Friday, June 29, 2012

THE GIRLS IN THE BAND documentary, directed by JUDY CHAIKIN

Audience Award, Best Documentary Feature – Palm Springs International Film Festival
Audience Favourite Feature, Victoria Film Festival
Audience Choice Documentary, Omaha Film Festival

They wiggled, they jiggled, they wore low cut gowns and short shorts, they kow-towed to the club owners and smiled at the customers…and they did it all, just to play the music they loved.

THE GIRLS IN THE BAND tells the poignant, untold stories of female jazz and big band instrumentalists and their fascinating, groundbreaking journeys from the late 30′s to the present day.
These incredibly talented women endured sexism, racism and diminished opportunities for decades, yet continued to persevere, inspire and elevate their talents in a field that seldom welcomed them.Today a new breed of gifted young women are taking their rightful place in the world of jazz which can no longer deny their talents.

Judy Chaikin is a graduate of AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women and is best known for writing, producing and directing the Emmy nominated PBS documentary, “Legacy of the Hollywood Blacklist.” In 2004 she received her second Emmy nomination for the documentary “Building on a Dream:The NoHo Art Project.” Recently she directed and co-wrote the short romantic-comedy film, “Cotillion ‘65,” which has appeared in 40 film festivals winning Best Short, Best Comedy, Best Director and Audience Choice Awards.  Ms. Chaikin was a Supervising Producer/Segment Director on the ABC series, “FBI: The Untold Stories,” a Co-Producer of the CBS Movie Of The Week, “Stolen Innocence,” the Writer/Director of the bi-lingual PBS documentary, “Los Pastores” and in 1996 Chaikin won the Blue Ribbon at the American Educational Film and TV Festival for the docu-drama, “Sojourner Truth:Ain’t I A Woman,” featuring Julie Harris.  Her other directing work includes the MTV underground hit by Kommunity FK “Something Inside Me Has Died,” the Nickelodeon series “On The Television,” the Broadway production of “Yenta Unplugged” and the Odyssey Theater production of Martin Sherman’s “Rose.”

“Very MOVING…great characters and good story-tellers…great work.”
John Sayles, Director/Writer – Academy Award nominee, Writers Guild Award winner

“A POWERFUL, ENGAGING and enlightening film… a thrilling feminist portrayal … and the music is SUBLIME.”

Lynne Littman, Director – Academy Award winner

A VIVID EXPERIENCE… I sat there watching and just wiping tears away…tears of joy.

For more details visit:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Close Encounter with Morrison Hotel by Eckhard Gerdes

On July 3, 1978, seven years to the day after the "death" of Jim Morrison, I, an 18-year-old Door fanatic, visited the famed Morrison Hotel pictured on the album of the same name.  It was in Los Angeles, in a rather rough part of town.  The residents of the hotel were junkies and prostitutes.  A room cost $7 a night, had one bare light-bulb in the ceiling, a torn-up mattress with only one sheet on it, graffiti on the wall, and I was not even given a key.  I had to ask the desk clerk to let me in whenever I returned from wandering around.  I was there because of Morrison's song "The Celebration of the Lizard," which said that Morrison would return after seven years of exile to the land that he loved, which I assumed to be LA.  This seemed a natural place for his return.  The idea that Morrison had faked his death was being repeated on the radio everywhere by Ray Manzarek, so it had some credibility.  I dressed like a poor washed-out hippie, but I had a change of nice clothes and a few hundred dollars with me.  When I was hungry, I'd take my bag down the street a couple of blocks to the Hyatt, change there, and eat dinner.  They'd serve me beer, which I couldn't buy in the package stores nearby.  I waited in my room, hoping that Morrison would show up and the party could commence.  It didn't.  I listened to the Doors on cassette (I had brought a cassette player in my suitcase) and read the graffiti: Laura became crazy very crazy and stayed because Ceasar would only come out at night. Ceasar didn't become crazy he became the devil man who only came out at night to kill his wife her name was Laura R. But at last they both stayed together for ever. I was the only witness to all of this thing that happened here in this room. Two people died here because of the boogey-­man and they died because nobody said nothing to them. close your window and door so that the boogey-man won't get you when you're alone at night. Good luck to those who stay here in this room.  The writing was big and took up half of one wall.  Well, nothing happened that night.  I had given up my job and my girlfriend ("you're messing with the devil!" she had yelled at me when I told her why I was going to LA) to make this pilgrimage.  I wrote up my experience, and that became the basis of my first novel, The Million-Year Centipede.  I gave up on the Doors for the most part (I now cringe when I hear lyrics like "Till the stars fall from the sky for you and I," which is obviously the wrong the first-person pronoun and could obviously have been avoided by substituting "Till the stars fall to the sea for you and me"), but I am still writing novels.  Morrison's love for the literary arts at least helped inspire me in that direction, so I will always owe a debt to the Doors.  Just so long as they don't "Touch Me."

Monday, June 25, 2012

RED MARE Chapbook Series: Book Art by Su Zi

Red Mare was the result of my passion for both literature—particularly poetry—and art; having made small books for a very long time, it seemed necessary to present poetry in the form of a book that was a work of art. It’s too easy now to create perfect bound books through readily available technology, and our culture seems to have lost an appreciation for  that which is hand crafted, as Red Mare is. Specifically, each cover of Red Mare  is an individually printed block print; each copy is individually sewn for binding, each copy is numbered,  and each edition  has less then fifty copies—once they are sold out, they are not reprinted. Thus, Red Mare is a work of art that is also a book, that also contains a poem.

At first, the vision was to publish long poems, because these are difficult to publish within the constraints of ordinary literary magazines. Most long poems do not exist as poetic entities in themselves, but eventually become included within the frame of a collection of works by that author. Long poems are difficult to create, and the desire was to give them a home as works alone and of themselves.  Red Mare managed to publish the single long poem with publication of Marie C Jones, but subsequent authors have written long poems that are more episodic, or are a connected series—such as Red Mare 2, or Red Mare 3 by Lola Haskins and Lyn Lifshin, respectively. Also, at first, the vision was to publish poems with an eco-feminist focus, because there doesn’t seem to be a home for that work and Red Mare sought (and still seeks) to provide one. Since an awareness of our earth is also within the capability of some men, Red Mare has also published male writers, with long-time environmental advocate and poet Dennis Formento being the most recent author in Red Mare 6.

Red Mare  has been publishing in this fashion for some five years. To enable online acquisition, available copies are posted on etsy   ( and  recently, a Face Book page was made under magazines that features only Red Mare. It is a serial chapbook series, and is listed as a magazine. This is because it has a thread for a budget.  Poets and Writers has listed Red Mare, and since then a few of the authors now published have come as transom-submissions.  Every now and then, someone will hold a copy of Red Mare in their hands and notice the type of fiber used for binding, will notice the individual nature of each copy and realize that they are holding a work of art. 

As an artist and writer (having published poetry, fiction, essays for years and years), Red Mare is the creation of these two hands, really. From the cover design, to the cutting of the block, the printing, the text lay out, the decision regarding materials for each edition, the funding, the binding (with some occasional and gratefully received aide for part of a step from time to time), Red Mare as a book is the product of a single artist, yours truly; and seeks to present the poetry of others, always. It is a commitment. One must have loyalty to one’s practice—it has been the work of a lifetime, that commitment, and there’s not much recognition available in our culture for the arts, for poetry, for the handmade, for commitment in general. Nonetheless, Red Mare will continue for as long as there are authors willing to see their work within its covers.

