Reinventing the underground part one- a countercultural exorcism

Standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, poet and provocateur Ed Sanders shouts “Out demons, out!,” his arms raised in clenched fists above his head, a computer bag hanging from the shoulder of his powder-blue sports coat. With a wild halo of white hair exploding from his balding pate, small glasses perched upon his crinkled button nose and a drooping mustache, Sanders looks like a wild elder statesmen, the Benjamin Franklin of an alternate United States.

Fifty years ago, in 1967, Sanders appeared on the cover of Life magazine, which proclaimed “the worldwide underground of the arts creates The Other Culture.” The “other culture” was not yet dubbed the “counterculture,” but whatever it was called, Sanders was at the center of it—especially in New York, where he founded the band The Fugs and started the famous Peace Eye Bookstore, and Fuck You/ A Magazine of the Arts. He was an instrumental member of  Youth International Party, or Yippies, which combined political activism and countercultural expression.

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By | 2017-07-09T00:07:46+00:00 June 6th, 2017|

About the Author:

Baynard Woods

Baynard Woods founded Democracy in Crisis. He is editor at large at the Baltimore City Paper. His work has also appeared in the Guardian, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Vox, Salon, McSweeney’s, Virginia Quarterly Review, and many others. He is the author of the book “Coffin Point: The Strange Cases of Ed McTeer, Witchdoctor Sheriff,” about a white sheriff who used hoodoo to govern a largely black county for 37 years. He earned a Ph.D. in philosophy, focusing on ethics and tyranny and became a reporter in an attempt to live like Socrates. He wrote the libretto for Rhymes with Opera’s climate-change opera film “Adam’s Run.”