Hundred Flowers

Hundred Flowers was an underground newspaper published in Minneapolis, Minnesota from April 17, 1970 to April 4, 1972. It was produced by a communal collective, with the main instigator being antiwar activist and former Smith College drama instructor Ed Felien. The 16-page, two-color tabloid was published weekly (later biweekly) and cost 25 cents, circulating about 5000 copies. Hundred Flowers was a blend of antiwar radical activism with hippie counterculture, with special issues devoted to the Women’s Liberation and Gay Liberation movements and to the Black Panther Party. Founders, members of the staff collective and contributors included SDS/gay activist Brian J. Coyle (who later became Minneapolis’ first openly gay city council person), Warren Hanson (who later founded the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, and co-founded Fresh Air Community Radio aka KFAI-FM and Community Reinvestment Fund USA), Tom Utne (graphic artist & brother of Eric Utne, publisher of the Utne Reader), Richard Dworkin, Marly Rusoff (who later founded The Loft Literary Center), Ralph Wittcoff (a co-founder of the New Riverside Cafe), Rosemary Pierce, and many others. Ed Felien went on to serve on the Minneapolis City Council and to establish South Side Pride, a successful South side newspaper and news blog. For at least the first 8 months of its existence the core group lived in a staff commune. A financial breakdown published in an early issue reported that Hundred Flowers had to gross between four and five hundred dollars a week to break even, with about half the money coming from advertising and the other half coming from sales by casual street vendors, which were coordinated through three local head shops which served as distribution points. Half the money went to pay for printing and the other half paid the rent, utilities and food bills of the staff commune. After its 19th issue Hundred Flowers could no longer find a printer with the necessary web-fed press anywhere within a 150-mile radius who was willing to print the paper, and the staff were forced to go to Port Washington, Wisconsin to get the paper printed by William Schanen (‘by mid-1969, his was the only print shop between Iowa City and Kalamazoo willing to handle underground papers’), who was printing the Chicago Seed, Milwaukee Kaleidoscope and about half the underground papers in the Midwest. …”
Hundred Flowers

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The Soul Of Spanish Harlem / El Barrio: Sounds from the Spanish Harlem Streets

“The mid-to-late 60s produced an explosion of Latin soul, emanating a few blocks east of Harlem’s Apollo Theater in East or Spanish Harlem. This compilation features the sweet harmony sounds of artists from the area – including Joe Bataan, Ralphi Pagan, the Lebron Brothers and a host of unknowns who recorded for labels such as Fania, Cotique and Speed. It also includes rare 45s by Parrish and 125th Street Candy Store. It gathers up some of the rarest and most sought after recordings of the era, including three-figure singles by Frankie Nieves, Tony Middleton and Harvey Averne which are collected by dancers, as well as Olivieri and Ralphi and the Latin Lovers which are sought-after by vocal group fans. …”
Holland Tunnel Dive
amazon: The Soul Of Spanish Harlem
Juno: The Soul Of Spanish Harlem (Audio)
“Awesome new installment in the essential ‘El Barrio’ series of compilations from the great Fania salsa label. Fania is to salsa as Motown is to soul or Studio One is to reggae and this compilation picks fifteen killer tracks from the Fania ‘family’ of labels that included Tico and Allegre. There’s a good mixture of ‘classic’ tracks alongside well chosen obscurities from some of the rarer releases. Explosive New York latin music that incorporates elements of soul and rock from the 1960s and 1970s with intense percussion, fiery singing, and explosive horns. …”
Holland Tunnel Dive
amazon: El Barrio: Sounds From Spanish Harlem Streets
YouTube: Roberto Roena y su Apollo Sound – Consolacion, Pete Rodriguez Y Su Conjunto – Here come the judge, Tito Puente – Safari, Eddie Palmieri – Chocolate ice cream

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The Vietnam War Is Over. The Bombs Remain.

