I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. - Groucho Marx


by Lindsay Long
Sept. 26, 2016
One of the more enigmatic and unique sounds to emerge from England’s burgeoning 70’s punk scene was the female fronted X-Ray Spex. After witnessing an inspirational Sex Pistols performance, former flower child Marianne Joan Elliot-Said decided to form a punk rock band. In late 1976 with help from her boyfriend/manager Falcon Stuart, she took out ads in Melody Maker and NME seeking “young punx who want to stick it together.” Shedding her real name for that of Poly Styrene, she installed teenage saxophonist Susan Whitby, Paul Dean, Paul B.P. Hurding, and Jack Stafford to hurl her anti-consumerist lyrics into the faces of London’s rebellious youth. The sax lent an atypical approach to the three-chord aesthetic of classic punk rock with slightly funky tinges and a definite new wave angle. Alongside Jak Airport’s soaring guitar and Poly’s (at times abrasive and shrill, rarely melodic and sweet) voice, the band was able to become an overnight sensation. Only their second live appearance was onstage at the Roxy and they even managed to take up a near residency at local Man on the Moon pub. Recording companies were eager to cash in on the punk rock craze, and X-Ray Spex released their first single “Oh Bondage Up Yours!” on Virgin. The song became a proto riot grrrl anthem and is still heralded as one of the finest punk singles released. Although Poly claimed the song actually stressed strong anti-consumerism views rather than remarks on sexism. It is still no mistake that she became widely recognized as an innovative feminist figure in an aggressive scene dominated by nihilistic young men. Born of British Somali descent and unabashedly wearing braces, Poly Styrene was an audacious archetype for rock n’ roll front woman. Denouncing the idea of being conceived as a sex symbol, she in turn became a punk poster child, often receiving more recognition than the actual band itself. Whitby, better known as Lora Logic, was replaced early on by Glyn John then eventually Rudi Thomson, but also must be credited as a crucial role in the early incarnation of X-Ray Spex. Being only fifteen at the time, Logic left the band to pursue her education. She would later go on to form Essential Logic and work with several influential acts throughout her own interesting post-punk career...
Currently holdin’ it down in the dirty south city of Atlanta, Network Awesome contributor Lindsay can be found frequenting house parties, punk rock shows, seedy thrift stores, or glued to her computer screen unearthing the endless gems today's internet offers. A self-proclaimed fan of all things vintage, including the nudie mags of yesteryear, she possesses an insatiable appetite for anything visually mind-blowing or just totally tasteless. Notorious B.I.G. sums her up best with a line from ‘Gimme the Loot': ”Dangerous. Crazier than a bag of f*@#$%g angel dust.”

by Brian Correia
Sept. 25, 2016

“This is the true story... of eight strangers... picked to live in a house...work together and have their lives taped... to find out what happens... when people stop being polite... and start getting real... The Real World.”

You know what it is. With one measly sentence, the world was introduced to what would become known as “reality TV.” And what better place for the format to debut than MTV (Music Television), a station that until shortly before The Real World's 1992 debut, primarily played new wave music videos? Well, that's what the show's co-creators Mary-Ellis Bunim and Jonathan Murray thought, anyway. We have them to thank (or blame) for 20 years of sex, booze, and bitch slaps (not to mention my favorite reality TV image, Survivor champ Richard Hatch's pixelated penis.) But the truth is, the network that today drags TV down to new depths with trashploitation shows like My Super Sweet 16 and, of course, Jersey Shore, was once a magnet for young (and weird!) artists with fresh voices...

Brian Correia is a budding computer scientist and aspiring writer from Boston, Massachusetts who couldn't decide which hip-hop lyric to put in his byline. The top three, in no particular order, were as follows: “cooler than a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce,” “spiced out Calvin Coolidge loungin' with six duelers,” and “I got techniques drippin' out my buttcheeks.” He is on Twitter (@brianmcorreia) and Tumblr (brianmcorreia.tumblr.com) like the rest of the kids.

by David Selden
Sept. 24, 2016

Shot in colour on 16mm with the sound post-synchronized, Hans Richter’s extraordinary portmanteau film, Dreams That Money Can Buy is a real curate’s egg. Completed in 1947 for a budget of $25000 ($15000 of which had come from Peggy Guggenheim), the feature length film took three years to complete.

Conceived as a showcase for the work of Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, Alexander Calder, Fernand Léger, Man Ray and Richard Huelsenbeck, the film was described by Richter as “7 dreams shaped by 7 contemporary artists”. The soundtrack features original compositions by John Cage, Paul Bowles and Darius Milhaud tied together by weirdly brilliant syrupy jazz interludes by Louis Applebaum, who later complained that his involvement with the project as musical director had almost bankrupted him...

After a long international career exhibiting video installation and photography, David Selden renounced the art world in favor of the far less superficial drag scene and became intimately involved with a number of notorious London fetish clubs. ‘Retiring’ to Berlin in 2007 having run out of pseudonyms, he has written about music for Dorfdisco and about art for Whitehot Magazine as well as contributing numerous catalogue essays and translations for a variety of publications and websites. His misadventures in the world of anti-music can be endured at affeprotokoll.tumblr.com

by Anthony Galli
Sept. 24, 2016

Where do the dead go to spend the rest of their lives?

Assuming that there just may be some form of afterlife, are the dead guaranteed a spot at the table, at someone’s right hand, serenaded by celestial choirs and heavenly harps, basking in the eternal glow of forgiveness. Or is it something else entirely, at that other place, with that other guy, tormented and tortured and damned into infinity? Who knows?

Or what if, as some people believe, a spirit spends the rest of its immaterial existence at the spot where the body died, or where the body lived, either emanating from empty rooms and disturbing the children, or luxuriating in the location where their fondest memories were made. Again, who knows? There are so many competing views on the afterlife that it’s difficult to pick just one to aspire to. They all seem so interesting in their own enigmatic ways!

Anthony Galli currently lives in Athens, Georgia. He shares a birthday with his black cat, Magic, and they both claim Wings of Desire as their favorite film. Anthony has published two books of poetry, Amnesia for Insomniacs and Invisible Idiot.

by Kristen Bialik
Sept. 16, 2016

"This situation is so bad that it is the worst that ever has been!" – The Professor

So you may want to know who the Professor is, or more pressingly, what is the situation? The worst situation that has ever been! Well when you watch Infra-Man you won’t have to wait long to find out. Before the Professor can proclaim the direness of the event, some crazy shit goes down: a Giant Flying Lizard crashes into a children’s school bus, the Earth is ruptured, and Hong Kong erupts in flames. And that’s just the first 60 seconds.

The situation is this. After a several million-year slumber, a prehistoric monarch by the name of Princess Dragon Mom has awoken and is royally pissed to discover she no longer rules the world. So she decides to enslave the entire human race with the help of her monster minions...

Kristen Bialik is a writer, teacher and graduate student of Journalism and Mass Communication. In her spare time, she's a baker of pies and maker of stories.