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Tag: Ron Cobb

War Strangled by Long Hair – a Lesson for Those Who Want to Stop Climate Change

This was back  in 1969. Today, we’ve a very different situation.  Today,  here, we’re not talking  about  stopping people from fighting against people, we’re talking about people fighting for themselves.

Specifically, today’s reference is not against a war for regime change, it’s to a win a battle for Climate Change. And the consequences of winning are wonderful, while the consequences of losing are terrible,  very likely more terrible than they have ever been from a war, on this planet, of any kind.

The dead-body count of the Vietnam War, before protests finally  convinced politicians that they might gain ground but, literally, lose their constituency, was more than three and  a half million. Yet that was only a fraction of the dead-body count of the War to End All Wars in which more than 60 million people lost their lives.

Certainly, the cemetery pictured has no room for that number; and the one that would hold all the dead-bodies – head to foot, and side by side – from a Climate Change arriving before we could adapt – would not be but a mile by a mile, it would – if you do the math – be larger than the state of Rhode Island.  And, likely, that’s just a beginning… yes, dire consequences, indeed… as, once more, we might – listen to this – have a silent majority.

What can ‘we’ do, really, to keep this from happening?  Well, for our part, the LA Free Press published just ‘last week’ – which was actually 50 years and 1 week ago today (11/7/1969) – our own Ron Cobb’s ‘Ecology Symbol’.   Right there on our Front Page, it was put into ‘the Public Domain’ for the good of all (without an ‘ask’ for a single cent). Within 6 months Look Magazine incorporated it into a green and white flag, and it has led parades and protests the world over. Here’s one:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_People%27s_Climate_March

It has been estimated that nearly a billion people have seen this flag, with the Ecology Symbol first published in the LA Free Press, fly!

So here’s the question – How is it that, with a start of more than 50 year years ago, the urgency of this matter has suddenly come to the forefront of our political process? Why was it there, then only simmered, and is now back again?
You Boomers (btw, that’s me and the vast majority of our readers – iow, not a derogatory word) only need to remember that we were the Millennials of the time. The energy is the same but, too, there’s a new respect for the younger voice, as they’re our own children who are speaking up. We may not gain any points for having been there first, but we should certainly consider and step up and say what it took for us to win the battles that we did.
Look at that schedule – the one to stop a war. It is only of the LA activities – but events just like those were happening across the entire Country. And Yes, events like that – for what is now no longer called the Ecology Movement, having been re-branded Climate Change – are happening again. Know that it only mattered when we participated, understand that that only mattered when we didn’t stop participating. Didn’t stop till, not the War, but a battle for the good of humanity, was won. Persistence wins – and stepping up to say so may make all the difference in the world.

Mort Sahl Speaks

Sure, we know this isn’t the 50-Year Throwback story our headline proclaims. But it IS our Front Page article from back then… and touts one of our own, Ron Cobb.
His work first appeared in the pages of the LA Free Press in 1965, and by the time of this interview he was known as one of the finest political cartoonists of the time. Interesting, hey, in that he, himself, here says that’s not his role… cartoonist, yes, political cartoonist… not so much. Good thing we kept that to ourself till then. (We also hadn’t said much about his moonlighting, so you might not know about such side projects as the cover design of After Bathing at Baxter’s, Jefferson Airplane’s 1967 album.)
Even after his compilation was published, he was still ‘our’ cartoonist, with his work better understood from what is said here. Too, a piece like this one – which resulted in one of the first symbols of the Ecology Movement (and seen by more than 200 million people!) – was given context.

Ron left, then came back, then went on to design work in the film industry… with a body of work that you’ll recognize!

Now with the help of hindsight, and in light of current events… onto this year’s ‘featured’ story: