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Grayson Baker
Grayson Baker

Something In The Dirt YTS

If you were a kid that grew up in Ellwood City, you were looking to rent one of three movies that were the hottest of childhood commodities: Rad, Thrashin' and The Dirt Bike Kid.Who doesn't want to watch Peter Billingsley go one on one with Stuart Pankin over a magical dirt bike? Having this movie for the night was a near mythic power trip and I still wonder, why didn't the video store get another copy? Did they not care about the children?Billingsley - wearing the exact same pair of glasses that he wore as Ralphie in A Christmas Story - is Jack Simmons, Pankin is the town's banker Mr. Hodgkins and Jack's mom Janet is played by Anne Bloom, making this a Not Necessarily the News reunion for her, Pankin, Danny Breen (who plays Flaherty) and director Hoite C. Caston, who also made thirty-two episodes of that HBO comedy series. But isn't the real star the 1985 Yamaha YZ80 that Jack buys for $50 that is filled with occult energy?The idea for this came from Julie Corman and she has the same carny instincts as her husband, knowing that young kids would need something to rent along with their parents and older brothers and sisters. She made this for $800,000 and it moved 100,000 tapes, back in the day when rental copies cost ninety bucks. Never doubt a Corman when it comes to making money.

Something in the Dirt YTS

This 1985 comedy-fantasy stars Peter Billingsley, Stuart Pankin, Anne Bloom and Patrick Collins. Billingsley (A Christmas Story) plays young kid, Jack who lives with his mother, Janet (Bloom). After she sends him out to buy groceries, he buys an old dirt bike instead. Soon, Jack discovers it has special abilities like coasting through the air. Pankin (Second Sight) plays Hodgkins, an obnoxious banker who decides to develop a bank where a local hot dog restaurant, Mike's Doghouse is located. Collins plays the owner, Mike who is also Jack's little league coach. With his magic bike's help, Jack tries stopping Hodgkins from demolishing Mike's establishment. This is one of those films from my childhood I've always enjoyed and can't forget. It has silly and a bit of heartfelt moments and Billingsley & Pankin are great in it. I recommend this 80's classic.

THE DIRT BIKE KID is a familiar children's adventure flick of the 1980s, focused around a Milky Bar Kid lookalike who finds himself in possession of a magical dirt bike (yep, I'm not kidding), with a mild kind of R2D2 personality and a lot of tricks up its sleeve. It's a bit like a kid's version of KNIGHT RIDER, a wish fulfilment fantasy in which this ordinary kid finds himself in possession of the power to stop a greedy property developer in his tracks. A local arcade is at threat, so the film turns into a kind of running battle between the kid and his various allies and the corporate bad guys. It's sunny, simplistic stuff, fun without engaging the brain.

Given the close relationship between alternative lifestyles and music, and the importance of music in providing something concrete within which value can invest itself in its repeated search for a new generation of consumers, the word 'alternative' needs to be treated with a degree of caution. Nevertheless, not all youth cultures are the same. Some contain more or less positive tendencies than others, a greater or lesser potential for recognizing the contradictions inherent in the phenomenon and developing a practical critique of their grounding. And all 'alternative' lifestyles are by definition outside of the remit of the usual forms of political representation.

In 1980 Crass played the Stonehenge festival and a close link with the free festival scene subsequently evolved. Likewise the anarchos gave a massive impetus to the squatting scene left over from the 70s. By the mid 1980s, virtually every town in England and Wales had its squats. Bands were formed, venues either squatted or hired dirt cheap (church halls and the like which meant no bar - take your own home-brew) and gigs organized, often benefits which would succeed in raising money despite cheap entry because the bands would play for next to nothing. During the summer months much of this activity would shift on to the free festival circuit, meeting up with those who had chosen to spent the whole year travelling between peace camps and festivals, and who in turn would benefit from the links with the urban scene (news, contacts, places to rest and repair, opportunities for fraud etc.).

