Thursday, February 15, 2007

More Prankster History (from the source, Ken Babbs)

I have always wondered if the internet was any good at accomplishing actual human connection, instead of bland mercantalism or gross sexual escapade.
Oh yes, the internet is all things to all people, wide open, and a good way to explore without leaving the comfy of the cushiony chair, but we do go outside to shop for food and get books outta the library and have traffic jams and music jams and do all the fun people stuff, too.
The computer in a way is similar to the mind in that you can get on the computer the same way you can get in your mind, but remember, in both ways you are in and it is important to get out. Get the stuff out of the computer, get out of your mind, beware of the internal trap, er, do I mean, crap?
I have always wondered if the superhuman efforts put forth by you and your compatriots in the Merry Pranksters (as duly recorded in the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test) were, in fact, as realand amazing as they appeared to be.
Oh yes, mister tom wolf was at his whammo bammo boffo new journalism best when he wrote the book and it made the whole bus trip as lively as you can make it in the print medium. We filmed the whole thing and you can get the dvds of the films at Zane Kesey's website and see the whole fershulginer trip in all its glory.
In today's world, forty-three years after the events chronicled by wolfe, it is posible to be as inventive, as creative, as out there and in there and still be good citizens, as it was then. As time goes on and I mean long periods of time, the human being pretty much stays the same, it is the surrounding material world with all its inventive and new stuff that continues to change. You gotta go with what you got and enjoy it to the fullest. Good luck to yah.
ken babbs
So, how IS the bus name spelled?Hmmm, does a picture tell a thousand words? No. One word. Seven letters. Actual film footage, single frame, muy autentico.
Do you feel people have a misconception on what being a prankster is?Some do, some don't. Doesn't matter. Most important thing is that pranksters know who they are and what their responisibilities are.
How did you become a prankster?I was born into it. There's more to the story than that. I have always like classical music since my dad played Polanaise in A flat over and over again because it was the only record he bought for his new 33 and a third player. One of my favorite numbers was The Merry Pranks of Till Eulinspiel, or however it's spelled.
How did you get your prankster name?I gave it to myself. A merry prankster is happy, alert, ready to leap into the fray, unafraid, with helping hands exstended, creating laughter and confusion, authorities can't figure out what is going on. I have the dubious honor of creating the merry band of pranksters one fine night when I came ambling down the hill and Mal Function asked, "Who goeth there?" and the answer was, "Tis I, the Intrepid Traveler, come to gather my merry band of pranksters and lead them either across country or back again in search of the kool place." George Walker tells it differently and both stories are true, muy sympatico.
How does someone become a prankster?I don't know. It is a bestowed upon thing but by whom is a mystery.
Do you think the test is still relevant?Only if you are into passing and failing.
Describe one day on the bus?Hot. Itchy. Buggy. Music blaring. Everyone on the microphones coming on to Cassady coming on to the universe. Wind pouring through open windows blowing everything all over the place. I rip open a pillow and let the feathers fly. Total bedlam. Raucous. Great fun.
Do you think further #1 will ever be back on the road?Beyond my powers to predict.
What is your philosophy compared to Kesey's and Leary's?Hmm, that is deep. I'd have to figure out what their philosphies are and what mine is but it is easier to say that we have similar bents which revolve around being kind to others and not making anyone the butt of the joke.
If you could do it all over again would you?Oh my, it's one of those unanswerable questions because it is totally impossible to do so, so why even consider it?
Do you still have a copy of the trip to New York?On video, yes. You can get the DVD from
Did you travel to London with the others?Yes, with the bus in '98 doing the show: Where's Merlin
Did you graduate with the others?Oh yes, quite an affair with Cassady handing out the diplomas.
Would you like me to quote you on anything?Sure. yup the dumb people are still out there but our job is to love them whilst enjoying our lives to the fullest knowing this country and we the people will survive so git out there and feed the hungry, house the homeless, teach the chilluns, git yer exercise, nuts and berries, fruits and roots, keep positive thoughts, big kiss to all the loved ones, kesey is smiling.
Can you please answer any important questions that I might have missed?
the "acid test" was a thinly-veiled excuse to show samples of the movie the pranksters had filmed on their bus trip.Certain unknowns placed a garbage can full of Kool Aid in the middle of the floor. The Merry Band of Pranksters was actually a band playing a form of non verbal communication. They set up at one end of the hall. At the other end the Grateful Dead played rock and bluegrass and psychedelic wanderings. Sometimes both bands played together.Now, instead of Kool-Aidwe're drinking Tangand showing lots of fanglike Howlin' Wolf sangDoodlin' a Wang Dangall dee doo dah dayand wasn't it Raywho asked what'd I say?and the dead who answeredno mercy in this landwith skulls buried in the sandcloudy mumblings and utterings rainbow spiraled imaginings and wistful dreams "spitfurther", they wroteon a bus of some noteno meaning to denotejus' reciting by rotethat's all they can tote
Ihave one more question:What do you think would be good advice for me to give to students who are completly miserable with their lives as an alternative to feed your head?
The old sixties coin may be a bit tarnished and the Sex Drugs and Rock and Drool side rubbed down to where the lettering is all worn out, but the other side of Love Peace and Happiness still shines brightly, the lettering full ridged and fruitful.
Love peace and happiness; extended in practicality to the simple act of helping one another out, being kind and generous.
Practice this. Enjoy life. As Cassady said, "No one was ever happy, angry.
We were riding a wave in 64; riding it with our particularly unique surfboard bus; many others were riding the wave and, as kesey says, "The sixties aint over till the fat lady gets high."-- KapnKen

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