We’re not into product endorsements (per se) on this site — besides obvious and repeated references to duct tape, Leathermen, and Sharpies — but this seems like a good and important thing to tout. Especially if you’d like to start siding with Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping in this holiday season.
If you know your Bay Area freak-lore, you know Wavy Gravy is awesomer than Santa Claus. He counts as one of the original hippies, lived at the Hog Farm, and still to this day walks around San Francisco and Berkeley in a clown nose and a red-and-white-striped ’20s bathing costume, leading a plastic fish around in front of him on a leash.
The Hog Farm were major players in the whole Woodstock shebang at Max Yasgur’s farm, and planned it out pretty well. When asked by the cops how he and his Hog Farm team were going to handle security issues and fights at Woodstock — which they were in charge of — Wavy Gravy replied: “With seltzer bottles and cream pies.”
And if you’ll recall, violence is not one of the things people focus on when reminiscing about the original Woodstock. Ever. Unlike the debacle in ’98 when all these chicks got gang-raped in the pit because security there were either far too lax, overworked, or violent themselves.
Since this writer is a festival worker and erstwhile clown, we think this brilliant clown-gineering of one of the world’s most major concert events is one reason Wavy Gravy is a national hero.
The other reason is this: He helped start SEVA, a non-profit organization which helps native Americans and people in “poorer” and more remote places around the world get and learn basic things they need: health care, eye care, education, women’s empowerment, and sustainable community services.
So instead of rushing around buying crap that’s eventually going to end up in a landfill or a thrift store, this Holiday season you could buy your loved ones, say, a cataract operation for an old woman in Guatemala or a visit to the doctor for a family of Himalayan children.
You could help the people who lived in America centuries before the “modern world” invaded re-up their own communities. You could do other stuff like this, of course, without going through Seva, but we’re just tossing yall a line here.
Happy holidays again, and stay the hell away from the mall. It’s not doing anyone or the planet any favors, and you know that. Let’s do something different from now on.
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