Thursday, August 18, 2011

another star in the negative space

Cabaret Voltaire, Red Mecca and The Original Sound of Sheffield, '78/'82, Best Of
Chrome, Blood on the Moon
Gong, Magic Brother
Hawkwind, Zones
C. J. Chenier, Can't Sit Down

  • Continuing the Anglo-mosquito, depresso-mutato rock block that got me through yesterday. I find a Geiger counter, data poetry charm in this music. It is a dream catcher for those too poorly wired to sleep. It is the juice fresh squeezed from a Timex quartz crystal.

    Cabaret Voltair, "Silent Command"

  • I read this thing about the Tea Party in Ohio this morning and ugh, I hate reading diatribes from the opposition to neo-conservatism as much as I hate hearing the original sentiment, which I do in fact personally oppose. In forwarding reports like these, I feel I am loading cannons for both ships so I can go row my sad little boat around between them afterwards. That said, Timothy Snyder's "As Ohio Goes:  A Letter from Tea-Party Country"  in the New York Review of Books exposes lumpen pawnism with such beautiful, cocksure prose:

    It is hard not to smile, I’ll admit, at farmers who plant genetically-engineered seeds six days a week and (like Michele Bachmann) deny evolution on the seventh. One church in Clinton County features a giant pink plastic replica of a horseshoe crab in its garden. Every so often Evel Knievel’s former bodyguard jumps it with a motorcycle. The arthropod is a refugee from the Creation Museum in Kentucky, where it took up space that was needed for a parking lot. The crab is supposed to prove that evolution never happened, since its basic form has remained unchanged.

  • Smart. There are two indelible symbols of the childhood America I witnessed celebrating itself in 1976. The first is the then ubiquitous bicentennial logo (above), implying America's own dubious greatness with another star in the negative space formed by closed circuits of open associations. The designer, Bruce N. Blackburn, also did the NASA logo, the other icon that encapsulates my frittering nostalgia for when America was awesome.

    Chrome, "Blood on the Moon"

  • The second symbol is Evel Knievel. The original poster for this video of Evel Knievel jumping the Snake River Canyon  (embedding disabled) said:

    For you's that may not know anything about your community or forgot, did anyone else remember Evil [sic] when he came to your community in the middle 70's? I did!

    Another commented.

    @ChuckieInMT My dad painted the Skycycle. I used to sit in it while he was working on it. I still have pictures of the progress of it.

  • Imagine! I never met Evel Knievel but I did see Elvis' car, and I think I saw the Harlem Globetrotters play a hapless high school team in an exhibition match in Keokuk, IA, circa 1977 or so, but I'm not sure. I may just be wanting to have seen it. I got the cousin who I would have likely gone with working on a fact-check.

    While looking for data myself, I came across this in Joel Zoss and John Bowman's Diamonds in the Rouge: the Untold Story of Baseball, about Bud Fowler, the first African-American to play professional baseball. He signed for Keokuk's team, The Keokuks, for the single year they played in the Western League in 1885, and bounced around a number of other teams for the remainder of the century. Then he formed...

    ...a crack squad that combined Harlem Globetrottter-like showmanship with demonstrations of athletic mastery. He had previously engaged in walking and running exhibitions; his baseball survival skills reached their zenith in 1899 when he organized the All-American Black Tourists, whom he made available for play attired in full-dress suits with silk umbrellas. (link)

    The Keokuks 1885 lineup.
    Identifications: Back row: Schomberg, O'Brien, Bud Fowler, Corcoran, Decker. Middle row: Harrington. Front row: Kennedy, Van Dyke, Dugdale, Hudson, Harter.

  • Edited to add: this blackest of all black planets just discovered deserves its own bullet point among the stars in negative space.

1 comment:

  1. available for play attired in full-dress suits with silk umbrellas
    reminds me of this Andrew Lyttle photo of the Burlesque Baseball Team in old, old Baton Rouge:
    This link doesn't have the pic big enough to see their outfits too good.