"We are all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing." ~ Charles Bukowski
And another thing! “Gay neocons are better than straight neocons. Vote for gay neocons, shit will get better.” ~Lev
Party Politics, Press Propagandism Commentary on San Diego Mayoral Scandalism, by Lev Six
If you aren’t from San Diego, shut up about the imaginary Mayor Filner scandal. He is fantastic, I’d rate him as 9 out of 10 — one of the best SD mayors in my lifetime. You’re all so educated and fabulous. You are only embarrassing yourself when you spout the bought-and-sold media narrative. I flushed a few “friends” from my list today because their robot-party cards compelled them to spout Big Media propaganda. Go shoot yourself in the face if you can’t think outside the box. I will flush the rest of you without hesitation, so please speak up, there’s plenty of room in the toilet. Stop being a party-bot. Filner is getting assaulted because of his views about jury nullification and his consistent defense of civil liberties. I told many friends that he would be targeted months before this “scandal” occurred. San Diego, you are going to elect a corrupt neocon as a leader because he is gay. You are useful idiots. Freedom Riders, motherfucker.
… I met him at a protest when I moved here. He is genuinely interested in social justice. He is a human so of course he is flawed, but he is an upgrade from the neocon psychopaths who normally hold the office. He is a Democrat in name only and probably the most libertarian big city mayor in the country when it comes to civil liberty issues. He should not only continue to refuse to resign, he should go nuts on his attackers by filing endless lawsuits!
Above and below: San Diego’s “embattled” (as they say) Mayor Bob Filner (D), outspoken former Freedom Rider in the war for Civil Rights, then and today.
THE AGENCY MODELS – THIRTY YEARS LATER, PHOTOGRAPHS BY ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE
at White Box Contemporary
San Diego Resident Alfredo Santiago Remembers Robert Mapplethorpe Foray Into High Fashion
Video by Katherine Sweetman, words by Reviewer Rob
At the intersection of the fringe art-business world, fashion/modeling and extreme-art photography Robert Mapplethorpe emerged in the late-1970’s/early-80’s. When he wanted to enter fashion as a photographer he approached Alfredo Santiago who was beginning his dalliance with the world of fashion by launching his stable of models at The Agency Models Incorporated in New York in 1983. Santiago says The Agency was eventually ranked fourth among the top ten modeling agencies…
By 1989 Mapplethorpe would be both lionized and demonized because of the fine art male and female nudes he shot of his friends and acquaintances in the NYC scene he moved among. The public funding of his work provoked the religious and homophobic ire of the Far Right when people like Senator Jesse Helms decried him as an example of exactly what the U.S. government should not be supporting with tax dollars.
OK, back to this video… at first Alfredo Santiago demurred because Mapplethorpe’s name was relatively unknown in the fashion world but after providing some weighty personal references, among them Yves Saint Laurent, Santiago gave him a shot.
Mapplethorpe approached the black and white headshot sittings and their image production like an art project. The results were unlike anything else in the industry from that time period.
According to this short Youtube doc, produced through the collaborative efforts of Katherine Sweetman and White Box Contemporary Gallery, an exhibit of the (finished) photographs was held on May 3, 1983, at the Hardison Fine Arts Gallery in NYC. These Palaroid working images were kept by Santiago under his bed for 30 years.
Today, Alfredo Santiago is back living in San Diego where he is from. An SDSU graduate, Santiago says he’s seen everything the New York art scene had to offer him. He’s long-retired from fashion. He’d like you to see these historic original, hand-altered photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe. If everything that is presented about them is true, they’re beyond rare. They are each one-of-a-kind and never before exhibited.
Interested parties can contact Alexander Salazar or Anjela Piccard at White Box Contemporary, 1040 7th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101, 619-237-8813.
Check out this bit of history courtesy of Broken Crutch Production:
second review of a previously covered book: SECRET CARNIVAL WORKERS
First covered in the Summer 2010 issue of Reviewer
Here it is again because it’s JUST THAT GOOD.
