The Grateful Paradox

  1. US blues is a big part why they are the most American band. The Grateful Dead are Americana personified between 1965-1995

  2. my mother bought me a punisher keychain recently thinking it was stealie. i had to let her down easy when i realized the mistake

  3. This is so funny if that’s the case. People can be so dumb, I’m pretty sure if you just googled “Lighting bolt skull logo” you’d see what it actually is.

  4. Honestly, with red white and blue, a skull, and a lightning bolt it seems not far off from a nationalist white supremacy symbol. I love my gd merch, but I've wondered what people may be assuming about me in recent years.

  5. My wife is fairly into the dead but I wouldn’t say she’s “on the bus” and the other day We Bid You Goodnight came on Sirius and she was like WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS?!

  6. This reminds me of the truck I saw with both a Trump bumper sticker and that popular blue “coexist” sticker and my mind exploded.

  7. There are a few of those coexist stickers where the letters are actually made up of firearms- any chance it was actually one of those?

  8. Yep. Its become much more big gov authoritarian, with massive cost of living increase pushing out the bohemian types who created the scene the dead came up in. That and a good portion of deadheads are center or right leaning, and a ton of them believe very strongly in personal freedom. If the whole band reincarnated today in SF and tried the same path, they'd be cited for code violations, illegal non permitted street performances, and evicted for non payment of rent when the landlord bumped up rent by 30%, and there non contracted roomates were kicked out. Then ticketmaster would take all there venues, bring them up to code, increasing the cost to operate, driving up ticket sales, and then theyed get replaced with corporate established music groups.

  9. Oh god. These conservative pundits trying to get people to hate certain states is so stupid and maddening. I remember back in the mid 00’s working at a pizza place that was mostly conservatives. I was shocked they were since we were all low wage workers. But management were Italians and some workers. A branch of my family is Italian. All conservatives.

  10. I too hate this. I grew up in SC and moved to California a while back then back to SC. I'd love to be back in CA. It has so much more to offer. The Southeast is cheap and there are nice beaches. NC has some okay mountains (but nothing compared to the West). But there is so little opportunity here and there is this overwhelming sense of despair and negativity in the air. Also, literally everything is about church and God. And the people are fine with keeping weed illegal. It's also hot and humid and swampy and smells bad. We also have more poverty here than anywhere in the US except NM.

  11. I really don’t comprehend the disbelief that conservatives can also like the dead. They are the greatest band of all time, which transcends any faux divisions us humans have placed between ourselves.

  12. The sticker reads "Don't California My America". Even if you strip all political context out, haven't the Grateful Dead been Californiaing the Country for 60 years?

  13. Yeah but the sheer level of cognitive dissonance to stick a “don’t California my America” sticker on your window directly across from a sticker of the most iconic band to come out of california is a bit ridiculous.

  14. I parked next to some old fellas at Dead & Co and their truck was slammed with Trump stickers. They were really cool, gave us beer, I gave them gummies, and we all had a high time. We did not discuss politics.

  15. I can believe without a doubt that Conservatives like the Grateful Dead. The more important fact for me is that the members of the Grateful Dead do not like Conservative politics and have demonstrated that fact in an outspoken way on many occasions.

  16. It’s also because for many many years conservatives and most republicans hated the Grateful Dead, their fans, and everything their liberal freedom stood for.

  17. It's just strange that a party that, in almost all levels of government, that is stripping away rights from black and POC people, immigrants, queer people and women, while doing their best to bolster higher numbers of prisoners via more prisons and more draconian laws for even minor pot offenses, while attempting to take away school lunches and roll back environmental protections would be associated with a band who's lyrics espouse "peace, love and understanding" is all. Just my observation.

  18. Agreed. It's odd to think that a community such as this has such a hard time accepting that a person can be multi faceted or possess any nuance. In a lot of ways, it betrays the same prejudice they claim to be against: get them out of here because they're not like us.

  19. There's no faux-division. Republicans want to dismantle democracy, murder their opponents, and rule through tyranny. The Grateful Dead were not about that life.

  20. How else are retired Multimillionaire athletes supposed to pay for their daughter's Volleyball gym, if it's not California picking up the tab?

  21. There have always been, and I mean probably back to the Acid Test days, converative minded people within the Grateful Dead's movement. It was on tour when I first encountered the whole "sovcit" thing. The only real "anti-vaxers" I ever encountered before covid were rainbow family / deadhead folks who were in every other sense aligned with right wing conservative christians. And I mean that was in the 70s and 80s.

  22. A different California than what exist now... Imagine them living in San Fran today? I don't think so.. they would have moved to Austin or Montana.

  23. A buddy, who started drifting to the dark side a decade or so ago, told me with no irony that he thought I would like Tucker Carlson, because Tucker is a “deadhead”.

