American Samizdat Guernica
Saturday, March 23, 2002

Welcome to where you can explore published as well as never-before-published text, photos, hand-written documents and audio and video materials representing Allen's life-work.

The material available here — and that which we will be adding over time — is intended to continually reveal the intelligence and beauty of Allen Ginsberg's aim of increasing consciousness on the planet.

I came upon this site via Nick Davies at MorfaBlog, a Welsh site, who had linked to the wonderful poem Wales Visitation. It's but one of a number of Allen's poems available in MP3 format.

Wales Visitation

Allen's Notes
"Wales Visitation" was written on the 6th hour or so hour of an acid trip in Wales at the house of my English publisher. The word "visitation" comes from the peregrinations of the Welsh bards, who went once from village to village rhyming their news and gossip. The poem uses two thirds of the notes made at that time, stitched together later. I was interested in making an artwork comprehensible to people not high on acid, an artifact which could point others' attention to microscopic details of the scene. They wouldn't necessarily know the poem was written on acid, but with an extraordinarily magnified visionary appreciation of the vastness of the motif in its "minute particulars," it might transfer the high consciousness of LSD to somebody with ordinary mind. By focusing the poem's eye outside of my thoughts onto external pictures details of the phenomenal world I was able to maintain a center and balance, continuing from beginning to end in an intelligible sequence, focusing on awareness of breath. It was coherent enough to publish in "The New Yorker", whose editors eliminated the note about acid.
that welcome from george bush creeps me out...
FirstGov -- Your First Click to the US Government
nugget of linky goodness provided via shikencho
Life as a Black Man: The Game
"The Remains of Industry..." John Fekner... Industria. Early stencil graffiti by John Fekner. "...The outdoor stencils were spraypainted in the New York City area. 1976-1985."
"Suffering under a Great Injustice": Ansel Adams's Photographs of Japanese-American Internment at Manzanar
Friday, March 22, 2002
Friendly reminder: "If you're not reading Unknown News, you're letting the terrorists win."
dammit, this sucks too!
and somebody please, Stop this guy,
put a leash AND muzzle on him...
Thursday, March 21, 2002
j.p.'s link to Fiore reminds me of Jon Carroll's comments on the color code scheme:
What problem is being solved by this new color system? Tom Ridge is so very important that he has refused to appear before Congress to answer questions (part of the administration's policy of putting its fingers in its ears, facing toward Capitol Hill and saying, "I can't hear you! "). ...Finally he appears at a news conference with a chart that looks like a kindergarten teaching aid. "This provides a common vocabulary so officials from all levels of government can communicate easily," he said. ... So everyone agrees that we have a yellow. Does everyone agree on what "having a yellow" means?
Re: Color Coded Alert Systems
here are the Executive Branch Alerts
by Mark Fiore, S.F. Chronicle
Attack of the Chickenhawks

Over the last couple of days I have noticed an explosion of web interest in the mysterious phenomenon of known physical cowards in high places who somehow find a blustery bravery while crouching behind the teenage sons and daughters of others. I'm of course referring to our draft-dodging Republican leadership. I am routinely (as in every election cycle and every military action) amazed that this scandal doesn't cause the right wing at the least to be exiled from power, if not to die in a spectacular implosion from the weight of their own contradictions. However this issue is finally getting more attention than just beery me haranguing my war loving friends about the hypocrisy of the current regime. And the present examination is demonstrating that these aren't a couple of isolated instances, rather these cases betray an epidemic pathological narcissism in the once and future ruling class.

