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Posted on Jun 9, 2011
Mr. Fish

By Mr. Fish

It was my habit during school dances to never stop walking. For hours I would circle the dance floor and act as if I were scanning the crowd in search of somebody. “Booth!” a classmate might yell, hoping to head me off, oftentimes with a clotheslined-arm-offering punch, and I’d hold up my index finger and push past him, craning my neck this way and that, my brow furrowed, my eyes looking everywhere in an insane pantomime of deep concentration and reconnaissance. Inevitably, the news of my solitary bug-eyed schlep around the gymnasium would be reported back to my mother, usually by my twin sister, and the assumption would be made that I was afraid of girls. I’d shrug off the simplicity of the deduction and return to my room and practice not giving a shit about what people thought, feeling like Ichabod Crane charging toward the covered bridge of my high school graduation, beyond which the Headless Horseman of Manahawkin, N.J., had no dominion over my soul.

Manahawkin, N.J.?

Inside my third-grade social studies book was a map of pre-Civil War America that showed the Mason-Dixon Line in red. I used to stare at that line and imagine it as a great bloody gash set in the body of the country by sober and learned Northerners hoping to amputate the vicious and cross-eyed hillbillies in the South from our national identity. What worried me was the irregularity of the line once it hit Delaware. Moving east with the surgical precision of a straight line along the southern border of Pennsylvania, the incision seemed to suddenly hit a bone and be redirected downward, erratically tracing around the Union’s First State and dead-ending into the sea. Anyone could see, looking at the map, that had the line been allowed to move uninterrupted it would’ve sliced through New Jersey just north of where I lived, thereby implicating me as a heehawing redneck.

Of course, had Rand McNally suddenly decided to reclassify my hometown as part of the South, little evidence would be available for me to prove otherwise. For example, the one and only black kid at my school had absolutely no friends to speak of. And while this might’ve had less to do with the color of his skin and more to do with his penchant for having seizures and wearing velour, the effect of isolation was the same. And then there were the Jackson, Miss.-like summers, which had a way of attracting prophetic significance beginning in mid-May and ending in late October, as if God were using the whole of South Jersey to rehearse an End of Days scenario for more densely populated, potentially more repentant, parts of the country. 

The signs would appear overnight when one day it would be springtime, with the scent of mud and dandelions and freshly mowed grass stirring something like swarming bees inside everybody’s guts. There would be the almost audible explosion of yellow azaleas in everybody’s yard and the storybook appearance of new rabbits and butterflies and birds. Then, the next day, you’d step outside and feel as if you’d just walked down into somebody’s flooded basement. The air, heavy with pinesap, would be filled with dragonflies, grasshoppers and wasps. Green flies, as loud as incensed vibrators and as durable as seeds, would bite you through your shirt and on your face and the sun would no longer rise; instead, it would suddenly materialize at the center of the sky, swollen to the size of Jupiter, and radiate an impossible heat that seemed as unnatural as an electrical fire. At dusk, flatbed trucks would chug through the neighborhood at 5 miles per hour, lugging what appeared to be a jet engine that had been stripped of its alloy skin, revealing a deep-fried skeleton of black metal harnessed to a giant fan which belched out a great wet cloud of pesticides aimed at controlling the mosquito population by making everyone’s blood taste less like tomato juice and more like paint thinner. Midnight would bring the temperature down to 91 degrees, and moths, driven mad by the sound of a trillion chirping crickets, would trampoline their furry bodies repeatedly against your screens until daybreak, when the cycle would repeat itself. 

Certainly, it is under such extreme and relentless conditions that a lifetime can be stripped of nuance and reduced to a preposterous simplicity. Often it is precisely because of those daily bombardments of discomfort and disquiet that a person will typically develop a strong reliance on the crude shorthand of prejudice and paranoia and deep rage to help explain the pain inherent is his or her victimization. Specifically, when self-preservation is made the top priority in any given situation, there is seldom room for the sort of charitable selflessness that allows a person to enjoy any peace of mind whatsoever, and without any peace of mind whatsoever a person will tend toward an active retaliation against existence itself. Consider, as a parallel, those made to endure inside prolonged cycles of poverty and war, or even those made to persevere through long prison sentences or through monotonous jobs or marriages for decades at a time. 

