Upstream of Consciousness

* My life would be a soap opera if there were anyone else in it. As things stand, it’s more like a soap monologue.

* Beware Foster Farms Turkey Meatballs. I bit into one and broke a tooth or a filling or something. Bits of bone. Or beak, maybe. I’m very pissed off about this. I already need about a grand’s worth of dental work that I can’t afford.

* Caught a few minutes of *Alice’s Restaurant* on television the other day. Couldn’t help thinking this movie must be utterly incomprehensible to anyone born after the time it was made (1969). The clothing, the irreverence toward the military and the police, the condemnation of only *certain* drugs, the treatment of illegal trash disposal as a joke, the depiction of kids who wear no logos and carry no personal electronics — they all combine to make the film seem like a document of some alien culture.

5 Responses to “Upstream of Consciousness”

  1. Richard Bensam Says:

    I don’t know…it wasn’t too long after Alice’s Restaurant showed up in theaters that I first started seeing reprints of comics stories from the 1940s, and those WWII-era stories were equally foreign to my Vietnam War-era childhood as Alice’s Restaurant might seem today. But those comics clicked with me right away — especially the Newsboy Legion reprints in Kirby’s JIMMY OLSEN — I understood I was seeing an artifact from the childhood of my parents, but I was impressed by how much had remained the same.

    Today we have a war overseas that the majority of the nation doesn’t support; the armed forces falling short of their recruitment efforts and the possibility of a draft being raised; oh yeah, and kids like to hang out together and enjoy music. What’s so different about that?

  2. Bart Lidofsky Says:

    Of course, the movie, Alice’s Restaurant, only bore superficial resemblance to the song. Although it was a “youth” movie, it was about the inevitability of growing up.

  3. Richard Beland Says:

    Yup, I know what you mean. About twenty years ago when I first started noticing t-shirts with corporate logos on them I thought to myself, “Man, I’ll never be a corporate shill!” Why should I pay my hard-earned cash to advertise for these guys? They should be paying ME to wear their t-shirts! Well, these days it’s hard to find a t-shirt that doesn’t boldly display the logo of some company on it. With utter shame I must admit that I own a few of these t-shirts myself — but I bought them because they were on sale for next to nothing and I refuse to pay $25 for a t-shirt. If I had a time machine I’d go back and buy a Howard the Duck or Vampirella t-shirt. Fuck Nike.

  4. Alex Krislov Says:

    Funny you should mention Alice’s Restaurant — Arlo Guthrie’s “30th Anniversary Alice’s Restaurant Massacree Tour” just came through Cleveland, and we went to see him. Of course, it is an alien culture to today’s kids. The only people under 40 were the kids a few of us over-fifties brought with us. My older daughter liked it quite a lot–but she did find it rather dated. ‘Course, she finds most of my pop culture tastes dated, even the new stuff like Nellie McKay.

    We really part on corporate logo shirts. I find them offensive, and usually wear t-shirts with jazz artists; she wants to wear the shirts and fit in with her friends. So far, that’s the biggest part of our generation gap. I’m probably very lucky.

  5. Beth Says:

    There’s a TV series called “The 70’s House” produced by MTV. The kids in the house (it’s a game, of course, with eliminations at the end of each show) must live in 70’s clothes, use 70’s jargon, and live with 70’s technology. Very funny (e.g. rotary phones: “it takes for-ev-er to dial a number!”) and the looks on their faces as they see Pong for the first time…