John Wilcock

Other Scenes

New York’s Film Festival proved once again how utterly impossible it is to satisfy a mixed media audience with the subjective selections of any group of film tasters. Some critics thought there was too much Godard, or too many “foreign” selections in general; others complained about the “amateurism” of the solitary American selection—Norman Mailer’s corny “Beyond the Law” or the thin content of the charming opening selection, “Capricious Summer.” Press tickets were tightly restricted and uniformed guards were alert to combat threatened disruption by militant young filmmakers who see the festival as a classic example of decadent bourgeois culture.

The star of two parties was Mailer, the Big Ego Himself, who also turned up at a press conference to amplify his skills as a director and actor and to brag about how his cops and robbers epic (an incomprehensible series of unconnected vignettes, unconvincingly acted and barely audible) was the first to tell it like it really is. In his boastful capacity for being the first person to discover everything, (long after everybody else), the Richest-Protester-in-History is getting to be like the Russians.

San Francisco magazine, carrying a story about the 1906 SF earthquake, predicting there’ll be another one soon, just as big...

“The worm at the core of American liberalism goes by the name of lesser-evilism” (Jack Newfield) ...

One thousand common words are shown, in 20 different languages in a new paperback compiled by Peter M. Bergman distributed by New American Library...

Britain’s medical journal, The Lancet, says doctors working on secret research into biological warfare “are offending medical ethics”...

The printer for London’s Peace News refused to allow a picture montage containing the phrases FUCK FOR PEACE and FUCK THE POPE into a story that the paper titled “Plain Words & Foul Language”...

A cushion photographically imprinted with a bare ass is on sale at Martin Proctor’s Papier Mache (55 Greenwich Ave., NYC 10014)...

“LBJ has a $200,000 car wash in the front yard (spillway from the Pedernales)”—Austin Burton...

Two features “banned” by the white media (one for a NY Times article, one a WBAI talk) are included in the first issue of Ed Bullins Black Theatre ($1.50 a year from New Lafayette Theatre, 200 West 135th St., Harlem, NYC 10030) which will appear every two months...

Old-fashioned theatre tickets, bright colored and imprinted with dates and theatre logo, are disappearing, fast, to be replaced with look-alike computer tickets which have the advantage (reports Theatre Crafts magazine) of being harder to steal by box office personnel), easier to store and more efficient to work with when you want to know how much of the house is sold out...

British European Airways, still losing money, plans to spend two and a half million bux on changing its logo...

Third prize in the Protestant Joke Competition organized by “The Great Spring Forward” (100 from 151 Spring St., NYC 10012) was won by this: What is a waste of money? Photographing a Protestant with color film...

And as for the Greek king skulking away in a Rome villa, one of these days when Greece’s fascist government is overthrown, he’ll come back as a hero who “opposed” the junta...

Where Sinatra’s at is perfectly epitomized by his endorsement of H. Horseshit Humphreak...

The Palm Springs real estate developer is constructing a pseudo-Moroccan project named Marrakesh...

The best way to get the flavor of the underground press without buying all the papers is to write for a copy of the quarterly mag Orpheus (60 cents from Box 1603, Phoenix, Arizona 85001) which offers a digest of some of the better pieces. For $12 a year from the same address you can also get a subscription to “52 different papers” at the rate of one copy of each different one every week. A good deal.


Fifth Estate #64, October 17–30, 1968