In part one I talked about what it’s like to be an old hippie. I consider myself an old hippie. That should’ve been clear from the earlier post. I also talked about what I think being a hippie is all about, or was all about, since there are very few hippies left in the world these days. Sad but true.
In that earlier post I complained about how the media and hippie wannabes co-opted or distorted what being a hippie was all about. For example: long hair, bellbottoms, sexual freedom, being anti-war, a love of music of all kinds, and to a certain extent, drugs – especially marijuana. For hippies, marijuana was the equivalent of what alcohol is to most straights. For those of you who aren’t aware, straights is a slang term for people who are not hippies who are so hung up in the rat race and in making money that they forget what’s really important in life. More on that subject in a bit.
The media, in its infinite stupidity, tends to convert anything and everything to a soundbite. In the 60s, one of those media soundbites was “Never trust anyone over the age of 30.” The media made it sound like hippies didn’t trust old people. I am afraid that is not quite true, even though there was a time when I almost believed it myself. Why do I say that? Continue reading An Old Hippie Part Two
Ripple used to be a cheap wine that hippies drank when they were smoking doll way back when. It’s not the Ripple I’m talking about. The Ripple I want to talk about today is the song by the group that is considered the iconic San Francisco acid rock band: the Grateful Dead. I am been a Dead fan since 1969 or so. I remember seeing the band at the Kinetic Playground in Chicago July 4, 1970 where they came on stage at about midnight and played till nearly 7 AM. That was quite a Fourth of July party!
My favorite Dead album is American Beauty. One of the songs on that album is called Ripple. The music for that song was written by Jerry Garcia, the lead guitarist for the Dead. The lyrics, which is what I want to focus on here. were written by the lyricist for the Dead, Robert Hunter. In my considered opinion, Hunter, along with Jim Morrison of The Doors and Keith Reid and Bob Dylan were the poets laureate of my generation. A hundred years from now they will be teaching these guys in American literature classes, or in the case of Reid, English literature classes. I am not going to print out the entire lyrics of Ripple here. If you are interested in reading the lyrics, click here. And if you want to listen to the song, you can click here.
To me, this song expresses the hippie philosophy of life better than anything else I have ever heard or read or see. According to the song, life is a road that we travel alone. The road of life is unique to the individual. Others can serve as guides, and as the song says “if you fall, you fall alone.” Continue reading Ripple
That is the title of the song by the Bellamy Brothers from back in the 80s, I think. I’m really not sure and I really don’t care enough look it up. Anyway, an old hippie is what I an. I guess I’d been one for quite some time since in the song he is only 35 help a lot older than the days. Some of the stuff they talk about in the song I never did: hard drugs and going to Vietnam for my senior trip. I went to Washington instead and protested the war in Vietnam.
Yes, I do get into country music, at least some of it. I particularly like Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Travis Tritt, Chris Christopherson, and Kate Williams Senior as well as my all time favorite, Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. I also like acid rock, good ol’ 1950 rock, the British invasion, especially Procol Harum and Pink Floyd. I also like jazz, classical, even some Broadway show tunes. Like most hippies, I like all kinds of music and have quite a long time.
One thing about being an old hippie that does bother me is that there are a lot of people out there that are misinformed as to what hippies really were. I blame the media for that, and especially the people who didn’t like the things the hippies were into, like rock music. These people, and I am including a whole lot of musician’s, became pseudo-hippies because they thought it would help them make money. One of the things about being a hippie is that you’re not particularly materialistic. You realize that there are a lot of things in the world way more important than how much money you have, what car you drive, how well you dress, how big and fancy of a house you have. In fact, there were times in my younger days as a hippie where I didn’t even have a house to live in, or apartment. I crashed with friends or I slept on the back porch of an abandoned apartment building, waking up with a silver .45 staring me in the face in a police badge. That was 1968 when I first got to Chicago. That was almost 50 years ago and I still remember that as it were yesterday. Continue reading An Old Hippie
Lately it seems that I am suffering from a severe case of déjà vu. It appears as if I am reliving the 1960s all over again. In a way, that’s a good thing. A lot of good things happened in the United States in the late 1960s. A lot of bad things happened as well, the most memorable for me was the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. I was not in Chicago for the convention. I was in Washington DC at the time, but I did protest against the war and did march in support of Eugene McCarthy for the democratic nomination. Much like the efforts to get Bernie Sanders nominated this year, our efforts in 1968 to get Eugene McCarthy nominated were unsuccessful. We were unsuccessful again in 1972 trying to get George McGovern, another antiwar candidate for president, the Democratic nomination.
