Mau Mau (Amerikon)

by Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, Joey Covington

Hide witch hide
The good folks come to burn thee
Their keen enjoyment hid behind
A gothic mask of duty

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

Tyrannosaurus Rex was destroyed before
By a furry little ball that crawled along
The primeval jungle floor
And he stole the eggs of the dinosaur
CLOSE YOUR EYES & CREATE THE SOUND
OPEN YOUR HANDS & REBUILD THE GROUND
We are egg snatchers -
Flashin' sunshine children
Diamond thieves

You unleash the dogs
of a grade-B movie star governor's war
While you sit in the dark -
insane with the fear of dying
We'll ball in your parks
- insane with the flash of living

I AM ALIVE
I AM HUMAN
I WILL BE ALIVE AGAIN
So drop your fuckin' bombs
Burn your demon babies
I WILL BE AGAIN -
The rabid lover-feelin' the starch in your grin
Callin' for acid cocaine and grass
And receiving your homemade gin
PUSH THE BUTTON
PULL THE SWITCH
CUT THE BEAM
C'MON MAKE IT MARCH
Sign me up as a diplomat - my only office is the park

You need to be out before you come in
And after you come you go
In the midst of Yang is a smaller part of Yin
And when it happens you know -
THE DAWN COMES

HEY DICK
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

c. 1970 god tunes

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Mau Mau

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 Edition, 1981.

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Hide witch hide
The good folk come to burn thee

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 Germany alone.

Rosemary Ellen Guiley, The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft, 1989.

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Their keen enjoyment

"...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, naked."

Benjamin Franklin, A Witch Trial at Mount Holly, Pennsylvania Gazette, 22 Oct 1730.

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Dancin' down into your town

"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), 1996.

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Tyrannosauras Rex

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.

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And he stole the eggs of the dinosaur

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.

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Flashin' sunshine children

"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.

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Diamond Thieves

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 Walter Annenberg.

C. David Heymann, Liz - An Intimate Biography of Elizabeth Taylor, 1994.

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Unleash the dogs

"Cry ‘Havoc!' and let slip the dogs of war."

Act 3, Scene 1, line 273, Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare.

Spoken by Antony in the scene before his famous funeral oration. In battle, the monarch calling for ‘Havoc' was ordering the slaughter of the enemy, without mercy.

Oxford University Press, Wm. Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, 1984.

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Grade B Movie Star Governor

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.

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Governor's War

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 occupation.

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.

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We'll ball in your parks

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.

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Drop your fuckin' bombs

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.

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Burn your demon babies

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."

Bill Miller, The Washington Post, 12 Nov 1996.

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CUT THE BEAM

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.

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PUSH THE BUTTON
PULL THE SWITCH
CUT THE BEAM
C'MON MAKE IT MARCH

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.

...yes, I said."

Click here for the original post.

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My only office is the park

Jefferson Airplane played in Golden Gate Park 14 Jan 1967 (Human Be-In / Gathering of the Tribes), 7 May 1969, and 30 Sep 1989.

Scott Abbot, JABase 2.2

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In the midst of Yang is a smaller part of Yin

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.

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HEY DICK

Richard Milhous Nixon (1913-1996) - 37th president of the USA (1969-1974). Also a vulgar term for penis. A frequently seen graffitto during the US presidential election of 1972 was "Lick Dick."

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We are the future

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.

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We're something new

" 'What's new since the sixties?' You can't think of a lot, right? Running injuries. But what else?"
- Peter Berg

Bill Graham and Robert Greenfield, Bill Graham Presents, 1992.

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OPEN THAT DOOR

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
    what when?"

Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception, 1956.

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