November 16th, 2007

Chris Keeley

Life After Rehab

Life After Rehab 

Richard Joslin, left, and John Suto are recovering substance abusers who both own several halfway houses. Mr. Joslin is the owner of Lighthouse Cottages, pictured. 



November 16, 2007

In Florida, Addicts Find an Oasis of Sobriety

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Whitney Tower, 56, a scion of the Whitney, Vanderbilt and Drexel fortunes, squandered his trust fund and sold family treasures to support a $1,000-a-day heroin habit before landing in a tough-love facility near here seven years ago and never leaving. “If I went back to New York I’d be dead in two weeks,” he said.

In some ways Mr. Tower, who spent three decades in and out of treatment, remains a creature of his pedigree. He favors foppish linen suits and drops names of the fast crowd he once ran with.

But his social life these days is dinner at home with sober friends who have settled here in what experts consider the recovery capital of America. He is studying addiction counseling, and he works as an unpaid intern at a local drug treatment center.

Delray Beach, a funky outpost of sobriety between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, is the epicenter of the country’s largest and most vibrant recovery community, with scores of halfway houses, more than 5,000 people at 12-step meetings each week, recovery radio shows, a recovery motorcycle club and a coffeehouse that boasts its own therapy group.

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Chris Keeley

What Is Addiction?

Chris Keeley

The Fall of the House of Bush: The Untold Story of How a Band of True Believers Seized the Executive

The book examines how neoconservatives secretly forged an alliance with the Christian Right during the Bush presidency and helped make the case for war in Iraq.


Investigative journalist Craig Unger joins us now in Washington. He is the author of the new book “The Fall of the House of Bush: The Untold Story of How a Band of True Believers Seized the Executive Branch, Started the Iraq War, and Still Imperils America’s Future.” The book examines how neoconservatives secretly forged an alliance with the Christian Right during the Bush presidency and helped make the case for war in Iraq.

Craig Unger is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. He is also author of the book "House of Bush, House of Saud.”

 

  • Craig Unger. Journalist and author. He is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and author of the New York Times bestseller “House of Bush, House of Saud.” His new book is called “The Fall of the House of Bush: The Untold Story of How a Band of True Believers Seized the Executive Branch, Started the Iraq War, and Still Imperils America’s Future.

 

AMY GOODMAN: We turn now to investigative journalist Craig Unger in Washington, D.C., here with Democracy Now! He is author of the new book The Fall of the House of Bush: The Untold Story of How a Band of True Believers Seized the Executive Branch, Started the Iraq War, and Still Imperils America's Future.

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Chris Keeley

Richard Prince: Spiritual America

Richard Prince: Spiritual America 

http://www.guggenheim.org/exhibitions/richard_prince/index.html

http://www.guggenheim.org/exhibitions/exhibition_pages/prince.html

Richard Prince: Spiritual America at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. "...This critical overview of Richard Prince's career is the most comprehensive examination of the celebrated American artist's work to date. The exhibition highlights Prince's contributions to the development of contemporary art, bringing together key examples of his photographs, paintings, sculptures, and works on paper in an installation that integrates the various series comprising his oeuvre."

This critical overview of Richard Prince's career is the most comprehensive examination of the celebrated American artist's work to date. The exhibition highlights Prince's contributions to the development of contemporary art, bringing together key examples of his photographs, paintings, sculptures, and works on paper in an installation that integrates the various series comprising his oeuvre.

Prince's work has been among the most innovative art produced in the United States during the past 30 years. His deceptively simple act in 1977 of rephotographing advertising images and presenting them as his own ushered in an entirely new, critical approach to art-making—one that questioned notions of originality and the privileged status of the unique aesthetic object. Prince's technique involves appropriation; he pilfers freely from the vast image bank of popular culture to create works that simultaneously embrace and critique a quintessentially American sensibility: the Marlboro Man, muscle cars, biker chicks, off-color jokes, gag cartoons, and pulp fiction. While previous examinations of his art have emphasized its central role as a catalyst for postmodernist criticism, the Guggenheim exhibition and its accompanying catalogue also focus on the work's iconography and how it registers prevalent themes in our social landscape, including a fascination with rebellion, an obsession with fame, and a preoccupation with the tawdry and the illicit.

http://www.guggenheim.org/exhibitions/richard_prince/prince.html

Chris Keeley

Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse

Concert Uproar

After turning up late and stumbling about the stage of the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, England, the trouble-prone British soul singer Amy Winehouse, 24, listened to boos, heard jeers and saw members of the audience walking out on Wednesday night, Agence France-Presse reported. “Let me tell you something,” she said as she began a 17-date British tour. “First of all, if you’re booing, you’re a mug for buying a ticket. Second, to all those booing, just wait till my husband gets out of incarceration — and I mean that.” The reference was to her spouse, Blake Fielder-Civil, who is being held in Pentonville Prison in London, accused of perverting justice and assaulting the landlord of a pub. The concert’s closing number, “Valerie,” ended when Ms. Winehouse stopping singing, dropped the microphone and walked off the stage. Andy Coleman, the music critic of The Birmingham Mail, said the concert was “one of the saddest nights of my life.”

