Key Posts Category
CHASE High School in Westcliff, Essex, is offering students ‘man days’. An Ofsted inspection found achievement among male students was “inadequate”. Victoria Overy, head teacher, says this is down to male students lacking a “positive male role model at home”. This lack of manliness has created a “barrier” to the boys’ learning. So. There are to be “man days”. These will teach the feckless lads how to be manly. They will taught things like – get this - “asking girls out and fine dining etiquette“. It’s the kind of useful stuff that will help them get cracking scores in their GCSEs and impress the female teachers.
FREEDOM of Speech is under attack on your student campuses. The London School of Economics (LSE) banned Chris Moos and Abhishek Phandis, of the student Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society (LSEASH), from wearing Jesus and Mo cartooons at the SU Freshers’ Fair on 3 October.
It’s not the Islamofascists and funny, dangerous foreigners eroding our free speech; it’s us.
But it’s all about equality, isn’t it? Only, if everyone gets to be equal, who gets to be free?
The University of Birmingham’s code of practice on freedom of speech on campus is long. A nine-page list of codes for being free and saying what you want in public. Because free speech needs a lot of explaining when it’s not free.
The University of Bolton actually wants students to debate what can be talked about before any event:
Anyone involved in organising a meeting or other activity, or processing a room booking should consider whether there is a possibility that the speaker may not be able to enter or leave the building safely and/or have the freedom within the law to deliver their speech; or that a breach of the civil or criminal law may be committed. The following is an indicative list of circumstances which might give rise to a reasonable apprehension that disruption or disorder may occur.
You know, the kind of things students might want to talk about are only allowed to be talked about with official approval lest the sensitive be upset. This is great:
(a) where the subject-matter of the meeting or activity includes in whole or in part Animal experimentation Immigration and nationality policy The supposed superiority or otherwise of racial/ethnic/religious groupings Blood sports Genocide A current or recent war (or revolution) Sexual abuse of children and paedophilia Abortion Drugs policy Terrorism Other local or national controversial matters
(b) when the guest or visiting speaker includes Any current Member of the House of Commons or Lords A present or former representative of any political party which has put forward candidates at a British or Irish Parliament election in the last 20 years Any member of the British or an overseas Royal family Any diplomat or the representative of a foreign power Any person who has previously been prevented from delivering a speech or whose presence has threatened a breach of the peace at the University or any other Higher Education Institution
(c) where the subject matter might be considered to be of a blasphemous (3) nature (not just in respect of Christianity), obscene or defamatory. This list is provided for guidance and is not intended to be exhaustive. If there is any doubt whether the Code applies, the guidance of the University Secretary and Clerk to the Governors should be sought.
Bolton then explains: “‘Blasphemy’ is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as ‘irreverent talk about God or sacred things’.”
And get this caveat to free speech from Exeter University:
The University expects students, staff, governors, the Students’ Guild and visitors to ensure freedom of speech within the law is assured. Whilst there is no legal prohibition on offending others, the University nevertheless believes that discussion that is open and honest can take place only if offensive or provocative action and language is avoided.
Talk about anything you like. But you must not offend anyone.
The LSE Code of Free Speech includes the gem: “The Conference and Events Office will normally screen bookings from within and outside of the School.”
Students, Give up now. Ideas are set in stone. Forget that speech is how we communicate ideas – both good and bad; how we shape lives; and just stick to the talking about the things the officials approve of. What ideas can be discussed has been decided upon. Free speech means freedom not only for the thoughts you approve of but those you despise. Don’t ban it. It just makes you look weak.
Last year, we noted that the LSEASH wanted to feature a picture of Muslim Prophet Mohammed and Jesus Christ “sitting in a pub having a pint” on its group Facebook page. The LSE Student Union was upset enough to call an “emergency meeting”.
WHAT makes a memorable, quotable quote, the kind of thing you slap in an essay at school to earn a tick, or include in an article to illustrate a point, your theories backed up by a person of note’s wit and wisdom? Like you, we have no idea. But Phil Lucas has nailed it. It could be anything. He’s taken Facebook status updates and attributed them to famous faces. No longer trite, the words are injected with meaning and depth. Well, maybe:
Martin Luther King
Madame Arcati’s Six Best Books of the Year 2013
Who isn’t trying to flog a book these days? Independent publishing is fracking vast quantities of creative gas long ignored under our nose. Kindles everywhere are growing slow on free and cheap literary downloads, perhaps one day to be read when the kids or pets have flown and the only alternative to a heart-warming phone chat with one of Esther Rantzen’s Silver Line Friends is that book you meant to read 20 years ago.Excellent books are there to be found, and here’s Madame Arcati’s brief guide to the six best this festive season (all titles hyper-linked to Amazon):
Madame Arcati’s Most Excellent Book of the Year
A Natural History of Ghosts: 500 Years of Hunting for Proof by Roger Clarke
Divine, darling. Or, as Craig Revel Horwood might say if not too busy eyeing up male dancer buttock curvature, ‘fab-u-larse!’ Published last year, the paperback released a few weeks ago, this is by far the most fascinating survey of paranormal sightings and encounters I have ever read.
Ingenuity starts at concept stage. Clarke sets out not to debate whether ghosts exist. He is much more interested in the anthropology of spectral experiences and research – or put another way, in relating true-life ghost tales, the ‘scientific’ attempts to understand them and in classifying the different types of spook: elementals, poltergeists, etc.
This is clever and fortuitous because Clarke knows he’d lose most of his mainstream critical audience if he entertained the notion, even for a moment, that ghosts exist as sentient post-mortem entities. One feature of secularism and atheism is the absolute conviction that life starts and ends with synaptic crackle ‘n’ pop. But there’s no question people have ghostly liaisons. I have seen a ghost. You probably have. Pliny wrote of a haunted house in 100 AD. The materialist will flesh out any unscientific explanation-away provided no concession is made to afterlife drivel. The winner is not rationalism but a replacement irrationalism.
Clarke knows all this as a veteran Poirot of psychical inquiry. So instead he sits us down by a log fire, creeps us out with weird tales, documents the countless vain attempts to solve the mystery of hauntings and treats the topic (of ghosts) as an aspect of immemorial human experience.
Clarke writes tremendously well – an essential component of any effects-driven tale both to satisfy the Bunsen burner know-all and trembly Susan Hill addict. The slightest hint of irony here and there gives sceptics their calorific fill while oo-ee-oo narrative pleases the rest of us. He is unafraid of the plodding nature of prose, the focus on patient set-ups – Gore Vidal called this vital writerly process ‘grazing’. The cow’s temperament is vital to story-telling.
I also commend Clarke’s end notes which combine scholarly learning with a sly sense of humour. At the very least you end up sceptically well-informed and enthralled.
Madame Arcati’s Most Promising Foreplay Read of 2014
The View from the Tower by Charles Lambert
One of the joys of reading is the foreplay. Before immersion I like to examine covers, read blurbs, savour hints in reviews or previews, gaze at the author pic (if any), perhaps tantalise myself with a glimpse of the first and last pages (I am intolerant of sequence and secrets – no author will control moi). Charles Lambert is new to me, I have not read his fiction yet; but we are engaged in foreplay (one-sidedly I hasten to add). I am sampling his work at present. I intend to go all the way with his novelThe View from the Tower, published on 2 January 2014.
This is the second in a Rome-set trilogy, so really I ought to consummate with the first in the series,Any Human Face (published in 2011). ‘A dark and fast-paced literary thriller about love, sex, art and death,’ is the terse description. I have the book in front of me. On the cover, a slim man in a black suit gazes warily up an ancient alleyway. An old-style pale blue motor scooter before him startles the period monochrome. Is the man hunting or being hunted? I don’t know.
I may read Any Human Face first. It has Malaysian nuns killing time at a second-hand bookstall – a sufficiently kinky observation to grab my attention. I suspect Lambert notices much that is surprising. I can smell his curiosity and his taste for the perverse.The View from the Tower is ’a psychological thriller about love and betrayal, and the damage done when ideals and human lives come into conflict.’ But I suspect it’s rich in peculiar detail, too. That’s what I want. Isn’t foreplay fun?
Madame Arcati’s Best Poppet Book of the Year 2013
Sleeping With Dogs: A Peripheral Autobiography by Brian Sewell
I just know I would hate art critic Brian Sewell in person. That face, fixed in a state of appalled shock. That voice, strangled to last-breath whine by an odd form of hostile genteelness – the sharp chip in the Whittard of Chelsea teacup rim. In death his visage will slowly, ineluctably draw into one final pull of grotesque disapproval, perhaps impossible in life, now achievable by the new physics of rot. Not even Tracey Emin’s art could trigger such a look.
Yet even a glorious c**t has his good side. Should you have a tail, a long tongue and a readiness to shit in public – Brian’s all yours. Preferably, you will not bore him with actual speech but simply advertise your wants with a growl and a howl. Brian has loved 17 doggies and there’s little they can do to sour his canine fetish. One bark and I’m already thinking of RSPCA extermination. But Brian loves the constant music of dog – and the relentless me-ism, the diva presumptions, the bad breath and foul turds. Why, he has four dogs at a time in his bed.
Brian is probably correct in thinking that dogs share with us the same range of emotions, hence the peculiar show that is Crufts. What perhaps he adores about them is their immediacy and lack of guile, that unmediated need for a cuddle and a scoff and walkies that requires nothing more from us than basic delivery followed by unconditional gratitude (the dog’s).
How can one fail to be ensorcelled by evidence of the total collapse of Brian’s default snobbery and disdain in the presence of his best friends? Meanwhile, dog walkers should continue to place street dog turd in plastic bags. Such sights please me no end.
Madame Arcati’s Most Wondair Book of the Year 2013
The Mitford Girls’ Guide to Life by Lyndsy Spence
I reviewed this delightful book back in August (clickhere) and am not in the least surprised at its success. It’s quirky, quintessentially English (which is odd because Lyndsy is Irish – I think), a guide and etiquette book of sorts but also a wallow in 20th Century interwar eccentricity. Daffy is another word that comes to mind.
Lyndsy has gutted the lives of the Mitford girls and turned them into parables, bullet point social codes and how-to guidance to live this life successfully. From Unity’s fixation on and pursuit of Hitler we learn: ’Don’t rush head first into an encounter with your idol as this will label you as another fan. Edge your way in slowly and discreetly.’ This example does raise a question over the precise location of Lyndsy’s tongue at times (in cheek, perhaps?) but there is sufficient quantity of information on the Mitford lives to reassure on overall deadpan purpose. Certainly I learnt a great deal more about the Mitties.
