The Global Online Magazine of Arts, Information & Entertainment

September-October 2015 |Volume 11 Number 5


Preservation vs. Progress

Archive Preserves Times Square of the Late 20th Century

An interview with Maggie Hopp

“…there is certainly controversy about what is worth hanging onto and what can be discarded.”

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Photography

 

Friend to Photographers Has His Own Images to Share

Pierre-Jean Amar/Photography-Interview

“A good photographer will always take good photographs

because of his vision and not his camera.”

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The Bard and the Bud

 

Did Shakespeare Get the Munchies While Writing About Sex?

John Smelcer on Shakespeare

“Imagine. William Shakespeare: Pothead.”

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From the Edge

The Great Escape

by Bill Dixon, Contributing Columnist

“I had no schedule or set destination, so I just rolled along, headed west.”

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Featured Posts

Writers on Writing

 

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 Slivers of Speculation:

 Barry Lopez and Trauma Theory

By Joe Amato & Kass Fleisher

Conjecture and spoiler alert all at once: there are cognitive reasons why artifice intrudes so sparingly upon trauma writing…

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Opinion

 

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The Business of Killing:

“Ain’t it wild!”

 

 By Steve Bromberg

It’s a fact. Humans are hunters and hunters love killing. Sometimes they love killing more than they love bragging about it. Killing gives them a sense of power, control, superiority. And killing a powerful animal truly sharpens that pleasure. What a rush it is to brag about that big cat or the five-ton elephant you just dropped in the bush! GPS tracked and located from the air, the animal never stood a chance.

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Art

 

Anxiety Series- Untitled 5_sq

Waking Up To Reality:

The Anxiety Series

Interview with

Emerging Artist Gianna Putrino

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Music

 

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“Gimme Five, I’m Still Alive!”

Bass Player is Rock ‘n’ Roll Survivor

 

Interview with Rock ‘n’ roll survivor Bill Laymon who  played bass guitar for dozens of bands − and still does!

“Music is very, very powerful stuff.  It’s an expression of spirit and a living expression of spirit.  Create from the heart and play with love.”

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Check out our incentives for our fall fundraiser

 

Editor's Note

Lately I’ve been feeling hosed, hosed by the stock markets, hosed by politicians, hosed by much of what passes these days for news, hosed when I think back to a time when people played horse shoes and bocci, badminton and croquet until dusk, and didn’t go indoors until   the fireflies swarmed.  You knew it was time to quit when the bats zipped by at hair level.

* I’ve always been amused by the differences a single letter can make at the beginning of a word: Mother and sMother, for instance, the evolution of which may have come from an overwhelming desire to protect one’s offspring; Mile and sMile, for the sense of accomplishment one might earn after an energetic walk; Age and sAge, which could apply to anyone old enough to know better, and who is willing to sHare their life experience.

* When I saw on television this afternoon that the Aurora, Colorado, theater shooter was sentenced to life plus 3155 years, or thereabouts, I thought that really isn’t long enough, unless there really is a hell. In which case the few years he’ll have on earth behind bars will seem like paradise. On the other hand, extremists in the Middle East taking pleasure in destroying the beauty of centuries, believe by doing so they’ll one day find themselves in Paradise. Go figure

* Interesting to me the more police wear cameras to take pictures of people taking pictures, the more privacy trends from transparent, to invisible, to non-existent. That’s not all, of course. Where there once were shaming and shunning, now there are cameras, blue tooth detectors, and telcom snoops and sniffers. Virtually every government, and myriad companies, have an intelligence arm wrapped around someone’s throat – some to protect, some not, some both. What to do when there’s nowhere to go but …. ?  I’m not saying.

* This issue of Ragazine is packed with amazing stuff…

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Most Recent Posts

An Interview with Maggie Hopp, Photographer

In the late 1970s, in NYC, I was fortunate to find a patron and mentor in a far-sighted, deep-pocketed, gentlemanly, low-key, developer – a major player and master of NYC real estate who understood where progress would naturally take place, though he also had a preservationist’s eye. It was he who insisted I take classes and sponsored me for a real estate brokerage license…

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Bill Laymon Interview/Music

As far as gigs, there have been so many − it all rolls into one, as they say. Playing Red Rocks was very cool, as well as many of the theaters and festivals I’ve played. Playing Japan was very fun − the Japanese Deadheads turned out en masse and treated us great. Also, playing the Raccoon Lodge in Brooklyn − those folks there are more than fantastic − turns out that they’re big New Riders fans and they swore all of us into their lodge in a very solemn ceremony over a big spliff − they gave us all custom Raccoon Lodge jackets…

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Sidney Thompson/Fiction

“I have a fourteen-year-old daughter,” said Jimmy. His jaws flexed and his face flamed red, the headmaster’s exact reaction, until he broke character and laughed. He glanced down at Cooper’s paperwork. “I don’t need to read any of this. ‘Penis,’ that’s priceless! Their mouths dropped open, huh? Just involuntary?”

