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an autobiographical look back through this new book from Lisa Carver
by Reviewer Rob
I’ve always liked career retrospectives. There’s something cathartic in a vicarious sense with experiencing an artist’s life work retrospective. Greatest hits CDs, autobiographies, documentary videos about someone at the end of a long and satisfying career — I like it when they can sum up their life story in a nice, neat package.
I got SUCKDOG: A RUCKUS last month from punk rock icon and alternative opera/art performance legend Lisa Carver and it’s really slick and glossy and well published but “neat” is not quite the word to use for it. She had to self-publish it because, she’s said, the photos included were “full color and full nasty”. There’s several nudes of Lisa when she was performimg on stage in bars in her twenties or early thirties and even one graphic pink spread shot from when she was at some hapless but lucky venue with her French then-husband Costes (her first of three). Really pushing the legal limits of the First Amendment with that one. But that’s Lisa. She’s good at pushing the limits.
I was following her ordeal getting this book to a printer on her Facebook page and it was one turn down after another. She kept at it though, and her perseverance paid off. This will be a fun one to review. Sorry this isn’t the review for it, yet, just an announcement for it. Watch out.
Below is a photo of a fan of Lisa’s with her copy of SUCKDOG: A RUCKUS found on Lisa’s Facebook page. Lisa had asked everyone to post a naked selfie with her book after they purchased it. And they DID. Many many did. Behold: This is the irresistible POWER of Lisa Carver.
A photo of the new book Suckdog, A Ruckus from author Lisa Carver. This photo isn’t Lisa but it’s from a fan of hers posted on Lisa’s Facebook page. Lisa had asked everyone to post a naked selfie with her book after they purchased it. And they DID. Many many did. Behold: This is the irresistible POWER of Lisa Carver.
Last night we had another ceremony beginning at 9pm and I haven’t slept since. ((It ended up being over 24 hours until I could muster the ability to slip into sleep realms.)) This time it was Dionisio’s lovely wife, Aubrey, conducting the ceremony. Aubrey created a much more spiritual and ritualistic environment for us. She picked some large aromatic flowers from the property and placed them in the center of the maloca along with incense and other ceremonial accoutrement. She had a large and pleasantly deafening singing bowl, and an instrument that sounded like a babbling brook. It was all women in attendance. In order going around our Maloca circle: Aubrey, myself, mothership, Rachel, and Mansi. It’s difficult for me to fathom putting my entire experience into words because it was beyond the capacity of language. Infinite epiphanies and immense deep healing at the atomic level. I saw Ma!! Kali Ma! My entire trip was rejoicing in her Infinate beauty and unconditional love. She is in absolutely EVERYTHING! I saw her love and energy in all creatures, plants, minerals and vast spaces in between… in this realm/planet and endless others. I continue to cry, weeping in the witness of her divinity even after the trip. She dances in my heart and she taught me how to love! She taught me how to live! To truly BE AWAKE and STAY AWAKE. She challenged me and embraced me. Aghori Baba Paglananda told me in 2009 in Kathmandu that I would reach the highest state of consciousness in this lifetime and I was always somewhat skeptical of that grandiose proclamation, but alas!! I was there! I believe I actually made it as he predicted/saw while in his deep white-eyed trance in the cremation grounds. I made it to Ma’s home, in her lap with my brothers and sisters. Welcomed amongst the gods and goddesses. It’s all within! Her palace is within all of us!! Whenever I would start to slip away back into the samsara I just called out her name KALI MAAAA!! and she let me back inside her celestial palace. She said I can come back inside anytime but implored me to go out and play in her backyard and be the wide-eyed child that I am. She gave me the gift of imagination at birth and told me to go out and USE IT! She allowed me to play out my fantasies for the future and just when I thought it was written destiny she showed me different paths. So many fortunate paths and gifts to choose from! She’s blessed me with all the tools to paint my chosen reality. She allowed me to see different ways I can worship her and help heal those who will remain blind to her love in this lifetime and how to guide my brothers and sisters home to her. She showed me the pain of those I love and the best way to help them cut away at their own shackles without making myself a martyr. She showed me how to love myself and take care of my body. Astrologically congruent as it is, I am a water bearer to nourish the world with my expression and in order to keep that fluid energy flowing I must keep myself fully hydrated. I’m not drinking nearly enough water and apparently this is the cause for most chronic illnesses in the world. She showed me that antiperspirant deodorant that contains aluminum will kill me if I continue to use it. She wants me to help others see the poison in those products and encourage them to throw that toxic shit directly in the garbage. Embrace your sweat. Embrace your smells. These functions are necessary for homeostasis and they are beautiful. Break the control of the beauty industry. Aluminum deodorant is pure evil. I immediately threw mine in the garbage and I will not look back. She showed me what that particular death feels like and I begged her to heal me and allow me to choose a different death. I still feel the pain of the poison being leeched out of my armpits. They are still burning wildly and my underarm lymph nodes are swollen and tender. She’s healing me!! When you cry at the feet of Ma asking for help she obliges! She loves me so much! I weep!! Joy Maa! Joy Maa Kali!
Kali Ma cured me of my lifelong indoctrinated misogyny! Holy shit, seriously though!! She taught me how to embrace my sisters. The strength we are given as women should not be used to attack each other in the competition for sexual attention and ego driven plights. No! We must cherish and strengthen our sisters! We are all innately beautiful and worthy of love and there is an endless abundance to go around! Never kick the feet out from under other women; you will only end up tripping yourself in the process. Ma wants her children to get along and love each other. When you think and say nasty things about women you are saying and thinking all those things about Ma!! How horrific! Such blasphemy! She is in all of us!! I must love my sisters like I love my Kali Ma!
