Good night to you late owls or morning to you all who are reading this; before, with, after breakfast or at work when you should maybe be doing what you’re allegedly being paid to be doing.
Otherwise good day if you’re getting this at your lunch break or your undesignated procrastination break. I know you uni students out in the GMT are enjoying..or at the very least enduring exams and you do like a break from the monotony that is studying, so here you are.
That was a long, winding and unecassary introduction but hopefully mildly amusing if nothing else.
So, the other day I made mention of a man of some importance, in the title of my previous blog post. No prize for remembering but good for you if you did.
In fact here’s a reward for being here in general. I can’t help but feel I’ve featured this track before, alongside Eek A Mouse’s rendition. For those of you have been paying attention, sorry for bringing this one back, for those of you care neither way, well continue with that attitude.
Never the less it’s John Lenon with…..
So today, in light of the recent MLK day or for you who are slow on the draw this morning (or whenever you’re reading this), Martin Luther King day. I present to you, Mr. John Sinclair!
Soooo…..uh…who’s this guy and what importance does he have with MLK?
Well this suave dude didn’t have any direct connection to Mr. King, but he was a civil rights activist and a radical socialist back in the 60’s most importantly he was also a co-founder of the White Panther Party.
The White Panther Party? Sounds a little dodge you say? What was that, a racist response to the Black Panther Party?
No, they already had one, it’s called the KKK, which chronologically speaking, can’t be a response as they were there from way back when. So in other words, no.
Au contraire in fact.
For those of you who don’t know, the The White Panthers were a far-left, anti-racist, white American, political faction. As mentioned earlier, co-founded by our boy John Sinclair in 1968.
It did start as a response however to an interview where co-founder of the Black Panther Party, Huey P. Newton, was asked what white people could do to support the Black Panthers. Newton replied that they could form a White Panther Party.
It’s a bit reminiscent of Malcolm X’s speech on how the white’s can help us but they can’t join us.
So sure enough they took it upon themselves to carry on the name for their faction and dedicated their time and resources to “cultural revolution.”
Sinclair did make a point of it to be very clear that they, the White Panthers were not to be confused nor mistaken for a white supremacist group.
Right, so there you have it, a little background history of a movement that I wasn’t even aware of, until last year while I was doing some visual research for countercultural movement references etc.
Well that’s great, so why did John Lennon sing a song for/about him and his arrest, why did he get arrested?
Well the poet, yes he was a poet, Mr. John Sinclair. He was also involved with a rather radical arts collective which was founded further back in ’64. One of it’s prime concerns was the legalisation of marijuana.
Do you get the feeling that this is beginning to lead somewhere?
Oohh yeah! Mr. Sinclair had a few run in’s with the law, which is hardly surprising, probably about as surprising as the news about Paula Deen having type II diabtes….considering. Can you guess what for?
If your guess was drug charges, then you’re paying attention, or rather astute. Either which way, well done.
Yes, he was arrested several times for possession. However it was when he sold(?) two joints to the narcs, obviously and obliviously/unawares, that he found himself in medium to deep trouble. They gave him ten years for two joints.
Hence the reasoning behind, and inspiration for John Lennon’s song which was performed at the “free John Sinclair rally”.
I left out loads of chorus there, so as not to take up too much space, just focusing on the bare essentials.
It ain’t fair, John Sinclair
In the stir for breathing air
Won’t you care for John Sinclair?
In the stir for breathing air
Let him be, set him free
Let him be like you and me
They gave him ten for two
What else can the judges do?
If he’d been a soldier man
Shooting gooks in Vietnam
If he was the CIA
Selling dope and making hay
He’d be free, they’d let him be
Breathing air, like you and me
Was he jailed for what he done?
Or representing everyone
Free John now, if we can
From the clutches of the man
Let him be, lift the lid
Bring him to his wife and kids
They gave him ten for two
What else can the bastards do?
Several days following the rally he was released from prison by the Michigan Supreme Court on the grounds that the state’s marijuana laws were unconstitutional. Aren’t they all?
Hmm, that could/should be said of most states’and countries’ marijuana laws, past and present. Never the less, he was a free man from there on.
To be fair, after all of this, if you want more information on the man that is Mr. Sinclair, then go a step further and see here ala http://bentley.umich.edu/exhibits/sinclair/ . The information there is a load more in depth.
It’s all about the counter culture movement and I realised that over the past few months I’ve been caught up and lost sight of a few of my goals, which is; to present to you various elements of the counterculture movement, apart from my favourite, cannabeez.
So I’ll make an effort here on in to keep things alive and fresh with some alternative subject matter.
Website Update: Construction is going well, however unfortunately there were a few delays and thus it won’t be up and running this weekend as I’d have hoped. Hopefully before the end of the month though, I’ll most def. keep you guys informed.
I’ve taken to posting images also on the fan page from time to time, more specifically today. If you want to see em, check my fan page there so.
Also feel free to follow me via the twit-o-sphere that is twitta; @FieldsHG – as I shamelessly appear to be begging for followers.
I’ll close with this track, which I recently found love for in a hopeless place. Literally though, it was in the trailer for a film coming out in March called, ‘Project X’ – now to kill my credibility if it hasn’t been slain yet – I’ll probably give it a look to be fair.
I’m on the pursuit of happiness,