Category Archives: americana

Supreme Court Might Return Half Of Oklahoma To Cherokee

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https://allthatsinteresting.com/half-oklahoma-land-cherokee-nation

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Hiway America -Louisville,Kentucky.Welcome to the Messy World of Jerry’s Junk

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Pranksters Install Swings on BART Public Transit System in San Francisco

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Pranksters Install Swings on BART Public Transit System in San Francisco

swings on BART

photo by Audrey Penven

Some brilliant pranksters installed beautiful swings on BART last night. What apparently happened, according to witnesses, was a team of six or so people hopped on to a north-bound train from 24th Street station in San Francisco around 8:30 p.m. last night, installed three matching red swings, and then exited at 16th Street leaving their swings behind for public consumption.

BART Swings

photo by Neiltron

I personally love this prank because of the joy that it inspires in the innocent by-standers. Look at the photos. Even the dudes that are not swinging are smiling (except for one woman – that is just how some people roll, I guess). I declare this to be an epic victory for joy and whimsy over the mundane!

A Chicago club crawl with a bus-driving bluesman

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A Chicago club crawl with a bus-driving bluesman

Story by Marnie Hunter, video by Channon Hodge and Robert Sevilla, CNNUpdated 20th July 2017
Chicago (CNN) — Toronzo Cannon has more energy before 5 a.m. than some people can muster all day.
“Hey now, you OK? You gonna be cool today?” he asks one co-worker at a Chicago bus garage. “How you doin’?” he asks another. “These guys right here owe me money, so take a picture of all of them,” he jokes.

Cannon, 49, has been a Chicago Transit Authority bus driver for 24 years. He’s also a blues musician whose career is on the upswing, and his near tirelessness is working in his favor.
Cannon drives 10-hour shifts Monday through Thursday, then jets off on weekends to play the Chicago blues across the country and around the world. He spends his vacation time playing back-to-back international dates.
The contrast of strolling by the Eiffel Tower and steering a bus through the streets of Chicago isn’t lost on Cannon. Yet his day job keeps him grounded, provides his family with health insurance and yields vivid material for songs.
The Eiffel Tower was “right down the street for the most part, and now I’m on the West Side of Chicago getting cursed out by some lady that’s short a quarter,” he said.
“I’m a bus driver, so I travel through several tax brackets. You know, I see from the poorest of the poor to the richest of the rich.”
“The Chicago Way,” Cannon’s latest album and his first on renowned blues label Alligator Records, chronicles the human stories that unfold on both jobs.
A few hours after he gets off work, Cannon will go from bus driver to bluesman, swapping his CTA hat for a dapper chapeau as he takes us to some of the blues clubs he came up in.
Toronzo Cannon plays the blues all over the world.

Toronzo Cannon plays the blues all over the world.

‘Everything is moving, everything is loud’

Raw and rhythmic, blues music was developed by African-Americans in the post-Civil War South, with an emphasis on vocals that tell the stories of everyday people, usually of men, women and the ups and downs between them.
Starting during World War I and spurred by oppression and economic hardship, millions of Southern blacks headed for cities in the North as part of the Great Migration. The music traveled with them, and Chicago eventually became the epicenter of urban blues.
The solo acoustic blues of the South gave way to band music featuring electric instruments and drums after World War II, creating a grittier, more aggressive sound.
Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter and Jimmy Reed put Chicago blues on the map in that era, and by the 1960s the music had gained a worldwide audience.
“When blues got to Chicago, it got dirty. It got dirty from the electricity of the city,” Cannon said. “As you get to the big city where everything is fast, everything is moving, everything is loud, that does something to you,” Cannon said.
“Chicago blues is not background music. You know, you need to be heard, you need to be looked at. You’ve got something to say.”

Buddy Guy’s Legends

At 88, “Bar Room Preacher” Jimmy Johnson has witnessed his share of Chicago’s electric city living.
As this night’s headliner at downtown South Loop club Buddy Guy’s Legends, Johnson puts his gospel-tinged voice to the blues’ central theme:
Learn to love me or leave me. Either one you wanna do
Learn to love me or leave me. Either one you wanna do

Because strange things are happening. Something strange might happen to you
Johnson belts out these lyrics at the glossiest club on our two-night blues hop, a spot opened in 1989 by Chicago blues legend Buddy Guy.
Bluesman Jimmy Johnson performs at Buddy Guy's Legends in downtown Chicago.

Bluesman Jimmy Johnson performs at Buddy Guy’s Legends in downtown Chicago.
The spacious club’s walls are dotted with photos, instruments and other mementos of the famous and up-and-coming artists who’ve played its stage.
“Buddy Guy’s is the premier blues club in Chicago,” said Cannon. “You get a bunch of national acts to come through. He’s like the man now, when it comes to the blues.”
Guy, 80, is often spotted at the bar and sometimes steps in to play a few songs when he’s not on the road. He plays a series of formal dates at his club each January.

Rosa’s Lounge

About 10 minutes from downtown on Chicago’s Near Northwest Side, Rosa’s Lounge in Logan Square has a cozier neighborhood feel. Most of the performers are from Chicago, although bands from all over the world come through.
Late blues greats David Honeyboy Edwards, Pinetop Perkins and Homesick James all played Rosa’s.
On a recent Friday evening, Chicago blues guitarist Melvin Taylor’s fiery playing had patrons moving to the music. One particularly energetic dancer launched himself across the floor in a series of riveting, whole-body spasms.
This is a friendly club where colored lights, Christmas ornaments, larger-than-life photos of blues giants and glittery anniversary decorations create the kind of deep, layered history that’s only enhanced by zany self-expression and fans whose ages span at least a half-century.
Guitarist Melvin Taylor is a top draw at Rosa's Lounge in Logan Square.

