The Sound of a Thunder
Weatherman and the Music of Late-Life Regrets
THE VIETNAM WAR — ERA radical group known as Weatherman was always wrapped in metaphors, starting with its name. Derived from the Bob Dylan lyric, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows,” the name screamed certainty at being aligned with civilizational destiny — which they sought through armed revolution in the United States. Toward this end, it committed more than two-dozen bombings from the underground before disbanding in 1977.
Meteorological images of all sorts — with their implications of inevitability — found their way into the narratives about the group. “Looks like we’re in for nasty weather,” plucked from Creedence Clearwater Revival went a 1969 headline in the Underground Press about the group. And in a late 1970 communiqué called “New Morning — Changing Weather,” penned after the lethal explosion of a Weatherman bomb factory, the group reinvented themselves as hippie-guerrillas who now foreswore, more or less, injury to persons.
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