Friday, August 26, 2011

Odds and Sods - Rightwing Deadheads Revisited

Yes, I stole that title from Highway 61 Revisited.

In this fascinating, educational thread from three years ago, Daisy is enlightened and meets up with her very first Rightwing Deadheads. Granted, I have met all kinds of Deadheads with all kinds of opinions, but none who actually categorized themselves as consciously right-wing. Thus, I was skeptical. Notice, Ann Coulter is mentioned on the thread.

Riiiight, Ann Coulter.

I put that little piece of info on my (already overloaded) back burner, and did not remember it until flipping channels a few weeks ago and landing on C-Span's THREE HOUR INTERVIEW (!) with Coulter. (Note to C-Span: She isn't Harold Bloom you know.) I guess since Ishmael Reed recently fulminated for three hours, equal time for the Right. (Which annoyed me considerably, since Reed is ostensibly of the Left and yet was careful to trash feminism and gay rights for a sizeable portion of his allotted time.) The interviewer presented a list of reporters "allowed to interview Coulter in the future"--which contained both liberal and conservative names. Explanation? Coulter humorously replied that these were the reporters who "actually brought tape recorders and transcribed what I said from the tape." Apparently, legions of reporters have put all sorts of words in her mouth she didn't say. (Again, I took that into account as a future radio commentator; I'm sure it's going to happen to me, too... since it already happens here in Blogdonia.)

Interestingly, Coulter's list included a reporter from


Oh, dear Lord.

So, it's true. Rightwing Deadheads. Like, at the very TOP. Not just grunts in the mailroom of the Weekly Standard, but Deadheads among the theorists (I use the term loosely) and popular media personalities themselves. I suddenly recalled when a Deadhead friend claimed he had a photo of Ann Coulter from an old east coast show, and threatened to bring it to work and SHOW ME. He never remembered to bring it (these are Deadheads we are talking about) and so I never had to face the music: that he had a shot of Ann in the front row. NOOOooooOOO, say it isn't so.

Ann reckons she has attended at least 67 shows, which puts her in a rarefied class. Holy shit, an advanced case, and she never caught liberal cooties from Deadheads? How did she manage that? Ann even flew out to attend Jerry's memorial in Golden Gate park. Like I say, an advanced case. Coulter also claims she never used drugs at a Dead show, which I am not sure I believe. Of course, she really didn't have to, since even the "passive" pot smoke at Dead shows could slay an elephant; she does mention the clouds of smoke, and jokes about it. I think Ann may have enjoyed her passive high and it might account for some of the starry-eyed bullshit she offers in the interview, which is from back in 2006. (Two years before "Deadheads for Obama"--and I wonder how she felt about THAT?)

Here is an example of the possibly passive-marijuana-smoke-induced, starry-eyed bullshit:

Moreover, I really like Deadheads and the whole Dead concert scene: the tailgating, the tie-dye uniforms, the camaraderie, it was like NASCAR for potheads. You always felt like you were with family at a Dead show-- a rather odd, psychedelic family that sometimes lived in a VW bus and sold frightening looking “veggie burritos.” But whatever their myriad interests, clothing choices, and interest in illicit drugs, true Deadheads are what liberals claim to be but aren’t: unique, free-thinking, open, kind, and interested in different ideas. Also, excellent dancers! Watching a Deadhead dance is truly something to behold.
Ann doesn't seem to realize that 90% of the Deadheads she has met are liberals, just not very articulate ones... I ask you, does Coulter's description (in the paragraph above) sound like a description of cultural liberals or cultural conservatives?

Many Deadheads shun politics (which we might say is an anarchist belief, possibly the long-term influence of the Rainbow Family, which had a lot of Deadhead-crossover membership); their political ideas are inchoate and unformed ... and many prefer that they stay that way. Just as Deadhead religion is all over the lot and the woo is fairly thick, Deadhead revolutionary ideas tend to be gonzo, unworkable, back-to-the-land stuff, like the Diggers specialized in. (Note: I am talking about the pre-1987 era, after which the Dead went "mainstream" and the general "Deadhead" term tended to lose its former countercultural meaning.) The Deadheads Ann admires put collectivism into practice, which is liberalism personified. But to maintain her useful fiction that liberals are "Godless" (the name of her book) -- she has to separate the lovable dancing bears of her past from those nasty liberals who have ruined the country.



And I got more links, too.

A huge and shocking baby-selling scandal has rocked the surrogate world, and yet the leaders in the field (the reproductive-pimps making all of the money off of women's uteri) still don't support additional legal controls on surrogacy. (It is particularly notable that this scandal INVOLVES one of the so-called respectable leaders in the surrogacy business.)

Short version: They make me sick.


Anonymous plays hardball with BART, posting naked photos of San Francisco BART spokesman Linton Johnson all over the net, as part of their ongoing protests. Their statement reads: "If you are going to be a dick to the public, then I'm sure you don't mind showing your dick to the public."

Daisy applauds and laughs: The Yippies would be so proud of yall.


At left: My friend Ginger Wilson sings one of my favorite songs (with the Shannon Hoover Band) at the Reedy River Concert Series on Wednesday night: "I put a spell on you"--yeah! It was a great night and I had a lot of fun, meeting all kinds of unexpected old friends at the show. (More photos here.)

