Home > Dispatches >Daily Dispatches 2022 > Daily Dispatch #206

July 30, 2022: The Symbionese Liberation Army

Not many people remember the Symbionese Liberation Army, commonly known as the SLA. It was the first Army of Good. Its motives were commendable, but its tactics left something to be desired.

The SLA was anti-corporate and well aware of the fact that there is a very poor and a very rich class in this country, and that the rich were doing nothing to help the poor out. So they attempted to do something about this. They kidnapped Patty Hearst, who was from one of the richest families in the country – she was William Randolph Hearst stock.

She became a literal gun toting member of the SLA. She assisted her cohorts in robbing banks. There she is in a video, holster over her shoulder, wearing a black leather jacket, standing guard at the bank door.

And talk about ironic – Patty had a boyfriend named Steven Weed. If someone wrote a fictional account, this would have been considered too obvious. He came off in this whole deal as being a dweeb.

Patty was ransom fodder – the SLA wanted a million or so for her, which they never got. Eventually, she was freed and resumed doing what she’d previously been doing, just hanging out and living the boring good life. She did make some appearances on talk shows – she couldn’t have been doing this for the money because she was filthy rich. And I don’t think that she was attempting to set the record straight – she was, on these talk shows, vague in response to questions.

But you do have to wonder, during her ordeal, and after, what was she thinking? Of course, she dumped Weed. It was probably coming anyways.

I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the SLA. I remember when I was working on my dissertation, I likened myself to being a member of the SLA. I was Evil Bo Evil, the meanest dissertator in the Miller Valley. I was, at the time, a bit unhinged – I joked of kidnapping my chair, and for ransom, requesting that my work be taken seriously. I came close to getting the outfit, that is the black leather jacket and the holster and the gun.

If the SLA resurfaced, I would definitely join their ranks.

Today I was talking with my sister, and she said something astute, which is that for women, it has not worked to play by the rules. Now it’s time to bend the rules.

This is what the SLA was about.

I badly want to write about the SLA – do some research, talk to those who were key figures and might still be alive. But first of course, I have to bring the Bacon family back to life. Also, write about abundance. And then about the SLA. I am fairly sure that I could unearth some aspect of this that would be revelatory.

Yes, this is something that I need to do.

Next: 207. 7/31/22: Jim’s Legacy

Horse Care Home About Us Dispatches Trips Alys's Articles