Your Other Left

Naphtali “Tuli” Kupferberg (1923 – 2010) was an American counterculture poet, author, cartoonist, pacifist anarchist, publisher and co-founder of The FUGS, a satirical and self-satirizing rock band with a political slant, which performed at various war protests against the Vietnam War, and since the 1980s at events around other US involved wars. The bands often frank and humorous lyrics about sex, drugs, and politics drew the attention of the FBI. In the late 1960s the group is referenced several times in the FBI file on The Doors; an excerpt mentions eleven songs from The FUGs first album that are “vulgar and repulsive and are most suggestive.”

A prodigious writer, in 1966 Tuli and Robert Bashlow co-authored 1001 Ways to Beat the Draft, an outrageous catalog for young men seeking to avoid military service in Vietnam. Herewith, a sampling:

1. Grope J. Edgar Hoover in the silent halls of Congress.
2. Get thee to a nunnery.
3. Fly to the moon and refuse to come home.
4. Die.
5. Become Secretary of Defense.
6. Become Secretary of State.
7. Become Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare.
8. Show a li’l tit.
9. Castrate yourself.
10. Invent a time machine and go back to the 19th century.
11. Start to menstruate. (Better red than dead.)
12. Attempt to overthrow the Government of the United States by force and violence.
13. Advocate sexual freedom for children.
14. Shoot up for a day.
15. Refuse to speak to them at all.
16. Enroll at the Jefferson School of Social Science.
17. Replace your feet with wheels.
18. Rent a motel room with a ewe.
19. Rent a motel room with a ram.
20. Say you’re crazy.
21. Say they’re crazy.
22. Get muscular dystrophy when you’re a kid.
23. Marry J. Edgar Hoover.
24. Take up residence in Albania.
25. Stretch yourself on a rack so that you become over 6 1/2 feet tall.
26. Marry your mother.
27. Marry your father.
28. Blow up the Statue of Liberty.
29. Marry your sister.
30. Marry your brother.
31. Marry your daughter.
32. Join the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.
33. Marry your son.
34. Marry Lassie.
35. Marry President Johnson.
36. Marry Mao Tse-tung.
37. Proclaim that Mao Tse-tung is the Living God.
38. Proclaim that you are the Living God.
39. Stamp your foot in the earth like Rumplestiltskin and refuse to eat until our boys return from Viet Nam.
40. Get elected Pope.
41. Get elected to the Supreme Soviet.
42. Get lost.
43. Shoot A for one month.
44. Grow seven toes on your head.
45. Commit an unnatural act with Walter Jenkins.
46. Make the world go away.
47. Wear pants made of Jello.
48. Say you are a wounded veteran of the lutte des classes.
49. Solder your eyes shut.
50. Ride naked through the streets on a white horse.
51. Declare war on Germany.
52. Tell the draft board that you will send your mother to fight in Viet Nam in your place.
53. Study Selective Service reports on malingering and military medicine, and/or military psychiatry texts or journal articles on the same subject, and use the clever methods they describe.
54. Organize your own army and advance on Washington.
55. Tell the psychiatrist that if he doesn’t let you into the Army you’ll kill him.
56. Turn yellow.
57. Infiltrate your local board.
58. Don’t agree to anything.
59. Contract Addison’s disease.
60. Contract Parkinson’s disease.
61. Contract Bright’s disease.
62. Contract Hodgkin’s disease.
63. Contract Cushing’s disease.
64. Contract Fröhlich’s syndrome.
65. Announce that you have become the bridegroom of the Virgin Mary.
66. Announce that you have become the bridegroom of Jesus Christ.
67. Get your friends to crucify you.
68. Counterfeit money and omit the motto In God We Trust.
69. Become a publisher of smut and filth.
70. Become the publisher of the Little Mao Tse-tung Library.
71. Prove the Brezhnev is a Trotskyite wrecker.
72. Burn down the building located at 39 Whitehall Street.
73. . . . 450 Golden Gate Ave.
74. . . . 536 South Clark Street.
75. . . . 55 Tremont Street.
76. . . . 916 G Street NW.
77. Burn down the Pentagon.
78. Burn baby burn.
79. Write a best-selling novel which portrays the CIA as incompetent.
80. Catch St. Anthony’s fire.
81. Say you’d be happy to serve because it’ll be easier to kill the fucken Americans who are interfering with the freedom of Viet Nam.
82. Recite the Pledge of Allegiance 2400 times a day.
83. Cut off your ears. In ancient times no animal was sacrificed unless it was a perfect specimen.
84. Cut off your left ear and send it to the draft board.
85. Grow a tail.
86. Learn to talk with your anus.
87. Become a graduate student in a subject vital to the national security, such as the epistemology of phenomenological methodology. Achieve your degree only after fifteen years of 2-S.
88. Grow old fast, or
89. When you reach the age of 17 don’t get any older.
90. Drink an elixir that will cause you to shrink to a height of 2 feet 3 inches.
91. Buy a slave and send him in your place.
92. Take your girlfriend with you when you get called and insist that you will not serve unless you can sleep with her at night.
93. Take your boyfriend with you when you get called and insist that you will not serve unless you can sleep with him at night.
94. Take your mother with you when you get called and insist that you will not serve unless you can sleep with her at night.
95. Take your chihuahua with you when you get called and insist that you will not serve unless you can sleep with it at night.
96. Wet your bed.
97. When the doctor tells you to spread your cheeks, let him see the firecracker you planted there beforehand.
98. Handcuff yourself to Lenin’s tomb.
99. Handcuff yourself to Nicholas Katzenbach and shout: “We shall not be moved!”
100. Travel to Havana.

In 2008, in one of his last interviews, Tuli told Mojo Magazine, “Nobody who lived through the ’50s thought the ’60s could’ve existed. So there’s always hope.”

The FUGS website
The Doors FBI file
Full text 1001 Ways to Beat the Draft