Monday, August 30, 2010

Breath Integration And Martial Movement

Last week I was working with one of the young Dojo Rats, going over some forms.
As I watched and made suggestions, I tried to see what he was missing but couldn't quite put my finger on it. Then, as I read this passage from Robert W. Smith's "Hsing-I, Chinese Mind-Body Boxing" It dawned on me- he lacked proper breath integration.
Robert W. Smith quoting Master Sung Shih-Jung (page 99):

"The Taoists have sedentary breathing exercises. In Hsing-i, hand and foot actions are coordinated with the breathing. Every actions follows a discipline, so we never get confused; that is, the movements are coordinated with the breathing so that boxing becomes like sedentary work. You should pay great attention to the breathing. Back and Forth, up and down, the air moves in a cycle with full regulation of breathing. In sedentary work, we try to settle down from action, but in boxing we move from inaction to action. Both of them reach the same goal: full calmness, full regulation of breathing, and full coordination of the body."

Sung is referring to the meditative regulation of seated or standing breathing as practiced (in this case) by Taoists. Sung states:

"(Hsing-i) is a martial art because its functions show how to fight another person. As a Taoist exercise, it is used to prolong life."

The chart at the top gives a pretty good example of the Yin and Yang of breathing and how it applies to shooting a firearm. In that case, the breath is briefly held to fire an accurate shot. If we tweak the chart a bit, the Yang or outward expression of power would coordinate with the exhale. There would be no holding of the breath in martial expression.
The beauty of Sung's quote on breathing is that the same technique used to damage an opponent is the same technique that can prolong ones life.
-- My advice to my young training partner was to exaggerate his breathing in very deep inhales and exhales, along with large martial movements. In time, these will become more subtle yet more efficient.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Fun: Leave It To Beaver

Don't worry fellow Dojo Rats; we will still be having our "Cute Hippie Chick Of The Month" feature on September first. This is an added feature for August--

You know how many cities have art displays where they take figures of animals like cows or pigs and have local artists paint them in creative ways?
Well, it seems that Bemidji Minnesota chose the Beaver. Sounds harmless, right? I mean, who doesn't love a Beaver? -- From "Mother Jones":

"Bemidji, Minnesota—The most controversial piece of public art in the state of Minnesota sits on the corner of 4th Street and Beltrami Ave., in downtown Bemidji. For now. When I asked for directions at the Blockbuster outside town, I was told it had been moved. When I asked again at the supermarket, I was told it was no longer there. "But it's exactly what they say it is," said the teenaged boy at the deli counter, stifling a laugh."
"I sit out here and read a lot. I eavesdrop—and I've only heard one negative comment. They said, 'That's disgusting!'" She rolls her eyes. "I mean, obviously it's a vagina…"

Hmmmm... More at highlighted link above...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Foundation, Structure and Mobility

Let's examine this guy's stance:

Ahh, look; those nice old ladies just wanted to get a cool picture practicing Tai Chi in front of The Leaning Tower of Pisa and some big Goof pulls some Karate on them!
Even a structure as strong as The Leaning Tower of Pisa can have faults in it's foundation that may eventually bring it down. The old ladies are in a transition between movements in the picture, and they appear to be armchair martial artists, so I'll give them a break.
But let's look at the stance of the Karate guy.
This is definitely "old school". His lead fist is held palm up, it appears with extended knuckle (phoenix-eye fist). His rear hand is slightly forward and not in deep chamber, that is fine but it is held pretty high.
While he has more weight on the lead leg I would consider this a "double-weighted" stance. It is also extremely wide, preventing mobility. In order to move quickly, he must shift completely to one leg or the other. This is the kind of stance where you can basically only stand there and trade punches. It is so deep I think he might have trouble firing off a front kick with either leg, and his knee looks like a perfect target for a stomp or arcing round kick.
San Ti Stance From Xingyi

The above stance is also very old-school, but observe the difference in mobility. It is not as wide, the rear leg is slightly bent and spring-loaded. The practitioner can take a load into the root of the stance as well as discharge power back; borrowing the opponent's energy. The rear hand is ready to protect against a groin kick.
Yang Chen-Fu in "Raise Hands"

