Other Scenes


Fifth Estate # 96, January 8-21, 1970

Writing about the Paul McCartney thing, Robert Somma speculates on how willing some people are to believe that a public figure is dead. Whatever future evidence there might be, he says, McCartney will BE dead in these people’s minds because they want him to be. Very true. And given that most people share this trait—a sort of transference deathwish—to some extent, why don’t we capitalise upon it? Let’s say NIXON IS DEAD and keep saying it over and over again until 200 million people have heard it. Some will take it at face value, others will accept it symbolically until eventually even the wire services and The New York Times are forced to deal with it as a mass phenomenon. Tell your friends…NIXON IS DEAD; don’t -explain it, don’t amplify it, don’t justify it. Just say it.

THE UNDERGROUND PRESS: N. Carolina’s. underground paper, Inquisition (Box 17543, Charlotte, N.C.) devoted a page to a calendar History of the Movement which they pinpoint as starting Feb. 1960 when four black students sat in at Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro. The first freedom riders traveled to the South in Spring of the following year….

Tucson now has its own underground—the Druid Free Press (2345 E. Speedway, Tucson, Arizona 85719)…

Jack Newfield’s plan for millions to resist the war by not paying taxes is fine for the large, middle-class audience he reaches. Most radicals, of course, haven’t been paying taxes for years and their bible is The Peacemaker (10208 Sylvan Ave, Cincinnati, Ohio 45241) which frequently reports on their experiences…

Nola Express (Box 2342, New Orleans, La. 70116) is the best paper in the south….

Gothic Blimp Works, EVO’s monthly four-color comic, is brilliant and any commercial publisher who knew what was going on would sign up most of its cartoonists to lifetime contracts….

It would make a lot of sense for EVO & Rat to merge..

After several years of internal battles London’s International Times has split apart. Now there are two dull papers instead of one….

You’d have to read German to get much out of Carl Weissner’s CUT-UP (Joseph Melzer Verlag, Darmstadt) but it’s a comprehensive compendium of some of the top experimental writers: Burroughs, Beach, Norse, Nuttall, Pelieu and Gysin…

Detroit’s Fifth Estate has stopped taking classified ads that “attempt to commercialize, commoditize or exploit people’s sexual fears and anxieties” …

The Spokane Natural reports on a local fad for shooting up peanut butter and mayonnaise. It apparently grew out of a hoax played on noisy narcs and the Natural points out that “ignorant people will believe anything”. Don’t do it they warn. It doesn’t get you high but might kill you….

Toby Mamis’ high school rag, The New York Herald Tribune (110 Riverside Drive, NYC 10025) complete with original logo offers a lifetime sub for $5…

The whole point of Cleveland’s Buddhist Third-class Junkmail Oracle is that it be thrown together like any sloppy-looking junkmail item. The difference is that it’s done by poets (subs not sold but send a quarter for a sample issue to 14016 Orinoco Ave, E Cleveland, Ohio 44112)….

Several radical papers—among them the LA Freep and Berkeley Tribe—now run weekly columns of revealing info about their local police departments. THE WAR ETC.: According to a letter in Win speed is being dished out to Vietnam G.I.s to keep them pepped up enough to fight….

General Wastemoreland, the 20th century Custer, predicts that within ten years we’ll have “completely automated” battlefields on which we can “destroy anything we locate through instant communications”…

Five per cent of the casualties in World War I were civilians. Forty-four percent of World War II’s casualties were civilian. Eighty-eight per cent of Korean War casualties were civilian. Ninety-one per cent of Vietnam War casualties have been civilian.

OUR THING: All the lower East Side poetry stars are in The World Anthology (Bobbs-Merrill, $3.95) which is probably the most important and germinal collection of poetry you could buy at this time….

Teenage Death-Lust is the name of a new poetry magazine from Hollywood….

The first EVO frontpage under my editorship back in 1966, is reproduced in the collage-and-poetry filled mag, FruitCup (Beach Books, 222 West 23rd St, NYC 10011)….

Multi-colored Poppin (50 cents from 1249 Howe Street, Vancouver 1, B.C., Canada) calls itself “Canada’s Rock Culture magazine” but it’s very much more than that. Pretty, too….

England’s trippiest rock magazine is ZigZag (50 cents from 7 Fiveoaks, Caddington, Luton, Bedfordshire)…

The best continuing guide to living without being subservient to authority, any authority, is the quarterly newsletter Innovator (Box 34718, L.A., Calif. 90034) whose current issue includes articles on hobo tourism, free states, invisible ink, storing supplies underground, foraging supermarkets and how to drop out and not drift back in.

PUBLIC FIGURES: One of the infuriating journalistic cliches is that which insists on referring to a non-existent god as He, with the h capitalized if he’s there at all, he doesn’t merit it on his current record….

Ed Sanders “emphatically denies” that the deal with Grove Press to publish his novel, Shards of God involves a percentage of I Am Curious and “access to Barney Rosset’s private swimming pool full of marmalade covered cutaway panty hose….

If you want an interesting speaker on almost everything in the arts, politics, psychedelics or sex you’ll find one easily in the catalog of the Movement Speakers Bureau (333 E. 5th St., NYC 10003)….

Dick Gregory’s as good as ever, and as meaningful and honest as ever but has started to mumble too much and (as at his recent Carnegie Hall concert) can’t be understood about a third of the time….

Photographer William Klein’s excellent, documentary about Muhammed Ali, which takes the fighter only up to winning the world heavyweight crown, is now being released by Grove Press, as Klein prepares the next installment dealing with the black boxer’s political radicalization….

The homosexual monthly, Tangents, suggests that there’s a contradiction between Angel o (The Homosexual Handbook) d’Arcangelo’s advice to “Be free! Live! Admit it!” and the fact that, “He gives us the worst phony name we’ve yet heard and he goes around to press conferences wearing a glued on beard, whiskers and Allah! only knows what else. So who’s free?”….

Why not write to Charles Hamilton Autographs (25 East 53 St, NYC 10021) and offer him your signature now while it’s still cheap?….In fact why not write to Celebrity Service (171 West 57 Street, New York 10019) and tell them where and how you are?

“The Yippies try to liberate people by getting them to change their clothes. We relate to other people thru their clothes. A judge puts on black robes and all of a sudden everyone starts treating him as a god. He takes off his robe and he’s just like any other schmuck on the street “—Jerry Rubin