“I saw a supremely talented artist reduced to tears,” he continued, “stumbling around the stage and, unforgivably, swearing at the audience.”

Chris Keeley

MILTON ROGOVIN: BUFFALO’ The case of the Jewish optometrist Milton Rogovin is a sobering reminder of

MILTON ROGOVIN: BUFFALO’ The case of the Jewish optometrist Milton Rogovin is a sobering reminder of the adage that what goes around comes around. Persecuted in the 1950s because of his activities in the Communist Party, he is now celebrated as one of the great American documentary photographers of the postwar period. In 1999 the United States government, which had hauled him before the House Un-American Activities Committee, embraced him as a social and civil rights pioneer when the Library of Congress acquired more than 1,100 of his master prints, along with negatives and contact sheets. And now comes this 97-year-old artist’s first large-scale gallery exhibition in Chelsea at Danziger Projects, focusing on his three-decade-long series of portraits of residents of the Lower West Side of Buffalo.

A committed social-documentary artist, he shows little in the way of compositional tricks or technical frills. Nor was he interested in staging scenes or capturing decisive, dramatic moments. Mr. Rogovin wanted to show everyday people in their everyday lives — young men in a bar; a girl on her way to school; a young boy lifting weights. His pictures are nonjudgmental, depicting his poor, frequently (but not exclusively) black subjects gently and lovingly. His photographs may not be great art, but they show America as it really was. (Through Nov. 24, Danziger Projects, 521 West 26th Street, Chelsea, 212-629-6778, danzigerprojects.com.) BENJAMIN GENOCCHIO

Chris Keeley

A 21-year-old man has been accused of using a toad to get high

A 21-year-old man has been accused of using a toad to get high

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A 21-year-old man has been accused of using a toad to get high.

 

Clay County sheriff's deputies said David Theiss, of Kansas City, possessed a Colorado River toad with the intention of using it as a hallucinogenic.

 

Experts said it's possible to lick the toad's venom glands to achieve psychedelic effects.

 

Most pet stores don't sell the Colorado River toad because the venom can sicken humans and kill household animals.

 

"People used to do it all the time, but it got faded out awhile, but came back as a fad. Not a smart one," animal expert Danny Snyder told KMBC's Dion Lim. "The toxins in it can kill a lot of stuff."

 

Authorities said this is the first time Clay County has dealt with this sort of hallucinogen.

 

Theiss was released on bond.

 

Video: KC Man Accused Of Toad Licking

The toad is in custody at a police crime lab.
Chris Keeley

The gifted Bardem is dopey as the lovesick Florentino Daza (played by Ugalde in early scenes). He ke

The gifted Bardem is dopey as the lovesick Florentino Daza (played by Ugalde in early scenes). He keeps his great, taurine head ducked and his back inverted like a parenthesis. But at least he displays flashes of humor that show he understands that while we're supposed to admire Florentino for his doomed dedication to his love-at-first-sight fantasy, a dedication that produces in him symptoms very similar to cholera at several points during the movie, we're also supposed to find him ridiculous.

Lovelorn
Chris Keeley

THE RETURN OF SUPERFLY

THE RETURN OF SUPERFLY

November 15th, 2007

superfly071022_560.jpg

If you thought “AMERICAN GANGSTER” didn’t exactly live up to all the hype (we didn’t), peep the original text on OG Frank Lucas in New York Magazine that kickstarted the flick in the first place. It’s better than the movie:

THE RETURN OF SUPERFLY
Frank Lucas, once the city’s biggest, baddest heroin kingpin, the original O.G. in chinchilla, now seems like just a very likable guy. But don’t be fooled.
By Mark Jacobson, Published Aug 7, 2000

During the early seventies, when for a sable-coat-wearing, Superfly-strutting instant of urban time he was perhaps the biggest heroin dealer in Harlem, Frank Lucas would sit at the corner of 116th Street and Eighth Avenue in a beat-up Chevrolet he called Nellybelle. Then living in a suite at the Regency Hotel with 100 custom-made, multi-hued suits in the closet, Lucas owned several cars. He had a Rolls, a Mercedes, a Corvette Sting Ray, and a 427 muscle job he’d once topped out at 160 mph near Exit 16E of the Jersey Turnpike, scaring himself so silly that he CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING…