  Su Zi

Friday, June 22, 2012

Hollywood Blacklist History

Hollywood Blacklist Historical background

The Hollywood blacklist is rooted in events of the 1930s and the early 1940s, encompassing the height of the Great Depression and World War II. During this era, long before the horrors of Soviet premier Joseph Stalin's rule became common knowledge in the West, the American Communist Party attracted a large number of followers, many of them young idealists in the field of arts and entertainment. The party was the primary force in the United States fighting for the rights of poor people, and was centrally involved in campaigns for improvement in welfare, unemployment, and social security benefits. Two major film industry strikes during the 1930s increased tensions between the Hollywood producers and the unions, particularly the Communist-affiliated Screen Writers Guild.

 The American Communist Party lost substantial support after the Moscow show trials of 1936–38 and the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact of 1939. The U.S. government began turning its attention to the links, real and imagined, between Hollywood and the party during this period. Under then chairman Martin Dies, Jr., the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) released a report in 1938 claiming that communism was pervasive in Hollywood. Two years later, Dies privately took testimony from a former Communist Party member, John L. Leech, who named forty-two movie industry professionals as Communists. After Leech repeated his charges in supposed confidence to a Los Angeles grand jury, many of the names were reported in the press, including those of stars Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, and Frederic March, among other well-known Hollywood figures. Dies said he would "clear" all those who cooperated by meeting with him in what he called "executive session". Within two weeks of the grand jury leak, all those on the list except for actress Jean Muir had met with the HUAC chairman. Dies "cleared" everyone except actor Lionel Stander, who was fired by the movie studio, Republic Pictures, where he was contracted.

 In 1941, producer Walt Disney took out an ad in Variety, the industry trade magazine, declaring his conviction that "Communist agitation" was behind a cartoonists and animators' strike. According to historians Larry Ceplair and Steven Englund, "In actuality, the strike had resulted from Disney's overbearing paternalism, high-handedness, and insensitivity." Inspired by Disney, California State Senator Jack Tenney, chairman of the state legislature's Joint Fact-Finding Committee on Un-American Activities, launched an investigation of "Reds in movies". The probe fell flat, and was mocked in several Variety headlines.

The subsequent wartime alliance between the United States and the Soviet Union brought the American Communist Party newfound credibility. During the war, membership in the party reached a peak of 50,000.As World War II drew to a close, perceptions changed again, with communism increasingly becoming a focus of American fears and hatred. In 1945, Gerald L. K. Smith, founder of the neofascist America First Party, began giving speeches in Los Angeles assailing the "alien minded Russian Jews in Hollywood". Mississippi congressman John E. Rankin, a member of HUAC, held a press conference to declare that "one of the most dangerous plots ever instigated for the overthrow of this Government has its headquarters in Hollywood...the greatest hotbed of subversive activities in the United States." Rankin promised, "We're on the trail of the tarantula now". Reports of Soviet repression in Eastern and Central Europe in the war's aftermath added more fuel to what became known as the "Second Red Scare". The growth of conservative political influence and the Republican triumph in the 1946 Congressional elections, which saw the party take control of both the House and Senate, led to a major revival of institutional anticommunist activity, publicly spearheaded by HUAC. The following year, the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals (MPA), a political action group cofounded by Walt Disney, issued a pamphlet advising producers on the avoidance of "subtle communistic touches" in their films. Its counsel revolved around a list of ideological prohibitions, such as "Don't smear the free-enterprise system ... Don't smear industrialists ... Don't smear wealth ... Don't smear the profit motive ... Don't deify the 'common man' ... Don't glorify the collective".

The blacklist begins (1947)

In October 1947, a number of persons working in the Hollywood film industry were summoned to appear before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, which had declared its intention to investigate whether Communist agents and sympathizers had been surreptitiously planting propaganda in U.S. films. The hearings began with several Hollywood professionals, including Walt Disney and Ronald Reagan, president of the Screen Actors Guild, testifying that the threat of Communists in the film industry was a serious one. Actor Adolphe Menjou declared, "I am a witch hunter if the witches are Communists. I am a Red-baiter. I would like to see them all back in Russia." In contrast, several leading Hollywood figures, including director John Huston and actors Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, and Danny Kaye, organized the Committee for the First Amendment to protest the government targeting of their industry.