Hall of Shame

Another list of traitors

Yet another compendium of cowards

An insane Tom Delay's excuse:
So many minority youths had volunteered for the well-paying military positions to escape poverty and the ghetto that there was literally no room for patriotic folks like himself.
Tom Tomorrow asks:
I'd be curious to get some feedback on this from those of you in uniform. Are the men and women you serve with in any way troubled by this-- that so many of the politicians who are so eager to send you into harm's way did everything possible to avoid risking their own lives during the conflicts of their youth?
Well, I myself never served (too young for Vietnam, too old for everything else, whew) but my father spent most of his life in the Army. He was the one who alerted me to this problem during the reign of Bush I, specifically citing then Secretary of Defense Cheney as uniquely unqualified for his position and noting his comment that he "had other priorities" was particularly offensive. Many of those who were drafted surely had things on their to-do list ahead of "miserable jungle death". My dad was also incensed at a comment by Newt Gingrich that since he had two small children, it would have been "insane" for him to go to Vietnam. My dad had two small children and a pregnant wife at that time. And he volunteered. For combat. Twice. Dad's problem with this issue wasn't personal though, he was a career officer who had made a choice to be where he was. His problem was with the children of elites finding easy routes out of harm's way, while the poor and politically disenfranchised were being shot at daily in a struggle of dubious import to the security of the nation. He knew this contributed in no small measure to the legitimate opposition to the war on the homefront and a thouroughly demoralized corps on the real front. In his eyes, the galling ethical duality of people like Cheney, Bush, Quayle, Gingrich et. al. is staggering. They putatively supported the Vietnam war, and now seize every martial opportunity that comes their way, rendering their own combat avoidance pure cowardice and hubris. My dad would contrast these men with the political opponents of the war, many of whom were imprisoned, whose refusals to serve were acts of conscience and yes courage. Of course, this is all anecdotal narrative of one admittedly maverick soldier and doesn't demonstrate any breadth of resentment in the armed forces and hardly answers Tom's question. But I can't help but think that if this scandal was given the relentless media blitzkrieg that Oval Office blow jobs received then the American people would come to realize how truly unfit is the present leadership of this nation.

Max Razdow... Fed to the Lizard by the Hand of Man (2001, ink and pen on paper). "...There is a beast on the horizon of our landscape here, some sort of creature (Lizard)... it devours you and you are gone... who's beast is it? no ones, i think. Just a mean mean dragon that is green with our greed and exists deep in our hearts. The feeder is capitalists, treaded and hooded; white sheeted. Lizard has no trouble engulfing you in his mouth, the beast built on money and our greed, but is strong with the gold of our ages, embeded in our genes, always on the horizon... The keeper is not absolute. He loves the Lizard, though, it is his duty and art to feed it...and feeding it makes him stronger." From Max Razdow Ahrt.
Wednesday, March 20, 2002
Here is an update on the film 'Promises' that is nominated for the Academy Award and has been previously mentioned on this site and others.
CBS News | Broken Promises | March 20, 2002 22:09:23
Long, thoughtful, must-read reflection on the growing love affair the media have with weblogging, from Turbulent Velvet. As stories about weblogging become more prevalent, he observes, "People are using a small subset of urbane and civilized weblogs in order to draw conclusions about both the medium and the sociology of blogging without acknowledging some far more ugly developments," by which he means the attack blogs and in particular the warblogs. While I'd like to be complacent in the distinctions, as I read I became more and more disquieted by how much the things for which the warblogs are vilified in my circles also apply to the antiwarblogs of my circles:

"The right's attack blogs are really a very efficient chain of routers, repeaters essentially, multiplying punditry about punditry. I can't think of one that is adding to the sum of human knowledge." Bingo. And not only that: there are as many if not more attack blogs out there as urbane dialogic, thoughtful ones. "What worries me is that the cumulative effect [of attack blogs] actually diminishes the value of they drive the fact/opinion ratio down through the floor."

