Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Friday, December 06, 2019

Peace and Social Justice Center, of South Central Kansas Annual Dinner

Save the Date! Our speakers this year will be Gretchen Eick and Michael Poage. Join us at our annual dinner to learn, eat, and hear about our plans for the future of the organization.


December 6
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Laurie Mitchell was a great friend—she will be missed!

By SJ Otto
As we all get older, we lose friends. That is what has happened last week with my friend Laurie Mitchell. As with my friend Tim Pouncey, Laurie was 61 years old. Laurie had cancer, so I suppose the loss was more expected than Tim’s.
I don’t think any loss is completely expected. We never know how long a person really has.
I’ve known Laurie and her husband Steve Jackman since before Cam Gentry and I were married, in1984. Laurie and Steve got married just about 2 years later. They always seemed to be a happy couple. They used to love to travel and they had plenty of good stories to tell us about their various adventures. One of their favourite destinations seemed to be the British Ise. As with us, they also visted Mark Davis, our friend in Spain. They visited many countries including some real backward third world countries were poverty was overwhelming. No one can say they were wimpy about their travels. They were willling to check out those les than comfortable countries, in some very dark places.
One of their trips took them to China. They had plenty of interesting tales of that trip. I was especially interested in that trip since I am a Maoist.
Laurie and her husband Steve use to go to most of our parties. In our younger days we had lots of them. Laurie was never a drinker. She avoided alcohol and any other kind of intoxicating substance other than caffeine. She loved coffee drinks.
Her politics were liberal, much like Pouncey’s or my wife Cam. I’ve always been the token Marxist amongst our friends. After all, if I only hung out with other Marxists, I wouldn’t have any friends here in Wichita.
One thing Laurie and I had in common is that both of us got a book published. Her’s was "So... Is He Gay. The Single Woman's Guide to Whether He'd Make a Better Groom or Caterer at Your Wedding.” I don’t know how well it sold, but as with mine, War on Drugs or War on People?, we both took great pride in the fact that we did get our books published. That is no small task. It is something of pride and we both had the opportunity to take part in that process.
Laurie and Steve believed in their Church, Woodland United Methodist Church and their religion. They were Christians. Cam and I are not. We (Cam and I) do not believe in the afterlife. As for Laurie and Steve their religion gave them great comfort. It worked for them and at this point in time that is all that really matters. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

In Wichita, KS, we will all miss Gypsy Claar

From The Idiot Factor:

I first met Gypsy Claar (Tracy Elizabeth 'Gypsy' Claar/ her official name) some time after I began publishing my so call ‘counter culture newspaper’ called the Public Voice. I had modelled that paper off of a counter-culture newspaper called the Public Notice, in LawrenceKS.
This was more than just a Marxist-Leninist newspaper. A lot of young Marxist-Leninist or socialist political activists don’t understand how it was to be a member of the 1960s-1970s counter-culture. For a while it was just a given that anyone who grew his hair long, wore “hippie clothes” or what we might call today “freak clothes” belong to a kind of counter-culture. It was mostly a cultural thing based on trendy ‘60s or ‘70s stuff. 

Not everyone who belonged to that counter culture movement was a leftists. In fact as time when on, for me, it was a shock to see how many right-wing “hippies” and “Freaks” there were around me.
But Gypsy worked with me and Tim Pouncey, who was as much a left-wing hippie as I am today. They (Tim and Gypsy) both worked on my newspaper, the Public Voice, with lots of articles and satire that was needed to defend the working class of Wichita and offend the right-wing ass holes we all fight against today.

I don’t know how many of my readers knew 'Gypsy' Claar. She was a political activist for the homeless. She was not as much a political person as she supported people’s human rights. And she was an old hippy, as some of us actually knew her and some of us actually are today. She died a little over a month ago. She was about 73. I knew her well and at one time she did some work for the old Public Voice Community News paper, of which I was the owner and Editor of.
I knew Gypsy from way back in the 1980s. I went to one of her parties in one of her ranch homes north of Wichita in the rural parts of Sedgwick County. It was one of the best parties I ever went to and I went there with my old friend Tim Pouncey. I also met up with her and her sister years ago when we lived in Hutchinson,KS.
I remember when she was taking journalist classes at Wichita State University. She did a lot of photography. Gypsy was a good friend. She got along with just about everyone she knew. She dated a few friends of mine. She will be missed by this community.
“She is survived by: daughters, Elizabeth ‘Kathy’ Renner, Wichita, Christina ‘Teena’ Effenbeck, Mt. Hope, and Mariah Claar, Wichita; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
It is always difficult to loose an old friend, but we all have to die some time and at least she had a fairly long life, and she lived a life most of us would be proud to have lived.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Disturbed - The Sound Of Silence

I bought new fish and they are friendlier

By SJ Otto
Not long ago I bought some new fish. I haven't had any since my Cichlid died. He hated other fish and killed every fish I put in with him. Now that he is dead, I got some friendlier fish. I got three zebra fish (a type of minnow) and a Blue Gourami. I bought another Blue Gourami three days ago. I now have fish that don't want to kill each other. I think I'll name the Gouramis Blue and Blue #2. I haven't come up with a name for the zebras yet. That is OK because fish don't use their names very much.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