And here's another good stance for mobility, from the Yang-style Tai Chi Chuan system. Hands are held relatively high, lead leg ready to kick, very mobile.
- My preference is somewhere between the second two stances. In the Xingyi San Ti I can take a load in push-hands as well as move and hit. If the opponent closes I can cover with the "boxers triangle" or "shaving" type neutralization.
Good stuff, it works for me.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Give Them The Finger(lock)

Ah, you gotta' love old Wally Jay.
There are obviously universal qualities that all grappling arts share, but Wally Jay and son Leon have really refined joint locks with "Small Circle Jujitsu".
Our fellow Dojo Rat Corey trained with the Jays in London and again back in the Midwest along with George Dillman. I met and trained briefly with Leon in Portland. Small-Circle Jujitsu is a perfect compliment to the Aikido and Chin-Na I've done, and the flow drills ease the transitions between techniques in a resisting opponent.
Look at the finger locks Professor Jay uses on the student in the video. Done correctly, I have not met anyone that will not react to a finger lock in a very predictable way. It is something a small person can apply to a much larger person, from a variety of angles.
Now, nobody carries on like in the video above, the finger lock is intended to cause pain and distraction in an opponent while you line up a knockout technique.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Grateful Deadly

The Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia

The Electric Kool-Aid Hunting Trip.

I thought this might have been photoshopped.
But according to my friend who sent it to me it's from this:

"Yep! The book is titled You Can't Always Get What You Want: My Life with the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead and Other Wonderful Reprobates by Sam Cutler. ("

What a long strange trip it's been...

Sam Cutler also put this project together: "Festival Express", a rock-and-roll train trip across Canada in 1970. It's a must see...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

More Proof Meditation Builds And Re-Wires The Brain

From Agence France-Presse, via "Raw Story":

A Chinese-influenced meditation technique appears to help the brain regulate behavior after as little as 11 hours of practice, according to a study released Monday.

Researchers at the University of Oregon and Dalian University of Technology charted the effects of integrative body-mind training (IBMT), a technique adapted in the 1990s from traditional Chinese medicine and practiced by thousands in China.

The research to be published in the upcoming issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences involved 45 test subjects, about half of whom received IBMT, while a control group received relaxation training.

Imaging tests showed a greater number of connections in the anterior cingulate -- the part of the brain which regulates emotion and behavior -- among those who practiced meditation compared to subjects in the control group.

"The importance of our findings relates to the ability to make structural changes in a brain network related to self-regulation," said The University of Oregon's Michael Posner, a lead author on the study.

*Story continues at link highlighted above.*

And consider this, from "The Aquarian Conspiracy", by Marilyn Ferguson:

(Page 168) "Meditation, reverie, relaxation and other associated psychotechnologies tend to increase the slower, larger brainwaves known as alpha and theta. Inward attention in other words, generates a larger fluctuation in the brain. In altered states of consciousness, fluctuations may reach a critical level, large enough to provoke the shift into a higher level of organization.
-Larger fluctuations of energy cannot be contained in the old structure. They set off ripples throughout the system, creating sudden new connections."

This is a great example of why the internal martial arts offer a truly unique way to combine self-defense with meditation, something I never felt in Tae Kwon Do or Kenpo. I clearly feel and perceive these things differently in Tai Chi Chuan and Xingyi.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Combat Throw Transitions

Well, it was time for "Drinking Dojo Productions" to produce another short video, this one on transitions in combat throws.
These are three of the many, many variations of throws we learned from Tim Cartmell at seminars on Bagua, Xingyi and Tai Chi Chuan. These three work very well in a transition, changing strategy as an opponent resists a throw.
The first is out of Bagua and is a spiral-type throw. First you move away from the arc of the opponents hook punch and counter at the same time. As you rock him with your simultaneous block/punch, you grab his arm tightly to you, joining centers. In this version I sweep his leg slightly, but you can simply plant the leg and use it as a fulcrum to spin the opponent around and down.
The second is a Xingyi-type knock-down. The opponent throws a right cross. You parry that and counter with an arcing palm strike, If the opponent blocks, you step behind him as you entangle his arms. You sit into your Kua (hip inguinal crease) and rotate as you throw. A similar technique is also seen in Tai Chi Chuan "parting wild horses mane".
The third Bagua technique is again against a hook punch. This time you pass the arm in a tight arm drag across the opponent's body. This turns his body on it's vertical axis. You then sling your arm in a heavy fashion over the opponent's shoulder/collarbone. This is a "sticky" technique that the Chinese call an "Ox Tongue". Once again you join centers with the opponent and this time spiral him back and down.
After you are familiar with each technique, you try to transition between them (or others you know) and flow with your opponent. You fill up the space between you as he moves, and throw accordingly.
I didn't want this video to run too long. There are tons of alternate throwing variations, but I think everybody will get the idea.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Improvised Weapons

