It was Mother’s Day, a day when the animal rights groups Berkeley Organization for Animal Advocacy (BOAA) and Direct Action Everywhere (DXE) try to remind the public of the millions and millions of forgotten mothers – the dairy cows who are forced to stand in one spot indoors and be milked and milked and milked for fucking months on end until their udders are bleeding, swollen to the point of dragging on the floor and infected with mastitis. Mothers who frantically search in vain for their newborns who are stolen by humans shortly after birth. Mothers who cry and moan for days and days for their lost babies….
A group of animal rights activists from DXE and UPC including myself marched to the San Francisco Ferry Building yesterday to protest the selling of so-called ‘humane meat’ at a market inside the building.
My wife Leslie wrote a great blog post about the action, which includes photos, a video that ends with security guards trying to shut us down and prevent people from photographing and videoing the protest, and more.
Here’s how her post begins:
ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS DEFY SECURITY GUARDS IN SAN FRANCISCO
By Leslie Goldberg
When I heard “You’re all under arrest,” my heart jumped in my throat. I flashed on who-will-take-care-of-the-dog-what-about-babysitting-I’d-promised-I’d-do-tomorrow- and what-about-the-cat-and-what-about-all-the-work-due-for-my-class-this-week- what-if-I-can’t-get-to-my-class.
I’ve never really been in jail before.
It was an “International Respect for Chickens Day” protest. We were in the San Francisco Ferry Building which is a sort of foodie plaza where you can spend all sorts of money on “artisan” cheese, olive oil, nuts, fruit, pricey bread and “humanely-raised” meat.
In fact, it was in front of one of these “humanely raised and cruelly-killed” meat places where two animal rights groups, United Poultry Concerns (UPC) and Direct Action Everywhere (DXE), had joined to cause a disruption.
“HUMANELY RAISED,” shouted long-time activist Hope Bohanec of UPC.
What a scene. Nearly 40 of us standing in front of the meat counter in Whole Foods’ Market Street store (San Francisco) chanting “It’s not food, it’s violence!”
Yes it was a Direct Action Everywhere (DXE) animal rights protest. It took place this past Saturday.
I shot photos and video. My wife Leslie AKA The Vicious Vegan wrote an excellent report on what went down, and the philosophy behind the protest.
Here’s how her blog post begins:
ANIMAL RIGHTS PROTEST CALLS OUT WHOLE FOODS
By Leslie Goldberg
I’ve never yelled inside a Whole Foods Market or in a Safeway or in any grocery store. I’ve never even wanted to. When I’ve walked past (quickly) the neon-lit graveyards they have in the back of these stores, which showcase the dead animals or their chopped-up flesh, I’ve felt a grief and revulsion that makes me quiet.
Yet despite my despair at the obvious animal cruelty that’s taken place, I have to admit I’ve always kind of liked Whole Foods. I like that they have a gazillion different plant-based milks (that taste good); that they have a pretty good bulk section; that the employees are nice; that one of the store’s founders, John Mackey, was persuaded to become a vegan; and I always liked that the checkers would ask me, “Credit or donation?” when I brought in my own bag. I’d get a little warm feeling when I’d say, “donation.”
Yet there I was – pissed and yelling my head off with the other protestors in the meat department of Whole Foods on Sunday: “It’s Not Food, It’s Violence.”
I joined a group of Direct Action Everywhere (DXE) members to protest Whole Food’s truly bizarre, if not Orwellian, $20 million ad campaign: “Values Matter.” The ads feature such slogans as “Know What Kind of Life Your Dinner Lived” or “Choose a Fish, Cook a Fish, Save a Fish.”
Welcome to the house of mirrors world of “humane meat.” Or “sustainable agriculture.” Or “cage free.” Or “cruelty-free food.” Or “grass-fed.” It’s a wonderful dreamy world where the environment is pristine: no water pollution, no climate change, no destruction of wildlife. You can still kill and eat animals and/or consume their secretions and feel good about it. Hell, you can eat animals and save animals at the same time!
It’s not exactly a media blackout, but the true cause of California’s water shortage is not getting much play in the media.
Today my wife wrote another excellent post on California’s drought at her equally excellent blog, Vicious Vegan.
