Rewiring the System

Talkin’ Bout My Generations, Hippy Communes No More!

Posted in Uncategorized by rewiringangel on February 24, 2010
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This evening, Tuesday 23 February 2010, I attended a most important talk! It was all about the future of Mankind.  How will our earth, under our very feet, survive the next 50 years?  Stewart Brand told a string theory story about a generation whose residual texture is a string in the many warp and woof of pure rapture. We, who went off into the country, went to reinvent society.

It got lost because the men brought sexist attitudes and as Mr. Brand said,” the woman got tired of all the cooking and cleaning so, the woman left. Four months later all the men packed up and followed back to urban society.’  I went up to listen to what people said to Stewart after the talk and a young man standing next to me snapped to a young beautiful woman just behind me, ‘Get my bag of books!’ Some men do not change. I whispered to him that if he talked to me that way he would never get to touch my soft sweet skin!  He looked at her and asked what she thought of my comment. She said that in fact he was publicly rude. He was ordering her to be a pack animal! When I saw them on the street he walked up to me to show he was carrying the large heavy bag of books and holding an umbrella over their heads and said, ‘see chivalry is not dead!’  *(Chivalry, is a term related to the medieval institution of Knighthood. It is usually associated with ideals of knightly virtueshonor and courtly love. The word is derived from the French word “chevalerie”, itself derived from “chevalier”, which means knight, derived from “cheval”, horse- (indicating one who rides a horse). Today, the terms chivalry and chivalrous are often used to describe courteous behavior, especially that of men towards women. Wikipedia)

Nineteen hundred and sixty eight, in the communes and still today, there are men who do not realize that without woman men get very scarce… How can we worry about carbon footprints when we have not solved our human dance of men and woman working together waving to the music will be the only survival sonnet?

Stewart went on to talk about his early work on the Whole Earth Catalogue as an effort to integrate technology into the ‘hippy’ communes.  How fun to remember my times at the rural  ‘Island of the Red Hood’ as an outgrowth of the urban ‘Bum Fuck Egypt’ stone mansion ‘ette’ just 50 yards from the Wissahickon Creek,  Much of the creek now runs through or next to parkland, with the last few miles running through a deep gorge. The beauty of this area attracted the attention of literary personages.  The gorge area is now part of the Fairmount Park system in Philadelphia, and the Wissahickon Valley is known as one of 600 National Natural Landmarks of the United States.

It was beautiful! I had a great job at the Girls High School managing to both pay the rent for supporting ‘Bum Fuck Egypt’ and put away a tidy savings.  The Hawaiian drug dealers came regularly. They were what was the most dangerous as the Jamaicans are today.  The Hawaiians with their long black hair and fierce black irises carried with their rippled muscles large double size green Rubbermaid trash receptacles of the finest female buds.  I insisted that the containers be hung out the back window on cloths lines so that technically the drugs were not on the property.  Imagine that the neighbors never noticed! I guess that the house backed into the park area and big leafed English Plain Trees might have shaded them.

Stewart mentioned that the drug dealers passed from the urban areas into the countryside never lost their business sense gained in the drug scene. Though the food crops, planted to hifi music pumped out from speakers in the field, the harvest did not rival what was available in the country grocery stores. I know that my time in the country was not wasted. I did not fall into the style or shape of a hippy  but I did live in the mix.  Timothy Leary baby sat for my first husband! Leary told me he had the hots for my ex’s Mother! He went on and on in wide eyed detail!  He and I were both most interested in Brain Biology.  He wanted to write rock and roll with important school work so that teens would learn! Boy are we all glad he went to Harvard and discovered Acid from the English alcoholics!

I would let the joint come and go without taking any into my lungs. No one knew that I had no interest in losing my mind!  I had a blast at the movie going on all around me.  However, I had to get up every morning and go to work. I loved going to work and returning in the evening to peek into this counter culture. I was an early adopter like a child looking at the first day of a new toy. A new Idea!

Hippies returned to cities when the glam and shine of the rural life lost its glitter.  All around the world, young people shook all the political foundations. The Neo Cons and the far right agenda, though just a small number of the world populations, wanted very much to keep 99% of the wealth.  They managed to keep all that money and resources in one percent of the people.  Pleonastic, unnecessarily repeated cultural cycles! I view cyclical cruel odd behavior, shown to one another by individuals, to themselves, to their families, to the neighborhood and out to configure all of society since the dawn of our biped antecedents!  Over and over again, our Earth has sustained the same old song with a different meaning to new deaf humankind.

The hippies went home from on the range to become gainfully employed in their own businesses or in the corporate flux. These men and woman, while working within the ‘system’ they were trying by political means to insert ecological conservative values into national laws.  In Europe, the effort to seed peaceful relations between nationalities started in the 1950’s now has a Euro currency and flag. Here we allowed Madison Avenue to usurp our energy and replace ecology with materialism.

A dark night of the soul fell over the America.  The ‘throw away’ society of Big and Bigger, More and most took hold since there is a complete loss of respect for the land, for our Globe, our Mother Earth herself. Though we had the image from space of the little blue marble, we had no idea of how to keep our Earth systems functioning.

Now we are in a worldwide ruin! We must pursue an energy path that will not continue to load the air and atmospheres with deadly pollutants.

Are we entering a time where the weather will change suddenly, over a few years, into another little ice age? Will the carbon offset the chill or turn our cities into deserts, which are unable to house and feed the populations?

My daughter and the 20 something’s are growing at a time of shifts in every area in the habitual pattern of form.  Who are they who will bring about a shift away from death and destruction into the flow of whatever the next surge will be labeled? My daughter read Stuart Brant’s’ book. Our conversation is filled with such well thought out continuations of Stewart’s critical points.

I was thrilled to see what a great life I have lived! Spending time in two interesting communes. Bum Fuck Egypt organized a medical transportation service, complete with hand-embroidered medallions at the 1968 ‘March on Washington.’  (I wonder if any of the Bum Fuckianes still have their patches.) I have not thought about those days in twenty years. I was swept onto a political stage in the basement of the big General Electric maximum-security building working on publicity for the first Earth Day.  Somewhere in storage, I might still have a copy of both the Whole Earth Catalog and the Earth day big yellow sunburst.  What fun!  I had amazing experiences at each event.  Learning that the biggest energy company, General Electric, funded the international party we know as the Earth Day. Looking back this seems like an irrelevant event. It was a super stoner sport!

The title Whole Earth Catalog came from a previous project of Stewart Brand. In 1966, he initiated a public campaign to have NASA release the then-rumored satellite photo of the sphere of Earth as seen from space, the first image of the “Whole Earth.” He thought the image might be a powerful symbol, evoking a sense of shared destiny and adaptive strategies from people. The Stanford educated Brand, a biologist with strong artistic and social interests, believed that there was a groundswell of commitment to thoroughly renovating American industrial society along ecologically and socially just lines, whatever they might prove to be.


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