inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #76 of 173: brady lea (brady) Fri 24 Dec 04 10:20
    

i haven't read the book, but have a question based on your posts in this
topic.

are there or were there any women involved in "counterculture" besides Patti
Smith and... your mother? because while a quick count of names mentioned
revealed over 50 men, those are the only two women that appear in your
posts.
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #77 of 173: Are You My Caucasian? (shmo) Fri 24 Dec 04 12:26
    

Margaret Fuller loom large in the book.
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #78 of 173: Are You My Caucasian? (shmo) Fri 24 Dec 04 13:03
    

I loved the chapter on the NYC proto-punk scene, though I was surprised that
Richard Hell wasn't mentioned. A seminal figure in the scene and the actual
fashion model for Malcolm McLaren's "punk" look as it arose in England,
Hell, the original bass player in Television but better known for his later
band The Void-Oids and his coining of the term "Blank Generation," was
identified several times by McLaren as his inspiration. To quote McLaren:

"I just thought Richard Hell was incredible. This look, this image of this
guy, this spiky hair, everything about it--there was no question that I'd
take it back to London. By being inspired by it, I was going to imitate it
and transform it into something more English."

And re: Television--they were remarkable in their double-subervsion. First,
they were key players in the burgeoning punk counterculture in NYC in the
mid-'70s, and 2nd, they subverted THAT young counterculture by playing shows
that contained lengthy guitar solos, each song elongated usually by, first,
a Tom Verlaine solo, then a Richard Lloyd solo. They took their share of
abuse for this "hippy" aesthetic at CBGBs. Lester Bangs excoriated them as
"the Grateful Dead of Punk." And yet, they remain saintly legends within the
modern Punk scene. That has always amazed me.

I wrote an article on Television when Marquee Moon was reissued last year,
focusing primarily on Verlaine and Hell's high school (they were classmates)
obsession with fin-de-siecle Paris and the bohemian subculture there:

http://www.rhino.com/RZine/StoryKeeper.lasso?StoryID=84

The second half of the article is my pretentious English Major-y dissection
of Tom Verlaine's lyrics on Marquee Moon (and for that I apologize!). But
the first half of the article might be of some interest re: the NYC punk
scene.
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #79 of 173: RUSirius (rusirius) Fri 24 Dec 04 13:06
    
I'm just popping in for a moment to note that comments about confusion
and people feeling adrift are NOT in the section of that chapter that
I posted on my website...  whoops...

I'll be back tomorrow to answer new and further questions...
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #80 of 173: Are You My Caucasian? (shmo) Fri 24 Dec 04 13:11
    

Oh, and while I'm on my '70s jag here, I also wanted to bring up the
powerful influence of the German band Kraftwerk. Most of the key players in
the globally ubiquitous electronic dance music scene point reverently to
Kraftwerk as the godfather/pioneer of the contemporary scene. I only bring
it up because Kraftwerk wasn't mentioned in the chapter on electronic dance
music and Rave culture.

Not criticizing at all, by the way; I know this book wasn't intended to be
exhaustive, and I have LOVED my journey reading it; major kudos in order,
definitely. But I wanted to add to what I hope will be an evolving,
interactive treatise on counterculture by bringing up Richard Hell and
Kraftwerk as true frontiersmen in all of this.
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #81 of 173: Are You My Caucasian? (shmo) Fri 24 Dec 04 13:11
    

slipped by Ken . . .
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #82 of 173: brady lea (brady) Fri 24 Dec 04 13:16
    

well, like i said, i haven't gotten to the book. so far i'm just reading
RU's posts in this topic, and from the various people i've seen mentioned,
two are women, and well over fifty are men.

hoping RU will address that.

of coures i can't say whether the breakdown in the book is similar, which is
why i asked.
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #83 of 173: gary (ggg) Sat 25 Dec 04 06:35
    
hi, ru!

am catching up on this fest.  i note your mention of memoir in #12 as really
being 'cultural memory' ... an area i've been involved with in a project on
my own desk as well ... will catch up with the posts ... and the book!
congratulations to you & your co-laborator on a needful task finally well
done
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #84 of 173: RUSirius (rusirius) Sat 25 Dec 04 08:25
    


Back for a few quick bites. Not sure if I'll get to everything today
although I can sort of take on shmo and brady's question partly in one
gulp.  I followed an outline of choices that were made by my co-author
Dan and I take some responsibility for deciding that they were good and
adequate choices. Then I went through and tried to find the important
links to the themes of the book and a few interesting sort of
sub-narrative themes where I could examine complexities and
contradictions so it wouldn't just be an exercise in cheerleader. One
thing I DIDN'T do is go back and say to myself "My gosh, I forgot to
mention blah blah blah."  I figured that would be sort of a false
intrusion on the narrative flow (except in some cases, where, in
editing, it felt like a neccessary addition).  Thus, to shmo's
comments... I'm one of the world's biggest Richard Hell and the Voidoid
fans (and a pretty big Kraftwerk fan too).  I still sometimes list
"The Plan" off the Blank Generation album as one of my top 10 songs
(and people don't know what the hell I'm talkikng about.) I've got
friends who are pissed off at me for not mentioning specific people (in
some cases, them) or saying more about a particular scene etc. ad
infinitum and I just didn't want to force it into the narrative. Even
Burning Man, which I consider perhaps the greatest expression of
counterculturalness current didn't fit the place I might have put it as
perfectly as the Love Parade because of Love Parade's more direct link
to dance culture.   I could run through dozens of specific regrets
about stuff I didn't get to...'