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Pierre-Jean Amar/Photography-Interview

My photography work recently published in L’Oeil de la Photographie is part of an older series, which I once created on the theme of “Sheet” (as in bed linens) and the body. Similar to many of my images, I show only details, not a whole body. In hindsight, I notice today that quite often I focused on the bottoms of my models!!!

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LOCAL HEROES, 2015, Hamburg

Axid Rain was my highlight of the 4th semi-final night. They call their genre flatrock, which I attempted to google but finally gave up. They’re a hard rock band, in the classic vein of MTV or Huey Lewis and the News, with a fantastic live show. Frontman Yannick Mense, in his leather hat and seaman’s jacket was all over the stage. Pure charisma and wild guitar riffs. All in all an electrifying performance.

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Blood Sport/Steve Bromberg

The smell of death lingers on the savannah. Big Game hunting is a sight to behold. It’s the ultimate expression of the hunter’s feelings of alienation and inadequacy and his frustration with interpersonal relationships. Now, with the discovery of the illegal killing of Zimbabwe’s beloved lion Cecil, “sport” killing has become a searing hot topic.

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Ben Myers/Poetry

 Three Poems   BENEDICTION: For My Father   In the gravel driveway beside the house of peeling paint there is a motorcycle, but it does not belong to you. The bike is black, a dragon painted on its gas tank, tail entwining a woman in fur bikini.   You are getting on, riding down the brick street, stopping at the intersection, where a line of crows startles from the high-voltage wire. When you churn up the bricks the other way, our collie runs the length of her backyard fence, barking and jumping.   You come back to the bearded man in a denim jacket who owns the bike, and you both squat behind the gleaming gas tank to light your cigarettes in the Oklahoma wind.   The bearded man is talking about his trip to Montana, his plans to camp beside the highway.   From behind the screen door I watch you watch the man ride away over the viaduct bridge.   When you come back inside you rest your hand on the top of my head.     WASHING MY HANDS IN THE MEN’S ROOM I FINALLY UNDERSTAND POUND’S CANTOS   The water stepping aside for my freezing hands like a boxer working for an opening,   the tile so cold white it gives back my ghost as a reflection:   finally I see it’s all about the trying,   like us, my dear, keeping up, year after year, this Bottom and Titania act,   you never letting on how tired you are of combing the gnats from my long, long ears.   I understand Pound was given... read more

COMiX & Stuff

Plenty of art these days doesn’t fit into any categorized genre. We call this section “Comix & Stuff,” but it could just as well be titled “You’ve never seen this before Art,” or maybe just plain “Stuff,”  or “WTF?” Juxtapoz does a great job of presenting contemporary West Coast/LA animé-goth-weird-fantasy work, just as La Luz de Jesus gallery has done for as many years. We love that stuff, but we don’t see much of it coming our way, so if you’ve got a portfolio, or a single panel suitable for “COMiX & Stuff,” sent it along. For now, email to editor@ragazine.cc,  and we’ll see how it goes.  Meanwhile, if you have a show of your own at some gallery somewhere, and you want people to know about it, feel free to place an announcement in Ragazine.CC‘s EVENTS Calendar (indexed above).   We like strange…  Let us know if you have comments or questions.       Gabriel Navar               Walter Gurbo            ... read more

The Altar/Fiction

*** THE ALTAR     by  Phyllis Carol Agins     Bella knows what she is running from. One failed marriage, two dramatic love affairs. A third abortion that was almost too late when she might be tempted, at thirty-nine, to keep this, maybe her only-chance baby. When she’s as empty as her womb, she decides to teach English anywhere the world wants to learn it.   She fills out applications and sends full-size photos. At last she packs her bag for South America — far enough from her old mistakes. A place where Christianity is the winner, but where other religions slyly sneak in: a few Muslims, once thousands of Jews, some persistent African myths, and even a missionary or two. She cares nothing for anyone’s beliefs, having jettisoned all faith as she flew over the Gulf of Mexico. She’s given up on rumors that love might find her.   But when Florian appears, she falls again as if there’s a too-worn conduit to that hidden place between her legs, no matter what her brain should be warning. He plays the tourist and the lover, speaking only in French although home is across bodies of water and thousands of miles away. Three months of intimate whispers have sent vibrations along the smallest hairs across her body. I hear that American women don’t like making love because American men don’t know how, he has confided as she lay naked before him. In French that statement sounds more like a secret than an insult.   “How I worship women,” he insists another time. “And you are the most extraordinary of... read more

Crime in America/Jim Palombo

When I first encountered Merton’s thoughts I was struck by his focus on the imbalance/inequality between ends and means that, for me as well as many others, was an issue in our society. In other words, the links between opportunities, unequal social conditions and deviant-criminal behavior that could be gleaned from his tenets were more than obvious. And although his emphasis was primarily on lower class behavior (which was in academic circles a critical shortcoming), it seemed only reasonable that by using the notion of strain and extending into the other classes, one could help explain the sometimes unexplainable deviant-criminal behavior emanating from across the societal spectrum.

