07 August 2020

Cosmic Park (from Cellophane Visions, 7 August 1982)

[Passage from Cellophane Visions, as it stood 7 August 1982.]

In the beginning there was the egg

And the egg was with God

And the egg was God

And the egg cracked

Hey man, you know, I mean, like—Cosmic Park’s like a state of mind, you dig? It’s like a consciousness, a level of higher consciousness, you know? I mean, it’s a place to hang out, but it’s more. It’s like Mohammed and the mountain. You don’t have to be in Cosmic Park to be in Cosmic Park. Right? You see that? Dig it—the mountain can come to Mohammed

complaints from nearby residents about drug dealing and alleged incidents of public nudity in the park, but police have proved powerless. “Frankly, we’re scared shitless to go in there,” said one officer, “The only way would be with a TAC squad in full force.” Many neighborhood residents have said that if this is what it would take to clear the park, they would fully support it. “This public immorality has got to be stopped,” Mrs. Wormwood, leader of the neighborhood coalition said. “All day long we have under our eyes the most disgusting acts of flagrant public behavior imaginable.” Mrs. Wormwood lives a scant two miles from the park. “We aint hurting no-one,” replied a long-haired denizen of the park. “so what if we like to come here and kick back? Where’re we supposed to go, anyway? Asked why he picked Cosmic Park he cited such factors as pleasant surroundings, a like-minded crowd, and he claimed that the park was in easy walking distance from his residence. “It’s like our back yard, you know?” So the controversy

Aint no pigs in Cosmic Park—dig that.

We are struck by the supreme irony of this week’s news. At a time when our boys are fighting one of the bloodiest battles of the war, at a time when “Hamburger Hill” has just been taken at a frightful cost in lives and property, the Supreme Court of the very nation these men have shed their blood for has struck from the hands off the law one of the most potent weapons available against those who promote the values of idleness and hedonism. The ruling which came down Monday in favor of the Apostle of LSD—Timothy Leary—is a major set-back ion the war for the minds and bodies of our young people. It is difficult to feel much sympathy for those who are put between a rock and a hard place by the provisions of the Marijuana Tax Act. That to comply with it requires self-incrimination by the criminal is obvious—and is the point of the law. No conflict with the Fifth Amendment is involved—the convoluted and twisted reasoning of the Court notwithstanding—and if any conflict is involved, then the Constitution should yield. Certainly the Founding Fathers never intended that this amendment shield criminals from

Hey man, you wanta know what’s wrong with the park? You really want to know, man? Like, it’s all these fucking hippies or whatever they are, they Haight crowd, you know?, moving in. They’re bringing down the whole scene, you know? Let ’em do their own thing, okay?

Mrs. Kent, a nearby park resident, reports that the park has changed since the summer of 1967. “That’s when it began to get bad,” she said. “That’s when all the loud music and group sex started.” But others disagree. Mrs. Emily Gordly told us that the situation was no better before the so-called “hippies” began to

Lot of shit, you know? Lot of fucking shit, that’s all I got to say. The park belongs to the people, and what the people want to do is

talked with Brant Colburn, a leader of the self-styled Park Peoples’ Committee, and we asked what he thought of the Wormwood Coalition.

“Hey, we don’t know anything about it. Who is this Wormwood lady, anyway? She doesn’t hang out here, that’s for sure.”

“Many people would say that that’s exactly the problem here—”

“Yeah, well, many people would say that that’s exactly a load of * * * *”

“But people are afraid—”

“Hey man, nobody’s afraid in Cosmic Park. Nobody. You dig it? We’re like all together here, we’ve got it together in a solid thing, okay? Your capitalist trip is, like, dead, you know?, and, it’s like falling apart around you—”

But the problems persist. Pastor Bonkers of the First Telephone Church has observed

“These hippies and other flockers to the banner of what they call the new morality—which is nothing but the old immorality—think that they can enjoy the fruits of the labors of others without first laboring themselves. This is the whole root of the Cosmic Park Mentality. But there is no reason whatsoever why these vandals should be sheltered at public expense.”

And so the controversy refuses

clash today in Cosmic Park, when members of the Wormwood Coalition, armed with a Park Commission Permit, attempted to remove a number of structures which recently have sheltered Park residents hey were opposed by members of the self-proclaimed Park Peoples’ Committee, who resisted

fact of the matter is, Cosmic Park has been underfunded for more than a decade. We’ve had to depend mainly on volunteer labor to keep the park in any kind of shape. Several of the old buildings, including the Otway and Farnham cabins, have been preserved only through the efforts of

disagree over the effects of the Park People on the historic cabins in the Park. “The Park People’s Thing has helped preserve the buildings,” observes Professor Arthur Klein of Foxe University, but Robert Kilpatrick of the Cascadia Historical Society counters, “The deterioration over the past twenty years has been frightful, simply frightful. Whether the Park People indeed can be credited

disgraceful. These people are absolutely destroying the park, without regard for the comforts of others when

these Wormwood people are, but they’ve got nothing going for them, nothing—you dig? All they’re into is destruction, and that aint where it’s at at all. If

interview with Peter Farnham, a Park resident. We asked him about the efforts of the Wormwood Coalition to clean up the park.

“What efforts? The so-called Wormwood Coalition—which is really a bunch of neighborhood busybodies with too much time on their hands—they aren’t doing anything for the Park.”

But Park Commissioner Tsoraga disagrees:

“The marked deterioration of the old cabins and sheds, together with the abuse they have received from these young people who are coming here, has necessitated their removal, and this

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