my balls are always bouncing, my ballroom always full

There are new developments to yesterday’s report regarding a possible fifth dimensional event spanning at least four decades, and seeming to center around the confluence of cafeine, nicotine, Black and White identities, and a pair of Jacks.

The Institute received a phone call this morning from a woman identifying herself as Ruby Hall, which we transcribe here with her permission:

Good morning, yes, hello, is this the Auntie Warhol Institute? Hi, yes. Someone forwarded me the article you posted yesterday, and I had a little bit to add that might fill in some of what happened in 1983.

See, back then, I was in Oddballs, and well, I’ll just say it, I played Fran├žoi, back when I was still known as a boy named Ruddy.

I remember Jennifer Kaplan, and I sure remember Auntie. She said her real name was Theresa, at least that’s how the movie credited her, but we all called her Auntie. She was in the movie too, she played Miss Renoir. Jennifer had a small role as the older French Girl who I was to try and hit on when all the boys snuck into a bar. Auntie and I both worked with Jennifer offscreen because Jennifer was the only one who spoke native French, and she had to help us both with our accents.

Anyway I do remember one night when shooting was nearly finished, Jennifer and Auntie said they were going out to a party somewhere. I still had another scene to shoot the next day, and was hoping Jennifer could help me with it. But Auntie said it was very important that Jennifer went to the party, said Jennifer was “the relay” or something.

So they left, and I don’t know what happened after that. But I do remember after Jennifer got back, she was smiling and giggling for days. I asked her about it once, but she just giggled and said, “you had to be there”. And I never did see Auntie again after that night.

So there you have it; if this information is accurate, and it does seem to hold with what we know already, then 1983 was indeed part of the equation, if only because Jennifer Kaplan’s presence in both ’83 and ’93 provided a continuity bridge back to 1973.

Was anyone else from 1983 involved? We’re not sure, but Theresa Smith, aka Theresa Foster, aka Theresa Oster, did also play small roles in a few other B-grade 80s sex comedies, including having worked on Screwballs that same year. It’s not a great leap to speculate that other participants from that cast may well have contributed to the rather festive nature of the event as we understand it.


i am jack’s loss of innocence

The Institute was asked by an associate to dig into a particularly intriguing incident reported to have occurred – simultaneously – in 1973, 1993, and 2003 — and possibly 1983 as well.

In 1993, Paul Thomas Anderson was making an indie film called Cigarettes & Coffee; cast and crew have said in the past that the production was somewhat chaotic.

A young Jack Black had just finished shooting an episode of Northern Exposure, and had flown in at the behest of Kirk Baltz, a friend and acting coach from L.A., to meet the rest of the cast of Anderson’s film.

Meanwhile in 2003, Jim Jarmusch was filming Coffee and Cigarettes with Bill Murray, Tom Waits, and a litany of icons from Steve Buscemi to Jack White.

And in 1973, soul legend Barry White was sitting alone at a Diner, having coffee and cigarettes.

The Jarmusch production held a Saturday night cast party, and from what we’ve put together, after extensive interviews with the partygoers we’ve thus far been able to locate, something unusual definitely occurred.

Punk rocker Frank Black may have been a catalyst for the event; it is reported that not only did Jack Black, Anderson, and the Cigarettes & Coffee cast all come out that fateful night to the release party for his first post-Pixies solo record, he was also at the 2003 Coffee and Cigarettes cast party on an invitation from Iggy Pop.

We can speculate that the coexistence of both Frank Black and Black Francis in a moment of space-time singularity would itself be an event that mathematically should draw Auntie’s presence; we can only imagine the magnitude of that same event including Jack Black and Jack White. These are the sort of events which can create wormholes and destroy timelines, the sort of events from which the math conceived Ms. Warhol, to allow the equations of our fourth dimensional minds to reconcile.

The algebra suggests that Barry White may have been swept into the moment when balance required both a black guy not named Black and a guy named White who wasn’t white; Barry gave the equation the efficiency of two for one, but for the same reason was indivisible, which tells us which other variables have to change to fit instead. It has also been speculated that Mr. White’s act of sitting alone may have created a sort of vacuum of cool around him, which nature abhorred of course and filled by bringing the whole party back to that Diner; a sudden shift for our guests — with ’83, ’93, and ’03 already mingling, a group suddenly reliving the more liberal mores of 1973 would certainly accord with what little we know so far.

No one we’ve interviewed has given us many details. What we have managed to gather seems to center around Jennifer Kaplan, a little-known actress with a small part in Anderson’s film.

Interviewees have told us she came to to the party with someone she just called “Auntie”, and we can put together that Auntie was somehow responsible for the night becoming what it did. Beyond this however, witnesses have all been almost strangely silent: to a person, they’ve giggled, blushed, or smiled, and just said “you had to be there”.