Aubrey embodied Ma. I first saw Ma in her as she was walking around anointing us with aromatic oils and sage smoke. Once I saw her spirit animated in Aubrey’s body I was able to see Ma in all things. Like waves, all her forms and faces crashed upon my brow in rapid succession. I laid there paralyzed in awe. Humbled. Surrendering to her insurmountable power and infinity. At one point Aubrey sat next to me and started to tell me how beautiful it is to be going through this journey with my biological mothership. She started telling me about similar trials with her own mom and how now that she is a mother (she has a beautiful bright-eyed two year old daughter) she finally understands. While she was talking to me I would go in and out of being able to comprehend what she was actually saying because we were psychically, telepathically, and energetically connected and there was a gigantic download of information being transferred to me. Various languages and visions of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding flowing from her being directly into mine. Without knowing if she actually said it or if it was transferred psychically she said I need to embrace my sisters. She talked about the deep societal and patriarchal conditioning that must be broken. Dads are important, but mothers are paramount. She spoke about the special and unparalleled relationship between a mother and a daughter. Through Aubrey, Maa told me not to masturbate so much or even at all (!!!!), that I should save my shakti for devotional tantra; that the pornography I consume for sexual release is poison. Sex is beautiful and bodies are beautiful and there’s nothing wrong with witnessing pornography, but that it should not be used or relied upon for sexual release. It’s unhealthy karmic entanglement with the people performing in the pornography. Orgasms should always be devotional. Direct your shakti and praise Ma! Ma told me that if I use all my sexual energy devotionally she will unlock the power of endless lucid dreaming where I can play out any and every single one of my sexually fantasies as vivid as real life without any fleshworld repercussions. She explained that all things that we consume are either nourishment, medicine, or poison. We should be more aware about what we consume, not only with our mouths, but with all of our senses. She said “and yes, even books. And trust me, I know you’ve read some books!!” And she lauggghhhheddd and I joined her. We cackled and laughed like coyotes at all the fucked up books I’ve been reading pretending the content wasn’t toxic because it was in written book form. As Aubrey sat next to me simultaneously speaking a million languages and messages I saw her biological insides. I saw her skeleton and her circulatory system, her organs, muscles and divine electrical pulse. Her face morphed from an aged crone to a young maiden and back again. Each time a different face. A different ethnicity. A different expression. Ma has endless forms. I couldn’t speak with my mouth, only with my thoughts. She could hear me effortlessly. Spoken words aren’t necessary. Maa hears all things. Aubrey said she could see and smell my plant bath on me from earlier that day. We took a moment to energetically give thanks to all the many healing and powerful medicinal and psychoactive plants we collected from the jungle earlier that day. Coco leaves, datura flowers, ayahuasca leaves, chiric sananga, charcruna, rooda, rosemary, rose pedals, prosaseesa (marigold,) tulsi (holy basil,) and aho sacha (jungle garlic.) MA’s garden is a wild eden sprawling with life, nutrients, medicines, portals, poisons, and entities. Ma has a remedy for absolutely everything. The plants are special spirits that deserve endless respect. We gave thanks for the fertile lands and prayed for humans to pay more respect to the plant-life on this precious planet.
I had a profound, terrifying and healing experience in relation to my mothership. Once again she was audibly sleeping during the majority of the ceremony and it was making me very sad because I felt like she was blatantly deciding to die. At one point Aubrey sweetly crooned “Maraaa Leeee, this isn’t the time for sleeping. Wake up. This is a ceremony! You didn’t come all this way to sleep through the ceremony, did you?” She woke up a little and I was psychically telling her “look mom! It’s fun! Have fun with us! Life is beautiful.” But then she said “sleeping is so much easier” and went right back to sleep and I cried. I realized that whatever pain she has experienced during this lifetime will never be fully understood by me and she won’t be able to escape from it or heal herself because she is too afraid to do the hard and scary work necessary. She will not be fortunate enough to truly know the face and sweet grace of God in this lifetime. Aubrey went over to her and while she was anointing my mom with oils and smoke I saw her preparing my mom for her death. It was a death rite because she was choosing to die. The pain was too immense. I started to repeat the mantra “karmarpa cheno karmarpa cheno karmarpa cheno” that Trilochean Guru Baba taught me in Kathmandu after I was accidentally responsible for the death of a puppy right after lighting a candle for Kal Bhairav. The mantra is utilized when aiding the recently deceased to reincarnate higher. Kali Maa, through Aubrey and myself, created a space for her in the next life and I’ve been assured it’s truly special. She will know what peace feels like in her next life. She will have a sound mind. After what felt like an eternity of mourning, my mom got up and left the maloca. I had a vision of her stripping naked and purging intensely from her mouth and her bowels immediately outside of the maloca. It was her mandatory walk of shame because she chose to sleep this lifetime away. Once she was out of sight I thought for sure she was dead. I cried and cried and mourned her death even more. But I had Maa there with me and I knew I was strong and that her next life was going to be infinitely better than this one without being really sure if she was going to be reincarnated as a human or not. I thought maybe a colorful frog would have a nice sound mind. She was gone for what felt like another eternity but when she reentered the circle I got up and gave her a gigantic hug and told her how much I love her and that her next life is going to be amazing. I don’t think she heard or understood me, but she was very happy that I gave her such a good hug. She even thanked me for it the next day. Once she was back in the maloca and I could see that she was still alive Maa told me to go to my room and let Aubrey work with my mom some more. I later learned that my presence was missed and that it would have been appreciated if I stayed, but in those moments I truly felt like I was told to go to my room… that my purpose in that circle had been served. I gathered my pillow, ritual shawl, KAYTWO sweater, water bottle and flashlight and started making my way down the steep winding stone path. I felt like a child again hugging my pillow, wobbly on my feet like I had just learned to walk. I let out a laugh so hearty it felt like it came from the depths of my bones. I laughed the way only children know how to laugh. I cackled and screamed “JOY MAA.” Mansi was having an intense moment not far from the path and the next day she told me that she saw me in that moment and that I had transformed into a wild beast. She heard some cats fighting and screeching nearby and was convinced that I was eating the cats! She wanted to go to the maloca to tell Aubrey that I was eating the cats but she was tripping too hard to make her way up the winding stone path.
