Friday, September 27, 2013

Jay Lynch: "Hippies just didn't seem to grasp satire"

Jay Lynch, "Divorce Court," Midwest Magazine (~1970).
In '67, Skip Williamson and I started an underground humor mag called the Chicago Mirror. By the third issue of the Mirror, we were getting a little bit discouraged, though. It seemed that the hippies just didn't seem to grasp the concepts of satire. This was driven home to me one day when I was selling copies of the Mirror on the streets of Chicago's sixties hippie neighborhood known as Old Town. 
At this time, the press had been reporting that some hippies had been drying and curing banana skins to smoke for a legal high. In the Mirror we ran a piece satirically stating that smoking dog poop would provide an excellent psychedelic experience. We went on to say that the best variety of dog poop was something called "Lincoln Park Brown," and we gave tongue-in-cheek instructions for preparing the poop for smoking. We said that the new breed of dog-poop smokers were known as "shit heads." Get it? "Pot heads"? "Shit heads"? It's satire, right? But then when I was selling the mag on the street, this hippie came up to me and said, "Hey, man! Thanks for the tip on how to cure dog poop! We've been smoking it all week, and it's groovy!" I tried to explain to the kid that it was satire and that he shouldn't really be smoking dog poop, but he wouldn't listen. Apparently he was too blissed out of his mind on the nitrogen content of dog feces to grasp my explanation.
- Jay Lynch, "Introduction," eds. James Danky and Denis Kitchen, Underground Classics: The Transformation of Comics into Comix (New York: Abrams ComicArts, 2009).


  1. But wait ... What if the boy was satirizing the satire, and YOU didn't get it? Anything's possible, right?

    1. Then he was very ahead of his time, indeed!