I'm not sure if TV is troubled by this when he attempts to pull the following rabbit out of the hat -- that it's more courageous to blog in dissent against the prevailing norms, like support for the War-on-Terrorism®, than in lockstep support. As a fervent dissenter, I'd like to think I'm taking a courageous stand, but it worries me how easy this is when I'm preaching to the converted. If you don't like my cynical critique of everything under the sun, I know you won't be reading FmH regularly for long no matter if I'm the most thoughtful, literate weblogger on the planet. There's very little crosstalk; I'm disappointed that the warbloggers haven't found me to get under their skins enough to fire back, with the exception of Dan Hartung, an early supporter and friend in the weblogging community, and even that dialogue didn't last long. In this sense, the weblogging community is not at all seeming like the digital speakers' corner in a pluralistic society it is sometimes made out to be. More often, it is seeming like a sad reminder of our atomization and solipsism. So what do I want? to find comfort in a likeminded community? to have influence if I'm ever, for a moment, thoughtful and original enough that I can transcend the usual sanctimoniousness of my dissenting views? to provoke a fight and unleash a reservoir of rage? to transcend the mere passive whining and help build a vigorous opposition again in this nation of sheep? I think so, at least a little, in each instance.

When I started this, long ago in a galaxy far away (everyone says that 9-11 was a demarcation line, but for me it was only one of twin 'hits', along with the theft of the Presidential election the year before, that have moved me -- us -- into an irrevocably changed alien world) I was in a relatively apolitical period in my life and FmH had a meandering, more eclectic flavor. I said here, with superior disdain, that I couldn't be bothered to spend much attention on the Presidential campaign, that there couldn't be much of a difference no matter which of the Republicrats bought the Office. Now I think at times FmH's focus has become a bit too narrowly, obsessively, built around political criticism, not that I've had some kind of religious conversion to membership in the Liberal Democratic Church or anything, but just because Bush is so unbelievably bad, such an execrable figurehead for what is so wrong with American politics and modern life.

That being said, I hope what I write here is more than just easy cheap shots. But I also hope to get a bit away from this groove, if I can let go. Who was it who said, surveying the impact of the Shrub hegemony even before 9-11, that the only sane response was to resurrect beatnik counterculture again? It seems even more relevant as we seem to be slipping into this Orwellian age of permanent amorphous war footing and increasing autocratic intrusion. Yet these are not new phenomena. While what we're subjected to now is unprecedented, it is new in magnitude rather than in kind, it seems, an opportunist perfection of age-old tendencies toward mind-control and autocratic rule by whatever memes are handy. A deeper, more fundamental critique of consensus reality, a critique of the cultural trance, the perennial human susceptibility to self-delusion, alienation and submissiveness, is called for. That's what 'Beat' must mean. That's a community to get behind. Although it might be worthwhile postponing a retreat from politics until we have organized massive resistance to the momentum to attack Iraq... In any case, thanks, Velvet, for allowing me to riff off your thoughts; it's been a useful reflection, if it means anything at all. (I'm sure the warbloggers would think it doesn't...)

"I refuse to be intimidated by reality anymore. After all, what is reality anyway? Nothin' but a collective hunch." --Lily Tomlin (parenthetically, there's an appreciation of the much-beloved Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe over at the bitter shack; and a happy birthday, Brooke!)

it appears that Campaign Finance Reform is becoming a reality...
yet there are likely to be some ugly and unpleasant surprises waiting for us.
Mark Sandalow of the S.F. Chronicle reports on some discomfiting aspects of the bill;
some info on H.R. 2356 from
anything that might give el residente an edge in 2004 scares the bejezzzus outta me...
and, oh yah, like this is really news...
"Avistamiento de propaganda Acamonchi en tu comunidad..." Propaganda Stenciles from Acamonchi Fanzine.
From Salon's interview with David Halliday, former head of the U.N.'s oil for food program:

In the U.S., there are a number of issues not being discussed. One of those is international law. The U.S. somehow doesn't believe that international law applies to this great democracy, to this great empire. We've seen Mr. Bush reject various aspects of international law in the past year. That's a failure on the part of Washington to understand that the U.S. is in fact subordinate to the charter, to the declaration of human rights, to the Geneva Conventions and protocols -- all of which would protect Iraq, a sovereign state and member of the United Nations -- from further harassment, attacks and killings by the United States.