Bombs, Agent Orange and the Lethal Legacy of Bombs in Quang Tri

“Shading my eyes from the bright sun, I stared into the bomb crater amid the verdant rice paddies. While it had been nearly 50 years since the last American planes riddled the countryside near Danang in central Vietnam, craters still pockmark the land. Some of the deep depressions remain dry while others, a testament to the ingenuity of the villagers, serve as watering holes for the oxen that farmers harness to till their fields. It was my first week in Vietnam, where I would spend the summer of 2016 conducting research. I was studying the efficacy of international law, namely whether legal remedies exist for civilian victims of unexploded ordnance and chemical weapons from the Vietnam War. I had arrived well versed in the numbers: America dropped three times more ordnance over Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia than all sides did during World War II. Estimates are that at least 350,000 tons of live bombs and mines remain in Vietnam, and that it will take 300 years to clear them from the Vietnamese landscape at the current rate. Bombs and other ordnance were dropped on thousands of villages and hamlets. The most common were cluster bombs, each of which contained hundreds of baseball-size bomblets; the bombs are designed to explode near ground level, releasing metal fragments to maim and kill. But many of the cluster bombs failed to release their contents or, in other cases, their bomblets failed to detonate. For the Vietnamese, the war continues. Loss of arms, legs and eyesight are for the more fortunate ones. Others have lost their family breadwinners, or their children. Children find baseball-size metal objects and unwittingly toss the ‘toys’ to one another in games of catch until they explode. Nearly 40,000 Vietnamese have been killed since the end of the war in 1975, and 67,000 maimed, by land mines, cluster bombs and other ordnance. …”
NY Times
Laos Finds New Life After the Bombs
New Yorker: The Vietnam War Is Still Killing People
YouTube: Unexploded bombs leave a deadly legacy in Vietnam, Laos: The fight against the deadly legacy of U.S. bombing

Posted in Agent Orange, CIA, Henry Kissinger, Ho Chi Minh Trail, John Kennedy, Laos, Lyn. Johnson, Nixon, R. McNamara, Vietnam War | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Women and Power – Gloria Steinem

“… If Harry Truman had pursued this advantage (he didn’t; even Gore Vidal doesn’t go that far), he certainly would have known that it wasn’t his beautiful soul and/or body that attracted her. Men wise in the ways of power understand its sexual uses as well. But there are a lot of men, and a surprising number of women, who believe the sexual segregationist argument that women aren’t interested in power at all; that something in their genes makes them prefer to be ordered about. While this is true of individual women—and some individual men: think of all those who seek out domineering wives or job hierarchies to take orders from—it turns out to be no more fundamentally true than all the other past myths: that women enjoyed sex less than men, for instance, or that Negroes were dependent creatures who didn’t want power either. A century ago when Henry Adams wrote Democracy, still the only truthful novel about American politics, he understood that women wanted power, and had quite good instincts for using it. But objective truth and social truth are two different things. As a shy pretty Barnard girl explained, surprised to find herself braving police cordons outside a Columbia building, ‘I guess I’m just finding out that women are people.’ New York is probably one of the better places to discover it. Girls come here, after all, for somewhat the same reason that Negroes and homosexuals do: to escape the roles dictated by their background and Conventional Wisdom, and discover what they can do on their own. Frequently, it turns out that they, too, want to see tangible and intangible proofs that they make a difference in the world, that they are unique and valuable people. Power may be a dirty word, especially among New-Left-through-Hippies who fear that it must be manipulative and bad. (Though they have no double standard. Power is bad for anyone, male or female, and ‘manipulative’ is the worst word in the New Left lexicon.) But vitality and a desire to change things are its ingredients, and the under-thirty generation has those in better supply than anyone else. They may not call it ‘power,’ but they are certainly seeking to take control away from the Establishment. …”
New York Magazine

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Miranda v. Arizona

Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court. In a 5–4 majority, the Court held that both inculpatory and exculpatory statements made in response to interrogation by a defendant in police custody will be admissible at trial only if the prosecution can show that the defendant was informed of the right to consult with an attorney before and during questioning and of the right against self-incrimination before police questioning, and that the defendant not only understood these rights, but voluntarily waived them. This case has a significant impact on law enforcement in the United States, by making what became known as the Miranda rights part of routine police procedure to ensure that suspects were informed of their rights. The Supreme Court decided Miranda with three other consolidated cases: Westover v. United States, Vignera v. New York, and California v. Stewart. The Miranda warning (often shortened to ‘Miranda’, or ‘Mirandizing’ a suspect) is the name of the formal warning that is required to be given by law enforcement in the United States to criminal suspects in police custody (or in a custodial situation) before they are interrogated, in accordance with the Miranda ruling. Its purpose is to ensure the accused are aware of, and reminded of, these rights before questioning or actions that are reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response. … During the 1960s, a movement which provided defendants with legal aid emerged from the collective efforts of various bar associations. In the civil realm, it led to the creation of the Legal Services Corporation under the Great Society program of President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Escobedo v. Illinois, a case which closely foreshadowed Miranda, provided for the presence of counsel during police interrogation. This concept extended to a concern over police interrogation practices, which were considered by many to be barbaric and unjust. Coercive interrogation tactics were known in period slang as the ‘third degree‘. On March 13, 1963, Ernesto Miranda was arrested, by the Phoenix Police Department, based on circumstantial evidence linking him to the kidnapping and rape of an eighteen-year-old woman ten days earlier. …”
W – Miranda warning
YouTube: Miranda v. Arizona