Here’s how it begins:
WORSE THAN BEING IN HOT WATER, IS HAVING NO WATER
By Leslie Goldberg
Since Gov. Jerry Brown has announced that the little people now should cut back their water consumption by 25 percent, the folks in the animal food industry must be popping the champagne corks. Not only has Brown declined to ask agriculture, including animal agriculture, to cut back, it looks to me like none of the major American media outlets are focusing on livestock and calling it out for the mega-sponge it is.
Instead, the press recently has managed to suggest the idea it’s fruits and vegetables that are the culprits and if we want to do right we should not only turn off the sprinklers but ditch the almond milk and maybe skip the salad. Ok, ok, we should definitely turn off the sprinklers and phase out those oversized spa bathtubs, I agree. But there has been scarcely a hiccup about animal ag with a few exceptions and that’s a serious bummer.
Animal agriculture deserves more than a hiccup! And hamburgers are costing us way more than $1 a piece. Forty-seven percent of California’s water is used for meat and dairy products, according to a study by the Pacific Institute.
California’s biggest crop happens to be not almonds, tomatoes or lettuce. It’s alfalfa. Michael Pollan said during an interview with phys.org, that about 25 percent of our water is going to raise alfalfa, which is primarily for animal feed – not avocado sandwiches. …
Noted Dylan expert Greil Marcus has been writing his “Real Life Top 10” column since the ’70s, when it ran monthly in New West magazine.
The column has appeared in a variety of publications since then including Artforum, Salon, and most recently, The Believer.
Although I was able to reprint older columns at Addicted To Noise during the late ’90s and early 2000s, it wasn’t until Salon picked the column up in the mid-2000s that new columns appeared online each month.
And once Greil located it at The Believer, it was only available in print.
Well now that’s changed, and the column is currently available for all to read online each month at the Barnes & Noble Review.
Marcus is the author many books including The Old, Weird America: Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes,Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads and Bob Dylan by Greil Marcus: Writings 1968–2010. His most recent book is The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs.
[I just published my rock ‘n’ roll novel, True Love Scars.” Rolling Stone has a great review of my book in a recent issue. Read it here. There’s info about True Love Scars here.]
On October 28, 2014 the first complete book of Bob Dylan’s lyrics will be published in a limited edition of 3500 copies. Priced at $200 for the 960 page, 13.3 pound book, Amazon is currently taking advance orders for the book at a discounted price of $126.74.
The songs are presented chronologically, including alternative versions released as part of Mr. Dylan’s archival “Bootleg Series.” The album covers, front and back, are reproduced.
The way the songs are laid out is meant “to help the eye see what the ear hears,” Mr. Ricks said. “If you print the songs flush left,” he added, “it doesn’t represent, visually, the audible experience.” So refrains, choruses and bridges are indented. And where Mr. Dylan intended a line, however long, to be unbroken, it sprawls across the 13-inch-wide page.
How did the editors know which lines were meant to be unbroken? Did Mr. Dylan provide feedback or comments? Mr. Karp said he had heard that Mr. Dylan provided notebooks and manuscripts. Mr. Ricks refused to elaborate.
“I think the right thing for us,” he said, “is not to go into the question of the particular kinds of help and assistance and advice that we were in a position to receive.”
“The Lyrics: Since 1962” (Hardcover – October 28, 2014)
by Bob Dylan (Author), Christopher Ricks (Editor), Lisa Nemrow (Editor), Julie Nemrow (Editor)
Hardcover: 960 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (October 28, 2014)
Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 12.4 x 2.8 inches
Shipping Weight: 13.3 pounds
A major publishing event—a beautiful, comprehensive collection of the lyrics of Bob Dylan with artwork from thirty-three albums, edited and with an introduction by Christopher Ricks.
As it was well put by Al Kooper (the man behind the organ on “Like a Rolling Stone”), “Bob is the equivalent of William Shakespeare. What Shakespeare did in his time, Bob does in his time.” Christopher Ricks, editor of T. S. Eliot, Samuel Beckett, Tennyson, and The Oxford Book of English Verse, has no argument with Mr. Kooper’s assessment, and Dylan is attended to accordingly in this authoritative edition of his lyrics.
