Have A Nice Day (Multiple posts)

Sun, 22 Mar 1998 16:11:01 -0500

From: Muskat <hmuskat@igc.apc.org>

"Have A Nice Day!"

was a direct order from my commanding officer when I was informed I was
on a list of unlucky soliders who were being sent to Viet Nam. Sometime
spring '68.

"You too Sir," I replied. "I refuse to accept these orders to Viet Nam!

Hal Muskat

From: John Andrew <J_Andrew@ACAD.FANDM.EDU>

>Whatever its origin, that smiley face seems--and seemed in the late '60s--far
>closer to "middle America"/corporate America than to the serious interest
>among parts of the radical movement and counterculture movement in altruism
>and love, an interest which was a major point where the movements intersected,
>affected by the (serious) anarchist movement, non-violent action, etc., too.

Another thought on the smiley face question from Marty Jezer - was this
more a part of the 1970s "I'm OK, You'r OK" approach to life? I really
don't remember it as part of the sixties culture -
John Andrew

John Andrew email: J_ANDREW@ACAD.FANDM.EDU
Department of History fax 717-399-4413
Franklin and Marshall College
Lancaster, PA. 17604-3003

"Fantasy Will Set You Free" - Steppenwolf

From: Marty Jezer <mjez@sover.net>

Thanks everyone for your replies to this rather unorthodox query.
No doubt the idea was co-opted (and I'll check Tom Frank who I've heard of
but not read).

My sense is that the idea of niceness, kindness, altrusim was not marginal
to the counter-culture. Allen Ginsberg's poems "Who to Be Kind To," and
"Vietnam Day Berkeley" written before the summer of love express a
sensibility that directly challenged the tough guy, John Wayne America. On
the east coast, my own karass around WIN
Magazine was promoting flower power. Though we were part of the nonviolent
movement, we were consciously trying to get away from the hard-edged moral
righteousness of traditional pacifism and make nonviolence into something a
little more "groovy" (I cringe writing that word). This spirit, of course,
was exemplified by the Be-ins, and is what Abbie picked up and developed
with Yippie.

A lot of SDS chapters caught this spirit and tried (as we all were trying)
to make "niceness" political; that is, use it as an organizing tool. The
SNCC folks told we whites to organize our own kind. Many of us went into
the hippie ghettos and on college campuses to organize hippie youth. (They
probably disorganized us, more than we organized them). The Austin chapter
of SDS comes to mind. The Austin Rag started the idea of "Gentle Thursdays"
which really resonated at that time. (I hope
Helen Garvey and Robert Perdue talk about the Austin experience in their
film on SDS). Finally, the hip gurus (Leary, Ginsberg, Kesey, Gary Snyder,
etc. promoted this idea of niceness in the San Francisco Oracle.

Of course the Summer of Love was built on that but so was a lot of peace
demonstration.Themarch on the Pentagon, October 1967, unfolded as a battle
between "flower power" and revolutionary militantcy. And that was probably
the highwater mark.

What I'm getting at is that is this flower power movement was a conscious
and political effort to change the conciousness of the young people and to
undermine the represse hardnosed way Americans lived and thought.

I'm guessing that this was one of the few times in history that an effort
like this was made, to give niceness ethical substance,
a moral dimension and street-wise gutsiness.

The objective political situation was too explosive to sustain this effort,
but it's worth recalling as a noble idea. Especially in this day and age
when do-goodism is dismissed as political correctness and basic human
decency is considered by rioght wing social Darwinists as something wimpy
and weak.

The Smiley button, I suspect, was designed by some hippie enterpreneur,
button-maker, headshop type too promote this idea (and to make a little
money out of it). I suspect that the corporate word appropriated it, much
like money-makers appropriated the "keep on truckin'" cartoon of R. Crumb.

Rememver everything was free for the taking in the underground press. We
shunned copyrights. And were ripped off.

Comments appreciated,

Marty Jezer