Well, if I had a magic wand things in general would be better. Maybe I should say if I had three wishes in the vast fetid swamp that is American politics? Anyway, the 1st wish would be the true separation of church and state. No more televangelists anywhere near our elections-ANY elections, local, state, federal or PROM QUEEN! No politicking from the pulpit. No nudge, nudge, wink, wink either. Preach and teach whatever you believe but keep it where it belongs, your home or place of worship and keep it legal. No breaking laws and claiming religious freedom.
2nd. I’d do away with all political donors and NO “citizen united”! Every person that wants to run for office has to have a certain amount of signatures ( to prove they aren’t in it for any other reason other than a serious desire and a real platform with real ideas)THEN they get a specific dollar amount from the government according to the position campaigning for. They can spend that amount, no more and IF (HA) THEY SPEND LESS- IT GOES BACK TO THE GOVERNMENT FUND. They better have a great accountant because every penny will have to be accounted for. And no freebie air time or print, NOTHING at all!
3rd. every candidate from any party gets on every televised debate and there will be a set number of debates starting ONE year from any election. None of this -winning an election and starting to campaign for the next one three months later.
Those are my three. Can you think of three?
Then and NOW! Celebrate Echoes of the Hippie Movement at the Upcoming “NOW!” Festival From April 19th to the 25th
By Tanya Vlach/huffingtonpost.com –
I grew up hearing and overdosing from the mythical stories of the 60’s. My parents met in ’69. My Dad lived in the Lower Haight and was an activist attending SFSU; my Mom was at UCB and a Community Organizer in Visitacion Valley. In a seemingly fragmented time with social media saturation, I struggle to make sense of the seismic shifting of San Francisco’s “culture” and its current tech sensibilities. As a Gen Xer I’m caught in the middle of two disparate time periods. So I did some digging to try and find out of there is a through-line between then and now.
The counterculture Hippie movement in the Haight Ashbury of the late 1960’s stemmed from the unrest of the McCarthy era, the Vietnam war and draft, the deconstruction of the nuclear family, and the disillusionment with materialism and the “American Dream.” The dominant youth demographic of the day truly believed that it could change the world.
A spontaneous combustion of growing up during the post WWII affluence, sudden access to arts, introduction to altered states through psychedelia, assassinations of leaders, and the media’s hype of the Hippie drove an unprecedented youth migration storm into the Haight Ashbury. With free food, concerts, love in and around Golden Gate Park, it beckoned to be the epicenter for the spiritual awakening. Check out these freakishly outstanding Rolling Stone shots of Hendrix and Joplin and other rock icons gallivanting about in San Francisco at that time: Love and Haight: Jim Marshall’s Iconic Sixties San Francisco Photos
The Hippie movement stood for peace, love, racial equality, personal freedom, and sexual experimentation. But it didn’t take long before the media co-opted the music, made the hippie a fashion statement and used counterculture icons for commercial gain. Then some participants, namely the Diggers (an offshoot of the San Francisco Mime Troupe) took notice and in October of 1967, they staged a mock funeral procession to boldly announce the Death of the Hippie with the words Hippie–Son of Media scribbled on the side of the coffin. The remarkable thing about the Diggers, is that while they were a subculture of the counterculture movement in ideals, and consciousness raising, their life acting was conceptual and transformative “to create a theater that described everything being free, hoping that that would lead to a social movement.” (Michael William Doyle from the
San Francisco Diggers)
Thankfully, or maybe not, I haven’t developed the curse or the blessing of seeing my past in a gauzy haze of softened edges and magical thinking.
I’m not yet an old biddy complaining that life was perfect in my youth and that society and “the kids today” are nowhere near as wonderful as we were.
Yeah, I can see how falling into that haze would make my remaining years and the lined face I see in the mirror each morning along with the creaks and groans of aged joints so much easier to accept but it also makes for some very bad decision making. Now, the effects of my decision making aren’t very far reaching but the effects of the movers and shakers (my generation) in our country reach around the world and often come back to bite us.