Once I got to our lovely communal home I opened the door and it felt like my forever home. It was like walking into the perfect mansion that would be mine forever. I was elated. It was so beautiful. I started walking up the stairs and stopped halfway by the massive boulder that is protruding from the wall and is part of the staircase. Inside I saw a woman in the fetal position. The rock was a womb and a tomb. It was a grandmother Maa. I hugged the rock and said hello and paid my respects to the woman buried inside. Once I got to the top of the stairs and looked down the dark hall things became very sinister and scary. Shadows became dark trees and demons. Maa said “Mahakala is right behind this door. You’ve been saying you want to see him. Do you want to see Mahakala’s face?” I hugged my pillow hard and said “No Maa! Please not now! I’m not ready. Please. I just buried my mom and I don’t want to see Mahakala right now. I’m too fragile.” The loving Maa granted me my wishes and allowed me to enter my room without the face of hell waiting for me there. I’m very fortunate because apparently most people don’t get a choice in the matter. Most people who experience the hell realms are taken there without warning and can not do anything to escape them until Mother aya deems it enough.
After walking into the two story room that I was sharing with my mothership I went into the bathroom to purge and while I was doing so I stripped completely naked, shedding my white ceremony clothes on the ground in front of the toilet. I made sure I didn’t catch a glimpse of myself in the bathroom mirror because in my experience mirrors on psychedelics can be quite the horrific black hole. Once I felt I had physically rid myself of whatever ails I was storing in my biology I walked up the private stairs to my top floor bedroom area and laid down in my bed.
Kali Ma is such a Trickster! It’s hard to explain how, but she kept on tricking me. Just when I thought my visions/understandings were concrete she would show me something wildly contradictory. Also, just when I thought I was safe from seeing Mahakala she would play little tricks on me to rile me up. Maa is my favorite comedian. Such a trickster! Somehow her jokes never got old. You know those jokesters that are relentlessly repetitive and don’t know when to quit? She’s like that except hilarious. I was alone in my upstairs bedroom laying in my mosquito-net covered four-poster bed laughing at her and saying “MAAAA YOU’RE SUCH A TRICKSTERR!” Who knew God could be so funny?
Speaking of Tricksters, I had a vision while still in the maloca that William Clark actually IS my brother. He was up there in the celestial palace with Maa because he has also seen her face in this lifetime. Even though I’ve referred to him as my big brother I saw him now as my little brother. He was a trickster as well. Always hiding behind corners. Laughing and dancing and wearing orange like the Baul musicians that he adores so much. When I realized he truly is my brother I laughed hysterically because of our previous sexual history when I was visiting him in India. I accidentally slept with my brother and that absolutely cracked me up. At first I was like “Maa how could you let your children sleep together?” But then I realized that when you are the mother of the entire universe that all your creations are going to be incestual. What a weird family she has! So many children all fucking and fighting and eating each other. The grand mandala of orgiastic death battles. Twisted tornado of imaginary time and misconstrued matter melding into a whirlwind of wonderful confusion. The next day I told my Mothership (who is not very keen on William based on her experience of him when she visited us in India) about him being my brother and how she HAS to love and accept him. She said “No. I don’t believe I was EVER William’s mother.” and she’s probably right. Kali Maa is the mother that threads us together as siblings, not my Mothership. Regardless, I think it would be nice if she could muster the strength to love something that she doesn’t understand or innately connect with. This is my prayer for all of humanity.
So, back to me naked in bed laughing at Maa and receiving the visions she was transferring to me… next came the aliens. While thinking/seeing again how toxic aluminum deodorant is I was shown the face behind the evil. I had a vision of evil aliens trying to terraform planet Earth ((terraform may not be the proper term for this… it was suggested that “alienform” is more appropriate))… slowly taking over with their technology & A.I. Merging biological bodies with metal. It was as if the aluminum in deodorant was altering our DNA to be able to eventually merge with the cold circuitry of machines. I saw their stark expressionless faces staring down sinisterly from the heavens above. Watching us. Waiting. They want our planet and I’m not sure why they are being so patient and insidious with their war tactics. Perhaps their lifespans are much longer, or perhaps their perception/experience of time is drastically different than ours here on Earth. Anyone who knows me knows I’m obsessed with aliens and going to outer space is THE big dream. I’ve somehow been cured of my life long desire to colonize other planets and travel outside of Earth’s atmosphere because I was shown that taking care of this planet is our ONLY hope for survival. We don’t belong on other planets. The technology that we develop that would make living on other planets a feasible reality will end up destroying human life as we know it. If the loveless aliens win we will become a new species entirely that does not have any resemblance of the creatures we are now and have been for many multiple thousands of years. We will be enslaved. Forced to live in a cold metallic world devoid of organic life and love and art. Flat surfaces, straight lines, and the death of spontaneity. We will have as much free will as a pocket calculator that is always told exactly what to compute. Once I was shown the imminent objective threat to our species I had the undeniable understanding that I had just been recruited for war. Kali Ma brought me here in this moment because the deciding battle was happening at that very moment!! Kali chose me to be one of her warriors because she knows my strengths and determinations. We must battle the aliens with the most powerful weapon, one that they don’t have the ability to forge: love! I realize how insane and perhaps “new age” all this sounds, but it was absolutely undeniably real for me. I stared up at the grey enemies, swelling my heart with all the love I could muster, and shot it through the sky like a laser beam in full force attack. I had been chosen to fight the greatest planetary battle on behalf of all humans and all creatures who naturally reside on Earth. I was the night watcher. The night warrior. She recruited me to fight through the long night while the other soldiers slept. It was just me and the dogs I could hear barking nearby. It was me and the dogs fighting for our planet. I saw Akshy, the wolf dog, barking at the sky in full attack. I saw him die in war, but Maa resurrected him because he is somehow integral to the outcome of this battle. I saw myself in the damp cold soil of the earth surrounded by skulls. A past life as an aghori, unafraid and willing to fight through the night with the creepy crawlers and blood hounds. Gathering strength from my past incarnations I summoned the focused ability to fight until the sun came up. It became my soul’s destiny and most paramount purpose to make sure the sun came up. If I fell asleep before then the Earth and all her creatures would be doomed to metallic slavery. It rested on my shoulders to stay awake and save the world. It ended up being the longest night of my life.
