Many mothers across America got some version of this letter during the 1960’s-70’s as their sons and daughters were tuning in, turning on and dropping out. The drug of choice at the time, along with the perennial favorite, marijuana, was LSD. And while Timothy Leary’s name is most often cited as it’s leading proponent the de facto leader of the of mind-expanding, transcendental LSD cult was Ken Kesey, a young writer who had just published One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest.
In 1967 Thomas Wolfe, an established journalist, joined Kesey’s band of Merry Pranksters, boarded the Day-Glo bus named “Further” and left California for New York, acid tripping their way across America. Wolfe was there to chronicle the “happening” in the manner of what was then “new journalism” and the result was an entertaining book titled The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.
Interestingly, what was “new” journalism then – injecting yourself into the story and relating the facts as you fancifully see fit, is now just journalism. Once the purview of Fine Arts and English programs, non-fiction today has oozed its way into J-schools as “literary reportage” which helps explain situations like those examined in yesterday’s post. Most journalists are now writers of creative non-fiction – a genre that not too long ago would have been considered an oxymoron.
As I was reading this year’s Mothers Day Proclamation I was suddenly struck by how similar the Story of BO is to the Ken Kesey story. Both stories are about charismatic leaders whose only credentials were their books; both led movements to transform America into something they thought would be better by having their followers drink(literally, in Kesey’s case) acid-laced Kool-aid.
Both stories evolve around a messianic anti-hero.
Would it be too cynical of me to note that in this, the last year of the Occupancy, nothing - and I mean nothing - falls outside the influence of the Obama electric Kool-Aid acid test? To point out that nothing is sacred any more, nothing is exempt from being transformed by the giant, psychedelic propaganda machine which is transforming Amerika bit by bit every day? If it’s just me, then fine; perhaps I just over-reacted to Barry’s 2016 Mother’s Day message:
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
On Mother's Day, we celebrate those who are the first to welcome us into the world. Performing the most important work there is, mothers -- biological, foster, or adoptive -- are our first role models and earliest motivators. They balance enormous responsibilities and shape who we become as adults, their lessons guiding us throughout life. Regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status, mothers have always moved our Nation forward and remained steadfast in their pursuit of a better and brighter future for their children…
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 8, 2016, as Mother's Day. I urge all Americans to express love and gratitude to mothers everywhere, and I call upon all citizens to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities. [ed. - apparently flowers, candy and dinner out are not structured enough and therefore not state-approved] Read the whole thing if your crap detector hasn’t already reached terminal velocity.
Happy Mother’s Day, to the Mother of the Year
My advice: if you don’t want a bad trip, don’t get on the bus.
Cross-Posted on Patriot Action Network