hippy culture

To date references see VOLUMES.


244 Where is a Dickens who could paint a really accurate portrait of life in London today? Few people have been able to portray the hippies. This is largely because hippyism is so antipathetic to orthodox ambition. Obviously there is a lot of American writing on the subject, but I do not really like it, there is not enough tension in it.


156 Hippyism is bourgeois indulgence aspiring to aristocratic enjoyment. It could be redeemed, not by politics but by art.


18 Idea that the hippies were in the tradition of people like the Ranters, rather than any higher or worthier tradition.

20& Cohn- The Pursuit of the Millennium-. Take those that are most sympathetic, the Brethren of the Free Spirit and the Ranters. What is not sympathetic in them is their communism. This is like a bid for a new economic order by those excluded. They are poor, they are frustrated, they want to enjoy themselves and live as free spirits. So the community must try to overthrow, or circumvent, the economic order. Communism as one hope of perpetuating an antinomian triumph. Destroy the existing economic order. But it is a forlorn hope, because it rests on magical economics…. People like the Brethren of the Free Spirit preach a universal antinomianism. In a sense that is absurd, Self deification is fine but too cruelly universalised as and there is not enough room for everybody, Work stops and you take refuge in political and economic fantasy.

All this is the underside of history. Mostly it appears as the expression of power frustrated rather than power achieved, which is why it is unpleasant to read about it, unlike for example Jacob Frank or even Sabbatai Zevi, certainly the Hell Fire Club or the Assassins.

There was that in hippyism which was genuine triumph. Short lived, I would say much of it was. ‘The revolution has taken place in the minds of the young.’ How wrong that was. People turned from antinomian fantasies to political fantasises, '67 to '68. '68 brought into being a new generation of revolutionary scum


35 The hippy movement as I experienced it was almost brahminical in its rejection of certain people. In that sense it was an aristocratic movement.

52 Went to see the film Pink Floyd The Wall. The film has been called meretricious. I would say that its meretriciousness is what redeems it, what puts it in the company of surrealism rather than Christianity, Remember how in those days in 1967 when I first heard their music, the Pink Floyd seemed so cool, so illuminated. The suggestion that in those days they were in fact naïve or I inexperienced belies that image. But that is to confuse personality with something that transcends personality.
Some people resent the self indulgence of rock stars who have had so much wealth and power and satisfaction behaving as if it has all been an agony and a torment. The surrealism must remain.


3 A concept of enlightenment that is related to the neoplatonic conception, with its emphasis on the magical power of ideas and the desire to include as many different traditions so wisdom as possible.

That tradition has a present existence but it is sadly lacking in intellectual rigour. Wet and woolly Californian hippy mysticism. Such stuff is mostly for simpletons. It manages to be narrow because it despises the intellect and promotes the self-belief of none too bright people.


347 I saw the hippy movement as essentially about freedom, the provision of inner space, not about conformity to some hedonistic ideology.

360 What became of the hippy philosophy? That is something best not repeated. What was the philosophy? Was there in it a kind of Christ like simplicity and naiveté about the world? A kind of excessive tolerance? What would a full blown hippy actually believe? In music, togetherness through pop music? In do your own thing. Many were intelligent and intellectual but the mass base was anti-intellectual surely? A kind of simple hedonism, very gospel. a return to innocence, to the Garden of Eden. If such a movement had better philosophy, had more respect for the intellect…

122 People write very falsely of the shallowness of ‘sixties’ culture.

‘Now that the 1960s have become the setting for period novels it is interesting to see how that vacuous decade is handled by those to young to have been involved ‘ On Robert Mcrum’s third novel) “When researching for the novel … he found the colour supplements the ‘truest mirror of the specious aren’t-we-all-having-fun decade’- Valerie Grove //Evening Standard.

I was neither vacuous not specious. As a Nietzschean elitist I had no revolutionary millenarian enthusiasm.

226 But it was a time of experiment. Overthrowing restrictive and irrelevant taboos. This was the negative and best side, the positive was the Eden ideal and the attempt to live up to it. Hair. But how could I be anti-hippy? I find that the liberation felt by my generation round about 1967 took a shallow turn. People became hardened in their egotism. Instead of the renaissance aspiration one might have hoped for, the opening of vast new worlds of experience, we have the conceit of the second rate. A whole ideology of secondrateness.

