Good reading while you’re waiting for your delivery of Voices from the Underground

from The Ballad of Ken and Emily: or, Tales from the Counterculture


Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, and Growing Up as a New Left Jew

    Abstract: In the summer of 1972, hundreds of young people flocked twice to Miami Beach to demonstrate against the Democrats and the Republicans, who both held their presidential nominating conventions there that year. I was one of them. I arrived in Miami Beach as a Jewish-American Yippie radical. At the time, however, I was more in touch with my Yippie radical half, having rejected my Jewish-American half because I associated it with my bourgeois suburban middle class capitalist upbringing, which I had rejected two years previously. Imagine my surprise to learn that Jews in America had a proud radical history. In this piece, which I wrote in 1983, I trace the history of the radical Jewish left in America, analyze Yippie from a Jewish perspective, and tell some good stories from the summer of 1972.

Accidental Revolutionary

    Abstract: Some people flow with the times like a chameleon changing colors with its background. Others reach a point in their personal development where they remain til death does them part. In this story, written during the Reagan regime, Ben Moses tells how he got hooked on the sixties, how he became a social deviant, and how being non-sexist was good for his sex life.

The Busy Person’s Guide to Street Yoga

    Abstract: If I haven’t done so yet, permit me to introduce myself now. I’m a zen phony. I learned zen on the streets. I learned yoga from a four-week yoga exercise book. I set aside an hour a day and committed myself to the pursuit of spiritual attainment through bodily awareness. I became a self-acknowledged expert in the skill of turning my body into unusual positions. The only trouble was—I hate doing things on schedule. And I couldn't convince myself that yoga was not the same as calisthenics. Then, during my burnout phase, I discovered the old zen thing and with it the secret of street yoga. This brief editorial is dedicated to all you out there in Flab Land who know you're out of shape but can't find the time to exercise.

Figment

    Abstract: In the sixties, monogamy was out, free love was in, and everyone wanted to experiment with their sexuality but Q. Q was a writer, and his obsession was to write the classic novel, not fuck the perfect blond. He had feelings but he showed them only on paper. And then he met lovely Figment. But when Figment announced under a hot shower that she loved Martin also and she hoped Q could shed his middle class hangups and learn to love Martin too so that they could stay together as a threesome, it was then that Q analyzed the obvious alternative, namely life without Figment, and resolved to plunge into the future at all costs to be with her so that he would not lose her.

In the Donut Shop

    Abstract: How often do we become so caught up in our jobs that we fail to see others as people and see them instead only as customers? And what happens when that gold which we strive for turns out to be pyrite? I discovered answers to both questions one bright and chilly evening—in the donut shop.

When the Bomb Drops

    Abstract: A poem for the end of time.

from Beercans by the Side of the Road: The Story of Henry the Hitchhiker

Chapter One: Henry Reads the Handwriting on the Wall

    Abstract: It looks like young Henry Freedman, star student from Midlincum Heights, is not going to listen to reason from Papa’s card-playing buddy, Mayor Ginslinger, and is going to drop out of school. There go his hopes for a successful future.

Chapter Nine: Henry Goes to Heaven in a Vega

    Abstract: Henry dies after dropping out of school and smoking dope, and reaches his Promised Land, with coffee refills and real cream.

Chapter Twelve: Henry Meets the Old Zen Thing and Gives Up

    Abstract: What do Christopher Columbus, President Nixon’s mother Hannah, and Henry’s new friend Peggy have in common? They all understood the principles of the Old Zen Thing, something poor Richard just couldn’t comprehend.

Chapter Fourteen: Peggy Organizes the N.A.Z.I. Party

    Abstract: Nazis march in Taylorville. Jack the jackass sticks ass in Adolf’s ear. News at 6.
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