Lyndsy Spence is an author to watch. She is very young – and driven by a passion for old school glamour and style. Not only has she founded The Mitford Society with a large following but she has found time to release the first of the The Mitford Societyannuals which comprises many features and essays on the aristocratic clan. One piece is authored by me – I take you to the Arcati Horoscope Revue Bar where we learn more about the astrology of the gels as stripper potential is appraised. It’s all done in the best possible taste.
Madame Arcati’s Most Peculiar Novel Award 2013Death Flies, Missing Girls and Brigitte Bardot by Kenneth George King
Quite the oddest book I ever did read is this outré and outrageous nugget which bears the name Kenneth George King. Call me a spoilsport but one may as well know that the author is Eurovision’s very own bastard son and general vile perv, Jonathan King – the man who gave us Everyone’s Gone To The Moon. This fact alone will cause certain flowers to wilt. But hardier annuals and the odd cactus or two will be rewarded in their staying power. By the end of this book you will be dreaming about flies, naked boys and sex stars and other causes of ruin. JK has well and truly gone over to the surreal side – and the result is something most interesting.
Now that we live in a world of Twitter and gnomic ejaculation, King has produced what seems like a cut-up novel thrown together kaleidoscopically for attention deficit consumption. This is not quite Burroughs cut-up style but the many autobiographical bits strewn through the narrative have a snip-snip-paste quality. We learn quite a lot about prisons, Arab straight boys who like homosex, Barbara Windsor, a bit about Bardot of course and her right-wing husband, and, oh, glam hot places where JK goes for his hols. And about police procedure.
But what’s it all abaht? Well, yes. Good question. There is indeed a car accident in Morocco. And girls go missing in England, as the blurb promises. A killer lurks and plots and an old ‘superb’ detective sniffs. Flies offer clues of sorts. Different voices tell us what they see and do, not all of their perspectives entirely relevant; but always fascinating. That’s what it’s all abaht.
We are told on the cover that the novel has been submitted for the Man Booker Prize 2014. If an astrology novel can win, so can this.
Madame Arcati’s Novella of the Year 2013You’re Never Too Old by Fiona Pitt-Kethley
The world could do with a few more Fiona Pitt-Kethleys. Here’s a woman who could give Boudicca a run for her money. I love her poetry. I adore the stories about her. Non-payers will soon discover what I mean. You cross Fiona at your peril. She lives in Spain with her chess champion husband and family and cats. She cooks.
Here’s the thing about her very short novel, available only on Kindle at 77p. It’s not about James Bond – it can’t be because the Ian Fleming estate wouldn’t permit it. No siree. No, let’s get this straight. It’s not about Bond, James Bond. It’s about James Round – a retired spy. The sort of ‘feisty oldie’ Fiona worships. Perhaps Round sees himself as a latter-day Bond. We all have our dreams. In another universe I’m a pop star. Friends with Michael.
Anyway, Round is ancient. He’s stuck in some cold hovel in Scotland. He longs to get back to his old life of action, double agenting and leg-overing nubile pin-ups. A chance meeting re-opens up his life and before you know it he’s on a spying mission to a spa in Israel with senile drunken secretary Penny. Oh the fun we have. Round ain’t passed it. It’s treble dry Martinis all round.
I love Pitt-Kethley’s droll, throw-away humour, the teasing satire and the hopeful moral for the silver surfers. Saga magazine should serialise this tale. You’ll smile and you’ll laugh.
THE current top bid for a George Zimmerman original painting is US $97,700.00. That’s the same Zimmerman who shot dead Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager. And walked free from court. A jury acquitted him of second-degree murder and of manslaughter charges.
Now he’s famous.
TODAY, Keith Richards is 70 years old! We have to admire him, seeing as he’s about 1% blood and the rest is made up of cigarettes, drugs and urinal cakes.
The NME placed Keef on top of their list of rock stars most likely to die in 1973 and yet, somehow, he’s proven them all wrong by still being alive. We assume.
Of course, with such celebrations, most people would compile a list of Keef’s most scandalous moments, or maybe he’s greatest songs. They may even nerdgasm over his Top 10 Riffs.
However, those people are boring.
We’re going to look at ten interesting things that Keith Richards is older than. Yes, he may have looked like he was going to die on numerous occasions, but here he is, older than…
1. The atomic bomb, first detonated in 1945.
CHRISTMAS is pretty much here and you’ll no doubt be going out and getting drunk and dancing and all that fun stuff. However, hate to break it to you, but you’re a nightmare.
You need teaching how to interact with the world when you’re partying through the Yule. So, with that, here’s some helpful tips that will ensure you’re not absolutely loathed by all of humankind through the festive party season.
Chances are, you’ve been complaining about Christmas music on Facebook and Twitter solidly since mid-November. Suddenly, drunk, you get the urge to listen to a classic Christmas pop hit in a pub or bar. There might be a DJ on. You’re hammered at it is only 8pm so the DJs barely got their headphones on. Don’t bellow ‘PLAY SLADE!’ at them because, you terrific berk, they’ll be keeping that in the box ’til around midnight, when everyone is nicely drunk and game for something daft. It is a peak-time song. You peaked too early. Whatever you do, don’t get your iPhone out and offer to play it from that, especially if the only soundtrack is the pub jukebox. This makes you a dreadful arse doing no-one a favour.
ON December 31, 1967, the world saw the birth of The Youth International Party. The original Yippies were Abbie Hoffman, Anita Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Nancy Kurshan, and Paul Krassner.
Seated before a picture made to show President Johnson in a Hitler-life uniform, Dr. Timothy Leary holds conference in New York City, Feb. 21, 1968. The LSD advocate said he is tuning in with Peaceniks and Yippies and hopes to have a million young people in Chicago during the Democratic Party’s convention in August. He said he hopes they will disrupt the convention through ‘Flower Guerrilla’ warfare. At left is Abbie (cq) Hoffman, who said he is an organizer and at right is Jerry Rubin, peace movement worker.
Jerry Rubin had plans. (This is long. But stick with it.)
This is a Viet Cong flag on my back. During the recent hearings of the House Un-American Activities Committee in Washington, a friend and I are walking down the street en route to Congress – he’s wearing an American flag and I’m wearing this VC flag.
The cops mass, and boom! I am going to be arrested for treason, for supporting the enemy.
And who do the cops grab and throw in the paddy wagon?
My friend with the American flag.
And I’m left all alone in the VC flag.
“What kind of a country is this?” I shout at the cops. “YOU COMMUNISTS!”
Everything is cool en route to Canada until the border. An official motions me into a small room and pulls out a five-page questionnaire.
“Do you use drugs?” he asks quite seriously.
“Yeah,” I say.
“I mean DRUGS! He shouts.
“Coca Cola is more dangerous for you than marijuana,” I say. “F*cks up your body, and it’s addictive.”
“Have you ever advocated the overthrow of the Canadian government?” he asks.
“Not until I get into Canada.”
Have you ever been arrested for inciting to riot?”
I reply no, and it is true. In August I was arrested in Chicago for something similar, “solicitation to mob action,” a violation of a sex statute.
Finally I ask the border official to drop out. “Man, your job is irrelevant,” I say. “The Canadian-American border does not exist. There are no such things as borders. The border exists only in your head.
“No state has the right to ask me these questions. The answers are mine. Next thing I know you guys will be tapping my brain!”
I try to get the cat to take off his uniform right there. But he refuses, saying, “I’ve got a job to do and a family to support.”
So goes the cancer of the Western World: everyone just doing his “Job.” Nobody learned the lesson of Eichmann. Everyone still points the finger elsewhere.
America and the West suffer from a great spiritual crisis. And so the yippies are a revolutionary religious movement.
We do not advocate political solutions that you can vote for. You are never going to be able to vote for the revolution. Get that hope out of your mind.
And you are not going to be able to buy the revolution in a supermarket, in the tradition of our consumer society. The revolution is not a can of goods.
Revolution only comes through personal transformation: finding God and changing your life. Then millions of converts will create a massive social upheaval.
The religion of the yippies is: “RISE UP AND ABANDON THE CREEPING MEATBALL!”
That means anything you want it to mean. Which is why it is so powerful a revolutionary slogan. The best picket sign I ever saw was blank. Next best was: “We Protest__________!”
Slogans like “Get out of Vietnam” are informative, but they do not create myths. They don’t ask you to do anything but carry them.
Political demonstrations should make people dream and fantasize. A religious-political movement is concerned with people’s souls, with the creation of a magic world which we make real.
When the national media first heard our slogan, they reported that the “creeping meatball” was Lyndon Johnson. Which was weird and unfair, because we liked Lyndon Johnson.
We cried when LBJ dropped out. “LBJ, you took us too literally! We didn’t mean YOU should drop out! Where would WE be if it weren’t for you, LBJ?”
Is there any kid in America, or anywhere in the world, who wants to be like LBJ when he grows up?
As a society falls apart, its children reject their parents. The elders offer us Johnsons, Agnews, and Nixons, dead symbols of a dying past.
The war between THEM and US will be decided by the seven-year-olds.
We offer: sex, drugs, rebellion, heroism, brotherhood.
They offer: responsibility, fear, Puritanism, repression.
Dig the movie Wild in the Streets! A teenage rock-and-roll singer campaigns for a Bobby Kennedy-type politician.
Suddenly he realizes: “We’re all young! Let’s run the country ourselves!”
“Lower the voting age to 14!”
“14 or FIGHT!”
They put LSD in the water fountains of Congress and the Congressmen have a beautiful trip. Congress votes to lower the voting age to 14.
The rock-and-roll singer is elected President, but the CIA and military refuse to recognize the vote. Thousands of long-hairs storm the White House, and six die in the siege. Finally the kids take power, and they put all people over 30 into camps and given them LSD every day. (Some movies are even stranger than OUR fantasies.)
“Don’t trust anyone over 30!” say the yippies – a much-quoted warning.
I am four years old.
We are born twice. My first birth was in 1938, but I was reborn in Berkeley in 1964 in the Free Speech movement.
When we say “Don’t trust anyone over 30,” we’re talking about the second birth. I got 26 more years.
When people 40 years old come up to me and say, “Well, I guess I can’t be part of your movement,” I say, “What do you mean? You could have been born yesterday. Age exists in your head.”
Bertrand Russell is our leader. He’s 90 years old.
Another yippie saying is “THE GROUND YOU STAND ON IS LIBEATED TERRITORY!”