There were times while laying there determined to stay awake that I kept hearing Janelle Clark’s voice in my head. Janelle is a darling psychic friend and spiritual advisor of mine. I saw her the day before I left for Peru for what I like to call an “exorcism massage” to rid myself of some of the lingering ailments and demons that January infected me with. I had visions of her during my first ayahuasca ceremony that, like William Clark being my brother, Janelle Clark is undeniably my sister! And how serendipitous that they share the same last name! HA! I saw Janelle and she was the most beautiful woman to me. She embodies a maternal wisdom and understanding of the hidden realms in such full force that she must be directly threaded with God. A true seer. Aware of all the spirits simultaneously. She has been blessed with the burdenous gift of true sight. And she was there helping me through the longest night of my life. She told me to drink more water. I was dehydrated and she could feel it in my skin. I laid there hugging and chugging my water bottle praying to wash away every thread of tiredness. The warrior must keep hydrated. She told me to push all my blankets and pillows off my bed and lay flat on my back with my palms up. She reminded me to breathe. When I was slipping into sleep it was Janelle’s voice that said “WAKE UP!”
At one point I was in a relentless time loop. It was like Bill Murray movie, Groundhog Day. I would be laying there fighting the aliens with love and making sure I stayed awake until the sun came up when I would hear a rooster crow. I always thought the crowing meant that the sun was about to rise. I would wait for what felt like forever but the sun never came. This kept looping and looping. I couldn’t tell you how many times that rooster gave me false sun alarms in the dead of night. Oh, and for whatever reason, whenever I heard that rooster I always envisioned it as a cockatoo. A white cockatoo with a colorful mohawk. After infinite eternities I decided to walk downstairs and see if my mom had returned to her bed. She wasn’t there. I decided to hold space for her while she was away at her own funeral so I crawled through the mosquito net and laid in her bed, still naked. Again with the time loops of the howling hounds, crowing cockatoo roosters, and sun that refused to rise.
Finally. While the sun was still nowhere to be seen, my mothership entered the room. She was happy and excitedly told me that she decided to drink some more ayahuasca. She expressed how much she enjoyed Aubrey and told me that she plans to come back to Peru to do at 12 day dietta at Yucamaman. She said everyone was wondering where I was. I told her I was holding space for her and that I was glad she was back home because I needed to concentrate on making sure the sun came up. From the bathroom she asked “whats all this white stuff on the floor?” and I explained that they were my clothes. I needed to get naked. She laughed and asked if I was naked in her bed and I said “of course!” We chatted a little longer while she got ready for bed. I tucked her in and turned off the lights and then went and hung out in the bathroom. It was long before I heard her snoring sound asleep. It was around 3 or 4 in the morning (at this point my memory doesn’t serve me) but my pupils were giant black saucers until the sun came up. I hung out in the bathroom with some candles I lit and some Gabriel Guardian Angel incense. I looked at myself naked in the mirror and it was like seeing myself naked for the first time. My body was such a precious gift. I massaged my tender lymph nodes in my arm pits and promised myself I wouldn’t use aluminum deodorant anymore. I brushed and braided my hair and heard Janelle’s voice say “don’t worry, your hair will get thicker when you get healthy.” I washed my face and brushed my teeth with black charcoal toothpaste. My daily rituals all felt like they were brand new experiences. I hung out in that bathroom for hours. Watching the candle burn and laughing at Maa. At one point I had a strong sense of my French lover, Nico, come over me. I could see him, huddled small and anxious in the wet cold winds of Dijon France. I spoke aloud for the first time in hours cooing “oooohhhh Niiiico,” My heart swelled with love for him.
The sky started to brighten and the songs of the birds grew louder and more varied. Once I saw the first ray of sun cast over the distance jungle hills I fell to the bathroom floor and wept. The sun had risen and I was relieved of my night watching war duty. The world did not fall into metallic enslavement on my watch. I was exhausted and elated and bewildered. Praise Ma!