Chris Keeley

During the early seventies, when for a sable-coat-wearing, Superfly-strutting instant of urban time

During the early seventies, when for a sable-coat-wearing, Superfly-strutting instant of urban time he was perhaps the biggest heroin dealer in Harlem, Frank Lucas would sit at the corner of 116th Street and Eighth Avenue in a beat-up Chevrolet he called Nellybelle. Then living in a suite at the Regency Hotel with 100 custom-made, multi-hued suits in the closet, Lucas owned several cars. He had a Rolls, a Mercedes, a Corvette Sting Ray, and a 427 muscle job he'd once topped out at 160 mph near Exit 16E of the Jersey Turnpike, scaring himself so silly that he gave the car to his brother's wife just to get it out of his sight.

 

But for "spying," Nellybelle was best.

Who'd think I'd be in a shit $300 car like that?" asks Lucas, who claims he'd clear up to $1 million a day selling dope on 116th Street.

 

"

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Chris Keeley

The way he was going, Frank figures, it took Ellsworth "Bumpy" Johnson, the most famous of all Harle

The way he was going, Frank figures, it took Ellsworth "Bumpy" Johnson, the most famous of all Harlem gangsters, to save his life. "I was hustling up at Lump's Pool Room, on 134th Street. Eight-ball and that. So in comes Icepick Red. Red, he was a tall motherfucker, clean, with a hat. A fierce killer, from the heart. Freelanced Mafia hits. Anyway, he took out a roll of money that must have been that high. My eyes got big. I knew right then, that wasn't none of his money. That was my money . . .

 

"'Who got a thousand dollars to shoot pool?' Icepick Red shouted. I told him I'm playing, but I only got a hundred dollars . . . and he's saying, 'What kind of punk only got a hundred dollars?' I wanted to take out my gun and kill him right there, take his damn money.

 

"Except right then, everything seemed to stop. The jukebox stopped, the pool balls stopped. Every fucking thing stopped. It got so quiet you could've heard a rat piss on a piece of cotton in China.

 

"I turned around and I saw this guy -- he was like five feet ten, five feet eleven, dark complexion, neat, looked like he just stepped off the back cover of Vogue magazine. He had on a gray suit and a maroon tie, with a gray overcoat and flower in the lapel. I never seen nothing that looked like him. He was another species altogether.

 

"

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Chris Keeley

For Lucas, the inevitable came on January 28, 1975, when an NYPD/DEA strike force, acting on a tip f

For Lucas, the inevitable came on January 28, 1975, when an NYPD/DEA strike force, acting on a tip from two Pleasant Avenue guys, staged a surprise raid on his house in a leafy neighborhood of Teaneck, New Jersey. In the ensuing panic, Julie Lucas, screaming "Take it all, take it all," tossed several suitcases out the window. The cases were found to contain $584,000 in the rumpled bills Lucas refers to as "shit street money." Also found were keys to Lucas's Cayman Islands safe-deposit boxes, property deeds, and a ticket to a United Nations ball, compliments of the ambassador of Honduras.

 

"Those motherfuckers just came in," Lucas says now, sitting in a car across the street from the split-level house where he played pickup games with members of the Knicks. For years, he has contended that the cops took a lot more than $585,000 from him. "Five hundred eighty-five thousand, what's that? Shit. In Vegas, I'd lose 500 G's playing baccarat with a green-headed whore in half an hour." According to Lucas, agents took something on the order of "9 to 10 million dollars" from him that fateful evening. To bolster his claim, he cites passing a federally administered polygraph test on the matter. A DEA agent on the scene that night, noting that "$10 million in crumpled $20 bills isn't something you just stick in your pocket," vigorously denies Lucas's charge.

 

Whatever. Frank doesn't expect to see his money again: "It's just too fucking old -- old and

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Chris Keeley

Back in the early seventies, there were many "brands" of dope in Harlem. Tru Blu, Mean Machine, Coul

Back in the early seventies, there were many "brands" of dope in Harlem. Tru Blu, Mean Machine, Could Be Fatal, Dick Down, Boody, Cooley High, Capone, Ding Dong, Fuck Me, Fuck You, Nice, Nice to Be Nice, Oh -- Can't Get Enough of That Funky Stuff, Tragic Magic, Gerber, The Judge, 32, 32-20, O.D., Correct, Official Correct, Past Due, Payback, Revenge, Green Tape, Red Tape, Rush, Swear to God, PraisePraisePraise, KillKillKill, Killer 1, Killer 2, KKK, Good Pussy, Taster's Choice, Harlem Hijack, Joint, Insured for Life, and Insured for Death were only a few of the brand names rubber-stamped onto cellophane bags. But none sold like Frank Lucas's Blue Magic.