Everybody in this society is a policeman. We all police ourselves. When we free ourselves, the real cops take over.
I don’t smoke pot in public often, although I love to. I don’t want to be arrested: that’s the only reason.
I police myself.
We do not own our own bodies.
We fight to regain our bodies…to make love in the parks, say “fuck” on television, do what we want to do whenever we want to do it.
Prohibitions should be prohibited.
Rules are made to be broken.
Never say “no.”
The yippies say: “PROPERTY IS THEFT.’
What America got, she stole.
How was this country built? By the forced labor of slaves. America owes black people billions in compensation.
“Capitalism” is just a polite schoolbook way of saying: “Stealing.”
Who deserves what they get in America? Do the Rockefellers deserve their wealth? HELL NO!
America says that people work only for money. But check it out: those who don’t have money work the hardest, and those who have money take very long lunch hours.
When I was born I had food on my table and a roof over my head. Most babies born in the world face hunger and cold. What is the difference between them and me?
Every well-off white American better ask himself that question or he will never understand why people hate America.
The enemy is this dollar bill right here in my hand.
Now if I get a match, I’ll show you what I think of it.
This burning gets some political radicals very uptight. I don’t know exactly why. They burn a lot of money putting out leaflets nobody reads.
I think it is more important today to burn a dollar bill than it is to burn a draft card.
“Humm, pretty resilient. Hard to burn. Anybody got a lighter?”
We go to the New York Stock Exchange, about 20 of us, our pockets stuffed with dollar bills. We want to throw real dollars down at all those people on the floor playing monopoly games with numbers.
An official stops us at the door and says, “You can’t come in. You are hippies and you are coming to demonstrate.”
With TV cameras flying away, we reply: “Hippies? Demonstrate? We’re Jews. And we’re coming to see the stock market.”
Well, that gets the guy uptight, and he lets us in. We get to the top, and the dollars start raining down on the floor below.
These guys deal in millions of dollars as a game, never connecting it to people starving. Have they ever seen a real dollar bill?
This is what it is all about, you sonavabitches!!”
Look at them: wild animals chasing and fighting each other over dollar bills thrown by the hippies!
And then someone calls the cops . The cops are a necessary part of any demonstration; always include a role for the cops. Cops legitimize demonstrations.
The cops throw us out.
It is noon. Wall Street Businessmen with briefcases and suits and ties. Money freaks going to lunch. Important business deals. Time. Appointments.
And there we are in the middle of it, burning five-dollar bills. Burning their world. Burning their Christ.
“Don’t, Don’t!” some scream, grasping for the sacred paper. Several near fist-fights break out.
We escape with our lives.
Weeks later The New York Times publishes a short item revealing that the New York Stock Exchange is installing a bullet-proof glass window between the visitor’s platform and the floor, so that “nobody can shot a stockbroker.”
In Chicago, 5,000 yuppies come, armed only with our skin. The cops bring tanks, dogs, guns, gas, long-range rifles, missiles. Is this South Vietnam or Chicago? America always overreacts.
The American economy is doomed to collapse because it has no soul. Its stability is war and preparation for war. Consumer products are built to break, and advertising brainwashes us to consume new ones.
The rich feel guilty. The poor are taught to hate themselves. The guilty and the wretched are on a collision course.
If the men who control the technology used it for human needs and not profit and murder, every human being on the planet could be free from starvation. Machines could do most of the world: People would be free to do what they want.
We should be very realistic and demand the impossible. Food, housing, clothing, medicine, and color TV free for all!!
People would work because of love, creativity, and brotherhood. A new economic structure would produce a new man.
That new structure will be created by new men.
American society, because of its Western-Christian-Capitalist bag, is organized on the fundamental premise that man is bad, society evil, and that: People must be motivated and forced by external reward and punishment.
We are a new generation, species, race. We are bred on affluence, turned on by drugs, at home in our bodies, and excited by the future and its possibilities.
Everything for us is an experience, done for love or not done at all.
We live off the fat of society. Our fathers worked all-year round for a two-week vacation. Our entire life is a vacation.
Every moment, every day we decide what we are going to do.
We do not groove with Christianity, the idea that people go to heaven after they are dead. We want HEAVEN NOW!
We do not believe in studying to obtain degrees in school. Degrees and grades are like money and credit, good only for burning.
There is a war going on in the Western world: a war of genocide by the old against the young.
The economy is closed. It does not need us. Everything is built.
So the purpose of universities is: to get us off the streets. Schools are baby-sitting agencies.
The purpose of the Vietnam War is: to get rid of blacks. They are a nuisance. America got the work she needed out of blacks, but now she has no use for them.
It is a psychological war. The old say, “We want you to die for us.” The old send the young to die for the old.
Our response? Draft-card burning and draft dodging! We won’t die for you.
Young whites are dropping out of white society. We are getting our heads straight, creating new identities. We’re dropping out of middle-class institutions, leaving their schools, running away from their homes, and forming our own communities.
We are becoming the new niggers.
I’m getting on a plane en route to Washington. An airline official comes up to me and says, “You can’t go on this airplane.”
“Why not?” I ask.
“Because you smell.”
That’s what they used to say about black people, remember? They don’t say that about black people anymore. They’d get punched in their fucking mouths.
Our long hair communicates disrespect to America. A racist, short-hair society gets freaked by long hair. It blinds people. In Vietnam, America bombs the Vietnamese, but cannot see them because they are brown.
Long-hair is vital to us because it enables us to recognize each other. We have white skin like our oppressors. Long hair ties us together into a visible counter-community.
A car drives down the street, parents in front, and a 15-year-old longhair kid in back. The kid gives me the “V” sign! That’s the kind of communication taking place.
Within our community we have the seeds of a new society. We have our own communications network, the underground press. We have the beginnings of a new family structure in communes. We have our own stimulants.
When the cops broke into my home on the Lower East Side to arrest me for possession of pot, it was like American soldiers invading a Vietnamese village. They experienced cultural shock.
Fidel Castro was on the wall. They couldn’t believe it! Beads! They played with my beads for 20 minutes.
When the cops kidnapped me in Chicago, they interviewed me as if I had just landed from Mars.
“Do you f*ck each other?”
“What is it like on LSD?”
“Do you talk directly with the Viet Cong?”
The two generations cannot communicate with one another because of our different historical experiences.
Our parents suffered through the Depression and World War II. We experience the consumer economy and the U.S.A. as a military bully in Vietnam.
From 1964 to 1968 the movement has been involved in the destruction of the old symbols of America. Through our actions we have redefined those symbols for the youth.
Kids growing up today expect school to be a place to demonstrate, sit-in, fight authority, and maybe get arrested.
Demonstrations become the initiation rites, rituals, and social celebrations of a new generation.
Remember the Pentagon, center of the military ego? We urinated on it. Thousands of stone freaks stormed the place, carrying Che’s picture and stuffing flowers in the rifles of the 82nd Airborne.
Remember the Democratic Convention? Who, after Chicago, can read schoolbook descriptions of national political conventions with a straight face anymore? The farce within the convention became clear because of the war between the yippies and the cops in the streets.
We are calling the bluff on myths of America. Once the myth is exposed, the structure behind it crumbles like sand. Chaos results. People must create new realities.
In the process we create new myths, and these new myths forecast the future.
In America in 1969 old myths can be destroyed overnight, and new ones created overnight because of the power of television. By making communications instantaneous, television telescopes the rev solution by centuries. What might have taken 100 years will now take 20. What used to happen in 10 years now happens in two. In a dying society, television becomes a revolutionary instrument.
For her own protection, the government is soon going to have to suppress freedom of the press and take direct control over what goes on television, especially the news.
TV has dramatized the longhair drop-out movement so well that virtually every young kid in the country wants to grow up and be a demonstrator.
What do you want to be when you grow up? A fireman? A cop? A professor?
“I want to grow up and make history.”
Young kids watch TV’s thrill-packed coverage of demonstrations – including the violence and excitement – and dream about being in them. They look like fun.
Mayor Daley put out this television film about Chicago. It had cops beating up young longhairs. In one scene, the cops threw a tear-gas canister into the crowd, and one demonstrator picked it up and heaved it right back.
Who do you think every kid in the country identified with?
Then the announcer said the chiller: “These demonstrations are Communist led!…”
Communism? Who the hell knows from Communism? We never lived thro8ugh Stalin. We read about it, but it doesn’t affect us emotionally. Our emotional reaction to Communism is Fidel marching into Havana in 1959.
There is NO WORD that the Man has to turn off your youth, no scare word.
“They’re for ANARCHY!”
Damn right, we’re for anarchy! This country is fucking over-organized anyway. “DON’T DO THIS! DON”T DO THAT, Don’t!”
Growing up in America is learning what NOT to do.
We say: “DO IT, DO IT. DO WHATEVER YOU WANT TO DO.”
Our battlegrounds are the campuses of America. White middle-class youth are strategically located in the high schools and colleges of this country. They are our power bases.
If one day 100 campuses were closed in a nationally coordinated rebellion, we could force the President of the United States to sue for peace at the conference table.
As long as we are in school we are prisoners. Schools are voluntary jails. We must liberate ourselves.
Dig the geography of a university. You can always tell what the rulers have up their sleeves when you check out the physical environment they create. The buildings tell you how to behave. Then there is less need for burdensome rules and cops. They designed classrooms so that students sit in rows, one after the other, hierarchically facing the professor who stands up front talking to all of them.
“Listen to the Professor.
“He teaches you.
“Keep your place.
“Don’t stretch out.
“Don’t lie on the floor.
“Don’t speak out of turn.
“Don’t take off your clothes.
“Don’t get emotional.
“Let the mind rule the body.
“Let the needs of the classroom rule the mind.
Classrooms are totalitarian environments. The main purpose of school and education in America is to force you to accept and love authority, and to distrust your own spontaneity and emot8ons.
How can you grow in such an over-structured environment? You can’t. Schools aren’t for learning.
Classrooms should be organized in circles, with the professor one part of the circle. A circle is a democratic environment.
Try breaking up the environment. Scream “Fuck” in the middle of your prof’s lecture. ‘
So we organized a University of the Flesh. Four of us go into a classroom. We sit in the middle of the class. The lecture is on “Thinking.”
We take off our shirts, smoke joints and start French kissing. A lot of students get nervous. This goes on for 10-15 minutes, and the professor goes on with his lecture like nothing is happening.
Finally a girl says, “The people there are causing a distraction, and could they either put their shirts back on or could they please leave.”