By Reviewer Rob
Secret Carnival Workers (book) by Paul Haines, edited by Stuart Broomer with Emily Haines, with notes by Paul Haines by Carla Bley, Roswell Rudd and Micheal Snow, 2007 from H.Pal Productions, 232 pages, paperback, 5×7 approx., with some back Andrew white photos
This fine book waited a long time for a review. I wasn’t familiar with the writing of Paul Haines until I found out that his daughter Emily, the lead singer of Metric, had a father who was a jazz critic/lyric writer and poet and that he had a book. Since I was fond of Emily’s work I wanted to check this out. Glad I did too. Comprehensive monographs that are thoughtfully compiled are usually pretty good. Assessing the life’s work of an artist is usually a sobering experience. But when the work is as un-narcissistic as that of Paul Haines, and one that lacks self-consciousness, it’s all the more satisfying.
There’s a strange “magic” here too. I don’t really believe in magic, or if it exists I can’t say I’ve experienced it, but I will say this: the book has a serendipitous quality to it. As many of you know I, Reviewer Rob, am a man of many hats. One of my side jobs is I run a tree-trimming business here in Southern California; both the work can be fun and it’s often well paid. Plus as the boss I get to make my own hours.
One afternoon a couple of years ago or so I was doing a dump run to the local landfill with my neighbor Tim “Sheep McSheepy” Sheepy (yes, that’s his real name he goes by – his rave-identity, so to speak … actually at the tiime it was “Sheepfucker” but I guess he’s toned it down now) who was acting as my assistant that day. He’s also a member of the local San Diego/Ocean Beach contingent of the famous Burningman tribe of party people. We were to drop off of a load of from the previous day’s tree job at the dump but before starting on our way to the landfill we stopped by the post office to get the newest batch of review material. In it was this paperback, Secret Carnival Workers. I climbed back in my truck and opened the package, thumbed through the tome one time and set it down.
Once at the dump, while driving through the Clean Green area where trees are recycled, Sheepy picked the book up from atop the cupholder armrest where it was lain and opened it to a random page in the middle. It was page 98, the eponymous poem from which the title of the book had been taken. Here are its first eight lines:
HAS TAKEN SHEEP
TO THE DUMP
AND THE SMOKE
TO THE AMAZEMENT EVEN
OF SECRET CARNIVAL
True story. I wasn’t that impressed with the eerie coincidence at the time, but Tim was. He practically cried out as he looked up from the book with wide-eyed amazement at the long rows of chipped tree matter lining the road at the Kearny Mesa landfill as we drove by them. Then he re-read the passage to me. And no, I don’t think I’m The Prince.
Paul Haines had international fame in jazz circles, probably still does, I bet. But even if one is not familiar with that musical milieu it’s easy to get into the artful imagery of this unstructured prose and poetic verse here. In this cyber age of 140-word tweets and inarticulate blog posts it’s a refreshing throwback to a more literate time when the music scene was less of a scene and more about music.
In summary, this is a sturdy and valuable backpack-concealable paperback, with possible magic qualities. All poetry is, after all, possibly magic – if there is a thing called magic – songs lyrics and scripture afterall are formed from it.
He participated in the siege of The Presidio at San Diego
[Printed below is the text of an email sent to Reviewer Magazine from Linda Jacobo, regarding the Albert Smith grave site. ~Editor]
“Thanks for your quick response. I just want to clarify something in your article. As the great-great-granddaughter of Albert Benjamin Smith, I was delighted to see an article written about him. While your piece about him is correct, I want to share that if you had looked behind the stone, you would have seen his headstone. He was re-interred back in the 20’s and placed as close as possible to the rock. I’ve attached a recent photo of his headstone with his great-great-great-great granddaughter. Thanks for sharing the story of our ancestor… Linda”
Below is a photo provided by Linda Jacobo:
Memorial Day, 2013
Here’s a bit of seldom read American history. Atop a seaside hill in San Diego, inside the old section of the Fort Rosecreans National Cemetery in Point Loma, is a small granite boulder with the inscription for Albert B. Smith, a civilian who is remembered for sneaking ashore in 1846 during the pivotal siege of the Presidio at San Diego and spiking the cannons of the Mexican Army. Later, he bravely climbed the Presidio flagpole while being fired upon by snipers and nailed the American flag to it. We all know how that battle ended. Gold was then discovered up north. In a few years California was a state.
A headstone for Harold Dean Tatum stands in front of Smith’s marker. Why these two men appear to share the same plot is a mystery. At first I thought maybe Tatum was a descendant of Smith’s but a cursory internet search revealed no other relationship between them. On one website Tatum is listed as being a Vietnam War casualty, and his year of death is 1967. So maybe he was interred before they expanded the cemetery and were able to provide him with his own grave site. But still, it seems kind of bogus.