"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

Don't Take Any Shit from a Machine

This is a bit of a callback to classico Outlandish Josh posting. I’m pulling up stories from the early aughts, but hopefully it’s fun and you stick with it; I promise there’s a contemporary tie-in at the end.

Twenty years ago when I was working in politics full time, I was also going out to the Oregon Country Fair in the summers. It’s one of the older and better hippie festivals. In 2004 I helped organize a voter registration drive there, and happened to get a chance to meet and chat with S-tier guru legend Stephen Gaskin. In spite of this also being in the shall we say spicier era of my blogging career, I never wrote this particular anecdote down.

The Oregon Country Fair is a massive hippie festival held every summer in a beautiful wooded area outside Eugene where I grew up. There are around 1000 different stalls that get set up along a massive figure-eight path, and over 30,000 people attend.

The real deal is you need to have a job there to be able to be a part of the action. It’s open to the public from like 10am to 6pm, and tens of thousands of people will come and it’s a big hairy Height Asbury/Dead show parking lot scene in the woods. Crafts and food. Music and art. Then they sweep out the public and the 5,000-ish people who are running the event, who have a booth there, or are otherwise connected enough to make the cut as “Fair Family,” who are camped out for the weekend have the place to themselves. They (we) have a giant fucking party. Which is tremendous fun.

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Notes From The Underground

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Stephen Gaskin Has a Blog?

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Heady Yoga At The Center, Man

I just took the Monday evening yoga class at the Westhaven Community Arts Center, and it was just what the doctor ordered. Good to touch base with my Hippie roots.

There are a lot of places I haven't stretched out or accessed in quite a long time, and it's more than worth my ten bucks to have an external structure to focus and calm my mind for 90 minutes. I left feeling lighter than I have in quite a while.

It also made me miss my old artsy city life and all the human connections. Things these days just aren't as rich.

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Dirty Hippies

There's a lot of political talk about dirty hippies, the phantom which animates so much of our power elite. The reasons for this must be dark and deeply psychological, but I really don't care. This is a generational fight I have no interest in wasting cycles on.

On my Jetblue flight back, VH1 Classic had a bit about the 60s and drugs, and they had some old footage of Kesey, both the Paul Newman-looking Acid Test version and the more familiar Pleasant Hill farmer. That guy was the MF man, and it's a shame their whole scene got busted down on so hard.

So yeah, hippies are annoying I know. I don't want to talk about crystal healing either. But, on the other hand, Florida Gator fans are annoying too. So maybe it's just people and not just hippies who are annoying.

Anyway, I'm back in California. Just another freak in the freak kingdom.

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