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Posted on Jun 9, 2011
Mr. Fish

By Mr. Fish

(Page 2)

“Should I introduce you as Dwayne Booth or Mr. Fish?” whispered the publicist once we were about 10 feet away from Wavy Gravy’s dressing room, which would’ve been a storage closet had it contained a mop, a bucket and a 40-gallon drum of bleach instead of a Wavy Gravy in grubby Crocs and a clown nose. “Maybe I should introduce you as Mr. Fish,” she said, mentally high-fiving herself like a cheerleader suddenly overcome with the golly-gee neatness of her own cheer. “Because he has that fish on a leash, right? You know, the one he always walks around with?!”

“All right,” I said, “I’ll be Mr. Fish.”

“You don’t have a lot of time,” she said, her face quickly becoming as serious as a heart attack. “He’s trying to gather his wa before the show starts in about 15 minutes.” His wa? “Sorry about that,” she said. “I wish you had more time.” Leaning into his dressing room and spotting Gravy sitting all alone and plucking at an ektar before a large cellophaned tray of cloudy cheese and deflated fruit, his white hair exploding from beneath a filthy white bowler sporting a black propeller, I wondered if gathering one’s wa might be Japanese for coming to a quiet and dignified acceptance of one’s questionable headwear. 

Of course, having been hurled like a halved mackerel into the soft purple brain bath of Wavy’s preshow meditation, it became immediately obvious to me as I closed the door and stood, struggling with my backpack to retrieve my notebook and tape recorder, my elbows pressed in close to my body as if I were undressing inside a sleeping bag, that I was an unwelcome guest. “I’m gathering my wa,” he said, his eyes closed like he was Charlie Parker listening to the bebop rhythms of the universe, his mind awash in Gravy.

“Yes,” I said, “I heard.” Eight minutes later I was back in my theater seat, having gathered my wa-the-fuck-was-that? in less time than it took me to gather, just a week earlier, all my false hopes about the political and cultural viability of a man and a movement 40 years past their prime. Rather than prompting any new conversation out of my subject, my questions merely acted as non sequiturs signaling when he should begin his rote recitation of previously published quips and poorly reasoned declarations of victory against the status quo, the singular exception being when he interrupted my last question by sighing the words “blah blah blah,” the exhaustion in his voice making me recognize him as a 300-pound Jack wanting to be returned to his box. 

Then, packing up my crap and transplanting myself back into the audience and beginning what, over the next three hours, would be a series of fruitless texts with the backstage publicist for me to interview anybody else, I began focusing on the concertgoers now filing in through the gaudy and ornate archways at the back of the room. White beards and slow, shuffling steps and large wide bottoms. I watched them lowering themselves as gingerly as Easter eggs into their seats, tie-dyed and bifocaled, and I wondered, perhaps for the first time in my life, why I so constantly tried to convince myself that the Woodstock Generation was not only still an active and viable force for social and political change in America, but that it was also forever young and constantly regenerating its membership and expanding exponentially through bloodlines, like alcoholism or diabetes. Scanning the crowd and trying to find anybody under 50, I suddenly started to worry that the only threat hippies might pose to the dominant culture nowadays was the personal-injury lawsuits they were likely to file from accidental falls due to uneven pavement.

After all, here were people dressed in the universally accepted uniform of the beloved peacenik, nearly all of them, yet none of them seemed so much peaceful as sleepy. It seemed as if their uniforms, after decades of insular overuse, had become mere costumes designed to reflect the quaint nostalgia of an earlier era that was no more relevant to the present day than winklepickers, culottes or powdered wigs. Had not the peace sign itself finally become as trite and ineffective as the Live long and prosper hand sign popular at “Star Trek” conventions? With the same scant knowledge possessed by the average Trekker as to what it might mean to engineer and then pilot a vehicle capable of intergalactic travel, I imagined that there was nobody around me who might have the slightest idea as to what it meant to engineer a social movement and then to pilot it in the direction of Donovan’s “Atlantis.”

Sure, I thought, tonight’s performance was guaranteed to provide the Seva Foundation, particularly the organization’s Sight Programs, with a sizable chunk of change, thereby helping to bring the gift of sight to millions living in Tibet, Nepal, Cambodia and Bangladesh and throughout Africa, but—and here’s the point—what else? It was as if I were surrounded by enthusiasts for alternative fuel who had convinced themselves that they were good guys because they knew that if everybody in the country went green starting tomorrow, in 20 years’ time the United States would be a brutally fascistic plutocracy capable of sustaining itself exclusively on corn oil and windmills. In other words, by hijacking the music and the imagery of 1960s anti-establishmentarianism and forcing it to mellow along with its creators, the originators of flower power and free love had, I feared, unwittingly become the antithesis of the struggle itself, and by defanging the snake of radicalism so that everybody could safely hold it, the rats who used to constitute the predator’s main diet were now running rampant. After all, here was Wavy Gravy—a man who at one time was such a threat to state power and straight society that he had to endure frequent beatings by riot police and who had been continuously praised by real revolutionaries—now voting for Barack Obama and rejoicing in the greater celebrity that he enjoyed as the namesake of a discontinued ice cream.

Leaving the Beacon Theatre that night and heading up Broadway with my “All access” press pass still strung around my neck, I figured that the news of my solitary bug-eyed schlep along the periphery of everybody else’s communal optimism during the show would be reported back to my editor, most likely by the column that I planned to file, and that the assumption would be made that I was afraid of harmless do-gooders who believed that compassion and joy and togetherness was enough to save us all from self-annihilation. 

Sadly, the assumption would be true.


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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.

Regards,
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

YEAH!

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,

YEAH!

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!”

“YOU GOTTA FIGHT - FOR YOUR RIGHT - TO PARTY!”

“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

Once?

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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

Anarcissi

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….

Henri

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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 !...

Henri

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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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