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The world turned upside down...

The world turned upside down;
A strong wind's blowin through, and
Sometimes we just got to follow it.

"The world turned upside down." -- The phrase came up regularly in early modern Europe and in the American colonies, especially up into the American and the French revolutions at the end of the 1700s.

The phrase itself is found in the Bible, Acts 17:6.

But [those] who were not persuaded, becoming envious, took some of the evil men from the marketplace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason, and sought to bring [Paul and Silas] out to the people. But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, "These who have turned the world upside down have come here too. Jason has harbored them, and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king––Jesus." And they troubled the crowd and the rulers of the city when they heard these things. [New King James Version, emphasis added.]

As for "A strong wind's blowing through, and sometimes we just got to follow it," it's something that Shipwrecked, a poet and friend of mine, said. If you think about it, it's a pretty powerful idea, isn't it?

"Follow the wind..."

Three main pages in this site, Upside Down, A Strong Wind, and Follow It, match the lines in the triplet above -- roughly past, present, and future, or 'where we've been,' 'who we be,' and 'what we're up to.' There are two pages of links, World Links and Wind Links, in addition to the links included on the FOLLOW IT page. Also, from the WORLD UPSIDE DOWN page, there are links to original documents at this site.

History is a main interest here. The 20th century has been exciting, but nothing seems to make sense until we take the time to look back a little further, and a little more carefully.

"History is bunk!" as Henry Ford said. So, if something's more than fifty years old, not caught on celluloid or video tape, and not recycled ad nauseum on television or the big screen, is it "meaningless"? (See note below.) Well, maybe we can still find the time to share what we know... On the net, at least, text has the upper hand, as long as pictures still move slowly through the bottleneck of copper wiring.*

[* - I know the above paragraph dates this page (and the entire site?). It was written about ten years ago, when most people were using 28.8 and 33.6 kbit/sec telephone modems, which at this time have been pretty well superceded.]

The "T" of HTML stands for Hyper-Text, and you'll find lots of text in these pages. And there's plenty more where that came from. Just for starters, you can check out Ockerbloom's On-Line Books page, U.C. Santa Barbara's Voice of the Shuttle, the Recollection Used Books site, McCoy's Index of Freedom of the Press, etc., and the Library of Congress. But hey, before you go, check out this site. Bookmark it, maybe, and come back again.

If you know of web pages that might fit with the themes of these pages, let us know and we'll link them in. You can also use the guestbook to leave the URL addresses of interesting sites, including your own.

This is the Vestibule for this "Street Corner Society" site.  So...  take off your coat and stay awhile!

[ ==> World Turned Upside Down ]


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Bill McKibben has written a book, The Age of Missing Information (NY: Random, 1992) which has many implications in the subject of history, consciousness, and media. His idea is that we live in an world flooded with "information" of dubious value. Our sense of reality is rooted shallowly in moving pictures taken over the last 40-50 years, and as a result, our "present" moment is caught in a superficial spin of the recent "past." Many of the assumptions are hard to challenge because the medium itself doesn't let us "in," especially when compared with real-life experience. (Back)

In such a world, many people choose to "go with the flow." The alternative is harder - to develop critical consciousness and to take these things seriously. It means picking and choosing, focussing and following through. It also means finding ways to anchor our thoughts and feelings in everyday life, with our own friends and relations. Recognizing this, some in the Rainbow Family use a Lakota Sioux phrase, "mitakuye oyasin," acknowledging "all my relations."

So, to all our relations, animal mineral and vegetable, past present and future...

"this Bud's for you!"   :)