FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2007
PEARL HARBOR DAY
REMEMBER THE MAINE?
Two of a kind, kinda, both of them sent us into war but the Spanish American War in 1898 can't compare with World War Two in 1941. For one thing, the battleship Maine that blew up in Havana harbor wasn't an attack on us at all. It was a coal dust explosion but it gave us reason to amp up the war action. Pearl Harbor, though, was a real attack, and what links the two together is the fading memory of what they were all about as the memories fade and the veterans die.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2007 GOT THE DISH
But lost the Heisman candidate quarterback, the star running back, the ball on two interceptions, and, alas, the game, but now we are free of the BCS hoopla and that is a relief, the Ducks come through again, loopy lovily goofily ours.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2007
Football madness. It's got something to do with the need to focus on anything other than the mess in Iraq, the national debt, the lack of health care, the overcrowded classrooms, the millions of potsmokers in prison, the price of gas and food, the mortgage, the car payment, what to do with granma and granpa, let's do football instead, yes, booze it up, tailgate, scream and yell and go crazy over the team's ranking, the BCS bullshit, the Heisman heiny . . .
Well, hell's bells, what about them ducks? Numero dos in the country, with the numero uno heisman candidate, tonight they play Arizona on ESPN and oh my, oh woe, we don't get that channel on our basic cable. So let's up to extended cable so we can watch the game. Ooops, the bill goes from 20 bucks a month to 59. Hmm, let's check out dish network, go satellite. Yes, 100 channels for 30 bucks, including ESPN. We go for it, as long as we can get set up in time for the game. No sweat, they will install on Wednesday (yesterday), but they never show up and I panic and call, what happened? No one home when the installer called so he cancelled the order. Hey, I was home. What number did he call? That's not our number.
No, the lady who took our order wrote down the wrong phone number. Not to be dissuaded by this glaring screwup, I said to hell with the 800 number dish people and called an outfit in Eugene and miracle upon miracle they have the same deal on the dish and will be here today (Thursday) at one PM to install the dish. Worry worry worry. Fret fret fret. What an escape from reality.
11:47. Stand by
-- Kapn Ken
From Tom Wolfe's THE ELECTRIC KOOL-AID ACID TEST: (writing about the Acid Test Graduation)
"We're in a period now like St. Paul and the early Christians," Kesey says. "St. Paul said, if they shit on you in one city, move on to another city, and if they shit on you in that city, move on to another city-"
"I know, Ken, but you're telling people to stop taking acid, and they're not going to stop. They've opened up doors
in their minds they never knew existed, and a very beautiful thing, and then they read in the papers that somebody they've looked up to is suddenly telling them to stop."
"There's a lot of things I can't tell the newspapers," says Kesey. His eyes are still focused long-range, away from Goldhill. "One night in Mexico, in Manzanillo, I took some acid and I threw the I Ching. And the I Ching- the great thing about the I Ching is, it never sends you Valentines, it slaps you in the face when you need it- and it said we had reached the end of something, we weren't going anywhere any longer, it was time for a new direction-and I went outside and there was an electrical storm, and there was lightning everywhere and I pointed to the sky and lightning flashed and all of a sudden I had a second skin, of lightning, electricity, like a suit of electricity, and I knew it was in us to be superheroes and that we could become superheroes or nothing." He lowers his eyes. " I wouldn't tell this to the newspapers. How could I? I wouldn't be put back in jail, I'd be put in Pescadero."
(drawing by skypilot, Ali Bob)
THERE'S A NEW EDITION OF CUCKOO'S NEST
The jacket of the book features artwork by Joe Sacco and shows cartoon scenes from the novel, the most innovative and creative cover I've seen for a literary work. The inside is equally classy, with hospital sketches by Kesey, plus a great print job, Times New Roman, I think, and rough paper edges. A damned fine read. Kudos to Penquin and heartfelt thanks to Kesey.
