Roland Young was a disc jockey at KSAN radio in San Francisco until December, 1969, when he was fired for political reasons.
The station's history and the changes it's gone through, particularly in the last six months, are representataive of major trends in hip-rock FM radio throughout the nation. KSAN began early in 1968 in the aftermath of a strike at KMPX-KM the first Bay Area station to gear its programming directly toward so-called hip youth. The programming staff from KMPX approached the managers of Metromedia's KSFR, then a classical music station, with their idea for changing the station's entire make-up. And Metromedia accepted the proposal.
Metromedia knew what they were doing. The name of the company itself implies what they think of as important, and their corporate connections make their attitude clear. Metromedia owns Foster Keiser (outdoor advertising), the Traveller's Times (transit advertising), direct mail marketing outfits, television stations and syndicated television programming. In its annual report Metromedia states its fundamental principle: "A responsive broadcaster is a responsible broadcaster. " For a while there seemed lo be some question as to whom Metromedia was responsive.
At first, questions of culture, music, general rapping and interviews were left to the disc jockeys and news broadcasters . The news director, Wes "Scoop" Nisker, created a new collage format for the news broadcasts. He spliced together taped speeches of people in the news and combined these quotes with sound effects and his own reading of the news. At the end of each broadcast he reminded listeners, "If you didn't like the news, go out and make some of your own." Roland Young joined the station in August of 1968.
.... People in the Bay Area dug KSAN because of the kind of music it played and because the station catered lo the lifestyle of the listeners.
But the Agnew crackdown on media put the home office really uptight. They knew who they were supposed to be responsive to. And besides, the station hadn't been pulling in enough major advertising.
....Roland was fired. And Scoop "resigned" after being told that his produced news broadcasts were being phased out. As a final purge, Larry Bensky, the radical news programmer who replaced Nisker, was given the axe.
Since his firing, Roland has organized benefits for the Black Panther Party and written for the Panther paper. For a time he had a show on KPKA, a listener-sponsored FM station. Presently he is doing a show on KMPX-KM in San Francisco.
The following interview was composed from two taped conversations with Roland, one with Lincoln. Bergman, news director of KPKA, the other with Susan Adelman. Kathy Kettler, and Peter Wiley from Leviathan. Thanks to Leviathan for reprint rights.)
Q: Where was that subpoena from?
Roland: It was from two federal lawyers from Washington and one secret service agent who hangs around the Bay Area. All three of them came down to the station in a classic intimidating situation. They stormed in- I wasn't there when they came in but I saw them. They're real tall cats. One wears a big hat; they have on those grey suits, and you know, the greasy look. It really shook up the station manager.
Roland: I got fired because of a statement I made on the air. I passed the message that a listener had called in suggesting that those who support David Hilliard's speech at the November 15 Moratorium and or his right of free speech, should send like telegrams to President Nixon. The station received a subpoena the next morning for a transcript of my program. Because I used to tell him about those people, but he didn't know they existed. When they converged on the station, that reality was made very apparent to him. They talked for hours, I would imagine And when I spoke with him later he said I think last night you went too far. And when he said that I knew exactly what that meant. He meant that I was fired. He said I have lo talk to the New York office, the New York attorney, the New York this, the New York that - so in the meantime, I'm going to keep you off the air. And I'll let you know tomorrow. He called me up and said I'm afraid I'm going to have to fire you. And so I said Right On.
Q: That was that.
Roland: That was really that.
Q: I don't know what was in his head, but I imagine in consulting with New York one of the problem was that you were popular as hell. And they had to keep that in mind, too, because that's after all one of their things.
Roland: Well, my popularity doesn't supersede a threat from the federal government. I guess that supersedes all kinds of popularity. I think they acted very unwisely to fire me because I didn't commit any illegal act. I was not indicted for an illegal act. They will not be indicted for an illegal act. They're just clearly and simply yielding to the pressure of the federal government.
Q: What's the law? The law is advocacy, right?
