Friday, December 29, 2006

Off the Bus

[posted by Callimachus]

The family of '60s icon Ken Kesey want to get his old psychedelic "Merry Pranksters" bus back into running condition, but they can't find anyone willing to work with them on the job, or to play by their rules. They say they need $100,000, and they say they will only accept it if it doesn't make any money for anyone. That's to keep it "pure," you see.

More than 15 years ago, Kesey put the old bus into retirement in a swampy patch of woods on his farm in Pleasant Hill, and bought a newer one, which in typical Prankster style he tried to pass off as the original.

What a jolly bunch. Ho, ho, ho. Purity yes; honesty? Meh.

One of the surviving Pranksters says wistfully, "It would be nice to see it back out on the road again to bring the reality of the '60s into the 21st century."

Oh, gods, please, let's not. Let the hippies and all their futility stay buried in hazy memories. If resurrecting them would accomplish anything, it would make the current anti-war movement look benign and intelligent by comparison. At least Bush's haters haven't succumbed to the revolting stupidity of their '60s forebears and developed a romantic attachment to the enemy (Che/Viet Cong). Bring them back? Why, so we can see Hezbollah flags and Ahmadinejad posters in college dorms?

Given the number of people I know who are sick of the aging hippies and all they continue to stand for -- people who weren't even born in the '60s, and who have done well for themselves in their young lives -- I can tell you the quickest way for the Keseys to raise $100,000 would be to auction off the rights to push down on the T-bar of an old-fashioned detonator box that would blow the sucker up. But I think that would be deemed counter-productive.