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Were you ever a Hippie ?
I know a lot of Daily Kos people were, especially in the corners of the site where I spend a lot of time. You see the initials DFH all the time. Even if you weren't a Hippie, even if you didn't move to San Francisco in the summer of '67, I'm sure you're familiar with some aspects of the Hippie culture. It was a general dissatisfaction with the sameness and conformity of mainstream American culture, it was pacifism and an opposition to all wars and it had a spiritual side, a search for some other way of knowing that led to Eastern philosophy. That culture didn't just erupt spontaneously in Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco. Many people place the origins of Hippie culture in nearby North Beach in the '50s, where so-called called "Beat" poets and writers hung out. It's true that before Kesey there was Kerouac and the literary lineage is easy to trace, not to mention the personalities. But the Beats had their influences too and I believe the Hippie culture can ultimately be traced back to the writing of one man, Henry Miller, the World's First Hippie.
The project had been conceived as early as 1935. Air-Conditioned Nightmare was to be "a loaded gun at the head of America." In 1940 Doubleday agreed to publish it and gave Henry an advance of $500, part of which he used to purchase a 1932 Buick. He drove the car down south to Mobile, went back to New York to see his ailing father, then started his trip by train with stops in Cleveland, Youngstown, Detroit, Chicago and Pittsburgh. He did not like the great industrial cities.
It was in a hotel in Pittsburgh that I finished the book on Ramakrishna by Romain Rolland. Pittsburgh and Ramakrishna – could any more violent contrast be possible ? The one the symbol of brutal power and wealth, the other the very incarnation of love and wisdom.The above quote is from the chapter entitled Good News! God Is Love!. Note that he's been reading about Ramakrishna. Henry had an interest in spirituality. Early on it was Madame Blavatsky and Theosophy but he read widely and later settled on Taoism after reading Tao Te Ching and Zhuagzi. Typical Hippie. He was passionate about Astrology too, Age of Aquarius anyone ? Here's another quote from Air-Conditioned Nightmare, same chapter as above:
We begin here then, in the very quick of the nightmare, in the crucible where all values are reduced to slag.
I am in a small, supposedly comfortable room of a modern hotel equipped with all the latest conveniences. The bed is clean and soft, the shower functions perfectly, the toilet seat has been sterilized since the last occupancy, if I am to believe what is printed on the paper band which garlands it; soap, towels, lights, stationery, everything is provided in abundance.
I am depressed, depressed beyond words. If I were to occupy this room for any length of time I would go mad – or commit suicide. The spirit of the place, the spirit of the men who made it the hideous city that it is, seeps through the walls. There is murder in the air. It suffocates me.
The saddest sight of all is the automobiles parked outside the mills and factories. The automobile stands out in my mind as the very symbol of falsity and illusion. There they are, thousands upon thousands of them, in such profusion that it would seem as if no man were too poor to own one. In Europe, Asia, Africa the toiling masses of humanity look with watery eyes towards this Paradise where the worker rides to work in his own car. What a magnificent world of opportunity it must be, they think to themselves. (At least we like to think that they think that way!) They never ask what one must do to have this great boon. They don’t realize that when the American worker steps out of his shining tin chariot he delivers himself body and soul to the most stultifying labor a man can perform. They have no idea that it is possible, even when one works under the best possible conditions , to forfeit all rights as a human being. They don’t know that the best possible conditions (in American lingo) mean the biggest profits for the boss, the utmost servitude for the worker, the greatest confusion and disillusionment for the public in general. They see a beautiful, shining car which purrs like a cat; they see endless concrete roads so smooth and flawless that the driver has difficulty staying awake; they see cinemas which look like palaces; they see department stores with mannikins dressed like princesses. They see the glitter and paint, the baubles, the gadgets, the luxuries; they don’t see the bitterness in the heart, the skepticism, the cynicism, the emptiness, the sterility, the despair, the hopelessness which is eating up the American worker. They don’t want to see this – they are full of misery themselves. They want a way out: they want the lethal comforts, conveniences, luxuries. And they follow in our footsteps – blindly, heedlessly, recklessly.Same chapter, on American mass culture:
The most terrible thing about America is that there is no escape from the treadmill which we have created. There isn’t one fearless champion of truth in the publishing world, not one film company devoted to art instead of profit. We have no theater worth the name, and what we have of theater is practically concentrated in one city; we have no music worth talking about except what the Negro has given us, and scarcely a handful of writers who might be called creative.After his visit to the industrial heartland, Miller took the train back to Mobile, retrieved his car and headed west. Somewhere in Texas he got on Route 66. Car trouble in Albuquerque gave him material for a chapter he called Automotive Passacaglia about cars and mechanics. He wanted to stop and see Mesa Verde but the roads were washed out. He went on to Flagstaff and then up to the Grand Canyon where he spent nine days at the Bright Angel Lodge on the South Rim. At the lodge he met a "desert rat" who had spent time among the Navajo. Miller had immense respect for Native Americans. This exchange appears in the chapter called Desert Rat:
By way of answer he said that there were legends which predicted the downfall of the white man through some great catastrophe - fire, flood or some such thing.Henry continued his road trip on Route 66, Kingman, Barstow, San Bernardino, all the way to the end. He hoped to make some money in Hollywood writing screenplays. That didn't pan out but he did end up moving to California, to Northern California, Big Sur. He lived in Big Sur from 1944 until 1963. Lawrence Ferlinghetti moved up to Big Sur in the 50s and I'm sure Ferlinghetti and his whole Beat salon, including Jack Kerouac, met Henry Miller. Henry considered Kerouac the best of the Beat writers. Would Kerouac have gone On The Road if he hadn't read Air-Conditioned Nightmare ? Would he have been a Dharma Bum without having read Henry Miller ? We'll never know, but except for the drugs all the elements of Hippie culture can be found in Miller's writing, passed on through the Beats of San Francisco.
"Why not simply through greed and ignorance?" I put in.
"Yes," he said, "the Indian believes that when the time comes only those who are strong and enduring will survive. They have never accepted our way of life. They don't look upon us as superior in any way. They tolerate us, that's all. No matter how educated they become they always return to the tribe. They're just waiting for us to die off, I guess."
I was delighted to hear it. It would be marvelous, I thought to myself, if one day they would be able to rise up strong in number and drive us into the sea, take back the land which we stole from them, tear our cities down, or use them as carnival grounds.
I read Henry Miller in my 20s when a lot people I knew were reading Ayn Rand, poor deluded bastards. I think I made the healthier choice. I never lived in a commune, but I grew my hair long and enjoyed some aspects of Hippie culture. I was never quite down with the Eastern philosophy, or the Astrology, and I thought Hippie food was boring sometimes but sex and drugs and rock and roll ? Heck yeah, although I must confess the first two of these were often in short supply. How 'bout you, did you read Henry Miller ?
Were you ever a Hippie ?
Latest Updates on Kossack Regional Meet-Up News Can Be Found Below the Orange Group Hug.
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Our team is here to provide support and guidance to new and existing volunteer leaders of each regional and state group, helping them with recruiting, organizing and executing social and action events.
We invite you to join in this effort to build our community. There are many ways to pitch in.
If there isn't a group to join near you, please start one.
Instructions on HOW TO FORM A NEW DAILY KOS GROUP
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THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY
The NYC Kossacks rolled out the red carpet for the visiting Chacounne and also had the bonus of another last minute visitor, 714day!
Here's one photo:
EagleOfFreedom has resuscitated the Seattle Kossacks. Many groups have been started there but with the support of this series I think we've got Seattle going again. This is the second meet-up EagleOfFreedom has successfully completed. His diary was really fantastic. Their special guest was Ojibwa. If you read the diary and the comments you can see they are all ready to work together on things like GOTV!
Here's one group photo:
L-R: mlharges, bleeding blue, Ojibwa, Ms. bleeding blue, ReasonableGunsPlz, John Crapper's Girl, EagleOfFreedom, John Crapper, RickEagle, Momomia, N in Seattle
The Motor City Kossacks rolled out the red carpet for visiting Dave in Northridge from Los Angeles. peregrine kate details interesting information about Detroit, the upcoming host town of NN14, and describes a delicious dinner in famous Greek Town. Prepping all of us NN14 attendees for our July visit soon!