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey (1962)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962) is a novel written by Ken Kesey. Set in an Oregon psychiatric hospital, the narrative serves as a study of the institutional processes and the human mind as well as a critique of behaviorism and a celebration of humanistic principles. It was adapted into the broadway (and later off-broadway) play One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Dale Wasserman in 1963. … The book is narrated by ‘Chief’ Bromden, a gigantic yet docile half-Native American patient at a psychiatric hospital, who everyone presumes is deaf and mute, a belief he passively allows so he can be ‘cagey’. Bromden’s tale focuses mainly on the antics of the larger than life, happily rebellious Randle Patrick McMurphy, who faked insanity to serve his sentence for battery and gambling in the hospital rather than at a prison work farm. The head administrative nurse, Nurse Ratched, known throughout the story as the ‘Big Nurse’, rules the ward with absolute authority, zero compassion, and little medical oversight. She is assisted by her three hate-filled day-shift orderlies whom she selects based on how bitter and angry they each are, and her weak-willed assistant doctors, knowing they will always go along with what she says. … One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was written in 1959 and published in 1962 in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement and deep changes to the way psychology and psychiatry were being approached in America. The 1960s began the controversial movement towards deinstitutionalization, an act that would have affected the characters in Kesey’s novel. … Not only did he speak to the patients and witness the workings of the institution, but he voluntarily took psychoactive drugs, including mescaline and LSD, as part of Project MKUltra. In addition to his work with Project MKUltra, Kesey experimented with LSD recreationally. He advocated for drug use as a path to individual freedom, an attitude that was reflected in the views of psychological researchers of the time. In the 1960s LSD was thought to offer the best access to the human mind. Each individual’s experiences were said to vary; emotions and experiences ranged from transformations into other life forms, religious experiences, and extreme empathy. It was Kesey’s experience with LSD and other psychedelics that made him sympathetic toward the patients. The novel constantly refers to different authorities that control individuals through subtle and coercive methods. The novel’s narrator, the Chief, combines these authorities in his mind, calling them ‘The Combine’ in reference to the mechanistic way they manipulate and process individuals. …”
Vanity Fair: Still Cuckoo After All These Years
NY Times: …And the Young Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest By Walter Kerr (Oct. 3, 1971)

Posted in Books, Civil Rights Mov., Hippie, Ken Kesey, LSD, Marijuana, Religion | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Synthedelia: Psychedelic Electronic Music in the 1960s

“‘Rock & roll is electronic music – because if you pull the plug, it stops.’ So says Louis ‘Cork’ Marcheschi of Fifty Foot Hose, whose sole album, Cauldron – a pioneering collision of abstract electronics and psychedelic rock originally released in 1967 – was reissued for the first time on vinyl at the end of 2017. Marcheschi’s remark is a reissue too, in a way. He originally made that assertion early in ’67 when he and guitarist David Blossom were drunkenly hatching the idea for Fifty Foot Hose, as a rock group that ‘really incorporated the concepts of electronic music not as sound effects but as a substantive part of the music.’ Fifty Foot Hose weren’t the only ’60s rockers who’d had this lightbulb moment. Although these bands were largely unaware of each other’s existence at the time, you could group Fifty Foot Hose among a confederacy of acid-era bands from North America who embraced synthesizers and musique concrète’s tape-manipulation techniques. Silver Apples and United States of America have long been cult groups, but there’s also lesser-known exponents of the style, such as the Canadian trio Syrinx (and its avant-garde precursor Intersystems), Lothar and the Hand People, Beaver & Krause and Tonto’s Expanding Head Band. Since retroactively invented genres are all the rage these days – nobody at the time talked about minimal synth, or freakbeat, or junkshop glam – it’s tempting to float a comprehensive coinage. Synthedelia, anybody? So, what defines this quasi-genre? First, the shared approach to electronics was abstract and sound-painterly, often utilizing hand-made electronic instruments. Second, most of these outfits had a direct connection to the ’60s avant-garde, with one foot planted in psychedelic rock and the other either in the realm of academic composition or in the Fluxus-style underground of multimedia happenings. Finally, nearly all of these groups released just one or two albums before disbanding. …”
Red Bull Music Academy Daily (Video)

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