In the words of Ricks: “For fifty years, all the world has delighted in Bob Dylan’s books of words and more than words: provocative, mysterious, touching, baffling, not-to-be-pinned-down, intriguing, and a reminder that genius is free to do as it chooses. And, again and again, these are not the words that he sings on the initially released albums.”
This edition changes things, giving us the words from officially released studio and live recordings, as well as selected variant lyrics and revisions to these, recent revisions and retrospective ones; and, from the archives, words that, till now, have not been published.
The Lyrics, edited with diligence by Christopher Ricks, Lisa Nemrow, and Julie Nemrow. As set down, as sung, and as sung again.
While you wait, here’s Dylan, Ry Cooder and Van Dyke Parks performing Woody Guthrie’s “Do Re Mi” at the Malibu Performing Arts Center in January 2009:
[I just published my rock ‘n’ roll novel, True Love Scars.” Rolling Stone has a great review of my book in the new issue. Read it here. There’s info about True Love Scars here.]
The culture critic (and Bob Dylan expert) Greil Marcus has organized a stunning French-American “intellectual exchange” in the form of the six-day Festival Albertine which will take place from October 14 through October 19, 2014, at the new Albertine bookshop in New York.
All of the panels will be videotaped and made available online via the bookstore’s website, http://www.albertine.com, after the festival so that those who cannot attend can see them.
Marcus has always moved smoothly through highbrow and popular culture, and the festival reflects that. Novelists and graphic novelists, movie directors and TV show auteurs, economics professors and fashion designers, French and American historians and rock, book and film critics will take part in the festival.
The lineup for the six evenings includes: Novelists Mary Gaitskill (“Two Girls, Fat and Thin”) and Percival Everett (“Erasure”), director Olivier Assayas (“Après- Mai”), Joseph Stiglitz (“Freefall: America, Free Markets and the Sinking of the World Economy”), Marjane Satrapi (“Persepolis”), the mathematician John Nash, TV show creators Alexandra Clert (“Engrenages”) and Matthew Weiner (“Mad Men”), historians Françoise Mélonio and Arthur Goldhammer and others.
Although there is no panel devoted directly to rock music, a number of the panelists are or have been immersed in the music. In addition to Marcus, there is former New York Times chief rock critic John Rockwell, former Newsweek pop critic James Miller, “Streets of Fire” screenwriter Larry Gross, and Mary Davis (author of “Classic Chic: Music, Fashion and Modernism”).
Albertine opened its doors yesterday (September 27, 2014). The book store and the festival, named after Proust’s muse, Albertine, are the brainchild of French diplomat Antonin Baudry, cultural counselor of the French Embassy in the United States, and, using the pen name Abel Lanzac, co-author of the graphic novel “Quai d’Orsay.”
In an essay that explains why the need for Albertine, Baudry wrote:
“Her naissance is important because so many books were missing in New York, the very heart of the world, before she arrived. Her presence will matter because there are essential ideas to uncover and crucial debates to be had between the old Continent and the new. In the 21st Century, without considering perspectives from near and far, should we be so confident in our definitions of good, evil, beauty; fairness on the battlefield, justice; a good society, a good life, or even literature?
“One can answer each of these questions on his or her own, but to collectively attack them and examine each of their nuances—and from points of view illuminated by the insight of foreign lights—will lead us further. The world is in rapid flux. As new powers emerge or re-emerge on the political, economic and intellectual realms, their presence inspires us to reinforce deep existing friendships. For friendship is always more valuable, precious and rare in complex and dangerous times than during periods of calm and certainty.”
The book store currently contains 14,000 books including, according to the Albertine website, “contemporary and classic titles from 30 French-speaking countries in genres including novels, non-fiction, art, comic, or children’s books.” Visitors are welcome to find a comfortable chair and read any of them.
To get the French-American debate — what he calls the “French-American intellectual exchange” — underway, Baudry decided to kick things off with a festival and enlisted Marcus to curate the week-long event.
“Antonin read [Marcus’ landmark books] ‘The Shape of Things to Come’– as ‘L’Amerique et ses prophètes,’ the French title — and ‘Lipstick Traces,'” Marcus said when asked how he came to curate the festival. “I’d never been asked to do something like it, unless you count co-editing ‘A New Literary History of America.'”