Here's one group photo:
The Baja Kossacks just had their 4th Annual Picnic at the home of Mr. and Mrs. sneakers563. The group is shepherded by Azazello, an official member of DKos since 2009. From his diary and about his state:
More and better Democrats is always a popular subject for debate here in Baja AZ, especially in an election year. Against the charge that Arizona is an incurably red state I often point out that 5 of our 9 US Reps are Democrats. This is true but it doesn't tell the whole story. While we in Tucson are justifiably proud of Raúl Grijalva (Wikipedia HERE) whose first elected office was board member for Tucson Unified School District #1, most of Tucson and all of Cochise County are now represented by Ron Barber (Wikipedia HERE) who is a very Blue Dog indeed. For an example of this Blue Doggedness see this article at Alternet ☛ 5 Million Dirty Reasons for Record Deportations.
He's on top of it and thanks to him for gathering Kossacks together to become stronger.
Here's the group photo:
L-R: Back row: pwoodford, DaNang65, Azazello, itzadryheat, rasbobbo
Front row: ItsAMathJoke, drnatrl, sneakers563, chloris creator, Desert Rose
The LAKossacks welcome shanikka to their fair city. Many people attend. Here are few photos:
L-R: moore musings and shanikka
L-R: Former Chicagoan Now Angeleno and bruinkid
The DC and Maryland Kossacks welcomed Chaucounne on her visit to attend a conference in DC. It was a last minute meet-up pulled of by mimi.
Here's one photo:
L-R: mimi, kim (wife of olliegarkey), olliegarkey, webgenie and Chacounne
wink from Netrootsradio.com by KosMail to schedule airtime with them to live broadcast your Event. Wink & Justice will then promote it on The After Show radio program!
Friday, April 25th
NYC Kossacks Welcome Scottie Thomaston, aka indiemcemopants
TIME: 6:45 PM
LOCATION: Trattoria Trecolori
254 W 47th St. • NYC
ORGANIZER: Send sidnora a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: NYC Meetup this Friday, 4/25: Important Update!!
2. Scottie Thomaston, aka indiemcemopants
5. Design the Future
6. Son of Broccoli
Its the Supreme Court Stupid
Saturday, April 26th
DC Kossacks Protest XL Pipeline
near the White House
A group of ranchers, farmers and tribal communities from along the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline route, called the Cowboy Indian Alliance, will set up camp near the White House to tell President Obama to reject the pipeline.
TIME: 11:00 AM
LOCATION: National Mall
Meet between 7th & 9th Streets • Washington DC
Look for the Daily Kos Connect! Unite! Banner!
Welcome Meet-Up for Peregrine Kate:
TIME: 2:00 PM
LOCATION: Mitsitam Cafe
4th St & Independence Ave SW • Inside the National Museum of the American Indian, Washington DC
ORGANIZER: Send mimi a kosmail to attend.
peregrine kate is visiting from Detroit to attend this protest!
Latest diary: Pres. Carter in Cahoots with Indians and Cowboys - Update on April 26 NoKXL March
2. peregrine kate
Saturday April 26th
LA Kossacks Meet-up with Guest Speaker:
David Kanuth, US Congress candidate
TIME: 2:00 PM
LOCATION: Casey's Irish Pub
613 S Grand Ave. • Los Angeles
ORGANIZER: Send Dave in Northridge a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: LA Kossacks - Meetup, April 26, 2:00 PM - It's Political Season!