Guitarist Melvin Taylor is a top draw at Rosa’s Lounge in Logan Square.
And Rosa’s Lounge is a family affair. Musician and owner Tony Mangiullo arrived in Chicago from Milan in 1978 to play the blues, and he opened Rosa’s in 1984.
“The story goes Tony, the owner, loved the blues so much that he came to Chicago and didn’t leave, didn’t want to leave. He’s from Italy. And he built the club and he named it after his mother,” said Cannon.
Mama Rosa was definitely the impetus for the club.
“Mama said it was not enough for Mama to see me play drums. … She said, ‘You want to be here, you have to do a business,'” Mangiullo said.
Mama clearly knows what’s best for generations of blues fans, too.

B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted

A sliver of a club, B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted on the North Side of Chicago in Lincoln Park is long on atmosphere, thanks to its decidedly no-frills aesthetic and tight quarters that leave little distance between patrons and musicians.
It’s one of the first clubs Cannon played. “They put me on on a Thursday, I remember it. And I’ve been playing there for years. It’s a smaller club, more intimate,” he said.
Like many hometown musicians who’ve reached wider audiences, Cannon now plays most of his gigs on the road, but he still plays Chicago clubs about five times a year.
B.L.U.E.S., which opened in 1979, books primarily Chicago musicians, from elder statesmen like Eddie Shaw and Jimmy Johnson to younger artists who are still getting established on the club circuit.
Tonight, clubgoers are perched on the cracked vinyl barstools, soaking up bluesman Jimmy Burns’ soulful tunes.
B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted is an intimate club in Lincoln Park.

B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted is an intimate club in Lincoln Park.
Burns also graciously ceded the stage to Cannon and Mike Wheeler, who popped over from a gig across the street at Kingston Mines to play a few songs with his friend.
The two clubs on Halsted Street have a friendly rivalry. Kingston Mines is larger, with two stages and meal service. B.L.U.E.S. keeps its offering to blues and booze.
Wheeler, 56, and Cannon, 49, are among the local artists building on traditions passed down from longtime bluesmen like Burns, 74.
And by and large, they’re doing it the Chicago way.
“I think the Chicago way means, you know, working hard and kind of using what you got to get what you want,” said Cannon.
“There’s certain things that you do in life to let people know that you’re here, and my way of letting people know that I’m here is my blues.”

If you go

Buddy Guy’s Legends: Cover charges are $10 or $20, depending on the night, and shows that start after 8 p.m. are 21 and over. Seats are first come, first served. The club serves Louisiana-style Cajun and soul food at lunch and in the evening.
700 S. Wabash, Chicago 60605, http://buddyguy.com/
Rosa’s Lounge: Cover charges range from $7 to $20. Reserved seating is available. The club doesn’t usually serve food, although catering is available for special events. Patrons can also bring food or order for delivery.
3420 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago 60647, http://rosaslounge.com/
B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted: Covers range from $5 to $10. 21 and up. On Sunday nights the cover at B.L.U.E.S. gets guests into Kingston Mines and vice versa.
2519 N. Halsted St., Chicago 60618, http://www.chicagobluesbar.com/

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A Chicago club crawl with a bus-driving bluesman

Story by Marnie Hunter, video by Channon Hodge and Robert Sevilla, CNNUpdated 20th July 2017
Chicago (CNN) — Toronzo Cannon has more energy before 5 a.m. than some people can muster all day.
“Hey now, you OK? You gonna be cool today?” he asks one co-worker at a Chicago bus garage. “How you doin’?” he asks another. “These guys right here owe me money, so take a picture of all of them,” he jokes.

Cannon, 49, has been a Chicago Transit Authority bus driver for 24 years. He’s also a blues musician whose career is on the upswing, and his near tirelessness is working in his favor.
Cannon drives 10-hour shifts Monday through Thursday, then jets off on weekends to play the Chicago blues across the country and around the world. He spends his vacation time playing back-to-back international dates.
The contrast of strolling by the Eiffel Tower and steering a bus through the streets of Chicago isn’t lost on Cannon. Yet his day job keeps him grounded, provides his family with health insurance and yields vivid material for songs.
The Eiffel Tower was “right down the street for the most part, and now I’m on the West Side of Chicago getting cursed out by some lady that’s short a quarter,” he said.
“I’m a bus driver, so I travel through several tax brackets. You know, I see from the poorest of the poor to the richest of the rich.”
“The Chicago Way,” Cannon’s latest album and his first on renowned blues label Alligator Records, chronicles the human stories that unfold on both jobs.
A few hours after he gets off work, Cannon will go from bus driver to bluesman, swapping his CTA hat for a dapper chapeau as he takes us to some of the blues clubs he came up in.
Toronzo Cannon plays the blues all over the world.

Toronzo Cannon plays the blues all over the world.

‘Everything is moving, everything is loud’

Raw and rhythmic, blues music was developed by African-Americans in the post-Civil War South, with an emphasis on vocals that tell the stories of everyday people, usually of men, women and the ups and downs between them.
Starting during World War I and spurred by oppression and economic hardship, millions of Southern blacks headed for cities in the North as part of the Great Migration. The music traveled with them, and Chicago eventually became the epicenter of urban blues.
The solo acoustic blues of the South gave way to band music featuring electric instruments and drums after World War II, creating a grittier, more aggressive sound.
Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter and Jimmy Reed put Chicago blues on the map in that era, and by the 1960s the music had gained a worldwide audience.
“When blues got to Chicago, it got dirty. It got dirty from the electricity of the city,” Cannon said. “As you get to the big city where everything is fast, everything is moving, everything is loud, that does something to you,” Cannon said.
“Chicago blues is not background music. You know, you need to be heard, you need to be looked at. You’ve got something to say.”

