Other Scenes

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Fifth Estate # 85, August 7-20, 1969

The grass famine’s on in Mexico, too. When I was down there last week many of my friends were also bemoaning the fate of acres of the lush crop supposedly sprayed by poison and napalm. (This may be an evil rumor planted by wishful-thinking Movement purists because nobody seems to have proof of any such destruction).

In Mexico City most longhairs have become paranoiac about grass anyway as they’re liable to being picked up and searched on sight, a thing which often happens.

At Huautla, the mountain village near Oaxaca famous for its magic mushroom ceremonies, there have been frequent raids by the authorities—mass deportations via helicopter direct to the airport—and “hippies” in general have been told they’re not welcome in Mexico and turned back at the border.

As the author of Mexico On $5 a Day I’ve been as responsible as anybody for sending young people south of the border but over the years I’ve had less help than hindrance from tourist officials who are not only among the world’s most stupid and short-sighted, but have done a great deal to eliminate tourism by an entire generation of young Americans. Any kid who chooses to drop out in Mexico these days ought to have his head examined—and probably will.

Spiro Agnew’s teenage daughter, Kim, being the latest in a long line of famous people’s children to be busted for possession of grass has prompted Tim Leary to prepare a questionnaire addressed to all our legislators. “Do your kids smoke and are they in favor of harsher penalties for this habit?” Tim asks. “And if you haven’t asked them about this subject what gives you the right to pass legislation sending other people’s kids to jail?”

THE CURSE: Due to skillful propaganda it’s become commonplace to accept the Kennedy version of the Bad Luck of the Kennedy’s as being some malignant curse that struck this innocent family out of the blue and returns persistently to haunt them. But less illustrious people who are dogged by a series of accidents are often termed simply LOSERS.

Losers are frequently people who blame a vengeful fate for their own stupidity or mismanagement: people who are killed while attempting unnecessary heroics; politicians who underestimate the power of the CIA until it murders them; over-confident candidates who think they have the track to themselves and buy off or manipulate people who get in the way; drunken drivers who don’t look where they’re going.

Of course, having a curse on your family is a useful cop-out when accidents happen; you can always say it wasn’t your fault.

POLITRIX: Was Ted Kennedy’s late date knocked up—and later knocked off?

Madame Nhu used to charge two grand for interviews. “Now she’s down to three bux and will soon throw in a blow job,” says J-J Lebel.

Contractors who are greedy for the money that creating the ABM system will bring flowing in will soon start a scare campaign based on the “threats” to us in space.

TACTICS: The slippery chemical known as “banana peel” was probably dropped from the police armory because of the ease with which it could be used by demonstrators to disable the police. Maybe movement chemists are badly needed to produce such valuable weapons.

That twilight time when audiences first emerge dreamy-eyed from a movie is when they’re most susceptible to propaganda says Newsreel whose members plan to start leafleting film goers at that time with hard-headed interpretations of some of the commercial crap that’s being shown

Paste a negative over the glass of one of those long flashlights and make a tube which projects a few inches beyond the bulb and you have the perfect weapon to interrupt bullshit propaganda movies such as “Che!” or “The Green Berets.”

French activist Jean-Jacque Lebel, enroute to California, reports that a compressed-air gun of the type used in scuba diving was used to shoot bags of shit at fuzz during the Paris demonstrations.

Towards the close of the Roman Empire (according to Gibbon’s classic pic The Decline & Fall) arrogant generals who went visiting the far corners of the empire were repeatedly kidnapped and executed. Maybe we should encourage our “leaders” to travel more often.

By cutting off the supply of money which was choking him, the Red Mountain Tribe may have saved Max Scherr’s miserable life.

After the riots on the hitherto peaceful island of Curacao, authorities didn’t take long to find a scapegoat: Stanley Brown, an American ‘born schoolteacher who had been editing the Antilles’ first underground newspaper, Vita, which had advocated a better deal for local natives.

The paper was banned and Brown arrested on criminal charges. Only heartening thing so far is that the publisher of the English-language paper on the island brought the matter to the attention of the Inter-American Press Association ‘which is now complaining to the governor of the Nederlands Antilles.

It’s rumored that Norman Mailer is seeking 30,000 people who look like him for roles in the film version of his Chicago adventure, “Armies of the Night”…That now-forgotten Vietnam campaigner who said we’d have to destroy a village to save it had a lot in common with Walt Disney whose plan for preserving a wilderness area in northern California was to strip it of trees and substitute ski lifts, restaurants and a heliport.

“Preservation thus becomes an outdoor type of interior decoration to provide a contrived environment” says Weskey Marx, writing about the sad situation in The Nation.

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