Anna Yanushkevich, The Pussy Grabs Back, 1-20-17, The Merrow
video and review by Reviewer Rob
My interpretation is this is a performance art piece where the dancer is depicting the vulnerability of old age or infirmity in the relationship that a woman has when joined to a wealthy man that is willing to trade her in through divorce the moment she ages to a certain point and her youth and usefulness as a trophy wife has been consumed. That’s my evaluation of Anna’s performance as this night’s burlesque stage show was entitled “The Pussy Grabs Back” and was held Inauguration night 2017 after Donald Trump was sworn in as the fortyfifth President of the United States, and we all know about The Donald’s marital history.
Maybe I’m incorrect and totally got the point of beautiful Anna’s dance wrong. Maybe I was projecting something that wasn’t there. But I’m glad I got there in time to see this amazing woman do her thing on stage. I only wish I had four arms so I could shoot high rez photos as well as video but since I had to choose I picked video so you, dear reader, could better appreciate this talented woman’s poetry of motion.
Anna Yanushkevich, The Pussy Grabs Back, 1-20-17, The Merrow,
new music: LUNA DEATH TRAILS – RIDDEN COUNTRY TERROR SNOW
Friquita Francis, words & Marco Butcher, music.
Recorded at Boom Box Studios, North Carolina, produced in Istanbul, Turkey, 2016.
review by Reviewer Rob
LUNA DEATH TRAILS – RIDDEN COUNTRY TERROR SNOW” is a big and bawdy new single track with lyrics that meander all over the emotional map recorded by Friquita Francis and Marco Butcher. It was produced through a collaboratory effort from opposite sides of the world. Friquita teases the listener with her sometimes indecipherable voice which has matured and is noticeably stronger than in “Fry”, the last track I heard from her (unreleased) a few years ago recorded in New Orleans. There’s hints of PJ Harvey in her voice here and the cacophonous percussion and bass is reminiscent of Tom Waits while the vocals also call to mind some of the less angry versions of Lydia Lunch. You’re an audio voyeur to a private party with witches and multiform creatures brought to life from out of an Hieronymus Bosch painting. Look for a lot more from this band.
stultified from the bones sinking in
the worm holes in your skin laughing clocks
a great desires
and hide (shake it up) mountains to volcanoes
behind lustful eyes
a hazy morning
a foghorn cries push him deeper
you’ll never know
you’ll find (shake it up)
and prophesied knock me out
like a cold male lover
deepest shades of black
the pressure of your motor skills
your motive is a fact push him deeper baby
push him inside
wake up in santiago baby
with blood dripping from my mind as far away from you
as far away from me
as far away from time
and your fucking brainwashed kind you’ve got no money baby but you’ve got a whole lot of guns
you’ve got nobody baby
but you’ll have a whole lot of fun
One night a month The Office on 30th Street in San Diego (the classic old completely remodeled Scolari’s Office space, remember?) turns into a country-western honky tonk now and it’s a free for all on stage as local talent does their best Americana version of classic like Merle, Hank, Johnny, and others, as well as some originals. Bring a cowboy hat and drink Jack straight.
Beer handle display and assorted bar kitch, Live Wire.
[Beer Snob Rob]
review: “Agave Maria” from Lost Abbey
by Reviewer Rob
So I was at this cozy little neighborhood bar called Live Wire tonight, having an arty short glass of “Agave Maria” (like “Ave Maria”, the song?) from Lost Abbey brewery.
Its taste is strong and thick, like molassesey cough syrup with a hint of stale bong water. A bit more medinciney than I usually drink but I like it.
At first Matt said it’s like 7 or 8% but after doing some online research he came back and says it’s a 13.5 and that it’s “aged in Agave barrels”.
On another happy side note: Matt Strachota from BARTENDERS BIBLE, Live Wire bartender and Americana old-timey music style aficionado, will be headlining TOMORROW NIGHT, Wednesday, 1-11-17, at The Office (ye olde Scolari’s Office for you long-time SD barflys) for a dance-tastic night of Americana music where he turns the joint into “The Grande Old Office”.
Should be interesting and I plan on being there to take some photos. Then on Friday night, his other band BARTENDERS BIBLE with Matt Parker and Jason Corbin will play The Black Cat Bar in City Heights.
And it’s Friday The Thirteenth. So knock on wood before you step out for a drink and some great country-bluesy-bluegrassy type music. ~RR
Dark, dank, mysterious, strong: “Agave Maria” from Lost Abbey
BARTENDERS BIBLE, Friday the 13th, at Black Cat Bar!!!
Proposition 60 would have altered things for porn in California had it passed on November 8. Things quietly changed for porn after California’s 2012 Los Angeles Measure B, the mandatory condom law, and many adult production companies began their de-investment process in the Golden State. But the added civil suit incentives of Prop 60 threatened to provide teeth that previous regulatory measures lacked. Adult entertainment businesses in LA already occupy a shrinking economy due to other unrelated market forces and the previous condom law, so the industry cheered when Prop 60 was voted down.
The content on “It’s My First Time: Volume 4” was shot during the year prior to the election at an unspecified location which looked like someone’s upmarket LA guest house, and there’s no hint of the coming potential pornocalypse. While the unrehearsed feel of the interactions here are fun to watch, and Joanna seems like she’d be a cool neighbor with all her tattoos, the B-grade stripper quality of the talent here isn’t very attractive. The whole condom pressure thing will most likely drive that pool down lower.
‘Proposition 60 would require adult film producers to provide condoms and ensure that performers use them during performances in which “performers actually engage in vaginal or anal penetration by a penis.” While condoms would not need to be visible in films distributed to consumers, producers would need to prove that condoms were used. The costs of performers’ workplace-related medical examinations, sexually-transmitted infections (STI) tests, and STI vaccines would be covered by film producers under the measure. Adult film producers would be required to be licensed by Cal/OSHA every two years. Furthermore, producers would be required to contact Cal/OSHA whenever they make an adult film.’