-- Kapn Ken
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2007
Thumbing its nose at the weather forecast which called for clear skies, the sky opened up and poured rain upon the uncompleted roof, resulting in such leaks as we won't mention and forcing a shutdown of Torchdown for a day to let the roof dry enuff to resume operations, tomorrow we hope.
Meanwhile, I have received an email of such weirdness and laffs I thought I'd share it:
Dear Mr. Babbs,
I understand you were one of the main antagonists in the "Electrical Cool Aid Acid-Test", a famous novel from the swinging sixties and that you actually rode with Dr. Timothy O,Leary on his Magical Mystery Bus and did many other "far out things back in the day. As such, I am very interested in your perceptions about that era,s long-term effects on cognition and memory. Also, do you still smoke "grass, to use the vernacular of the time?
Please review the little ditty I have cut and pasted below, from one of my web pages at...
and let me know if I have all my facts straights as sometimes I myself get a little "fuzzy. Or at least recall as much as you can, ha ha.
A while ago I emailed to Mr. Paul Krassner, a famous pornographer and from what I understand co-founder along with Jack Karoake and Wavy Gravy of the "Merry Prankster acid test concept and magical mystery tour movie. However, he wrote back that he didn,t get the joke or couldn,t open the link or something like that. Please help clarify my confusion and get me up to speed on this wonderful era that I missed out on.
Also, I look forward to the new Magical Mystery Bus movie by Stevie Ray Van Zandt.don,t you?
T.S. "Steve Minton
Tribute 2 "The Greatful Dead"
"The founders of the Electrical Kool-Aid Acid test and the "Koolest band in the world..." by T.S. Minton
I like the Greatful Dead because they were always "drivin' that train hi on cocaine"!!
The Greatful Dead were a bunch of wild longed hair Psychodelic Tripster Hipster acid rock and rollers from back in the 60s. Man what a wild time flowers in your hair, chicks always particpated in "free love" what a concept, no worries just sex & drugs & rock & roll 24/7..."Come and join the party everyday" like that song goes...What a time...
I wish I was around then but I'm only 19: but I guess if I was I'd only be an old man by now with a "Touch O'Grey" and I wouldn't have my whole miserable malcontented life ahead of me...
The "Dead" as Dead-heads (there devoted followers) used 2 call them used to ride "On The Road" with Dr. Timothy O'Leary's Magical Mystery Bus. All they did was have wild acid rave parties and free love orgies, the "Sexual Revolution" as (My Personal hero) Hugh Hefner called it was running rampage across the land. (Right on!) Also always "on the Bus" was the Deads' personal mentors Neil Cassidy and Jack Karaoke; 2 wild Old School hipsters who did it *all* back in the day (See the upcoming movie by Francis Ford "The Godfather" Coppolla, I can't wait and will get very loaded in homage to these three Great Men when this picture comes out)
Jerry Garcia (the same guy behind "Cherry Garcia" ice cream from ben and Jerry's, another personal favorite of mine) and The Dead also used to run around with Ken Kessey author of "The Electrical Kool Aid Acid test". He also did the screenplay for "One Flew Over a Cuckoo's Nest" by jack Nicholas. Plus Bob Dylan the poet laureaute world reknown as the singer of "Everybody must get stoned" and "Like A Rolling Stone" (of which the band and magazine took there namesake) was very much "On the Bus" as attested to the fact when he toured together with them.
They all used to get very loaded together with Tim O'leary at The Woodstock Nation peace & Rock festival and introduced the "Electrical Acid test" concept of which it has been an endurable influence on today's youth (to wit: witness the "rave" and "acid jazz" phenomenons) (Plus the work of rapper Proof has been an influence of "high" importance).
Again I just wish so bad I was around back in the day so I too could have been "Ridin' that train high on cocaine" straight thru to "Terrapin (*"TER-IPPIN" or "Trippin'" get it?) Station"...then we would get off and "Walk in the Sunshine" and be "skippin' thru the lilly fields" til we get down to the Black Muddy riverside and here "Uncle John's Band" and then me and my baby would go off in the woods 2 "d-scover the wonders of nature" wink :) wink.
