turn on, tune in, drop out, write new catchphrase
Catherine and I ran into some hippies in Georgetown on Saturday, right in the middle of DC's Republican heart of darkness; it was weird. We had been biking on the Capital Crescent Trail and decided to catch the Circulator back home. At Wisconsin and M, there they were: dirty, dirty hippies. Actually, I had run into these same two guys before, over by Farragut North. Both times they were hawking t-shirts bearing the slogan "Stop Bitching, Start A Revolution", and trying to interest passers-by by asking, "Would you be interested in some revolutionary art?"
This sat the wrong way with me. The "Stop Bitching" slogan is something we've all seen on somebody's crazy aunt's bumper, right next to "Well-Behaved Women Rarely Make History". I wouldn't call it revolutionary, per se, although I'll grant that technically speaking it is of or pertaining to a revolution. Anyway, it seemed very weird to see two twentysomething guys selling these and only these little swatches of banality. Don't they know the astounding advances in clever t-shirt technology that our ironic-silkscreenologists have made over the past decade?
But today I followed the URL on the shirt — zendik.org — and it turns out that these shirts are probably the original medium for the Stop Bitching slogan. Apparently they're sold in support of an "artist's community" in West Virginia called Zendik Farm. So it's just a bit dated, not really the colossal catchphrase miscalculation that it at first seemed to be.
Shit like this still puts the members of this particular commune on my bad side (Zendik's deceased patriarch sounds a little like L. Ron Hubbard without the paranoid schizophrenia). But at least it's all a bit clearer now. Has anybody else run into these guys?