And the prof says, “Well, I agree with that. I think that if you’re not here to hear what I’m saying…”
We shout: “You can’t separate thinking from loving! We are hard in thought!!”
And the prof says, “Well, in my classroom I give the lessons.”
Scratch a professor deep and you find a cop!
Fucking milquetoast! Didn’t have the guts to throw us out, but in his classroom HE GIVES the lesson. So he sends his teaching assistant to get the cops, and we split.
The mind is programmed. Get in there and break that bloody program!
Can you imagine what a feeling a professor has standing in front of a class and looking at a room full of bright faces taking down every word he says, raising their hands and asking questions? It really makes someone think he is God. And to top it off, he has the power to reward and punish you, to decide whether or not you are fit to advance in the academic rat race.
Is this environment the right one for teacher and student?
Socrates is turning in his grave.
I was telling a professor of philosophy at Berkeley that many of his students were wiser men than he, even en though he may have read more books and memorized more theories.
He replied, “Well, I must take the lead in the transfer of knowledge.”
Transfer of knowledge! What is knowledge?
How to Live.
How to Legalize Marijuana.
How to Make a Revolution.
How to Free People from Jail.
How to Organize Against the CIA.
When a professor takes off his suit and tie, and joins us in the streets, then I say, “Hay man, what’s your first name?” You’re my brother. Let’s go. We’re together.”
I don’t dig the “professor” bullshit. I am more interested in a 15-year-old stoned dope freak living on street corners than I am in a Ph.D.
There is anti-intellectualism in America because professors have created an artificial environment. That is why the average working guy does not respect professors.
The university is a protective and plastic scene, shielding people from the reality of life, the reality of suffering, of ecstasy, of struggle. The university converts the agony of life into the securi6ty of words and books.
You can’t learn anything in school. Spend one hour in a jail or a courtroom and you will learn more than in five years spent in a university.
All I learned in school was how to beat the system, how to fake answers. But there are no answers. There are only more questions. Life is a long journey of questions, answered thro8ugh the challenge of living. You would never know that, living in a university ruled by the “right” answers to the wrong questions.
Graffiti in school bathrooms tells you more about what’s on people’s minds than all the books in the library.
We must liberate ourselves. I dropped out. The shit got up to my neck and I stopped eating. I said: NO. NO. NO!! I’m dropping out.
People at Columbia found out what it felt like to learn when they seized buildings and lived in communes for days.
We have to redesign the environment and remake human relationships. But if you try it, you will be kicked out.
You know what professors and deans will say? “Of you don’t like it here, why don’t you go back to Russia!”
A lot is demanded of white, middle-class youth in 1969. The whole thing about technological and bureaucratic society is that it is not made for heroes. We must become heroes.
The young kids living in the streets as new niggers are the pioneers of tomorrow, living dangerously and existentially.
The yippies went to Chicago to have our counter-festival, a “Festival of Life” in the parks of Chicago, as a human contrast to the “Convention of Death” of the Democrats.
I get a phone call on Christmas Day, 1967 from Marvin Garson, the editor of the San Francisco Express-Times, and he says, “Hay, it looks like the Peace and Freedom Party is not going to get on the ballot.”
I say, “I don’t care. I’m not interested in electoral politics anyway.”
And he says, “Let’s run a pig for President.”
An arrow shoots through my brain. Yeah! A pig, with buttons, posters, bumper stickers.
“America, why take half a hog, when you can have the whole hog.”
At the Democratic convention, the pigs nominate the President and he eats the people.
At the yippie convention, we nominate our pig and after he makes his nominating speech, we earth him. The contrast is clear: should the President earth the people or the people earth the President?
Well, we didn’t kill our pig. If there is one issue that could split the yippies, it is the issue of vegetarianism. A lot of yippies don’t believe in killing and eating animals, so I had to be less militant on that point.
We bring Pigasus to Chicago, and he is arrested in Civic Center. The cops grab him. They grab seven of us, and they throw us in the paddy wagon with Pigasus.
The thing about running a pig for President is that it cuts through the shits. People’s minds are full of things like, “You may elect a greater evil.” We must break through their logic. Once we get caught in their logic, we’re trapped in it.
Just freak it all out and proclaim: “This country is run on the principles of garbage. The Democratic and Republican parties have nominated a pig. So have we. We’re honest about it.”
In Chicago, Pigasus was a hell of a lot more effective than all those lackeys running around getting votes for the politicians. It turned out that the pig was more relevant to the current American political scene than Senator Eugene McCarthy. I never thought McCarthy could reform the Democratic Party. Hell, McCarthy barely got into the convention himself. He had to have a ticket. That’s how controlled the damn thing was. Finally, we forced McCarthy out into the streets with the people.
The election was not fair because every time we brought eh pigs out to give a campaign speech, they arrested him. It happened in Chicago, in New York, in San Francisco, even in London.
The yippies asked that the presidential elections be cancelled until the rules of the game were changed. We said that everyone in the role should both in American elections because America controls the world.
Free elections are elections in which the people who vote are the people affected by the results. The Vietnamese have more right to vote in the American elections than some 80-year-old grandmother in Omaha. They’re being bombed by America! They should have at least some choice about it, how, and by whom they are going to be bombed.
I have nothing in particular against 80-year-old grandmothers, but I am in favor of lowering the voting age to 12 or 14 years. And I’m not sure whether people over 50 should vote.
It is the young kids who are going to live in this world in the next 50 years. They should choose what they want for themselves.
Most people over 50 don’t think about the potentialities of the future: they are preoccupied with justifying their past.
The only people who can choose change without suffering blows to their egos are the young, and change is the rhythm of the universe.
Many older people are constantly warning: “The right wing will get you.” “George Wallace will get your momma.”
I am so scared of George Wallace that I wore his fucking campaign button. I went to his campaign rally – all old ladies.
There are six Nazis who come with black gloves and mouthpieces, looking for a fight. And two fights break out. Two guys with long hair beat the shit out of them.
I am not afraid of the right wing because the right wing does not have the youth behind it.
“Straight” people get very freaked by Wallace. “Freaks” know the best way to fuck Wallace up. We support him.
At Wallace’s rally in the Cow Palace in Sand Francisco, we come with signs saying “CUT THEIR HAIR1” “SEND THEM BACK TO AFRICA!” “BOMB THE VIETNAMESE BACK TO THE STONE AGE!”
When we arrive there is a picket line going on in front of the rally. I recognize it is the Communist Party picketing.
What? Picketing Wallace?
I walk up to my friend Bettina Aptheker and say, “Bettina, you’re legitimizing him. You’re legitimizing him by picketing. Instead, support him, kiss him. When he says the next hippie in front of his car will be the last hippie, cheer! Loudly!”
We have about two hundred people there, and we are the loudest people at the rally. Every five seconds we are jumping up and swearing. “Heil! Hitler! Heil! Hitler!”
Wallace is a sick man. America is the loony bin. The only way to cure her is through theatrical shock. Wallace is necessary because he brings to the surface the racism and hate that is deep within the country.
The hippie Fugs spearheaded the anti-war movement of the past five years by touring theaters and dance halls shouting into a microphone: “Kill, Kill, Kill for Peace! Kill, Kill, I’ll for Peace!”
Wallace says aloud what most people say privately. He exposes the beast within liberal America. He embarrasses the liberal who says in one breath, “Oh, I like Negroes,” and then in another breath, “We must eliminate crime in the streets.”
Remember what Huey Long said: “When fascism comes to America, it will come as Americanism.”
Wallace may be the best thing for those of us who are fighting him. You can only fight a disease after you recognize the diagnose it. America does not suffer from a cold: she has cancer.
The liberals who run this country agree with Wallace more than they disagree with him. George tells tales out of school. The liberals are going to have to shut that honest motherfucker up.
Do you dig that most cops support Wallace? Cops – the people who make and enforce the law in the streets! Wallace speaks FOR them.
Isn’t that scary? Can’t you see why blacks are getting guns and organizing into small self-defense units? Wouldn’t you, if you were in their situation? Shouldn’t you be?
Make America see her vampire face in the mirror. Destroy that gap between public talk and private behavior. Only when people see what’s happening can they hear our screams, and feel our passion.
The Vietnam War is an education for America. It is an expansive teaching experience, but the American people are the most brink-washed people in the world.
At least the youth are learning that this country is no paradise – America kills infants and children in Vietnam without blinking. Only professional killers can be so cool.
If you become hip to America in Vietnam, you can understand the reaction against the red-white-and-blue in Latin America, and you can feel why China hates us.
They are not irrational – America is.
Wallace is a left-wing agitator. Dig him. He speaks to the same anxiety and powerlessness that the New Left and yippies talk about.
Do you feel overwhelmed by bigness, including Big Government?
Do you lack control over your own life?
Are you distrustful of the politicians and bureaucrats in Washington?
Are you part of the “little people?”
Wallace stirs the masses. Revolutions should do that too.
When is the left going to produce an inflammatory and authentic voice of the people? A guy who reaches people’s emotions? Who talks about revolution the way some of those nuts rap about Christ?
Wallace says: “We’re against niggers, intellectuals, liberals, hippies.”
Everybody! He puts us all together. He organizes us for us.
We must analyze how America keeps people down. Not by physical force, but by fear. From the second kids are hatched, we are taught fear. If we can overcome fear, we will discover that we are Davids fighting Goliath.
In late September a friend calls and says, “Hay, I just got a subpoena from HUAC.”
I say, “Yeah” I didn’t. What’s going on here? I’m angry. I want a subpoena too.
It’s called subpoenas envy.
So I telephone a confident to the Red Squad, a fascist creep who works for the San Francisco Examiner, and I say, “Hey, Ed, baby, what about HUAC? Are they having hearings?”
He answers, “Well, I don’t know. Are they?”
Well, my friend just got a subpoena.” I say. “I’d like on too. If you can manage it.”
He says, “Call me back in a few hours.”
I call him back that afternoon and he says, “Well, I just talked to HUAC in Washington, and you are right. They are having hearings, and they are looking for you in New York.”
In NEW YORK? I’ve been in Berkeley a week! You guys are sure doing a shitty job trying to save this country!”
We exaggerate the surveillance powers of cops. We shouldn’t. They are lazy. Their laziness may be the one reason why America doesn’t yet have a totally efficient police state.
The cops were not lazy in Chicago. They followed the “leaders” continuously, 24 hours a day. If you are trailed by four cops just six steps behind you, you can’t do very much.
But the people really doing things – why, the cops didn’t even know who they were!
