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Counterculture

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

That Terrible Thoreau

As the class winds down, I go over the answers to the quiz: Thoreau moved into his ten-by-fifteen-foot cabin on July 4, Independence Day, 1845. He chose that day to make the point that political independence is just the beginning. We’re not completely free until we also throw off our inner masters: greed, laziness, ignorance.

By Jim Ralston September 2015
Tribute

The End Of A Sixties Dream?

An Interview With Stephen Gaskin

We’re becoming so bland now, and I really pray that we get to see another burst of energy. When the sixties happened, it lifted me up and blew my mind and informed my consciousness in a way that was a million times heavier and more interesting than anything I’d experienced before. I think it did that for many people. And now, knowing that such a thing can happen, I can just sit here and wait for it — like “Yeah, here it comes again!”

By Michael Thurman November 2014
Quotations

Sunbeams

It is not possible for any thinking person to live in such a society as our own without wanting to change it.

George Orwell

May 2014
Tribute

The Word Gets Around

An Interview With Pete Seeger From The Sun’s Archives

We know that the big job is to save the world, but where do you start? I’m convinced that if we are unable to work in our home communities, the job is not going to be done. The world is going to be saved by people who fight for their homes, whether they’re fighting for the block where they live in the city or a stretch of mountain or river. But unless they can fight within their own communities, I think they’re kidding themselves.

By Howard Jay Rubin May 2014
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

I Sang For Everybody

Pete Seeger’s Testimony Before The House Un-American Activities Committee

Mr. Seeger: I feel that in my whole life I have never done anything of any conspiratorial nature, and I resent very much and very deeply the implication of being called before this committee: that in some way, because my opinions may be different from yours, or yours, Mr. Willis, or yours, Mr. Scherer, that I am any less of an American than anybody else. I love my country very deeply, sir.

By Pete Seeger May 2014
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Beautiful Trouble

Subtitled A Toolbox for Revolution, the anthology Beautiful Trouble offers advice on how to plan and execute successful protest actions. Coeditors Andrew Boyd and Dave Oswald Mitchell have assembled the wisdom of many activists and troublemakers like themselves into a book about what works and what doesn’t, how to recruit people and keep them engaged, and where to direct efforts for the greatest impact.

Edited By Andrew Boyd With Dave Oswald Mitchell May 2014
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Poor Sparrow’s Almanac

I vowed to write a new series of proverbs to counteract Franklin’s and free Americans from busyness and worry. My goal is to assemble an army of daydreamers.

By Sparrow August 2012
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Let The Bad Times Roll

As Ochs delivered the song’s most incendiary lyric — “Serve your country in her suicide / Find the flag so you can wave goodbye / But just before the end even treason might be worth a try” — McCarthy threw his arms in the air, and the crowd erupted.

By Lad Tobin August 2012
Sy Safransky's Notebook

July 2012

History laughs as the wind lifts her skirts. It’s too late for modesty now.

By Sy Safransky July 2012