Meanwhile those who had been more attracted to travelling than squatting or political activity were being put under severe pressure. The Stonehenge festival was banned in 1985, and the determined attempt to defy the ban was met with a response not unlike that experienced by the miners, culminating in the famous 'battle of the beanfield'. The following year the state brought in the Public Order Act, section 13 of which established a 4 mile radius exclusion zone around the stones. Other sections gave new powers to proscribe demonstrations and extended the law against trespass. The former were successfully challenged on the streets of London by the Campaign Against The Public Order Act/Campaign Against Police Repression; but whilst many travellers have battled bravely in adverse conditions, the police have been able to use section 39 to intimidate and harass them, continually moving them on. Travelling and free festivals continued, but, with the loss of the weeks-long Stonehenge focus, went into something of a decline. The police-benefit festival at Glastonbury, extortionately priced but affordable to those now working, mopped up. And before they were successfully excluded in recent years, convoys of travellers used to gatecrash it (literally), with many others bunking in, and so the new reality was gradually accepted, particularly as the 'unfree' festivals were full of punters waiting to be parted from their cash.

There has, however, been something of a reaction to the crass commercialism of rave culture, although this has been predominantly mystic, seeing crude material interest as being at odds with the 'spiritual significance' of the rave high in which the 'collective consciousness of the tribe' is rediscovered, apparently. And the development of a more sober critique (apart from the practical one of bunking in to raves) has been hindered by the fact that the sound systems which provide free parties do so with equipment they have accumulated by putting on licensed raves in clubs for money. Many of these entrepreneurs reinvest their share of surplus-value but do so predominantly for the enhanced use-value of their equipment rather than because it can make them even more money. Simply enjoying the parties they put on and the status that comes with it they impose the rule of money on ravers, but not for the sake of money itself.

What unites these groups in such a way that they have become such hate targets of the government is that, although they may be a long way from consciously declaring war on capital, they share a common refusal of the work-ethic, of a life subordinated to wage labour. As such, they pose an alternative to the life of desperately looking for work, which must be made unattractive. But the state is not alone in not having a clear understanding of the class meaning of Part 5 of the CJ&POA; for this is something which the representatives of the opposition to the act also seem to be painfully incapable of grasping.Part Two: From Campaign to Movement

c) Fluffy subjects / fluffy representation: The media obsession of the fluffies meant that this contradiction between subject and representation was even felt within the ranks of the fluffies themselves. For the young raver types amongst them especially, the requirements of the campaign to present them as decent, reasonable members of society conflicted with their desire to drop out, smoke dope, take ecstacy, grow dreadlocks, dye their hair, pierce their faces and all the other things which do not fit with the media's idea of respectability. The need to appear respectable was a matter of self-denial, something which their ('new age') beliefs did not approve of; it contradicted their desire to be 'alternative', however depoliticized that lifestyle may be in comparison with that of the anarcho-punks or eco-warriors.

Whatever, the police, seeing that it was only a tiny minority, chose to confront the missile throwers rather than pullback their vans. Their initial foray into the park was brief. The small deployment of police horses was insufficient to take on those who were attracted by the disturbance, and they were quickly driven from the park by a jubilant mob. But they came back into the park - public order had to be reasserted. Dancing was one thing, but trashing police vans and attacking mounted cops was not something which could be tolerated. And this time they came back in greater force. Units of police horses backed up by baton-wielding cops on foot charged into the park in an effort to disperse the crowd. But the crowd would simply scatter, and then regroup, and then charge back at the police.

Meanwhile the fluffies have entered 'the void', the period after the passing of the law, the future which they had considered only in their dystopian nightmares where even family picnics would be broken up by marauding riot police. As they have done so, the latent contradiction within the fluffy tribe - identified earlier in terms of subject and representation - has come to the fore and is leading to something of a parting of ways.

Our previous statement that the rave offers only an illusion of unity requires qualification in the light of experience. Quite clearly, the crowd at a rave shares something which is missing in a cinema audience or a crowd in a shopping centre. It is necessary to examine the nature of the illusion. The illusion of unity derives from the shared transformation in consciousness that occurs during a rave. This is brought about largely by the empathic intoxication induced by ecstasy, and moving as one to the same beat. It is this consciousness-shift that becomes mystified as 'recovering the lost consciousness of the tribe'. And it is celebrated in lyrics which promote the idea that freedom results from a mere change in attitude, a 'revolution of consciousness' as it has been called. 041b061a72


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