Not long ago porn was describes as a thriving industry in a universe parallel to mainstream Hollywood entertainment, wealthy yet underground and invisible. Before internet’s first boom in the late 1990’s access to porn was limited to the smut rack under the surveillance camera of the local convenience store, or mail order. There were almost no enforced rules in its production and a Wild West atmosphere prevailed. Now that it’s become so common and anyone can access it for free at any time on their phone there’s more laws restricting its boundaries.
In the midst of the path modern porn is taking the universe it occupies has various overlapping social circles. If you’re a producer or an acting talent you occupy a certain place in the environmental sphere, the same for another type of character like a webmaster or a on-set grip/film-crew member. Then there’s the financing moguls and entertainment lawyers, or someone else that’s involved in the business of adult entertainment. How popular you are in the porn scene is what determines your location in relation to the center of this highly competitive World of Porn.
Although Joanna Angel started out as an “alternative” genre talent and webmaster with her site Burning Angel she has for the last decade moved closer and closer to the epicenter of the porn universe. No longer just an alternative actress, through her ubiquity she’s now a reigning Queen of Porn. This is no mean feat as things change all the time. Just ask James Deen. Like a sumo wrestling match there’s always the next crop of hottie associates willing to try and push the one in the center out of the spotlight. Joanna Angel through her personality and luck shows little sign of getting bumped.
Anyways, back to the condom law thing. Maybe you’re like me and were unaware that a 1992 California law already prohibited the production of porn without a condom. Its non-existent enforcement made it a de-facto mute point for more than twenty years. Local Cal/OSHA officials were unenthusiastic about popping in on a porn set and checking boners for latex. Now as companies are fighting for dwindling membership they just might call in the competition.
But is porn really that much of a hazard to public health, as politicians have said, or is someone just power trippin? The threat is that the proponent of Prop 60 and “free” porn’s current arch rival Michael Weinstein and the company he runs, Aids Healthcare Foundation, may try something new. If enforcement of the old law or the next iteration of Prop 60 become the eventual status quo it will so dramatically alter things that the American porn industry may wither or go overseas as it has threatened.
Currently it’s difficult to see how anyone makes any real money at all from porn making. If Johnny Jerkoff wants to squeeze one out into a sock he can go to one of these high quality crowd-stocked sites like Pornhub and xHamster to get a newly uploaded clip of Jenny banging her new boyfriend or Bob getting a blowjob at work in his car during lunch from the mail-room girl. These crowd-sourced sites are loaded with scenes by anonymous citizens doing it for fun, not a paycheck. Yes, there’s also the infamous illegally pirated content and even teaser previews by the professional companies. But honestly there’s so much high-quality porn being uploaded from ordinary citizens all the time it’s actually a quiet social revolution that is unprecedented in modern history, and it’s all for free. And that’s just content done and recorded in private. We’re not even talking yet about the live free sex shows on cam sites like Chaturbate.
So, unlike fifteen years ago where you had to buy a magazine or visit a strip club to see a strange naked woman without buying her drinks or dinner, no one really needs to pay for access to erotica any more. But yet many of the big companies are staying afloat and in this shrinking porno economy those fat cats will likely increase their market share.
Maybe that’s the way it should be. Perhaps the era of big cash returns for everyone in the domestic internet porn market was an anomaly, a brief epoch whose time is over, and it’s now replaced by a more democratic and social form of self-expression where exhibitionist sex is mostly just for fun and for free.
Drive-through quickie mart, one of the last ones in California. Apparently these used to be a lot more popular. Not sure why they fell out of favor and became less common, I think they’re awesome. Everything should be drivethru, and also open 24 hours.
Interesting side note: the apartments to the right in the picture, I think they’ve changed its name but I believe those are where the 9-11 hijackers lived while they were taking “flying lessons” at Montgomery Field.
With less than three weeks to the swearing in of the new president, below is a panel from cartoonist Dame Darcy (Fantagraphics Press) that describes the artist’s hopefulness that the apprehension regarding Donald Trump’s inauguration will at least provide a bright side with a new fashion movement. ~Editor
The Story of A Pleasant artist, a Bush and £5 Pounds!
by: ‘THE UNKNOWN’ Artist
It all began in 2003 following a series of trips to the United Kingdom in which the street installation artist known as ‘Pleasant’ was invited to contribute his unique style of underground visual art to a series of exhibits. Following not long after the inauguration of George Bush Jr. and 9/11. The United Kingdom was firmly in the grasp of the worldwide hysteria following those world shaking events.
In the winter of 2003 while taking the number 53 coach from Whitehall artist ‘Pleasant’ overheard tow passengers discussing the possible sale of the UK shop chain called Marks & Spencer to the American Walmart corporation. Which already purchased the British chain Asda a few years earlier. During the discussion one of the two passengers shouted that the, “Next thing these yanks are going to do is put ole Bush’s face on the £5 pound note!” “Hooray for Queen Bush!”, the “Bloody bastard”.
As a result of what turned out to be an excellent example of Britishness. Pleasant decided to do just that, in protest of what many in the UK seemed to believe could be great western expansion or neo-colonialism in the form of corporate takeovers of established British brands. In the style of Pleasant satire the artist created a mock £5 pound note with as expected, the face of Queen Bush on the front. Created from ink, digital manipulation, glass and paper. Pleasant created his new art piece and unveiled it at the anti-war march on Trafalgar Square in February of 2003. Little did the artist know that this would be the beginning of several years of craziness from British immigration border control and more!
