[Landline] How do you know when to leave?
Children of Men, singing frogs, mescaline woods, Watt Sauce and more
Landline No. 0038
July 7, 2022
Good day friends,
1. TO FLEE OR NOT TO FLEE
Maybe, like me, you’ve been thinking about getting out of this increasingly dismal nation before it’s descended any further into Christo-fascist guntopia. (Note: it might be too late already. Doh!) At what point, specifically, do you walk away? How bad would it have to get before you run? And where would you flee to? (Note: replies are welcome.)
I’ve been thinking a lot about this Arthur article from 2005 recently….
(Read more: arthurmag.com)
But… if you can’t see a way to leave, how do you plan to ride out the coming months-years-decades of rapid decline and horror?
In the last few weeks I’ve started to come back round to the idea of living out the rest of my weird life something like beloved Jasper in Children of Men (2006)…
…who left the city and overt activism for a hidden, humble countryside refuge life of homegrown Strawberry Cough, chess, animals, books, music and abundant good humor. Is this even possible, in 2022 USA? I think so, but you gotta take great care about where you’re doing it.
And the most important thing?
"You don’t need to burn a lot of carbon to have a good time. The basics of paleolithic contentment remain the same in us and are available at any time." (Kim Stanley Robinson on walking)
Go here for 85 frogtastic minutes of waterside music: https://www.radioisaforeigncountry.org/amphibian-love-songs
4. VISIONARY LANDSCAPES II AND III
From John Coulthart’s journal:
Last week my friend Jay Babcock was asking on his Substack newsletter for other examples of the utopian hippy landscape art that flourished in the 1970s. I recommended the paintings of Gage Taylor (1942–2000), an artist who was part of the loose movement known as the Californian Visionaries during that decade; paintings by the group were showcased in the Visions book published by Pomegranate in 1977, and shortly thereafter could be found in the early issues of OMNI magazine. Taylor was a prime exponent of slightly fantastic, idealised landscapes with titles like Mescaline Woods, painted in a style which, for the most part, he managed to prevent from becoming too saccharine.
Encounter is a typical example: a quartet of naked hippies wandering through an Arcadian scene bordered by decorative cannabis leaves. The painting is definitely utopian in asking us to accept a clothes-free hike along a trail with no concern for sharp stones or injurious plants and animals.
Looking through Visions again, and at this painting in particular, I was struck by the foreground group of floating alien creatures…
…which I belatedly realised are the origin of the aliens from the opening scenes of Space is the Place (1974), the Sun Ra feature film directed by John Coney.
And after watching those scenes again, details from Taylor’s paintings (including Mescaline Woods) turn up as brief establishing shots of the planet where Sun Ra has landed his spacecraft, something I’d missed entirely. Taylor is credited as one of the set decorators so I’d guess he made the alien creatures himself. I’d have been happy with more of the cosmic weirdness and less of the Blaxploitation clichés that pad out the later scenes but with films as unlikely as this we have to be thankful they exist at all…..
Landline reader Ryan Shepard writes:
More amphetamine dreams than psychedelia, probably, but Mark Alan Stamaty's mid-’70s visions of a seething, infinitely rich New York overflowing with hairy freaks, tiny, weird businesses, and berserk 24-hour street life are something I come back to regularly:
[These two images] are available from Stamaty as posters at $100 a pop - I found the original pull-out centerfolds that they first appeared as in the Village Voice for a lot less on eBay, however.
5. MAYBE WATT SAUCE WILL HELP
Order it up at elenojado.com!
Into the collab,
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