Pigs cannot relate to anarchy. They do not understand a movement based on personal freedom. When they look at our movement, they look for a hierarchy: leaders, lieutenants, followers.
The pigs think that we are organized like a pig department. We are not, and that’s why we are going to win. A hierarchical, top-down organization is no match for the free and loose energy of the people.
As the pigs check with their high-ups to find out what to do next, we have already switched the tactics and scene of the battle. They are watching one guy over there, and it is happening over here!
I come to the HUAC hearings wearing a bandolero of real bullets and carrying a toy M-16 rifle on my shoulder. The rifle was a model of the rifles the Viet Cong steal and then use to kill American soldiers in Vietnam.
The pigs stop me at the door of the hearings. They grab the bullets and the gun. It is a dramatic moment. Press and yippies pack us in tightly. The pigs drag me down three flights of stairs and remove the bullets, leaving the gun, Viet Cong pajamas, Eldridge Cleaver buttons, Black Panther beret, war paint, earrings, bandolero, and the bells which ring every time I move my body. My costume carried a nonverbal message: “We must all become stoned guerrillas.”
The secret to the costume was the painted tits. Guerrilla war in America is going to come in psychedelic colors. We are hippie-guerrillas.
In HUAC’s chambers Abbie Hoffman jumps up and yells out, “May I do to the bathroom?” Young kids reading that in their hometown papers giggle because they have to ask permission every time they want to go to the bathroom in school.
The message of my costume flipped across the country in one day: an example of our use of the enemy’s institutions – her mass media – to turn on and communicate with one another.
I wore a Santa Clause costume to HUAC two months later in a direct attempt to reach the head of every child in the country.
Our victories are catching up with us: America isn’t ready to napalm us yet, but the future doesn’t look easy.
From June to November 1968, when I was helping to organize the demonstrations against the Democratic convention in Chicago, I experienced the following example of Americana:
New York pigs use a phony search warrant to bust into my apartment, question me, beat me, search the apartment and arrest me for alleged felonious possession of marijuana; a pig in Chicago disguises himself as a biker to “infiltrate” the yippies as an agent provocateur and spy; he busts me on a frame-up, “solicitation to mob action,” a felony punishable by five years in the pen; the judge imposes $25,000 bail and restricts my travel to Illinois; then the Justice Department in a document to a Virginia court admits that it maintains “electronic surveillance…of Jerry Rubin..in the interests of national security.”
To try to suppress youth, Nixon will have to destroy the Constitution.
We will be presumed guilty until proven innocent.
Our privacy will vanish. Big Brother will spy on all of us and dominate our lives.
Every cop will become a law until himself.
The courts will become automatic transmission belts sending us to detention camps and prisons.
People will be arrested for what they write and say.
Congress will impose censorship on the mass media, unless the media first censors itself, which is more likely.
To be young will be a crime.
In response, we must never become cynical, or lose our capacity for anger. We must stay on the offensive and be aggressive: AMERICA: IF YOU INJURE ONE, YOU MUST FIGHT ALL.
If our opposition is united, the repression may backfire and fail. The government may find the costs too heavy.
Don’t think, “They can never get ME.”
You are either on the side of the cops or on the side of human beings.
Rubin was great communicator.
In 1970, he published Do It!.
His account was eye-opening to say the least. “I went to work for Jerry soon after I lost my job at the Peace Eye Bookstore,” he said. “I was the ghost writer for the book. That meant that I conceptualized the whole book and created a myth so that it would all hang together. I designed it so that it would look and feel like the six-o’clock news, and so it broke out of the linear mode. I was inspired by Quentin Fiore who had worked with Marshall McLuhan on The Medium is the Massage; later we brought in Fiore to be the official designer, and I worked closely with him. That was a fabulous experience, and I went on to become a graphic designer.”…
The year 1970, when Do It! was published — and became a bestseller…
Scholars who are partial to early SDS and who dislike the Yippies and the Weathermen tend to ignore 1970, 1971, and 1972. Those years were a time of immense social and political ferment, and, lo and behold, it wasn’t the 1960s anymore on the calendar. There was rioting in the streets from coast-to-coast; resistance to the war in Vietnam, and soon afterward sabotage, in and out of the military, to the widening wars in Laos and Cambodia.
There was the growth of rural communes, the spread of marijuana, the rise of women’s liberation, and gay liberation, too. Nixon was in the White House; John Mitchell was the Attorney General. To radicals, it seemed as though America was becoming a fascist nation, which is why Rubin & Co. used the German spelling for America in Do It!, as in, “I am a child of Amerika,” and “F*ck Amerika.” Rubin was definitely angry — for intensely personal as well as overtly political reasons. As a young man, he had lost his parents and felt like an orphan and lost.
“Subvert!!” Rubin and his assistants wrote in the next-to-the last chapter in the book. They added, “That’s the task of every young person. Spread ideas that undercut the consistent world of Amerika, and then top it off by burning her symbols — from draft cards to flags to dollar bills.” College kids and high school kids did all those things, not only or just because Jerry told them to, of course, but Jerry definitely played a part in making protest and rebellion happen, along with Abbie Hoffman, his fellow Yippie.
“Marijuana makes each person God.” So reads a sentence in the chapter, “Keep pot illegal.” I had seen too many stoned college dropouts to accept the view that pot had divine properties. Do It! also proclaims, “The New Left said: I protest. The hippies said: I am.”…
At the very end, there’s a utopian description of the future:
“People will farm in the morning, make music in the afternoon and fuck wherever and whenever they want to. The United States of Amerika will become a tiny yippie island in a vast sea of Yippieland love.”
It was easy, of course, to laugh at and dismiss those Yippie notions, and many radicals and liberals did laugh, though in his introduction toDo It!, Eldridge Cleaver — then a Black Panther living in exile in Algeria — took Yippie ideas seriously, all-too seriously one might add. When Cleaver ran for President in 1968 on the Peace and Freedom Party, Rubin had been his running mate for Vice President.
In his introduction to Do It!, Cleaver admits that not all of Rubin’s ideas appealed to him, but that enough of them did for him to regard Rubin as a brother. “Right on,” Cleaver wrote. “All Power to the People.” It definitely was a time of slogans and gestures.
More books would follow.
In 1968, Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin issued a call to arms:
Come into the streets on Nov. 5, election day. Vote with your feet . Rise up and abandon the creeping meatball! Demand the bars be open. Make music and dance at every red light. A festival of life in the streets and parks throughout the world.
The American election represents death, and we are alive. Come all you rebels, youth spirits, rock minstrels, bomb throwers, bank robbers, peacock freaks, toe worshippers, poets, street folk, liberated women, professors and body snatchers: it is election day and we are everywhere.
Don’t vote in a jackass‐elephant‐cracker circus. Let’s vote for ourselves. Me for President. We are the revolution. We will strike and boycott the election and create our own reality. Can you dig it: in every metropolis and hamlet of America boycotts, strikes, sit‐ ins, pickets, lie‐ins, pray‐ins, feel‐ins, piss‐ins at the polling places.
Nobody goes to work. Nobody goes to school. Nobody votes. Everyone becomes a life actor of the street doing his thing, making the revolution by freeing himself and fucking up the system. Ministers dragged away from polling places. Free chicken and ice cream in the streets. Thousands of kazoos, drums, tambourines, triangles, pots and pans, trumpets, street fairs, firecrackers–a symphony of life on a day of death. LSD in the drinking water. Let’s parade in the thousands to the places where the votes are counted and let murderous racists feel our power. Force the National Guard to protect every polling place in the country. Brush your teeth in the streets. Organize a sack race. Join the rifle club of your choice. Freak out the pigs with exhibitions of snake dancing and karate at the nearest pig pen. Release a Black Panther in the Justice Department. Hold motorcycle races a hundred yards from the polling places. Fly an American flag out of every house so confused voters can’t find the polling places. Wear costumes. Take a burning draft card to Spiro Agnew. Stall for hours in the polling places trying to decide between Nixon and Humphrey and Wallace. Take your clothes off. Put wall posters up all over the city. Hold block parties. Release hundreds of greased pigs in pig uniforms downtown.
Check it out in Europe and throughout the world thousands of students will march on the USA embassies demanding to vote in the election cause Uncle Pig controls the world. No domination without representation. Let’s make 2‐300 Chicago’s on election day. (On election day let’s pay tribute to rioters, anarchists, Commies, runaways, draft dodgers, acid freaks, snipers, beatniks, deserters, Chinese spies. Let’s exorcise all politicians, generals, publishers, businessmen, Popes, American Legion, AMA, FBI, narcos, informers.
And then on Inauguration Day Jan. 20 we will bring our revolutionary theater to Washington to inaugurate Pigasus, our pig, the only honest candidate, and turn the White House into a crash pad. They will have to put Nixon’s hand on the bible in a glass cage. Begin now: resist oppression as you feel it. Organize and begin the word of mouth communication that is the basis of all conspiracies …. Every man a revolution! Every small group a revolutionary center! We will be together on election day.
A plan was formed.
At the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, YIP planned a six-day Festival of Life to combat the “Convention of Death” This promised to be “the blending of pot and politics into a political grass leaves movement – a cross-fertilization of the hippie and New Left philosophies.”
First on a list of Yippie demands: “An immediate end to the war in Vietnam.”
An advert was posted in the press:
Join us in Chicago in August for an international festival of youth music and theater. Rise up and abandon the creeping meatball! Come all you rebels, youth spirits, rock minstrels, truth seekers, peacock freaks, poets, barricade jumpers, dancers, lovers and artists. It is summer. It is the last week in August and the NATIONAL DEATH PARTY meets to bless Johnson. We are there! There are 500,000 of us dancing in the streets, throbbing with amplifiers and harmony. We are making love in the parks. We are reading, singing, laughing, printing newspapers, groping and making a mock convention and celebrating the birth of FREE AMERICA in our own time.
…New tribes will gather in Chicago. We will be completely open, everything will be free. Bring blankets, tents, draft cards, body paint, Mrs. Leary’s cow, food to share, music, eager skin and happiness. The threats of LBJ, Mayor Daley and J Edgar Freako will not stop us. We are coming! We are coming from all over the world!
The life of the American spirit is being torn asunder by the forces of violence, decay and the napalm, cancer fiend. We demand the politics of ecstasy. We are the delicate spoors of the new fierceness that will change America. We will create our own reality, we are Free America. And we will not accept the false theatre of the Death Convention. We will be in Chicago. Begin preparations now! Chicago is yours! Do it!