Many of the film industry professionals in whom HUAC had expressed interest—primarily screenwriters, but actors, directors, producers, and others as well—were either known or alleged to have been members of the American Communist Party. Of the forty-three people put on the witness list, a total of nineteen declared that they would not give evidence. Eleven of these nineteen were called before the committee. Members of the Committee for the First Amendment flew to Washington ahead of this climactic phase of the hearing, which commenced on Monday, October 27. Of the eleven "unfriendly witnesses", one, émigré playwright Bertolt Brecht, ultimately chose to answer the committee's questions. The other ten refused, citing their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and assembly. The crucial question they refused to answer is now generally rendered as "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?" In fact, each had at one time or another been a member; most still were, while a few had been in the past and only briefly. These ten were formally accused of contempt of Congress and proceedings against them began in the full House of Representatives.

 In light of the "Hollywood Ten"'s defiance of HUAC—in addition to refusing to testify, many had attempted to read statements decrying the committee's investigation as unconstitutional—political pressure mounted on the film industry to demonstrate its "anti-subversive" bona fides. Late in the hearings, Eric Johnston, president of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), declared to the committee that he would never "employ any proven or admitted Communist because they are just a disruptive force and I don't want them around." On November 17, the Screen Actors Guild voted to make its officers swear to a non-Communist pledge. The following week, on November 24, the House of Representatives voted 346 to 17 to approve citations against the Hollywood Ten for contempt of Congress. The next day, following a meeting of film industry executives at New York's Waldorf-Astoria hotel, MPAA president Johnston issued a press release on the executives' behalf that is today referred to as the Waldorf Statement. The statement declared that the ten would be fired or suspended without pay and not reemployed until they were cleared of contempt charges and had sworn that they were not Communists. The first Hollywood blacklist was now in effect.

The list grows (1948–50)

The HUAC hearings had failed to turn up any evidence that Hollywood was secretly disseminating Communist propaganda, but the industry was nonetheless transformed. The fallout from the inquiry was a factor in the decision by Floyd Odlum, the primary owner of RKO Pictures, to get out of the business. As a result, the studio would pass into the hands of Howard Hughes. Within weeks of taking over in May 1948, Hughes fired most of RKO's employees and virtually shut the studio down for six months as he had the political sympathies of the rest investigated. Then, just as RKO swung back into production, Hughes made the decision to settle a long-standing federal antitrust suit against the industry's Big Five studios. This would be one of the crucial steps in the collapse of the studio system that had governed Hollywood, and ruled much of world cinema, for a quarter-century.

 In early 1948, as well, all of the Hollywood Ten were convicted of contempt. Following a series of unsuccessful appeals, the cases arrived before the Supreme Court; among the submissions filed in defense of the ten was an amicus curiae brief signed by 204 Hollywood professionals. After the court denied review, the Hollywood Ten began serving one-year prison sentences in 1950. In September 1950, one of the ten, director Edward Dmytryk, publicly announced that he had once been a Communist and was prepared to give evidence against others who had been as well. He was released early from jail; following his 1951 HUAC appearance, in which he described his brief membership in the party and named names, his career recovered.

The others remained silent and most were unable to obtain work in the American film and television industry for many years. Adrian Scott, who had produced four of Dmytryk's films—Murder, My Sweet; Cornered; So Well Remembered; and Crossfire—was one of those named by his former friend. Scott's next screen credit would not come until 1972 and he would never produce another feature film. Some of those blacklisted continued to write for Hollywood or the broadcasting industry surreptitiously, using pseudonyms or the names of friends who posed as the actual writers (those who allowed their names to be used in this fashion were called "fronts"). Of the 204 who signed the amicus brief, 84 would be blacklisted themselves. There was a more general chilling effect: Humphrey Bogart, who had been one of the most prominent members of the Committee for the First Amendment, felt compelled to write an article for Photoplay magazine denying he was a Communist sympathizer. The Tenney Committee, which had continued its state-level investigations, summoned songwriter Ira Gershwin to testify about his participation in the committee.

