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 Joe DeMartino
March 24, 2017
Most car accidents happen close to home, a truism that holds up in space travel. The actual travel itself has proved much less fatal than actually getting there and back, which requires nerves and heat shields and complex math. Out of the hundreds of manned missions we’ve sent into space, including a number that required astronauts to untether themselves in low earth orbit and nine that actually sent them to (or around) the moon, the only people to have actually died in space were the unlucky cosmonauts of Soyuz 11, who perished when a valve jolted loose during preparations for re-entry. The three men, none of whom were wearing full protective suits at the time, asphyxiated within seconds from the rapid loss of pressure inside their capsule...

Joe DeMartino is a Connecticut-based writer who grew up wanting to be Ted Williams, but you would not BELIEVE how hard it is to hit a baseball, so he gave that up because he writes words OK. He talks about exploding suns, video games, karaoke, and other cool shit at his blog. He can be emailed at jddemartino@gmail.com and tweeted at @thetoycannon. He writes about sports elsewhere. The sports sells better.

by Jimmy Trash
March 22, 2017

I've already documented the conditions under which cosmopolitan Turks enjoyed a decade of liberty and moral relaxation in the 70s in my article on the Transgender Diva Bulent Ersoy. This flirtation with the West not only opened Turkish audiences to European, Japanese and American film and made cinemagoing a very fashionable pastime, but also gave rise to "Yeşilçam" (Green Pine), the street of studios responsible for the production of Turkey's now-notorious B movie scene. This genre has been given the international attention it deserves in documentaries such as the amazing “Remake, Remix, Rip-Off”. However there is another part of the Yeşilçam tradition not so delved into – the history and consequences of the addition of eroticism to the roster of movies being pumped out of Turkeywood.

Seen as a way to stay competitive with the racey and nudity stricken Western cinema that was playing in the Turkish houses, Yeşilçam started to include nudity and sex scenes in all genres of films already being made, as well as adopting a style of erotic comedy influenced by the Italian version of blue movies flooding over the borders. 1974's “Beş Tavuk Bir Horoz” [5 Chickens and a Rooster] starring the stunning and ill-fated Mine Mutlu (who had to retire after her fan club became to ravenous and demanding) was the first smash erotic comedy and was mainstream enough to brand a line of Turkish fashion after the title. 

To talk of the colorful history of Turkish erotic cinema it is unfortunately impossible to drop the theme of sexual politics from the start or else we won't get passed the first lines of discussion. The movies were unapologetically sexist, and without the redeeming charm which allowed French and Italian movies of the same time to occasionally get away with it. There exists none of Jean Rollins' strong and vengeful vampiric female characters and no man-killing girl-sucking “Ilsa” characters to paint females as anything more than mean manipulators or passive victims. The naivety and hypocrisy in which the Turkish directors and public dealt with sexuality is most evident in the fact that women were not allowed into the cinemas where these films were shown – thus presenting a hidden image of the free and...

Singer/organist/writer Jimmy Trash is an Australian born musician, journalist, dj and herald of low-brow art and psychedelic culture through his own festival, Trashfest, and many other mediums. He is available for shamanistic healing, bacchanalian instruction and nerdy weird music exchanges.

by Anthony Galli
March 19, 2017

In 1959, stand-up comedian Jonathan Winters suffered a nervous breakdown while onstage at the “hungry i” in San Francisco. Although details of the incident have entered show business folklore and have become cloaked in mythology, Winters, when asked, always disputed the press accounts of the occasion. Legend has it that Winters left the club in a taxi after his performance, visited a 19th century Scottish built ship, the Balclutha, at Fisherman’s Wharf, and proceeded to scale the riggings, naked and shouting.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported at the time that Winters told his arresting officers, “I’m John Q. What’s it to you? I’m in orbit, man! I’m a mooncat on Cloud 9, from outer space.”

By this time in his career, Winters had progressed from local radio and television jobs in his home state of Ohio to regular appearances on Jack Paar’s Tonight ShowThe Steve Allen Plymouth Show, a number of panel style game shows, as well as numerous other high profile show-business activities. Life was looking pretty good for Winters, a former Marine and college dropout. All of the hard work he had been putting into his career since moving to New York with his wife in 1953 was beginning to pay off.

But, man did he hate those nightclubs...

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 Nathaniel Hoyt
March 16, 2017

Back when I was a recent transplant from the deep suburbs to Boston, I worked at a Trader Joe's. While working there I wore a stupid shirt, tried not to cut yuppies with the box-cutters, and generally despised everything about the place. However, I did become friends with some charming weirdos who, like me, got a job there thinking it'd be a bunch of misfit freaks like ourselves. We were partly right: there were a lot of freaks, but behind all the team cheer and tacky Hawaiian shirts stood a rigid corporate infrastructure (of course), managed by ex-military drill sergeants, and overlorded by a remote dynasty of German billionaires, whatever hope we harbored that this was different from any other for-profit business was steadily abandoned. Not that there was any great hope to begin with, merely a passing wish that maybe there existed a part-time job requiring no experience that wasn't indentured slavery to a run-of-the-mill evil corporation.

The disillusionment brought us together. I befriended a tall, Nordic-looking neurotic named Mike. One day Mike picked me up after our shifts were over, saying we were going to see this crazy band called Psychic TV. I'd never heard of them, and from Mike's description I was having a hard time understanding what it was I was going to see. That's the first time I'd heard the name Genesis P-Orridge – a name I still find hilarious, and place in the hallowed pantheon of great adopted punk names like Jello Biafra and Lux Interior. My interest was downright piqued...

Nathaniel Hoyt is an inconceivably complex system of sentient organic materials dedicated to eating poorly and playing video games frequently. He has a Tumblr account that he doesn't quite know how to use, which you can view at dedolence.tumblr.com, although admittedly there's probably better ways to waste company time. As a do-er of many things, feel free to seek Nathaniel out if you have any things that need doing, like bicycle fixing, coffee making, artwork drawing, or opinion giving. END COMMUNICATION.

by Brian Correia
March 11, 2017
There are artists who are meticulous. They prefer to perfect and manicure their art before showing it at what they consider the exact right moment. They erase the sketch marks, increase the fidelity, prune and primp until they have what they consider a well-polished, finished product. These artists showcase their work deliberately. They stick to what they know. Their experiments, if they experiment at all, are carefully considered. Artists like this may go years without releasing anything, and when they finally do, it is an event. Jeff Keen may have been one of these artists...
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.