Man what a long strange (lysurgical acid) trip that would've been...!!
Now let's here from 2 recognized experts on Jerry & The Kool Aid Acid Tester Gang:
Searching for Jerry Garcia by Proof (up & coming rap star)
"The EP came about because I was putting out the 'Searching 4 Jerry Garcia' album and of course, the Grateful Dead had previous to their shows the protesters to legalize acid so they had electric coolaid acid testers. So therefore by the album being Searching 4 Jerry Garcia I thought that'd be dope to have the Electric Cool-Aid Acid Testing EP to hit off the DJs and radio stations and mix rotations across the nation. So I put six songs on there. The lead single is featuring MC Breed from 'Ain't No Future In Yo' Frontin'' and 'Gotta Get Mine.'"
Homer Simpson (popular Television patriarch on Fox TV)
"Hello. I'm Homer Simpson. There have been many great counter culture heroes I have admired over the years. Steve McQueen, Dr. Demento, Dr. Denis Leary and Wavy Gravy. Mmmmm gravy. "
(NOTE: I think Homer needs to get his facts straighter - ed.)
WHO KNOWS THE ANSWER TO THIS ONE?
hey kapn, this reminds me-- in about '79 or '80 I was livin' in San Diego and there's this thing in the San Diego Reader about a Kesey work in progress or whatever being performed-- I'm hazy about what it actually did say-- I just know it was in a room somewhere in Balboa Park and I could walk there from where I lived so I did-- there's a crew & they're doin' what later became Further Inquiry-- Neals' on trial for the crime of bein' Neal, I guess-- there's a cosmic judge with a cowbell and various noisemakers and everybody's assin' around and it was real loose and hilarious-- gal says "I got off the bus, I was lucky" and one of the guys intones "she got lucky ON the bus, too!" Judge blows into noisemaker, etc.
Anyway, after the piece is done, the actors interact with the audience and take questions and ask for feedback-- one cat thinks the guy who played Kesey WAS Kesey-- guy in the audience cracks "nice portrayal!" Another cat says he knew Lord Buckley and objected to the line "he could eat three Lord Buckleys for breakfast." At some point the crew mentions it's being taped so Ken'll get to hear it-- we all holler "Hi, Ken!" About the only other thing I (THINK) I remember is that the cat who normally played Neal was ill so another cat filled in adequately-- 'we know time, we KNOW time..." So my question is: "WHERE THE HELL IS THAT TAPE?" And how many did they do?
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2007
Skypilot and Merry Prankster, David Stanford, who is also Kesey's book editor, works with Garry Trudeau and the Doonesbury crew. He does a webpage called Sandbox, which is an email forum for servicemembers and spouses and families to write about their experiences and thoughts and opinions. Now there is a book.
THE SANDBOX BOOK
Name: SANDBOX DUTY OFFICER David Stanford
Posting date: 10/11/07
We are pleased to mark the first anniversary of this site by announcing the imminent publication of Doonesbury.com's THE SANDBOX: Dispatches From Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan (Andrews McMeel, $16.95, 6x9, 336pp, trade paperback original). Featuring over 90 posts by almost 40 writers (ten of whom are shown on the cover and flaps), the book is a fundraiser for Fisher House, a "home away from home" for the families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers. You can order a copy here.
By way of introduction, I'll quote the flap copy:
Launched as a military blog (or "milblog") by Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau in October 2006, The Sandbox offers serice members deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq a way to tell their stories to readers here at home. In hundreds of fascinating and compelling posts, soldiers write passionately, eloquently, and movingly of their day-to-day lives, of their mission, and of the drama that unfolds daily around them.