A number of nongovernmental organizations participated in enforcing and expanding the blacklist; in particular, the American Legion, the conservative war veterans' group, was instrumental in pressuring the entertainment industry to exclude those of political sympathies it disagreed with. In 1949, the Americanism Division of the Legion issued its own blacklist—a roster of 128 people whom it claimed were participants in the "Communist Conspiracy." Among the names on the Legion's list was that of well-known playwright Lillian Hellman. Hellman had written or contributed to the screenplays of approximately ten motion pictures up to that point; she would not be employed again by a Hollywood studio until 1966.

Blacklisted Screenwriters Get Credits

Published: August 05, 2000

The Writers Guild has announced that the writing credits on 14 films released from 1951 to 1964 will be corrected to include the names of several screenwriters blacklisted by Hollywood studios. The current credits on the films either omitted a blacklisted writer's name or used a pseudonym.

In recent years the Writers Guild of America, West, has corrected the writing credits on 95 such films.
Hundreds of writers as well as actors, directors, agents and producers found themselves blacklisted in the 1950's following efforts by the House Committee on Un-American Activities to find suspected Communists in the entertainment industry. Many of those on the blacklist refused to name names, declined to discuss their political beliefs, were singled out by informers or were simply liberals who were friendly with Communists. Many of the blacklisted writers started using ''fronts'' or pseudonyms, while others fled to Europe to find work. Careers were damaged, if not shattered.

Be sure and look up

Judy Chaikin

Legacy of the Hollywood Blacklist

Emmy Nominated/Cine Gold Eagle Winner

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The American Book of Changes by Ien Nivens

The American Book of Changes treats the essential energies of the sixty-four hexagrams of the I Ching in a fundamentally new way, recasting them in images and metaphors that are more relevant and accessible to the American reader of the 21st Century.

The tools of this supremely practical self-development system have grown encrusted under some 4000 years of religious mysticism. Many insightful scholars have enriched its meanings, but only to the extent that their wisdom is delivered in a comprehensible way. The system has also struggled under the misguided influence of a paternalistic misogyny that undercuts the noblest and most powerful insight of all–namely, that harmony and balance between the masculine and feminine energies gets obliterated when an imbalance of power between the sexes is tolerated. The very shape and serviceability of this ancient and wise tool have been lost to far too many would-be seekers by the preservation of culture-bound references and images that only the most gifted linguist and devout sinophile can make out, much less use. The investment of time and study required to decipher such messages, in even the most lucid translations, makes the traditional I Ching too cumbersome and antiquated for the kind of practical applications for which it was created. And for which it is needed now more than ever.

The hexagrams and lines of change have been reinterpreted here, not just re-translated. They are honed to a cleaner edge and restored to a state of greater utility. Their original purpose was to guide the decision-maker to maximize personal effectiveness and amplify opportunities for beneficial self-transformation. That purpose is preserved and enhanced in The American Book of Changes. Simply put, it helps us to understand the choices we make. And it helps us to make better ones.

The American Book of Changes redirects one of the oldest ongoing conversations in human history. It invites back to the table those who have found themselves excluded from the dialog by the mysterious and impenetrable logic of metaphors that no longer speak to us. The old habit of over-emphasizing the language and customs of the I Ching’s culture of origin–understandable and respectful as that might be–is just not very helpful in the here and now. If the hexagrams tap into a universal set of energies–and they do–then any culture should be able to understand them on its own terms, without having to borrow the reading glasses of somebody else’s great-great-grandparents.

If you’ve ever sought practical advice from the I Ching and found it more mysterious than helpful, try The American Book of Changes. If you’ve never consulted the I Ching, you are overdue for a profound shift in the way you approach…everything!