Roland: Sure. But Willis said I would have fired you anyway, because I think you went too far. What does going over too far mean? Does it mean that I don't say anything on the air that may upset the federal government, even though it may not be illegal? So that's a clear violation of freedom of speech. I'm even willing to accept freedom of speech up to the point of breaking a law, I'll go that far with them. But if there isn't a law broken, then it's silly. They're going above and beyond the law themselves. So I think they're clearly acting in an unconstitutional manner. And I'm a firm believer in the Constitution. And I'll fight for it, for my rights.
Q: What kind of hassles have you had previously?
Roland: I've never had direct political hassles. The KSAN management doesn't really want to offend anyone, that's their whole trip. But it's absolutely impossible to say anything without offending someone. You offend people every night. So it's not that they don't want to offend anyone, but just don't offend the wrong person.
Q: You phrase this whole business with the firing and everything in terms of your support for the Panthers and the attack on the Panthers.
Roland: Sure. I see that the attack on me was clearly a part of the harrassment that's been going down throughout the nation against the Black Panther Party. Particularly considering that it was an issue related to David Hilliard. You read in the paper that they're doing an autopsy on the body of the Deputy Chairman, Fred Hampton, in Chicago. It seems he was shot in his sleep. Down in Los Angeles they shot tear gas into someone's house and raided the office simultaneously. These raids are going on every day against the Black Panther Party. They're really coming down on them and it means life or death. A lot of Panthers have been killed, at least 28. It's an attack on the entire Black Panther Party. And I just happen to be an individual victim of it. It's also part of the whole attack against media, part of an attack on free speech, and part of the rising tide of fascism - all hooked up together.
I feel that fascism is definitely on the rise. Not only the Black Panther Party has been attacked. You find Nixon making very slanderous remarks against even a peaceful demonstration of people expressing their sympathies against the war. And at the same time you find this country involving itself more and more in imperialist wars abroad. The result is a tightening up at home on dissent against these wars because those wars are very vital to it. So when I say rising tide of fascism, I mean personal repression against all citizens, white or black, liberal or left . is going down.
Q: You've been into the whole hip thing on KSAN and into that music and of course seen the movement go back and forth about what the hippie thing is and what that whole cultural thing is and whether it's positive or negative and what it does in a period of political crises like this one. What are your ideas about that?
Roland: Within itself youth culture has contradictory aspects. Right before the rise of fascism in Germany there was a movement similar to part of the movement going on here. That movement was co-opted and turned into a fascist movement of young people. Many of them became brownshirts. I see aspects capable of being revolutionary. Like within the hip movement there are class differences. The rock-and-roll element is a very bourgeois tendency within that movement and I think that element can be counted on to be successfully co-opted. But then you have other strands represented by other people who - put out various underground papers, people like John Sinclair, Weatherman, whatever. And then there is a whole other trend cropping up that's probably even more relevant than any of those so far- young poor white people, groups like that. When you talk about the hip scene you're talking about two strains, one very bourgeois and one very potentially revolutionary.
There's some people in the Appalachian areas that are beginning to get it together. There are various black workers caucuses that have popped up across the nation, now putting forth revolutionary demands that all workers can relate to. I see that as very positive. I see the Weathermen as a positive trend. And the cats that were charged in New York for the bombings there Some people are responding on that level. And it must be legal, because the U.S practices bombing daily, so I know that they think that's a good thing . I know that Nixon would approve of that. Right On, he'd say. I see that as positive too. But also in order to have a successful revolution, we're going to have to have a large mass-based movement with a general understanding of what we want to do.