327 Hippy mysticism of my youth. Intensity of this hard to communicate. We felt we had penetrated the ultimate mysteries.. Many did not see it like that. Many we despised. No God, no old man in the sky to tell you whether you were right or wrong.. So then what is reality beyond persuasion and desire? But then we are not depending on such an assumption.


109 problem in aesthetics. What value to put on late sixties pop culture, the Beatles, the Pink Floyd etc?

243& The mystics, PB. The claim to spiritual and moral superiority on the basis of a new experience.. But a beast might do as well. Is that the best life has to offer? And if we admire an illuminatus, is that what we admire him for? That he is in heaven and can pull us there with him, with perhaps a few wrenches on the way? Emphatically no. We admire the one who engages our will, who can set us in motion. The appeal of a master is on an ordinary intellectual plane, it is not a hope, a blind faith, of heaven.


189 Hippyism in its way was perfectly loyal to American democracy. Its individualism.
A tradition of liberty, a form of anarchism, is a good philosophy to carry around, that transcends national boundaries.
See how strong it needs to be made.
Points of interest to try and clarify. The libertarian personal philosophy, that transcends any concept of nation.
But something far less acceptable. A surrender to the ethos of the nation, yea saying, Walt Whitman, Carlos-Williams, jazz, that national mood. Peculiar slave outlook, the negation of the intellect, surrender of desire.

198 Habgard, Celine and Mavis in Illuminatus, calling themselves anarchists, described as right wing republicans.
The philosophy behind Illuminatus, the self indulgent hippyism or hedonism. Easily interpreted as a bourgeois capitalist philosophy. The individualism of the rich and powerful, those with the backing of hugely powerful state with a powerful capitalist economy.


7 Trendy lefties versus ex hippies. Hippies as ‘joss stick dreamers’. Trellies go out and do something.
Hippies are more open to imaginative possibilities.
Trellie culture is restricted and narrow. They manage to do things, achieve something, because they manage to secure a measure of power for themselves within the system.
They see socialism as a creative force, unaware that Spengler ever wrote.
Hippy culture was dreamy and speculative, looking back to the 1890s. Trellie culture is dynamic, but unacceptably narrow, intolerant and ignorant.
Achieving action at the expense of imaginative scope.

327 Israel Regardie speaks with some enthusiasm of the hippy revolution as realisation of Crowley’s ideas. But that was riddled with democracy, and possessed little status as an intellectual movement.


251 Freak Brothers, comic portrayal of hippy ideal. Then we see that such pleasure arouses the hostility of the society outside.
The move to the yuppy, to an elitist ideal based on the possession of wealth.
As hippy, would one want to think of oneself as criminal or parasite? Definitely not, one wants to feel morally secure, as possessing certain definite rights

306 Old hippy philosophy in its pristine purity. A simplicity rather like some forms of Protestantism. Thelemitic free love. That there should be no jealousy.

311 So called hippy philosophy. The rubbish expressed in the musical Hair. The foolish idea that what is currently forbidden is the key to lasting liberation. As with food, as with sex, impulse satisfaction is not the final objective.


11 The Somme. Young men sent to die in the trenches. No freedom. Youth absolutely under the power of the old. Youth in all its waywardness. Could we say the Beatles were the revenge for the Somme?
There is a particular form of emotional satisfaction at the overthrow of a felt oppression. The emotional pleasure at overthrowing this felt oppression that has become so heavy is preserved in music and song.. A revolution of the mind. Also rubbing the faces of the oppressors in the dirt.
The wildness and folly of youth, proud and free as never before. But this was not all. Revolution. Inevitable logic of. French, Russian, Iranian.
And given the hippy revolution everything that has been written about it is bad because it is not true. The sense of brotherhood is a natural feeling to arise, but it but it is only a mood and could not be expected to last for long. It is great so long as it is understood for what it is.
A mood may be shared with the whole people, without becoming thereby low. Joy and gratitude at liberation is not low because it is felt by a low person. The objection to sharing with the people is when you are pressured in such a way as to frustrate your desires.