Book available July 4, 2012. Visit:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Robin Hood Tax Campaign Makes Sense!

The Robin Hood Tax on Wall Street Transactions Could Raise Hundreds of Billions in the US for Education, Jobs, Health Care and to Address AIDS, Climate Here and Around the World
As JP Morgan Chief Dimon Testifies in Congress, Nationwide Rallies in Major Cities & Online Video Launched in Support of Campaign

Washington, DC--(ENEWSPF)--June 19, 2012.  Dozens of national organizations, celebrities including Mark Ruffalo, Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello and Coldplay’s Chris Martin, renowned economists including Jeffrey Sachs, and former Goldman Sachs executives and global leaders such as Desmond Tutu joined today for an unprecedented coalition, calling for a “Robin Hood Tax” on Wall Street.

In many cities and towns across the country, America's biggest nurses union, National Nurses United, along with hundreds of students, climate and AIDS activists, and faith leaders took to the streets in rallies organized in support of the new campaign. (read more here...)

“By placing a tiny tax on Wall Street—less than half of 1%– we could generate hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue. That’s money that could go towards investing in jobs, health care, housing and our schools; to end the student debt crisis and the AIDS pandemic and to halt climate change and poverty,” said Matthew Kavanagh of Health GAP (Global Access Project).

Economists estimate that we could generate hundreds of billions of dollars annually by placing a small sales tax on trading in stocks, bonds, derivatives and currencies. Experts also suggest that such a policy would help limit the reckless short-term speculation that threatens financial stability. Over 1,000 leading economists have endorsed the policy, including Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz and Lawrence Mishel of the Economic Policy Institute.

Actor Mark Ruffalo, star of the current movie “The Avengers,” released a video calling on Americans to join the campaign. He was joined in the video by Coldplay’s Chris Martin and Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello. The video features Ruffalo drawing a Robin Hood mask on a dollar bill and calling on others to do the same.

“The Robin Hood Tax campaign that launches in the US today offers us a solution to kick-start our economy, to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, to help those who have lost out as a result of the financial crisis they did nothing to cause - not just here in America, but around the world,” said Ruffalo.
“Wall Street and the big banks are exploiting tax loopholes while generating record profits and being rewarded with billions in bailouts and bonuses. Most of the recovery thus far has benefited the top 1%, not the 99%,”said Jean Ross, RN and co-president, National Nurses United. “The Robin Hood Tax is easy to enforce, tough to evade and won't touch the bank accounts, pensions or savings of the vast majority of the American people.”

“The Robin Hood Tax is a tiny tax with a big ambition – to get us back on our feet through nothing more complicated than asking Wall Street to pay their fair share,” said Leigh Blake of Act V, an AIDS advocacy group.

As the Robin Hood Tax Campaign launched, members of Congress were expected to question JP Morgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon, whose trading loss of more than $2 billion caused many to underscore the need for new regulation and taxation of the financial sector to prevent future incidents.

 “The Robin Hood Tax will not just begin to bring basic tax fairness to Wall Street, it will help curb the destructive gambling that drove the crisis and, as we see so clearly at JPMorgan Chase, continues to threaten our economic stability and security,” said Liz Ryan Murray, Policy Director of National People’s Action.

In 15 cities across the country: New York City, Washington, DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego, Boston, Dayton, Miami, Atlanta, El Paso, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Portland, OR,  activists - led by National Nurses United - echoed that call, rallying outside of JPMorgan and other financial institutions in support of the Robin Hood Tax on Wall Street transactions.

“There are huge, quick transactions that add to the churning and speculation in international markets that has helped to bring the world economy to the perilous state that it’s in right now,” said economist Jeffrey Sachs. “The time has really arrived to put a Robin Hood tax in place. Many countries around the world are doing so. It's time for the United States to do the same.”

