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Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words

Waiting with bated breath for Who the F is Frank Zappa? I chanced upon this documentary called Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words. Like George Carlin, more than ever we need Zappa. Even The Guardian gets his value: he along with Bowie was the most articulate, independent-minded and philosophical, the funniest and artistically, the bravest of…

Chuck Berry @ 90

Happy birthday to a rock ‘n roll grandee. Here is Berry’s chatty innuendo-laden extended version of Dave Bartholomew’s My Ding-a-Ling (Dave himself is still going at 97). It used to be the Mary Whitehouses of the world who wanted to ban the ditty, now of course such draconian moves emanate from the regressive left. (Yes, I’m aware…

Alice Dreger on Academic Freedom

Alice Dreger talks about the importance of academic freedom and why the corporatization of the modern university threatens free speech on campus. I’ve been aware of the wonderful work of FIRE for some sixteen years ago, an outfit first brought to my attention by the immensely brave Mary Lefkowitz (more on Mary in the near future). The first video acts as an overture…

The most influential chat show you’ve never heard of

We live in a time when being dumb is reward and being smart is counter-culture. If one makes a claim for harbouring a disinterested approach to truth, then one needs to explore ideas beyond one’s ideological reservation, most of which have long since become barren and infertile through infelicitous activity. It used to be that being liberal was punkishly…

Performance

Though it’s going on 40 years since Performance was made (1968, released in 1970) it is still the most modern of films with “adult themes” (philosophical and otherwise) from an age when films weren’t primarily made for fuckwits. The themes of social, sexual and gender identity make the fuss being made about these issues now seem so tired…

Can We Take a Joke?

Comedian Jim Norton tackles the twisted state of the 21st century, including how modern technology affects everything from free speech to hooking up. People typically invoke Lenny Bruce as a litmus test in these matters but I think the real test is Derek and Clive which, on recent form, I believe would be subject to…