Forbidden Bookshelf Project

Forbidden Bookshelf

Unearthing Suppressed American History.

For over half a century, America’s vast literary culture has been disparately policed, and imperceptibly contained, by state and corporate entities well-placed and perfectly equipped to wipe out wayward writings. As America does not ban books, other means—less evident, and so less controversial—have been deployed to vaporize them. The purpose of Forbidden Bookshelf is to bring such vanished books to life. These works pull some of the most troubling trends and episodes in US history from the shadows, shed light on how America got to its present moment, and show us how we all might change direction.

These 5 Censored Books Tell a History the Establishment Wants Hidden
Abby Martin speaks with NYU media studies professor, Mark Crispin Miller, about five historical books that have been actively suppressed and hidden from the American public. – YouTube

The first titles released in ebook-form, all of which included new introductions, are:

Blowback: America’s Recruitment of Nazis and Its Destructive Impact on Our Domestic and Foreign Policy by Christopher Simpson.
The Phoenix Program: America’s Use of Terror in Vietnam by Douglas Valentine.
The Search for an Abortionist: The Classic Study of How American Women Coped with Unwanted Pregnancy Before Roe v. Wade by Nancy Howell Lee.
Interference: How Organized Crime Influences Professional Football by Dan E. Moldea.
The Lords of Creation: The History of America’s 1 Percent by Frederick Lewis Allen.

Further Reading
Forbidden Bookshelf Project
Forbidden Bookshelf: Interview with Mark Crispin Miller via Stop Making Sense


Indeterminacy at the Cube Bristol March 2014 Live Feed

Indeterminacy By John Cage at the Cube, Bristol performed by Steve Beresford and Tanya Chen with Stewart Lee 22nd March 2014

Indeterminacy By John Cage at the Cube, Bristol performed by Steve Beresford, Tanya Chen with Stewart Lee 22nd March 2014

Indeterminacy By John Cage at the Cube, Bristol by Dan Pope

“John Cage’s Indeterminacy is a cardboard box filled with 90 cards containing 90 stories of different lengths, and a leaflet of instructions: “Read the stories aloud, with or without accompaniment, paced so that each takes one minute. A stop-watch or watch with a second hand will help keep time. Read all 90 stories in order or select a smaller number, using chance procedures or not.”

I found Indeterminacy engaging, diverting and, on occasion thanks to its dead-pan execution, quiet funny. But it was the inherent technical limitations of the Internet that gave this performance its extra unique dimension.

Every 20 seconds or so the live web link would cut out as the struggling signal huffed and buffered to keep up with demand. Hence the image froze and the audio ceased for another 10 seconds or so, thus creating an additional element of tension unfortunately not enjoyed by the audience in Bristol. With foresight Cage might have considered including this skittish behaviour himself as an extra random element. Nevertheless I remained dedicated and stuck with it to the end. Discouraged to the point of giving up on a piece of live performance art, the convenience of which is freely delivered to one’s home, would have been the height of rudeness, if not the act of a philistine.

So, eyes closed, I allowed myself to sink hypnotically into this aural fragmented world and drift aimlessly around my sub-conscious. Emotions stirred and memories rekindled and at times I was reminded of happier times from my childhood. Of watching strange films late into the night on BBC2 that seemingly went on for hours and carried one off into undocumented dream-like scenarios and rarely reaching any conclusion. The journey itself was the reward.

Often foreign, often free of tenable narrative, but always beguiling. Even at a tender age I was drawn to these surreal excursions. I was mindful too that foreign cinema was apt not to be coy in delivering full visceral scope to its tale. My own articulation at the time was wont to be less urbane. ‘Foreign films equal tits’, was probably the size of it. But with it came the appreciation of cinematography and film-making for art’s sake. Later, Moviedrome would further satisfy the craving for non-mainstream cinema. And hormones took care of the rest. To its credit then Indeterminacy had me wanting to revisit those half-remembered films from a forgotten age: Celine Et Julie Vont En Bateau (1974), And Soon the Darkness (1970), Endless Night (1972), Blow-Up (1966) and La cabina (1972).

And so it was that for around 40 minutes, Lee, sat at desk like a worn-down teacher on the last day of term, read aloud as a middle-aged couple looking like they’d been banished from a grow-ups dinner party did their best to undermine their benign sitter with ever-more incongruous interruptions. This might may sound as if I didn’t like it, but I did. I enjoyed it very much. Art should always take us on a journey to another place. As a result I enjoy most things that eschew the mainstream. Mind you I can’t resist the suggestion that Lee deserves another BAFTA just for reeling in the temptation to turn to his cohorts and bark, ‘I’m trying to read here, do you mind?’

Indeterminacy continues to tour the provinces.

Incidentally, I chose Endless Night (1972).

Cube, Bristol
John Cage
Steve Beresford and Tanya Chen (No website found, do you know of one?)
Stewart Lee
Indeterminacy at the Cube Bristol March 2014 – flickr set by Dan Pope
Indeterminacy (music)

Towel Day 2013 – Douglas Adams

Towel Day 2013 - Douglas Adams
source: Towel Day on facebook

Towel Day 42 Douglas Adams Infographic

Douglas Adams Radio Interview Triple J 1990
One morning in December 1990 Kylie Sturgess recorded on cassette my interview with Douglas Adams on Triple J. She kept it next to he bed for 20 years (with the erase tabs off) so now, here it is! He was in Australia for “Last Chance To See”.

Parrots, the Universe & Everything University of California 2001

Further Reading:
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Douglas Adams

Douglas Adams

Happy Towel Day

Douglas Adams Towel Day

“In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.”

“There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even
more bizarre and inexplicable.There is another theory which states that this has already happened.”

“It is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it… anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”

“We don’t have to save the world. The world is big enough to look after itself. What we have to be concerned about is whether or not the world we live in will be capable of sustaining us in it.”

Towel Day
Douglas Adams: Parrots the Universe and Everything via youtube

Peter Ackroyd’s Venice

Venice: Pure City is the title of Peter Ackroyd’s latest book, which has also been adapted to the screen and is currently showing on Sky Arts.

Sadly none of Ackroyd’s television series have yet made it onto DVD. A search around the usual suspects in the field of torrenting will bring most to your pc, but a high quality retail version would be preferred, and I’m sure not only by me. Jonathan Meades television suffers the same, although a recent compilation is a start, and better than nothing. There’s a gap in the market going spare here, I’m sure.

Peter Ackroyd's Venice

Peter Ackroyd's Venice

Peter Ackroyd has written biographies of Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, Dickens, Blake, Thomas More and Shakespeare, as well as short lives of Chaucer, Turner and Newton. A bestselling biographer, historian, novelist and broadcaster, he holds a CBE for services to literature. He was born and brought up in London, where he still lives. Chatto and Vintage are the publishers of his bestselling London: The Biography and Thames: Sacred River.

His future books will be Venice and The English Ghost, as well as new volumes about London, to be published in hardback by Chatto and in paperback by Vintage.

source: Random House

Peter Ackroyd’s Venice - The Television Series

Peter Ackroyd’s Venice - The Television Series

Venice: Pure CityRandom House
Read an extract from the book.The Times
Tales of the cityInterview from The Guardian 2003
Peter Ackroyd’s VeniceSky Arts
Wired for BooksDownload an audio interview with Peter Ackroyd from 1991 Re. Dickens.
Peter Ackroyd FilmographyBFI (The British Film Institute)