Bound & Flogged

This week's round-up of the best in print culture

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Rodeo Drive

ANTHOLOGY OF THE WEEK: The Heroin Chronicles, edited by Jerry Stahl

This has all the making of a new Dazed classic -  Jerry Stahl, the formerly opiate-riddled mind behind 80s TV show ALF has just edited a new collection of short stories about descending into heroin hell, with contributions from Lydia Lunch, Dazed-regular Tony O'Neill and others, including Stahl himself. The screenwriter and author famously chronicled his $6000 a week heroin addiction that paralleled his successful Hollywood career in the darkly comic memoir Permanent Midnight back in 95 (it was even made into a film, featuring a dashing young Ben Stiller who played Stahl). This is the last book in publisher Akashic's ongoing Drug Chronicles series - look out for The Speed Chronicles with stories from James Franco and Tao Lin, and the upcoming Marijuana Chronicles.

PHOTOBOOK OF THE WEEK: Rodeo Drive, by Anthony Hernandez

In the 80s, Rodeo Drive's shopping mecca drew in wealthy elites and aspirational wannabes, and photographer Anthony Hernandez was there to capture the decade's excess at its finest. The faded, overexposed photographs in Rodeo Drive were taken quickly and on the sly - the shoppers either look vacant and bored or surprised - they're half-turned away from the camera and in mid-conversation. The photos are a potent political insight into the racial and economic divide - America's working classes are omnipresent despite the fact that they're not in the photos. This series was an anomaly for Hernandez who mainly focussed on social landscapes and helped usher in a new aesthetic in the 70s. Rodeo Drive was the first time Hernandez shot in colour and the last time he ever photographed people.

POLITICAL BOOK OF THE WEEK: Capitalist Superheroes, by Dan Hassler-Forest

Radical publishing imprint Zero Books releases it's latest Marxist call-to-arms this week with Capitalist Superheroes - subtitled Caped Crusaders in the Neoliberal Age, it unpicks the hidden implications of Hollywood's fascination with superheroes and relates this to Bush's post 9/11 policies. This is the first book from film professor Dan Hassler-Forest and has gained praise from the likes of Slavoj Žižek who says the book "shows us what fantasy characters like Batman, Superman and Iron Man truly are: the horrific embodiments of neoliberal capitalism."

LITERARY JOURNAL OF THE WEEK: Animal Shelter Issue 2: Art, Sex, Literature, edited by Hedi El Kholti

While not brand new per se, the second issue of the beautifully high-brow Animal Shelter journal, edited by Semiotext(e) publishing impresario Hedi El Kholti, deserves a special mention. The list of contributors is so good it's unnerving - there are new essays  and stories from heavyweights in the world of cultural theory like Paul Virilio, Sylvère Lotringer and Bifo, along with literary talents Eileen Myles and Dodie Bellamy, and art-world figures including Moyra Davey and Bruce Hainley. El Kholti created the journal as a kind of "bonus track" for Semiotext(e) readers, to engage with writers on disparate themes but with an overall queer-feminist sensibility.  He also looked to cult magazines from the past for inspiration, like Dennis Cooper's zine Little Caesar, and Suck, the Dutch magazine at the forefront of the sexual revolution. It's not a stretch to say that Animal Shelter is joining the ranks of magazines defining this era in much the same way.

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