Buddy Guy’s Legends

At 88, “Bar Room Preacher” Jimmy Johnson has witnessed his share of Chicago’s electric city living.
As this night’s headliner at downtown South Loop club Buddy Guy’s Legends, Johnson puts his gospel-tinged voice to the blues’ central theme:
Learn to love me or leave me. Either one you wanna do
Learn to love me or leave me. Either one you wanna do

Because strange things are happening. Something strange might happen to you
Johnson belts out these lyrics at the glossiest club on our two-night blues hop, a spot opened in 1989 by Chicago blues legend Buddy Guy.
Bluesman Jimmy Johnson performs at Buddy Guy's Legends in downtown Chicago.

Bluesman Jimmy Johnson performs at Buddy Guy’s Legends in downtown Chicago.
The spacious club’s walls are dotted with photos, instruments and other mementos of the famous and up-and-coming artists who’ve played its stage.
“Buddy Guy’s is the premier blues club in Chicago,” said Cannon. “You get a bunch of national acts to come through. He’s like the man now, when it comes to the blues.”
Guy, 80, is often spotted at the bar and sometimes steps in to play a few songs when he’s not on the road. He plays a series of formal dates at his club each January.

Rosa’s Lounge

About 10 minutes from downtown on Chicago’s Near Northwest Side, Rosa’s Lounge in Logan Square has a cozier neighborhood feel. Most of the performers are from Chicago, although bands from all over the world come through.
Late blues greats David Honeyboy Edwards, Pinetop Perkins and Homesick James all played Rosa’s.
On a recent Friday evening, Chicago blues guitarist Melvin Taylor’s fiery playing had patrons moving to the music. One particularly energetic dancer launched himself across the floor in a series of riveting, whole-body spasms.
This is a friendly club where colored lights, Christmas ornaments, larger-than-life photos of blues giants and glittery anniversary decorations create the kind of deep, layered history that’s only enhanced by zany self-expression and fans whose ages span at least a half-century.
Guitarist Melvin Taylor is a top draw at Rosa's Lounge in Logan Square.

Guitarist Melvin Taylor is a top draw at Rosa’s Lounge in Logan Square.
And Rosa’s Lounge is a family affair. Musician and owner Tony Mangiullo arrived in Chicago from Milan in 1978 to play the blues, and he opened Rosa’s in 1984.
“The story goes Tony, the owner, loved the blues so much that he came to Chicago and didn’t leave, didn’t want to leave. He’s from Italy. And he built the club and he named it after his mother,” said Cannon.
Mama Rosa was definitely the impetus for the club.
“Mama said it was not enough for Mama to see me play drums. … She said, ‘You want to be here, you have to do a business,'” Mangiullo said.
Mama clearly knows what’s best for generations of blues fans, too.

B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted

A sliver of a club, B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted on the North Side of Chicago in Lincoln Park is long on atmosphere, thanks to its decidedly no-frills aesthetic and tight quarters that leave little distance between patrons and musicians.
It’s one of the first clubs Cannon played. “They put me on on a Thursday, I remember it. And I’ve been playing there for years. It’s a smaller club, more intimate,” he said.
Like many hometown musicians who’ve reached wider audiences, Cannon now plays most of his gigs on the road, but he still plays Chicago clubs about five times a year.
B.L.U.E.S., which opened in 1979, books primarily Chicago musicians, from elder statesmen like Eddie Shaw and Jimmy Johnson to younger artists who are still getting established on the club circuit.
Tonight, clubgoers are perched on the cracked vinyl barstools, soaking up bluesman Jimmy Burns’ soulful tunes.
B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted is an intimate club in Lincoln Park.

B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted is an intimate club in Lincoln Park.
Burns also graciously ceded the stage to Cannon and Mike Wheeler, who popped over from a gig across the street at Kingston Mines to play a few songs with his friend.
The two clubs on Halsted Street have a friendly rivalry. Kingston Mines is larger, with two stages and meal service. B.L.U.E.S. keeps its offering to blues and booze.
Wheeler, 56, and Cannon, 49, are among the local artists building on traditions passed down from longtime bluesmen like Burns, 74.
And by and large, they’re doing it the Chicago way.
“I think the Chicago way means, you know, working hard and kind of using what you got to get what you want,” said Cannon.
“There’s certain things that you do in life to let people know that you’re here, and my way of letting people know that I’m here is my blues.”

If you go

Buddy Guy’s Legends: Cover charges are $10 or $20, depending on the night, and shows that start after 8 p.m. are 21 and over. Seats are first come, first served. The club serves Louisiana-style Cajun and soul food at lunch and in the evening.
700 S. Wabash, Chicago 60605, http://buddyguy.com/
Rosa’s Lounge: Cover charges range from $7 to $20. Reserved seating is available. The club doesn’t usually serve food, although catering is available for special events. Patrons can also bring food or order for delivery.
3420 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago 60647, http://rosaslounge.com/
B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted: Covers range from $5 to $10. 21 and up. On Sunday nights the cover at B.L.U.E.S. gets guests into Kingston Mines and vice versa.
2519 N. Halsted St., Chicago 60618, http://www.chicagobluesbar.com/

Hiway America -Ghostly “White Vortex” Captured During Texas Hotel Investigation

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Ghostly “White Vortex” Captured During Texas Hotel Investigation

Posted by  on August 14, 2017 // Ghosts & Phantoms // 0 Comments

Paranormal investigators allegedly encountered supernatural mist at the Magnolia Hotel in Seguin, Texas earlier this month.

The video shows a “black mist” roll into the hotel’s Campbell Room at around 1:48 AM on August 5, 2017. The footage has been circulating online since it was posted last week by the YouTube channel Strange Town, based in Austin, Texas.

Haunted Magnolia Hotel

The black mist enters twice, first dissipating, then transforming into what the video describes as a “white vortex” much closer to the camera. It kind of swirls around, and you can even make out what some would possibly call a ghost orb or two.