[What's missing is] respect for international law and an awareness that this is not an empire -- that "might" is no longer "right" in the year 2002, and that Mr. Bush does not have any God-given right to attack Iraq or its people without consultation with the Security Council. There is no legitimate way for the U.S. to wage war again on the people of Iraq. That's one huge issue that's missing, in my view.

Another would be the fact that American foreign policy is not understood by the vast majority of American people. And that this is due to a media that in this country is suppressed by Washington and by the owners of this media, who often tend to be corporate entities close to the [White House] and very often are arms manufacturers with a vested interest in chaos [in] the Middle East. And as a result Americans do not actually get both sides of the story.

I believe that Americans are basically decent people. If they understood that Iraq is not made up of 22 million Saddam Husseins but made up of 22 million people -- of families, of children, of elderly parents, families with dreams and hopes and expectations for their children and themselves -- they would be horrified to realize that the current killing of innocent Iraqi civilians by the U.S. Air Force, or what happened in the Gulf War, is being done in their name.

This is my first post here -- hi all, and thanks to Dr Menlo for the invitation.
Tuesday, March 19, 2002

Women I Love: Frances Moore Lappé
Solutions for a Small Planet on the Brink

Did your parents raise you on a steady diet of tofu, soymilk and unsweetened granola?

If so, you probably have Frances Moore Lappé to blame. Her seminal 1971 book Diet for a Small Planet was a bible for millions of baby boomers who wanted to eat better. For many, Diet was also a political and personal manifesto, the first book to detail how you don’t need meat to get enough protein, and more importantly, how there is more than enough food in the world to go around.

Hunger, Lappé found, is caused by a scarcity of democracy, not food.

America's bioterror
Bush has pledged to eliminate weapons of mass destruction. He should start at home

So those of us in other nations who have followed this issue are puzzled. Why should you, who claim to want to build "a peaceful world beyond the war on terror" have done all you can to undermine efforts to control these deadly weapons? Why should the congressmen in your party have repeatedly sabotaged attempts to ensure that biological and chemical agents are eliminated?
Nicaraguan Murals 1930-2000. From the Stanford Center for Latin-American Studies.
Women Speak Out Against Indian Bill on Domestic Violence

"A draft law to prevent domestic violence in India has sparked fierce opposition among rights groups and in legal circles over a clause which would open the way for husbands to occasionally beat their wives."

Monday, March 18, 2002
See the danger
Always danger
Endless talking
Life rebuilding
Don't walk away...

Joy Division... Atmosphere (Factory Records 1980, .mp3 audio 1.6MB). This is the first Joy Division single I owned, roughly 20 years ago. Exceptionally gloomy. From Joy Division - The Eternal.

Selection Committee Gives U.S., China No. 1 seeds; Iraq a No. 3 in Mideast

"March Madness," the sobriquet of America's NCAA college basketball tournament, has spilled over to the international arena, as the United Nations Selection Committee today named the top 63 countries who will quite literally battle it out in a single elimination, military competition that should answer once and for all who is No. 1.

The tournament, which U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan promised would be "just like the NCAA's, except for the part where the losers die," has already sparked controversy among peace activists, who called the contests outrageous.

"I cannot believe they would do this," said WorldPeaceNow communications director Marvin Gundersohn. "I mean, come on, France is a 2-seed in the South? That's a laugh. And no way does Russia deserve a top seed in the Mideast. They're mired in a late 20th Century slump, have no momentum coming in, and have fought a weak schedule."[more]
Sunday, March 17, 2002
Isidoro Ocampo... El Fascismo Japones (Fascism in Japan, poster 1938). One of the First anti-fascist posters by TGP. Part of Taller de Gráfica Popular (La Estampa Mexicana, 1949). "...a selection of text and images from this 1949 bi-lingual record of the first 12 years of an exceptional graphic workshop, operating as a cooperative."

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