So… what do we have for you this fine morning? Right up top, there’s a bit of a teaser… a hip ‘HAPPENING’ on ‘THIS FRIDAY’.
Next up, is the Headline to the ‘Inside Story’… just click on the LA Free Press ‘Page’ on the right-hand side to get to that. There, on February 18, 1966 – exactly 50-years-ago(!) today, it said “Your life and future depend on how you handle yourself in your contacts with the police.” …and… “Policemanship is perhaps the most important art one can learn in contemporary America.”
Fifty years later, unfortunately, that’s still true.
(And, once again, proving that the LA Freep was, and still is, ‘right on’. 🙂
When you do go to that article, on the very same page, you’ll see a bit more about tomorrow night’s Happening. Still in all, I’m willing to bet – dollars to donuts (as the police might say) – that most hipsters will, nevertheless, miss, really, what it portends. Why not give it a go, yourself? (And not to worry… if you or someone else doesn’t post the correct answer in the Comments Box soon… we will.)
In the meantime, let’s take a quick look at what, exactly, made the Front Page. Okay… from the bottom up – ‘COUNCIL GIVES LAND AWAY AFTER PLANNERS SAY NO’. Am sure there’s a story just like that in some paper, somewhere today and, just as likely, someone on the take…just like back then. To the right of that article, is one of how the left has begun ‘OPERATION BOOTSTRAP’ ANOTHER ANSWER FOR WATTS. (And, yes, the balance of both of these articles are available to you upon request.)
Finally, at the very center of this page is the Artists’ Protest Tower being constructed by the Artist’s Protest Committee,’ a 24 hour a day protest against the war in Vietnam’. You might want to check out the 70+ Artists listed… you may be surprised not only by the stature that some of them have achieved since then but, too, this early political stance. What the heck – here’s a couple of names that many readers will recognize: John Altoon, Larry Bell, Enrico Baj, Mark di Suvero (corrected from the typo), Judy Gerowitz (Chicago), Irving Petlin, Elaine de Kooning, Roy Lichtenstein, Sam Francis, Jim (James) Rosenquist, Mark Rothko, Frank Stella, and Jack Zajac.
Now, a Special Invitation: If you have some thoughts that you would like to write down about any of the articles above, please do. If brief, they’ll post in the Comments Box below. But, if you take the time to write extensively, your remarks may very well show up in our ‘A Unique Perspective’ Section. You can see what that might look like with a click HERE (tomorrow).
My relationship to the Peace Tower and those who built it.
(Ed.’s note: We just received this email from Michael Lawrence, an artist who contributed to the Tower. Of course, as a voice of the time, Michael refers to the Artists’ Tower of Protest with the less formal name that gave the purpose of its protest.)
Shortly before I had heard about the Peace Tower, I had joined a march downtown carrying a sign saying ‘No Napalm’. Folks looked at me with a strange expression, so I asked them if they knew what Napalm was. They had No Clue. So I thought that making anti-war art, perhaps, would be more fruitful. This was at a time when I was making collages from discarded objects. Among those I found were a pitted mirror framed in wood, about 20 inches tall and 15 inches wide, and a transparent Kelly Green piggy bank. Together, they seemed to reflect the senselessness of war in a subtle manner…discarded hope. I sprayed words on the pitted glass surface…Green Pig Can’t See Death Just Smoking… and handed the piece to a friend to deliver.
In fact, I hardly ever left Venice that winter. At the time, I was working for…
(Ed.’s 2nd Note: As Michael’s email far exceeds the usual length of a ‘comment’, we’ve put this snippet here, and the rest of this personal story in our ‘A Unique Perspective’ Section (just as we had said we would if we were to receive such a piece). Additionally, there you can find the link to his most recent book, Loaded Brush, which includes notes of his relationship with Jim Morrison, Andy Warhol, Timothy Leary and – like the remainder of this – many other artists.)