Put your old ladies back into bed
Your old men back into their graves
Cover their ears so they can't hear us sing
Cover their eyes so that can't see us play
Get out of the way
Let the people play
We're gonna get down on you
Come alive all over you Dancin' down into your town
Whatever you think of us is totally irrelevant
Both to us now and to you
We are the present
We are the future
You are the past
Pay your dues and get outta the way
'Cause we're not the way you used to be
When you were very young
We're something new
We don't quite know what it is
Or particularly care
We just do it - You gotta do it
Open your eyes there's a new world a-comin'
Open your eyes there's a new world today
Open your hearts people are lovin'
Open it all we're here to stay
OPEN THAT DOOR
Militant nationalists who rose against the British colonizers
in post World War II Kenya. In active resistance between 1951
and 1955, as many as 30000 may have been killed; the official
figure of 3000 killed is universally regarded as a gross
underestimation. More than 20000 members of the Kikuyu tribe
were imprisoned in detention camps; among them, Jomo Kenyatta,
who became Prime Minister upon Independence in 1963.
Roland Oliver and Anthony Atmore, Africa Since 1800, Third
During the Salem, Massachusetts witch-hunt (1692-1693),
141 people were arrested, 19 hanged, and 1 pressed to death.
Burning of witches was a common practice in Europe; as many as
100000 people may have been burned as suspected witches in
Rosemary Ellen Guiley, The Encyclopedia of Witches and
"...the Accusers, being very positive that if the Accused
...were bound and put into the River they would swim...Accordingly
a most solemn procession was made to the Mill-Pond, where both
Accused and Accusers being stripped (saving only to the Women
their Shifts) were bound Hand and Foot and severally placed in the
water...every one of them swam very light upon the Water...The more
thinking part of the spectators were of the Opinion that any Person
so bound and placed in the Water (unless they were mere Skin and Bones)
would swim, till their Breath was gone, and their Lungs fill'd with
Water. But it being the general belief of the Populace that the
Women's shifts and the garters with which they were bound help'd
to support them, it is said they are to be tried the next warm Weather,
Benjamin Franklin, A Witch Trial at Mount Holly, Pennsylvania
Gazette, 22 Oct 1730.
"We went to Grinnell College in Iowa, I think, in one of our early
tours, and people came to the show in prom gowns and tuxedos. And we
went back a year later, after "Somebody to Love" and that whole thing
was hitting, and the blah, blah, blah, flower power and all this shit
on the papers, and they're having nude love-ins and painting their
bodies with blue and red and green, and fucking in the mud in the
football stadium, and it's all just in a year. We were like
missionaries, you know, we were like Mormon missionaries going to
Africa and converting the natives from their current mode to the
new paradigm, as it were, and they were having the most fun, as much
fun as we were doing it. So we were just like sort of like missionary
spores going out and infecting the unsuspecting citizenry with these
new modes of thinking and ideas..."
Paul Kantner, A Guide Through the Chaos (A Road to the Passion),
Tyrannosaurus Rex was still thriving at the end of the age of
the dinosaurs (about 65 million years before present). Best guess
at present is that the T. Rex stomped the Earth for about the last
two million years of the Cretaceous epoch.
John R. Horner and Don Lessem, The Complete T-Rex, 1993.
Back when I was a kid, one theory posited to explain the demise of
the dinosaurs was this - a new class of small, furry creatures
(the clever, quick mammal) would sneak into the nest of the large,
slow, dimwitted dinosaur (ha! brain the size of a walnut!), and steal
and eat the eggs. Haven't heard this explanation in ages (Although I
have heard that eating meat on Fridays is OK now).
In 1980, Nobel Laureate Luis Alvarez and colleagues theorized
that a thin layer of iridium found worldwide in a stratum laid down
at the end of the Cretaceous epoch (the "K/T Boundary") resulted from
the impact of a ten kilometer wide asteroid. The impact would have
thrown large amounts of dust high into the atmosphere, which would have
decreased sunlight, leading to significantly lower surface temperatures.
If the climatic disruptions lasted long enough, and were severe enough,
the mass extinctions at the end of the Cretaceous could be explained.
