Aha…. so that’s why it’s called Piss Factory

Patti Smith is not familiar to me as she should be. I know a couple of songs, but never delved deeper. I started to read Just Kids then went off on some other quixotic tangent. This bit from a Q&A with her surprised me:

She got dunked in piss for reading Rimbaud
At 16, she saw Arthur Rimbaud on the cover of Illuminations at a bus stop in Philadelphia and fell in love with him (“I think I sort of traded Rimbaud for Bob Dylan for a while”), as well as his poetry. She brought her copy to work at her first job as a “baby bugger beeper inspector” in a factory, where she made $1.25 an hour and wasn’t allowed to read. Her co-workers were mostly illiterate and told her to leave it at home, especially because they saw it was in two languages and thought it was a communist book. “I was an arrogant teenage girl,” Smith said, “so of course I brought the book the next day. So they took me into the john and gave me a lesson.” At least she got a song out of it: “It’s called ‘Piss Factory’ because I got dunked in a little yellow water.” (Rimbaud probably would’ve been proud, for what it’s worth.)

I need to make time for her work. It’s another embarrassing lacuna.

mega-tsunami 73,000 years ago

A tsunami on Cape Verde 73,000 years ago was allegedly powerful enough to crash a 170 meter wave into a nearby island. That seems like a interesting time and place for a tsunami. I wonder… How’d that affect the western coast of Africa at the time? Maybe even coastal Spain? There’d be humans there, right? Aterian culture spread as far as Morocco. How far west was the range of the ancestors of the people who lived in the Iwo Eleru cave? Hm… Maybe the massive population drop wasn’t solely the Toba explosion in Indonesia?