  24. Can someone create a Dead Politics Reddit so we don’t have to deal with these posts? The only decisive posts we should be discussing in this Reddit are the best versions of Althea.

  25. That would actually be interesting, because the default tendency is to associate the GD with liberalism, but to many the GD is a ideological refuge from politics altogether, almost like a safe place to present ideas within the world of rock n roll/psychedelia. If the Hells Angels has a place in GD history, I would argue so do conservatives and libertarians. Hunter Thompson represents the IDGAF attitude left by when psychedelics and irreverence cross, and I don’t think he’d be accepted by the woke mob of today.

  26. I think you’re missing the main point that the dead are from California, yet the truck drive doesn’t want California in his America, whatever that means.

  27. I always thought of him as more 'live and let live'. Not gonna tell people what to do and how to think, but will also show you a great path if you want to follow.

  28. Jerry saying he didn’t believe there were any Democrats worth voting for and then saying it’s possible that people who vote Republican also listen to their band doesn’t explicitly mean that he’s a Republican. That’s a huge logic leap you made there with no reasoning behind it. David Gans has excoriated people on his radio show for calling in and making the same assumptions about Jerry’s political leanings like you have.

  29. I think many people look at it from the standpoint of what political parties have turned into nowadays. In many ways, the old republican party embodied much of what the grateful dead represented in less government control, while liberals believe there should be more government control.

  30. We’ll I’m born & raised California myself and this place is a shit hole. I’ve been here my whole life. It’s not how it used to be back in the day folks.

  31. Everywhere sucks; it's not just California. Each place sucks in a slightly different way but it is all down hill from here.

  32. I know theyre not necessarily conflicting, but i never understood the “conservative greatful dead fan”. Like in my eyes, dead head culture and conservatism don’t really mix

  33. The Dead were actually trying to legit spread California summer of love vibes to the whole world. Whatadouche.

  34. Dead lyrics can sound pretty libertarian too. Lyrics drawing a picture of a life free from governance. I think this is the conservative cross-over.

  35. I always thought this seemed obvious, but I guess not. People should read Billy’s stories about living on a ranch shooting guns and blowing stuff up.

  36. My new favorite approach with the blue lives matters types is just to mention how they dishonor the national flag code....beat them at their own perception of patriotism.

  37. You guys do know what world Melvin comes from right? In sure there were very deep conversations about religion with nothing but love and understanding

  38. I went to bonnaroo 3 as part of a group that got to partake in a popup camper. No one was turning that down but he had a bush sticker on the back. We were riding just sitting on the camper into the grounds drinking a beer and bsing while the bush fan is driving.

  39. Deadheads are literally every kind of person. You’ll find tons of confederate heads down south. We’re all just grooving with the eternal now.

  40. The Dead were very much into Transcendentalism, which, imo, aligns most with Libertarianism in today’s modern political landscape. It’s also, imo, one of the reasons why The Dead’s audience skews towards white, educated, affluent and male. That’s not to say that those are the ONLY types of fans the band has.

  41. This continues to bend my mind. I had a buddy I did tour with for years. Lovely fellow. and he has gone FULL conservative right wing T***p Train MAGA guy. I cannot wrap my head around it. How can you want to do right for others and the planet and embrace those far right ideologies? I can’t sort it out.

  42. MAGA is basically a cult. Why people join cults isn’t always obvious. Many cult members are educated and productive people. Why would Dead fans be immune to the lure of cult membership?

  43. Your all a little bit crazy. I can jam to the Dead and not agree w/ the fascist left political scene in this country. We can still be friends guys.

  44. My favorite part of the Dead is that it is a very big tent and attracts people who ordinarily would never be in the same room together. People like this are not enemies, but opportunities.

  45. Why. The dead were about individualistic freedom were they not. Casting aside contemporary ideals that the masses believed in the mid to late 60s. Not having an authoritarian gov't (the man) telling you what to do, what to drive, what to eat, while taxing you into any leftist who can't see that the dead were master capitalist is beyond me! Sure they were about thier local communal 'family' but that only went so far and for a generally short period of time. They certainly liked profit when it started rolling in. Most right wing people I know don't want anyone telling them what to do and don't want to tell others what to do, other than follow the laws set forth by the people in their state.

  46. There was an interview with Jerry years ago and he explained that Dead Heads are from all walks of life and all socioeconomic and political backgrounds.. There were even Hells Angels and NYPD in the same crowd at the early MSG shows and for the most part everyone got along. The Dead were liberal but alot of the beliefs of the 70s are now considered conservative. There has been a polar shift in the political atmosphere since the inception of the band and what I find as I get older is BOTH sides are skewed.. the TRUTH lies somewhere in the middle. Yes we all need to respect each other but you can not force beliefs onto others.

