Monday, May 01, 2006

Rad famous people, living and dead.

The following are people that are the best ever, at least according to the list I made at lunch. These are people that have influenced me in one way or another, I guess.
One thing is for certain: they're all worthy of being featured on this, the most important blog in the universe.


Marcel Duchamp was a nutter artist because it pissed people off and it was fun. He didn't learn how to be a nutter. He made it up as he went along. Now you have to spend huge amounts of money to learn to be a nutter artist. My favorite thing about him is said in so many words that he had been against the bourgeoisie, until he realized, yep, he was pretty much bourgeoisie. A great guy. Quit art to play chess full time. Awesome.

Janna Levin is a theoretical cosmologist who watched a lot of TV as a child. She also entered college undeclared. Two things I support.
Charles II put England back on its feet after the insane rule of the motherfucker Cromwell. His response to Cromwell's no fun policies was to expand democracy and tolerance, support the sciences, and generally air out the cupboards. He also was a randy fellow who sired many illegimate offspring. Has a breed of spaniel named after him.
Kurt Godel was a mathematician with a superhuman creative streak. The story of how he reached his Incompleteness Theorem is stomach churning because of it's weirdness and simplicity. Died crazy. Died awesome.
George Clinton was a barber in a Detroit, who sang in a doo-wop band. Then he took acid and created the world's largest amoeba, Parliament Funkadelic. He proved that interracial love can be found by dropping a tab.
Howard Gossage was an ad guy who really hated advertising. He agitated for independent media, not treating people like idiots, and he fully supported biting the hand that feeds you, if the hand belongs to someone corrupt, stupid, or absurd. Kind of made Marshall McLuhan's career.
This is Hunter S. Thompson. An obvious choice, I know. Who have you got? Reading him as a teenager, I guess what inspired me about him is he showed me you can be a freak but still be laser focused.
Greil Marcus is sort of a creep, but his book Lipstick Traces is untouchable as a history of weirdos. It's a book that has fed my fever dreams for years.
H.L. Mencken would have killed stupid people if he had the chance. He took an axe to false piety wherever he could find it, be it religious, ideological, or just the result bad taste and a feeble imagination. People hate this guy, so I feel I must love him. "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - HL Mencken. Fuck YES.
Hugo Ball dressed like this and saw nothing wrong with it. So what are you wearing right now that's so sassy? He also performed recitations of gibberish and had a hot mystical girlfriend. He also had a bowl cut, like Moe Howard.
Lighting Bolt plays music that sounds like Zeus farting. Makes me estatic to listen to it, for the first ten minutes anyway. After that, I kind of never want to hear music ever again in my life.
Letterman was a enema. In his corny way, he said "Man, TV does suck alright, and by extension, most everything is kind of phony. Let's laugh about how stupid everything is." It was subversive, but very nice, too. The man doesn't get enough credit.
Harvey Kurtzman was the first artist for kids that I encountered that wasn't lazy. He understood kids could get pissed off at hypocrisy and that they knew that adults were stupid.
George S. Kaufman wrote screenplays for the Marx Brothers. He was also said to a struggling young playwright: "I understand your new play is full of single entendres." Awesome. He was mean to dumb people, which is an underated hobby.
Lemmy doesn't do ballads. Lemmy goes in, destroys and leaves. And he's 75 years old.
Miles Davis perfected Fuck You as an art form. He dissed everybody and everything. He also dropped Stockhausen and Sly Stone on one album, and every one hated it. Except for me. I love it. It's called On the Corner and it MAKES NO GODDAMN SENSE.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 gave me the sense that being a goon was perferable to being a normal. It's more fun anyway.
Debated this one. John Lydon has always been consistent and seems to default to the truth, rather than self aggrandizing bullshit. He is also lives in Venice Beach, which is cool.
Steve Stapleton or Nurse With Wound makes creepy music that most people wouldn't like if they actually heard it. But I do. He's also managed to create a self contained little life for himself, making the art he wants to make, taking his own risks, and enjoying fatherhood at goat farm in Ireland. His integrity and passion for what he does is a huge inspiration to me. He also likes Missy Elliot.
Mel Blanc was/is Daffy Duck. Awesome.
George Plimpton did weird things (like trying to play professional football as 140 lbs weakling) and wrote funny, self-deprecating books about the experiences. He also wrote prose that seemed effortless. He's dead.
Patton Oswalt is a grab-ass goon that's very funny.
Ornette Coleman made a new joyful new music. The trouble is, most of the jazz establishment -- weirdos, like Miles Davis -- greeted it with like it was a large and friendly Great Dane with an erection. Ornette still makes joyful music. He didn't give a shit about what anybody thought then, and he doesn't now. Right the fuck on.
Karl Popper is a cranky philsopher who thought everyone should leave everyone else the FUCK alone. Actually, he thought the best society was an open society, where everyone could experiment as they saw fit. He also was deeply suspicious of anyone that had the solution for everything. Wittgenstein may or may not have threatened Popper with a fire place poker.
Sarah Silverman is hot and offensive.
Mark E. Smith is the Ranter di tutti Ranti. He's the lead singer of the Fall and as such has a license to be obscure and angry about it.