1968 was an extremely interesting year. The summer Olympics were held in Mexico City that year. On the political front, the black power movement was gaining a great deal of strength. Two American athletes, both black, won medals in the same event and when they were on the podium getting their metals, they both raised their hand in the black power fist salute. The reaction at the time by the media and much of the American public was extremely negative. People felt that doing that at the Olympics was extremely inappropriate. Today John Carlos and Tommy Smith are seen as heroes of the civil rights movement. Continue reading Go Colin Go!
It’s taken a bit longer to get to this post than I thought it would. Sorry about that. I realized after I finished the last post that I had kind of gotten off track a bit on what I originally intended to talk about and not post, so I’m going to do this now what I originally wanted to talk about was the fact that the conservatives here in this area, actually Southwest Missouri, have started an advertising blitz that goes way beyond anything I’ve ever seen during a political campaign. Given that I’m 68 years old I’ve seen quite a few political campaigns, so when I say this goes beyond anything I’ve seen rest assured it’s pretty over-the-top. Before I start talking about the advertising campaign itself I need to rant a little about the television rules that the federal government has set up.
I have satellite TV (Dish Network). I love dish network. It has certainly worked for me a lot better than their competition, which I’ve had before. I get my local channels through Dish. The problem is I don’t get to choose where the local networks come from. I live in north central Arkansas, but I get my local channels out of Springfield Missouri which is about 125 250 miles from here. [I really do live in the middle of nowhere]. Because I get local channels out of Springfield, I have to put up with advertising for political candidates running in elections that I don’t get to vote in, at least not for these candidates. I get to vote for the House of Representatives in Arkansas. I get to vote in that race for Sen. in Arkansas. I get to vote for the race for governor in Arkansas… You get the picture, right? I would love to get my local channels out of Little Rock Arkansas, which is about the same distance from here as Springfield Missouri. I have tried to get the stations out of Little Rock, but was told that because of the federal law I have to get my stations out of Springfield. Sounds to me like the conservative Republican businessmen who owned TV stations have put the screws to the federal government for their own benefit I guess I don’t know. Someday they will hopefully get it right but I’m not gonna hold my breath. I will probably be dead before they do that. Continue reading 2016 Presidential: Silly Season Part Two
My son Michael is a very serious gamer. The reason he is a serious gamer is because I got him hooked on gaming back when he was six years old. I started Michael out on Warcraft II and there’s been no stopping him since. Michael loves to play games, design games, review games, read reviews, and read/watch all kinds of blogs and video blogs about gaming.
Recently Michael showed me a post on a video blog called Game Theory. It seems that the blogger who does Game Theory recently got to do an interview with Pope Francis. The man brought the Pope a video game. I’ll let him explain what video game and why he wanted the Pope to have this game in this very thoughtful video he made on the occasion. What I want to talk about is the social context and social philosophy that this man, who claims to represent the gaming community, presents to all gamers and non-gamers. His name is Matt, by the way, and I will refer to him as such. Continue reading A Little Sunshine and a Lot of Hope
Before I go back to talking about my past some more, I want to start talking about a subject that is quite important to me and should be important to all of you(especially those of you in the U.S here with me!): the upcoming American Presidential election. But we should be just as concerned about the congressional elections as well, even the local elections. As the last eight years have shown us, just because we have a liberal president does not mean that the liberal policies he wanted and many of us wanted, or they would not have been elected, do not get passed because the Congress is controlled by the conservatives. Bernie Sanders is right: we do need a revolution of sorts in American politics. What we need is a radical shift to the left, not only in the office of the president but also in Congress.