1. Dave in Northridge
7. Joe Bacon
Just Saying's friend
Just Saying's son
Saturday, May 3rd
DKos Asheville Kossacks Meet-up
TIME: 1:00 PM
LOCATION: The Bywater
796 Riverside Dr. • Asheville
ORGANIZER: Send randallt a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: DKos Asheville - Weekly Open Thread
7. GulfGal 98
8. Otteray Scribe
10. people power granny
14. Nic Goodman
Saturday, May 10th
Boston Kossacks Attend
Singing for the Planet Concert
Tickets are $25; $20 students/seniors, proceeds benefit www.350MA.org
TIME: 7:00 PM
LOCATION: Emmanuel Church
15 Newbury Street • Boston
ORGANIZER: Send GreyHawk a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: Next BosKos Meetup - Sat 12 Apr at the Cafe Barada
Tuesday, May 13th
SFKossacks Roll Out the Red Carpet
for LeftOfYou & Expat Okie
TIME: 11:00 AM, Early lunch!
LOCATION: Yank Sing
Rincon Center, 101 Spear St. • San Francisco
ORGANIZER: Send navajo a kosmail to attend.
3. Expat Okie
4. side pocket
5. Justice Putnam
Saturday, May 24th
Seattle & Puget Sound Kossacks Meet-up
TIME: 1:00 - 3:00 PM
LOCATION: Pyramid Alehouse, Brewery & Restaurant
1201 First Avenue South • Seattle
ORGANIZER: Send John Crapper a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: [Waiting for linked diary]
1. John Crapper
2. bleeding blue
3. wise piper
6. John Crapper's SO
Wednesday, July 16th
Annual Cheers & Jeers Dinner to Kick-Off NN14, Kossacks Only
TIME: 6:00 PM
TDB • Detroit
ORGANIZER: Send navajo a kosmail to RSVP.
Latest diary: Connect! Unite! Act! ATTN: DC, Tucson & Seattle Meet-up Info! +Q: Roll Call, Are You Attending NN14?
1. Common Sense Mainer
2. Bill in Portland Maine
5. side pocket
6. Mrs. side pocket
10. a gilas girl
12. Sara R
13. belinda ridgewood
15. Mr. sidnora
21. Dave in Northridge
26. a gilas girl
27. peregrine kate
31. Mark E Andersen
32. Son of Mark E Andersen
Daily Kos Staff:
1. Markos Moulitsas
2. Susan Gardner
3. Will Rockafellow
4. Meteor Blades
5. Joan McCarter
6. Faith Gardner
7. Laura Clawson
8. Chris Bowers
43. Adam Blomeke
Maybees: N in Seattle, Turbonerd
Friday, July 18th
Daily Kos Detroit VA Hospital Service Project
Sara R delivers 65 quilts, hand knit scarves and hats, books, 65 teddy bears, hand made greeting cards, and phone cards from the DK Quilt Guild, WAYWO, the Readers & Book Lovers, IGTNT and individual Kossacks to the nursing home at the Detroit VA Hospital. This is a wonderful project that many people can be involved with even if they don't attend the convention. If you care about veterans in a nursing home this is your project. Please volunteer to help.
DELIVERY TIME: Noon
LOCATION: Volunteer Office of the Detroit VA Hospital
4646 John R St. • Detroit
ORGANIZER: Send Sara R a Kosmail to participate in making the gifts and/or deliver them.
Latest diary: DK Quilt Guild: What Inspires You?
RSVPs to help deliver gifts:
1. Sara R
Plenary Session Tables during the rest of the Convention
ORGANIZER: Send navajo a kosmail to have a seat reserved for you in the main ballroom of the convention center for the big events. These table will be there so we can all find each other as a group. The seating is not assigned. You can float from table to table. I'm counting to see how many tables I need to reserve.
Cheers & Jeers Table:
1. Common Sense Mainer
2. Bill in Portland Maine
7. N in Seattle
Motor City Kossacks:
1. peregrine kate
2. Meteor Blades
5. side pocket
6. Mrs. side pocket
9. Jeff in CA
10. Mrs. Jeff in CA
SFKossacks Table II:
1. a gilas girl
3. Sara R
Los Angeles Table:
3. Dave in Northridge
New York Table:
2. Mr. sidnora
3. belinda ridgewood
5. Dee Oliver-Velez
kjoftherock, angry marmot, boran2, Turbonerd, northerntier, northerntier's SO,
about your event or if you have changes or additions.
EVERYONE is welcome, tell us what you're working on,
share your show and tell, vent, whatever you want.
This is an open thread. Nothing is off topic.