And I would never say that young people are the agents for change, particularly young whites, so-called hippies. I think they're just acting out their alienation in a very creative manner. The spiritual oppression of the young white hip scene is another thing, but a lot of times it doesn't relate to revolutionizing people because it was founded on anti-revolutionary principles of individualism. The conditions of young people always make them more ready to bring about revolutions. They're always in the more mobile position, they have more energy, they're younger, they're faster and they fight better. We know they have advantages. But the people who are out doing the fighting aren't necessarily the sole agents of the revolution. The National Liberation Front of South Vietnam is primarily made up of young people, but the agents of change are the whole mass of people, not just those young people. Because without all the other people doing the other things, those young people couldn't do anything. The agents of change will not be just young people. The issue of revolution relates to class consciousness and the level of the material oppression of people. I think the masses of working people - black and white- are the people who, in the final analysis have to be persuaded over to the side of revolution before we can expect any kind of change in this country and its stupid to think any other way.
The Red Army will have to depend on the people to be a successful army. The reason that in any other country they've had a successful revolution is not necessarily because all the people fought, but because most of the people at least supported the fighters, on one level or another, and allowed them to be able to do what they
were doing. We're talking about revolution, not just the fighting. Plus young people are not a stable group of people, and you can't put faith in an agency for change that's an unstable element. That's like assuming the lumpen proletariat will bring about revolution.
Q: The hippie thing is changed in the sense that it's not exactly disappeared, but . . .
Roland: As a thing within itself, it has. It's shown its contradictions now.
Q: Yeah, I know a lot of people who've lived in the Haight, and others who didn't live there but who were into a similar kind of thing in different places who are not in a very serious communal existence that they never were into when they were in the Haight.
Roland: Sure, because there were some definitely rare people who came out of it and were into that. Let's move into the black movement now, because the black movement has parallel trends. I always looked at the rise of hippie-ism- it came along primarily with the rise of black power. And they were both movements of young people. Now older people have usurped both of them. Older capitalists and pigs in the same ways. Like black power has been put forth through the media on black stations, like hippie-ism has been put forth on white stations- to sell products. The same thing has happened to them. They both represented a parallel trend and that black power movement is equally split up today as the whole hippie thing is behind some of the same kinds of splits. But it seems as though the struggle in the black community is much more political than cultural in the final analysis, and the struggle in the white community is still very heavily cultural. There seems to be that difference.
Q: The critique that hippies offer to politicoes still exists in a sense.
Roland: By the way I also think a whole lot of black folks could offer that critique too. Cause what hippies are from is a life style similar to black people's life style in a way.
Q: I was just thinking that a lot of people who were int the hippie thing before are operating in a much more serious way. Still in a narrow sense we wouldn't call them politkal. They still tend toward a kind of escapism. They don't see that they can effect history.
Roland: I feel very optimistic that change, significant change, can come about in the world particularly starting in this country But more and more I'm convinced we got to get to the people. Without the people we can forget about it. There's just no revolution without certain support from the people. These isolated things, for instance, this thing that went down in Berkeley (the TDA riots), in many ways will end up having absolutely no effect on anything, maybe even an adverse effect. What happened after breaking those plate glass Windows? In fact workers were hurt by it. It didn't really hurt the pigs at all cause they're insured; they don't give a damn anyway. But you got to be very careful when you do these kinds of things. Like I remember being in Oakland during Stop the Draft Week. They wanted to just take people's cars, turn them over, and block the streets with them. I thought that was a very foul attitude. Because a lot of people lived around there. They were residents of the area.They weren't wealthy people. They were working people. And they themselves were directly hurt by those actions. It was like the same critique Fred Hampton offered the Weathermen about their actions in Chicago - bringing heat down on black people. They do one thing here, and as a result who suffered? It gives the pigs a pretext to come into the black community.
I can dig what's going down in Berkeley. You've got to dig it, it's a positive thing. I relate to them, man it's right on. But the only things is...How do you judge positive things? Do you judge them by the effect they have or by the act in itself? Is it positive to kill a pig or is it positive to kill a pig because half the people realize that pigs must be offed?
Q: When the Rolling Stones were at Altamont about 300,000 people were there, but there hasn't been a single mass demonstration having to do with the shootings in Chicago.
Roland: I think about the Rolling Stones demonstration. Mick Jagger was contacted and asked to make a public appeal for support of the Black Panther Defense Fund. He said not only would he not do that, but if any political speeches were made on the stage, they woudn't play. And this is the group that put out "Street Fighting Man." See, it's a shuck and it's a sham. I have little faith in rock-and-roll and rock-and-roll entertainers overall as being anything in this society but very bourgeois sell-out people. Which they prove to be.
Q: I've always had a sense that people confuse the fact that the Rolling Stones made "Street Fighting Man" but acted another way. It just seems to me that it was inevitable that they would lead a certain kind of life if they were multi-millionaires.
Roland: Pop music is good because the masses of people can relate to it- a kind everyone can dig on- but inherently it has problems being revolutionary. The music is, well, Marcuse understands what it is. It's the ability the society has to incorporate anything into it, and turn it into a commercial item. Total co-optation. Like rock-and-roll at its most revolutionary stages became mysterious. As people's curiosities rise, their ability and desire to consume also rises. Ad men ease in on that, fill that void by making that which was once a protest actually a salable item. That's what was going on at KSAN . That was clearly my role there. A salable item. Whatever controversial things may have gone down in my program, they used to let them go down, cause it makes more people listen and we can ease these products in on them while they're digging their controversy.
I think the politics a lot of rock-and-roll stars themselves espouse and the commercialism of how that art form is put to people, via the ads, via record sales and so forth, has had the effect of causing certain kinds of political attitudes to go along with the entire trip. Now in order to be a successful rock-and-roll star, to sell a lot of records, to be on television a lot and make radio appearances, you have to stay within certain kinds of political understandings of the society, Nash coming on the stage and making the statement politics he did at Altamont. He said politics is bullshit, of course. And you find those people out there at the Moratorium responding to the cast of Hair, which is one of the most bourgeois decadent trips that has ever-gone down. On the other hand you have them booing David Hilliard.
Q: You have said that until three years ago rock-and-roll contributed to pushing things to the left. but that it couldn't do that any more.
Roland:I think it's reached its saturation point now. Music has pushed people as far as they can be pushed and people have pushed themselves as far as they can push without moving to another level. Looking at Santa Barbara, Buffalo College, the Black Panther Party, Los Siete, throughout the nation, we see that the only way people can now act effectively if they are going to get some concessions, this small particularly since repression is coming down like it is today. So you have David Crosby of Crosby, Stills and
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Young coming on the stage making the statements against politics he did at Altamont. He said politics is bullshit, of course. And you find those people out there at the Moratorium responding to the cast of Hair, which is one of the most bourgeois decadent trips that has ever gone down. On the other hand you have them booing David Hilliard.
group of radicals and revolutionaries, is to take up the gun. That's only alternative at this point, because the struggle has pushed itself as far as it can go in a nonviolent manner. On campuses they can no longer have a San Francisco State without masses of people being slaughtered. And so there are only two alternatives left tor people in the so-called movement - move back into the community and get that constituency in your side or move into bands ot armies and just take over. So the music has done as much as it can.
Q: Do you see a relationship between the political development of the black community and its impact on the development of the political consciousness of the white community? People talk about the black leadership and the vanguard role and it seems to me there's a similar thing happening on a cultural level. They reinforce each other.
Roland: Black music is being very influenced by rock-and-roll now, black and white music are interacting now. At one time it was just one way -- black music was just totally pushing itself onto white music, because the white people had no music of their own, but I think albums like the Beatles' Rubber Soul helped establish the base for that interaction. But the whole basis of American culture is black because the basis of that white culture is exported from Europe. But you still see there are some groups that transcend all these categories, for example a group like Sly and the Family Stone or a group like Santana. We know that what keeps them from being close is the class divisions and racism, not the actuality of the culture itself.