73 Smugness and complacency of Britain in the 1950s. Acceptance of decline and a willingness to hand over world leadership to the USA. Our American cousins.
England in the fifties and sixties. Its complacency,
Death of liberal England, War exhaustion, and the extinction of leisure.
Anarchist and hippy protest about the extinction of leisure. Possibility of looking at this in a fresh way. The protest against loss of leisure does not have to be seen as the anarchistic demands of the spoiled products of the welfare state…with ideological oppression goes economic oppression.

224 Significance of Leary. He said in the interview that Mcluhan is the most important philosopher of the twentieth century. Creation of mass movements. Identification with enlightenment. His psychedelic manuals said to look ‘more than a little silly now’, But they did not seem silly to me Form of theosophy. Variations on enlightenment. Shaman, Dharma Ginsberg.
Theme of twentieth century pundit. Kind of delightful anarchy. A form of affirmation if we can relate to it.
What seems bad about freak culture. Extent to which it expresses a democratic or mass spirit. The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers are good because they express the reality of the era, not its mass packaging. Mystery to be expressed here. There is intellectual thought and there is popular religion. Popular religion is always popular. The way of being of the gregarious mass. That religion might itself be better or worse.
Leary, Ginsberg, the nature of the USA. The actual end is achieved by working capitalism successfully. This is the real effect of Ginsberg’s advice. This is the affirmation promised. It is genuine happiness; it does succeed in escaping the demiurgic order. To the outside world these are crazy Americans. What is possible in America, not possible elsewhere.

311 On TV last night, Charles Manson and his times. Looking back on that era, what can I say? I don’t want to say I was duped. I deny that absolutely. The era was a time of opportunity. Those Manson girls, so attractive, that free love, so desirable.
The high hippy era like something mediaeval.
Control freaks. What I wanted from the era, yet my frustrated craving. Also my hatred of the US. The insane vortex. Lack of rational thought and its replacement by primitive thought. Yet some of the most wonderful opportunities. Experiments in living. Leaders and the led. Suppose I saw it in some ways as an opportunity for a Crowleyesque revolution I could have my space for a short period. I could be listened to, but that would not last and even the memory would be under assault.


155& I don’t like hippyism very much. It may be a very useful stage of a person’s development. It is an undemanding way of life geared to good acid trips.
At one time I think I lost the feeling of being an antisocial brat. The was probably connected with frequent trips abroad, sexual hope etc. my old character traits remain however. Even the old ideas connected with them may revive. There is a hippy subculture into which I could fit more easily than into orthodox society if I wanted to join it. But my antisociality goes deeper than my rejection of the main culture in favour of the sub-culture. I reject Donne’s ‘no man is an island’.


345 ?


80 Squalor associated these days with junkies is often little different from that once associated with merely dope smoking hippies.

248 More Sunday Times stuff on Ward and the Profumo affair. Ward’s variety of sexual freedom was something different from that motivated by the hippy era. Keeler and Davies were not exactly prostitutes. A no strings attached type of sexuality that could have a lot to recommend it. Compartments were clear enough, sex was a kind of commodity.
The hippy era brought a type of confusion. The irruption of ridiculously utopian ideals like free love, meant it became less easy to define clearly what you wanted.


253 Thoughts provoked by Leary. Wife swapping, suicide of first wife. Living like a rock star. Groupies. Male desire and female promiscuity. Deference. From the hippie chick to the feminist harpy. No break, but a direct connection. Women asserting their power against men.
Male desire, the satisfaction someone like Leary takes in women throwing themselves at him. He as guru, man with a message. We are asked to approve this. Women requiring us to give them our respect.
See what is misleading in all this. Offered a form of liberation which on one level this is, on anther level we are offered to defer to some kind of hierarchy.
The groupie girl.
See where an initial error lay that resulted in giving too much respect to women. Liberation has to be individual. Leary’s liberation is not my liberation.
Revolution. The immense importance of precisely what stage to enter the revolution, ie your exact age.

Revolution is a time of hysterical change. New hierarchies are formed to which people latch on. The very excitement sets up new power based hierarchies which people join, however primitive they may be. The urge to freedom which is a genuine considered well thought urge collapses into acceptance of some atrocious tyranny.
This is a psychological factor separate from the economic necessities that create tyrannies out of political revolutions.
One accepts a tyrant, a leader, defers to him, renounces one’s own personal power.
Accepts some promise, papers over the confusion, the ill thought out difficulties. With relation to women, one gives approval to their wildness, their promiscuity, in a general sort of way, as if it might come to benefit oneself.
One confuses one’s own desire with something much more general, with is the desire and the promise of the dictator. As an inspiration the dictator offers promise. As a model, if one could only be like him.
So at the time of revolution women come to demand this generalised approval. As if what they offer to one, or even to many, is good for all. This is a feature of revolution. She offers herself as if to all. But it is not for all. The message to most is defer and conform. The message of liberation turns to one of hierarchy. These are the psychological forces that drive revolution. An idea of liberation, understood, made visible.