Girl holds up Yippie sign in Chicago’s Civic Center on August 23, 1968, when a group called the Youth International Party set the mood around Picasso rusty iron sculpture by launching a pig as its presidential candidate.
So when Rubin and Kurshan and Krassner met at Abbie and Anita’s house that afternoon to celebrate the coming of the New Year, they had all pretty much agreed that having some kind of youth festival in Chicago during the Democratic Convention was a good idea. And they knew that they’d have Ed Sanders and Keith Lampe, and a few other people whom they’d all worked with before, join them in organizing the event. They also knew that in all likelihood the National Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam would call for a formal antiwar demonstration in Chicago and that they would have to make sure that people understood that what they planned would be an alternative to the straight demonstration the Mobe would hold. They would not be sleepwalking through marches or rallies with speechmaking. They were going to have a festival and it was going to be fun. It was going to be politics of a whole other kind. Both Rubin and Hoffman saw the Chicago event as the active culmination of all the changes they had been going through.
Hippies, yippies and other anti-war demonstrators congregate in Lincoln Park in Chicago on August 25, 1968, while delegates to the Democratic National Convention poured into them. Some organized a march into the Loop from the near North Side Park in an orderly demonstration against the war in Vietnam.
Hoffman said his radical roots were linked to his parents Jewish identity, or lack of one:
* My parents got sucked into the social melting pot, where they were to simmer uncomfortably for the next thirty years. Having opted for life in mainstream America it became very difficult, even hypocritical for them to try to push any strict code of tradition down our throats.… Deep down I’m sure we felt our parents’ generation was a bunch of cop outs. Six million dead and except for the Warsaw ghetto hardly a bullet fired in resistance.… I was shuttled back and forth between Orthodox yeshiva after school on weekdays and the reform Temple Emanuel on weekends. It was getting me pretty mixed up. Eventually tefillin and Torah lessons gave way to dancing classes and discourses (in English) on the nature of life and how good things were in America.
Their faces painted like clowns, Yippies march in front of the Conrad Hilton, Democratic convention headquarters hotel, in Chicago on August 25, 1968.
The authorities refused to issue a permit for the demo. Chicago police repeatedly clashed with protesters. Violence ensued.
Eight protesters were charged with conspiracy to incite the riots, and there was a heavily publicized, five-month trial. The Chicago Seven featured three Yippie defendants: Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, and Lee Weiner. Several other Yippies – including Stew Albert, Wolfe Lowenthal, Brad Fox and Robin Palmer – were among another 18 activists named as “unindicted co-conspirators” in the case. While five of the defendants were initially convicted of crossing state lines to incite a riot, all convictions were soon reversed in appeal court.
Long haired and bearded Hippies and Yippies use park benches at Grant Park’s Band Shell to construct a barricade against Chicago police and National Guardsmen in Chicago on August 28, 1968. The confrontation left many injured and arrested. Grant Park is at the edge of downtown Chicago near the Conrad Hilton Hotel. The hotel is the headquarters for the Democratic National Convention now in session in Chicago.
Jerry Rubin, leader of the Youth International Party (Yippies) and a leader of the demonstrations during the Democratic convention in Chicago on Sept. 9, 1968, burns a newspaper copy of Mayor Richard J. Daley’s report on the activities of police and demonstrators that week. Rubin also challenged Daley to a television debate on the merits of the report.
Jerry Rubin’s story is not so very different. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1938. His parents were Jewish but their class status was less certain than the Hoffmans’. Rubin’s mother was well-educated and cultured but his father was a truck driver and later a business agent for the Teamsters…
Rubin’s mother died in 1960 and his father in 1961. They left Jerry a decent inheritance and the responsibility for his young brother, Gil. Shortly before his father died, Rubin had quit his job and won a scholarship to study in India. The task of taking care of Gil, which Rubin took very seriously, changed his plans. Instead of India, Rubin decided to take Gil to Israel, which seemed a more appropriate move to those family members who were looking over Jerry’s shoulder. He went in part to do some graduate work in Jerusalem but mainly to check out Israel and think about the future. Rubin stayed almost a year and a half but he found himself increasingly sympathetic to the Palestinians and repelled by semi-socialist Israel’s turn to bourgeois comforts and securities. Rubin mixed with leftists in Israel and became increasingly radicalized, seeing the world more and more from a Marxist perspective. In January 1964, Rubin left Israel in a professional mood and went to Berkeley to begin a Ph.D. program in sociology. He lasted six weeks in the program but he stayed in Berkeley for the next three years.
In the superheated atmosphere of Berkeley, Rubin, now twenty-six years old, became a full-time political activist. Unlike Hoffman, who left Berkeley before the student movement had really begun, Rubin came just as it caught fire. He was a fervent participant in the Free Speech movement and quickly moved into leadership roles in the Berkeley antiwar movement. He also spent two months, that first summer in Berkeley, on a trip to Cuba led by the Progressive Labor party. This, Rubin later said, “was the final step for me.… I started to see things the way the Cubans did.”
In early 1967, Rubin took a different tack and ran for mayor of Berkeley. His was a thoughtfuL workable, albeit radical platform (it included free heroin for addicts and community control of a disarmed police force). He wore a suit and a tie and issued a twenty-four- page booklet that used a semi-psychedelic format to present twenty-four carefully worded, well-reasoned one-page stands on local and national issues. He talked of building “a new political movement … and a new political party.” Though he had started the campaign as a lark, once into it he turned serious, and in a very issue-oriented campaign spoke at shopping centers and shook hands on street corners. Rubin thought he might win and was sorely disappointed when he finished a distant second in a four-man race (he had 22% of the vote, the winner had 69%). He decided that the compromises and the ensuing alienation from his militant comrades that electoral politics demanded were too high a price to pay for the long-shot opportunity to change things from within. Rubin turned his back on electoral politics with a vengeance, and for a long time scorned, as only one who’s been there could, the co-optive powers of the American political system.
These are undated photos of the Chicago Seven activists. From top left are: David Dellinger, Thomas E. Hayden, Lee Weiner and John R. Froines. Bottom from left are: Jerry Rubin, Rennard C. Davis and Abbie Hoffman.
Rubin could talk.
In the fall of 1967, David Dellinger, chairman of the Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam, asked Jerry to be project director of the October antiwar march in Washington, D.C. He picked Rubin in order to bring some zip to the unfocused demonstration. Rubin, a little bit at loose ends, agreed and moved to New York in the summer of 1967. Immediately, he began arguing for a militant, colorful protest. It was his idea to march on the Pentagon and confront the war makers. In New York, Rubin discovered Abbie Hoffman. Quickly, the two became partners and close friends.
Thus, by the time Rubin and Hoffman got together late in December to celebrate the New Year and talk about Chicago, they’d known each other about four months and had already worked together on a few different projects. Each knew how the other thought. And that was important when you’re planning a new trip high on grass and acid.
Abbie Hoffman, leader of the Youth International Party known as the Yippies, is escorted by police after his arrest at O’Hare Field in Chicago upon his arrival from New York on Sept. 17, 1968. He was sought for not appearing in court on Sept. 6 to answer charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Police said a switchblade knife and a knife with a four-inch blade was found on Hoffman, who was then booked on charges of unlawful use of weapon. At left is his attorney Gerald B. Lafcourt.
Policemen escort Jerry Rubin, shirtless leader of the Yippies, from the hearing room of the House Committee on Un-American Activities on Oct. 1, 1968. It was the second time that Rubin was ejected the first time was shortly after the committee opened hearings in the morning on its investigation of the Chicago demonstrations during the Democratic National Convention
Abbie Hoffman is stopped by police as he arrives on the U.S. Capitol grounds wearing a shirt of the American flag design on Oct. 3, 1968. He is in Washington, D.C. for a hearing of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Hoffman was arrested and charged with mutilating the American flag.
Jerry Rubin, prominent in the Yippie movement, arrives at House Un-American Activities Committee hearing in Washington on Oct. 3, 1968, in his customary garb and carrying his toy plastic machine gun. Rubin was scheduled to be the first witness of the day’s session inquiring into the disorders in Chicago during the Democratic National Convention.
Abbie Hoffman, left, and Jerry Rubin wear boxing gloves as they meet newsman in rainy Washington outside the Justice Department to publicize their cause on Oct. 27, 1969. They are among eight accused of conspiring to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. They denounced Vice President Spiro T., Attorney, General John N. Mitchell and Judge Julius J. Hoffman of the U.S. District Court in Chicago.
Jerry Rubin, a Yippie Leader, chats with a companion in Chicago on Dec. 3, 1968, who said her name was Nancy, after he was ordered by judge to call off his collegiate lecture tour and stay in Illinois until his trial on charges of soliciting mob action at the Democratic National Convention. Judge Minor K. Wilson ruled Rubin could leave the state for New York City court appearances and to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in Washington.
The Chicago Seven defendants hold a news conference in Chicago, Ill., during their 1969 trial on charges of conspiracy to riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. From left, standing, are: Abbie Hoffman, John Froines, Lee Weiner, Dave Dellinger, Rennie Davis and Tom Hayden. Seated is defendant Jerry Rubin, with his girlfriend, Nancy Kurshan, who was not part of the trial.
Yippie leader Jerry Rubin, barred on December 4, from House Un-American Activities subcommittee hearing, aims a toy gun in ‘self defense’ outside the Washington hearing room on Dec. 5, 1969. Rubin showed up in his Santa Clause suit because he believed it was typical of the committee which, he said, ‘is a total circus.’
Jerry Rubin, in cape, and Abbie Hoffman, just behind him make their way through crowd today to address a symposium on drugs at the State University of New York at Buffalo on March 1, 1969.
Yippie leader Abbie Hoffman, of New York, wears a Chicago Police Dept. insignia on his shirt as he makes his way to a Federal courtroom for an arraignment in Chicago, Ill. on April 9, 1969. Hoffman is charged with conspiring to cross state lines to cause civil disorders.
Yippie leader Abbie Hoffman holds a toy bomb in New York City on Sept. 16, 1969. Hoffman says toy bombs will be distributed for a demonstration in Chicago when he goes on trial next week. He and seven others, known as the Chicago Seven, are charged with having conspired to riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
Bearded Lee Weiner and Abbie Hoffman, right, wrap themselves in white paper while a supporter Dick OÂBrien, uses a large shears to prune an extraneous lock of hair, in front of the Federal Building in Chicago on Sept. 6, 1969, where they are on trial with six other on charges of conspiring to incite mob action during the 1968 Democratic Convention. The signs say, send hair to Jerry Rubin, another defendant, who is locked up in Cook County jail when not in courtroom.
