Tag Archives: death

Noel Scott Engel 1943-1976

HOLY SHIT SCOTT WALKER DIED!

Hard to put into a flat dead blog how much of a presence he’s had in my life the last 15 years. How about a video.

As for his death: Was it me??? My new book, which prints within a few weeks, has his song in the epigraph. It just went to the printer today and I find out Scott died. Shit!!  Too much Pynchon in my life right now. Time to drink. Vaya con los ancianos, Scott!!!

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2-Strats: Luke-Ass Profiles Jimmy Crack

I know how much yall like guns.

This time 2-Strats hears from Luke-Ass reporting about a guy from high school whom he saw when he visited his hometown this weekend. A story of why you don’t cut school to steal guns from people’s houses. Even if people will defend your right to masturbate with guns at the expense of 60 people’s lives in one night, more than once per night all year long.

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Sense Magazine 1971

So old man Tommy upstairs finally died a few months ago and, as he had no family left except an equally ancient and doubtlessly equally arthritic brother in Japan, my dick landlord hired a company to clean out his apartment. His whole life went into a dumpster. I could write a whole essay cycle on just that, but I won’t now. Anyhow I got to go in his thoroughly pre-internet, archival apartment and tried to get whatever I could that caught my eye.

He had a voluminous shelf of Chinese and Japanese cookbooks, tons of 1980s-1990s TIME-type jingoistic/uncritical photographic folios that we all pored over as kids looking for answers that weren’t there, ring binders full of local history and newspaper clippings (a post on that coming soon), city and county pamphlets on health and aging and disaster preparedness and shit, and sundry stuff such as what you see below.

cci07012017

Above is the cover of Sense Magazine. This wasn’t the metrosexual men’s Cosmopolitan of the current decade, but “the portable marriage counselor,” a “sociological” publication by Academy Press of San Diego, volume 1 issue 2, from January 1971. I’m not sure how much WordPress cares about nudity and stuff so I might not scan in pages. In any case, it’s basically a hardcore full-penetration etc. skinmag BUT with clinical explanations for everything –you can practically hear the voice of Art Gilmore reading it –adjacent to the photos, and you had to really want it, because in 1971 it cost $5 when for that you could see Zeppelin and remain to learn firsthand about fellatio, cunnilingus, fetishes, orgasm, lesbianism and male homosexuality.

Without scanning photos, we can say that the fun part is not the repetition of sex photos but the weird Marin County tone of self-whatever and openness (the woman’s biting her nipple with a fucking fake skull and what’s more that NEVER gets explained) that pervades the magazine. It swings between matter-of-fact, which is good, and a certain uncomfortable distance; you know, that avuncular voice from the mid-20th century of a middle-aged guy hired to sound smart about this shit who privately wouldn’t have anything to do with it.

There is ample mention of totally hipster-level trends of the time such as “What is the ampallang?” and “Are these really adequate substitutes for the male penis?” It quotes experts as much as possible, such as obviously Kinsey as well as Sexual Actions and Reactions by Burch Robbins.

What’s more, a certain photo of two women using a vibrator shows a huge battery pack on the back of the thing obscuring the one woman’s privates, like you’d see today on an orbital sander, and the metal label is hard to read but I thought it said Sylvania or Swingline. What logo is that??? At least I found out in the research for this little blog post that there is a vintage vibrator museum on Polk in SF that I’ve shamefully never visited. I’ll get my life in order in 2017 yet!

The only really heavy part is the series of fuck photos dedicated to incest, which are of course staged, accompanying the straight-faced explanation of that phenomenon. However there are awesome payoffs, such as the headings “Isn’t the Bible full of incest?” and “And what about incest among the Borgias?” If this is a question that anyone on the street would’ve asked on the topic of incest in 1971, that is proof that our current education system is catastrophically off-track.

Oddly enough, we can’t find a dang thing about this magazine on the internet. It appears to have disappeared off the face of the earth, not that this is surprising. All we can hope is that couples looked at the pictures to get in the mood to do it, and that the shameless swingers who must’ve started this silly magazine helped prevent some people from getting divorced or whatever, though it’s more likely that they used it to attract people who were into throwing power-orgies of epic proportion.

If anyone wants this magazine, please comment and I’ll gladly mail it as I’ve already read it for its historical import and am over it. If you want it and you are Thomas Pynchon, you can count on my discretion.

RIP Günter Grass, 1927-2015

Here’s a really good obit of Grass, whose death I just heard about. What a crazy life.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/04/25/gras-a25.html

“Amongst Grass’s role models were German writer Alfred Döblin, Irish novelist James Joyce and other leading storytellers of the 20th century. Along with Siegfried Lens, Heinrich Böll and Uwe Johnson, he was a decisive voice in German postwar literature and made a significant contribution to a literary engagement with the traumas of 20th century history.

Grass’s world reputation does not rest alone on his epic fiction works, above all his début novel The Tin Drum. The fact that he continuously expressed his opinions on contemporary political issues, posed awkward questions and provided answers to them, invariably encountering strong criticism from sections of the media and politicians, was closely bound up with his artistic work.

With his critical perspective on society and history, the novelist attempted to break through the vale of forgetting and cover-up propagated by the postwar political establishment in Germany. It is testament to Grass’s steadfastness that his list of opponents ranged from leading figures in the Adenauer era (Konrad Adenauer was chancellor of West Germany from 1949 to 1963), when many old Nazis held high positions within the state and in business, to prominent politicians and media personalities in the present day.”