“A spinning white vortex forms in the middle of the smoke-room while being preceded by a black mist entering the smoke-room…Boot steps are often heard on the wooden floor, and the smell of cigar smoke will appear in the air.” – Strange Town

Many aren’t convinced the video shows anything paranormal. Some commented on the possibility that the “white vortex” could just be smoke (from vaping or otherwise) from someone behind the camera.

However, the owners have stated that they were present at the time and smoking of any kind was not allowed. Others questioned if it could be AC condensation, but again, one of the building’s owners, Erin Wallace, commented that “the hotel does not have central ac only a small window unit.”

The Magnolia Hotel is, naturally, known for paranormal activity, hence the presence of investigators there in the first place. The hotel’s official website contains newspaper clippings regarding the death of Emma Voelcker, who was brutally murdered there in 1874 when she was only about 13 years old. She’s not the only one said to now roam the hotel from beyond the grave.

HIWAY AMERICA-These coders used 13,000 old photos to make a Google Street View map of San Francisco in the 1800s

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These coders used 13,000 old photos to make a Google Street View map of San Francisco in the 1800s

Above: OldSF.

Image Credit: Screenshot

If you’ve ever wondered what it would feel like to travel back in time and walk the streets of San Francisco, this might be the closest you’ll get.

Two developers, Dan Vanderkam and Raven Keller, had the brilliant idea to take all the old photographs from the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collectionand put them on an interactive map. This map functions similarly to Google Street View, except when you zoom in on a particular place, it gives you photos from as far back as 1850.

The project, called OldSF, lets you manipulate a slider to change the range of years (it goes from 1850 all the way up to 2000). Vanderkam and Keller have geocoded about 13,000 images.

Visit the site here, or look below for some of the best photos we saw from the 1800s, marked with their locations in the city. (All photos via San Francisco History Center/San Francisco Public Library.)


Point Lobos Avenue and 43rd, Dick’s Saloon, 1890

point-lobos-avenue-and-43rd-dicks-saloon-1890


Central Park, 8th and Mission, circa 1887

central-park-8th-and-mission-circa-1887


Group of people overlooking the Cliff House from Sutro Heights, 1890

group-of-people-overlooking-the-cliff-house-from-sutro-heights-1890


Bush Street, west of Kearny, 1877

bush-street-west-of-kearny-1877


Palm Avenue in Jefferson Square, 1881

palm-avenue-in-jefferson-square-1881


View from City Hall, looking south down 8th at Central Park, 1896

view-from-city-hall-looking-south-down-8th-at-central-park-1896


Woodward’s Gardens, 1864

woodwards-gardens-1864


California Street, looking east from Montgomery, 1865

california-street-looking-east-from-montgomery-1865


Exterior of the What Cheer House on the south side of Sacramento, below Montgomery, 1865

exterior-of-the-what-cheer-house-on-the-south-side-of-sacramento-below-montgomery-1865


Building on northeast corner of Front and California, 1890

building-on-northeast-corner-of-front-and-california-1890


Baldwin Hotel bar, 1880

baldwin-hotel-bar-1880


Steuart Street, 1864

steuart-street-1864


J. C. Flood Mansion, California Street, 1886

j-c-flood-mansion-california-street-1886


St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, southeast corner of Sacramento Street and Van Ness, 1895

st-lukes-episcopal-church-southeast-corner-of-sacramento-street-and-van-ness-1895


Sacramento and Van Ness, 1887

sacramento-and-van-ness-1887


Woodward’s Gardens, 1874

woodwards-gardens-1874


Miss Lake’s School for Young Ladies, corner Sutter and Octavia, 1890

miss-lakes-school-for-young-ladies-corner-sutter-and-octavia-1890


Howard Street, looking east from 6th, 1866

howard-street-looking-east-from-6th-1866


1919 California Street, 1887

1919-california-st-1887


Southern Pacific passenger depot, 1879

southern-pacific-passenger-depot-1879


Cablecar at South Park, 1865

cablecar-at-south-park-1865


Fire Engine No. 13 at 1458 Valencia, 1884

fire-engine-no-13-at-1458-valencia-1884


Shotwell Street near 20th, Snowfall, 1887

shotwell-street-near-20th-snowfall-1887


The Willows, 18th & Valencia, 1864

the-willows-18th-and-valencia-1864


Musicians performing outside the “Haunted Swing” at the Midwinter Fair in Golden Gate Park, 1894

musicians-performing-outside-the-haunted-swing-at-the-midwinter-fair-in-golden-gate-park-1894

This story originally appeared on Www.businessinsider.com. Copyright 2016

In Defense of Hippies

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(crossposted from the front page of My Left Wing)First of all, the stereotype for hippies is about as reliable as the stereotype for any other people, that is to say not at all.  Hippy culture was never monolithic.  It encompassed well over half of every kind of kid there was in the late 60s and early 70s, and spanned every socio-economic strata of American society.  If you weren’t a hippy in those days, what you know and think about hippies is probably wrong.  It’s not your fault.  The media has distorted the reality as a part of the conservative culture wars.  They are, and have always been, threatened by hippies who never had any trouble seeing straight through them and who consistently called them on their bullshit.  Progressivism (or enlightened thinking), started well before the age of the hippies, but for that one seminal decade, hippies were its natural home (though not exclusively of course).

 What do you think when you hear the term hippy?  Most likely you think of spaced out goofballs without anything more than a tenuous connection to reality, mildly dangerous dope fiends who blather endlessly about inane bullshit, or hippy-dippy airheads without an intelligent thought or coherent idea worth noting.  That kind of outrageous distortion is what a conservative and unprincipled media is capable of doing.  Were there people who approached the stereotype somewhat?  Sure – somewhat, although practically no one is that goofy or detached from reality.  Was that a majority?  No, not even nearly so in my experience.  It was at most a distinct minority, and again none of them were as goofy as the conservative propaganda has many believing.  It’s all a rightwing `big lie’, just like the one about liberals being idiots, or pacifists being pushovers.  No truth to it, just a big ugly lie told over and over to `catapult the propaganda’.

