If you lived or traveled through the Fort Pierce region of Florida in the late 1950s and throughout the 60s, you may have had the chance to buy a landscape painting from an African American man, with Upson board as the canvas and crown molding as a frame, and the paint might have still been wet. Unable to get their art into local galleries, this rough collective of 26 self-taught artists peddled their wares to local businesses, through neighborhoods and to tourists. Their style fell out of fashion into the 1980s, but some of the painters persisted. Their style gained new recognition in the 1990s, a handful continue to paint to this day. They are known as The Highwaymen, and their art captures the natural, and somewhat lost Florida of the past. [more inside]
Les Paul's 1954 Custom: The One & Only Original by Michael Molenda, Guitar Player. More on Les Paul, and his partnership with Mary Ford, at Gibson.com. YouTube: How High The Moon (1951). [more inside]
But in addition to our retreat into wishfulness, something else was brewing: a sense that the past was not only better than the present, but that the past’s predictions for the future were also better than what had actually become the present. No longer content to live in (or through) our memories of the past, we also yearned to live in the past’s vision of the future. We were nostalgic for yesterday’s prognostications: You could say that we succumbed to prognostalgia. Living with our backs to the future, on the cultural fixation with past dreams of the future, on the 50th anniversary of Isaac Asimov's write-up on the 1964 World's Fair, which is still being reviewing to track Asimov's hits and misses [via mefi projects] [more inside]
As American men went off to war during World War II, women stepped in to fill the jobs they left behind, keeping the factories and shipyards running, and the economy humming. While most were praised for their patriotism, one unheralded group of women worked in the shadows building Gibson guitars. The maker of the famous instrument never confirmed that women crafted its guitars during the war, and in an official company history, even reported it stopped producing instruments for those years. But now the time has come to shed some new historical light on the Kalamazoo Gals. [more inside]
Policymic has compiled a list of the 6 greatest guest star appearances of all time on the t.v. shoe The Simpsons. Trying to pick the best cameos from a pool of 500+ episodes is a daunting task, so for the purpose of the following list, one criteria is that the cameo needs to be more than just a celebrity drop-in to the Simpsons' world. Instead the cameo role needs to be central to the episode's storyline; the other criteria is that the appearance has to be funny. [more inside]
Authentic Wm. Gibson promises “synopses for William Gibson novels that are definitely 100% real, but only in a timeline with greater authenticity than this one.”, and delivers exactly that.
In 1992, renowned sci-fi author and futurist William Gibson (Neuromancer, Virtual Light) released Agrippa (A Book of the Dead), a self-playing poem contained on a floppy disk for old Macintosh computers that, once its text had scrolled up the screen one time, would be rendered unreadable on purpose. Now, 20 years later, a PhD student at the University of Toronto is enlisting the aid of cryptographers in hopes of figuring out how the program works. [more inside]
Austraaaaaalia, Melbourne, kangaroos, didgeridoo, Austraaaaaalia, Olivia Newton John, Paul Hogan, Mel Gibson.
This summer, The Paris Review interviewed two science fiction writers at length, Samuel R. Delany and William Gibson. Below the cut there are two passages, one from each interview. They aren't representative, they are just two of the many, many passages which have been going around in my head for the last few days. [more inside]
"In other words, Judah Maccabee, his father, and his brothers, are like the heroes of every Mel Gibson movie."
Mel Gibson and Joe Eszterhas have announced their latest, Warner Bros.-backed epic: a film about 'legendary Jewish warrior' Judah Maccabee. American Jewish leaders are plotzing. Rumors about a Maccabee movie were raised in 2004, but nothing ever came of them. Back then, at Christopher Hitchens' direction, Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic met with Gibson to (sorta, but not really) talk him out of it. [more inside]
During a raid on the Gibson Guitar factory, a million dollars worth of Madagascar ebony and rosewood were seized under the 100-year-old Lacey Act which protects endangered species. But the Lacey Act is retroactive and also covers the trade in vintage instruments, which means owners can be asked to account for every wooden part of their guitars when re-entering the U.S.