Now, as for women...  well I could zip through the index and list all
the women but I'm again a bit rushed....  major chunks go to Margaret
Fuller, Sylvia Beach, Gertrude Stein, and to a lesser extent Dianne
DiPrima... off the top of my head.  There is a short segment on the
rise of feminism within the new left counterculture and discussion of
the power of women within Taoist and Troubadour culture. Having said
that, there are more guys than gals in this history (and in HIStory in
general, for various reasons that we can contemplate and discuss) and
among the cultures I regret not getting to in this decidedly
non-encyclopedic work I would have liked to have explored a matriarchal
or woman dominated counterculture. I would also have liked to have
done something with paganism/goddess stuff other than giving it a few
lines in the last chapter...     

I have to admit, I went way out of my way to make sure their was a
pretty substantial racial balance, particularly with African Americans
in the last  segment of the book (probably about 40% of the book) that
deals with the 1950s and beyond, and I didn't do that to the same
extent with women, so that could be a blind spot.

hey, i was going to do a chapter on jesus and his posse too but I was
not satisfied that I had much in the way of historically validated
material.   But hippie birthday anyway Heysoos...
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #85 of 173: Berliner (captward) Sat 25 Dec 04 11:01
    
The Love Parade no longer exists, and I'd argue that it stopped being
even mildly "countercultural" in 1994, when Camel fielded its first
float in the parade. 
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #86 of 173: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Sat 25 Dec 04 15:44
    
Just popping in to note that I, too, am mostly offline til tomorrow.
However I'm sure y'all can light plenty of fireworks between now and
then. Happy Holidaze!
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #87 of 173: RUSirius (rusirius) Sat 25 Dec 04 19:07
    

Indeed, the Love Parade is no more (although they had one in San
Francisco this year) and I read there was some  trouble at the last one
(I believe in 03).  I have at least two European friends who were
always trying to get me to come to it probably in the neighborhood of
'99, 00, 01 and they seemed to think it was very hip indeed. Of course,
maybe they weren't looking at the floats...

I actually found out the SF event was going to happen when I read it
in the Chron. Since none of the lists I was on saw fit to mention it, I
assumed it wasn't worth going to and didn't... but then I got reports
that it was major fun.   I don't know if there were any Camel floats or
if anybody did the camel walk....
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #88 of 173: Ricardo (aracal) Sun 26 Dec 04 04:39
    
Were you much in contact with Hakim Bey? You mentioned him a couple of
time, specially when you wrote about the Temporary Autonomous Zone in
relation to Taoism.  It was a surprised to read him then and find TEZ´s
located in South America; his ideas, as you said, were an important
conceptual framework for many of us. But I haven´t got recent news from
him.
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #89 of 173: RUSirius (rusirius) Sun 26 Dec 04 17:16
    

I did communicate with Hakim while I was writing the book.  I
consulted with him particularly with regard to Sufism.  There is a
recent article or interview (I think it was an interview, but my memory
could be off on that) with him that went around on the  net... a
couple of months ago.  The view was fairly gloomy.  I'll see if I can
find it...
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #90 of 173: RUSirius (rusirius) Sun 26 Dec 04 17:25
    


Recent Hakim Bey

http://brooklynrail.org/spotlight/july04/wilson.html
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #91 of 173: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Sun 26 Dec 04 21:55
    
This made my ears stand up:

Bleyer: And I guess the Internet has really come to be the pinnacle of this
hurtful technology, in our age.

Wilson: Yes. You’re slumped in front of a screen, in the same physical situation
as a TV watcher, you’ve just added a typewriter. And you’re "interactive." What
does that mean? It does not mean community. It’s catatonic schizophrenia. So blah
blah blah, communicate communicate, data data data. It doesn’t mean anything more
than catatonics babbling and drooling in a mental institution. Why can’t we stop?  
How is it that five years ago there were no cell phones, and now everyone needs a
cell phone? You can pick up any book by any half-brained post-Marxist jerkoff and
read about how capitalism creates false needs. Yet we allow it to go on.
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #92 of 173: Uncle Jax (jax) Sun 26 Dec 04 22:40
    
Witty but shallow.

