This is coolbert:"Lets have another cup of coffee!!" - - Lyrics from a 1950's song.
The Coffeehouse Movement
. A Vietnam era antiwar movement that merited a special mention in the book by Colonel Harry Summers. A book that critiqued the involvement of the U.S. military in Vietnam.
A movement that was NOT
held in esteem by the Colonel. A movement that the Colonel probably rightly believed contributed to a climate of insubordination and disrespect
for command authority that was prevalent among the enlisted ranks during that era [especially among those that had been drafted.]
In the minds of the anti-war "activists" of the time, the Coffeehouse Movement was a great success
. Markedly so!!
"One of the greatest achievements
of the Vietnam antiwar movement was its creation of a GI coffeehouse and counseling network."
"The first coffehouse was opened outside Ft. Jackson, S.C. in late 1967, two and a half years after America troops invaded Vietnam. Within weeks, hundreds of GIs had visited during their off duty hours. Over the next year, similar projects sprang up outside twenty other major U.S. bases."
"The GI antiwar movement became more organized. Near Fort Jackson, South Carolina, the first "GI coffeehouse" was set up, a place where soldiers could get coffee and doughnuts, find antiwar literature, and talk freely with others. It was called the UFO, and lasted for several years before it was declared a "public nuisance" and closed by court action."
The purported intention
of these coffeehouses was:
"setting political goals, providing counseling and putting out the anti war newspaper that was a staple of every coffeehouse project."NOW
, let us clarify. What is meant here?
"setting political goals" - - GET U.S. TROOPS OUT OF VIETNAM NOW!!
"providing counseling" - - ENCOURAGE GI'S TO DESERT, APPLY FOR DISCHARGES, BE INSUBORDINATE TO MILITARY AUTHORITY, ETC.
[indeed, a coffeehouse as a phenomenon AT THE TIME
associated with say the New York Greenwich Village or San Francisco North Beach scene. Bohemians wearing berets [called beatniks during that era], listening to jazz or poetry readings. A milieu
normally also associated with HOMOSEXUALS!!].
It is true that a number of soldiers, rather significant, seem to have been attracted to the coffeehouses and frequented these establishments on a regular basis. The message they did receive must have had gotten through to some degree. Colonel Summers would not
have mentioned this "movement" if it did not.
The one-time proprietors and activists of the coffeehouse movement toot their own horn
and attribute this success to a variety of factors
Factors to include:
"coffee and doughnuts, find antiwar literature, and talk freely with others"
* coffee and doughnuts
* antiwar literature
* talk freely with others
.This must have been why the coffeehouses were a success??
"The 'counter cultural' spirit of the times. Sex, psychedelic drugs and rock and roll coexisted with a strong anti-war message."
* Strong anti-war message.
* Psychedelic drugs and rock and roll.This must have been why the coffeehouses were a success??
"setting political goals, providing counseling and putting out the anti war newspaper"
* Setting political goals.
* Anti war newspaper.This must have been why the coffeehouses were a success??
"an off duty refuge from the tedium of the 'green machine' and its grinding routines."
* Off duty refuge from . . . grinding routines.This must have been why the coffeehouses were a success??
"One of the main attractions of the Vietnam era coffeehouse was that GIs identified them with the "counter cultural" changes that were sweeping America at the time."
* Counter cultural changes.This must have been why the coffeehouses were a success??
"Psychedelic paraphenalia and drugs fanned the latent anti authoritarianism of soldiers."
* Psychedelic paraphenalia and drugs.This must have been why the coffeehouses were a success??
"Explicit anti war organizing, while important, was only one item on the projects' agendas."
* Anti war organizing.This must have been why the coffeehouses were a success??
NOT ANY OF THOSE REASONS ARE THE REAL REASON WHY THE COFFEEHOUSES WERE PATRONIZED BY NUMBERS OF GI'S!!
What then is the REAL REASON WHY
the GI visited the coffeehouses as they did??THESE COFFEEHOUSES HAD A CLIENTELE AND STAFF THAT PRIMARILY CONSISTED OF YOUNG, SINGLE, ATTRACTIVE, COLLEGE-EDUCATED WOMEN!!
Young, single, attractive, college-educated women of approximately the same age as your average GI. Young, single, attractive, college-educated women who were more than happy to sit at the same table as the GI, engage in small talk with the GI, and again, happy and more than willing to express an interest in the GI and his predicament. Sympathetic to the GI in a manner that was unexpected
.YOUNG, SINGLE, ATTRACTIVE, COLLEGE-EDUCATED WOMEN WHO BEGAN TO TREAT THAT GI AS IF HE WAS THE LAST MAN ON EARTH!!THIS IS THE REAL REASON WHY SO MANY GI'S OF THE ERA FELT DRAWN TO THE COFFEEHOUSES!!
Young, single, attractive, college-educated women who slowly and steadily developed a rapport
with the GI. With the intention, often quite successfully so, of influencing the GI in a manner that the anti-war activists approved of.
An influence that would hopefully lead [in the mind of the anti-war activist] to that GI becoming insubordinate and undisciplined. A GI that would apply for discharge, or even desert and flee to Canada.
With regard to a MODERN
[anti-Iraq War] coffeehouse anti-war movement, "activists" have speculated that the coffeehouse movement can be revived and with a little tweaking, again can subvert the U.S. military as it did during the Vietnam era.
"Organizers concluded that a coffeehouse/counseling project could succeed in attracting significant numbers of soldiers assuming that it provided internet access, good latte, and plenty of free parking."
"A coffehouse which combines an alternative bookstore with a lively mix of free musical performances, stand up comedy and poetry (with some political speechifying thrown in) could become highly popular with a significant minority of GIs."
"Many young soldiers today quest for intellectual, cultural and political fulfillment today, as they always have."
What reasons are again suggested
as being necessary for a successful return of the coffeehouse movement?
* Internet access.
* Good latte.
* Plenty of free parking.
* Intellectual, cultural and political fulfillment.
* An alternative bookstore.
* Free musical performances.
* Stand up comedy and poetry.NO!!
These anti-war activists need to learn the lessons of the past. Staff the coffeehouse with young, single, attractive, college-educated women. There is the key to your success!
Need I say more??!!