Literate Lobsters Are Literate


Ukrainian nature photographer Vyacheslav Mishchenko shows us that snails are so much more than incredibly slow-moving mollusks who leave slimy trails and sometimes end up on people’s dinner plates. By looking at his photos we learn that snails appear to be curious, playful and even affectionate.

Shot in the woodland area near his home town in Berdichev, located in the Zhytomyr Oblast of northern Ukraine, Mishchenko’s beautiful photos are apparently unstaged. Instead he relies on an extraordinarily keen eye for spotting wildlife:

'As a child, my father taught me to hunt mushrooms near my home and we would always come across all manner of bugs and creatures,' he said. 'As I got older and my interest in photography grew, I decided I wanted to catch these magical scenes on camera.'

Visit Vyacheslav Mishchenkos’ website to check out many more of his remarkable nature photos. The only thing missing from them is narration by Sir David Attenborough.

[via 22 Words and]

Exene's "Exene Says" Column for the OC Weekly, 6/21/13


So when I said, way back on Monday, that Exene had broken my heart a little bit? This is what I was referring to.

It seemed wrong, preparing for this week, to refuse to mention anything produced after 1985, given that the members of X are not fossils but artists still at work. In the nearly thirty years since Ain’t Love Grand, Exene has fronted two other bands, become a producer, published several books of collage work, raised a son, participated in a few art exhibitions. I apologize that I don’t have time or space to cover all of that when I move to a discussion of what Exene has been up to in the last few months.

What Exene has been up to in the last few months is writing a column for the alternative newspaper OC Weekly, including the above, and establishing a social-media presence, which includes liking YouTube videos suggesting that the Boston Marathon bombing and Asiana Airlines plane crash were both faked, or that the grieving parents of Sandy Hook were played by actors, or that those upset about the Zimmerman trial are just succumbing to media manipulation.

She has also posted a few videos of her own. Watching this one, I think: I love her bright pink lipstick and her chunky rings and her refusal to listen to anyone who says women in their fifties shouldn’t wear bright pink lipstick. I love that she gets right up into the camera. I love that she says, “There’s no one to compare me to. I’m not good, I’m not bad, I just am.” These are the things I have admired about Exene from my first exposure to X — her seizing the stage and insisting that her stories are worth telling her way.

But I can’t love the conspiracy theorizing, and especially the conspiracy-theory-based slut shaming — as if, having voiced the messes of being female, sexual, and imperfect in “I’m Coming Over,” “Because I Do,” and “The Once Over Twice,” Exene isn’t willing to grant any younger woman that much humanity. Well, I’m a sexual, imperfect woman myself, and I say: to hell with that.

Atomic Rooster - Sleeping for Years (Beat-Club August 1970)


1. Be yourself. Your boyfriend is with you because he likes you, not some phony person that you’re trying to be. So, be yourself. He obviously likes what he’s seen so far, otherwise he wouldn’t be bothering to spend time with you. Just relax and try to enjoy the time you spend together. How to Make Conversation With Your Boyfriend: 12 Steps

Devo: Sixties Idealists or Nazis and Clowns?

By Michael Goldberg
December 10, 1981 12:00 AM ET

Someone wanted to know where your home is,” the waitress said to Mark Mothersbaugh.

"I don’t have a home," Mothersbaugh replied softly, peering at the woman through dark glasses, his short brown hair askew so that he looked like a young Dr. Strangelove.

"I told them I thought it was Mars," said the waitress, trying to stifle a less-than-charitable laugh.

"Mars," said Mothersbaugh slowly. "I wish I came from Mars. That’s where I’d like to go, anyway."

Mark Mothersbaugh, of course, isn’t from Mars. He’s from Devo. He writes songs, sings, plays synthesizers and, together with bassist-songwriter Jerry Casale, is the brains behind the band responsible for adding the phrase “whip it good” to our vocabulary.

Mothersbaugh was surprisingly good-natured about the waitress’ ribbing. He’s apparently used to that kind of thing now. And it was less of a hassle than the fans who come up to him and ask, pointblank, “Why did you sell out?”

"That makes me feel worse than anything, ‘cause I don’t know what to say," Mothersbaugh said recently while eating dinner at a gourmet health-food restaurant in Beverly Hills. "I try to tell them that it wasn’t our fault, that we were just doing what we wanted to do and somehow people ended up buying it."

In fact, Devo have been woefully misunderstood. Until “Whip It” became one of the biggest singles of 1980, Devo had meager record sales; their mix of Fifties sci-fisound effects, mechanized rock & roll and offbeat image—five yellow jump-suited industrial ants leaping about the stage in unison—was not well received by the mainstream rock audience. And while the public mostly ignored them, the critics were picking at Devo like vultures going after a dying cow.

"There’s nothing older than yesterday’s futurism," wrote Lester Bangs in the Village Voice. "Freedom of Choice [Devo’s third album, which contains "Whip It"] is so pathetic you almost feel sorry for them, but it was their choice to be geeks from the beginning, and there was never any reason to suppose that their routine wasn’t a scam." Chris Morris, reviewing a Devo concert for Rolling Stone, wrote, "Regrettably missing from the evening’s music was the sense that Devo have anything in the least to say." He added, "Devo’s show bore all the orgiastic earmarks of a Nuremberg rally for spud boys."

"Well, obviously, we’re Nazis and clowns," said Jerry Casale. "They’re all right, all those people. They’re all right on it. We’re assholes. Everything they accuse us of is true. We’re subhuman idiots who threaten them." After taking a deep breath, he continued, "You know, really, on the largest level, who cares?"

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