When badgered relentlessly by exterior forces contemptuous of either personal contemplation or any opportunity for blissful complacency, a human being will seek a certain numbing comfort by shunning optimism. He will eliminate the expectation that the situation will ever improve by excising the want for it to improve if only to minimize the torture that comes with the crushing belief that his desires are inconsequential. He will then deflect blame for his situation away from himself and scapegoat others, for only a comic book character would ever assume that he alone had the power to conjure such vast and debilitating hardship. He will then do his best to champion the mediocrity of his life, typically inflating every act of non-acquiescence to complete self-annihilation into a self-delusion capable of sustaining his pride and re-imagining his existential suffocation as the hard breathing that accompanies the difficult, though heroic, job of slaying dragons.

All of this came flooding back to me, rather circuitously, during a recent trip to New York, where I had taken an assignment to interview famed altruistic hippie-clown, self-titled psychedelic relic and professional self-parody Wavy Gravy during his 75th birthday celebration at the Beacon Theatre on Broadway. Promoted as a fundraiser for the Seva Foundation, an international nonprofit health organization started in 1978 by Gravy’s best friend and former executive director of, Larry Brilliant, the concert featured David Crosby, Graham Nash, Jackson Browne, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Dr. John and Jorma Kaukonen, among others. Having been promised access to the artists backstage, many of whom were as famous for their social consciousness and commitment to compassionate hell-raising as they were for their music, I took the gig and spent the week leading up to the show trying to devise a line of questioning that might garner new insights and prompt fresh answers from these 1960s and ’70s superstars whose combined 400 years of experience in talking to reporters made me feel as if I were facing down the impossible task of looking for a suite of new notes on a grand piano without touching the keys.

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By alan, July 19, 2011 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I like you, Mr. Fish, but I kinda think you’re laying too much significance on the persona of Wavy Gravy, and the audience that night.  A lot of us who were tie-dyed-in-the-wool hippies back in the fabulous sixties are still around, but you might not pick us out on the street.  I used to live on a rural commune in Oregon (which is still going strong!), garden naked, and have hair halfway down my back.  Now I’m a shorthaired (still bearded) urban professional working exclusively with a low-income population.  My politics, forged in the civil rights and anti-(Vietnam) war movement haven’t changed.  My hippie sensibilities are still all there, and I’m happy to exercise them when I don’t need to stay sober.  The wars have changed but my activism (Central America, Iraq, Palestine) has not.  And there are a *lot* of people just like me.  You might not have seen us in the audience, but we’re out here.  Some of us just look different these days…but underneath, we’re still freaks!

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By Sieglinde, July 8, 2011 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Fabulous literary article.  Wonderful comedic writing.  Many thanks for the rare intellectual enjoyment on a subject that, but for this renewed and interestingly skewed attention, could have been a dead horse.

The comments are good also, but I can’t stand the lumping together.  Not all hippies live in Mcmansions, nor have all sold out, nor was the movement entirely ineffective.  To the contrary.  Progressivism would not even be rasping if it were not for us silverbacks, including old hippies (in tie dye or possibly in business attire), to keep the flame.

Pre-hippie in a temperate climate.

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By culheath, June 19, 2011 at 8:05 pm Link to this comment

The hippies were the visible, colorful flag waving part of a much larger evolutionary rather revolutionary movement. I agree with a lot of what Anarcissie is saying.

I also don’t see Mr Fish’s points raised and portrait of it as being derogatory.

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By Anarcissie, June 19, 2011 at 7:50 pm Link to this comment

I would say Ho Chi Minh and his friends got the US out of Vietnam, by making too expensive economically and politically to stay there.