In his essay explaining the need for the bookstore and festival, Baudry detailed why he chose Greil Marcus to curate it:
Our first question was, Who should curate and shape this debate? We made two decisions concerning this choice—decisions that mirror the entire vision of the Albertine experience. Firstly, the curator must be an American, and secondly, it must be Greil Marcus. Why an American—and not a French person—to curate a French festival at the French Embassy? Because that is the essence of a true dialogue. For Festival Albertine’s to be fruitful in America, speakers must be selected by American ears, eyes and intelligence. And these ears, eyes and this intelligence had to be Greil’s.
Greil Marcus’ masterful work defines him as one of the most relevant and stimulating living thinkers of America. Greil touches the foundational issues of society. Along with many of his books, The Shape of Things to Come: Prophecy and the American Voice addresses questions and issues so fundamental
to America that it perfectly sets the stage for deep analysis of our cultures in comparison. Greil’s texts deliver the intellectual keys to unlock channels of transatlantic dialogue, discussion, and compelling debate.
Moreover, Greil is the founder of a true analytic method. He offers both a broader and more precise conception of history in Lipstick Traces when he writes, “and what is history, anyway? Is history simply a matter of events that leave behind those things that can be weighed and measured – new institutions, new maps, new rulers, new winners and losers–or is it also the result of moments that seem to leave nothing behind, nothing but the mystery of spectral connections between people long separated by place and time, but somehow speaking the same language?”
Albertine is housed in the official landmark Payne Whitney mansion in Manhattan. In 1902, former Standard Oil Company treasurer Oliver Hazard Payne commissioned the Italian Renaissance mansion as a wedding gift to his nephew Payne Whitney. Between 1902 and 1906, Stanford White, the famed architect of the Washington Square Arch, designed and oversaw construction of the mansion. Since 1952, the mansion has housed the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. The bookshop within the mansion was born in 2014, and its interiors were created by celebrated French designer Jacques Garcia (Chateau du Champ de Bataille in Normandy, France and The NoMad Hotel in New York City)… in the model of a grand private French library. The two-floor space includes a reading room and inviting nooks furnished with lush sofas and armchairs.
I asked Marcus what ten books he would suggest someone planning to attend the festival or watch the videos should read.
Olivier Assayas, “A Post-May Adolescence”
Joseph Stiglitz, “Freefall: America, Free Markets and the Sinking of the World Economy”
James Miller, “The Passion of Michel Foucault”
May Davis, “Classic Chic: Music, Fashion and Modernism”
Marjane Satrapi, “Persepolis”
Antonin Baudry aka Abel Lanzac, “Weapons of Mass Diplomacy”
Emmanuel Carrère, “The Moustache” and “Limonov”
Mary Gaitskill, “Two Girls, Fat and Thin”
Percival Everett, “Erasure”
[Note: I just published my rock ‘n’ roll novel, True Love Scars.” Rolling Stone has a great review of my book in the new issue. Read it here. There’s info about True Love Scars here.]
Always ready to pull the old leg, if you know what I mean.
No sooner did DJ Casey Kasem depart the planet — you know, he’s dead — than the infamous ‘group’ announced that they are paying tribute to Kasem, whose not-for-broadcast profanity directed at U2 was a core element in Negativland’s once controversial U2 EP.
From the Negativland website:
One of the most beloved voices in music radio, Kemal Amin “Casey” Kasem, died on Father’s Day 2014 after a long illness, and also a very public family squabble over his continuing care. Negativland pays tribute to this broadcasting legend by reaching into its vaults and presenting what is perhaps Kasem’s best-known work, on Negativland’s long-unavailable U2 maxi- single, offering up for public consumption (and now, for creative reuse) what has been hidden from view for 23 years.
Now, instead of merely reissuing the U2 record itself, Negativland presents, for free digital download, the original un-mixed studio multi-track tape for re-mixing, re-purposing and re-inventing in whichever way the listener may choose. Negativland encourages the re-contextualization of this seminal work for whatever reason, whatsoever. In keeping with the working methods and philosophy of Negativland, and the Fair Use provision in U.S. Copyright Law (Section 107, http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html), the group offers up this raw material in the hopes that entirely new versions of the work are created and disseminated. Listeners/remixers are encouraged to post their creations in these locations: www.negativland.com and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Negativland/131759750185111.