The crowding of the planet and the techological advance necessary to
maintain human life has as its byproduct the arising of new modalities
of human commerce and contact. Which is a fancy way of saying, "Time
marches on."
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #93 of 173: Uncle Jax (jax) Sun 26 Dec 04 22:41
    
Or put another way, one might justly observe that Luddites only win in
a time of general collapse of a previously successful society.
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #94 of 173: Ricardo (aracal) Mon 27 Dec 04 04:30
    
Still, Bey struck some points. Sometimes we are satisfied living in a
Periodic Autonomous Zone, like from 7pm to 11 pm this Saturday. After
that, I will plunge myself again into the usual reality and shut my
eyes really tight.
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #95 of 173: RUSirius (rusirius) Mon 27 Dec 04 07:11
    


I'm moved to some extent by Bey's physical description.  It seems that
there is a certain inertia or potential intertia that comes from
sitting at a screen if it replaces all other types of interaction. 
Meet Up is a great development but there's a kind of irony in the sense
that there's almost this sense that gathering people of mutual
interest together in a real place is a novel new idea.  

I also get really high on the implications of the whole open
source/free software gestalt but then have to remind myself that it is
mostly taking place in virtual space.  When we turn away from our
screens, not a lot about how we live, what we create and how we consume
energy etc. has been altered.  Something perhaps is on its way toward
being altered, but we should perhaps recognize some limitations.  

But basically I'm with Jax.  There are, I guess, the counterculture
purists who seem to me to measure everything against some sort of
utopian absolute.  Utopian absolutes are quite demanding on individual
human beings and I'm inclined to get down off the high horse (or get
high) and think, Well, it's nice that old friends and long lost
relatives who would never have corresponded or been in touch with each
other for their entire lives now frequently get together, or that I can
come on the well and have a conversation that I might not successfully
start on the street or in a bar ad infinitum. And it's more than nice
that scientists can share information about weather patterns that might
prepare them a little for the next big disaster (hmmm, maybe not)...  
 

So we have here a great tool with some flaws.  It's up to ourselves
and our culture not to use it in a way that makes us, in J. G.
Ballard's words, "a pole of intertia."

In that spirit, it's off to the pool...
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #96 of 173: Ricardo (aracal) Mon 27 Dec 04 11:37
    
When talking about Jewish dissent, you compare Ginsberg´s Messianism
(his desire for social justice) with Ken Kesey´s "obscurantist
tendencies", why do you say that?
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #97 of 173: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Mon 27 Dec 04 19:29
    
And getting back to countercultures... though your book covers a lot of history 
and various movements that fit your definition, counterculture was a term created 
by Theodore Roszak, applicable to a specific period in the 60s and 70s. The roots 
of that counterculture were in the Beat Generation of the 50s, and the Beat 
Generation is probably related to the Lost Generation of the 20s and 30s. Could 
you talk about the relationship of these three movements? Are they really linked?
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #98 of 173: RUSirius (rusirius) Mon 27 Dec 04 20:02
    


aracal: I think it's pretty clear, starting with their literary work.
Ginsberg frequently wrote in a relatively direct declamatory style that
was full of passion against injustice and for all kinds of utopian and
cosmic human possibilities. Kesey was, of course, a novelist, but even
his essays and for instance the issue of The Last Whole Earth
Catalogue that he edited I think around 70-71 leaned towards riddles,
indirect backyard shootin' the breeze stories with life lessons hidden
in them... that sort of thing.  

Ginsberg was pretty much politically active throughout his adult life;
he was a direct, frequent participant in the antiwar movement, worked
against the early version of the drug war, nuclear power, cowrote a
book about the CIA and heroin etc. ad infinitum.  Kesey did very little
of that sort of thing. And he sort of dropped out; moved to a farm in
Oregon during the 70s, and had a pretty limited interaction with any
public that might have been looking for "countercultural leadership."  
That's not a criticism of Ken, as far as I'm concerned.  I was just
characterizing Ginsberg in the context of the book for a section on
Jewish radicals, echoing the thoughts of Rabbi Michael Lerner that
there is a line of influence in Judaism that has inclined jews to
believe in social justice and the improvement of life on earth as the
best way to manifest the spirit of god as opposed to pie in the sky
when you die etc. 

It's late. I'll be back for Jon's question some time tomorrow... 
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #99 of 173: Ricardo (aracal) Tue 28 Dec 04 04:43
    
Yes, in fact most of the early Bolshevik´s top leadership were Jews.
Judaism has a strong, as you said, tendency to work with the world as
it is, in order to change it; and from the beginning.
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #100 of 173: RUSirius (rusirius) Tue 28 Dec 04 12:41
    
I'm on a handheld and just here to invite anyone in or near Tampa FL
to come to my book appearance tomorrow (or let folks in this area know.

Grand Dragon books 813 E. 7th Ave 
Tampa (ybor city)
(813)2476412
  

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