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The Bard and the Bud

Did Shakespeare Get the Munchies AAA While Writing About Sex?  “As luck would have it, a pirate named Ragozine, of similar appearance to Claudio, has recently died of a fever, so his head is sent to Angelo instead.” Measure for Measure   By John Smelcer, Ph.D. Contributing Editor     A team of South African scientists using mass spectrometry  recently confirmed the presence of  both “cannabis residue” and “Peruvian cocaine” in pipe fragments on loan from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon, England.   Imagine. William Shakespeare: Pothead.   “Yo, Dude! To be or not to be. Gnarly.”   But it makes perfect sense to us less acclaimed writers struggling to eke out a living in the shadows of literary giants. For sure, I’d always imagined Willy hoisting pints in some local London publick house. For ages, artists and writers alike have abused stimulants for inspiration. Coleridge, Poe, Hemingway, Jim Morrison . . . The list could fill volumes. For me it’s always been coffee in the morning and beer in the afternoon, the darker and chewier the better. I’m drinking a pint even as I write this essay.   Most academics know me as that creative-writer-guy-who-sits-at-coffee-houses-all-day, as if it were some American Indian name. I confess. My father is half-blood Indian. But the truth is I’m also a Shakespearean educated at Oxford and Cambridge. I love Shakespeare. In a different life, I might have only taught Shakespeare and been perfectly happy. But I have always wondered how he managed to write so many plays in so little time. Cocaine, especially, is a task master, driving users to complete prodigious,... read more

Remembering Nick Kolumban

And then he went on telling me how much fun he had had later on that afternoon that stretched into the evening and the night in the company of other poets and artists, a real bunch of bohemians. When I pulled out an envelope from my pocket, stuffed with six or seven of my surrealist masterpieces, he looked at it as if I were serving him with summons to appear in court. I assured him it only contained my poems, he nodded in reluctant assent and stowed the wrinkled package in a thin paperback book he had in his hand. But then he changed his mind and shoved the book in my face.

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Gianna Putrino/Emerging Artist

The anxiety series is a standalone series that I had done for my senior BFA showcase at Oswego. The Identity series is somewhat a continuation from that anxiety series, but instead of self-exploration I explored the identities and self-perceptions of my peers and fellow artists at this transitional period of life from student into adulthood.

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Integrating Europe’s Roma

I’ve met bright, dedicated Roma, working alongside other Romanians. Of course, I’ve also come across Roma who groped, stalked and threatened me, and some who committed unimaginable animal and human rights violations, including maiming children so they could fetch more money on streets, torturing strays and whipping black bears into ‘dancing’ for their entertainment.

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Jeffrey C. Alfier/Poetry

Farm Near a Bend in River Tummel   There was a shed here once. If you look close, you can see grass ghosting its outline.   Any tool the day required could be found here. Tack, as well: bits, bridles, a harness or two.   Never mind weather; some days I think decades of dad’s swearing finally brought it down,   his voice burning beams like fire. Rust crumbling from the ledges didn’t help. Neither did I,   backing the Landini loader against its worst wall. My brother and I once set a drowned ewe inside —   it was our fault — we’d left a gate open. Never told dad. He found out, of course. But that was the day   he got word his father died up north, a fall down stone stairs along a Stornoway quay.   Look: there’s two planks left from the door. You can still make out where the lock used to be.       In Your North Sea Dream   Leave your flat, deep in the city, take the longest loop around the harbor, study the day’s early shipping: hulks making for docks, inbound from the Aberdeen–Lerwick run, the clang of freight and foghorn, shouts of dock men, shunted cargo, the groan of diesel.   Turn back down Guild to the rail station and forget for a moment what the harbor may mean, how it treads your mind like the past, as you search destinations that would carry you on some undulant, overland pace far out of the city.   Reach the open area of grass along River Dee, where your... read more

Then and Now

I must admit that when I learned what was in the rooms upstairs I was rather curious and kept peeping through the forbidden door’s keyhole, but all I could see was a dark stairwell. I was told that the door was only open on one day of the year, the anniversary of the dead Massimo’s resurrection and return to heaven. On that day, I was advised, my apartment would be invaded by an array of priests, bishops, and cardinals, and maybe even the pope himself, who would be coming to pray, light candles, and spray incense on the stuff in the rooms above. I would be permitted to stay and see the ceremony if I didn’t interfere. I hoped that I might even be allowed upstairs to look around.

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From the Edge

I had no schedule or set destination, so I just rolled along, headed west. Out in the open country areas, I took my time and took in the scenery. Farms and woods, rolling fields, late September at its best: it was glorious weather. I thought that perhaps I’d treat myself, and find a cheap motel and crash that night. Maybe have a beer or two in a bar within walking-distance of my motel. It was a good plan. The next day, I drove into Minnesota, which was beautiful in the first days of autumn, with the farmers harvesting their crops and bailing hay for winter feed.

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