Sunday, June 17, 2007

On the bus, or off the bus?

I was planning to hop on the bus, Gus - yesterday, for Denver - to bring my younger son back with me for a visit. Instead, I'm "off the bus" for reasons having nothing to do with the 20hr ride, or $128 round-trip ticket price.

So now, there's time to prepare an informative e-packet for the City Council members who will be meeting Tuesday night to decide the fate of "Operation 'Let The Bus Stop Here'."

And the title of this post refers to more than merely me not boarding schedule #4700 in front of Amtrak at 10:40 a.m. It hearkens back to novelist Ken Kesey, who coined the phrase. In the late 1960's he and a group of LSD-taking friends, calling themselves the Merry Pranksters drove a bus called "Furthur" (pictured here) cross-country from California to New York.

On that legendary journey, (marvelously recounted by Tom Wolfe') the phrase "you're either on the bus or off the bus" as a metaphor for group consciousness was popularized.
"The idea was to put individual differences aside and work as a group. . . an attuned group. Those who weren't attuned were seen as rocking the boat, disrupting the trip. These were the people who were considered 'off the bus.'

The metaphorical meaning of 'You are either on the bus or off the bus' is '
You are either attuned to the group consciousness or you are not attuned to the group consciousness.' . . ." (boldface added)
What is Carbondale's group consciousness? Is it fragmented? Can you be off one bus, but on another?

I hear a lot of people are "up in arms" against letting the bus stop at 215 N. Washington St., led by Margaret Nesbitt and her brother. "You don't know the power of Ms. Nesbitt," someone said. "She's lived in town a long time, and she has standing the community." Actually, I did hear what the owner of the fish shop on the corner of Washington and Oak St. had to say, standing before the Planning Commission. I was not impressed by her arguments. This is the same woman who opposed the construction of the building for WDBX, across the street years ago.

Quite a few others who support the move will not be in attendance (whereas the opposition will be out in force!) I think Jim Skinner, the blind blues singer will be in the house that night. . . . Maybe he will sing the blues to City Council about having to walk 6 blocks to report his missing bags.

Have a Happy Pappy's!

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