One person did tell us, off the record, that “we knew things were really out of hand when we saw Louis [Black, a comedian attending the 2003 party with friend and cast member Steven Wright] with that gag in his mouth”. Another guest gave hearsay that she overheard Meg White asking Jack if he was going to “let Auntie show him her Tesla Coil“. It’s not known if she was joking.

Some witnesses to the evening did also insinuate that the night may have provided some inspiration for Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights; Anderson has not responded to our request for comment.

We have furthermore uncovered that Oddballs, the album Frank Black released in 2000 featuring music he’d written in 1994 soon after the experience, was named in honor of Jennifer Kaplan’s brief role as the “French Girl” in Oddballs, a Canadian summer camp comedy — released in 1984, but perhaps importantly, filmed in 1983.

Did Auntie Warhol instigate a multigenerational orgy across space and time with an eccentric selection of music and movie royalty, possibly to prevent a more catastrophic anomaly in 2013 — like the beginning of a Paul Ryan presidency, or a second season of that singing contest with the guy from 98 Degrees? — or does such speculation simply let the legend lead the facts?

We at the Auntie Warhol Institute will continue to investigate, and as always our readers will know what we know, as soon as we know it.

the, the

Exciting news just in from a reader who works in the tech industry, and whose identity we’ve agreed to keep confident. Apparently Apple’s “iTunes” secure backend networks were accessed this morning by an intruder using the handle “aunt13w4rh0l”.

The hacker gained access by way of an as-yet undiscovered bug in the library sorting routines. Under the right circumstances, having the band called “The The” in one’s artist list will trigger an infinite loop in Apple’s “commafy” library function. This ultimately causes the server to run out of memory, segfault, and core dump, leaving the hacker in control of an exposed root shell.

The attacker doesn’t appear to have had any malicious motive, she just seemed to rummage around in the mp3 storage and play a few songs. FTP server logs show she dropped a file called “auntie_was_here.jpg” into a few select folders, unfortunately our source was unable to see the jpeg file itself or obtain a copy.

Apple officials have denied the incident, and specifically assured the public that no customer device or account has been breached in any way.

However, the hashtag #auntiewashere did trend briefly this morning, as a number of users of various iOS devices reported seeing odd behaviors, that they could not now reproduce.

swamp fever people

Oh, Auntie Warhol Readers, do we have a treat for you today. A private collector who wishes to remain anonymous recently held a reception for the senior staff of the Auntie Warhol Institute and the editors of this blog, at which we were shown this rare copy of a Swamp Thing comic circa 1974 which featured a guest appearance by a fictionalized Auntie Warhol.


Swamp Thing cover featuring Auntie Warhol, circa est 1974

The collector is not comfortable with letting us reproduce the comic in full at this time, but was kind enough to let us scan the cover and tell our readers what we read.

The storyline was roughly as follows. In Swamp Thing Vol 1, #12 (Oct 1974), “The Swamp Thing finds himself catapulted into various time-epochs by a mysterious gem with a seven-pointed star, and faces danger in each era.” In this 13th issue we read, we find that when the Swamp Thing made his final return to this time-epoch, Auntie Warhol hitched a ride back with him from whence they both happened to have previously been.

Well it’s comic fodder from there, government agents are hunting down the swamp thing, and Auntie helps him stand his ground by summoning a small army of feral cats to guard the wooded perimeter.

What is odd about this publication is that although the DC logos and various stampings from the time appear to be authentic, the covert art appears to be from the much more recent 13th issue of the fifth volume, circa Dec 2012, in which the woman pictured is not Auntie, but in fact a recurring character named Poison Ivy. And DC’s “official” December 1974 Volume 1 13th issue shows a different cover altogether, with no mention of Auntie, and although the plot does revolve around government agents hunting the Swamp Thing, in this version they catch him.

DC Comic spokespersons have thus far declined to return calls from the Institute seeking comment on the issue, as have representatives of Swamp Thing creators Len Wein and Nestor Redondo.

We interviewed owners, employees, and customers at a number of comic shops in the major markets to see what the street might have to say. A number of people told us that they had heard of a “lost” 13th issue, but no one had seen a copy or knew the alternate plot, except one person who said he thought he heard something, from someone who knew someone who knew someone who’d seen it, about cats.

However digging deeper we were able to find an intern who worked for the comic in 1974 who was able to color in a few details. He claims that as a point of superstition, they wanted to release two simultaneous “issue 13s”, so that neither would really be the 13th issue.

“[Swamp Thing artist] Nestor didn’t want anything to do with it, said it was just tempting the Devil, and that he’d rather just do a 13th issue and let it be. So yeah, he didn’t do the alternate cover, I don’t know where that came from. Len and DC did put out both issues. I guess they got someone else to do the other cover. But either they didn’t, or maybe they did, figure that whichever one came off the line first would be the 13th issue, and Nestor’s issue was scheduled to print second. I wasn’t privy to what all happened that night. Rumor is something about a fire, but that’s just a rumor as far as I know. All I know is I never did see that other cover until now.”

