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roger noehren has commented on (8) products.

Life by Keith Richards and James Fox

roger noehren, November 17, 2010

I am I suppose in the demographic that is most likely to embrace this terrific memoir by the legendary Keith Richards (or Richard as he was confusingly known for a number of years). There was only one television at my school and that was in the rather small library into which we all crammed to watch Top of the Pops on Thursday evenings between supper and prep. The Stones were a favorite and were frequently on the show. It wasn't until "Their Satanic Majesties Request" was released when I was 16 that I really took note and the follow up "Beggar's Banquet" is still my favorite Stones album (and sadly coincided with the untimely death of Brian Jones - which Richards shockingly dismisses with a slur...) but I wasn't disappointed by the subsequent albums especially "Exile on Main street". After that I was pretty indifferent until I saw Martin Scorsese's excellent concert film "Shine a Light" a few years ago. Since I never really cared for their hits I was put off by Mick Jagger's self parodying prancing about, but was captivated by Keith Richards who was clearly really enjoying himself. I particularly liked the songs - especially "You got the Silver" - that he sang with Mick off the stage.
After reading several favorable reviews, I picked up a copy and started reading at the point where I pretty much tuned them out -1977, when Richards was busted in Toronto with 22 grams of heroin. I was drawn in immediately by the natural way he lays out the ins and outs of life with and without the Stones and his love/love not so much relationship with Jagger over the years. He gets slammed more than a couple of the other band members (Charlie Watts and just about all the sidemen get lauded repeatedly). After he quit heroin, Richards began to reestablish his influence on the band (which Jagger had usurped to the point where they were billed as "Mick Jagger & the Rolling Stones" and their record contract included a secret side deal for Jagger to release four solo albums, which caused a major rift in the band). Fascinating stuff. Richards recounts (with considerable help from co-writer James Fox) the trials and tribulations of the ensuing years. We meet a huge cast of characters - many of them American musicians who Richards holds in high regard and played with when the Stones were inactive and many of the behind the scenes people (his guitar valet, cooks, gardeners, managers, engineers, costume and make up people...who pretty much all receive kind words). He portrays himself as a mellow guy unless you piss him off (over a trifle in some instances), in which case run for cover! While there are numerous extended quotes from members of the cast, it is Richards who relates the most outrageous behavior on his part.
We're treated to many anecdotes about his jet setting life and a peek into his life at "home" in Connecticut with "the wife" & kids plus a menagerie of animals and a nature preserve next door. We're given a cautionary tale about keeping ones heaviest books on a high up shelf in ones library (this is the country gentleman/book worm speaking) and recipes for Bangers & Mash and Shepherds Pie, his two favorites.
One of the more interesting revelations is the rules written and unwritten, such as Richards only being permitted to sing lead vocal on a maximum of two songs per album, with a similar restriction in concert. Of course Richards doesn't mention the almost total lock he and Jagger had on song writing credit - not acknowledging the significant contributions of Bryan Jones and Mick Taylor especially.
The biggest surprise is that reading his descriptions of his contributions to the later albums makes me want to give them a listen, since they may have some gems which I'm missing out on. Also his pick up band the X Pensive Winos sounds great and has somehow been off my radar.
I'm a couple of pages from the end (listening to the remastered version of "Beggars Banquet"). As soon as I'm done, I'll start at the beginning...
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Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee's Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory by David Ray Griffin
Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee's Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory

roger noehren, October 27, 2010

I was mistaken about Powell's having 47 copies of this book in a remote warehouse - it's not theirs, but they were willing to order a copy for me to peruse prior to purchase. I appreciate this service, because I already own half a dozen volumes by David Ray Griffin on this subject and was only really interested in this one because of what the title suggests.
A significant portion of the book deals with the subject of "conspiracy theories" and the common tendency to dismiss anything labeled as such without carefully reviewing the facts as they become known.
Griffin Is the leading authority or scholar valiantly attempting to prevent the government and its mouthpieces from obfuscating. As far as I could tell from perusing this book (I don't claim to have read it), it doesn't present new information, but systematically and honestly dismantles each and every attempt to promote the official version of 9/11/2001 and to discredit alternative scenarios.
I have yet to meet anyone who has read any of David Ray Griffin's books who doubts that 9/!! was an inside job. In other words, the nay sayers refuse to read the relevant books. If you believe the official version of events and are "at least 30% open minded", you should read one of Griffin's books - not necessarily this one (if you do choose this one, you'll want to read the others): "Contradictions", "The 9/11 Commission - omissions & distortions" are both excellent. If you choose "The New Pearl Harbor", you should also pick up the "revised" companion volume... He's also written a book that focuses on the mysterious collapse of WTC #7 on the evening of 9/11, which most certainly was a controlled demolition (as well) and one on whether Osama Bin Laden is dead (most likely) or not. None of his books are speculative (except momentarily, when he says as much). They are derived from published and substantiated sources and draw rational and reasoned conclusions.
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Detroit Disassembled by Andrew Moore
Detroit Disassembled