318 Shelley, youth, acid. The religiously revelatory power or acid. The astonishing power of this new experience.. Yet within the culture, all those trying to explain it, guide. Like the elder siblings one did not have.
Range of human emotions Wonder, the extreme of wonder. History of the times, the breaking through of barriers between the classes. The newness of an experience the desire to explain it.
Blake, |Keats, Shelly.
Hippie culture. Like something that requires art and poetry.
As a reactionary one may want to ignore recent culture. Music is too instantly accessible. Too many people respond to it.
A culture as not something to be passively consumed. The need for active interpretation One grew up in the culture and experienced much. One resents those who presume to interpret. Those who declare what your experience is. Those who assert it is all to do with fashion, of which they are the guardians


92 Youth culture, one’s doubts about it. The culture of the sixties. What did it really solve or satisfy? Certainly it offered a type of elation, by magical means. But wasn’t it ultimately trivial? That there was that in it which frustrates, unsatisfying elements. There is the objection on the ground of snobbery. Did the whole music culture of the time fulfil Wagner’s dream?
The pleasure with which so many of my generation look back on the youth culture of the time, the music etc. Surrender to the music could be a way of securing all kinds of good things for yourself, a kind of mild communism that was something I never really enjoyed that much. I never really did it. One refuses the rewards if one does not want to pay the price.


65& Notes on the hippy revolution. A time of antinomianism, of mystic irrationalism. All the political extremism that came out at that time was harmless. It was a time of reconciliation and compete freedom of expression. All political fantasies came out, anarchist Marxist, Maoist, Nazi. Depending on your background you will have a certain characteristic extremism, your emotional response to the social situation when frustrated. Those with chips on their shoulders may be Marxists, the middle classes may be fascists. But the ideal of the new left, as I understood it was communism without all the bad bits.
The solution of all these diverse forces lay beyond the ken of the rational mind


91 ‘67 antinomianism. Genuinely subversive in a way that lasted hardly any time at all. IT (International Times). No forbidden thought. Peace and love were just a way of ensuring that there need be no forbidden thoughts. The antinomianism got swiftly stifled, perhaps it was hardly understood. Psychedelic anarchism. What they had in common with the Nazis, antinomianism, the enjoyment of the forbidden.

Yet I could not altogether approve of IT. Good trips subsisted on a wave of new, antinomian culture, inevitably short-lived New ideas flourished in an atmosphere of delicious chaos. There were no leaders, only a mass of symbols. One knew one could learn nothing from the old. The wisdom of experience was valueless, one learnt to be unhistorical


46 TV programme about hippies last night, with irritating people like Rosie Boycott wheeled on to explain the era.


5 Maureen (American) tells me she did not see me as an Englishman but ‘just a freak’. I would find that insulting were it not for the fact that she finds the typical English character to be rather revolting. So what is a ‘freak? Someone who has risen to the level where he operates on completely rational, that is to say supra rational principles.

So in talking of the supra national freak what do we mean? Are his rational principles really what free him from the limitations of particular nationality, or is his freakhood merely another caste on the same level as any national identity? Is he above nationality or outside it?

Supranationality comes about by seeing the essential relativity of one’s own background and being able to respond to others of other nationality with confidence and without prejudice

17 One thing many hippy would be tantrics find it difficult to understand is that part of the essence of tantrism lies in rebellion against an established orthodox code. That which provided half its original fascination for westerners, its shockingness, was also part of its original intention


5 Hippy talk about "scenes", "movies", "trips" etc sometimes gives the misleading impression that life is like a cinema screen The fact that life can convulse us with extreme terror is proof that it is more than this. But the suggestion that life is like a cinema screen is a useful device of welfare state socialism for the alternative society as understood by someone like Richard Neville. Everything that was once thought serious is reduced to the level of the happenings on a television screen so the work of real control goes on outside our cognisance.


