Other Scenes

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Fifth Estate # 55, June 4-18, 1968

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Editors’ Note: We neglected last issue to welcome John Wilcock back to the pages of this newspaper. John was one of the founders of the Village Voice and the East Village Other. He publishes his own paper, Other Scenes which is a 20 times a year newspaper produced from wherever the editor happens to be. This could be Greece, Japan, England or anywhere else in the world. Subscriptions are $5 and should be sent to OS, Box 8, Village Post Office, N.Y., N.Y. 10014.

New York’s annual peace parade has become an exercise in self-congratulation for all the liberals who want to disagree with the system without much wanting to change it. One hundred thousand people oozed into Central Park in April to be confronted with a roped-off area holding scores of top police brass and the radio and TV news cars of the various networks.

Overhead several police helicopters effectively drowned out the voices of the speakers. Scores of hucksters, black and white, hard-sold pictures of King, U.S. flags, McCarthy buttons, radical newspapers, candy, soft drinks, ice cream and squirrel food. (Commercialism? It’s the American Way).

Where were the network reporters when protesting the war was new (and therefore really news)? Come to think of it where were all the people who protest today—five years and hundreds of thousands of lives too late?

In short, an acceptable protest that the confident authorities can allow to take place with the allocation of a mere few thousand cops—and overhead vigilance. Meanwhile down in Washington Square a group of real protesters were arrested. Their offense? They didn’t apply for permission to protest.

“Hair” is the most authentically honest show to be seen on Broadway for many a year. Hippies who sound and feel like hippies; music that evokes the mood of the scene we all know; imaginative lighting and choreography; outspokenness and naturalness that is rarely seen on stage, a “story” as tenuous as (underground) life itself.

“Hair” will inevitably be a hit and it revives one’s optimistic faith in the future of the American society that it could be so…

In Chicago, Jeff Chouninard is about to start on a color movie about a beautiful young nude couple who start walking from the suburbs into downtown, following their path past the incredulous stares of passers-by until—at some point—a patrol car will presumably halt its ponderous path for long enough to hustle them inside en route to the nearest precinct. But the telescopic cameras, following at a discreet distance and recording all, will be unseen by all but the actors…

The Living Theatre will be playing at France’s Avignon Festival in July…

Condensed biogs of two unacceptable candidates by the Workers’ League Bulletin: “Bobby Kennedy began his career as an aide to Sen. McCarthy in his witch hunt against any and all dissent in America played a very big role in Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba…placed a wreath in Arlington…honoring the Cuban counter revolutionaries…”; Eugene McCarthy “started out his career by helping Humphry purge the Minnesota Farmer-Labor party of Communists…voted in Congress for every contempt citation against those who would not inform for HUAC…voted for a bill making Communist Party membership a felony… voted for the Student Loyalty Oath Bill consistent opponent of Supreme ruling banning prayers in schools…has the distinction of casting the nay vote that killed the 1965 Civil Rights Bill….”

Joseph Pujol could fart better than any man alive. He could fart like a musical instrument, like a dog barking, like an opera singer’s high note, like the sound of a cannon being fired. With nothing more than his ass he could also smoke a cigarette or extinguish a candle. And all without smell.

One day he was bathing in the sea when, accidentally contracting the muscles controlling his ass, he found himself drawing in water like a suction pump. This led him to practice his art until just by farting (after douching himself out with sweet-smelling water) he could go onstage at Paris’ Moulin Rouge and answer requests from the audience. A sort of Victorian-era Gerald McBoing Boing. He made a good living on the French stage for years under the name Le Petomane which is also the title of the book ($2.50) about his life published by California’s Sherbourne Press.

Bukowski, Berrigan, Kupferberg, Sanders, Wieners, and Lenore Kandel are among Americans included in the new collection of “Underground Poems” published by Verlag in Darmstadt, Germany…

Out of town readers of Grove Press’s first annual report (current assets: $3.5 million), produced in the glossy style of Evergreen Review, are invited to write to Barney Rossett before coming to NYC so he can leave a free ticket for them at Evergreen Theatre’s box office…

RFK apologist Jack Newfield writes for Hearst’s Eye magazine under the name Roy Novack presumably, because he’d feel compromised by an honest affirmation of his association.

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