I have often encountered strongly biased attitudes toward hippies.  Most of the time there’s not much point in saying anything.  Too often people don’t want to be educated about hippies.  Hippies are beneath them, an object of scorn or derision.  I understand that it’s usually just rightwing propaganda having its way.  You can’t avoid it and if you’re insufficiently discerning, if you don’t have your bullshit detectors on, why almost anyone could end up believing it.  The other day I came across this comment in a thread about the lack of activism on the part of today’s young people, which BTW thereisnospoon did a fine job of debunking in his thread Where are the Youth? I’ll tell you where they are!

We’ve grown up being too afraid to rock the boat. Many of us grew up learning that although Vietnam was a mistake and a bad war, the protestors were even worse. “Dirty hippies who spit on soldiers” is the last thing we want to be compared with.~ anonymous young kossack

The rightwing noise machine has our kids right where they want them.  Afraid to rock the boat and of becoming no better than `dirty hippies’ (who spit on soldiers).  There were some goofy hippies and there were some dirty hippies (though most weren’t), but I never saw ANYONE spit on a soldier.  Most soldiers related well to us and vice versa – especially the one’s who had been to Nam.  They always came off the boats shooting peace signs at us, and us to them.  They hated the war and we did too.  We were natural allies.  There was no spitting.Seeing the horror and fucked-upedness of Vietnam showed people that the hippies were right all along – and that our government was strictly bad news, full of fucking liars and chickenhawks who were willing to let them die for nothing.  Well, the more things change the more they stay the same.  And the one thing I can tell you all is that it is high time to rock the fucking boat!

Also, let me point out that `dirty’ people (as bad as that sounds) are merely people with dirt.  Being clean doesn’t make you a better person – only cleaner.  I’d much rather associate with Jim S., the dirty homeless man my son and I had lunch with recently (Nam vet, former heroin addict, borderline alcoholic with a strong core of human decency that shone right through all the dirt and pathos) than to get anywhere near the spit-shined K Street crowd or the gleaming, buttoned-down, slicked-up, squeaky clean neocons out to destroy humanity.  Quaint homilies aside, cleanliness does NOT equate to human decency – or Godliness.

Another big slam on the hippies is about all the drugs they used.  First, let’s face the fact that on this issue, as with so many others, our overly conservative culture is shockingly hypocritical.  The fact is that people have always used drugs and always will.  It’s just a question of whose drugs are in and whose drugs are out at any given time.  You can’t smoke pot, but drinking yourself to death is just fine.  Alcohol, one of the very worst drugs, destroys millions of lives each year–and it’s perfectly legal.  Fancy that.  The next worst drugs after alcohol are crystal meth, heroin, pcp, and pharmaceuticals in general.  These substances are very destructive.  They attack the person who uses them.  My father is embroiled in a class-action lawsuit because the Vioxx he took for three years gave him a near fatal stroke.   Some pharmaceuticals are milder than others–but it’s all bad medicine.  The good medicines are organic: plants, fungi, cacti, which are often illegal.  Plants like cannabis, hallucinogenic mushrooms, and peyote are strongly outlawed in most countries these days, yet traditional peoples often viewed these substances as medicine as well as allies, friends and guides to assist them on their spiritual journeys.  Pharmaceutical companies hate medicines that people can grow themselves or find in the forest.  It cuts into their obscene profits from the poisons they push.  In 1971 Richard Milhouse Nixon declared the `War on Drugs’.  Tricky Dick had a pathological hatred of `drugs’, and yet swilled scotch like a drunken monkey.  His so-called `War on Drugs’ has caused irreparable harm to our society, torn families apart, ruined millions of individual lives, and overwhelmed our courts and prisons.  We should have listened to the hippies.  Drugs should be legal, rehab should be free, and education and harm reduction should be our focus.

There was a time when the pull to become a hippy was damn near universal for my generation.  When this simple song came out, it spoke directly to us all.

If you’re going to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you’re going to San Francisco
You’re gonna meet some gentle people thereFor those who come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there
In the streets of San Francisco
Gentle people with flowers in their hair

All across the nation such a strange vibration
People in motion
There’s a whole generation with a new explanation
People in motion people in motion

For those who come to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there

If you come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there

~ written by ‘Poppa’ John Phillips, recorded by Scott McKenzie

There really was a strange vibration all across the nation.  We all felt it – me and all of my friends, and millions upon millions of others.  You didn’t really have to decide to become a hippy, you either felt the vibe or you didn’t.

Most of the hippies I knew were extremely bright, full of intellectual curiosity and life – and were just a lot of fun to be around.  Think of college kids today, now imagine them as much more liberal (and progressive), much more keen to engage the larger world in a profound way, and inhabiting a time of great cultural and spiritual upheaval. Throw in some recreational drugs, a massive dose of primal rock-n-roll, an `establishment’ that stunk to high heaven and of which we wanted no part, the paranoia of a bloody shooting war in Vietnam and an active draft, and you begin to get a picture of what hippies were really like.  In school they were more often the smart kids than the dumb ones.  They tended to be intellectuals, or in some cases just different – although there was also room for the underachievers as we were pretty much equal opportunity employers (so to speak).

Hippies attracted kids who were offbeat or not readily accepted in other cliques, kids who looked a little strange or thought a little differently.  Why?  Because hippies were tolerant and accepting people who would try to love you even if the reasons why they should were not abundantly apparent.  Love, peace, and kindness were our highest ethics.  Almost anyone could find a home with the hippies as long as they were non-violent.  That’s what made the hippy sections of large cities so damned interesting – the sheer variety of colorful characters who felt at home there.  Hippies were welcoming and generous people.  They cared about humanity for humanity’s sake.  You didn’t have to be an important person, a successful person, wealthy, accomplished, learned, or whatever.  You could be any of those things or none of those things.  It was enough to be a person.  The idea was to be a good and decent person, an authentic person, a person unlike those who thought it was okay to drop bombs on people.