But first a little bit about ‘PLEASANT’ Art. Pleasant is regarded as an figurative-expressionist painter and an underground installation street artist. An alumnus of the New York School of Visual Arts, Pleasant studied under the tutelages of celebrated Illustrator Jack Potter and New York abstract painter Michael Goldberg. Both of which were contributors to the New York School and staples of American art history. Over the years Pleasant has met many influential people who have further enriched his life and art. The Artist has travelled extensively for many years residing for extended periods of time in Scandinavia, Eastern, central Europe and South America. Pleasant’s travels helped to inspire him in his art and introduce a dimension of genuineness and real life experience into his expressionist paintings, installations and graphic design artworks. Some artists Pleasant has exhibited and or collaborated with have included, Makoto Fujimura, Max Zorn, Dame Darcy, unononeeins (Fashion Moda NYC) and The London Police to name a few. A contributing member of the popular Sticktogether collective/gallery, an Amsterdam based arts organisation started by celebrated Tape Artist Max Zorn and featuring 23 of the worlds most talented Street Artists.
Pleasant’s work has evolved over the years into an unusual blend of various styles and mediums that push the barriers of what is deemed “acceptable” often walking a fine line between social-political commentary and satire. Through an unusual blend of late 80’s ny street, contemporary central european and old southern folk style, you receive a very engaging Pleasant art experience. Pleasant is often considered to be an “underground artist” who often keeps his whereabouts and the majority of his upcoming projects unpublished until the time of it’s unveiling. ‘Jalal’ Pleasant is a member of a family of nationally distinguished artists and award recipients. Pleasant’s Grandfather David Carter was a widely recognised sculptor who exhibited at the Library of Congress in Washington DC. Pleasant’s Father, the late, William M Pleasant, Jr. (www.pleasantart.org) is a nationally recognised painter, graphic designer whose artwork is currently on exhibit in the Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC, as part of the permanent collection.
With the name ‘Jalal-Azamat’ Pleasant and a recreated ‘Bush’ £5 pound note. You can indeed imagine what kind of chaos followed the march on Trafalgar Square. Not long after unveiling the £5 pound note, images of Pleasant’s creation appeared in various locations on the internet sparking attention from various galleries in the usa and eu. One that stood out included the Ronald Feldman Gallery of New York City. We will revisit this subject a little later in the story.
The ‘Bush’ art piece was presented in an installation titled, ‘Suspended Thoughts’, a collection of art works documenting Pleasant’s entire emotional journey through the events before and after related to the creation of the £5 pound bush note. Several exhibits took place, some of which included the Clerkenwell Literary Festival, Limehouse gallery, A street Installation in Amsterdam and later in the usa at the Varga Gallery in Woodstock New York and Artist Space, also in New York City.
Pleasant’s first name is Jalal. Named by his father, a devote Bahai’ and one of the founding members of the Bahai’ Center of Savannah Georgia. Following 9/11, Pleasant found it increasingly difficult to obtain simple task, such as purchasing a ticket at Epcot Center or receiving references for design jobs. To his amazement and shock. Many people chose to believe that the name Jalal absolutely translated into Pleasant being a muslim. On many occasions Pleasant received harassment and at times outright attack as a result of being mis-perceived as a muslim, which he is not. But the worst was yet to come. Following a trip to the Louvre and Disneyland Paris. Pleasant began a journey from Paris to London to see additional art exhibits.
During his return trip back to the UK. Pleasant passed thru the port of Dover England. It was there where the artist was detained for 17 hours. The Immigration officers searched Pleasant several times, asked trick questions about his town of birth, Savannah Georgia and insisted that his birth certificate and passport were fake. Pleasant was then questioned about his ethnicity and religious background and that of his friends and family. Pleasant was declared an “Iraqi, Iranian and a Bangladeshi” citizen all at the same time! This led to the artist being sent away from the UK without an official reason. At one point during one of the searches the border officer asked Pleasant what he may find buried in his travel bag. The official said, “Will I find any drugs or illegal substances in this bag?” Pleasant replied, “No, however you shall find brochures and receipts from art museums, galleries gift shops.”
At the conclusion of the search the official looked up at Pleasant, looking almost like he’d seen a ghost. He then stated that he only found receipts from art museums, galleries gift shops! He then told Pleasant that it would be far easier for him to believe Pleasant to be a criminal trafficking drugs from mainland europe into the uk, rather than him actually being a visual artist traveling to experience and be influenced by the arts of the world. Pleasant found himself stranded in France for 4 days alone. Walking along the highways, dirt roads and flipping coins to decide which direction to go in. (We are talking pre iphone days people.) Pleasant eventually made his way back to Amsterdam. The most supportive, tolerant and appreciative city Pleasant had visited so far. There, unable to find a vacant hotel in short notice, Pleasant slept on the street for a couple of nights and met many amazing people who listened to his story. One of those people was named ‘Marc’, a long time resident of the famous but now defunct Slangenpand free art space (Snakehouse 1985-2015) A place where street artists, poets and experimental music artist could present selections of their craft to the public. Het Slangenpand was shut down in 2015 to make way for a Starbucks and condos. In a nationally broadcast flurry of riots, water canons and paintballs. The Amsterdam police took a bulldozer literally to the art gallery’s door and took the building. Ending the landmark’s decades long creative influence in the city of Amsterdam. On I returned to the USA Pleasant made a formal complaint to the UK ind. Over time an investigation took place and the UK ind denied everything. Yet they still gave no official reason why Pleasant was detained and treated in the way that he was. Also following that experience Pleasant was unable to return to the UK for quite some time. When Pleasant was detained in the port of Dover there were many other Muslim people in the detention center.
