wed be laying back getting stoned drinking cheap wine and watching tv with the sound turned off instead of working three jobs agonizing over disappearing pensions and trying to manage huge honking temper tantrums. Whats so wrong about drawing maximum unemployment benefits while driving a beater or riding public transportation. Its a lot better than unleashing hysterical self interest inside caustic free markets to make the wealthy filthy rich while lecturing the rest of us on the evil of protecting the public interest and the sinfulness of promoting the common good. If the Hippies had defined the culture for the past fifty years President Flubbermouth would have hair like Timothy Leary, be wearing tie dye and swapping wives with Osama bin Laden. Likewise Laura would be sporting dreadlocks with a butterfly tattoo on each buttock and using her bible to press resin from homegrown. If Free Love hadnt lost to Free Enterprise priests would be wearing leisure suits and taking their altar boys to discos not settling law suits and doing hard time in the paedophile wards of maximum security prisons. Wheres the harm in borrowing money from your friends, topping the list of deadbeat credit risks and living off your parents. It cant be worse than enormous financial frauds, massive mergers producing mountains of junk debt and lousy customer service, plus a nightmare world where the gap between the amount of personal freedom corporations claim will accrue to ordinary stiffs because of globalization and the amount they actually enjoy widens every day as the quantity of individual choice shrinks smaller and smaller while corporate power gets bigger and bigger. If political scientists in the sixties had spent more time dropping acid and listening to the Beatles instead of studying game theory and advising braindead dirtbags how to hijack the highest positions of governance we wouldnt see the American Empire start illegal unwinnable wars then have to watch talking heads trot out the same tightassed optimism used to prolong the Vietnam disaster long after the war was hopelessly lost. If more people had bought bongs and dropped out of the rat race rather than getting business degrees and hustling mutual funds, we wouldnt be watching the oceans rushing into Venice, Amazon rainforests converted into burger patties and dumbass retired army generals telling us how everything in Iraqs moving along just peachy as the whole friggin country falls apart before our boggled spin weary eyes. If everybody had read Howl and gone On The Road our children wouldnt be bombing Baghdad mosques and we wouldnt be watching those blabbermouth right wing bags appearing on tv talk shows and before 911 commissions to tell us what a great guy Flubbermouth really is then crow what terrific friggin advice they gave this mindless stupid moron and how its not their fault their stupid bungled ideas are spreading war and carnage everywhere and making this a dying demoralized planet. Suppose wed spent much more time listening to Charlie Parker Bill Evans and Miles Davis and much less to Milton Friedman Rush Limbaugh and Paul Wolfowitz. Imagine everybody living in basement suites and sporting a serious booze habit while reading Carlos Castenada Nietzsche and Allan Watts with Bob Dylan the Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd playing through used Radio Shack speakers. Do you seriously believe wed be on low carb diets trying to prevent another heart attack, wearing polyester business suits made in Chinese sweat shops and receiving our moral guidance from such luminous stalwarts as Jimmy Swaggert James Dobson and Conrad Black. Let me ask you this. Do you think youre better off today than you were in 1965. Has global civilization unfolded as it ought or somewhere somehow did things go seriously friggin wrong. Are we ignoring the important things in life like legalizing weed, improving daytime television and lowering beer prices while spending way too much time on such nonessentials as accelerating technical progress, pacifying the Middle East and ensuring homeland security. Are we moving closer to planetary peace harmony and happiness or are we still locked into our hopeless bungled concept of a nasty high carb top down God that separates us from one another rather than pulling everyone together into a single loving totality where nobodys judged better than anybody else and everybodys got enough to live like a real human being so they dont have to argue fight or compete with anybody else. Of course if the Bohemians had beaten the Baby Boomers none of this bad stuff could have happened. A nation of hard drinking mellow dopers is in no position to seriously conduct a Big Time Production of aggressive police state military imperialism either at home or abroad. Likewise a civilization consisting of lazy goodfornothing deadbeats who believe the FBI and CIA are watching everything they do is hardly a fertile human platform for dynamic technical advance and global economic expansion. And how could a society of stoners dealers and welfare cheats provide the kind of dimwit patriotic louts so necessary for the rise of evangelical Christians, authoritarian neoconservatives, psychopathic gun nuts plus all the other screwballs and headcases responsible for the seriously disappointing state of contemporary society.

Tokyo Sun 04/11/04