I remember my mom, Joan Otto

By SJ Otto
My mother, Joan Otto, died in December of 2012. I usually write obituaries on friends and family members when they die. Maybe I forgot or I just can’t find it. But I’ve decided to write about her now.
I was always very close to my mother. There are few people I was closer to than her. Before she died I had a hard time imagining a world without her. But people get old and parents die. A year before she died, she deteriorated, both physically and mentally. When she finally died, I could hardly recognize her. She died of old age, pure and simple.
I had a lot in common with my mom. She was somewhat liberal. Not so much about free sexuality or using drugs, but she was against prejudism and racism. She taught me and my brothers to treat black folks with respect and equality.  She was against any kind of intolerance or racism. In later years my mom said “I may have over done it with teaching you tolerance.” That is because I occasionally made friends with some hard core street people or lumpen proletariats. One thing I learned from my mom was that standing up for what a person believes is right is a real important personal value.
My mom was a life long Democrat. She was a left of center liberal. She was not as far to the left as I was. While she believed in equality for all people, she did not share my beliefs on sex. She said that my dad and she were virgins when they got married. I had no reason to doubt that. She and my dad never smoked marijuana, as I used to years ago.  My mom often listened to the latest rock music, at least some of it. She wasn’t close minded. She didn’t like the Beatles at first. But over time she changed here mind and like some of their music. She was like that with a lot of new music and musicians.
She was also a devout Catholic. She told me she regretted that none of her sons followed in their parents footsteps when it came to religion. I could understand how she felt, but we all had to decide what we believed in and for most of us, it just wasn’t the Catholic religion. My dad died a few years ago and now Catholicism has simply died out in our family. Some of us chose no religion, others found different religions. One branch of our family is Baptist. They are definitely Christians and not Catholic. I consider myself an Epicurean. I got tired of telling people I was an agnostic or atheist. People kept saying “so you don’t believe in ANYTHING.” I believe in a lot of things. God and the afterlife just aren’t among those things.   
My mom tried her hand at several types of artistic pass times. She spent a year as a writer, about a year as a painter (she painted a portrait of my dad and a painting of all of us when we went fishing one year.) She spent a year as an actor. She worked for several years as a sales lady at Sears. If there is one thing she was really good at it was being a mom. She raised six boys and did a great job at it. When her and my dad got married, that was a time in the 1950s when a wife was expected to stay home and keep the house clean and raise the kids. She was a bit neurotic over her house-work. People did not understand how serious she was over her house-work. But my dad and us kids had to live with that.
But my mom was a person I often came to when I had a problem or needed advice. She always seemed to have an insight into things. She was a very spiritual person and I often enjoyed discussing things with her.
I miss my mom. Every person’s parents are different. Some guys are more close to their dads or their moms. I was very close to my mom and I miss her a lot. But life moves on, parents die and the rest of us live on until it is our turn to die. I have a son and I hope I can be as much of an inspiration to him as my mother was to me.

There is nothing like a four year old cabernet sauvignon

By SJ Otto
Lately I’ve taken up drinking wine. My favorite is red wine, specifically cabernet sauvignon. There are dozens of brands to chose from, but lately I’ve come up with a system to buying wine that I can be assured is pretty good. The average cabernet runs from $9 to $15. The price can be lower, or it can go up to $hundreds.
I’ve found that a lot of good cabernets cost as little as $9 or $10. But the real trick is the vintage year. A lot of cabernets are vintage 2017 to 2018. I’ve found that four years is a good way to choose a good wine. That is a vintage year of 2014 to 2015. A cabernet that is about four years old is as good as most wines get. There are often a lot of cabernets in the $10 range and if they have the vintage year 2014 to 2015, they are usually real good. I’ve read that a good cabernet can be anywhere from 10 years to 30 years old. But that requires storing them for up to 20 years, or paying $200 or more to buy them already aged.
So for me, four years is just right. The other day I found a seven year old wine. It was good, but I couldn’t really tell it from the four year old wines. I do notice that the two year old wines just don’t cut it.
I do like some non-red wines, Champaign, Sake, mead, etc.  But when it comes to red wine a four year old cabernet is my favorite.
The vintage year is 2015 for this wine.

Saturday, April 06, 2019


Contributed by 
The Last Drop Distillers
Every drop of booze The Last Drop Distillers sells is a limited edition—literally. The London company is known for buying and bottling parcels of rare spirits, often traveling the world to procure them from distilleries that have closed and even rejecting spirits that just aren’t exquisite enough.
“Our business model is unique,” says joint managing director Beanie Espey. “We only sell fine, rare, very old spirits. We don’t sell anything at a budget—everything we do is limited and exclusive.” She admits this is “both a privilege and a pressure,” since the pipeline for sourcing rare spirits can be uncertain. If a release is unsuccessful, there’s nothing to prop it up with,” she says.
For the rest click here.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Earlier this month was St. Patrick's Day- a day full of Irish tradition

By SJ Otto

Earlier this month was St. Patrick's Day. While the tradition is that this is a Catholic holiday honouring a saint, many of us use this day to honour the culture and history of Ireland.

