Letters

by

Fifth Estate # 93, November 27-December 10, 1969

To Those People Who Like The Stooges:

I used to like ’em too, just like everyone else, caught-up in that follow-the-other-people, emotional group-cohesion thing. But then I began to think! The Stooges are one example of a group that takes us (the audience) for fools and chumps.

Iggy goes thru all this sexual stuff and then he poses and finally JUMPS out into the audience on someone! He did this at Olympia, Halloween, and almost started a fight with the guy he jumped on! He cursed at the boy and called him names saying “Hit me, I dare ya” and stuff like that.

Is this a guy with BRAINS? Iggy once jumped off the Grande Ballroom stage onto a girl and broke her bottle of Ripple, accidently cutting her!

This stuff insults my intelligence, even though a lot of people think it’s funny. That’s because this is a violent society and people still groove on that. Violence.

I advise everyone to start thinking about these “leaders”, “stars” and “idols” they respect and look up to. While they’re taking your worship and your money, they’re also taking YOU!

Beware of anarcho-fascist music groups! Bozo the clown is a Feurer. Dig it!!

Vincent C. Stuart II

Dear Gentlemen:

You should (if you don’t already) urge youngsters to just not go into the army.

If enough people did this—they would have to do something.

Yours respectfully,

Anonymous

To the Editor,

The article on American imperialism by Dena Clamage [FE #91, October 30-November 12, 1969] was an excellent and much-needed summary of the basic issues involved in wars like Vietnam. However, the article did not deal with one important element of the question: namely, what kind of society will emerge after the victorious expulsion of the imperialists?

Wars of national liberation, such as the struggle being waged by the NLF and its allies in Vietnam, are directed against an external ruling class, based outside their nation; the imperialists have little or no social base inside the victim country. The victory of the liberation movement over the foreign oppressor is an enormous step forward, but it does not end the political conflict.

A glance at the Algerian Revolution will suffice to demonstrate this point. After a decade of bitter struggle, the revolutionary movement was successful in expelling the French. However, the country today is in no sense free; a highly undemocratic military regime controls the country; despite much socialistic rhetoric, the regime permits French businessmen to own a large slice of the economy.

So, while the Algerian people freed themselves from French domination, they did not create a free, classless, socialist society and they will have to wage a revolutionary struggle against an internal oppressor if they are ever to achieve such a society.

Moreover, this outcome was largely predetermined by the nature of the movement which defeated the French. The Algerian FLN was a highly elitist organization which demanded complete political obedience on all questions, to the point of expelling or occasionally assassinating pro-socialist and pro-communist elements. They had no respect for the capacity of the masses to act in their own name; they suppressed many radical labor unions in Algiers and Oran because they could not control them.

The situation in Vietnam is far better. The leadership of the NLF is avowedly communist, and is verbally committed to building a socialist Vietnam once the Americans are expelled. Yet some disturbing parallels remain.

In 1956-57, the North Vietnamese carried out a program of forced collectivization of agriculture over the opposition of large amounts of the peasantry, who were moved to armed rebellion in three provinces.

In the late 1950s, the nascent NLF opposed and eventually smashed many revolutionary labor unions in South Vietnam because they were politically independent of their movement. Most important, the N’ has ignored thirty years of intense organization and activity within the Vietnamese urban working class, and has based itself almost exclusively on the rural peasantry.

Let me make myself clear. This is in no way in sympathy with the professional anti-communism of our home-spun liberals who use the flaws in revolutionary movements as excuses to support their suppression. The Struggle of national liberation movements in Vietnam, as well as Cuba, and elsewhere within the Third World, should be supported strongly and unconditionally by the American Left.

But we must be aware, not only of the progressive aspects of such movements, but of their weaknesses as well. If we blindly and uncritically support these struggles; if we fail to analyze their long-term direction as well as their short-term goals, if we forget to apply Marx’s dictum that “a revolutionary must criticize everything”; then we are that much less good socialists, that much less sound revolutionaries.

All power to the people—political, economic, and cultural; today, and not tomorrow.

Yours for the revolution,

Ken Fireman
International Socialists Detroit

Dear Sirs:

To get directly to the point, I have been stationed overseas for 2 years and am originally from Detroit.

In the interim time I have lost contact with friends and acquaintances in Detroit. I feel the best way of getting “Back in the Know” is through your paper.

Upon discharge I too intend to involve myself in problems facing youth and society. In fact, the only thing I have got out of this military scene is that I must get involved and work for needed changes in the establishment. Hopefully, that is also the reason for your paper. Informing people “The way it IS” is one of the most fundamental ideals of a newspaper.

It is definitely sorry the big circulation papers have been turned into propaganda machines for money power political idiots. It is even more sorry people have not realized this but read them as bibles (the same as a military lifer reads Army regulations).

Even though discharged my chief aim is and will be the injustice, discrimination of men and loss of civil liberties while in military service, that are guaranteed in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. Its about time men were not subordinate to anyone just because of rank and a tight caste system as in the military.

Big brother is right around the corner and the people are still copping out to the establishment. Just how big can government become?

I indeed got carried away again as I often do as of late, but perhaps you may see what the military government has built up inside of me and almost all service inductees.

Robert A. Smith

Dear Fifth Estate

I’ve just got back from Redford Union High School in the great thriving metropolis of Redford Township, where the parents and the school staff have absolute say over what we wear, print, our comings and goings and everything else.

My friends and I spent 2 hours in there presenting our argument in favor of a liberal dress code, and all he could tell us at the end of the “session” was that he had to go home to his wife and that he had not heard any “valid arguments”. (He being our lordly vice principal, or somebody like that.) Bullshit!