Some posts are eminently practical for the troops themselves -- like Troy Steward's "List of Gear for Sandbox Deployment," and Stefan Ralph's "Two Very Different Conflicts," an annotated list of books he read before his deployment. Others are reflective, like Lee Kelley's piece on Christmas in a war zone, and Gordon "Teflon Don" Alanko's contemplation of ancient dust. Roy Batty's evocative posts from various assignments in Iraq have sometimes come in with the immediacy of a news flash, and are eagerly anticipated on the site; the same for Doug Traversa's series of thoughtful conversations with his translator Hamid. (Traversa got all three of his roommates to contribute to The Sandbox, making them the first fully posted hut in the AO). The gripping accounts of Adam Tiffen form another throughline, as do the posts of Anthony McCloskey (a.k.a. "Tadpole"), a sailor serving with the Army in Afghanistan.
This rich outpouring of stories, from the hilarious to the thrilling to the heartbreaking, helps us understand what so many of our countrymen are going through and the sacrifices they are making on our behalf.
-- David Stanford
Today, the Washington Post ran a good story about Trudeau and two soldiers signing copies of the book. To read the article and also the latest blogs,
GO TO: SANDBOX WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2007
I was on a panel last night at the University of Oregon. The topic was "getting familiar with Oregon" and was held for students in the lounge of one of the dorms. There were three ladies on the panel, and me. One of the ladies worked in the collections department at the U of O library and she gave a talk on a collection she was working on: Women's Communes In Oregon In the Seventies. My subject was Kesey and we have a connection with the collections department, for we donated our letters and a bunch of tape recordings to the library. The second lady was doing a history of the Oregon Country Fair and once again I had a connection, for both Kesey and I had been attending the Fair since it began in 1969. The third lady was the manager of Saturday Market which takes place in downtown Eugene and she gave a talk on its history. Our skypilot friend, Phil Dietz, has a booth at the Saturday Market.
I told them about Kesey growing up in Oregon after moving here from Colorado; his school times at Springfield High and the University of Oregon; our meeting at the Stanford Graduate Writing Class; the bus trip in '64, our making of a movie of the trip; the adventures of the next decades; and finally, how that movie finally got made thanks to the magic of video editing and website sales and how, yes, you can get the movie now, by going to Zane Kesey's website but, because I didn't have Zane's website with me, I gave them all cards with my web addy and told them to come here and I'd give them a link to Zane. Here tis:
ZANE KESEY'S WEBSITE TUESDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2007
In 1999 Chris Comer & Rob Ervin at WAIF-FM's Chris & Rob late Night Talk Show took a wild ride with the author of "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" Ken Kesey. Preparing for a trip to the UK, the late Mr. Kesey was loquacious about his past and his upcoming trip abroad with The Merry Pranksters and his famous bus FURTHER. In typical Chris & Rob fashion, this interview was a lot of fun. Check it out!
-- Chris Comer
You can see Walker T. Ryan, Tim Long and Ken Babbs performing "Ken Kesey Eugene City Center Blues" at the Ax and Fiddle on youtube.
Here's the libretto:
I went down to Eugene city center
He was wearing a yellow stetson
I could hear his voice quite plainly
And this is what he told them:
I was part of the early drug experiments.
They took place at the Vets hospital, and I later got a job there.
That when I started writing
A couple of years later I wrote Notion.
I try to be a warrior, like my heroes. And writing is just one blade on my Swiss Army samuri sword.
When you don't know where you're going, you have to stick together just in case someone gets there. When people ask what my best work is, it's the bus. Those books made it possible for the bus to become.
I thought you ought to be living your art, rather than stepping back and
describing it. The bus is a metaphor that's instantly comprehensible. Every kid understands it. .
We are like Pavolov's dog. All you have to do is bang on the side of the bus and we begin to hallucinate.
Tell the teacher me mind ain't fried. Maybe boiled but never fried.
He shook their hands most firmly
When I die I want you to bury me
How about some Haiku
Rain tonight with
Ducks landing on pond
Feng shui of Cleveland:
Cloud in cold blue sky
Vision serpents dance
Plums falling on lawn
A glass of water
The full moon up there
Dick was a dead dog
sun curling shingles
Chief Bromden studied
I will never be