The hippie movement was one aspect of the ‘Sixties’ (actually from, say, the assassination of John Kennedy until the fall of Nixon or the fall of Saigon, 1975).  The people who were generally called ‘hippies’ during this period did not have much to do with the war or the resistance to the war, except insofar as they provided a living alternative to the dominant way of life.  Another category of people who generally did not like the hippies and were involved in opposing the war(s) were called ‘the New Left’.  Neither of these groups were very large, but during the Sixties (as defined above) they had a lot of imitators, followers, and hangers-on.  The Civil Rights / Black Power movement(s) was/were also still active, although by ‘68 it was pretty clear that they were going to be taken in (in more than one sense) by the Established Order.  Then there were people who rioted in the ghettoes and there were military units who mutinied. 

You could say all of these people made it harder and less rewarding to continue the war, but I think Papa Ho and company were the main factors.  If Mr. Fish is complaining about Wavy Gravy he’s really dissing a pretty small act in a very big circus.

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By katsteevns, June 18, 2011 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment

Didn’t the Hippie generation work for years to get us out of Vietnam, their heads spinning all the while with the deaths of JFK, RFK, Malcolm X, MLK, 30 Black Panthers and numerous others? Is that not enough for Mr. Fish?!? Would this TruthDig platform even BE here if not for that fight? Mr. Fish should read more and get off the X-BOX.

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By Anarcissie, June 18, 2011 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment

I rather appreciate Mr. Fish’s candor, actually, although being a pre-Boomer I don’t seem to share his post-Boomer, generation-Xish hostility to the poor hippies.  I do think it seems a bit late in the day, and they long in the tooth, to tax them for being insufficiently revolutionary; but then I remember that in its power, ubiquity, and invulnerability, Classic Rock must seem to the Xers like Frank Sinatra does to me, only a hundred times worse, and I feel sorry for them.  As for hippiedom, it was completely ground up and turned into plastic; people, hippies and non-hippies alike, need to cast off all sentimentality and recognize what was done.  If you want a revolution it’s not going to be at a show of those who were famous long ago, etc.

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By katsteevns, June 18, 2011 at 3:23 pm Link to this comment

True. But Mr. Fish’s message, on the other hand, was clear as a bell.

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By Anarcissie, June 18, 2011 at 7:52 am Link to this comment

Is there a single, accessible Wavy Gravy Truth, though?  A Wavy-Gravy-an-sich, so to speak?  Are we not instead confronted with a multitude of appearances, many of them mutually contradictory, reflecting the shattered mirrors of our own perceptions?

This could be good for a PhD thesis….

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By katsteevns, June 18, 2011 at 7:15 am Link to this comment

Yes, this piece is a work of art. Beyond that….well.

Mr. Fish’s encounter with

“superstars whose combined 400 years of experience in talking to reporters “

obviously overwhelmed him. So much so that it made him

“feel as if I were facing down the impossible task of looking for a suite of new notes on a grand piano without touching the keys.”

In other words, his feelings got the better of him while the monster he saw was just a figment of his lively imagination.

Before he went in to see Wavy Gravy, he already felt the “tack to be impossible”.

And in his cutting up of WG, he symbolically cut up the rest of them as well and settled on a cliched degradation of the whole lot of stars. This, instead of accepting that he had failed to rattle WG’s source of inspiration in what admittedly was too short a span of time to do so with Mr. Fishes present skills at “getting the dirt” on a story.

But, alas, this is an art and cultures column which, by it’s nature, is free to steer clear of any truth. In fact, it is apparently free to distort the truth and support tasteless biases.

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By Anarcissie, June 17, 2011 at 9:49 am Link to this comment

Complaining about and deriding the hippies has been a pop art form for about 25 years now.  There is no reason Mr. Fish should not indulge in it if it gives him and others pleasure.

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By 4rc4good, June 17, 2011 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

Really? Does a benefit concert for the blind warrant the full cynical treatment? With all the REAL crap, lies and propaganda that get thrown at us everyday in this creeping corporafascist state, why use the time and talent to filet old hippies? Confucius said, “Cynicism is the religion of feeble minds.” Why? There IS nothing to be cynical ABOUT. First you form a prejudice, then you react to it as though it were real without ever asking a real question that would shake the foundations of your belief.  That’s all there is.
Who cares what the hippies SHOULD do and be in 2011?  Life is interviewing YOU, sir.  It is asking you what you will write in the tiny space between birth and death.  There is not enough time to circle the gym refusing to look at anything that might shake your sand castle.
Take your gift and put it to work.  We need the talents, the dissecting gaze and the acerbic pen of the perennial misfit. But be worthy of your talents in thought, intent and deed.