  47. What regulation is it that bothers you so much. Last time I checked, it was Liberals that got you the 40 hour work week, cleaned up America's rivers and lakes, and fought to protect your actual freedoms and liberties. The GOP is a farce.

  48. Yeah but these days you can’t just claim “I’m a Republican because of taxes“ and then purport to immunize or distance from The disgraceful positions of modern Trumplicans.

  49. It’s always “conservatives” with these negative attack stickers. No liberal is putting a sticker on their car that says don’t Alabama my California.

  50. I always find it interesting that redneck, conservatives “can’t like the Dead”. Bobby is literally the rich man in his summer home these days. Lots of heads are rednecks, and not far left. This music is bigger than being a democrat or a liberal. If that’s what it is for you, I feel bad.

  51. The war on drugs was waged almost entirely by the GOP. Millions of really good people had their lives ruined because conservative fucks can’t let people have bodily autonomy, especially if they think it offends their invisible father in the sky. Their whole ideology is an antithesis to the culture, lyrics, and way of life that the vast majority of heads embrace. If it wasn’t for over reaching and oppressive laws/policies, then yeah each to their own, but Nixon, Reagan and Bush are on the very wrong side of conservative history when it comes to the war against counter culture.

  52. San Francisco is now littered with trash and human feces. It has a severe homeless crisis caused by years of progressive policy and it’s not the place it once was. I love the dead and it’s a shame to admit but you’d have to be blind or ignorant not to see it. I’m not a conservative for the record

  53. I was in San Francisco in June and saw no human feces despite the propaganda warning me to watch my step. Not saying it wasn’t there, but I walked all over the city, Chinatown, Lombard, Golden Gate Park, the Haight.

  54. You hit the nail on the head and they can’t help but join in on the tribalism, it’s sad how people can’t even speak their minds without being called into identity politics categories. I’m not conservative either, but guaranteed to be called one here.

  55. So crazy to think they’re aren’t just two personalities in America. That a persons likes and values can be unique and not wholly aligned to one singularly defined ideology

  56. Back when I was still on facebook there were a TON of conservative/right-wing people on the GD official page; I always thought it was very strange.

  57. So disappointing to see all the judgey bullshit on here sometimes. Anyone who went to shows back in the day know that the crowd was made up of all different kinds of people, and ALL WERE WELCOME. It’s still the same way—quit gatekeeping and judging people based on a goddamn bumper sticker. The only thing it does is identify you as a smug, judgey, stereotype enforcing idiot. We’re better than this. this music is medicine, let all partake.

  58. seems though that the people that support the gop, maga, alt-right are unwelcoming at large. if the dead community is all-welcoming, thats great but how exactly would people who pride themselves in exclusion and scapegoating and bigotry fit in?

  59. The same California that’s the cradle of free speech, that doesn’t regulate women’s bodies, that is home to the world’s 6th largest economy. That California?

  60. Interesting read through all the comments. The problem is that the extreme views on either side get the most attention and these are amplified by social and traditional media. These companies thrive on division cause crazy drives clicks, views or whatever metric they use. The middle of the road sorts, which is probably most people, end up labeled according to those extremes. Most people I know are just trying to do the best they can to make ends meet. Its a sorry state of affairs when we summarily judge people without knowing anything about them and its getting worse.

  61. Don’t y’all think the scene can radicalize folks? I have many a tour “friend” who joined the conspiracy train of the last 6-7 years.

  62. There is an alarming friendship between the new age/deadhead crowd and modern republicans which is wild. I think it mainly started with the antivax movement, which is objectively nonsense, since many crystal-hippies who are anti modern-medicine were able to bond with a lot of MAGA-brain rot people who were anti-vax.

  63. Good points; a lot of it seems to boil down to disinformation and modern battlefield(s) existing in the spaces between our synapses. Dave Troy outlines the overlapping crackpottery of the fascist far right and the new age crowd in this thread, well worth a read for the historical context to our current political hellscape:

  64. Not my truck. Yes I shoot guns. I hunt and fish. I took this photo to send to my duck hunting/deadhead friends (that’s a ducks unlimited sticker on the top right). I didn’t even see the Cali sticker till my buddy pointed out the irony. My eyes were too bad to read it on the road.

  65. The dead didn’t like the government. California loves the government. I don’t think this is a huge stretch here.

  66. 100% valid statement here. Nobody wants to live in California and the rest of the country DEFINITELY doesn't want the shit show problems of California. And why the hell is this community being so judgemental?

  67. Just a deadhead with different political thought than Reddit usual politics. But the dead brings us together. So sad how divided we are even window stickers create issues

  68. All beliefs are welcome, but I think one has to acknowledge that what the dead sing about and represent tends to be antithetical to typical conservative thought

  69. You can like whatever you want and still support the selling of this country to the highest bidder, yes. Tucker Carlson and Anne Coulter love the Dead but they're both vile sacks of shit with 2 legs.

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