An example:

"hey built the road over dumb fellows like you
they built the world as you know it
all the systems you traverse
they rode slipshod over all peasants like you
they were curious orange
they were curious oranj
they disliked papists
they rode
and their horses loved them, and their
horses loved them too
they were curious oranj
they freed the blacks too
built a church in one day man-amish
their clothes were cool
turned into Napoleon over and didn't know
they made Hitler laugh in pain -
they were curious oranj.
They invented birth control
they were ridiculed, invulnerable to -
cool"
(courtesy the Fall Lyrics Parade)

It's about William of Orange. Dang dude.

Edgar Varese was a mad scientist composer who created the most hair raising hunk of tunage of all times (to me anyway). If you are invited to a Varese dance party, DON'T GO. You will be killt dead on the altar. And they'll be playing Poem Electronique.
Vladimir Nabokov proved that if you write with enough wit and grace, you have eternal license. Pale Fire is the end of everything for you. Don't read it. You'll want to stop reading altogether. Why bother? He also collected butterflies and lived in a four star hotel.
Voltaire liked pissing everybody off so much, he moved to Switzerland where he could do it full time. I read Candide at fifteen and I'd have to admit it pretty much ruined me for a couple of years.
Francis Vincent Zappa was a junior college dropout from the high desert of southern California that told poop jokes professionally. He did it in weird time signatures and played ugly guitar. He also hated hippies before it was cool. And Lou Reed. Frank is the best American of the second half of the twentieth century and his autobiography is second only to Julian Cope's in the pantheon of rock shaman autobiographies.
Irshad Manji has a good haircut, and she keeps it looking good in the face of angry mullahs and their trained attack dogs. She's out calling bullshit on Islam where Islam needs to be called bullshit upon. Rock on Irshad.
Bob Wilkins hosted Creature Features, a fantastic late night crappy monster movie show in the 70s and early 80s, right here in the Bay Area. He let you know up front if a movie sucked. He was also the local weatherman. Ran old Flash Gordon serials, too. Awesome Bull Geek stuff you don't see on TV anymore.
William James was the excitable brother of Henry James, who was anything but. He was also the father of neurology and he paid a lot of attention to his own brain, observing how it worked. I like him. He also developed a philosophy called Pragmatism, that codified a way to apply empricism to everyday life. I guess you could say it's a way of gauging the truth of a statement by it's practical results. Very materialistic. Cool.
Buckminster Fuller sat around thinking up crazy shit all day, stuff that turned out to be sort of true. He gave the world the geodesic dome and predicted the discovery of the Buckminsterfullerene, an unusually strong carbon molecule with a geodesic structure. He was largely self taught, he didn't talk for one year, and he had dozens of the same suit made, so people wouldn't judge him on sight. He was a glorious crank and the last of a certain sort of tinker generalist that doesn't exist anymore.
Alfred Jarry wrote the Ubu plays, which concern the adventures of Ma and Pa Ubu, as they ascend to the throne of Poland. A lot scatalogical horseplay and carrot jokes. Insanely stupid, thus...BRILLIANT.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Jack P Toerson said...

That's got to be one of the coolest blog lists I've seen in a long time.

In fact, before friday, either you or I should republish it at 20__ because it's also got almost every cool search engine phrase a man could ever want or need.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Crackpot Press said...

Ah, Sarah Silverman.... so foul, so dirty...

so clean.

11:21 PM  

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