Saint George’s Day

This week we remember losing George Carlin on June 22, 2008. I’m a student of stand-up comedy — it’s been an important influence in my own performances and I have an entire library of books about comedy, comedians and funny cinema. The only thing more terrifying than walking onto a stage with only a guitar [...]

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Blooming Finnegan’s

Happy Bloomsday! On June 16 we commemorate the calendar date of James and Nora Joyce’s first romantic date. June 16 subsequently became the date on which the events in James Joyce’s novel Ulysses take place. Joyce was an early 20th century modernist, but his wildest visions have been celebrated as psychedelic masterpieces by underground countercultures [...]

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Radical: Muhammad Ali

I’m a huge fan of combat sports. Back in the day I’d occasionally post about fights here at Insomnia, but since the blog has zeroed-in on counterculture content, only an exceptional fighter might make an appearance. Over the weekend, we lost the great Muhammad Ali. Exceptional is one of the first words one might use [...]

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Hobo Visions

John T. Davis’s 1992 documentary, Hobo, finds the BBC filmmaker tagging along with a modern day train-hopper — a Vietnam vet who goes by the hobo handle of “Beargrease.” On their travels we learn about the century old symbol system that American itinerant workers still use to communicate important information to their travelling brothers and [...]

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Foucault on Sex

This year we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the publication of the first volume of Michel Foucault’s The History of Sexuality. Among other ideas this study of sex in the West posited that the notion that every person possessed their own unique sexuality was a relatively new one. Of course it’s a notion that couldn’t [...]

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The Intercepting Post

This year The Big Boss turns 45, and next year we’ll celebrate the birthday of Bruce Lee’s fighting philosophy, Jeet Kune Do. In 1967, during his first season of The Green Hornet, Lee was inspired to create his own martial arts system. The action star and Kung Fu sensei felt that his traditional style of [...]

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Memento Macho

Today we remember the surprise passing of professional wrestler Randy “Macho Man” Savage five years ago. Here’s the word from Wiki… Randy Mario Poffo was born in Columbus, Ohio,[5][6] the elder son of Judy and Angelo Poffo. His father was Italian American and his mother was Jewish; Poffo was raised Roman Catholic.[12] Angelo was a [...]

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Priest of Protest

Daniel Berrigan died in the Bronx on Saturday night. Berrigan wasn’t a household name in every house in America. But in more progressive corners, in Catholic communities that still connect to that faith through its history of social radicalism, and in the legacy of the protests against the Vietnam War, Berrigan was a legend. Yesterday [...]

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King of Kingston

Fifty years ago, in April 1966, Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie visited Jamaica for the very first time. Selassie was a controversial statesman. He is also the figurehead of the Rastafari religion which views Selassie as the returned messiah of the Bible. Here’s a bit about the man… Among the Rastafari movement, whose followers are estimated [...]

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Flashback: The Acid Tests

This year we look back on half a century since the first Acid Test at The Fillmore in San Francisco. The psychedelic initiations came courtesy of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters whose exploits were immortalized in Tom Wolfe’s countercultural histoire, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test… With that in mind here’s to another 8 miles-high-stone [...]

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