Scientists were initially skeptical, being prejudiced against
any catastrophic explanation of the biological and geological
evolution of the earth after having to try to debunk biblical tales
of the delude for the last 3000 years. They're coming around though,
and the impact theory may even be said to have reached consensus.
There's even a likely candidate for the impact site - a crater buried
under the surface of Chicxulub, a town at the northeast tip of the
Yucatan Peninsula. But there's also some wiggle room - Dinosaur fossils
haven't been found in strata 100000 years prior to the K/T Boundary.
Adriana Ocampo, Michael Rampino, The Planetary Report, July/August 1996.
"Surrealistic Pillow hit the charts in March. Winds of change
carried the seeds of San Francisco psychedelia far and wide and
the Airplane served as avatars of this new wave of consciousness
rippling through youth - figuratively and literally. When Owsley
produced a fresh pressing he called Orange Sunshine, Kantner and Balin
took bags of the LSD onstage and threw tablets into the audience by
the handfuls, sowing their outlook in fertile brains like so many
psychedelic Johnny Appleseeds."
Joel Selvin, Summer of Love, 1994.
25 Oct 1969 - Richard Burton purchases a 69.4 carat, pear-shaped
diamond for his wife, Elizabeth Taylor. The diamond was purchased for
US$1.1 million from Mrs. Paul A. Ames, sister of billionaire
C. David Heymann, Liz - An Intimate Biography of Elizabeth
Ronald Wilson Reagan (1911- ) - 40th president of the USA (1981-1988),
governor of the state of California (1966-1974). Reagan starred in 31 Hollywood feature films in the period 1937-1951, with supporting
roles in 21 others. Not all were B grade.
Anne Edwards, Early Reagan - The Rise to Power, 1987.
Berkeley, California - In 1967 the University of California
purchased a three acre site for $1.3 million, hoping to build
dormitories on the site. Even though state money was not forthcoming
for this project, the houses on the site were demolished, and the
parcel was left vacant. Starting in April 1969, local activists seized
on the idea of using this space to create much needed open space for
the community, a "People's Park". Without seeking approval from the
University, people began to construct a park on the vacant space.
On the weekends, as many as 3000 people, from all walks of life,
converged on the spot to build the park. Many think Gov. Reagan saw an
opportunity to strengthen his electoral appeal for a second term by
cracking down on "revolutionaries."
Before dawn on 15 May 1969, police sealed off the neighborhood
surrounding the park as the site was bulldozed and fenced. A march on
the park that day sparked violent interaction with the police.
Alameda County Sheriff deputies responded by opening fire with shotguns,
firing indiscriminately for several hours. At the end of the day,
1 person was dead, and between 50 and 100 wounded. That night,
Gov. Reagan sent in 3000 National Guard troops, putting Berkeley under
martial law. About 1000 people were arrested in the next week.
In another outrageous incident, National Guard helicopters tear-gassed
a peaceful assembly on campus. The troops left after a seventeen day
The struggle over this parcel of land continues to this day;
the University has not yet been able to develop it.
Governor Reagan on the hippie - "...dresses like Tarzan, has hair
like Jane, and smells like Cheetah." Commenting on campus militancy,
April 1970 - "If it takes a bloodbath, let's get it over with.
No more appeasement."
Todd Gitlin, The Sixties - Years of Hope, Days of Rage, 1987.
Commenting on the presence of a Casino (built in 1874) within
the confines of Golden Gate Park, a citizen writing a letter to
the San Francisco News in 1886 said:
"Private concessions have desecrated the park by providing
fast men and women with an enlarged edition of merchandise.
High priced wines, private bedrooms, fast scenes and night
orgies are not the aesthetic to be cultivated by an institution
maintained at the public expense..."
Randolph Delehanty, The Ultimate Guide to San Francisco, 1989.
In the period 1961-1972, US aircraft flew approximately
3.5 million sorties over Vietnam and Cambodia. They dropped more
than six million tons of bombs, more that the total dropped by
Allied forces in World War II.
John Morrocco and the editors of Boston Publishing Co., Rain of Fire:
Air War 1969-1973, 1985.
Those bombs dropped by US aircraft did not distinguish between combatants and non-combatants.