You know, it surprised me, a while lot of black people know a lot about Dylan. That had a lot of influence on people. He's just fantastic. Like Bobby Seale and Huey Newton were very much into Dylan songs. They listened to a lot of Dylan and got a whole bunch of ideas, particularly Huey and Eldridge too. People have been writing articles about soul music and how there's no such thing as blue-eyed soul. You know, look at Aretha, a white person could never do that. You find that that whole thing breaks down ======= whole analysis other than a class analysis. === me very cold. Class to == seems to be the === peoples lives. Cause it has a lot to do with your social life. It affects your lifestyle, everything. It's going to affect that whole trip. And you ==== well. It's just not class, but the class == brings everything into play.
Q: Where are thing going ==? In terms of your own thing but also in general. Not only the music-culture thing, but the whole political thing.
Roland: I think we're here in a protracted struggle. I'm not very upset about a lot of the divisions that are going on in the left because I understand history and I understand it's a historical process - when a country goes == a pre-revolutionary stage you have all these various groups because there's no one way people know of doing things. The people who are ultimately going == bring about the revolution have just begun to get into the movement. And that's the masses of working people - black, white, and third world in this country. They've just begun to get into motion.
I want to get into the music, man. People have never asked me about my music. They go into my politics, and that's just one aspect of what I'm all about. Music was the most relevant thing, it allowed me even to do the politics. That's the part I really dug. I still dig, as well as the politics. The music was a very special kind of thing to me because I was trying to put the music into an internationalist perspective. I was trying to act like a socialist on the program. For instance, I would do a certain kind of set - like I would do Sam and Dave, the I would do the Band, then I'd do Sam and Dave again, then I'd do a Dvorak cut that would relate very much both structurally and melodically, to the Sam and Dave, then I'd go somewhere else.
What I was doing was tying all this in together, and showing the interrelationships between all that beautiful music. And to put it into people's heads that ultimately man this is where it's at. Internationalism is the only way we can ever have the kind of world we can live in. If that music can move at you like that in so many relevant ways and do that to your head then imagine the world functioning on that same level. So my music was the living process of the philosophy I was trying to lay down. And it didn't always make it cause there's not that much hip music. But it made it to the level that I think the general understanding was there. And I sure like people to dig on that a lot.
Music now is expressing a desire for dignity and all that stuff. That's the thing with a whole lot of black music today, soul music. It's not really revolutionary, it's reformist, or at the most, it's cultural revolutionary, the theme's basically black.
You know, the ghetto is the theme of a lot of soul notes, but still nothing has come out of soul music on the level of "Street Fighting Man". Again you expect the emphasis on the ghetto because of cultural oppression and because the question first and foremost on the minds of black people, I believe, is the national question, and national solidarity. I think that pop art at least in the black community is very far behind. I even think that rock and roll overall is behind the people.
You try to put together a show five nights a week, four hours a night of music that in some kind of way reflects a new kind of world. Love songs are still about cats copping chicks. . They're still about chicks being misused by cats. It still isn't reflecting a revolutionary culture. I love that kind of music but then again I understand that the masses of people in this country move very slowly and I don't want to get ahead of them. I understand where they're at and I want to be right with them.
Q: When you say "cultural" you don't mean that in a negative sense.
Roland: I'm saying that that's as far as Black music has gone. It can end up being negative if it's cultural nationalism if it doesn't express a way a way out of the oppression. I think that popular art, at least in the black community, is very far behind.
Q: I wonder if music can express a way out of oppression.
Roland: In this country today some of the most revolutionary music is music associated with "avant-garde" jazz and the lifestyle of the musicians as well as the art form itself. The music of Archie Shep and Cecil Taylor and John Coltrane. Those cats were the first to explore Eastern forms of mysticism. The only whites who were into it were the Beatniks and that was a very small group of people. That group has been around for very long time, but their art form is not a popular one and therefore a lot of their messages don't get over to the masses of people. We know that pop art in this country is a creation of the establishment. They set the tone for it by what they put on the radio - radio that they control. They create it in the sense that they popularize it, they make it into a popular form.