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By culheath, June 16, 2011 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment

@John Poole

Think trolls. I ignore them.

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By John Poole, June 16, 2011 at 5:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why the bile directed towards Mr. Fish?  He’s writing, he’s working on himself and
staying engaged. Are all the damning comments picking apart some of the lesser
inspired parts of BLAH BLAH BLAH a sign of spite?  Knowing one is going to be
attacked by those who feel they are better writers would silence most. Mr. Fish
keeps at it- if there is one little gem of a sentence or thought it makes his effort
meaningful. Lighten up all you haters of Mr. Fish. 
    As a professional pianist/composer I’ve stopped lambasting well known and
iconic musicians for it is always interpreted as sour grapes.

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By katsteevns, June 15, 2011 at 12:50 pm Link to this comment

Those from the 60’s/70’s did their part in trying to awaken a higher consciousness, a consciousness of peace. Some may have fallen back on their laurels and some are fighting the fight in their own, individual ways. Families happen, mistakes are made, and life becomes constricting if one is not keen on the road ahead. We tend to close ourselves in. We get old and energy wanes. Mr.Fish needs to pursue some of these people if he wants to see beyond the “filthy white bowler”, put his back into it. Get the low-down so as to pass it on to TODAY’S hippies.

But where are the hippies of today’s generation?
There are out there, somewhere, gathering their forces. Waiting to get some info from people with access like Mr. Fish who, this time, had no real meat to put on the table.

The difference now is that the heroes of today may not HAVE laurels to fall back on.

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By Chronicler, June 14, 2011 at 6:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“If you’re going to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you’re going to San Francisco
You’re gonna meet some gentle people there

For those who come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there
In the streets of San Francisco
Gentle people with flowers in their hair

All across the nation such a strange vibration
People in motion
There’s a whole generation with a new explanation
People in motion people in motion

For those who come to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there

If you come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there”

This song brings back memories, two memories stand out. I heard this song while hitching my way back to San Francisco, after having been a member of the tiny youth beatnik-folk movement, in North Beach in San Francisco before “Hashbury” came into being. I also remember hearing the song after returning from the Summer of Love, it was a profoundly sad hearing.

The “Hashbury” community held a ceremony at the end of summer 67, declaring the “Death of the Hippy.” The movement was infiltrated and co-opted by chronic malcontents, miscreants, opportunists, and reprobates. The movement was maligned from without and from within.

Except for a few diehards, the Hippy culture lingered on for another two or three years, and so called Hippy fashion and music lingered on for a few years longer, in the form of Album Oriented Rock, but hippy culture was soon replaced by “Disco,” “Glam Rock” nihilistic “Punk” gender bending crap, and an evolution into a directionless apathetic youth culture busily disassociating itself from a maligned Hippy culture. “We Care A Lot,” well… not really.

Faith No More
Introduce Yourself (1987)
We Care A Lot

“We care a lot about disasters, fires, floods and killer bees
We care a lot about the NASA shuttle falling in the sea
We care a lot about starvation and the food that Live Aid bought
We care a lot about disease, baby Rock, Hudson, rock, yeah!

We care a lot about the gamblers and the pushers and the geeks
We care a lot about the crack and smack and whack that hits the street
We care a lot about the welfare of all the boys and girls
We care a lot about you people cause we’re out to save the world


And it’s a dirty job but someone’s gotta do it

We care a lot about the army navy air force and marines
We care a lot about the SF, NY and LAPD
We care a lot about you people, about your guns
about the wars you’re fighting gee that looks like fun

We care a lot about the Garbage Pail Kids, they never lie
We care a lot about Transformers cause there’s more than meets the eye

We care a lot about the little things, the bigger things we top
We care a lot about you people yeah you bet we care a lot,


Well, its a dirty job but someone’s gotta do it
And it’s a dirty song but someone’s gotta sing it”

“You pops caught you smoking and he said, “No way!”
That hypocrite smokes two packs a day
Man, living at home is such a drag
Now your mom threw away your best porno mag Busted!”


