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the column of lasting insignificance: July 7, 2012
by John Wilcock

Seeking the Drama of Everyday Life
in Burma part 2: Bagan

more video from Burma. Plus, we're putting the finishing touches on a special edition of the Ojai Orange which will be both in print and online. This editon is devoted entirely to Burma, and should be out any day now...

6/30/12

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recent columns...

“I like to be the right thing in the wrong place and the wrong thing in the right place. Being the right thing in the wrong place and the wrong thing in the right place is worth it because something interesting always happens.”
—Andy Warhol

Week of November 22, 2014

“Human beings are born solitary, but everywhere they are in chains - daisy chains - of interactivity. Social actions are makeshift forms, often courageous, sometimes ridiculous, always strange. And in a way, every social action is a negotiation, a compromise between 'his,' 'her' or 'their' wish and yours.”
—Andy Warhol

Week of November 15, 2014

“Police in China can do whatever they want; after 81 days in arbitrary detention you clearly realise that they don't have to obey their own laws.”
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Week of November 8, 2014

“What's great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you can know that the President drinks Coke. Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too.”
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“In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.”
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Week of October 25, 2014

“The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting.”
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- column archives: 2006 - present



in the press...

Wednesday,
October 27, 2010

A Budget Travel Pioneer on a Time When $5 a Day Was Real (Frugal) Money
nytimes.com: Frugal Traveler

by Seth Kugel
John Wilcock at the New York Times

It was the first handwritten letter Id received in 5 years. Or maybe 10. Signed by John Wilcock, a man Id never heard of, and postmarked Ojai, Calif., it was waiting for me when I returned from my So Paulo-to-New York summer trip. Mr. Wilcock wrote that he had been an assistant editor at The Times Travel section back in the 1950s, and had written the first editions of Mexico on $5 a Day, Greece on $5 a Day and Japan on $5 a Day for Arthur Frommer in the 1960s.

By George, I thought. This man was the original Frugal Traveler.

(read more)




Manhattan MemoriesManhattan Memories
An Autobiography
by John Wilcock

"A GOOD WAY to describe John Wilcock is to say that he is a talented bohemian counter-culture journalist who once played a major role in the emergence of America’s underground press. Born 1927 in Sheffield, England, he left school aged 16 to work on various newspapers in England, and on Toronto periodicals before moving to New York City. There in 1955 he became one of the five founders of the Village Voice in which he and co-founder Norman Mailer wrote weekly columns. Wilcock called his column “The Village Square”, an intended pun. He and young Mailer were not quite friends, although Wilcock was at times annoyed, but always amused, by Mailer’s monstrous ego."

-From the preface of Manhattan Memories, by Martin Gardner



The Autobiography and Sex Life of Andy Warhol

The Autobiography and Sex Life of Andy Warhol
by John Wilcock
Edited by Christopher Trela
Photographs by Shunk-Kender


Village Voice and Interview cofounder John Wilcock was first drawn into the milieu of Andy Warhol through film-maker Jonas Mekas, assisting on some of Warhols early films, hanging out at his parties and quickly becoming a regular at the Factory. About six months after I started hanging out at the old, silvery Factory onWest 47th Street, he recalls, [Gerard] Malanga came up to me and asked, When are you going to write something about us? Already fascinated by Warhols persona, Wilcock went to work, interviewing the artists closest associates, supporters and superstars. Among these were Malanga, Naomi Levine, Taylor Mead and Ultra Violet, all of whom had been in the earliest films; scriptwriter Ronnie Tavel, and photographer Gretchen Berg; art dealers Sam Green, Ivan Karp, Eleanor Ward and Leo Castelli, and the Metropolitan Museum of Arts Henry Geldzahler; the poets Charles Henri Ford and Taylor Mead, and the artist Marisol; and the musicians Lou Reed and Nico. Paul Morrisey supplied the title: The Autobiography and Sex Life of AndyWarhol was the first oral biography of the artist. First published in 1971, and pitched against the colorful backdrop of the 1960s, it assembles a prismatic portrait of one of modern arts least knowable artists during the early years of his fame. The Autobiography and Sex Life is likely the most revealing portrait of Warhol, being composite instead of singular; each of its interviewees offers a piece of the puzzle that was Andy Warhol. This new edition corrects the many errors of the first, and is beautifully designed in a bright, Warholian palette with numerous illustrations. The British-born writer John Wilcock co-founded The Village Voice in 1955, and went on to edit seminal publications such as The East Village Other, Los Angeles Free Press, Other Scenes and (in 1970) Interview, with Andy Warhol.