William Gibson has been taking questions on his long-dormant blog since March 31st and continued until today. Some favorites, Gibson talking about: how writing is hard, that he started watching The Wire because of the shipping containers, George Bush's raincoat and his first attempt at fiction.
Les Paul, musician, pioneer of multitrack recording, and creator of one of the most successful and recognizable guitars in history, passed at the age of 94. [more inside]
Fried Gibson. I've always thought you were safe in a house from lightning storms as long as you were off the land-line or computer. A Mississippi man's Gibson Les Paul got positively roasted while sitting in his home, in its case, leaning against a wall. That's a powerful bolt. Lots of gory photos here and in the auction linked above including a nice shot of some of the parts that exploded off of the guitar, some shooting like bullets through the case. Awesome! And it still held quite a bit of its value. Via [more inside]
The Agrippa Files presents a fairly expansive overview of the original and very rare 1992 art book Agrippa (a book of the dead), a collaboration between artist Dennis Ashbaugh, author William Gibson, and award-winning journalist Kevin Begos, Jr. that presciently explored the ephemeral nature of and decay of memories and information. [more inside]
The Maestro FZ-1 Fuzztone was one of the first stomp boxes a guitar player could use. Released in 1962 by Gibson, sales didn't take off until a British band used it in the introduction to one of their songs in 1965. But if it weren't for a Marty Robbins song and engineer Glen Snoddy, the pedal might have never been invented and country music wouldn't have been the same. [more inside]
The late Dan Gibson: Pioneering wildlife documentarian and sound archivist. Inventor of the Dan Gibson Parabolic Microphone. Musician. Order of Canada recipient. All-around good guy.
"I'm #1 at the box-office, Sugar Tits!" The mystery continues: what or who is Sugar Tits? Is it a baby pacificer? Is it a breakfast cereal? Is she an "attractive female law officer dispatched to oppress good Christian men by her masters within the international conspiracy of invisible Zionist superjews"? Maybe it's Mel's next movie?
Buchanan Argues For Immigration Moratorium To Preserve White Dominance His new book also explains that western civilization is dependant on white people's "genetic endowments". Could explain why John Gibson famously called for "more white babies" a couple months ago. Is blatant racism becoming less taboo?
More Bad News For Mel In the 24-hour news cycle, tomorrow's bad news for Mel Gibson hits today: according to tomorrow's Sunday Herald Sun Mel Gibson once had ties to the Australian League of Rights, a right-wing group well-known in Australia for anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and Holocaust denial. Says the Herald Sun: "The league claims the world is run by a secret society of Jews." (Who, presumably, are responsible for all the wars in the world"
Mel Gibson on evolution, women, and political conspiracy theory. It's an old interview but includes some topical issues.
'The Passion of the Heist'. This short spoof on Mel Gibson's 'The Passion of the Christ' was shot in 30 minutes and cost 20 dollars to make. Bret Carr, the young film maker - who has won previous awards - is now getting calls from Hollywood bigwigs because of it. 'The Passion of the Heist' took an hour to shoot and put on the web - however, it took five years to make Carr's previous film 'LOU', a feature film from the writer of 'The Deer Hunter'.
William Gibson now on William Gibson then. Yep, that is indeed me, though nothing I'm saying there, at such painful length, is even remotely genuine. They were offering $500 for someone to monologue about the summer of lurve, etc., and I was (1) somewhat articulate, and (2) wanted desperately to get my ass out of Yorkville ... $500 was serious money
Michael Moore is making a deal with Mel Gibson's Icon Prods. to finance "Fahrenheit 911," a documentary that will trace why the U.S. has become a target for hatred and terrorism. It will also depict alleged dealings between two generations of the Bush and bin Laden clans that led to George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden becoming mortal enemies.