The story got juicier when we met Rafael Carlito, who claims to have been an acquaintance of Nestor Redondo at the time. Following is a complete transcript of what Carlito, who called us when he’d heard we were investigating, said on the matter:

“Nestor? Oh yes I know him, si. Oh, honeys, listen, first, I don’t want to out the guy. He’s sweet, and I love that Glynis of his — that girl is such a hoot. But girl let me tell you, back then I was doing drag on the circuit as Princess Raylita. I spent some time in New York with Candy [Darling] and Lou [Reed] and that girl Lou was into, and I remember Nestor being there. He came to see the girl we all called Auntie, one of Candy’s friends I think.”

Carlito laughed when we told him the intern’s version of the story of the 13th issue.

“Oh no sweetie, no. Nestor was totally into Auntie. He wrote that issue himself, usually Len wrote the story. He felt the cover was inspired, the best work he ever did. But Auntie didn’t seem happy to be written about, and Len didn’t like Nestor writing the story. So he printed it, I don’t know how many copies, but then Len ran his story with another cover Nestor had in the can for the ‘real’ run.”

We asked if there was anything to another rumor we’d picked up, that there may have been some argument about a lesbian scene in the comic between Auntie and Abigail Arcane. Carlito giggled and demurred, “oh I don’t know about that. But Princess Raylita’s parties were legendary, and Auntie did have a room at my place.”

i forget what I’m supposed to call easter as a pagan

Hey there, Auntie Warhol Reader readers. It’s me, Auntie.

I’m not sure if the editors of this journal are aware or approve, but I’ve always got the root password, so to speak. And while I can’t give away which of your preferred flavors of i-droid does it*, yes, you will one day be able to ssh across time itself from the same little device you hold in your pocket and use to take pictures of cats.

Any-hoo as I’m writing this it’s nineteen twenty-something, and I’m helping some friends of mine from the Union at Radnor Yards build us all a house down here near the tracks. Everyone’s calling it “Auntie’s House” because I get the bedroom, and I throw the parties. But of course a man’s name is on the deed, and the place will be his once I move on. Don’t worry, I’m making him earn it :)

I can’t tell you exactly which year it is. The Nashville courthouse will probably have records, but it doesn’t have them when I am, so you’ll have to look those up yourself. As for me, I’ve been getting the good herb from the boys up in the Bottom (you’ll one day call it Napier, I think) and I’ve decided to rebel against the Julian calendar for a while. Just because.

Well, what I wanted to talk about is that I think some of you may know that Jennifer’s been fixing up a house for herself. I won’t lie, it’s been hard on her. “Some barbies have to build their own dreamhouse”, I told her once. She got it, and was happy again. But she’s had to fall back on the testosterone she was given to get through this. When a woman’s feminine grace is natural, she can swing a hammer like an ass kicking lady, but when you were taught your whole life to do it in keeping with how your muscles are shaped, it’s just inefficient not to do so.

Plus it’s just a nightmare keeping one’s nails nice though something this.

But in case you’re slow on the uptake, the house she’s fixing up is mine, it’s the same house we’re working on right now back in the twenties, but she doesn’t really know it. I mean she thinks it is, but I’ve refused to confirm that for her. Frankly it’s driving her nuts, and I’m laughing my ass off.

Right now the guys are putting up the interior walls. We can’t afford plaster, we’re just going with straight up tongue and groove wood planks. And sometime right around the 2013-now(), Jennifer’s pulling down those very boards to make way for insulation. And I have GOT to leave her some easter eggs.

Any suggestions, dear Readers?

* It was no one you’d think, actually. An Apple offshoot who makes a thermostat called the Nest will come up with it, as a way to go back and adjust the thermostat in the past once it’s known what the outside temperature will have been. They made apps that work on all your devices. My girl Jennifer told me all this, I think she did some work on the Android app, or will have done some a few years from your now();

Soup and Change

It is a treat for your editors here at The Auntie Warhol Reader when we get a rare message from Auntie herself. Ms. Warhol does maintain contact with ourselves and with the Institute, but it’s a “she can call us, we can’t call her” sort of relationship.

It’s amazing what Soup can do

This time Auntie wanted us to tell you about some work she’s been doing with the Obama campaign. First she was proud to support the campaign by donating a newly commissioned version of her iconic original work “Soup and Change”.

Second, she let Joe Biden sweet talk her into helping out with the fundraising, and she asks that all of her friends and fans join her in helping out with a donation to re-elect our President.