87 & Germaine Greer wrote the most nauseatingly moralistic article in the Sunday Times. She says how wrong it is of hippies to go and beg in the poor countries of the world. But not everybody is a antagonistic. Indians certainly can respond to people directly as people without having to see them as representative of western culture. Hippies have personal spiritual problems, as do eastern mystics towards whom there is an unmistakable affinity. The only problems Greer understands are social problems.
In world historical terms she is a far more ugly, diseased and dangerous representative of western civilisation than any soul searching hippy

Whatever people say about hippies, without them I should probably find it hard to get accepted in the world. If ever I try to relax and behave naturally my behaviour becomes odder than ever

One good thing about the hippies is that they have managed to establish an alternative lifestyle and value system within western society while avoiding the limitations of being a sub culture like theosophists, spiritualists and other cranks.


10 The original hippy message of 1967 was that life is a joyful experience there was to be no more of the cynical apathetic pessimism of the previous few years. Drugs provided a great boost to life. Students living on grants, drop outs living on social security, all could believe that life was fundamentally hopeful, that we just had to break through a few barriers. The millennium had arrived ‘the revolution has taken place in the minds of the young’.

But after a few years we find that the old problem of earning a living is with us just as before, of coming to terms with society. So those who previously discovered that life was essentially joyful, want to smash society and replace it with something that gives the time for life to be as continuously joyful as it was once discovered to be. In anger they want to destroy the obstructing system, to refuse to accept anything but the best possible.

63 I found a copy of OZ today, and found it very disappointing. Sensational articles about psychedelic fascism, tormented arguments about revolutionary politics. Lacking is the mystic certainty which characterised the original movement, with its symbols of enlightenment, its proclamation of the hidden world beneath the veil of consciousness. Here is a form of elitism. What the writers of the Underground press can no longer feel superior about they no longer emphasise. They talk a little bit about cocaine because they know that nobody much has taken cocaine.

69 Richard Neville is no more than a journalist, not even very hip. When IT first came out, the writers were at least very interested in avant garde modern culture. Neville writes pages and pages on the corrupting effects of violence and the dangers of ‘psychedelic fascism’. Jeff Nutall is far preferable. Gone is the idea that the kind of society we want will result from a kind of fusion of higher energies, a mystical unity of the most diverse impulses. Oz is the Daily Express of the underground.


147& I think the underground is still stuck in all this political nonsense to its great disadvantage. It is in the process of being taken over by Marxist style thinkers. Women’s lib is quite a tragedy for it for one thing. Whatever happened to those arrogant little hippy girls, extremely feminine in their way, who used to play flutes and stare at flowers, ignoring the masses who surrounded them?
Moralism is taking over again as we have to feel inhibited about what we can be.
Development of the free spirit.
The religion of infinite possibility.
One of the original insights of the underground movement was the potential of the here and now, how much can be done immediately without having to work for it. It is the spiritual space open to the individual that we should try to develop. Our politics will flow naturally from our religious viewpoint., how we conceive ourselves.


81 The Merry Pranksters response to psychedelic experience was to dress in a bizarre fashion, paint their faces, make considerable use of day glo paint on all kinds of things, devise new forms of music, encourage an extreme form of individualism entirely for the moment. The dress and much of the behaviour bears some relation to carnival behaviour Such extravagant play acting is not so much taboo in normal societies (apart from Anglo Saxon ones) as reserved for special occasions. They are the popular form of celebration, carnivals, when the most extreme forms of what normally be called deviance are encouraged in an outburst of temporary antinomianism. Only up to a point of course, massacre and the like are not encouraged, though rape arson and theft often may be. What some of the early hippies were doing was to preach a time of constant carnival. Such a revolution can be extremely powerful while it lasts, as in San Francisco the magic of a carnival is multiplied a thousandfold as carnival reality is proclaimed as henceforth the new reality,. And always one could be aware of the contrast between the celebrants and the outsiders who have not understood the basic message of joy.

In terms of ways of life the extremity of the difference between hippies and ordinary people could often make them appear as the completely unfrustrated ones, those who have broken through the taboos by which everyone else lives. The initial surprise caused by their sudden appearance on the scene gave them the appeal of delirious madness as the Bacchantes must have affected the ancients.