Plastic people, ooh baby now, you’re such a drag!  ~ Frank Zappa

`Plastic people’ was what we called those who were so superficial and lame that they never questioned anything they were told by the `authorities’ – the same sort of folks sometimes referred to as sheeple these days.  Hippies were different – we questioned everything.  We believed that everyone should think for themselves.  Contrary to popular belief, virtually all of the best and brightest of our generation were hippies.  If you were between the ages of 15 and 30 between 1965 and 1975, and you were smart and had a soul, you were most likely a hippy.

It was fun being a hippy.  We were like a large extended family.  We sheltered each other, fed each other, and helped each other.  We raised money to pay for free clinics, food co-ops, and bail funds for busted hippies.  We acted as a real and unusually caring community.  There were crash pads if you needed a place to stay, free food was generally available, and people took care of each other as the need arose.

As a hippy you could go into any large city, find the hippy part of town, and instantly connect to like-minded brethren – though all were strangers.

Let me acknowledge that I am generalizing somewhat because hippies were not all alike by any stretch of the imagination – yet we tended to have certain things in common, certain philosophies.  We opposed war, the one in Vietnam that was ongoing at the time, and all others as well.  We believed it was possible for civilized people to work things out without resorting to violence.  We believed in tolerance, acceptance, and compassion.  We advocated peace, love, and understanding.


What’s so funny about peace, love, and understanding?

~ Nick Lowe

The hippies I knew and respected most were among the most serious people I would ever meet.  They were radically curious and unwilling to accept false or facile answers to tough questions.  We were very serious young people who took our responsibility to understand the world accurately and to act upon it in a profoundly positive way very seriously indeed – much more seriously than a majority of our non-hippy peers I dare say.

But mostly we were brothers and sisters embracing an ethic of gentleness and kindness, and who felt a deeply human and humane connection to one another.  My closest friends, hippies all (or freaks as we came to call ourselves), as I look back on them in all their joyful idealism, were among the noblest creatures to ever grace this planet.

1967 is the year the hippy movement took root in the USA, though it had been building for years.  I turned 15 that year and was already dialed in.  I knew all about Timothy Leary (turn on, tune in, drop out), had read all about pot and couldn’t wait to start smokin’ it.  I worshipped the Beatles and the Stones and all the other rock gods.I was a hippy waiting to happen, and when the wave came I caught it.  I smoked, dropped acid, and took mescaline.  I left home, dropped out of school, and hit the road hitchhiking across the country to get a realeducation.

Everywhere I went I had an instant connection to other hippies.  We all instantly recognized each other (most of us were sort of hard to miss 😀 ).  Flashing a peace sign was like showing ID.  It said `Hey!  I’m one of the cool ones!’  Most hippies were generous and kind to a fault.  Most anybody you met would offer you a place to stay for a day or two, and treat you like an honored guest whilst you were amongst them.

Hippies would always pick me up hitchhiking, and usually get me stoned, feed me, whatever.  There was a powerful sense of brotherhood between hippies.  It was a trip…like having family you never met in every city.  There was a ton of goodwill between us.  We all believed in peace and love after all.

The height of my hippy career was Woodstock in August of 69…three days of peace and music…I can still feel the love.  🙂  I haven’t felt a sense of brotherhood like that since those days went by the wayside.

Though I don’t much look like it these days, I will always think of myself as a hippie.  It was the best damn thing I ever was.

~ Easy Livin’, coolest hippie I ever knew

Hippies had a major impact on the broader culture.  For all of those who hated us, others were inspired by us – people such as artists, musicians, and intellectuals.  Popular art was strongly affected by the counter culture.

We also influenced the fine art of the day – or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that we shared influences.

Our numerous wonderful and colorful influences on American culture were appreciated by many, but not all.  Conservatives, whom the culture was trying desperately to break away from, hated us.  We saw them for what they were and we called a spade a spade.  We called them pigs because that’s what they were (and still are).  They didn’t much like that – or us for that matter.  They hated the truth about themselves or about anything else – and they hated us for telling it.  Because of their grip on the propaganda machine, their voices dominated and we faced horrible discrimination as a result.  Ironically, this only served to strengthen our bonds with black Americans, Native Americans, gay Americans and all others who experienced the same sort of treatment.  We embraced Truth, Love, and Peace.  Nothing is more threatening to those who live on Lies, Hatred, and War.  We preached against materialism while their whole world ran on it.  Greed and materialism was what they were all about and we told them so.  We filled them with fear and loathing, and they were merciless towards us.

The legacy of the hippies:

– There’s nothing funny about Peace, Love, and Understanding.
– Peace is better than War, Love is better than Hate, and Understanding is better than Ignorance.
– An opened mind is a useful approach to life.
– People deserve to be loved, accepted, and cared for.
– Drug warriors and laws against drugs do infinitely more harm than drugs themselves.
– People should be totally free as long as they aren’t hurting or causing harm to anyone.
– We should all have more respect, empathy, and concern for one another.
– War and violence suck and have no place in civilized society!
– Our government lies like a fucking rug and must be restrained by the people.
– The excesses of capitalism must likewise be restrained by the people.
– It is easier to mock, scorn, or trivialize than it is to understand, but understanding is worth the effort.

Volkswagen Re-Releasing Classic Hippy Van As New Electric Version

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Volkswagen Re-Releasing Classic Hippy Van As New Electric Version

POSTED ONAPRIL 16, 2016LIFE 384001
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Are you looking for a way to get back to the good old days in one way or another?  This classic hippy van is a way to do it without compromising your values over the things that are important to you.  Most people understand that gas guzzlers are a thing of the past, but not everyone is ready to flow into the confined market of electric cars because there is not enough personalization to enjoy it.  Now, Volkswagen is introducing a brand new model of its beloved hippy van and enjoy all of the benefits that come from enjoying a modern vehicle.