roger noehren, October 27, 2010

I was sitting in the Photography section looking at (the gorgeous) "Beauty in Decay", when I noticed someone across from me looking at this book. When she was done I checked it out and was absolutely fascinated by these tableaus frozen in time (although extremely deteriorated).
I've never been to Detroit, but I saw "Roger & Me" (no relation) and like the MC5 and Patti Smith. Images of ivy covered mansions and abandoned factories, but never anything this up close and personal.
Andrew Moore apparently got access to factories with abandoned equipment and a school with desks, chairs, books and personal effects left as if everyone departed in a hurry, old theatres, including one which has been turned into a parking garage...and has exquisitely captured the detritus in his photograph. There are also images of nature making significant inroads - houses w/o siding (one looks like a Hundertwasser painting) & partially or completely covered in ivy, a Daliesque wall clock and a shattered grand piano on the floor of a still stunningly beautiful dance hall (?) - talk about aging gracefully!.
In the book "Beauty and Decay", it was obvious that many of the images were staged &/or manipulated (albeit to good effect), but these give the impression that they represent what Moore found when he entered (plus well placed lights)..
This book brought back memories of my childhood, exploring bombed out houses in my neighborhood in Berlin and later as an adult, living in Wheeler on the Oregon coast (in 1980). I found an abandoned mansion full of personal stuff. It was our favorite place to visit, but I was too poor to buy film (and have it processed).
I met a photographer at the Open Studios earlier this month who had several beautiful pictures of a nude model in an abandoned building. I asked where it was and she replied that it was in N Portland, but had been torn down. Interestingly, she added that the only people she ever saw there were photographers. Recording our experiences has become such a large part of our culture that as photographers (which is just about everybody these days) we seek out photogenic locales as our subjects or as backdrops for our shenanigans (rather than recording what we would be doing even if the cameras weren't present). On the other hand photographs are so often all that is left after the wrecking ball... She told me about the book "Beauty in Decay", which is on my birthday/Christmas wish list & led me to this stupendous volume, which is also on my list.

Another fabulous book in this vein is: "Portraits from Above - Hong Kong's Informal Rooftop Communities" by Rufina Wu & Stefan Canham (in architecture), which is really authentic and unadorned.
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Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can't Stand Up to the Facts by David Dunbar
Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can't Stand Up to the Facts

roger noehren, October 8, 2010

This book is part of the cover up of the US government's complicity in the events of 9/11/2001. It has been thoroughly discredited by David Ray Griffin in his book " Debunking 9/11 Debunking". It is the official version that can't stand up to the facts and /or analysis by scientists, pilots and the testimony of people involved who have dared to speak the truth on the record.

I encourage readers of this book to also read David Ray Griffin's excellent, carefully researched books on the subject before forming an opinion.
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The New Pearl Harbor: 9/11, the Cover-Up, and the Expose (History & Current Affairs) by David Ray Griffin
The New Pearl Harbor: 9/11, the Cover-Up, and the Expose (History & Current Affairs)

roger noehren, October 7, 2010

A front page article in last week's Oregonian (about the significant number of people around the world who share the view expressed by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the UN that rogue elements in the United States government were behind the 9/11 attacks) prompted me to take the four excellently researched and reasoned books by David Ray Griffin off my shelf and review them.

I was staying in a cabin in eastern Oregon on 9/11 w/o a TV, but I listened to NPR all day and was incredulous when I heard about WTC #7 collapsing into it's footprint that evening as if by controlled demolition. Upon returning to Portland and reading the newspaper reports with photos of the perpetrators and stories about Mohamed Atta leaving his briefcase full of incriminating evidence at Logan airport and his passport being found on the streets of NYC, my skepticism increased. The original "New Pearl Harbor" did an excellent job of summarizing the evidence that contradicted the official version of what occurred on that day. Since then there has been the 9/11 Commission and it's report, which Griffin exposed as a whitewash in his "Omissions and Distortions" book and the Popular Mechanics article and book (supporting the official story and "debunking" the so called "conspiracy theories") which Griffin exposed as fraudulent in his "Debunking 9/11 Debunking" book. There has also been a concerted effort by both the mainstream and the alternative media to discredit those who question the official version, as Griffin outlines in the introduction to "The New Pearl Harbor Revisited".

Griffin is a stickler for facts which can be substantiated, hence he felt the need to correct and update his original seminal work, which this book effectively does. Much of the material has been covered in the various books that Griffin has written and edited in the intervening years, but short of reading those excellent volumes, this book will bring readers of the original NPH up to date. For someone (with at least a 30% open mind) who has not read any of Griffin's books, I would suggest starting with "Debunking 9/11 Debunking" as a more concise and readable primer or "9/11 and the American Empire (intellectuals speak out)", which Griffin edited along with Peter Dale Scott. One could also read "NPH Revisited" with a copy of the original version on hand for cross referencing.

I heard on KBOO this morning that David Ray Griffin has published a new book titled "Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee's Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory", which I see that Powell's has 47 copies of stashed away in remote warehouses. So clearly the administration is concerned that the alternative scenarios about what transpired on that day that changed everything are gaining traction. President Obama's claim to be shocked that anyone would suggest that the U.S. government was in some way complicit in the attacks is clearly posturing.

NB an otherwise positive review on this site repeatedly referred to Mr Griffin as Griffith - don't be confused by this...
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