So yesterday I was walking out from our local market after shopping. I rested the cart against my truck and loaded two bags of groceries and a case of Beer in the back.
As I turned around to return the shopping cart, one of my smart-ass friends jumped me from behind the next car, taking me completely by surprise. I had already reached into my pocket and unlocked my truck to put my laptop computer inside, and I was holding the keys in my left hand.
As he jumped me, I was indeed startled. But instead of backing away from the sudden attack I drove my fist holding the key like a push-dagger up into the attackers right cheek. I instantly recognized him and halted the key strike just short of punching it through his cheek. We both stopped and laughed our asses off.
I learned quite a lot in that little exchange. The posture and technique I used was the Xingyi Drilling Fist, with the key just as a push-dagger. I moved forward into the attack at an angle slightly off centerline, so it wasn't force against force. All of this happened before I completely realized who it was attacking me. My friend thanked me for not punching the key through his face, and it was all good.
After years and years of martial training, both partner work and solo meditative form practice, this kind of reaction comes very naturally and it even surprised me a bit how quickly it all happened.
I'll leave you with a little about my favorite improvised weapon, I carry these everywhere I go.

It's a simple carpenters pencil. They are twice as thick as a regular pencil and squarish in shape. Great for digging into vital spots on an attackers body. You can carry one anywhere. I don't even sharpen mine, just leave it with the ends blunt. One of the best resources for pocket-stick self-defense techniques is Masaaki Hatsumi's "Stick Fighting".
Here's a review of the book from February '08.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Tim Cartmell On "Double Weighting"

Principles, Analysis and Applications of Effortless Combat Throws

Lately I've been reviewing information from seminars I attended with Tim Cartmell, author of the book above on "Effortless Combat Throws". The Chinese Internal Martial Arts have fewer high throws as in Judo, and lean more to the leg entanglement and knock-downs of Chinese wrestling. Here is what Tim has to say about "double-weighting", a practice warned against in the Tai Chi classics:
"It is clear that the masters of old considered double weighting to be a serious problem. double weighting is usually defined as the condition of standing with the weight evenly distributed between both feet (as in the classic "horse" stance).
This however, is not necessarily the case, Whether or not double weighting occurs is not determined directly by the relative distribution of weight between an individuals feet, but rather by whether or not one has joined centers with the opponent."

(D.R.)--Let me summarize an otherwise long and heavily detailed explanation of what Tim means; If you meet your opponent with force against his force, you have your weight and he has his weight and you are "double weighted".

Tim continues:
"Whether throwing, applying joint locks or striking, maximum efficiency depends upon the avoidance of double weighting. When setting up a throw, the most efficient technique is the one which allows you to join and subsequently control an opponents center in the shortest time, preferably immediately on contact."
"Finally, it may be helpful to realize that there is really only one angle at which you are double weighted, and that is the angle at which your force clashes directly with the force of another. Applying force to an opponent at any other angle allows you to avoid the fault of double weighting."
(From appendix A-14, "Effortless Combat Throws")

(D.R.)-- Tim is a freakin' genius. Thank goodness I have hours of notes and video on his seminars, they go by so fast and are loaded with so much information that I really have to review to retain it all.
More on Combat throws in Bagua, Xingyi and Tai Chi Chuan coming soon...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Did "The Finders" Create a "Bourne Identity"?

