Notes from the front lines

—being an irregular compilation of things that come across our desk but don’t merit full blogification.
Sometimes news releases have left us wondering if the people circulating them know the name of their organization. We got this one recently:
“Today Americans for Prosperity MO launched its Path to Prosperity project at the Missouri State Capitol. Americans for Prosperity is America’s leading grassroots organization with over 2.2 million members nationwide and over 55,000 members across Missouri and in every county. APF-MO unveiled its comprehensive policy document….”
Shouldn’t that be “AFP-MO?” Or maybe this outfit actually is Americans Prosperity For.
We have heard folks from time to time wonder about the significance of organization names. This is a good example. Does one have to be for this group’s agenda to be a good American who favors being prosperous? Aren’t we all in favor of prosperity?
We’ll be watching our mailbox for a counter-organization to launch its grassroots campaign: Americans for Poverty.

Our Mike Lear called our attention to the headline on another news release: St. Louis City Democrat unanimously passes two House Bills out of committee to combat crime and education.
If one deconstructs that headline—and the editor of this column once was a graduate student assistant instructor at the Journalism School so he has the high academic credentials to do this–the vote was 1-0 because this person had unanimously passed the bills out of committee. And then, as Mike asked, “Why is Representative Butler combatting education?”
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If any of the other Missourinet news staff members are feeling bad because they won’t be able to go to the next Gathering of the Juggalos, they’re doing a good job of keeping their grief to themselves. Recent news reports had said the event would be held at Crybaby Campground at Kaiser, in the Lake of the Ozarks area. The big headliner was to be the rap-metal duo, Insane Clown Posse, two guys with nicknames of “Violent J” and “Shaggy 2 Dope.” The thing was to be promoted by Psycopathic Records.
A few years ago, one of the other headliners at a Gathering was Tila Tequila, who was the target of thrown feces, rocks, and bottles. We checked with our resident pop-culture expert who described her as a “bisexual internet nymph” who used to have a daily talk show on MTV about dating men and women.
But the campground has decided this kind of thing isn’t what the campground is for. Too bad. From what we have read of past Gatherings, they produced a lot of tourism business. For area hospitals.
This talk about the Juggalos thing triggers reminiscences of the Ozark Music Festival at the State Fairgrounds in July, 1974. It was Missouri’s Woodstock, we suppose. Wolfman Jack was there. We saw a poster for the event not long ago that listed the big names expected, including Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bachman Turner Overdrive, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, The Eagles. America, Bob Seger, Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes, the Earl Scruggs Review, and Boz Skaggs.
That was forty years ago. We assume the Highway Patrol still has somewhere in its archives photos and films of topless dudes and topless babes, video of the massive traffic jams and some acts that weren’t on the stage.
For those of you too young to remember–or for those who are now too OLD to remember–or for those who consumed some chemicals at the event so that you CAN’T remember, there’s a web page we found that captures the event:
It was huge. It was also a huge mess that triggered a new state law requiring a permit for any festival drawing more than 5,000 people and lasting more than 24 hours. We anticipated the Gathering of the Juggalos would have been a mess, too, although the crowd was likely to be a lot smaller than the OMF. Whether you think our culture has made progress in the decades between Bachman Turner Overdrive and Insane Clown Posse is for you to decide.

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3 thoughts on “Notes from the front lines

  1. No Hassles Guaranteed – The theme! The largest crowd for a music festival ever in Missouri. Billed as a bluegrass festival to the citizens of Sedalia, but a acid rock festival across the country. Sheriff once on the grounds told his family to leave town. Patrolled the perimeter in fear if law enforcement came on the grounds it would cause havoc. Danforth as A.G. was asked to stop it but sited The Dept. of Ag. jurisdiction and permssion for group to use it. Promoters had previous drug charges pending against them in Calif. Dehydration main issues, drug issues as well, if temporary health facility not on grounds health workers there stated that hundreds may have died from overdoses. Helicopters brought performers on the grounds, and probably also drugs. U-Hauls on ground filled with illegal substances. Most camped out on the grounds. Never will happen again. Many people hitchhiked there.

    • 250,000 tickets were issued but many came thru holes in fence. Maybe 390,000 in attendance, promoters promised 30,000. Had to spray lime over fairgrounds and doze up soil to dump in landfill to rid of disease afterwards. An awakening for many of the people in attendance.

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