As I have said so many times, if I ever move away from Greenville, I certainly WILL miss knowing everyone in town!


Rick Perry made money off of porn! Woooo! Wonder what his new Dominionist (and K Street) friends will think of that?

Movie Gallery used to be across the street from here, and was well-known for its popular "back room"; at my old video-store job, I worked with several Movie Gallery-refugees, and quickly learned the score. I find it hard (excuse expression) to believe Rick Perry didn't have a clue.


Marion writes of the death of Canadian politician Jack Layton:
To me, he was like a Terrier or a Bulldog, worrying and tearing at the Conservatives without restraint. With a four year term of a majority Conservative government, I felt so much better in knowing Jack Layton was the leader of the Opposition. I felt, if anyone could, he was the one who would hold the Conservatives to account.
Rest in peace, Mr Layton... we need more like you throughout the world!


How a Radical Leftist Became the FBI's BFF (Mother Jones)

Boy Scouts of America removed mother from troop after discovering she is a lesbian (Think Progress)

Katha Politt: Michele Bachmann, Wife in Chief? (The Nation)

Nice title, but I am partial to STEPFORD Wife in Chief... (mean giggle)


JoJo said...

Man Coulter has been to more shows than I have? Ugh. *hangs head* I see a lot of my high school friends who were/are Deadheads are also quite conservative. I find it so odd.

word verif: candicar

Ann O'Dyne said...

what a great post Miz DH, 'slay an elephant' indeed, and I would pay good money to observe you and Coulter having a beer and chewin the fat, oh yes.

meanwhile, I do hope you and yours, and everybody else really, are safe from the weather tantrum Irene.

YogaforCynics said...

I definitely encountered some Republican Deadheads, particularly in the later years when the frat boys who'd formerly hated the Dead suddenly decided they were a good "party band." Then, the contradictions went both ways. I knew a lot of militant activist hippies who were utterly brutal toward anyone who deviated at all from their views and lifestyle, including being so anti-cocaine, because of the Contra connection, that they almost kicked a guy out of their house just for mentioning that he occasionally did it, but who nonetheless followed a bunch of read meat eating, cocaine snorting, groupie screwing guys like Jerry & co. around the world...

John Powers said...

I think of "Deadheads" as a subset of freaks. What I like about the word "freaks" is it makes the notion of counterculture pretty explicit.

Lots of people have had a freak stage. It was easy enough for many to grow out of it and to get jobs and distinctly not countercultural lifestyles. Nothing about that lifestyle contradicted being either liberal or conservative.

Freakiness isn't so easy to shake off. Sometimes it's handy to remember when some of our merry boomer cohorts were going through that phase.

Liberal in today's understanding of it has come to mean a belief in government to achieve greater equal opportunity and equality.

I'll stand on the liberal side. But for those who identified with a countercultural vision of themselves, today's notion of being a liberal doesn't quite cut it.

Paul Krassner wrote: "What Negroes, hippies and Vietnamese share is a goal: to have power over their own lives."

That goal when it's come to politics has often as not been for boomers--many of whom had a freak stage--to identify with Republicans.

I think it's pretty clear by now that the Republican rhetoric of power over your own lives is discredited. But people all over America still share that goal.

Liberal versus conservative is a useful frame to understand politics. But I'm not so sure understanding politics is as important as calling attention to what we all want.

Marion said...

Thank you for mentioning my post on Jack, Daisy, I so appreciate that!! He was a superb man.I'm so sorry he's gone, but his memory will carry on his work. Already there are bands of people forming...a grass roots kind of continue what Jack began. And so movements begin...xx

Sevesteen said...

I'm no fan of Coulter--I tried to listen to one of her books when I had a long commute, and I found myself continuously swearing at my MP3 player...

But admiring voluntary collectivism is not incompatible with conservatism--the difficulty is when you are talking mandatory conservatism. Imagine being stuck in a commune with her and Rick Santorum, for example.

Sevesteen said...

Talking mandatory collectivism, I meant--although my original error would also be a problem.

Dave Dubya said...

Because the music was apolitical for the most part, it was easy enough for blooming Righties and Frat-rats to enjoy the Dead scene.It became, uh, fashionable. Since so many Deadheads were apolitical themselves, there was little conflict.

I think it's good that music can bring people together. It humanizes both sides and gives us some common thread that is lacking in politics.

That said, the Right leaning Deadheads are less involved with most of the community's interests and activities.

I'd love to chat with Coulter and get more of her story about her Dead experiences. I wonder how honest she would be...

happyhousewife said...

I am a deadhead and I believe most of those deadheads you are thinking are liberals , are libertarians. Sometimes folks can get confused. I was a vendor on tour and have been to well over 100 shows , and I needed no government permit nor inspection nor regulation to conduct my business. I stopped when government became too tight in the lots , due to the fact that I believe government has NO place in business. Most of the vendors I knew agree with that philosophy and in large numbers are supporters of Ron Paul , like myself. There is really quite a large Ron Paul/general libertarian support base within the dead head community, not all of us are whatever folks are calling a liberal these days. A lot of us are simply more interested in seeing a self sufficient society with minimal government intervention. Most of us are not against gay marriage , we are for legalization too. To describe us as right wing would be a mistake. Live within your means, don't expect others to pay for your stuff, let me pursue my own happiness without government intervention , don't tax me for it .