Q: It seems that some of the best ---- in groups like the Jefferson Airplane wanted to make it in jazz and for a variety of reasons, primarily that they were white they took rock-and-roll. It was second best.
Roland: Chicago is a good example. Even plastic groups like Blood Sweat and Tears. Nobody can make it in jazz, white or black. Ifs a myth that blacks are more successful in jazz than whites. That's not true. Most money made by jazz musicians is made by white studio musicians. Black people appear in most clubs - Woody Herman probably makes the most money of any jazz musician. If John Coltrane had been white imagine the money he would have made. Used ta be a time when jazz clubs would not hire white groups. That jazz was controlled by just a small group of racists who wanted to have black people perform for them . Now that situation has changed.
The music of Ornette Coleman, man, has been some of the most significant music in America and we know that he hasn't been rewarded for that. That whole jazz-rock thing is such a shuck- groups like Blood Sweat and Tears that have horns and use a few more chords. KJAZ (in San Francisco) has been playing a lot of that as a way of popularizing their format to bring in more listeners and money, and they 've been successful at it.
Q: Can you tell us a little of the feeling that goes into composing a show?
Roland: I spend the whole day running through in my head various forms of music to put together and various things to work out, forms of information that I want to give out to people. Checking news sources, magazines. I read all the underground papers. I listen to the news on all stations, talk stations, soul, as much as I can. A normal preparation would consist of writing all these things out as well as ideas for music. I get to the station two hours early to pull all the records I need, listen to them, bring my lamp in, turn the lights off, turn my lamp on, set up a whole lot of shit. Most of all. getting the music together, because if if the music is not together, if it's not the way I would want it to be then the information will not go out as smooth as I want it to be. The basis of my program is the music, that's why people are turning it on.
Q: The interesting thing is that you see music as expressing almost everything that's going on in the country. You use the music to deal with all the other things that you look at.
Roland: The music doesn't always do it. But I think it can do as much as I can do to deal with a lot of things. That's the way I've always prepared for a show ever since I started with KSAN. Always opening up, listening to all kinds of music.
A song can go beyond some level and elicit other meanings if it's put in another context. A lot of songs are indicative of those double meanings. On that record "Conversation with Collins" - he makes the guitar thing "fuck yo" several times, "motherfucker, dirty motherfucker". He's talking about this conversation he had with this woman after she had been out all night. But that also expresses a cultural understanding clearly and a way of projecting people's language. It's also an interesting political education class in linguistics about how certain people talk and how they use the language. And how that directly relates to how his guitar is being played. And where the sounds of that guitar come from. 'Plus you see an exchange between a man and a woman plus you see a cultural expression.
Songs that have lyrics are composed of at least three things: melodic information, rhythmic information and then the lyrics themselves. Each one of those songs relates to another song in some kind of significant way and some other kinds of ideas as well. If all these can be told in the right form, the right manner, it seems very valuable- like writing something and sending it out.
Different cultures have different kinds of rhythms Ragas are based on very different rhythms from those of Iran and rhythms seem to be very indicative of how certain kinds of peoples are moving at a certain time. You remember those leather jackets and motorcycles, the rhythm for that music was a hard downbeat, very simple, straight through the song and as times became more complex rhythms changed and became more complex. As John Coltrane developed he got away from melody almost completely and into polyrhythm and as his life became more complex his rhythm structure did too.
Q: Do you relate your rapping to the music more directly?
Roland: Sure, man, sure. Whatever kind of music I was playing at the time I would be rapping. For instance, if I was playing some Ray Charles music, some of his very slow stuff, then there were certain kinds of raps that were relevant to that, and others weren't. The same kind of rap that s relevant to "Street Fighting Man" is not to Ray Charles. And I try to keep that in mind. Plus some of it is magic, I guess. Which is to say that some of it is not explainable.