Holding a chocolate bar, 3-year-old Malik Seale sits in lap of his mother, Artie Seale, at news conference in Federal Building in Chicago on Oct. 30, 1969. They are the wife and son of Black Panther leader Bobby Seale who is on trial with seven others charged with conspiring to incite rioting during the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. Ordered strapped to his seat and gagged to insure silence, Seal freed himself today and shouted at Judge Julius Hoffman, presiding at his trial.
Why the Chicago Seven when eight were arrested?
* Mr. Rubin and other defendants — Mr. Hoffman, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, David Dellinger, John Froines and Lee Weiner — all charged with conspiracy to disrupt the Democratic convention, taunted the iron-willed judge, Julius J. Hoffman. The judge ordered an eighth defendant, Bobby Seale, tried separately because he was so disruptive.
Young people stand line at daylight in hopes of being seated in federal courtroom where the Chicago Seven on trial in Chicago, Jan. 2, 1970. Some, bundled against subfreezing weather, stood all night.
Yippie leader and co-defendant at the Chicago conspiracy trial Jerry Rubin speaks to MSU students on the East Lansing campus on Saturday, Jan. 10, 1970. Rubin lampooned trial procedure and referred to Judge Julius Hoffman and prosecutors as oppressive. Rubin was invited to speak on the campus by MSU’s Center for Urban and MenÂ’s Hall Association.
Debris is thrown at a bus carrying members of the jury as it leaves the underground parking area of the Federal Building on Wednesday in Chicago, Feb. 18, 1970. The bus is transporting jurors to hotel where they were quartered during long trial.
Defendants in the Chicago 7 trial are transported back to the Cook County Jail in a truck with the word ?help? written above the headlight, Feb. 19, 1970 in Chicago after a jury found five of them guilty of inciting disorders at the time of the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Two were found innocent, but all have been sentence for contempt of court.
Federal Marshall Ron Dombrowski escorts two members of the Chicago 7 jury, Mrs. Ruth L. Petersen, front and Mrs. Mildred Burns, from the service entrance of a Chicago Hotel, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 1970 after they were released from duty. The women, both housewives were members of a jury that found five political activists guilty of coming to Chicago to incite riots at the time of the 1968 Democratic National Convention
Protesting the conviction and sentencing this week of five of seven defendants in the 100-day trial on charges of crossing state lines to incite riots at time of Democratic Convention in 1968, this crowd gathered in Federal Building plaza in downtown Chicago, Feb. 21, 1970. In background are signs an effigy in stars and stripes attached to a hangman?s rope.
This is how defendant in Chicago riot trial Jerry Rubin looks in Chicago on Feb. 24, 1970, after he was given haircut to conform with standards of Cook County Jail. John Dellinger, who is balding, did not require any barber treatment.
This is how Tom Hayden, one of the seven defendants in the Chicago riot trial, looked, Feb. 24, 1970, after he was given haircut to conform with standards of Cook County Jail
Anti-war activist Jerry Rubin, along with other defendants in the Chicago Seven conspiracy trial, speaks to the press in this February 1970 photo. Front row, from left: Rennie Davis, Rubin, Abbie Hoffman. Back row, from left: Lee Weiner, Bob Lamb and Thomas Hayden.
Protestors picket outside Chicago?s Federal Building, Sunday, Feb. 15, 1970 after Judge Julius Hoffman handed out prison sentences for contempt in the trial of seven men charged with plotting violence
Dissidents who roamed Berkeley streets after a rally supporting the Chicago Seven broke numerous store windows. Rocks are being thrown at the glass front of a super market in downtown Berkeley, California, Feb. 16, 1970.
Riot equipped police close in on a youth during melee that erupted in front of the Federal Courthouse in Seattle, Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 1970. More than 1,000 demonstrators gathered in front of the courthouse. Glass doors were smashed in the building. The dog shown in the photo was owned by the youth, it was not a police dog.
Young people attending a rally supporting the Chicago Seven watch as an effigy of Judge Julius Hoffman, the Chicago federal judge who press at the trial, is burned at Provo Park in Berkeley, California, Monday, Feb. 17, 1970. Demonstrators later marched downtown and broke many store windows.
Defense lawyer William Kunstler, left, beside a man carrying a stuffed pig and his colleague Leonard Weinglass, right, with marchers during demonstration outside the Federal Building in Chicago, Monday, Feb. 16, 1970. Sign in background welcomes people to Pigcago.
Jerry Rubin, left, and Abbie Hoffman, right, sit bound and gagged during a news conference they called in New York on Tuesday, March 24, 1970 and in which neither said a word. In center background is Rosemary Leary, wife of LSD advocate Dr. Timothy Leary. Rubin and Hoffman were convicted last month of crossing state lines to incite to riot in 1968 at the time of the Democratic convention in Chicago.
Abbie Hoffman, Yippie leader, uses an unusual handkerchief at an antiwar demonstration in Washington, D.C. May 9, 1970. The cloth was described as being composed of stripes and stars.
Attorney William Kunstler, who represented the Chicago 7 in their trials there, bites on a Philadelphia soft pretzel as he pays for convention literature at session of the Black Panthers-sponsored meetings in Philadelphia, Sept. 5, 1970.
Civil rights attorney William Kunstler sports a new tie decorated with peace symbol as he leaves federal court in New Orleans, Thursday, July 23, 1970, where he represented H. Rap Brown at a hearing on charges of intimidating a federal agent. Kunstler said he didnÂt know the whereabouts of the black militant who has been missing since March.
In November 1970, Rubin appeared on The David Frost show:
Yippie leader, Abbie Hoffman and wife Anita, pose in their Mt. Sinai Hospital room in New York July 24, 1971 prior to discharge with their new son, ” America.” Abbie wraps baby son in American flag prior to leaving.
They used technology
* Hoffman, like many later conspirators, made extensive use of pay- phones for his agitation work — in his case, generally through the use of cheap brass washers as coin-slugs.
During the Vietnam War, there was a federal surtax imposed on telephone service.
Hoffman argued that in systematically stealing phone service they were engaging in civil disobedience: virtuously denying tax funds to an illegal and immoral war.
1971: Abbie Hoffman and a telephone enthusiast sarcastically known as “Al Bell” began publishing a newsletter called Youth International Party Line. This newsletter was dedicated to collating and spreading Yippie rip-off techniques, especially of phones.
Self proclaimed yippie, Alan J. Weberman, pursues a new kind of sidewalk research: analyzing garbage, outside the home of singer-poet Bob Dylan in New York on Oct. 12, 1971. He holds an unsmoked cigar and a plastic bag full of diapers. Weberman claims his garbage research gives an added, if somewhat unusual, insight into the lives of personages.
Yippie leader Jerry Rubin wearing a Red, White, and Blue shirt with the word Vote across his front speaks before a small crowd on the lawn of the Convention Hall in Miami Beach, Florida on Feb. 17, 1972. Rubin is a leader of the Youth International Party and was sent to Miami Beach to survey the site of the Democratic convention which convenes in July. Rubin predicted that 10,000 nudes would march down Washington Avenue in front of convention hall during the convention.
One of the original Chicago 7 defendants, Jerry Rubin, left, smiles alongside defense attorneys Leonard I. Weinglass, center, and William Kunstler, right, as they were interviewed in Chicago on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 1973, during a recess in their new trial on contempt charges. The government rested its case after introducing a transcript of 23,000 pages of the five-month long conspiracy trial.
Jerry Rubin, convicted of contempt of court, draws some inferences about unequal justice during federal building lobby press conference in Chicago on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 1973. Behind him are two others who were convicted, David T. Dellinger, left, and Williams Kunstler, center, Chicago 7 defense lawyer. A fourth defendant who was convicted, Abbie Hoffman, was not present.
Chicago 7 conspiracy defendant Jerry Rubin, left, and lawyer William Kunstler embrace in Chicago on Thursday, Dec. 6, 1973, after they were free without jail sentences on contempt to court convictions. Also freed were two members of the original Chicago 7 who were not present at ThursdayÂs ruling on sentence. Four others of the original defendants and attorney Leonard Weinglass were acquitted earlier of the contempt charges. All of the defendants have been cleared of the charges for which they were originally brought to trial in 1968.
Talk show host Dick Cavett, third from left, talks during taping of his network show with, from left, Tom Hayden, Abbie Hoffman, Cavett, Jerry Rubin, and Rennie Davis, four famous leftist figures of the 1960s, Feb. 6, 1974. A spokesman for ABC television network announced that the taping would not be aired because the program was not “balanced” by opposing views.
Dr. Eugene Schoenfeld, author of “Dr. Hip-pocrates” costumed in boxing kangaroo outfit, appears in protest to press conference held in San Francisco, Sept. 18, 1974 by former associates of Dr. Timothy Leary. Counter-culture figures who condemned Leary’s alleged testimony before a grand jury, include from right; his son, Jack Leary, 25; Guru Baba Ram Das, poet Allen Ginsberg, Jerry Rubin and Ken Kelley, standing. Person standing at rear is unidentified.
Jerry Rubin, the former radical and Chicago 8 defendant, tells an interviewer the theme of his new book in Los Angeles on March 23, 1976: the hope for society is a spiritual movement; openness; the family; love. The book is his inner story, Growing Up at 37.
* 1976 was the turning point for Rubin. That year, at a Manhattan cocktail party, he met an ex-debutante named Mimi Leonard, who worked for ABC-TV. She was two inches taller than him, 11 years his junior, and had written a paper on Rubin and Hoffman while she was at Columbia. Rubin proposed on their first date. They moved into an Upper West Side apartment.
That same year, Rubin invested some money in a little company called Apple Computer. By 1980, according to People Magazine, Rubin was studying to become a securities broker, and felt no guilt about deserting his Yippie roots:
“I’m still trying to close the gap between institutions and human values,” he says. “But with the country’s belief system in such disarray, it’s not effective for me to be the shocking outsider anymore.” So Jerry pulls down $36,000 learning to sell “environmentally positive” securities, while Mimi, 31, is a $20,000-a-year commodities futures trader in the World Trade Center, a few blocks away.
“It’s a misconception that Mimi got me to go straight,” Rubin cautions. “She’d have been willing to lead a more hippie-ish existence, but I’m either too ambitious or too bored for that.”
“I know that I can be more effective today wearing a suit and tie and working on Wall Street than I can be dancing outside the walls of power,” he once said.
