Day 6

July 12th 1817
Henry David Thoreau’s Birthday

It’s not what you look at that mat­ters, it’s what you see.”
– Hen­ry David Thoreau

Gnos­tic artists inter­face direct­ly with their infor­ma­tion. The mate­ri­als they bring forth are through their own research and from their own expe­ri­ences. Hearsay is taboo. The SydArthur Fes­ti­val cher­ish­es the kind of pio­neers who not only dared to embark on bold quests, but who returned from their jour­neys and made good account of them­selves and their expe­ri­ences. What makes Hen­ry David Thore­au a prophet for the mod­ern age is that he not only went to the woods to live delib­er­ate­ly but, upon his return, he deliv­ered such a remark­able tes­ta­ment that Walden has become a holy text. Essen­tial. Only time has shown us the long-term truth of Thoreau’s words. But one thing is cer­tain: with this accom­pa­ny­ing text to sup­port Thoreau’s advo­ca­cy of life in the woods, he became Author­i­ty. The Author­i­ty is the one who cre­ates it and claims it with­in themselves.

Thore­au was our first hip­pie. Preach­ing self-reliance and per­son­al respon­si­bil­i­ty, here was an intel­lec­tu­al who dared to roll up his sleeves and try it all out: a Nature Boy stand­ing fast against the onslaught of the Indus­tri­al Age. He saw the whole world through the micro­scop­ic lens of his local pond where he set out to “front only the essen­tial facts of life”. Such a deep jour­ney with­in, he main­tained, was “essen­tial­ly rev­o­lu­tion­ary”, a way to change the world. His con­clu­sions were pre­scrip­tive and, to the future coun­ter­cul­ture, offered a viable alter­na­tive to the enslave­ment of the con­vey­or belt of life through a new path of self-deter­mi­na­tion and sim­pli­fi­ca­tion. As the mod­ern Anti-Capitalist’s foun­tain­head, Thore­au not only chal­lenged the moral­i­ty of over-con­sump­tion, but fur­ther he believed that it was only when we sim­pli­fy that we begin to reach our high­er poten­tial. While his way to per­son­al ele­va­tion might not be the only way, it is most cer­tain­ly a way avail­able to all. What a beau­ti­ful gift! Hen­ry David Thore­au has obtained in our minds the sta­tus of a folk hero, his words and mes­sage hav­ing long been appro­pri­at­ed by every right­eous-think­ing con­ser­va­tion­ist, anti-cap­i­tal­ist and by every believ­er in non-vio­lent resis­tance. To the woods!

Today, check out ‘Hide­away’ by the Elec­tric Prunes. Bad idea of the band’s man­age­ment to sign them to Reprise Records, strong­hold of Frank Sina­tra – infa­mous pro­scriber of all things rock’n’roll. This well-man­nered quin­tet most­ly played the game for their debut LP but had, by this sec­ond 1967 release, found both their feet AND their balls. Shades of Kei­th Relf per­me­ate James Lowe’s raga vocals, whilst drum­mer Quint fore­shad­owed the Bunnymen’s leg­endary Pete De Fre­itas with his cav­ernous tom-toms.

Fri Friday
Sat Saturday
Sun Sunday
Mon Monday
Tue Tuesday
Wed Wednesday
Thu Thursday
Day 1: Friday Jul 7th
Day 2: Saturday Jul 8th
Day 3: Sunday Jul 9th
Day 4: Monday Jul 10th
Day 5: Tuesday Jul 11th
Day 6: Wednesday Jul 12th
Day 7: Thursday Jul 13th
Day 8: Friday Jul 14th
Day 9: Saturday Jul 15th
Day 10: Sunday Jul 16th
Day 11: Monday Jul 17th
Day 12: Tuesday Jul 18th
Day 13: Wednesday Jul 19th
Day 14: Thursday Jul 20th
Day 15: Friday Jul 21st
Day 16: Saturday Jul 22nd
Day 17: Sunday Jul 23rd
Day 18: Monday Jul 24th
Day 19: Tuesday Jul 25th
Day 20: Wednesday Jul 26th
Day 21: Thursday Jul 27th
Day 22: Friday Jul 28th
Day 23: Saturday Jul 29th
Day 24: Sunday Jul 30th
Day 25: Monday Jul 31st
Day 27: Wednesday Aug 2nd
Day 28: Thursday Aug 3rd