Did the psychic disturbance caused by Nguyen Kong "Nick" Ut's 1972 Pulitzer Prize winning
photograph propagate backwards in time? This image, one of the most famous of the Vietnam war,
showed South Vietnamese children burned by a napalm attack (by the South Vietnamese Air Force)
running down Route 1.
Nine year old Phan Thi Kim Phuc, the little girl in the center of the photo, survived her severe
burns, but her two brothers were killed in the attack on her village of Trang Bang. As a young woman
she was used, against her wishes, as a propaganda tool. After persuading government officials to let her
study in Cuba, she sought (and was granted) political asylum during a trip to Canada. Now 32 years old,
she lives in Toronto with her husband and two year old son. This year, during a Veteran's Day
appearance at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, she said, "If I could talk face to face
with the pilot who dropped the bomb, I would tell him we cannot change history, but we should try to
do good things for the present and the future to have peace. I dream that one day, in all the world, we
can live in real peace with no more fighting and hostilities."
After his nomination was rejected eight times, Albert Einstein
was finally awarded the Nobel Prize for physics in 1921.
The citation noted his explanation of the photoelectric effect,
while ignoring his cosmos shaking special theory of relativity
(another product, along with his paper on Brownian motion, of his
annus mirabilis 1905), which was still too controversial to be
recognized with such an important prize. Some suggest that the
anti-Semitism of some judges contributed to the late recognition; or that in
regard to relativity, some judges just didn't get it.
Denis Brian, Einstein - A Life, 1996.
The above four lines lifted almost verbatim from Methuselah's Children,
the Robert Heinlein science fiction tale about a group of persecuted citizens
hijacking a starship. In the text, ur-mensch Lazarus Long is exhorting
Andrew Jackson "Slipstick" Libby to wire in his untried stardrive.
"Go ahead," urged Lazarus. "Push the button, throw the switch,
cut the beam. Make it march."
"Slipstick" is a slang term for that device consigned to the slagheap
of history, the sliderule.
Robert Heinlein, Methuselah's Children, 1941, revised and expanded 1958.
Comments from Paul Kantner on the 2400Fulton mailing list,
6 Aug 2001:
"I wrote to Robert Heinlein once and asked his
permission to use certain concepts and perhaps
words in my Blows Against The Empire
adventure. He wrote back and said something to the
effect that he was delighted to hear from me
and that he was pleasantly surprised because
so many people had 'stolen' his ideas over the years
and never bothered to write and ask for permission.
He also added that his gardener was an old high school
classmate of our lead singer Marty Balin and could
I pass it along.
In Chinese Philosophy, the dynamic interplay of Yin and Yang create
all manifestations of Tao, the ultimate reality. Yang is bright, strong,
male, creative, Heaven, movement, rational, the dragon; Yin is dark, receptive,
female, maternal, Earth, rest, intuitive, the tiger. Neither the Yin nor
the Yang can come to dominate in the workings of the Universe, for contained
within each of these forces is a seed of its opposite.
Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics, Third Edition, 1991.
The US Baby Boom (1946-1964), driven by the return of prosperity and
millions of men from World War II, produced a demographic bulge of
unprecedented size. More children were born in the period 1948-1953 than
in the previous thirty years. By 1958 children 15 years and under comprised
33% of the US population. The Boomers rode the wave of social change created
mainly by Depression era and World War II babies.
Richard Latman, ed., American Decades, 1950-1959, 1994.
Ultimately, from a poem by English poet, artist, and visionary
William Blake (1757-1827). This line - "If the doors of perception were cleansed
everything would appear to man as it is, infinite." - was used as an epigram
to open a 1956 essay by Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), The Doors of Perception.
It became a seminal document for 1960's counterculture (Jim Morrison named
his band after its title). After a mescaline experience, Huxley became convinced
that "...an occasional trip through some chemical Door in the Wall into the
world of transcendental experience" was desirable; indeed those reluctant to make
the journey should be "compelled."
The essay reads today as a loopy overreaction
to getting stoned, but it does have the occasionally snotty bit of humor:
"There is always money for, there are always doctorates in,
the learned foolery of research into what, for scholars,
is the all-important problem: who influenced whom to say