I was born as the counterculture revolution of the 1960s was peaking. Although I was too young to be an active participant in the revolution, I was old enough to remember and be shaped by the ideas and principles people like my parents held. I can remember my mom and her friends smoking pot and masking the smell with incense. I can remember the sounds of “free love” happening behind the closed door of my mom’s bedroom where she and her friends used to go and hang out.

The counterculture revolution sounded like fun, but what was it all about?

In its loosest sense, the 1960s counterculture grew from a number of converging events, issues, circumstances, and technological developments, which served as intellectual and social catalysts for rapid change. At the grassroots level, the young people coming out of the beat generation were beginning to get restless with suffocating ways of life and wanted to rebel. Inspired by Ginsberg, and his colleagues’ work, those actively pushing the counterculture agenda were trying to achieve a higher state of consciousness.

Several factors distinguished the counterculture of the 1960s from the authority-opposition movements of previous eras. The post-war “baby boom” resulted in an unprecedented number of young, affluent, and potentially disaffected young people as prospective participants in a rethinking of the direction of American and other democratic societies. As the 1960s progressed, widespread tensions developed in society that tended to flow along generational lines regarding the war in Vietnam, race relations, human sexuality, women’s rights, traditional modes of authority, experimentation with psychoactive drugs, and differing interpretations of the American Dream. New cultural forms emerged, including the pop music of the British band the Beatles and the concurrent rise of hippie culture. As the era unfolded, a dynamic youth subculture which emphasized creativity, experimentation and new incarnations of bohemian lifestyles emerged. In addition to the trendsetting Beatles, many other creative artists, and thinkers, within and across many disciplines, contributed to the counterculture movement.

All high ideals that seemed worthy of pursuit, but what happened to that idealism and did the countercultural revolutionaries win or did they sell out to The Man? This the question Gary Trudeau was trying to answer in A Doonebury Special that aired in 1977. I watched it for the first time today and it made me think what did happen to the counterculture revolution and what, if any, is the modern-day version of the counterculture revolution? Am I a part of it? Or am I a card-carrying member of the establishment content with conforming to whims of the herd?

Thinking about it now, mainstream culture is dominated by consumerism, reality tv, and celebrity worship, and on the political front, those fighting for a better society seem mostly preoccupied with being “green,” neutralising the sexes and demonizing the rich. I don’t fit the mainstream. I’m not even an outsider. I’m a casual observer, content to exist inside my self-contained bubble of reality on a planet called Clay.

Maybe it’s time to leave my fortress of solitude and rejoin the fray. But who will I be fighting for and against?

When stuff like Thursday happens it reminds me that we are all the same, driven by the same basic motivations, the ones Maslow shared with us in 1943 in his paper, for the Psychological Review, called “A Theory of Human Motivation”. Yes, I’m talking about the hierarchy of needs. That’s it! That’s us, 5 levels on a triangle.

We like to delude ourselves into thinking that we are complex, unique individuals, when in fact we are simple, oh so very simple.

So simple in fact, that all you really need to understand the true nature of the human can be described by what evolutionary biologists call the Four F’s.

If you clicked the link, you know that everything else is just killing time between the four events or helping you to do the four better.

We’ve added our own layer of complexity by falling for the fairytale story of self-actualisation and how the bare necessities are not good enough.

This coming from guy (me) who yesterday had two surreal moments that made him question his sanity. I need some therapy, retail or otherwise.

So I was driving into town when up ahead in the distance I saw a plane flying across my field of vision. I literally, and I kid you not, started looking for the crate drop I’m talking PUBG style here (which btw, we’re looking for 2 good men or women to join our team, hit reply if you’re interested).

And then not 5 minutes later I was driving across a bridge. Off to my left, I saw a field of tall dead brown grass. There was a guy moving slowly through the field. I could swear he was a zombie, straight out of this season 2 Walking Dead scene.OK. OK. I know. I need help.

But there’s none forth coming. I’m on my own. And so are you (Believe it or not, the choice is up to you).

Sex and drugs, two pathways to altering consciousness. Making aspects of them illegal to support an institutional agenda of subjugation is in effect a war on consciousness from the State. The State sees these as threats to its institutions and programs of control. 

Activist Conner Habib:

“Once you start to self-actualise by investigating your own consciousness you become a threat.”

I stumbled upon Mary Jane, a cannabis lifestyle blog edited by Mira Gonzales and owned by Snoop Dogg. Just one of those random things that happen at 5:30 in the morning. It showed up in my twitter feed (actually the podcast link showed up in my feed and in the spirit of discovery I pressed play and kept on listening to the end.)

It was interesting conversation between Mira, the host, and her guests activist Conner Habib and feminist professor Dr Heather Berg. Some of the perspective they shared on sex work, porn, and drug work I found intriguing, like this idea of exploring consciousness through sex and drugs as being a threat to the establishment’s money-making agenda. Sex sells is the common notion. But actually, it’s not sex that sells it’s the transference of the arousal brought on by looking at a sexy model standing next to an exploded image of beer that sells the beer.  Basically, the ad is beaming thoughts to your subconsciousness mind that you’re never gonna get the girl in the ad, but the feelings you’re feeling can be satisfied by drinking the beer. Or something like that.

Anyway, check out the episode. You can watch it here or listen to it on iTunes.