November 16th, 2005

Chris Keeley

But Foreman, "he's kind of nuts, and he loves burgers," Boehm says, explaining his logic for choosin

Mini profile of the inventor of the George Foreman Grill

Sync has a short profile of Michael Boehm, the man who invented the George Forman grill.
Picture 4-18 [Muhammad] Ali, Joe Namath and even Joe DiMaggio were tapped as potential talking heads for the all-pervading product, originally named the Short Order Grill. But Foreman, "he's kind of nuts, and he loves burgers," Boehm says, explaining his logic for choosing Gorgeous George. "I found out that he ate them before every fight!" About 70 million units have been sold since 1995, so does that make the Illinois-based innovator a bazillionaire? As a salaried employee of the grill's original manufacturer, Taiwan's Tsann Kuen, Boehm was entitled to a modest semimonthly paycheck—no more, no less. Foreman, on the other hand, received 40 percent of sales in exchange for lending his moniker and eventually sold his name outright for a beefy $127.5 million (plus $10 million in stock options).


Chris Keeley

Charles Gatewood is a photographer best known for documenting the sexual underground and helping lau

Charles Gatewood's Wall Street photographs

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 Charles Gatewood is a photographer best known for documenting the sexual underground and helping launch the Modern Primitives meme into popular consciousness through his images that were featured in the RE/Search book of the same name. In the early 1970s though, Charles explored New York's financial district. The result was an incredible series called Wall Street. Photo critic AD Coleman once said, "These may just be the dirtiest pictures Charles Gatewood has ever made." Starting this Saturday, the photos will be exhibited for the first time since the 1970s. The exhibition is at the Lola Gallery in San Francisco and runs until January 21. From the Lola Gallery site:
Unlike other work that emphasizes sexuality and the idiosyncracies and weirdness of human existence, these images are ethereal, formal and emotionally void with an underlying theme of capitalism and control. "Wall Street" illustrates the message that perhaps money and high finance constitute the real obscenity of our age. The black and white concrete desolation of these photographs provide a set of visual metaphors for that most secretive perversion of all, high finance.

Link to Lola Gallery, Link to a selection of the Wall Street photos on Charles Gatewood's site

Chris Keeley

X - Modern Primitives

Excerpt from Interview with Lyle Tuttle

From Modern Primitives

Lyle TuttleRE/Search: How long has tattooing been around?

Lyle Tuttle: Some of the earliest heavily tattooed people were the Picts, a migratory people who roamed throughout Europe a few thousand years ago. On this continent various American Indian tribes tattooed themselves as well as body-painted themselves, particularly before going to war. If you came from a race that wasn't tattooed, and all of a sudden some guy jumped out of the bushes who was tattooed all over, you might be scared!

Tattooing has always been associated with warriors; it's possible that early man figured out that men who were tattooed had a better survival rate from wounds, because a tattoo is a wound-maybe it develops the antibody system...maybe tattoo wounds prepare the warrior for battle wounds. Tattooing: the first inoculation!

In Burma there's a legend about a king who lost his favorite concubine. Night after night girls were brought to him, and none of them pleased him. One night a beautiful young transvestite was brought to him, and the king, being drunk, was fooled. When he discovered the deception, he cut off the head of the procurer and proclaimed an edict that from now on all men had to be tattooed with "pants"!

I went to Samoa to get a tattoo because every Samoan I'd met-man, woman, or child-was enthralled with tattooing, had an ultra-respect for it. Tattooing was a way of deification, in a way. You can be born to a Chief's family, but if you don't have that tattoo, you can't even go into the Chief's chambers and mix kava, and your word means nothing.

Other excerpts from Modern Primitives:

Table of Contents

Chris Keeley

mechanical programmed beats was a way of taking the oppressive aspects of the modern world, a mechan

XENI writes:

RadioDavidByrne Nov. playlist: all funked up

I've been totally grooving out to the retro funk playlist on David Byrne's internet radio station all month, but keep forgetting to blog it. Here. This edition's disco-era theme, I'm told, is a byproduct of his work on a forthcoming musical that chronicles Imelda Marcos' Studio 54 years. "Here Lies Love," Byrne's collaboration with Fatboy Slim, is set to debut on stage in early 2006.