Suppose you have a thirty-year cult, run by a southern eccentric with ties to the Central Intelligence Agency.
Suppose that cult raised children in austere surroundings combined with advanced education, perhaps to be used by said intelligence agency?
Suppose that cult was investigated for child abuse/neglect but the investigation was shut down for "National Security" reasons?
Sound like something out of a movie? Young "Jason Bournes" being created, nurtured and trained for future use? Well, something like that seems to have happened in "The Finders" cult.
The unraveling of "The Finders" case brought to the forefront many long-rumored stories about possible child trafficking as well as those about children being trained for use as spies and assassins.
In February 1987, a tip to the police led to the arrest of two "well dressed men" in a park in Tallahassee Florida. The men appeared to be "supervising" a group of six disheveled and hungry children. The men, who were based out of Washington D.C., were charged with child abuse. The D.C. police raided a house and warehouse, where they found many items that implicated "The Finders" cult in international intrigue and what appears to be ritual sacrifice of animals. The children were temporarily moved to an undisclosed location under armed guard due to threats to authorities.
This all sounds like typical internet rumor-mongering, except the story was carried by The New York Times and U.S. News And World Report.
The smoking gun was a report by U.S. Customs agent Ramon Martinez. Customs was called in to investigate a possible link to child pornography or child trafficking, and the Martinez document is shocking. There were indeed photos of many children, some naked. This in itself is not surprising due to the commune-type upbringing of The Finders. There were also photos of members in white robes, with the children, in what appears to be ritual sacrifice of goats. The Finders claim it was merely typical harvesting of animals on a farm, but the children actively participated in the disembowelment.
At the time of the arrest, despite the "well dressed" appearance of the adult men, the children seemed to have no knowledge of such things as electricity and hot running water. In a strange twist, they seemed highly educated. Details of what was found in the warehouse and the customs report can be read in this report by Dave McGowan.
Other items seized from the finders included Telex messages about obtaining children from Hong Kong, international money transfers, and this, from the Martinez report:
"Further inspection of the premises disclosed numerous files relating to activities of the organization in different parts of the world. Locations I observed are as follows: London, Germany, the Bahamas, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Africa, Costa Rica, and 'Europe.' There was also a file identified as 'Palestinian.' Other files were identified by member name or 'project' name. The projects appearing to be operated for commercial purposes under front names for the Finders. There was one file entitled 'Pentagon Break-In,' and others referring to members operating in foreign countries".
Everything in this case points to a possible prosecution for child abuse, but the investigation was shut down for National Security reasons.

Marion Pettie was the leader of "The Finders" cult. Described as a tall, well-built southern gentleman, Pettie maintained a large property in Culpepper Virginia and the locations that were raided in Washington D.C.
He has admitted that his wife had worked for the CIA and that his son flew for the CIA airline "Air America", long known for it's drug-trafficking exploits in Southeast Asia.
In an excellent interview in the Washington "City Paper", Pettie described his role as "Game Caller". He instructed his followers to live by the day, hour, minute. He would send them on "projects", often to foreign countries. All the Finders men dressed like FBI agents, in conservative dark suits. Not exactly your typical hippie-cult attire.
At the dawn of the computer era, Pettie recruited a talented computer engineer who trained members of The Finders in computer technology. They went on to run a project for - you guessed it, The CIA.
Pettie openly admits that he ran a safe house for members of intelligence agencies, from The Office of Navel Intelligence, to the OSS, to any spook that needed a place to hang out. He claims he would "study them".
Michael Phillips photo of "The Finders"

The children that were found in the park with the "well-dressed men" were returned to their mothers and the cult. The investigation was dropped.
The most recent information I could research on The Finders was a blog post by a guy named Michael Phillips. Phillips claims to have met The Finders in San Francisco in the 1970's. Phillips respects the group, and thinks they had innovative ideas. Several Finders-type comments followed his blog post, one saying that Pettie and other founding members were now dead, and thanked him for the kind words. Phillips had just proof-read a 550-page manuscript of a book on the finders by member Robert "Tobe" Terrell.
Another questionable report on a New Zealand Indymedia blog said that The Finders had relocated to Taiwan. I don't know about that.
We will never know the true story of "The Finders", what they were training the children for, or the source of their wealth. The Washington "City Paper" article says that some former members were suing Pettie and the remaining estate of the cult.
The articles I researched are split into at least three categories. The right-wing writers focus on Satanic ritual abuse. The left side suspects the children may have been programed to be spies or assassins. People like the blogger Phillips suggest they were just elaborate role-playing adventurers.
It is well known that intelligence agencies run programs resembling The Finders, such as the Kool-Aid massacres in Jonestown. It's easy to pull a Sirhan-Sirhan or Lee Harvey Oswald out of these groups when they need one.
But let's close with this chilling conclusion to the report of U.S. Customs officer Martinez:

"On April 2, 1987, I arrived at MPD at approximately 9:00 a.m. Detective Bradley was not available. I spoke to a third party who was willing to discuss the case with me on a strictly 'off the record' basis.
"I was advised that all the passport data had been turned over to the State Department for their investigation. The State Department in turn, advised the MPD that all travel and use of the passports by the holders of the passports was within the law and no action would be taken. This included travel to Moscow, North Korea, and North Vietnam from the late 1950s to mid 1970s.
"The individual further advised me of circumstances which indicated that the investigation into the activity of the Finders had become a CIA internal matter. The MPD report has been classified SECRET and was not available for review. I was advised that the FBI had withdrawn from the investigation several weeks prior and that the FBI Foreign Counter Intelligence Division had directed MPD not to advise the FBI Washington Field Office of anything that had transpired.

"No further information will be available. No further action will be taken."

For more information:

"Inquiry Spreads On 6 Children and Cult", New York Times

"Through A Glass, Very Darkly", U.S. News and World Report

"Finders Keeper", Washington City Paper

Pro Commerce, Michael Phillips

"Finders Keepers" Dave McGowan

Monday, August 9, 2010

Review: Hsing-i; Chinese Mind-Body Boxing

When it comes to martial arts, I am an information junkie. I want to see a wide variety of opinions and techniques to evaluate what I am learning and understand why a particular system developed as it did.
Which is what drives me so crazy about Hsing-i (Xingyi). Reportedly one of the oldest of the Chinese Internal Martial Arts, Hsing-i lacks the spectrum of information available in other martial systems.
So what's a guy to do? We go back to an old favorite.
Robert W. Smith is one of the most famous western authors to have trained with Chinese Masters from the 1950's-1980's.
Smith is an interesting cat. According to his Wikipedia bio, Smith spent many years in an orphanage, joined the Marines at 17 and fought in the Pacific. He later graduated from The University of Washington with a M.A. in Far Eastern Studies. After a brief stint in The Red Cross, Smith signed on with the CIA. Smith served as a liaison to the government of Chiang Kai-Shek which fled to Taiwan when the Communists took over the mainland in 1949. He studied with many Chinese Masters during those years, as described in his book "Chinese Boxing; Masters and Methods".
But I digress; back to "Hsing-i".
Smith's book on Hsing-i is the foundation of knowledge for western practitioners. He provides us with a sound history, along with some of his own profound opinions and statements. From page 22:

"If the motivation in learning the art is primarily to gain skill in boxing, then motivation will impede learning. To learn combatives because of their self-defense value is a confession of weakness, of being being unable to resolve interpersonal problems rationally. But if the internal is viewed, as it should be, as a form of meditation that in time bequeaths boxing skill and other useful values, then progress will be more rapid. For the internal emphases meditation and exercise, out of which the combat technique emerges, but the combative is always under control of the meditative".

Now that's a guy who is seeking a very deep level of martial art. Smith's book details early masters, has a pictorial summary of forms and techniques, and concludes with advice from the masters, in their own words.
If you are interested in Hsing-i (Xingyi) or Chinese boxing in general, this is the book you should start with.
Originally published in 1974, the book is in re-print from North Atlantic Books, and available at the website for Blue Snake Books.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday Fun: George Carlin On The American Dream

Caution for language

I heard a censored version of this on the radio the other day, I think it's from 2005.
Carlin nails it...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Barbarian Brothers

Our new training meat, nicknamed after these characters:

So we have some new guys that have been coming to the island from the mainland just to train with us. I have nicknamed them "The Barbarian Brothers", after these characters in the movie "D.C. Cab".
Older Barbarian is 36, younger Barbarian is 34. Their father was a pro football player, I can't remember which team. These guys are really big, and they work in the construction trade.
They met us through a mutual training partner on the mainland who we did Kenpo and Tai Chi Chuan with in the past. They did about three months of Tai Chi with him and found us and have been coming up once-a-week to train with us, mostly in Tai Chi since that's what our friend started them on.
As I said, these guys are big and scary. Perfect meat for us to play with. They are extremely tense and stiff, but bless their hearts they are really trying to loosen up. Because they are tense and trying so hard, they sweat like crazy. I'm almost twenty-years older than them and have nowhere near their strength, so it is the perfect test of relaxed power, technique and the physics of angles that I have to rely on. After we did about 1-1/2 hours of drills, I put a couple of skinny island boys up against them in some fixed-step push hands. Our Buddy Zackey Chan is fresh back from Aikido in Japan, and hasn't done push hands in almost a year. He was giving away almost 100 pounds and six-inches in height against old Barbarian, and Zac worked him over pretty good.
Heaven forbid these guys ever cut loose with rage and power, they'd be tough to deal with. But for now, they're putty in our hands.
After fun and games, we cracked the Beers and shot the shit. Younger Barbarian asked what it would take to get him ready to fight MMA. It seems they had just seen some cage-fights at the Casino on the mainland.
As you would expect, I said we don't do that crap. He's 34, has had a grand total of three months of Tai Chi and wants to fight professionally.
This is what I mean about the MMA mentality. I suggested that he had a good job in construction, and that fighting is what a guy does when he has no other job skills. But he persisted. He wondered if he should rent a house on the Island so he could have us train him full time. I couldn't believe it.
So I told him to go down to my friends Brazilian Jujitsu school in Seattle and after those guys work him over I think he would have second thoughts.

It does make me smile however. Regardless of MMA delusions, these guys are great fresh meat to train with, and a real test of our internal art skills and relaxed power. So far we still have the upper hand.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Cruicible: I Would Have Been Killed For Practicing Martial Magick

My old "San Ti" posture, before I got it right

Last night we watched "The Crucible", the movie of Arthur Miller's 1953 play about the Salem Witch trials.
Part of me realized how far we have come as a society since the Witch trials, but as there is nothing new under the sun, I acknowledge the strong Puritan streak that still haunts us.
Miller wrote "The Crucible" as an allegory to the anti-communist witch-hunt conducted by Joseph McCarthy in the 1950's. In fact, Arthur Miller himself was threatened with contempt of Congress for not naming people he had attended political meetings with.
But first, let's look at the Puritan hysteria that caused the stonings, hangings and drownings of accused witches in Salem. People could be accused of any small indiscretion and labeled a witch. 19 out of 150 people arrested were put to death. Here's what Wikipedia says about evidence produced in the trials of 1692-93:

"Other evidence included the confessions of the accused, the testimony of a person who confessed to being a witch identifying others as witches, the discovery of poppits, books of palmistry and horoscopes, or pots of ointments in the possession or home of the accused, and the existence of so-called witch's teats on the body of the accused. A witch's teat was said to be a mole or blemish somewhere on the body that was insensitive to touch; discovery of such insensitive areas was considered de facto evidence of witchcraft, though in practice, the witch's teat was usually insensitive by design, with examiners using secretly dulled needles to claim that the accused could not feel the prick of a pin."

Now, put in that context, I would be accused of being a Witch. My spirituality lies somewhere between Daoist and Druid. I have successfully "Witched" three producing water wells with dowsing rods. The Chi Gong and Nei Gong methods I practice resemble ritual magick. If I was spotted one morning in the deep woods practicing slow, meditative martial arts it would be reported in such a way:

Goody Two-Shoes: "I saw him with my own eyes; there he was in the glen - he was fighting with demons that I could not see. He would move and strike, it went on for many minutes, and then he fell silent.
I say it is the work of the Devil!"

And then the town leaders would attempt to capture me, force me to confess under the weight of a plank stacked with stones to crush the life out of me.

Sound far-fetched?
Look at the new "McCarthyism" that has arisen. Tea-baggers march with posters of President Obama as a "witch doctor", "Birthers" deny the fact that Obama was actually born in the United States. They call him, and by association anyone who supports his policies a "Communist".
There is a religious test to hold high office; one must profess to be Christian.

About the time I started high school, Nixon had just been forced out of office. I had believed that the old, restrictive thought would disappear the way of the dinosaurs. It was the age of Aquarius, and Jesus Christ was a superstar in a rock opera. It was to be the age of progress and free-thinking.

But the more things change, the more they stay the same.