That was so beautiful, man, cause I just loved playing that music. Heavy speakers, that sound coming at you. A good high. I'd like to say that the revolution is about staying high. I mean staying high by staying elated, digging what you're doing. Very much involved in the whole process on a daily basis. The assuredness of what you're doing, and why you're doing it. And how you're going to do it. It's about that total understanding of yourself. It's about that kind of high. I'm not talking about enjoying going to jail, getting beat across the head. But enjoying what you're doing and if you were doing anything else you would not enjoy it. What you're doing leads to certain things, that's the consequences, but the fun is the act of what you're doing, the creative process you're engaged in and that's making revolution, love, or whatever. And it seems like if revolutionaries are high, and elated, then, they're going to be heavy. And if they're down and gray and like , alot of them were in the 30's and 40's, then, they'll have trouble. Cause if it's not going to be fun, at least on the level of knowing what you're doing and where you're going, it's not worth doing.
Q: Yeah, I don't think you mean fun...
Roland: Yeah, I mean fun. I mean digging it. Like you may have something you dig more but the process- digging struggling more than digging not struggling. Like the act of struggling itself makes you happier than it would if you weren't struggling. So you are digging it on that level. And at times the struggle itself is fun, particularly if you won a tactical victory. Like I'm sure that the battle of Dien Bien Phu was fun when it was over to the brothers when they did the French in.
Q: I think people can get it in their heads when you say that, a misinterpretation of what you're saying.
Roland: You know everybody says the same thing when I say fun. They say I don't mean fun but I DO, man, I do mean fun. Like we had fun the other day at that protest at the Air France because we knew what we were struggling against and we knew ultimately what we were going to do.
Q: That was the time they decided to stop Emory Douglas of the Black Panther Party and Don Cox and Emory's wife Judy. They were in Paris and were going to Algiers.
Roland: Right. And Air France detained them, so Emory said. all right, I'll go over to Air Algiers, and they said ok. He went over to Air Algiers and found out that Air France owned it and he got a good political education about imperialism and monopoly capitalism right there.
Fred Hampton said he was too, proletarian intoxicated to be astronomically intimidated...he was talking about that too. Fred was a cat who had fun in what he was doing; you could tell that by the things he said, by the way he related to them. He knew it was a very heavy trip he was into. But it didn't mean nonstruggle for him. It just means you're more into.
It would be even more fun not to have a world that needed struggle, but I think that's absurd to talk about. There was a need before I was here and there will be a need long after, so I don't even want to get into that. But through struggle even according to traditional Marxist thinking, I believe, people began to realize themselves to become themselves. That they made their own history through their struggles and that process should be one that entails fun. You read the writings of a lot of revolutionaries and you can see the ones that did and those that didn't. Che obviously did, Stalin obviously didn't.
The approach represented by John Sinclair, the Weatherman, ad Progressive Labor seem to me to represent some of the three basic kinds of approaches in the white movement. And in all ways they relate very much to lifestyle because politically they don't have quite as many differences as they do when they get to other things that in fact may lead to the political differences.
I always dug the approach of John Sinclair because I thought he was always able to make a very effective blend to understand the problem of fun and politics at the time. Whereas Abbie Hoffman understood some of the concepts but politically I never thought he quite understood a lot of things. He was always more culturalist than he was anything else
Q: So where do we go from here?
Roland: I hope that the movement becomes more revolutionary, more beautiful, and more dope-oriented. In the positive sense of the word that people use dope to liberate themselves and not to oppress themselves. That they really expand their minds, whatever they can do, and that people all join together who have any kind of complaints against this country on any level. Join together and support the Black Panther Party! Not necessarily all of their politics or their Ten Point Program or any of that but support the fact that they 're being harassed daily. That they have large bails, and it's clearly an attempt to break up the Black Panther Party. Which ultimately will mean an attempt to break up all dissent in this country. So if you come to the defense of the Black Panther Party now, you may save yourself tomorrow. All Power to the People! And Oink to the Oinkers'.