Pleasant sat beside a Muslim woman who for 17 hours never moved. Her face remained buried in her hands. Pleasant could not help but cry. Her hands were covered in scars and her shoes were torn and tattered. The artist sat and watched a grown middle-eastern man sobbing in the corner. it was something the artist would never forget. When he was released and sent out of the UK. Pleasant watched as the woman and the men were taken away on a bus out of the UK. He would never see them again. He saw the Sri Lankin woman scream “no!, no!, No!” and collapsed; there was nothing that he could do. Pleasant cried and cried for days.
Later after this experience Pleasant created an oil painting about what he saw. He titled the painting: The day that I saw the thru the deported Muslim woman’s eyes. After painting this painting, Pleasant was attacked by gallery owners on both sides of the Atlantic, but mostly in the USA. Pleasant was told that he did not have the “right” to paint about “those people”. With negative experiences with Don O’Melvany of the, now defunct, O’Melvany gallery in West Hollywood to complete dismissal, following initial interest in the £5 Pound Bush note, by Ronald Feldman of the Feldman gallery in New York City. It was clear that something was going on with Pleasant as a result of his Bush note. At the same time images of the art piece started to disappear mysteriously from the internet.
Pleasant’s time in New York City had been spent with Austrian curator, Stefan Eins (Founder of popular 1980’s Fashion Moda Street art Gallery in the south bronx of nyc). A long time friend of Pleasant’s relative. Pleasant became friends with Stefan for several years until the two had a creative falling out in the late 2000’s. The two presented art in and around New York City for a period, including putting on a popular performance art piece in the renowned Dumbo Art festival. In 2004 Pleasant was asked to visit the UK consulate in New York City. With Stefan in tow the two artists visited an official who to the shock of both Pleasant and Stefan from a cabinet pulled out a file on the artist. Though Pleasant was not offered an opportunity to look at his file. However as the agent flipped through the pages Pleasant obtained glimpses of xerox copies of his personal art website and then sure enough, there it was, a full page scan of none other than The £5 Pound Bush note!
The agent asked loads of questions about Pleasant’s background and why he created the £5 pound note. It was explained that Pleasant “defaced the image of the Queen”. The artist was also asked if he considered himself a risk to the social order of the uk! One of the most absurd though unsettling questions the agent asked was if Pleasant and Stefan, who by the way was Pleasant senior by more than 25 years, were “gay lovers”. When Stefan asked the agent why that was important. The agent quickly responded and said that it was of no importance. Yet Stefan then asked again why the agent brought up the subject. To which the agent remained mute. Years after the Bush note horror Pleasant continued to experience difficulty with uk border patrol. Especially with some of the reactions that he received from a few IND officers. Who have on 4 different occasions tried to make something out of nothing related to the information of the past immigration issue. They have leaped into subtle hostility towards Pleasant for no reason while jotting down various scribbles into his passport. Some UK immigration officers seem surprised when Pleasant explained to them that his immigration difficulties from at that time, 3 years ago were completely resolved. When Pleasant passed thru immigration the immigration officers react to the information as though it happened yesterday.
During Pleasant’s 2006 entry thru Heathrow airport, as his passport was being reviewed, The immigration officer turned to his associate at the next immigration booth beside him and asked her if, “If an American has had past immigration difficulties, is he allowed in?, do Americans need a visa?” As an American Pleasant never expects to ‘breeze thru British immigration’, however he didn’t expect to be harassed either. After a while the UK border agency realised that they went a bit crazy on an artist of note. Though despite receiving a four page letter apology (though still denying everything) hand signed by the immigration director of the UK. Pleasant was deeply inspired by the chaos, censorship and fallout from his £5 Pound Bush note. The original art piece never sold and the gallery owners who claimed interest in the art piece ignored Pleasant for decades. Though as sad as the outcome was then, it was a profoundly inspiring experience for Pleasant. Who has gone on to create more art and create an even greater impact in the art world since then. Pleasant also received moral support from a number of important sources which included the then exhibitions administrator of the Tate Modern , Harrods Owner, Muhammad Alfayed and the celebrated comedian, actor, Richard Pryor. Whom Pleasant established a friendship with over the years.
Ironically enough more than a decade later the artist known as ‘Banksy’ produced his version of a £5 pound note. Which of course sold for thousands of pounds. But as always in these matters, those who originate the new are often the ones least associated with it.
Pleasant recently attended the 2016 Art Basel Miami fair. As a represented vip at the Aqua Art fair Miami and member of Sticktogether. Also represented by the renowned GO gallery, Pleasant and his supporting creative team made up of Illustrator Dame Darcy and Becca Cook as the Queen of Right Now. Entered the Untitled and Scope Art fairs, presenting part of their performance art piece featuring a creation of Pleasant’s, titled ‘The UNKNOWN’ Artist. Originally conceived in 1990’s New York City. Pleasant’s masked Unknown persona often pops up in random locations in contrast to the surrounding environment. An installation within itself, Pleasant loves to shock and create discussion around the meaning of art, space, perception and it’s purpose to cultivate and to inspire. Look worldwide for Pleasant Street art, often in the form of the Spaceman of unity with it’s message asking us to ‘BE PLEASANT’.
On the hot seat of the Trump election. Pleasant has a new work of art planned to be unveiled soon. Perhaps the chaos shall begin all over again for the UNKNOWN artist and his Pleasant art? Stay tuned for new UNKNOWN Artist series paintings, officially to be unveiled in mid 2017 + ‘THE UNKNOWN’ Feature film coming soon. Currently Filming in Georgia, Amsterdam, South America, London, Los Angeles, Venice Italy and New York City.