Black 47 Livin in America


Black 47 "Funky Céilí"

The Starry Plow.
And don't forget to drink an Irish Car Bomb.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Sunday, February 03, 2019

It’s another Super Bowl Party again

By SJ Otto
It’s Super Bowl (LIII, 2019) Sunday. This day is like an unofficial holiday. People get together and throw Super Bowl Parties. This is a lot like Black Friday. It is a chance for companies to sell a lot of food and liquor. It is also a prim time to advertize. The advertizing is so pervasive that many news outlets post their favorite Super Bowl commercials, either before the event airs or after.

Sure, you might end up rolling into work on Monday feeling like an under-inflated Patriots' pigskin, but life is too short to not go hard on Super Bowl Sunday!

Here are a few Queen City hotspots that will not only help you get the most bang for your game-day buck, but will also treat you to that big-screen, crowd-goes-wild experience we're all looking for.

NOTE: There are obviously LOTS of great bars in and around the city. This list is merely focused on the spots that are going out of their way (drink prices and all) to bring you that perfect game-day experience. As if not having to clean up after your messy friends isn't enough.

7 Bar Specials To Kick Off Your Super Bowl Sunday

Knockback Nat's (Downtown)
These guys have the best wings in the world, hands down. And anyone who suggests otherwise is either lying or works for another place that sells them. ( Just one writer's humble opinion.) Do yourself a solid and make these the centerpiece of your game-day spread. Nat's will also offer $3 High Life on tap, $6 25-oz. tall boys (with a free Knockback Nat's koozie), $1 Jell-O shots, and $5 Bloody Marys & mimosas.

Rhinehaus (OTR)

OTR's original sports bar has you covered with a range of specials: $3 Pyramid Snow Cap, $3 Sam Adams Cold Snap, and two special Super Bowl shots offered specifically for the Patriots vs. Seahawks matchup. Oh, they're also offering free pizza deliveries arriving at kickoff and halftime. Whether you're rooting for either team or neither, try a $3 Marshawn Lynch Skittles shot or Tom Brady Musk shot to get your game face on. Ingredients TBD.

Longneck's Sports Grill (Wilder and Hebron)

Planning to party in Kentucky? Both Longnecks locations are worth a look. Super Bowl drink specials include 16 oz. Bud Light Buckets of 5 for $10. They'll also be offering giveaways that could net you a leather Bud Light cooler chair and a bunch of other great prizes. To find out what else you can win, we guess you'll have to show up!

Lachey's (OTR)

Though this will be Lachey's first Super Bowl celebration, you can bet the new guys on the block are ready to get their host on. With 24 TVs (including a 90-inch screen) positioned throughout the bar, everyone in your group will be able to keep their eyes on the game and their cocktails at the same time.

Yard House (Downtown, The Banks)

And then there are the treats. No Super Bowl Party is the same without them.

The Super Bowl is today, so there's not much time. If you need to find the perfect food to bring to the party, or to serve up at your own party, you're in luck. Some of the tastiest Super Bowl dishes you can make below from Chowhound are below, and we're happy to share them with you.
Chipotle-Chorizo Jalapeno Poppers, Smoky-Sweet BBQ, Beef Short Ribs, Easy Spicy Turkey Chili, Devils on Horseback, Pepperoni Pizza Dip and Bacon Candy. 

For the rest click here.

It's finally Super Bowl Sunday, and for fans across the world, that means tuning in to CBS or our free live Super Bowl stream to watch the Patriots and Rams go head to head to see who will be crowned champions. But while they go toe to toe, some people will be waiting in anticipation for the halftime show. And still others will be watching Super Bowl LIII for the commercials.

For the rest click here.

There is also the controversy over the half time show. Many entertainers have planned on boycotting the Super Bowl over the treatment of Colin Kaepernick over his apparent ban from the league for being the initial leader of the kneeling movement. Kaepernick’s apparent ban from the league was for being the initial leader of the kneeling movement.
Adam Levine and his group the Maroon 5 have decided to ignore the boycott and cross over to sell themselves out for the money and glory of the Super Bow. –The traitorous traitors!

What would a Super Bowl half time be without a game between beer bottles?

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Another year—another birthday

By SJ Otto
On January 15, of 2019, I reach the age of 64. If I live one more year, I can collect Medicare. I may retire this year. I had a simple birthday. I met with Roger, Mary and my wife Cam at the Texas Roadhouse. We all agreed we would like that restaurant.
There is nothing particularly great about this year. We are one year away from the next decade. Next year we will be in the 2020s. Maybe some great mysticism will come across us next year.  
I got a bottle of wine from Roger and Mary 
  and Cam gave me a quarter from 1877[1]
I guess it was as good as a birthday gets. I just love celebrating during the freezing cold, this time of year.


[1] This is a style and pattern of coins of that period that I really admire. The artwork is wonderful. I just couldn’t pass it up and Cam got it for me.