From Byrne's liner notes for the November playlist:

These songs may have been what folks were referring to when a certain portion of the population held up “disco sucks” banners in the 80s. These self-proclaimed music critics often stated that what bothered them was that these songs were made by machines (they often were, and proudly so) and therefore lacked sincerity or realness. I think what they were really afraid of was the fact that many of these songs emanated from a mostly Black and often gay subculture — a combination which was so unimaginably scary that its musical representation simply had to be fought off at all costs.

The songs are, as mentioned, proudly artificial studio creations. Linn drum machines and synthesizers abound, and there are no attempts to disguise, for example, the synthesizers as pianos or organs — they are made to sound all squirmy and slithery in reference to bodies on the dance floor — and elsewhere. And maybe linking these with the mechanical programmed beats was a way of taking the oppressive aspects of the modern world, a mechanized world controlled by distant suits (especially if you were stuck in the projects) and turning it on its head — using a thing that represented the worst of modern life and making it ecstatic and celebratory.



Chris Keeley

Barrie Dunsmore on Cheney in the Rutland Herald--11-13-05

History's most powerful vice president

November 13, 2005

There was a portrait of Winston Churchill directly behind the desk of I.
Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of
staff. As Scooter was indicted on five counts of perjury and obstruction
of justice in the CIA identity leak case, he is no longer there in the
Old Executive Office Building right next to the White House. But two
months after Sept. 11, Libby pointed to the portrait and told Newsweek
editor Evan Thomas that Churchill was his hero. According to Thomas'
account of their conversation, Libby said, "He felt an enormous
spiritual kinship with the small band of men around Churchill who warned
in the 1930s about the gathering Nazi storm — who were ignored and
shunned – but then vindicated at England's finest hour. Libby compared
Cheney to Churchill."
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And to top it off, Cheney has become, as The Washington Post said an
editorial, "Mr. Torture." Ninety Senators, led by Republican John
McCain, who knows a lot about what it's like to be tortured as a
prisoner of war, want this country to accept international norms in its
treatment of prisoners. But Cheney is fighting tenaciously to exempt the
CIA from such rules. As he put it in 2001 on "Meet The Press," the
government might have to go to "the dark side" adding, "It's going to be
vital for us to use any means at our disposal."

Cheney's record may give you the chills. But it will never be confused
with being Churchillian.

Barrie Dunsmore is a veteran diplomatic and foreign correspondent for
ABC News now living in Charlotte.
© 2005 Rutland Herald
Chris Keeley

Under the Niger carpet

To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 13:25:34 EST
Subject: Under the Niger carpet
In case anyone is still under the impression that the Joe Wilson/Valorie Plame fracas was the original casus belli of the controversy over falsification or manipulation of intelligence about Iraqi activity in Niger, you might find it interesting to re-read the article reprinted below.  Reading it again today revives my long-held conviction that our "usual suspects" on the president's staff are guilty of a much more serious criminal act than simply blowing the cover of a CIA analyst.  I firmly believe that they were fully aware of the false and dangerously corruptive nature of the infamous "16 words" long before they knowingly and deliberately caused that disinformation to be inserted into the president's 2003 State of the Union address.  Review the reasoning in my March 2003 essay, and decide for yourselves.

Ray Close
November 15, 2005

CounterPunch        March 10, 2003  -- before the invasion of Iraq.

A CIA Analyst on Forging Intelligence:
Whose Deliberate Disinformation?
by Ray Close

There was a small but very important passage in Mohammad Elbaradei's testimony on behalf of the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency before the United Nations Security Council last week that cries out for further investigation: "With regard to uranium acquisition, the I.A.E.A. has made progress in its investigation into reports that Iraq sought to buy uranium from Niger in recent years. This investigation was centered on documents provided by a number of states that pointed to an agreement between Niger and Iraq for the sale of uranium between 1999 and 2001.
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It would make no sense to suppose that a neutral or non-governmental entity would go to the trouble and expense of falsifying documentation and then convincing "a number of states" to deliver that evidence to the I.A.E.A. Quite clearly, the more one thinks about this intrigue, the more obvious it becomes that someone was responsible for a deliberate intelligence disinformation campaign targeting the United Nations with an aim toward padding the evidence supporting an American-British invasion of Iraq. That is a world-class criminal act, a felony of historic proportions, by any definition.

We should not let it be swept under the carpet.