From 1914 until 1966, the United States enforced a Robin Hood tax that raised revenue from every sale or transfer of stock.  The tax benefited average Americans and helped grow the middle class. Forty countries have employed this practice—and the policy is expected to be adopted in Europe this year.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Lost Work of Stephen King by Stephen J. Spignesi, reviewed by BL Kennedy

The Lost Work of Stephen King
Stephen J. Spignesi
Citadel Press Books
New York, NY
361 pgs.
ISBN: 0-8065-2390-5

Okay, so the Stephen King works discussed in this book are not really lost. After all, I found them right?

This was my drool book, because as anyone who knows me is well aware, I am a Stephen King junkie. Yeah. I even get other poets to read Stephen King, a recent conquest being the poet Anne Menebroker reading King’s latest thrilling book about time travel and JFK. And over the years I have amassed King Library. I mean, yeah I won’t have the money for the limited editions, but what the hell? You can’t have everything.

But now I hold in my hands a reference guide to the master’s rarest writings The Lost Work of Stephen King written by Stephen Spignesi, and its like having an orgasm while you sit in an orange chair. You see, here’s the thing; those same people who know me and know I am a Stephen King junkie also know that I love books about obscure facts. And this book is full of them. I mean, we have everything here from King’s 1956 classic Jonathan and the Witches to the recent The Wait is Over, which was written in 2000. I simply love this book. And you will also love it. And if you are any kind of the bibliophile then, you will embrace this book with passion. So if you like Stephen King  and you believe like he believes that ideas come and have to be let out, then you are going to relish in your purchase for a mere sixteen dollars and ninety five cents, you can read stories like Pinfall: A Unfilmed Segment of the Creepshow II Screenplay, and self published like The Plant and Six Stories, both curiosities only released in private editions. So yeah, go out and buy this book.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Righteous Anger and Non-Violent Revolution with David Cobb from MOVE TO AMEND

We the People, Not We the Corporations

On January 21, 2010, with its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are persons, entitled by the U.S. Constitution to buy elections and run our government. Human beings are people; corporations are legal fictions.
We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United, and move to amend our Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.
The Supreme Court is misguided in principle, and wrong on the law. In a democracy, the people rule.

We Move to Amend.

". . . corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires. Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their 'personhood' often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of “We the People” by whom and for whom our Constitution was established."
             ~Supreme Court Justice Stevens, January 2010

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

U-Haul with Dinosaur by John Bennett, reviewed by BL Kennedy

U-Haul with Dinosaur
John Bennett
Hcolom Press
Ellensburg, WA
143 pgs
ISBN: 978-0-9776783-6-5

It was planned by Lydia, the main squeeze of Thomas Jablonsky, a well known hard mouth poet. Jablonsky himself wasn’t much for parties, cheap skidrow rooms with a portable typewriter and a bottle of wine, but after he met Lydia, he found hismefl going to more than his share.

Finally, after years of waiting, John Bennett has a new collection of short stories. John who, you may ask? And I’ll reply, “Bennett. B-E-N-N-E-T-T.” You might stand there, looking like your silly old self, kind of confused and despondent. I’ll explain to you that John Bennett is the best damn writer this side of Tokyo.

This new collection, U-Haul with Dinosaur, consists of eleven short stories that’ll just knock your socks off, bend your wife across the couch, and it will be so blissful that neither one of you will remember doing it. And if you’re of the fairer sex, you’ll cut the damn husband out of the equation entirely, because John Bennett is man enough for you.

Short stories included in this book are all over the place. He talks about new world orders, secrets, and Cincinnati. The stories are beautifully and vividly written, my favorite being “Leipzig to Lawrence”. Now mind you, Bennett is not talking about that hack author D.A. Lawrence. He’s proudly referring to the home of William S. Burroughs.

 So, in the end, I’m just gonna cut right to the point. U-Haul with Dinosaur stretches across the finish line by a swift twelve foot jump. Buy it. And after you buy it, remember there’s a LOT of drinking in this book. Pick yourself up on a bottle on the way home.
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