February 1, 2006

The death of a yippie: "Still me. Still me."

Stew Albert, one of the original Yippies, has gone:
Stew Albert, who with Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and a handful of similarly scruffy, leftist anti-establishmentarians formed the Yippie party to protest the Vietnam War, mock institutional authority and nominate a pig, Pigasus, for president, died on Monday at his home in Portland, Ore. He was 66....

[He] caused considerable laughter after Yippies were arrested after nominating Pigasus outside the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968 [when he quoted] a policeman's comment while he was in jail: "I have bad news for you, boys. The pig squealed on you."...

For the last 21 years, Mr. Albert lived in Portland, where he wrote articles and books, ran a Web site and participated in organizations fostering racial harmony.

Last Friday, in his next-to-last blog entry, he wrote, "My politics have not changed."

A blog? How about a link?

Here's Stew Albert's Yippie Reading Room. Ah! Here's the blog. Nice to see Yippies use Blogger. You have to scroll down a ways to get to his last post:
"Day in the Life: Super crazy thing. The hospice nurse had to do more. Still me. Still me."
"Still me" is a great last line, with a profound double meaning. If you can write that you are still you, you retain your identity. But dying, you are being stilled, and dead, you will be still, silent, forever. The "still me" goes on forever.

The second to the last post, one day earlier reads:
Draining fast food
Gotcha going nowhere
It's still the sea around us
So award tells me
Moving fast
Don't move it tonight
I prefer it clean

Day in the Life: My politics have not changed. Stew
His politics are the same, the last political statement, very general and abstract. The day before, the last specific political comment:

Fell over flat first thing in the morning
so now there is a bit of hospice in the mix
your Arabs fell further
they voted for Hamas
even two life times might not be enough
Goodbye to Stew Albert.


David said...

His day came and went.
Moral relativity
compass off true north!


Joan said...

The elision of quoted material has the effect of Stew speaking from beyond the grave:
died on Monday at his home in Portland, Ore. He was 66....

Afterward, he quoted a policeman's comment

Hee! Sorry, grammar humor appeals to my juvenile self...

Ann Althouse said...

Joan: Astute. I'll correct.

amba said...

Wow. Isn't that the blogger's dream, to be doing it almst right up to the last breath.

His politics might suck, but his existential courage sings, and laughs. (Also, I didn't see him being all that relativistic about Hamas.)

anonlawstudent said...

This is neither here nor there, but perhaps he'd appreciate it. Besides, the Gospel of Helium ought to be spread.


Col. B. Bunny said...

I enjoyed your post. "Still me" is poignant.

Stew may have had a glimmer of insight into Hamas but he was still as blind as ever to the killers of his youth. Stew thought killing was ok if it was for a good cause, or if the killer could "turn a phrase." Important that. Verbal agility and all.

His site has a link to an article he wrote about Che:

"Che Guevara is my last hero. He was what Errol Flynn only pretended to be . . . . Guevara's adventurous and courageous ways were rooted in his idealism and utopian visions of a just and classless society. . . . . Che died young and without a hint of compromising corruption or dishonesty. And yes he was handsome and could turn a literary phrase. He was perfect."

Good old Che:

"We will make our hearts cruel, hard, and immovable ... we will not quiver at the sight of a sea of enemy blood. Without mercy, without sparing, we will kill our enemies in scores of thousands; let them drown themselves in their own blood! Let there be floods of the blood of the bourgeois – more blood, as much as possible." Source.

The perfect man indeed. I guess that's how you get a classless society -- just eliminate all but one class. Che would have been a member of the surviving class, I'm guessing.

Stew died as addled as he'd been at his height.