Sunday, December 7, 2008

Kosmic Trooths

The alternative press in the 1960's was a declaration of journalists who valued freedom of speech and critical thought in a democracy. The events of the sixties resulted in a rebellion against commercialized culture, war, corporate power and prejudice.
The antiwar and counterculture activists, being denied access to conventional media, took advantage of creating their own underground newspapers such as the Berkley Barb, Los Angeles Free Press and the Realist. These alternative papers soon found large audiences and by 1969 there were at least 400 different publications in every major city and college campus.
The readers were united by opposition to the Vietnam war, rejection of traditional American values, use of drugs and the rock and roll scene. Some of these underground papers covered feminism, gay liberation, and the environment. Also, communal living, mysticism, and Native American movements.
The most enduring publication was Rolling Stone magazine. Founder, 20 year old Jann Wenner, borrowed $7,500 in 1967 to start the publication. Within two years, the magazine had over 64,000 subscribers and was a major magazine of the rock generation.
The Whole Earth Catalog gave practical instruction for everything from do-it-yourself burials to building geodesic domes. Hippies could buy a huge array of products not found in your local store.
Acid-head cartoonist, R. Crumb published an underground comic book with graphically sexual and nothing was sacred images called Zap Comix. Crumb envisioned a world run by hippies. He wrote, "It's frightening!" To think about prison camps full of people not hip enough and prison guards with big peace symbols on their arm bands."

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