EXPERIENCE 1970’S CULTURE!
THE ORIGINAL PONG!
1975 / 1976
Back in 1975 the Counter-Culture was dissipating, but 00individual and a few holdouts of the Tribe were still enjoying the Trip. They had experienced the last decade, 1965 – 1975, with outrageous fun and adventures, the best ever in history, really, 00individual speaks Tribal Truth. These adventures were the kind that were only available/tolerable once in a lifetime; more likely once in History.
00individual’s life became a strangely magickal string of what became common everyday experiences – all fueled by the wonderful drugs of the day, the Vibe, and by the music and concerts that were beyond belief.
The REAL SOCIAL NETWORK
The times were simple compared to today’s blessed insanity. For those unfamiliar with the Real Social Network; it consisted of real people spending quality time with their real friends, not with isolating electronic devices. And what made it more real was that they created their own forms of entertainment; just a call, or cruise by of noted friend’s pads would inevitably begin a day’s worth of high smiles and a night’s worth of high adventure.
As the only forms of electronic home entertainment were through the radio, record player/sound system, or TV; 00individual and friends would get creative. Watching Olympic skiing on TV with the volume off and listening to a Tangerine Dream synth-run created stimulating viewing while getting high and enjoying each others’ company. Sometimes, the synchronicity of the two mediums of random TV shows and albums would go beyond entertaining and enter the very strange; here’s an example:
One afternoon 00individual and a couple friends were on acid and casually watching some kind of country and western outdoor concert on TV with the volume turned off, smoking a joint while listening to records. Then this large, what looked like a woman in jean overalls and tight curly hair, came on stage and started playing a guitar, which looked like a ukulele compared to her very large size, and just as she started to sing, a track off of Captain Beefheart’s Spotlight Kid album; “I’m Gonna Booglarize You, Baby”, synched with what this “woman” was singing and playing!
But it gets better, at first they knew what had happened, they were stoned, not stupid, and it was highly entertaining, but as the song and her performance began to synch-up to perfection it took on one of the “strange attracts strange’ elements that LSD is famous for – where reality is questioned, even if for a moment, because right then they were witnessing the anti-Bowie, the next Superstar, and with one of those rare shared LSD moments when what is seen and heard is as real as, well, what was on TV in front of them, it becomes a true mind-blower!
The track was four minutes and thirty-three seconds; a good long song and even longer on acid, unfortunately, or fortunately, depending where your head is at, things turned ugly as the Captain’s Mack Truck-grinding-gears voice coming out of this “woman” was becoming more than fairly demonic; it was a very creepy and unsettling precursor to next year’s debut of the scariest movie ever, “The Exorcist” which had one of the film’s most twisted scares with Mercedes McCambridge’s demonic voice coming out of sweet little innocent Linda Blair.
This experience achieved the type of psychedelic cheap thrills Psychonauts love; in this case, a few moments in an alternate universe – and this time through a cool LSD TV Trip that “just happened”.
Another TV Trip was when 00individual and friends would watch late night ’40s and ’50s black and white movies on TV, turn down the volume and each person would take a character and improvise their dialogue. With a group who were pretty high on Marijuana or whatever, this could be hilarious and actually would improve the original movie. This was doubly fun when people’s inhibitions are loosened and they got into it and even used strange character accented voices – trippy fun that can be done today with witty fun people.
Fun human interaction like this took place at 00individual’s pad-hosted communal gatherings for the Tribe – four different pads back in the day from ’69 to ’75 in Playa Del Rey, Westchester, and Inglewood – people were welcome to stop by any time of day or night, and they did. This was highly representative of groups of friends in towns and cities across the U.S. and around the world.
The Social Network was true flesh and blood and bone and brain interaction with real people in real time with never a moment of boredom; “I’m bored” is probably the worst swear word one can use – it was never heard or spoken in a world where they had limitless discovery and fun at their fingertips. And speaking of fun at their fingertips, in 1975 00individual purchased the original electronic Home Video Game: PONG!
00individual was not a Pinball Wizard nor arcade game player, but an in-home video game was more his style and Pong immediately became a center of attraction for group fun.
It may be hard, maybe impossible for anyone with even the slightest bit of knowledge of the video game market today to imagine the thrill of PONG; but it was a thrill, and immensely fun.
Of course, 00individual and friends, with their everyday imaginative selves, took the game further than most – that’s right PONG on DRUGS!
PONG on DRUGS!
Under the influence of Marijuana and Hash, PONG created a trippy environment to test one’s hand/eye coordination, which was hilarious between certain Stoners. With psychedelics it was harder as the ball kept bouncing off the screen onto the floor.
Eventually everyone became adept at putting English on the ball and could play very well at the highest speed. So a new approach was taken; since Heroin was the drug of choice in ’75, – that’s when the real fun began. The speed was set at slowest which matched the slo-mo enveloped-ambiance of Heroin; this provided an opposite hand/eye coordination test of skill.
There were many a contested game that would be won when a slight Heroin nod would allow a fellow line-snorter the advantage to score a point, or the game. And because of the mellow Heroin state, all a defeated player could do was smile at his drug-induced error and demand a rematch.
Today the world experiences nearly full immersion/ virtual reality with games light years from PONG. But back then, although it was a technological miracle, it was just another fun accent to add to the fun days that were created with nothing more than existing at the Cultural Peak of World History.
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