Dennis of Fiddycentdraft wrote. He’s been tracking down the details of the Lafayette music scene. He has old flyers and photos, something that i’ve not been able to pull off.
Archive for May 9th, 2005
That Jeff Sharlet article on the New Life Church of Colorado Springs in the May 2005 issue of Harper’s is damned well spooky. It feels like some people decided to cross live action role playing games with Stephen King’s The Stand, and decided everyone else is the army of Randall Flagg. It’s definitely Stephen King, and not the Bible (as the number of the Beast is 616 anyway,) as i feel more supernatural pulp here than a true cosmic reckoning. However, it’s not an article to be taken lightly, as it truly put fear in me. I sneer at megachurches all of the time, disgusted with the crass materialism debasing the best aspects of Christianity, but i’m thinking more of the gaudy ostentation of a local boy like Jimmy Swaggart. What i didn’t realize is that a lot of this comes close to the lunatics that used to stalk the streets of Hammond, seemingly normal people who evangelized about their spiritual battles with demons and ghosts. They’ve been organized into cells and call themselves warriors, and it’s not far removed from the fundamentalist militarism of groups like al-Qaeda, with better funding and deeper entrenchment.
I highly recommend the piece. It’s definitely biased against its subject, but it’s not enough to know the agenda that gets rolled out in the press. I’m surprised to see how much of their courses of action are determined mystic visionary experiences, more spectacular than some UFO contactee and abduction stories that i’ve read.
There’s also links to Baton Rouge. Uh oh.
Some of you may remember Gunther Von Hagens, the German doctor who performed Britain’s first public autopsy in 170 years. Well, he’s brought his ‘corpse show’, Body Worlds, to San Francisco. The exhibit is sparking some controversy.
A little on Von Hagens:
The enigmatic German anatomist has faced numerous ethical complaints in his home country and elsewhere.
Von Hagens was recently fined in Germany for misusing the title â€œprofessorâ€ by not making it clear that his degree was awarded in China. He said he was innocent. He was also dubbed â€œDr. Frankensteinâ€ for performing Britainâ€™s first public autopsy in more than 170 years.
Von Hagens is also facing criticism in Poland, where he bought an abandoned factory he said he wants to use to build machines for preserving bodies. Residents are upset that corpses may one day be processed in western Poland â€” something now handled in China.
The criticism hasnâ€™t stopped his shows from growing and branching out â€” the â€œBody Worlds 2â€ exhibit features different displays, including cadavers and organs that show the consequences of poor health habits.
One should pay close attention to anything that contains the words “enigmatic German anatomist”.
So he displays actual corpses in various poses. How?
The corpses in all the exhibits were preserved through â€œplastination,â€ which replaces body fluids with liquid plastic. The plastic is hardened, leaving tissues intact. Bodies can then be displayed without formaldehyde or glass containers, so onlookers can come within inches of exposed organs.
In the San Francisco show, many corpses are stripped of skin so the muscles pop out. Several bodies are propped up like department store mannequins, and individual organs are displayed with veins and capillaries intact. Red veins spread like moss over one skeleton, while a green liver and blue kidneys are presented with their connective systems â€” a three-dimensional presentation that could never be offered in a medical textbook.
Some of the cadavers are macabre â€” one nonchalantly holds his preserved skin on a clothes hanger, while a nearby corpse rides a bicycle.
So are they art?
â€œI certainly think these exhibits are art,â€ said Kevin Moore, an instructor at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and an expert on surrealism. â€œIf the bodies were just used anatomically, there would be no reason to pose or light them the way they do. Itâ€™s intended to be viewed as art.â€
Some visitors arenâ€™t searching for an artistic experience but practical knowledge â€” medical students and massage therapists at the San Francisco exhibit said they were seeking a deeper look at the human body. The shows also can be fascinating to people who fondly remember assembling â€œVisible Manâ€ model kits as children, or dissecting cats and frogs in biology class.
â€œThis uses actual human material. Even if someone were to consent to this, it contributes to an objectification of the human body because the bodies are used commercially,â€ said Carol Taylor, a medical ethicist at Georgetown University. â€œIf you allow this, then what happens afterward? You are turning (bodies) into an artistic creation and using people for something other than themselves.â€
So the art professer says its art, med students say its science, and the bioethicist says it is an abomination… Boy am I glad everyone is protecting his territory!
This whole story reeks of the kind of “third rail politics” that is keeping this country divided. The formula is simple: Take a polarizing issue , choose a side, drum up some partisan support, and do EVERYTHING you can to prevent the issue from EVER being compromised on or even discussed rationally.
What do I think about the Corpse Show? I don’t. I prefer to use it as an apt lens with which to put the “dialectical industry” in this country into harder focus.
More on the San Francisco exhibit here.
He died April 26th. The AMG bio is the best i can dig up on short notice.
Hasil Adkins “No More Hot Dogs” Some of my friends in Baton Rouge don’t know where my bad habit of making references to cutting people’s heads off comes from. It’s not really a threat of violence, but listening to this song just a little too much.
Hasil Adkins “The Hunch” Do it in memory of Hasil.
Hasil Adkins “She Said” Hearing this again makes me realize that the Cramps aren’t nearly so wild as i’d like them to be.
Even before i posted that Alex Chilton stuff the other day, i’ve been on a bit of a Cramps kick. One of my friends in the early ’90s wore Cramps, Misfits, and Skinny puppy shirts incessantly, so i stuck them all into a genre that shouldn’t really exist. The truth was that the guy didn’t even listen to the Cramps, more into doing his peculiar little spider dance to Skinny Puppy and puffing out his chest and scowling to the Misfits. There was no pose he could strike for the Cramps. I should have coopted them back then, but they were just a t-shirt band, more to be referenced than heard… dumbass that i am.
In the mid ’90s, when i began to hang out in bars even more, i realized what a great jukebox selection that they were, but considering that anytime i went into a bar, i was usually smuggling my own alcohol in, and had to pour my drinks out in the parking lot, bars were a waste of time.
A friend in Italy went to see them, as she had been a longtime fan, and her words are what really turned me around.
Yes, i’m late for work yet again, and need to write more. Stanislav?
The Cramps “Rock on the Moon” I’ve been sticking this song into comps lately, space themed, punk, postpunk, roots.
The Cramps “The Mad Daddy” (Bill, i want you to adopt this as your theme song, post-haste. That pseudo-goth poseur pal of mine didn’t deserve such a song.)
The Cramps “She Said” Hasil Adkins cover! Which reminds me…