Do I think back fondly on the 60s and the good things we wanted and the great things we put into motion? Oh yes! What I work on reminding myself is that there were members of my age group that fought to hold to the status quo as well as those of us that sought to right the wrongs we saw as children of the 50s. There are, I think, more of the later than the former in positions of power today.
People are people. Human nature hasn’t really changed. I sadly believe that if it were legal to have a Coliseum in every major city we’d be standing in line for tickets and using our credit cards to see people fight to the death and watch prisoners, social outcasts and political protesters executed.
Thankfully we’d have those that would protest and work towards righting the wrongs, just like every age. I hope that all of us, young and old still can see clearly enough to recall the best and still admit that as human beings we have to be realistic.
But, every now and then a little nostalgia feels great. Allow me a bit here, thanks.
peace and patchouli
By Ngaio Bealum /firstname.lastname@example.org –
As marijuana prohibition slowly but surely becomes a thing of the past, the tensions between the radical activists that started the cannabis-freedom movement and the venture capitalists that are looking to cash in on America’s No. 1 growth industry are starting to get bigger.
The biggest clash is usually about intent. To most hardcore activists, the pursuit of money without any sense of social responsibility is a futile pursuit, at best, and a venal pursuit at worst. To the suits, the idea that money isn’t the first and most important concern doesn’t even make sense. Why else would a person start a business unless it was to try to get all of the money they could possibly make by whatever legal means?
This disconnect leads to things such as the makers of Sativex (a cannabis derived medicine that is in the medical-trial phase in many countries) saying they aren’t pro-cannabis legalization, because legal marijuana could impact their ability to make money.
As you can imagine, saying this at a cannabis conference to a room full of people that have seen their loved ones sent to prison for possessing and using cannabis doesn’t go over very well.
The thing is: Capitalism loves a monopoly and marijuana, by necessity, has always been a decentralized industry. Can these two diametrically opposed systems find common ground?
Not yet. A recent attempt by a group of Ohio capitalists to create a cannabis-legalization framework that would allow only 10 investor groups to be in charge of all of the commercial cannabis cultivation in the state has been widely condemned by most cannabis activists in Ohio. Not only that, the attempt to create an oligopoly also has led to a different group trying to get a more fair law passed. But will these dual efforts split the vote and dilute the cause? I suppose we’ll find out this fall. Continue reading…
Posted at;alleghenyfront.org –
Think Earth day was started by a group of tree-hugging hippies? That’s just part of the story. The first Earth Day was the brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin. According to environmental historian Adam Rome, who wrote the book on Earth Day, Nelson’s story itself is pretty amazing.
Nelson had been governor of Wisconsin in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, and was already interested in environmental issues back then. By the time he was elected to the Senate, he had decided that the environment was the great challenge of the ‘60s. He introduced legislation in the Senate dealing with big issues of the day like pesticides and water pollution, and none of them passed. He finally had the idea for what became Earth Day in late 1969.
“There’d been a disastrous oil spill off Santa Barbara, California, and he had been out there to see it,” says Adam Rome. “Then when he was flying back to Washington, he read an article about a tactic that the anti-Vietnam War movement had used earlier in the decade to raise awareness and to really spark action. And that was the teach-in—a kind of politicized extracurricular events on campuses. He thought the same thing about the environment could really energize and empower people.” Continue reading…
By Sherry Pasquarello,WWH/CJE –
Yes, I suppose Lennon’s is the biggest and probably always will be but Percy, may I call you Percy? Your songs never fail to transport me back to a time when love was brand new, with tummy butterflies, blushes and sweaty hands. That first slow dance that made me forget where I was or care who else was there, but me and a special boy and your voice. Maybe I am old. No, I AM old but damn, kids today won’t have quite the same feelings as we did and that you sang about. That’s a pity. There’s a lot to be said about wanting a thing that your teenaged soul and body is yearning for but knowing that the slow dance and maybe a little making out before curfew is all you are going to get and that’s damn exciting for 15 or 16.
Yeah, I liked Michael Bolton’s cover of WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN but he still couldn’t touch your soulful take on it. He was vocally artistic but you, YOU tore those lyrics from deep in your heart.
So Percy, hope you are enjoying wherever you are. There are millions of us that will never forget you and how you touched our young lives.