“What else should I be?
All apologies.
What else could I say?
Everyone is gay.
What else could I write?
I don’t have the right.
What else should I be?
All Apologies.”

“Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll!” Except for a few rare exceptions, rampant decadence coming from a lost and confused youth culture, who grew up to be Fishy types. Do nothings, say nothings, and be nothings. “Blah, Blah, Blah,” indeed!

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By caped amigo, June 13, 2011 at 3:31 pm Link to this comment

Reading Mr. Fish is like bathing in caviar. It is sublime at many levels. Wish I knew
Mr. Fish personally. I’m a painter, but, my, how I wish I could write like this man.
For those of you who obviously don’t like caviar, EAT CAKE and go to bed.

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By Kathi, June 13, 2011 at 11:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Poor widdle fishy-wishy.  Did those big, bad hippies disiwoooshun you? I see what you
mean. Sure, they’re helping a foundation to bring sight to millions, but do they really
INSPIRE people to write useless articles. Get over yourself!

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By Anarcissie, June 13, 2011 at 8:13 am Link to this comment


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By Steve E, June 13, 2011 at 1:48 am Link to this comment

Compassion, joy, and togetherness are all overrated. I know because I tried them.

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By culheath, June 11, 2011 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment

I was surrounded by hippies during the heyday of the early 70’s, I formed a group that learned the CSN&Y, Greatful Dead, Beatles, Stones, Dylan, Mitchell, etc tunes perfectly. We lived in a commune type house, did all the drugs possible, were artsy liberal philosopher I Ching Tarot diarist revolutionary types. Some of us even wore the costumes of the day, some of us didn’t. Some of us have remained true to ourselves and the journey we were on.

Most did not…I would venture that most were pretty much like the majority culture they came from; fairly superficial thrill seekers just trying to get along and laid.

I was not a very good hippie. I hated what I saw as the Luddite tendencies in the hippie movement of the “back to the land” and “don’t make me a number, man” sentiments. I was as much into science and the future as trying to liberate myself emotionally and politically from the demands of the major culture. I’ve made a lot of progress, but I’m still on that path.

Expecting old hippies to still be a vital reservoir of fundamental change strikes me as somewhat silly since I don’t really believe they were that in the first place.

Still, I found Mr Fish’s descriptions of his encounters in this article delightful and revealingly insightful…as always. He is rapidly becoming one of my favorite authors.

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By John R., June 11, 2011 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment

The choice to take physical aggression (killing) is the one that must come from inside each of us.

I will not hate those whom will not do this action. I am one of them.

Since war is our current reality - a try at non-war, if even, by non-violent means should always be employed and Yes, that IS coming from a pacifist, myself.

Talking, protesting, communicating, and then going to the grave without taking the life of another’s - in this maze of laws of hypocrisy and world of plutocracy, is as much as I will ever give.

If man does lead us all the way into that dystopian nightmare without heeding the warnings from those with deep empathy for the human race, then those that led us there will be exposed at some point to it (the dystopian world) in their lifetime.

They will reap what they sow.

Thank you Mr. Fish for the imagery. The prose was excellent and I enjoyed reading your thoughts.

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By prisnersdilema, June 11, 2011 at 10:33 am Link to this comment

Without boundaries, there is only puddle ness…

Except, when a fish swims inside, looking to push against something, some edge, that can push back…

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By Tim T, June 11, 2011 at 9:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I read most of the article and some of the comments.  I was never a hippie.  I am
just a little to young, but I wanted to be one. It seems to me that it was not a
political movement. It was a reaction by some youth and artist and thinkers to a
society that values greed over human life.  We are still a society that values greed
over human life.  We would rather build bombs that kill than educate, feed, and
clothe our brothers and sisters.  I live and work in this same country and world.  I
am no different.  Of all the worlds we could have had, and we made this one.

