Hot Air: Mind Your Miners

“Can we really continue to ask a coal miner in West Virginia… to continue to pay for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting?”

This was an actual question posed by President Gag’s director of the Office of Management and Budget in a television interview regarding cuts in federal funding for PBS.

So now, isn’t it time we stop all the bullshit about how it was the liberals who belittled and stereotyped the unemployed and the laborers of fly-over America?

All Burroughs, All The Time

The Wounded Galaxies gang will be back at it this coming February. The group that emerged from the Burroughs Century fete back in 2014 and has since produced events like the annual “The Junky’s Christmas” is set to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the landmark year 1968.

That annum, in case you’re younger than, say, 60, saw the world nearly come apart as we threw Molotov cocktails, smashed storefronts, shot high powered rifles out flophouse bathroom windows, fought pointless wars, marched in the streets, got crushed by tanks, and then wept/gaped/giggled about it all while watching groundbreaking television shows.

Dig this laundry list of ’68 events:

  • Alexander Dubček becomes leader of Czechoslovakia’s Communist Party, initiating the Prague Spring
  • A US Air Force B-52G Stratofortress crashes in Greenland, losing four hydrogen bombs and spreading eight highly radioactive substances over a 1-by-3-mile area
  • The premier of Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-in on NBC-TV
  • North Korea seizes the USS Pueblo and holds its crew hostage for 11 months
  • The Viet Cong launches the Tet Offensive throughout South Vietnam, causing American public opinion to turn against the war
  • South Vietnam’s police chief executes in cold blood a Viet Cong prisoner on a Saigon street, the event is photographed and becomes an iconic image of the war

[Image: Eddie Adams/AP]

  • Orangeburg, South Carolina police open fire on a crowd of protesters outside a segregated bowling alley, killing three people
  • US allied forces massacre 70-80 innocent citizens in the South Vietnamese village of Phong Nhị and Phong Nhất
  • The premier of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood
  • US allied forces massacre 135 innocent citizens in the South Vietnamese village of Hà My
  • Warsaw students take to the streets to kick off the bloody “Marzec 1968” Polish uprising
  • US Army soldiers commit the My Lai massacre, resulting in 350-500 deaths of innocent civilians
  • Bobby Kennedy enters the presidential race
  • Student protesters shut down Howard University in a 5-day round of sit-ins, building takeovers, and street marches
  • Lyndon Johnson quits the presidential race
  • Midnight bombings occur at two German department stores
  • The premier of 2001: A Space Odyssey

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. is murdered
  • Riots erupt in more than 100 American cities in the aftermath of the King assassination
  • Black Panthers and Oakland police engage in a 90-minute shoot-out resulting in the death of Panther treasurer Bobby Hutton
  • Lyndon Johnson signs the 1968 Civil Rights Act
  • Student protesters shut down Columbia University
  • France on the brink of revolution: One million people march in the streets of Paris, followed by general strikes, university and factory takeovers, and pitched street battles

Paris In The Springtime

  • The Catonsville (Maryland) Nine break into the local Selective Service office and burn records using napalm
  • The Nigerian army blockades Port Harcourt, leading to the Biafran famine resulting in hundreds of thousands of hunger deaths
  • Valerie Solanas shoots Andy Warhol in the belly
  • Bobby Kennedy is shot; he dies the next day
  • A Black Power group and police engage in a gun battle in Cleveland, followed by widespread rioting resulting in seven deaths
  • Pope Paul VI condemns the use of artificial birth control

A Sin

  • Some 750,000 Warsaw Pact soldiers invade Czechoslovakia to crush the Prague Spring.
  • Chicago police and anti-war and civil rights protesters clash during the Democratic National Convention
  • Second Wave Feminists protest the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey
  • The premier of 60 Minutes
  • Hundreds of students and civilians are killed in the Tlatelolco Massacre in Mexico City, when police and military security forces open fire on protesters
  • Northern Ireland’s “The Troubles” begin when police club civil rights protesters in Derry
  • Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos raise black-gloved fists to protest racism while on the medal stand at the Mexico City Summer Olympics

Black Power

  • Lyndon Johnson orders a halt to the bombing of North Vietnam, citing progress in the Paris Peace Talks (it is later learned that Republican candidate for president, Richard Nixon, sabotages the talks in order to enhance his chances of victory in the November election)
  • Nixon defeats Democrat Hubert Humphrey and the American Independent Party’s George Wallace in the presidential election
  • US forces and allies expand the Vietnam War into Laos
  • Yale University opens its doors to women
  • In a Star Trek episode the first interracial kiss (between Capt. Kirk and Lt. Uhura) is portrayed on American television
  • Four men commandeer a flight from New York to San Juan, Puerto Rico, diverting it to Cuba, setting off the “Golden Age” of airliner hijackings
  • The “Zodiac Killer” commits what is believed to be his (their?) first murder in the San Francisco area
  • The Apollo 8 crew (Borman, Lovell & Anders) become the first humans to orbit the moon

Earthrise

[Image: William Anders/NASA]

Wow.

Anyway, the WG-ers plan to mark the Esquire magazine hiring of beat author William S. Burroughs, erstwhile hobo/petty thief-turned playwright Jean Genet, and absurdist satirist Terry Southern to cover the infamous, police-riotous ’68 Democratic Convention in Chicago. The trio at the time would be considered the hippest, most literary, most radical, attention-grabbingest mixture of correspondents any national mag could have conjured to report on the upcoming hippie-Yippie-revolutionary peace-fuck-headsmash orgy scheduled for the last week of August in Mayor Richard J. Daley’s kingdom. Esquire‘s cooler heads, though, got a little jittery in the weeks leading up to the street-theater extravaganza and tossed veteran war reporter John Sack into the mix to ensure at least one of the group would submit something cogent and readable on the events there.

The Famous Cover

I can’t wait.

Chicago

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s ode to the Chicago Eight (later, Seven) trial.

 

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