Tuesday, March 06, 2018

On Second Thought, Propagation of the Faith May Be Even More Fundamental...,


vanityfair |  When I first came out to L.A. [in 1968], my friend [photographer] Joel Bernstein found an old book in a flea market that said: Ask anyone in America where the craziest people live and they’ll tell you California. Ask anyone in California where the craziest people live and they’ll say Los Angeles. Ask anyone in Los Angeles where the craziest people live and they’ll tell you Hollywood. Ask anyone in Hollywood where the craziest people live and they’ll say Laurel Canyon. And ask anyone in Laurel Canyon where the craziest people live and they’ll say Lookout Mountain. So I bought a house on Lookout Mountain. —Joni Mitchell

jaysanalysis |  It seems more and more as if we are living in a bad B movie, replete with cheesy set pieces and a Casio keyboard score – and the reason for that is because we are.  We have focused on Hollywood and propaganda often at JaysAnalysis, but we have not looked at the music industry, aside from brief mentions and a few shows.  When it comes to the score for that B movie we all live in, the best analysis I’ve read in a good while is none other than recently deceased Dave McGowan’s excellent work, Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon: Laurel Canyon, Covert Ops & the Dark Heart of the Hippie Dream.  I also have the honor of Amazon classing my book, Esoteric Hollywood, with McGowan’s, in the “readers also purchased” section.  I get emails on  daily basis requesting book recommendations (which is much harder to choose than you’d expect), so I think for the spirit of my site, no better book could be suggested for a reading list than Weird Scenes (aside from my own book, of course).

McGowan’s thesis is simple: The 1960s counter-culture movement was not what it appeared to be.  In a purple haze of pot smoke, free love, booze and LSD tabs, the fog of the 60s is believed by most baby-boomers to be a genuine (monstrous for faux conservatives) reaction against the system.  From student protests to politically active musicians, the anti-war, anti-establishment ethos of the 60s was, so the story goes, a natural, organic reaction to a hawkish, greedy corporate demon, embodied in “the man,” opposed by all those revolutionaries who love freedom, expressing themselves in the “arts.”  After reading McGowan’s analysis (a self-confessed fan of this era), it would appear the mainstream view is only slightly correct – some artists were political and genuinely anti-establishment, but the big names, and the movements as a whole, were promoted and directed by design, for large-scale social engineering.

McGowan begins his argumentation by pointing to Jim Morrison’s father, Navy Admiral George Stephen Morrison, who played a central role in the Gulf of Tonkin’s false flag event.  Morrison, curiously, avoided this association, stating his parents were dead, adding fuel to his mythical narrative of having no musical training and supposedly becoming a musical shaman following ghostly encounters and hallucinogenic trips.  While some of that may have been the case (such as the trips and witchcraft initiation, for example, as shown in Oliver Stone’s The Doors), the real story is likely much closer to McGowan’s analysis – Morrison was promoted and made into an icon by the system because of these high level connections.  However, being well-connected was not the only explanation – the establishment had a specific motive of derailing any legitimate anti-war activism or artwork, as well as moving the culture into a more degenerate state for social engineering.