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By Anarcissie, June 11, 2011 at 8:18 am Link to this comment

Thank you, Joni / JDmysticDJ.

But seriously, folks, if there in anything you value in the hippies, don’t let it be polluted by nostalgia and the simple-minded mass-media crap with which their history has been covered up.  Yes, there was a hell of a mass jailbreak.  No, the prison wasn’t torn down.  Yes, most people never left, and most of the hippies signed themselves back in.  And living on the lam was never the picnic it was made out to be, even if you got to grow your hair long and wear grannie glasses.

A lot of hippies, when they realized that their culture was being appropriated and sold back to them, changed their mode of their music and the style of their appearance, and are changing it still.  But they’re still out there.  And in due course they’ll reappear, and take another shot.  Because we do, indeed, have to get back to the garden, one way or another.

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By JDmysticDJ, June 11, 2011 at 7:22 am Link to this comment

“Well I came upon a child of God, he was walking along the road
And I asked him tell where are you going, this he told me:
(He) said, I’m going down to Yasgur’s farm, going to join in a rock and roll band.
Got to get back to the land, and set my soul free.
We are stardust, we are golden, we are billion year old carbon,
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.

Well, then can I roam beside you? I have come to lose the smog.
And I feel myself a cog in something turning.
And maybe it’s the time of year, yes, said maybe it’s the time of man.
And I don’t know who I am but life is for learning.
We are stardust, we are golden, we are billion year old carbon,
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.

By the time we got to Woodstock, we were half a million strong,
And everywhere was song and celebration.
And I dreamed I saw the bomber jet planes riding shotgun in the sky,
Turning into butterflies above our nation.

We are stardust, we are golden, we caught in the devil’s bargain,
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.”

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By David J. Cyr, June 11, 2011 at 5:22 am Link to this comment

QUOTE Maani:

“This Fish deserves to have the water removed from his bowl.”

Nothing disturbs ever hiding from the truth liberals more than their seeing any reflection of what they actually are; and nothing reveals what they are more than their reaction to anyone who provides them with such reflection.

As time goes by, it seems that the numbers of hippies that crashed Woodstock (and trashed Max Yasgur’s farm) grows. It seems that anyone drug damaged enough to vote for Democrats believes they were there, simply because they haven’t any memory.

I wasn’t at Woodstock, because I was busy full-time organizing opposition to the Democrat’s genocidal war against the People of Vietnam.

It’s the Woodstock hippy Obama maniacs who have successfully made fascism fashionably cool again… rescued fascism from the uncoolness of Cheney and Bush.

“Democrats are the meanest bunch of motherfuckers I’ve ever come across.”
— James Ridgeway, Village Voice journalist

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By christian96, June 11, 2011 at 4:58 am Link to this comment

Two pages of blah! What a waste of valuable time to
read this. Blah! Blah! Blah!

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By Maani, June 10, 2011 at 10:22 pm Link to this comment

More sour grapes revisionist history from the flapping Fish.  The “hippies” did more good - and continue to do more good - than any generation before or after.  Yes, SOME of them betrayed their past and became Wall Street brokers and other icky types.  But most did not.  They remained liberal (or at very least center-left) and engaged.  And they continue to be.  I know because I was one of them, and know literally dozens - maybe hundreds - of others like me who never gave up progressive causes, even if our engagement waned a little because we were having families and had to work to make a living.

This Fish deserves to have the water removed from his bowl.

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By PO'd, June 10, 2011 at 5:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The idealistic youth peace movement died before the 70’s were ushered in. The idealistic youth who were raised by doo wop and rock and roll in an extravagantly romantic and prosperous era - were romantic - and they believed in freeing love, not free sex. Although, being young, it can not be denied that they had sex on their minds. Most did not sellout, the fortunate resigned from the movement due to the excess so obvious around them. The movement was co-opted by miscreants, deviants, opportunists, stinky Fish type nihilists and chronic malcontents.

