Other Scenes


Fifth Estate # 73, February 20-March 5, 1969

Performer James Brown is one Negro who’s certainly managed to come to terms on his own with Black Power. First he gave a cozy, bear-hugging endorsement of Hubert Humphrey (himself just back from hugging Lester Maddox) and then, when HHH’s balloon deflated, the nimble Brown was right in there socking it to them on behalf of President Tricky Dicky. Uncle Tom Brown may be full of soul but he’s also full of shit.

As for the fuss about the so-called “anti-semitic” blacks who’ve been accusing Jewish businessmen of exploiting them (and, of course, they have) it should be clear to anybody who devotes any thought to the matter that oppressed minority groups always attack other minority groups as standard divide-and-conquer tactic. Blacks who pinpoint the Jewish segment of the White Establishment as the enemy aren’t wrong about their target—just over-selective.

If the Jewish community (some sections of which, honest-to-god, invite anti-Semitism) doesn’t want to be accused of acting like rapacious profiteers then it should try to exercise some pressure on those in the community guilty of exploitation.

Julie Andrews is suing Screenland magazine for “impairment of her reputation” over a story that links her romantically with Sidney Poitier, says SF Express Times, which asks “Is Mary Poppins a racist?”

Underground Press Syndicate, spurred by repeated busts of its members for obscenity (& other cooked-up charges), is making plans to share legal aid to combat future harassment. All member-papers (about 80 of them) are being polled for who should be “coordinator(s),” the nearest equivalent of leadership that such an anarchist group would accept.

Most individualistic and interesting UPS papers (outside New York) are currently: John Bryan’s Open City (L.A.), Berkeley Barb, Helix (Seattle), John Kois’ Kaleidoscope (Milwaukee & Chicago), Roger Lovin’s Garbled Word (New Orleans), Fifth Estate (Ed. Note: Thanks John), John Sinclair’s Sun (Ann Arbor), Distant Drummer (Philadelphia), and Toronto’s Harbinger.

And now friends, a right-wing underground newspaper: “Max,” published by something called Media Laboratories, Inc. and aimed at what its editors term, “The Great Washed…you know, that group of kids that want to carry our flag not shred it.”

For years we’ve all known that it’s really Big Business that runs a country, with politicians fulfilling roughly the role of the ventriloquist’s doll. Well, now, we’ve got a government that virtually admits that it’s run by Big Business, in fact to all intents and purposes, is big business; so let’s stop and examine this phenomenon for a moment.

Suppose that we admit that what we’ve known as “democracy” doesn’t actually work very efficiently but that, say, IBM or General Motors does (within its limitations). Are we on the verge of a series of international business communities (replacing “political” communities)?

Is it possible that a country that was run as a business, with people appointed rather than elected, might not only be more efficient in terms of satisfying people’s needs but also more vulnerable to change (i.e. if convinced that evil deeds might reduce profits)? Just a suggestion, folks.

Learning to Live Without Cigarettes (Doubleday, 95 cents) comes with a complete plan for “Q-day” (quitting day) with a list of the things you should stock up ready for the traumatic cut-off (fruit juice, vitamins, olives, chewing gum, etc.).

A survey of “Bestsellers Nobody Reads” was conducted by the quarterly mag The Smith, which discovered that 53 of the 81 respondents who had bought Goat Boy didn’t finish it, ditto for 62 out of 97 buyers of Nat Turner, and 31 of the 59 who bought Herzog.

Other Scenes (P.O. Box 8, NYC 10014) is running a free International Classifieds column for people who want to swap apartments or share rides in and across other countries. NYC is about to be submerged in a sea of sex papers and magazines with Screw already selling 15,000 on the stands (and claiming 40,000) and others, including one by former Paris pawnbroker Maurice Girodias on the way.

Harry Saltzman, who gave us the James Bond movies, and Don Kirshner, who invented The Monkees, have teamed up to produce what United Artists describes as “a series of new-style musical adventure films starring a new musical group called Tomorrow.” Maybe it’s unfair to judge them before they’re even heard but with those sponsors who needs enemies?

Newly released Morton Sobell has been invited to the world premiere (Cleveland, March 14) of a play called “The United States vs Julius and Ethel Rosenberg”…Is Progressive Labor going to absorb SDS “lock, stock and jock?” A group at Columbia University calling itself the Sand Castle Class, thinks so. “(PL’s) worship of Chairman Mao—the Chinese George Wallace—shows how sick they are. To sum up, kiddies, Mao sucks” says the pinkpaper press release.