Today is Like, So Like it Was in 1969
By Elaine Meinel Supkis
Only cartoons can really tell what happened in the past and what it means today. The culture wars we started in the Summer of Love continue to reverberate in funny and awful ways. So let us time travel together to those halcylon days of yore.
This cartoon will take quite a few hours to do so stay tuned for each episode. It is a LOOOONG story, all 100% true.
This is the year I nearly died several times. Some rather strange things happened, not all of them pleasant.
When I was Shanghaied by a motorcycle gang that was fueding with the Hell's Angels, it got rather dicey. They were going to kill me until they got hungry on the road. One of them ran over a rabbit and I cheerfully gutted it with one of their switchknives, skinned it and cooked it on a makeshift cooking range I rigged out of rocks and some metal. They were so impressed, the asked me to show other skills. This pleased them until they discovered my hidden skills.
The Oakland Tact Squad were the super mean guys. They loved to beat up hippies. And yes, one did, after meeting me on the street and trying to clobber me, came to my pad to ask for a date! Worse, I accepted! It was really funny. He wanted me to marry him.
Gads. No way in hell.
A nonviolent artist who was the typical laid-back person who I had met only once before this happened, heard the guns going off during the People's Park police riot and opened the door, hearing his neighbors screaming outside, and was shot dead center in the face and lost both eyes. Not too long afterwards, his baby girl died. A tragedy. I couldn't believe Reagan decided to kill us. But he did and at that point, we lost all ability to call the police for help. They were out to destroy us. If someone attacked us, the police would stand aside and let them do their worst. This is when I formed my first street patrol to protect people especially after the minister who let us use his church for meetings and such was badly beaten in a back alley by the police one night.
I saw my childhood friend from Tucson, John Damon, across the street unexpectedly. I yelled to him, but he didn't hear me over the street noise so I decided to jaywalk over and snag him only I was snagged. At long last, the police had an excuse to arrest me. Odd, going to jail for jaywalking. Unheard of, actually, except in a police state. But getting me to jail hit some serious snags!
A fellow teen, a street kid named "Sinbad" decided to save me. He succeeded in slashing at least one tire. This ticked off the police who couldn't drive away from the growing crowd so they called in more troops. They arrived with a paddy wagon and threw me unceremoniously inside. I told the crowd, as I was being tossed, to make room for them to drive me off, it was OK. But then things grew truly ugly.