Soon enough, the event proper got underway: a speech by noted counterculture icon Daniel Pinchbeck, whose past work "Breaking Open the Head" relates his experiences with various hallucinogens and whose new work, "2012," posits that the end of the Mayan calendar signals not the apocalypse that many EastSiders believe in but rather the beginning of a new era of human consciousness. "How many of you here believe that the physical and the psychic-al are coming more and more into synchronicity?" he asked the crowd at one point, which led to many raised hands. "How many don't believe this?" No hands were raised (Chip: "If I'd been there you'd have seen one proud raised hand."). The audience was absolutely rapt throughout Pinchbeck's lecture, which ranged from the story of the time he communed with a benevolent tree god during one of his "trips" to a friend of his who met three friendly glowing orbs during one of her own "trips," which followed her home and lived with her for awhile. At one point Pinchbeck veered into politics, offering an opinion that one hears very rarely among the polite Larryville progressives who make up most of the citizenry. "Obama," Pinchbeck said, "is just another bullshit puppet." Cheers from the crowd, who settled down to listen as Pinchbeck explained how the new era of human consciousness might not require a government at all. (Chip: "But who'd tell us what to do? A benevolent tree god?"). After the lecture, Richard encountered a former student who told him she was following Pinchbeck around on his summer book tour ("We're going to Glastonbury!"), and encouraged him to stick around for a band later ("They've never played before, but I think they sound like Tool.") Richard said he might return later. But he didn't return.
If you've so much as stepped foot in downtown Larryville recently, you know (whether you want to know or not), that the official summer kickball season begins this Sunday night. Yes, the first kickball-related story is up on Lawrence.com and important kickball fashion attire has appeared in the window display at Wild Man Vintage (pictured below...notice the crumpled PBR can, a nice touch). As always, Richard supports the Eastsiders team--which contains a nice mix of punks, preachers, and painters, several of whom read this blog--but he also has a soft spot for the Replay team as well, perhaps because he spends so much time there or perhaps because a certain leggy Replay player often wanders into the bar after her games wearing the kind of socks pictured below, leading Richard into sexy kickball-related fantasies in which she is wearing ONLY those socks.