The exciting part of this van is that it maintains the authenticity of the hippy van that we all love and cherish while making sure that is has all of our modern needs in terms of fuel/power as well as things like AC and a powerful engine that will take you all over the world with no carbon footprint to speak of.  This is sure to get heart pumping, I can imagine.  It’s a modern piece of history come back to us at last, and we couldn’t be more excited.

#hippie-van#volkswagen#electric#beatnikhiway.com#ana_christy

The big top comes down: Ringling Bros. circus is closing after 146 years. Hiway America.

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Ringling Brothers

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 Charles and John Ringling, along with their brothers Albert and Otto, founded the Ringling Bros. Circus in 1884, in Baraboo, Wisconsin. By the 1930s, the Ringling brothers were among the most famous American entrepreneurs, and were known throughout the world. By that time, they had bought out their biggest competitor, the Barnum & Bailey Circus, and were operating as the largest circus in the United States.

The big top comes down: Ringling Bros. circus is closing

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 Circus Ringling Bros.Barnum & Bailey Kings of the Circus

Ringling bros and barnum bailey circus Atlanta 2016 final

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus train and Union Pacific 3985
History was made today when the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus train and Union Pacific Railroad’s “Challenger,” No. 3985, joined together, literally, between Speer, Wyo., and Denver, Colo., to celebrate U.S. railroad heritage. Challenger pulled the mile-long circus train, packed full of international performers, exotic animals, and all the equipment needed to present the all-new Ringling Bros. Circus, Barnum’s FUNundrum!SM, which makes a two-week stop in Denver. Union Pacific’s No. 3985 continues on a six-state tour from Cheyenne, Wyo., to Gorham, Ill.
“We are proud that No. 3985 pulled the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus train into Denver. A record was set when Challenger pulled a 65-car train that is more than 6,000 tons and nearly 6,100 feet long, the most for a steam locomotive in the 21st century,” said Dick Hartman, Union Pacific’s director of public affairs for Colorado and Wyoming.
The combined trains arrived shortly after 10:00 am and were met by over 500 excited fans at the intersection of York Street and East 47th Avenue. A welcome celebration followed that featured Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson and performers from Ringling Bros., officials from Union Pacific, and Denver city auditor, Dennis Gallagher, who presented a proclamation from the Mayor of Denver.
“Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey is excited to be part of this railroad heritage celebration; we’ve been riding the rails for the last 140 years, so we are a part of railroad history,” said Johnathan Lee Iverson, Ringmaster for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Barnum’s FUNundrum!SM, is a monumental, once in a lifetime show, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of the legendary P.T. Barnum, and can only be experienced at The Greatest Show On Earth, Barnum’s living legacy! Ringling Bros. will be performing in Denver through October 10, 2010 and then will continue on its two-year tour.
For more information about Ringling Bros., visit http://www.Ringling.com.
For more information about Union Pacific or No. 3985, visit http://www.up.com.
Stock Footage – CIRCUS PEOPLE, 1950

Ringling Bros. Circus Chooses First Female Ringmaster in Its 146-Year History

History of the Circus Sideshow / Freakshow

A visit to Ringling Brothers Circus Museum in Florida

Tamara Lush, Associated Press
Associated PressJanuary 15, 2017

ELLENTON, Fla. (AP) — After 146 years, the curtain is coming down on “The Greatest Show on Earth.” The owner of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus told The Associated Press that the show will close forever in May.

The iconic American spectacle was felled by a variety of factors, company executives say. Declining attendance combined with high operating costs, along with changing public tastes and prolonged battles with animal rights groups all contributed to its demise.

“There isn’t any one thing,” said Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment. “This has been a very difficult decision for me and for the entire family.”

The company broke the news to circus employees Saturday night after shows in Orlando and Miami.

Ringling Bros. has two touring circuses this season and will perform 30 shows between now and May. Major stops include Atlanta, Washington, Philadelphia, Boston and Brooklyn. The final shows will be in Providence, Rhode Island, on May 7 and in Uniondale, New York, at the Nassau County Coliseum on May 21.

The circus, with its exotic animals, flashy costumes and death-defying acrobats, has been a staple of entertainment in the United States since the mid-1800s. Phineas Taylor Barnum made a traveling spectacle of animals and human oddities popular, while the five Ringling brothers performed juggling acts and skits from their home base in Wisconsin. Eventually, they merged and the modern circus was born. The sprawling troupes traveled around America by train, wowing audiences with the sheer scale of entertainment and exotic animals.

By midcentury, the circus was routine, wholesome family entertainment. But as the 20th century went on, kids became less and less enthralled. Movies, television, video games and the internet captured young minds. The circus didn’t have savvy product merchandising tie-ins or Saturday morning cartoons to shore up its image.

“The competitor in many ways is time,” said Feld, adding that transporting the show by rail and other circus quirks — such as providing a traveling school for performers’ children— are throwbacks to another era. “It’s a different model that we can’t see how it works in today’s world to justify and maintain an affordable ticket price. So you’ve got all these things working against it.”

The Feld family bought the Ringling circus in 1967. The show was just under 3 hours then. Today, the show is 2 hours and 7 minutes, with the longest segment — a tiger act — clocking in at 12 minutes.

“Try getting a 3- or 4-year-old today to sit for 12 minutes,” he said.

Feld and his daughter Juliette Feld, who is the company’s chief operating officer, acknowledged another reality that led to the closing, and it was the one thing that initially drew millions to the show: the animals. Ringling has been targeted by activists who say forcing animals to perform is cruel and unnecessary.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a longtime opponent of the circus, wasted no time in claiming victory.

“After 36 years of PETA protests, which have awoken the world to the plight of animals in captivity, PETA heralds the end of what has been the saddest show on earth for wild animals, and asks all other animal circuses to follow suit, as this is a sign of changing times,” Ingrid Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, wrote in a statement.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, acknowledged the move was “bittersweet” for the Felds but said: “I applaud their decision to move away from an institution grounded on inherently inhumane wild animal acts.”

In May of 2016, after a long and costly legal battle, the company removed the elephants from the shows and sent the animals to live on a conservation farm in Central Florida. The animals had been the symbol of the circus since Barnum brought an Asian elephant named Jumbo to America in 1882. In 2014, Feld Entertainment won $25.2 million in settlements from groups including the Humane Society of the United States, ending a 14-year fight over allegations that circus employees mistreated elephants.

By the time the elephants were removed, public opinion had shifted somewhat. Los Angeles prohibited the use of bull-hooks by elephant trainers and handlers, as did Oakland, California. The city of Asheville, North Carolina nixed wild or exotic animals from performing in the municipally owned, 7,600-seat U.S. Cellular Center.

Attendance has been dropping for 10 years, said Juliette Feld, but when the elephants left, there was a “dramatic drop” in ticket sales. Paradoxically, while many said they didn’t want big animals to perform in circuses, many others refused to attend a circus without them.

“We know now that one of the major reasons people came to Ringling Bros. was getting to see elephants,” she said. “We stand by that decision. We know it was the right decision. This was what audiences wanted to see and it definitely played a major role.”

The Felds say their existing animals — lions, tigers, camels, donkeys, alpacas, kangaroos and llamas — will go to suitable homes. Juliette Feld says the company will continue operating the Center for Elephant Conservation.

Some 500 people perform and work on both touring shows. A handful will be placed in positions with the company’s other, profitable shows — it owns Monster Jam, Disney on Ice and Marvel Live, among other things — but most will be out of a job. Juliette Feld said the company will help employees with job placement and resumes. In some cases where a circus employee lives on the tour rail car (the circus travels by train), the company will also help with housing relocation.

Kenneth Feld became visibly emotional while discussing the decision with a reporter. He said over the next four months, fans will be able to say goodbye at the remaining shows.

In recent years, Ringling Bros. tried to remain relevant, hiring its first African American ringmaster, then its first female ringmaster, and also launching an interactive app. It added elements from its other, popular shows, such as motorbike daredevils and ice skaters. But it seemingly was no match for Pokemon Go and a generation of kids who desire familiar brands and YouTube celebrities.

“We tried all these different things to see what would work, and supported it with a lot of funding as well, and we weren’t successful in finding the solution,” said Kenneth Feld.

#barnum_bailey_circus#circus#ringling_brothers#the-big-top#the-greatest-show-on-earth#wisconsin#beatnikhiway.com#ana_christy#anachristy#entertainment

THE COUNTERCULTURE

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The Counterculture

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photo Janis Joplin and Big Brother and The Holding Company, Lagunitas, California, 1967. Joplin’s gritty, full-throttle blues-rock style offered a new, liberating image for women in the world of rock music.

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Unconventional appearance, music, drugs, communitarian experiments, and sexual liberation were hallmarks of the sixties counterculture, most of whose members were white, middle-class young Americans. To some Americans, these attributes reflected American ideals of free speech, equality, and pursuit of happiness. Other people saw the counterculture as self-indulgent, pointlessly rebellious, unpatriotic, and destructive of America’s moral order.

Authorities banned the psychedelic drug LSD, restricted political gatherings, and tried to enforce bans on what they considered obscenity in books, music, theater, and other media. Parents argued with their children and worried about their safety. Some adults accepted elements of the counterculture, while others became estranged from sons and daughters.

In 1967 Lisa and Tom Law moved to San Francisco, joining thousands of young people flocking to the Haight-Ashbury district. The counterculture lifestyle integrated many of the ideals and indulgences of the time: peace, love, harmony, music, mysticism, and religions outside the Judeo-Christian tradition. Meditation, yoga, and psychedelic drugs were embraced as routes to expanding one’s consciousness.

 


 

 

photo The “Freak-Out” show, Los Angeles, 1965. Rock music, colorful light shows, performance artists, and mind-altering drugs characterized the psychedelic dance parties of the sixties held in large halls in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

 

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A concert in the Panhandle, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, 1967

 

photo The Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco, 1967. Students, hippies, musicians, and artists gravitated toward the community’s inexpensive housing and festive atmosphere.

 

 

photo Hell’s Angels motorcycle club members, the Panhandle in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, 1967. While some people admired the Hell’s Angels’ audacious style, its members had an uneven and sometimes violent relationship with people in the counterculture.

 

photo Musician in the Panhandle, San Francisco, 1967

 

photo “Summer of Love,” the Panhandle, San Francisco, 1967

 

photo San Francisco, 1967

 

photo Easter Sunday Love-In, Malibu Canyon, California, 1968. This was a celebration of the counterculture movement.

 

photo Suzuki-Roshi, a Buddhist teacher, at the Human Be-In, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, January 14, 1967. Also known as “A Gathering of the Tribes,” the Human Be-In was an effort to promote positive interactions among different groups in society.

 

photo Poet Allen Ginsberg, Human Be-In festival, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, 1967. Ginsberg, known for his poem Howl, lived and symbolized the bohemian ideals of the Beat Generation of the 1950s and embraced the counterculture of the sixties.

 

It [the counterculture] was an attempt to rebel against the values our parents had pushed on us. We were trying to get back to touching and relating and living.

-Lisa Law, 1985

 

photo Monterey International Pop Festival, Monterey, California, 1967. Monterey Pop was one of the first large outdoor rock festivals in the 1960s. Lisa and Tom Law sheltered people who were having difficult psychedelic drug experiences in their “Trip Tent.”

 

photo Timothy Leary, the Harvard-trained psychologist who coined the phrase “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out,” at the Human Be-In, San Francisco, 1967

 

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