Out of the 60's counterculture explosion came a radical street group called the Diggers, who became the heart and soul of the Haight-Ashbury experience. Named after a group of 17th century free-thinkers in England, the Diggers dedicated themselves to building a new morality in place of the money-hungry capitalistic society, cutting through the cultural propaganda via the medium of both street theater and "free" programs.
They began to distribute free food, provide free medical care and sponsor free rock concerts in Golden Gate Park featuring musicians like the Grateful Dead. They burned money, left its ashes and set out to create the condition they described.
Peter Coyote's memoir, first published in 1998, recounts his time as one of the group's founders and beyond. He weaves his experiences into a collection of stories from his life in San Francisco to communes and gypsy years on the road becoming part of the Free Family.
Ordained practitioner of Zen Buddhism, activist, and actor, Peter Coyote began his work in street theater and political organizing in San Francisco. In addition to acting in 120 films, Coyote has won an Emmy for narrating the award-winning documentary Pacific Century, and he has co-written, directed, and performed in the play Olive Pits, which won The Mime Troupe an Obie Award. He lives in Mill Valley, California.
Peter Coyote is an American actor and author. He has acted in over 70 films and has narrated many documentaries and audio books. His voice work includes narrating the opening ceremony of the 2002 Winter Olympics. He has also served as an announcer during Oscar telecasts.
He is the co-founder, with Emmett Grogan, of the San Francisco Diggers and a veteran of the San Francisco Mime Troupe. Coyote became a member, and later chairman, of the California State Arts Council from 1975 to 1983. He shifted from acting on stage to acting in films in the late 1970s.
"I don't think that the counter culture failed."
While I come away from your commentary with a great energy, I, unfortunately, think that while I'd like to meet your daughter (as America, no doubt, creates a dream woman who can kill a terrorist at a hundred yards and fuck like a French whore--under the right circumstances), we are headed for a hellish future within the context of resource scarcity and global wage competition; that is to say, we (the--mostly white--Americans) have had our "way with the world" as a result of a racist and murderous government, and not all of US want to live a life of unnecessary luxury based upon the murder of Peoples living in Harmony with Earth--just to continue to fuck like Kings and Queens.
Give a counterculture a bad name and you no longer have to acknowledge how thoroughly the adaptation and marketing by the "mainstream" culture of its aesthetics, morés and modes of sexuality, art forms and music, clothing styles, linguistic conventions, and social and environmental awareness have 30 to 40 years down the line transformed your life and largely for the better. The psychosocial paradigms represented by Uncle Milty, Ed Sullivan, The Honeymooners, I Love Lucy, Leave it to Beaver - which could have been your enduring cultural role models - aren't. Can we suck in our tie-dyed microbrewed gut and say "thank you masked man."? As for anyone's problem discriminating between rain and urine on their back - all i can say is "don't look up..." Because something is happening here. But you don't know what it is. Do you, Mister Jones?
Hollywood speaks again. The failed counterculture as part of a progressive movement is a lot of what is wrong in America today. They gave us woodstock, illicit drugs, free love, & Charles Manson just to name a few. The counterculture is synonymous with failure. Don't pee down my back and tell me it's raining. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/counterculture
"counterculture condemns you to marginality." interesting.
never thought about the idea of winning culturally but not politically. this highlight gives me new understanding!
"we can't see it because it doesn't have edges."