We probably presented every valid argument there is, but they hear and don’t listen. Nothing you say makes any sense to them, nothing. Some of my brothers and sisters probably know what it’s like to come home after having the administration bitch you out and have your old lady beat you for the same thing.

So where do we go from here, friends? Bomb the school? Burn it?

Why do they insist on oppression? Why won’t they give us a chance to “grow into the responsible, decent citizens” that they tell us they are trying to make out of us?

Love, peace and happiness,

Deb

P.S. I’m in love with Arthur.

To the People:

You call the gangsters Pig. But think, if the cultural basis for our politics is to live and love life, to mock this hedonist animal by likening him to the thugs from City Hall would seem, a misnomer. Perhaps this animal is misunderstood as completely as the fascist misunderstands what humanity is about.

To enjoy to eat, roll in the mud and bake in the sun seems close to our dope, rock, and fucking in the streets.

The “Animal Farm” concept of pigs is merely a libelous promotion of the capitalists’ propaganda that we must structure our lives in paranoia and order. In their world of plastic and cyclone fences they can’t see art and freedom. Individuals are invisible. The attitude of the production line is xenophobic; God is reached for on the stock exchange.

The corporation wants the worker for breakfast. A boar in the wild doesn’t go along.

Love and Freedom,

Gerald Lindquist

To the Fifth Estate:

Sitting waiting for the band to get up so we can jump out on the street and face the skrunch. In Brussels this time and thinking about the fact that no one in the sound proof sound box over there has ever heard of what is probably the States’ youngest jazz bands.

No one in Detroit has ever heard of the Detroit Free Jazz Band (except for John Sinclair if you were to tell him they used to be the Pigfuckers). No one seems to know that most Of Sam’s real musicians come (have to come) to Europe to blow leaving the States sound proof. Least wise no one’s saying much about it or caring.

Ornette Coleman and the Chicago Art Ensemble playing a concert in Paris. Archie Shepp gigging at the Algiers Pan African Art Festival. Pharoah Sanders, Charles Lloyd, Joseph Jarmeri, Roscoe Mitchell, Keith Jarret all gigging all over in Europe. While Miles get shot in the hip for playing a gig in Brooklyn. Ain’t no one talking about that.

The Detroit Free Jazz Band has been in Europe for 15 months now playing gigs in France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Yugoslavia, Holland, Italy, the Fantasio in Amsterdam, Radio Amsterdam, movie sound track in Rome, TV film in Frankfort, live concert in Bologna, university occupations in Milano and Munich. Ain’t nobody talking about that!

Four motherfuckers hanging on skating around the ice. England said no. Switzerland said let’s go with an official escort to the border. Railroad jobs at the borders. Winter time and no crashes. Laying in some cake, looking for a crib, waiting for bread, trying to get a gig. Just to play some music.

And now about to jump out into the streets of Brussels still wondering. Why no one in Sam ever heard the music. Ain’t no one said anything about that yet.

The Gardner

To the Fifth Estate:

I’ve managed to have the last couple of issues of your paper sent to me here at Fort Eustis. I really enjoy reading them and so do the rest of the heads in my company. It’s a hell of a lot better than the Army Times or the Newport News.

The army is really full of good Bullshit. My company frowns on the wearing of bluejeans, but allows bells and all the other good shit. The C.O. said that we may have mustaches but that they must conform to his standards—three-quarters of an inch wide and a quarter of an inch high. Wowie-zowie. Needless to say no ‘staches are seen in the barracks.

To sum up the modern thinking of the cadre at Ft. Eustis read the article in November’s Playboy, written by one of the GIs here. There is some comfort in the fact that between 1/3 and 1/2 of the guys here are ex-freaks. There are also a number of dope selling long haired freaks in the towns around here.

The local PX had a copy of the MC5 album but somebody bought it, cause it was gone today. The main PX has a whole lot of Stooges albums—I bought one and I’m now promoting it to the guys. The only thing is now I’m looking for a stereo to play it on. I have yet to see the Frost’s album.

Just a few more words: Hi to Bob Stark. Is Skip Cooper still in town? All lifers hate hair.

Peace—FTA

Pvt. Richard Hevelhorst

Dear Fifth,

I’m just writing to say that I felt your treatment of Russ Gibb and the Paul McCartney bullshit was quite unfair [see FE #91, October 30-November 12, 1969].

Russ was only telling the fuckin’ thing the way it came to him. You can’t say that Russ buried McCartney because I know of freaks Who have been working on the damn thing since the first of the year.

I wasn’t really pissed off until I read the letter from O.M. (Russ is Cuckoo?)

No, O.M. is. The whole McCartney deal brought the Beatles a lot of publicity (much more than it brought him!) and if the Beatles ever do come to Detroit Russ will probably bring them here for giving them the free publicity.

If anyone is “Cuckoo” O.M. is. Up his ass!

J.C.T.

To the Editor:

I would like to put in a plea for the CJ Whistle Stop Restaurant in Ann Arbor. It was recently closed by the An Arbor Health Department, but hopes to re-open soon. If you are in Ann Arbor please check it out.

It’s a people’s restaurant and it needs the people’s support to stay open. Patronize the Whistle Stop when it re-opens.

Many of the street people of Ann Arbor have no place else to go. It has been a people’s gathering place for a long time, it has helped the people, fed the people who had little or no money, given them a place to crash or a place to rap. Now it needs the people’s help.

Right on,

A Whistle Stop Freak

Dear Editors:

That Suzie bitch in the Nov. 12 issue is a dumb ass. I think you use adjectives that get the point across.

To me “fuck” can mean a lot of stuff besides intercourse. I think you have a damn good paper. Keep up the good work.

Love & Peace,

Paula

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