Tag Archives: counterculture

Podcast 3

As he kneads bread dough, scorzonera revisits the influence radical movements of the late 20th century had on his diet, not realising that running the tap whilst recording is a poor idea.


Wolves and Humans website

The Whole Earth Catalog online

The Ecologist, recently merged with Resurgence


UK squatting archive

The Radical History of Hackney

“Plant a Tree in 73” – the reason for using an allotment to grow trees

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Filed under counterculture, Food and drink

Glastonbury Fayre – 1971


“You’re an architect, right?”
“I’m a constructivist.”

Screened as an episode of Channel 4’s Late Shift – 1988, this is one of the better festival films, using performances as punctuation for the scenes of festival life and community, rather than the focus of the documentary. Directed by Nicolas Roeg and, later, Peter Neal, and produced by David Puttnam, the quality of the film making really shines through, even though this Google Videos embed is hardly good quality (and the embed isn’t working – click on “Google Video” ➜ “Go to Google Video” bottom right of screen).

The shots of the construction of the Pyramid Stage, temporary living domes, tree houses and of vehicles being maintained are a reminder that revolution, or the building of an alternative lifestyle, means work. Hard work. That doesn’t mean that hard work is unpleasant – working towards a shared ideal will always be more rewarding than working to make a profit for others.

David Bowie’s headline set was dropped from the final cut along with Hawkwind’s, which is a shame. To the best of my knowledge, the running order of live acts in the film is as follows. Let me know if I’m mistaken.

Pink Fairies drum march
Terry Reid with Linda Lewis
Fairport Convention
Magic Michael ?
Crazy World of Arthur Brown
Mighty Baby?
Gong – as background music only.

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Filed under counterculture, Film and TV, hippies, Music

Beat Memories – the photographs of Allen Ginsberg

From an exhibition at Washington DC’s National Gallery of Art, May 2 to September 16, 2010.

Twelve photographs of and by Allen Ginsberg

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Filed under Art & Design, counterculture, photography

Notes Towards An Inactivist Manifesto

Do not confuse inactivism with inactivity. A day passed in the fields, along the hedgerows and around the trees, foraging for food, is not a day of inactivity. It is an avoidance of the dreary journey to the supermarket, where a reluctant trolley is shoved and dragged through the tense, dithering crowds seeking out two frozen beefburgers in a plastic tray, wrapped in clingfilm. Similarly, an afternoon spent lolling in the local library, flicking through books and magazines, is that of the true seeker after knowledge, who has rejected the notion of flicking through several hundred television channels only to find, after half an hour or more, that there’s nothing on.

The employed inactivist seeks to blur the lines between work and leisure. If you are unfortunate enough to be working at a repetitive, mindless task, use your mind creatively, planning the most rewarding use of your time on your return to the real world. If you are unfortunate enough to have a post which demands concentration, aim to complete your task as quickly as possible, leaving you free to plan as above. If you are fortunate enough to work alone, then complete the bulk of your tasks with the utmost speed and efficiency, leaving a little to work on should a manager or supervisor heave into view, and always ensure there is a book and a goodly supply of your favoured beverages to hand.

Charity shops, jumble sales, flea markets, car boot sales and the World Wide Web are the inactivist’s friends. Use them well to share and glean techniques, skills and knowledge.

Vegetarian and vegan foods require much lower levels of energy; as fuel in the cooking process, as human input into preparation and in the digestive processes. If you feel the need for cooked flesh, let “Meat as a treat” be your motto.

Shop and cook primarily to eat, then for the freezer, then for pickling. A full freezer is a happy freezer and requires less energy to maintain temperature. Pickling is easy, cheap, quick, a relaxing way to pass time in the kitchen and home made pickles ennoble a meal made with the most basic ingredients.

Should you live by the coast, rejoice. You have year round foods for the taking, the only requirements being good health, a well illustrated guide, tide tables, suitable containers to carry the bounty home and pleasure in being out of doors.

Eschew organised religions. With the honourable exceptions of paganism and many branches of Buddhism, they are demanding and proscriptive, both anathema to the inactivist.

Practise the art of graceful refusal. A firm but polite “No”, delivered with a slight smile and a shake of the head, eyes and head a little lowered, is often enough to befuddle the terminally ambitious and demanding.

The true inactivist does not enter into arguments with those who challenge the inactivist way. The true inactivist cannot be arsed.

Make the best use you can of the conventional, always being open to the unconventional, the alien and the novel.

Wear your langour with pride.


Any suggestions, amendments, quibbles or additions gratefully received.

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Filed under counterculture, Food and drink

More Online Photo Archives

from Manchester District Music ArchiveExpanding on an earlier post

The Photographic Youth Music Culture Archive has extensive searchable collections of pics covering beats, teds, mods, rockers, hippies, punks, ravers and many others in the cultural interstices.

Starting out as an archive of the early ’80s New Romantics, blitzkids.com is expanding, already having punk, cyberpunk and teds galleries with a goth gallery under construction. Not the easiest site to navigate, but it rewards persistence.

Kill Your Pet Puppy has been around since the early days of punk and has the photo archive to prove it.

The Manchester District Music Archive is a huge, admirable project covering all genres and includes Queer Noise “”The hidden History Of Manchester’s Gay Music Culture.” Every town and city deserves a site, and people with as much energy, as this.

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Filed under counterculture, hippies, photography, pre-punk, Sexuality

Memento Mori

memento mori
The excellent and ever expanding Luminous Lint has a fascinating online exhibition of 19th century Memento Mori photographs. This relatively brief fashion (?) is often said to be a response to the new technology being made available to the masses, which doesn’t explain the majority of examples being shot in the USA.

The second part of the exhibition is dedicated to photographs of violent or abrupt death, if that’s your cup of tea.

I had a quick look, it’s not mine.

    Other notable online exhibitions and archives

The Smithsonian
Terence Nunn’s photos of disappearing London
The Lesbian and Gay Newsmedia Archive regularly puts small collections online.
The San Francisco based GLBT flickr group
Life magazine’s astonishing online archive
Large collection of Haight-Ashbury from the ’60s to the present photos

[See also this post]

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Filed under hippies, photography, Sexuality

R Crumb

The religious experience of Philip K Dick via the engaging Swadeshine datanet

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