They have a precise but notable and noteworthy place in history. Obsession with the mass of hippies obscures the real core and meaning of the movement,. Everything can be seen through muddy eyes. Also who would judge Christianity by most professed Christians, Buddhism by most Buddhists? Every movement has its lowest common denominator and the fact that the hippy movement should have produced one that is exceptionally low is endemic in the nature of the intoxication.

113 Hippy revolution so far only scratched the surface of society but in it I see the roots of Spengler’s fellaheen society. New serenity breaking through. Warhol can teach us how to feel really at home in the big city how to enjoy it almost in the same manner as we enjoy walking through a wood. Hippy craft arts will spread as more people will seek to earn their living without having to work for others. I do favour a lot of these developments, though I also believe in a high standard of discipline and I think everyone should be acquainted with terror and isolation.

170& In fact there are goods and goods and there is no overriding reason why we should coalesce them all into some such abstraction as the general good of humanity.
The beautiful people saw this, as did the dandies of eighteenth century France. Life includes pain and pleasure, and the way to come to terms with the suffering part is the sadomasochistic.

The beautiful people are the children of a generation which had taken futility to an unparalleled extreme. Middle class children from the western democracies often reared in suburbs of large cities, by materialistic parents, come to reject fundamentally the pattern of life their parents would wish to lay out for them.


26 The aristocratic hippy has contempt for the ethical limitation that would be imposed on him. Were he a politician were he to serve overwhelmingly the greatest happiness principle. As hippyism became a mass movement the ethical mass which make up our middle and working classes imposed its own moral ideas on the movement.

159 What do I object to about the underground press? Its advocacy of universal tolerance for one thing. The support of liberties for all which can only be viably enjoyed by a few. A lifestyle which in its essence transient exalted into a political theory which will only bring about universal mediocrity. Sexual bragging which I find irritating, partly because it is presented as a facet of the mind revolution as if it were possible for everybody. It is not that liberated people lead such enviable sex lives as that lucky people do


116 Misapprehension of the constancy of human nature its statistical constancy, that there will always be rabble. Thus in my case a misunderstanding of ‘hippy/.+ hippy oriental mysticism is in fact a rabble philosophy. A rabble philosophy ought to transmute into a hierarchical one, which is paganism. Thus it does not grasp at things which are beyond its comprehension but pays them due respect.

147 Interesting Evening Standard article on the tenth anniversary of the London underground movement. Some interesting reflections. Previously English culture had been dominated by Hampstead intellectuals. Another thing clearer is the extent to which the origin of the underground lay in art schools. There were to be found the avant garde ideas, the bohemian lifestyle and the access to media techniques. A sensuous, anti-puritanical intellectually curious culture survived there which reacted to American developments in a characteristic way. Look to the sociology of this and we will find the flaws Intellectual curiosity was perhaps not 100% serious but a kind of gregarious self indulgence, prone to the laws of entropy. ‘Everything is valid’ they used to say in the art schools, now how was this understood? How seriously was it taken? Sociology of art students. Surely the real security is in the gregarious sensuous mass? To influence society one must be in the right place at the right time. Associated with a group or a class.
Always, of course, power corrupts. Groups are nastier than individuals and individuals who draw strength from groups are likely to be dragged down to the level of the group


121 Hippy science fiction millenarianism. There are a lot of people who are content to wait for the millennium, who believe that utopia will be achieved by modern technology, things like bio feedback and unlimited leisure. They believe that people will become more and more enlightened like someone high on lsd. (good trip) or hashish or opium, This is perhaps one of the most basic traits of hippy thought which puts it rather in the tradition of the ranters and Anabaptists than of serious intellectual ideas. The Christian apocalypse, refuge of weary souls. The dream of harmony and peace now expressed in terms of science rather than Christian eschatology. Insofar as the desirability of this sort of utopia is one of the axioms of hippy thought, hippies are far less free spirits than they like to think. It was an element I never properly perceived, nor did I see its key proposition.

142 Theory that the hippy revolution is to be explained by the bulge (baby boom) (of which we may say Adolf Hitler was the indirect cause) and that the same cause now leads to the a culture dominated by those in their late twenties and early thirties. Not a very likeable age group, people in their thirties are at the height of their powers, their potential, but usually in this society of ours they have compromised, settled into a groove.

BF 8

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