My initial inclination that I talked about in an earlier post was that I wanted Bernie Sanders as the Democratic nominee for president. Sanders is an avowed socialist. So am my. There are certain things that every citizen in this country should get because they are a citizen: healthcare probably the most important one and education the second most important one. The fact that doctors, hospitals, universities, especially med schools, all make money hand over fist is disgusting and, honestly, un-American. I can remember a time when doctors actually cared about their patients, made home visits, especially for sick children, and were not always that concerned about having the latest medical thingamajig in their clinics. Doctors were not on the payroll of the pharmaceutical companies. We did not have the problem with the abuse of prescription drugs that we have now. Granted, a lot of the street drugs, like heroin, morphine, cocaine, etc. can kill you if overused and they should definitely be illegal. The problem is that if you pay attention to the side effects mentioned in the pharmaceutical commercials, those things will kill you, too! Quite often, the side effects are worse than the disease they are supposed to treat.
Continue reading 2016 Presidential Election: The Silly Season Is Upon Us!
My Christian Heresy site was hacked on Wednesday by what appears to be a group of religious fundamentalists. What particular religion they are fundamental about is really not important. I dislike all fundamentalists, religious or secular. For some reason that I do not understand since I do not criticize anyone’s religious beliefs or single out any religion or targeting, these people were offended by something I said on my site. Well, tough shit! [Sorry about the language but they’re going to be more, so get used to it.]
Because of the hack being a whole lot worse than originally thought, I am going to have to completely redo my site, switching scripts that I use from Drupal to WordPress. That means the database is not going to transfer. For me, that means I am going to have to re-enter each article one at a time. That obviously will take a bit of time so be patient with me. Michael and I will get it done as quickly as we can. As for you all, it means you’re going to have to set up a new membership the new login on the work press their version of my site. Also, write permissions will be very limited for obvious reasons. We may have to play around a bit until we figure out what we can and cannot allow. Again, bear with me. We will get this set up as quickly as we can Continue reading An Update On christianeresy.com
I want to pay tribute to someone I consider a personal hero: Mohammed Ali. Ali passed away over the weekend at the age of 74, which makes him a few years older than I am. All of the TV network various print media are doing tributes to Ali mainly focusing on his accomplishments as an athlete and as a humanitarian efforts after he retired from boxing. Ali was my hero long before he became a real legend in boxing or a great humanitarian. The reason Ali is my hero is because he did something that I thought I might have to do way back in 1968: Ali refused induction into the military because he was opposed to the war in Vietnam.
I also was opposed to that war. In fact, I am opposed to all wars on principle. The only war that I feel was justified at all was World War II. Every war the United States has been involved in since World War II has been over last van honorable reasons. Every war this country has been involved in in the last 60 years or so has raised some serious ethical questions about US intentions around the world. Continue reading The Passing of a Legend
Today is my 68th birthday! Yes, happy birthday to me. Thank you! In honor of my birthday I have decided to go back to the Confronting The Past series. This is a rather momentous year for me. First of all, I turned 68. Second, it has been 50 years since I graduated from high school [by the way, happy anniversary to all the members of the class of 1966 at UM HS.] Third, my wife and I will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary in a couple of months. Fourth and last, by the end of the year all my children will be 20 years old or older. In my book that makes them adults. So, assuming I live to the end of the year, I will have lived long enough to see my children grow up. Not too shabby!
One of the advantages of age is that you are supposedly wiser than you were when you were young. Whether that is true in my case or anyone else’s is open for debate; when I’m going to assume that I have gained some wisdom in the last 50 years. One of the responsibilities of wisdom is that you impart that wisdom to others. After all, what good is anything if you don’t share it with those you care about? So here goes.
Continue reading Confronting the Past Lucky 13