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Vintage Outlandish!

This Content From 2003 (or earlier) see index

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Art... Text!

Pirate Utopia
Text by Josh Koenig

Originally Staged 8/31/2001 at Axiom's Share Party (produced by Axiom Creative Collective) with Josh Koenig as the NEO HIPPY and Johnny Nicholls providing guitar accompanyment. This text inspired largely by Stephen Gaskin's "Monday Night Class" transcripts.

ON STAGE: A NEO HIPPY dressed in raggy clothes with a straw cowboy hat and a mason jar of water sits in a handmade chair. He should have a little desk (also funky looking) to set hit water and/or his feet on. We can hear an acoustic version of The Greatful Dead's "Friend of the Devil" in the background. The NEO HIPPY speaks to the crowd in a intimate/friendly fashion, looking people in the eyes, trying to make them see the substance of his Trip.

NEO HIPPY: I wanna sit down a minute and talk about how we're going to be. Not how we are, or how we were, or anything like that, but about how we're going to evolve from this particular manifestaion. I think we're doing pretty cool right now. On the whole we've got some big problems, but we've also got some pretty good opportunities too.

What I want to do here, just for a minute, is to imagine how things might really be different, might be better for us, if we evolved. Not if we got politicians to do something different, but how we, like you and me and all the people out there who are in our position, just regular people, could be a little bit different and make the world maybe a better place to live in.

Now I'm gonna say stuff like, "in my world" a lot. That's not because I own it, or because I don't want you to have a say about it. It's just becasue right now it's my imagination thing, and I've never actually told anyone about this before. So don't get turned off because I say that this place is mine. Man, it's yours if you want it, and I'd just love it if you helped me think of better and better things to put in it. I'd love it if this we're our world. Anyway...

In my world, there would be a lot of things made of wood, and nothing would look cheap. Things might look shabby, run-down, or tarnished, but not that ugly brand-new cheap that goes along with those new buildings, most mid 90's luxury sedans, and cigarette butts. The kind of cheap that speaks of a total lack of passion or intention on the part of the creator.

They built one of these cheap buildings across the street from my old apartment. It sticks out like a sore thumb - it's all mass produced and painted over with a veneer of boring convienences. The concrete blocks are all generic tan with pre-cut slots for individual air conditioners, waiting for their logo sporting cargo to be loaded in by non-union labor.

In my world apartments would be organic and non-mechanical constructions, the absolute opposite of the Marriot Marquis: different everywhere you go. They'd have unfinished wood floors, unreliable heating and lots of natural light even on a cloudy day. We would use simple gas stoves and light them with stick matches, so you'd smell propane and sulphur before you get your coffee in the morning.

In my world we would all drink beer sometimes, and we would make it ourselves with tools that were built to last.

In my world we would listen to music with soul, living by multicolored low-wattage lighting, lots of candles and lanters, and we'd eat spicy food.

In my world, we would have free love. And I mean free -love-. We could have free sex too, but that's something different. People would be free to give and receive each other's love. It is my belief that in this world, let alone my world, there are many many souls we can love, but because love is so scarce and fragile in today's environment, we tend to cling to whatever we find with all our might.

In my world we'd all know what love is all around, and we don't need to cling to anything. Not that we can't make commitments, but when we do so it is out of a desire to be committed and not out of a fear of being alone.

In my world, everyone would learn to cook at least one kick-ass dish. And we could share the food all around, with more of that home-made beer. The sense of taste would be recognized as a legitimate form of expression, not just a way to get people to plunk down an extra buck to super-size it.

In my world, there would be lots of street vendors, and even though practically nothing would be illegal, there would still be a thriving black market, because sometimes things need to be underground.

In my world conversation would be popular as a passtime, so would playing your own music, or telling stories.

In my world, we would all exercise and play with our minds and bodies liberally. Girls would feel free to masturbate and boys would feel free to cry. Everyone would create, and life would be a far more fluidly sensusal experience. We'd all run around like Neal Cassady, shirts off, feet bare, just digging everything. Just saying yes. Yes yes yes.

In my world people would have courage, and not feel the need to feel better than other people. You'd learn at a young age that everyone's experience is different, and trying to value one against another is pure horseshit. People could say what was on their minds, having never had the idea that "nobody wants to hear it" planted in them.

My world, man... My world is a world of quality and generosity. You do what you do because you like doing it, and because you like doing it you do it well, and because you do it well it's worthwhile sharing with other people. It's a place where we really strike a do-able balance between creation and consumption.

And it 'doesn't have to be all peace and love man, there's room for fightin' and competition and jealousy and hurt feelins and all that, but everyone would know that all those trips are just part of the big thing that is living. That's life, man, and you've gotta at least try out all it's spices and take time to dig the different feelings they can bring on in you.

Man... life. The adventure of your lifetime. A long strange trip from two different bits of two different people, down the long and winding road, maybe a stopoff in the procreation station to start the whole show over, and then back to being plant-food. Spiritually put to rest.

I don't really think there's a world beyond in my world, no afterlife to speak of, but we'd all know where we came from, so those past would be kindof living on somewhere as an echo of their cumulative energy, flowing around everything like the milky way flows around the brighter stars in a clear night sky.

Shit. My world ain't all thta different from this world. Only difference is that in my world people feel confidant about who they are and what they want and they know how to listen to eachother. You expand your consciousness a little bit, and it's not too hard to see how things can always be getting better all the time.

takes a good long drink of water

Well anyway, that's a little taste of what my world would be like. I don't know if you dig it or not, but even though I'm kindof doing a character here, I'm really serious about this. This is a real thing, man. Sombody's got to make the myths. We're all being sold on the idea that this is about good as it gets, and that's just something I can't swallow.

Anyway, I'm goin' on too long. I just hope there's enough of us out there in this world so that what I'm talking about doesn't stay my world. I want it to be our world. Thanks.

finis
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© Josh Koenig | You can perform, read aloud, copy, print, distribure or otherwise be inspired by this to your heart's content. Please don't re-publish for profit or plagarize it though. And if you ever do anything with it (i.e. performance), let me know!


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Trips

Trips in Space and Time 8/02/03

Big Wheels in Berkeley
I scored a set of west-coast wheels today at the Ashby BART station flea market. It's a very tall schwinn road bike, black, deceptively heavy but smooth-riding. Thirty-five dollars to boot. I oiled and cleaned the works, dialed in the bakes and took it out for a shake-down cruise immediately. Nice riding on a beautiful saturday, realizing how out of shape I am as I wheezed my way though the hilly area behind the Berkeley campus.

After about an hour I started to get the swing of it. Made some minor mechanical adjustments (including a free wheel truing at the bike collective on Shattuck), drank a few liters of water and started finding my groove, cruising up and around and ending up with a beautiful view of the whole bay. The roads here are not kind to the speed inclined -- too many stop signs and crosswalks and lights -- but it was good to get out and proj for a while. This changes my summer dramatically.

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