Nationalist slant to their lyrics is one of the most common yet nauseating aspects of the right wing end of streetpunk. Would a fierce nationist not reject all aspects of foreign culture including its musical style? Yet,England seems to be so attractive to skinheads and dunderheaded nationists in the United States in general because of the perception that America was founded by a pure white English race. The jingoistic notion of England as the cradle of White Culture which produced a rebelous teenaged United States is difficult to resist. Nevermind that the band’s name Iron Cross refers to an honor bestowed by the Prussian and later German military, who fought two World Wars to destroy England. A Union Jack patch on the sleeve of a Chinese-made bomber jacket is sublime shorthand for this mindset.

It is perhaps unfair to hold a 19 year old kids’s lyrics up to much scrutiny or to hold the kid of 26 years ago accountable for tossing off some stupid fucking lyrics in the back of his math notebook. At the same time, collector scum compare the music of this band versus that, the progression musically from this release to that, so it’s only fair to think about the whole package. Lousy lyrics, basic musicianship, great band, great record.

(image ripped from 30underdc.com)