“I hope we all understand the importance of re-electing President Barack Obama”, she wrote. “We have a stark choice at hand. We can continue the path towards a rational and compassionate society working together to solve our problems and create the rising tide that lifts all boats — or we can give rich people better Magic Underpants and work harder to appease the sky king by sticking it to all the most vulnerable among us. Talk about a no-brainer.”

auntie’s mothers, mother’s aunties

The Auntie Warhol Institute was pleased to have been recently provided with an obscure recording of a New York radio interview with the legendary Gene Autry, in which he discussed his recording of the labor anthem “The Death of Mother Jones“.

The following excerpt was of particular interest to the Institute:

WEAF: We understand that the origins of the song “The Death of Mother Jones” are — well, no one seems to say “anonymous”, more often people say things like “obscure“. Can you tell us anything you might know on the subject?

GA: Well, I’ll tell ya, every story I hear is just a little bit different from the last. But the gist seems to be, there was this gal at the burial, no one knew her, and she just sat alone under a nearby tree looking sad. That night a bunch of the miners got together for sort of a memorial celebration, this girl shows up and teaches everyone the words and shows the musicians how to play it. No one actually knows if she wrote it, but that’s what everyone figures. Nobody got her name, she just said she was Mary[Harris Jones, a.k.a Mother Jones]’s auntie. Of course that didn’t make a lick of sense ’cause Mother Jones was like a hundred years old, and she sure didn’t have no living aunt.

Now, Auntie Warhol is known to have lived in Nashville, Tennessee during the early 1930s, where she worked with labor organizers at the Radnor Rail Yards. But she is also rumored to have spent some time in Chicago during that same period, having some business with Al Capone’s organization (whom she is quoted as having called “a necessary evil in the face of the greater tyranny of Prohibition”). So it is certainly conceivable, indeed highly probable that she would have swung through Mount Olive for the funeral, perhaps on the road between the cities.

Mother Jones herself is reported to have met Auntie once late in her life. Molly Field Parton recounted the following in a Harper’s Magazine interview following the publication of the The Autobiography of Mother Jones:

It was the queerest thing. Mary and I were working at my place one afternoon when there was a knock on the door. I opened it to reveal this oddly dressed woman who stood there, with admiration and gratitude in her eyes, clutching a magazine with the name “Mother Jones” on the masthead. “I just want to thank Ms. Jones and give her a hug”, she said. Mary asked her about the magazine, but she was weirdly secretive about it. Said it was better for Mary not to read it, saying something I didn’t quite grasp about a time continuum. Anyway, the really strange part was as she was leaving. She looked at Mary, smiled, and said, “I will tell you this much. One day, you are going to be a real thorn in the side of a union-busting robber baron named Mitt. And if you can take him down, you just might save the damn world.

the left bank

“I want a New Art!” she exclaimed.

The young boy looked up from his doodle quizzically at the woman who had just joined him on the Bristol park bench.

“By Art I mean Culture, of course, and by Culture I mean Art.”, she continued. “Because at their best and at their worst they are indistinguishable. But right now we’re trapped, we’re stagnated, because Culture has Art chained up like a BDSM slave on display in a cage at the Republican National Convention.”

“Art can’t smash the machine it needs for life support. The Artist is crushed by the paradigm. The book, the canvas, the album or film — you colour within the lines and create your commodity, and you might do it better than anyone, and you might make the best damn widget the world has ever known and that might be a very good thing. You may change a corner of the world and write a page in the history books. But revolution — that takes something more.”

The kid of course didn’t know what the hell she was talking about. But she was weird and funny and not much like all the adults he knew, so he just laughed and enjoyed her voice.

“I’m not really sure what I’m trying to tell you, kid. Except, don’t paint for Wall Street. Paint the Walls and Streets.”

future perfect past progressive

Little to nothing is known as to when the phenomena we know as Auntie Warhol was born — if she was “born”. But for those who discount more supernatural explanations, recent reports from the Auntie Warhol Institute may shed new light on how it came to be that she walks among us.

According to the new theory, Auntie may be a creature of paradox, conceived in and emerging from a tear in the space-time continuum, which was ripped open when Campbell’s Soup channeled Andy Warhol for new cans:

The world’s biggest soup maker plans to introduce special edition cans of its condensed tomato soup bearing labels reminiscent of the pop artist’s paintings at Target stores starting Sunday.

Researchers at the Institute — a consortium of physicists, historians, and potheads committed to understanding and preserving Auntie’s life, work, and legacy — suggest that this event created a sort of feedback loop, from which the only escape was to produce an equal and opposite cultural-temporal anomaly. Thus the theory states that Auntie Warhol simply came to be, forged from space-time itself, as a matter of mathematical necessity.

The authors however are careful to note that although they believe this 2012 event to have been the point of Ms. Warhol’s conception, it is still not known at what point in our timeline did she first appear — what one might think of as her actual “birthday”. Her known work dates her well into the previous century, while reported sightings and apparent influence, to say nothing of the legends, would place her well before that.

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