Having been a part of the assembled multitudes that spontaneously materialized at Golden Gate Park and at Haight and Ashbury in 67, I was surprised when returning to San Francisco in 69, when a lady friend told me “It’s not the same.”  What was once a nirvana like paradise had deteriorated into a dark, dreary, and filthy environment. Actually, the “Death of the Hippy” had been declared in an official community ceremony at the end of the summer of 67. What lingered on were a few diehards, such as Wavy Gravy, a more cynical musical genre and a behavior that became more and more excessive.

The “Yippies” intentionally provoked the police at the Democratic convention in Chicago in 1968, and race riots that occurred after Martin Luther King’s assassination in April of 1968 affectively discredited the youth peace movement and the Left in general:

“Law and order” was a powerful conservative theme in the U.S. in the 1960s. The leading exponents in the late 1960s were Republicans Ronald Reagan (as governor of California) and Richard Nixon (as presidential candidate in 1968). They used it to dissolve a liberal consensus about crime that involved federal court decisions and a pushback against illegal drugs and violent gang activity. White ethnics in northern cities turned against the Democratic party, blaming it for being soft on crime and rioters[1]”

The 70’s were notable for upscale and designer drugs, disco, and political apathy. The 80’s were marked by the growth of sexual promiscuity and drug using youth disassociating themselves from the much maligned hippies. Gross consumption, the me generation, and an ever increasing decadence were soon to follow.

It’s easy to ridicule our elders, especially when they are wearing no longer fashionable clothing and red noses, but Mr. Fish should give credit where credit is due. I’m wondering if he contributed to bringing eyesight to the blind, or if he was too absorbed in ridiculing and advancing his career. Personally, I think Mr. Fish is a punk, and I’ll ask him what his generation has contributed to society, other than a lot of worthless bitching.

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By hartpete, June 10, 2011 at 4:24 pm Link to this comment

What a waste of time.  Narcissistic bullcrap.

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By kerryrose, June 10, 2011 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment


Not the cause of “our” failures as in “USA”. I was speaking about societal and political failures.  My response has nothing to do with my personal failures which are only a small reflection of societies failures.  I was commenting on a failed attitude that was quickly abandoned, which left a rabid right.

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By gerard, June 10, 2011 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

Speaking of sell-outs ... er ...!

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By M Henri Day, June 10, 2011 at 9:08 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, I understood the metaphor perfectly well (I think) ; I merely expressed my opinion that it was inapt and that Dwayne could do better….


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By Anarcissie, June 10, 2011 at 8:41 am Link to this comment

I understood the thing about Jupiter perfectly.  Don’t be so literal.

As for ‘hippie sellouts’, it’s now forty years since the days of the hippies.  Some of them may be a bit tired.  Some, indeed, are dead—long dead.  They were never more than a small if notorious minority.  Yes, they have mostly become boring and ineffective, if they were every anything else.  But they’re not the cause of your failures.

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By M Henri Day, June 10, 2011 at 2:09 am Link to this comment

«... and the sun would no longer rise; instead, it would suddenly materialize at the center of the sky, swollen to the size of Jupiter ...» The sun, swollen to the size of Jupiter ?!! Come on, Dwayne, you can do better !...


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By kerryrose, June 10, 2011 at 1:58 am Link to this comment

Isn’t it the Woodstock peacenik crowd that sold out shamelessly?  Isn’t it them we have to thank for a counterculture ‘revolution’ that was quickly given up for health care benefits and over-large homes in the suburbs?

Don’t we have them to thank for the conservative backlash that has been taking place for the last 30 years with those people leaving no ideology or progeny to continue to fight what they started?

Woodstock hippie sellouts were weak.  They gave up, sold out, and left a vehement conservative culture that was determined to crush dissent once and for all.

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By gerard, June 9, 2011 at 11:08 pm Link to this comment

A massive change of motivation from selfishness and
willed ignorance to “compassion, joy and togetherness” won’t save us from self-annihilation, it’s true—but it would go a long way toward ending wars and the profitable fad of throwing jobless people out of their homes and into prisons, etc.  As good a way to start as any. Once on the way,the other requirements would make themselves known. Just getting started is our crucial problem.

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