Poet Allen Ginsburg, backed by the Kinky Friedman Band, sings some of his own songs at a rally for Abbie Hoffman at Madison Square Garden’s Felt Forum, Aug. 23, 1978. Ginsberg predicted that the fugitive Yippie leader would show up looking like Ginsberg.
Yippie Pie-thrower Aron Kay is escorted by police from New York’s cooper union, Thursday, Oct. 25, 1979 after scoring a hit on the side of California Gov. Jerry Brown’s head with a Lemon-Coconut Pie. Kay would only say that Brown was not doing anything for the prison system and prisoners in California.
Former Yippie leader Abbie Hoffman, right, talks to reporters after he posted bail in New York City on Sept. 16, 1980. Hoffman’s mother, Florence, left, and his companion Johanna Lawrenson stand beside him. Hoffman was arrested on drug possession charges.
This is a December 1984 photo of Jerry Rubin.
Hoffman, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, committed suicide in 1989; Rubin was killed while trying to cross Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles in 1994. He was jaywalking.
Abbie Hoffman waves the U.S. flag as members of the Chicago Seven who were involved in the famous 1970 trial pose with actors who will portray them in the HBO movie ?The Chicago Conspiracy Trial,? in Los Angeles on Friday, Jan. 30, 1987. Front row from left to right are: Lee Weiner, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, Jerry Rubin, John Froines and Bobby Seale. Back row from left to right are: actors Robert Fieldsteele (Weiner); Michael Lembeck (Hoffman); Brian Benben (Hayden); Robert Carradine (Davis); Barry Miller (Rubin); David Kagen (Froines); and Carl Lumbly (Seale).
All captions are of their time.
WE’VE all heard the arguments why vinyl or digital music is best – no need to beat a dead horse. It is this author’s humble opinion that vinyl wins by a landslide due to analog sound superiority and the customer satisfaction of owning something tangible. But that is neither here nor there. Instead, let’s look at a few minor points that belong in vinyl’s “win column”.
1. The Joy of Looking
Nothing can beat the joy of perusing the shelves of Ye Olde Record Store. Whether you were on a mission, or just hoping for a serendipitous find, it was an enjoyable endeavor all around. Plus, the record store was often a hangout and so there was a social element to the process as well.
Turin-Lyon Train Riots: Nina De Chiffre Charged With Sexual Violence For Kissing Policeman’s Helmet (Photos)
“I WANTED to make fun of them [the police], and I would say that we were successful,” said Nina De Chiffre, a 20-year-old protestor from Milan. She was demonstrating in Turin against a high-speed train link between Turin and Lyon. During the protests, De Chiffre kissed the helmet of riot officer Salvatore Piccione.
IT’S Christmas! Time for a rip-off…
The historic album charts are full of magnificent Christmas Number Ones, including runs by the Beatles from 1963 to 1965 and 1967 to 1969. Ironically, however, the one year they didn’t manage the feat was 1966 – when their record label released a greatest hits collection specifically for the Christmas market.
The album was something of a rip-off, in that it consisted of pre-released hits, plus one song that had not been yet released in the UK. Thus fans wishing to hear the boys’ cover version of Larry Williams’s Bad Boy were forced to shell out for a full-price album.
ON March 4, 1966, John Lennon, 25, was talking to Maureen Cleave, reporting for the London Evening Standard. The article was entitled How Does A Beatle Live? John Lennon Lives Like This. It was behind-the-scnes look at John. The article spoke of his status:
When John Lennon’s Rolls-Royce, with its black wheels and its black windows, goes past, people say: ‘It’s the Queen,’ or ‘It’s The Beatles.’ With her they share the security of a stable life at the top. They all tick over in the public esteem-she in Buckingham Palace, they in the Weybridge-Esher area. Only Paul remains in London.
DISCO music started with a fair amount of street cred; it wasn’t until it was marketed to oblivion that it fell out of favor. Like other counterculture movements (i.e. the hippie, psychedelic, punk, and grunge) it found its way to the mainstream whereby it was diluted and force fed to the masses. Disco, once an underground movement, flooded pop culture in the latter half of the 70s to such an extent that a backlash was inevitable.
AFTER a man, stood onstage at Nelson Mandela’s memorial waving his arms around wildly, making up sign language as he went along, leaving deaf South Africans wondering if they were watching someone being attacked by invisible wasps, it got us appreciating what those who do sign-language can do.
They appear on TV, at press conferences and as groups of children during emotional renditions of songs at opening ceremonies. They even have sign language at some festivals now.
And, with absolute and maximum respect for what they do, they can be very amusing sometimes. With that, let us look at the Top 5 signing moments.
No. The massive charlatan at Nelson Mandela’s gig doesn’t count this time round.
Sign Language Meets Donk
Donk took over small towns for a summer and, due to the nature of such a heavy beat, it could actually be perfect for deaf people. However, they shouldn’t be denied the hilarious lyrics of ‘Put A Donk On It’. One signer on TV impressively kept up with the rapid fire lyrics. A lesser human would’ve been doubled up with body cramps one verse in. This is probably the best video on the internet.
THE Times of Israel reports:
A Romanian public broadcaster aired a Christmas carol celebrating the Holocaust.
TVR3 Verde, a television channel for rural communities, presented the carol on December 5 during its maiden transmission.
Sung by the Dor Transilvan ensemble, it featured the lyrics: “The kikes, damn kikes, Holy God would not leave the kike alive, neither in heaven nor on earth, only in the chimney as smoke, this is what the kike is good for, to make kike smoke through the chimney on the street.”
In a statement, TVR3 (Romanian Public Television Channel 3) distanced itself from the broadcast, saying it did not select the carol but only broadcast songs that were chosen and compiled by the Center for Preservation and Promotion of Traditional Culture, which belongs to the eastern county of Cluj.
TVR considers the selection “an uninspired choice and therefore notified the Cluj County Council of this,” the broadcaster’s statement read.
UP UNTIL the health craze of the 1980s, your average meal consisted of meat, more meat, an additional piece of meat, and one more piece of meat for good measure garnished with a tiny fleck of vegetable matter.
NICE’S Petite Syrah café is offering customers the chance to get a discount on their coffee. Asking for a “a coffee” will set you back €7. But “a coffee please” is €4.25. “Hello, a coffee please” is a bargain €1.40.
Of course, this being France, anyone speaking in an English accent will be ignored. But why does the Petite Syrah stop there? Why not extend the offers to all manner of manners?
LET’S face facts: Christmas in 1960s and 70s pop culture was presented as lily white as the wind-driven snow. Holiday specials consisted of lots of smiling Caucasians in festive sweaters singing their little hearts out. Most Christmas tunes on the radio were tailor made for the likes of Pat Boone and Andy Williams – two individuals who I believe legally patented the term “white bread”. I mean, I like Perry Como as much as the next guy, but sometimes it’s nice to funk things up with a little afro-centric vibe (and, no, Johnny Mathis does not count).
MADIBA Watch: a look at non-South African journalists and politicians calling Nelson Mandela ‘Madiba’. Sure they have a deep link to the traditional Xhosa culture, but non-South Africans addressing Mandela as Madiba can look a bit trying-too-hard. They can sound like a bit of a wally:
Jaclyn Schiff, a South African, explains who can call Mandela ‘Madiba’:
1. You are one of his children
2. You’ve been married to him at some point
3. You’ve played on South Africa’s national rugby team, the Springboks
4. You hold a current, official, real South African passport
5. You are married to someone who fits at least one of the items on this list
6. Your name is Bill Clinton and you’re a former U.S. president
7. You hold an MFA in modern dance with a specialization in the Madiba Shuffle
8. You’re former Rolling Stone reporter and recent Time managing editor Rick Stengel and you collaborated on Mandela’s autobiography
9. You played Mandela in a Hollywood movie
10. Your collection of Batik Mandela shirts numbers at least 1,000
11. You spent the night of May 5, 2013, camped outside Mandela’s home in Houghton
12. You were in Cape Town on February 11, 1990 to cheer Mandela’s release from prison
13. You know Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika by heart
14. You sing Shosholoza to encourage your favorite sports team
15. You know how to pronounce Mandela’s given name, Rolihlahla
All good. But I’d just stick at number 4.
A woman takes a picture with her phones of a statuette of former South African President Nelson Mandela with a sign in front of it reading in Italian “Ciao Madiba” (Goodbye Madiba), referring to Mandela’s clan name, displayed amongst other statuettes of famous personalities, including Pope Francis, left, in the shop of an artisan of nativity scenes, in Naples’ San Gregorio Armeno street, Italy, Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. Mandela died Thursday at his home in Johannesburg at the age of 95.
TO the Nelson Mandela jamboree, where David Cameron, Barack Obama and “Danish PM”are the stars of what the Sun is calling “Selfie-gate”.
All eyes, however, should be on Michelle Obama, who could well be thinking: “The blondes. Always the blondes.”
ON May 10 1998, four men made a dramatic appearance on the platform at a special Sinn Fein conference in Dublin. There was ‘stamping of feet, wild applause and triumphant cheering’ during a 10 minute ovation while the men known as the Balcombe Street gang stood grinning with clenched fists in the air. At the same conference, and to great applause, Gerry Adams described the four men as ‘our Nelson Mandelas!’
WHEN Nelson Mandela died, the tribute industry went into overdrive. Words were said. Acres of newsprint filled. Hours of television focused on one man. He is praised rightly for his strength of character in facing down a brutal, humiliating and dehumanising system underpinned by the fraud of white supremacy. And then John Simpson, the BBC reporter, said that Mandela’s death at 95 left him feeling orphaned. The white BBC man was orphaned by the death of the 95-year-old black South African? They had shared blood, as father to son?
We looked around. Was anyone else rolling their eyes? Yes.
28 UP is the greatest TV franchise ever created. It’s not the one that has made the most money or the most famous but it is the greatest, a true document of human experience that has stretched across decades and charted its beautiful, broken, bruised and buoyant quality. The children of the original Up series are now adults, some have stuck with the show throughout, others have come and gone from the frame. Their lives have opened up to us every 7 years and for many those ‘characters’ have been anchor points in their own lives.
28 Up South Africa accidentally arrived this week at a striking time. Nelson Mandela’s death fresh in my mind I watched the reality of modern South Africa for the children of apartheid, the generation that has been stalked by and brutalised by the dread hand of HIV and AIDS. Mandela changed South Africa forever but he was not and could not be a saint or a superhero. In his final moments, he will have been justified in smiling at what he helped usher in with sheer force of will and determination but also carrying a heaviness in his heart that inequality and pain still dog his people, both black and white, so relentlessly.