They Hear Every Word
Of all the early Cascadian liberation movements Harsh Sunshine is hardest to describe. Emerging out of Portland communal living experiments in the mid to late 1990s in what later came to be called the 'True North' of the city, it is believed that the group went further than it's peers, and through a combination of volume and velocity achieved a near constant state of delirium. This is documented through several eyewitness accounts of the group's 'happenings' in which a combination of light and sound induced a sort of mass hysteria that was later cited as a raw source of inspiration for the movement. This unhinged energy was later channeled into more political channels by the vanguard of the Cascadian movement. By all accounts though, these early examples of agitation had a distinctly Dionysian quality to them; there are many reports of wild-eyed devotees standing on street corners for weeks after a Harsh Sunshine appearance, haranguing passerby with tales of the glorious life to be attained by a simple renunciation of self-imposed shackles. Historical records and first hand accounts that survived the 'Great Burning' of the city in 2012 relate a sort of quasi-mass movement. While Harsh Sunshine had it's followers throughout the city, it's whereabouts were always unknown. Apparently it emerged only suddenly, with secrecy and great force. The popular saying of the time: 'When the Harsh Sunshine come out, fifty people witness, five hundred claim to.' While the actual numbers of participants are lost to history, a core group of four emerges as operatives, theorists, sound technicians, and provocateurs of apparently inestimable value: Germaine Baca-Has, whose crude demonstration of power on goat skin covered cylinders was reported to throw crowds into states of ecstatic catatonia, is believed to have originally honed her skills in a guerrilla hip-hop cultural movement based in the Denver area known simply as Rainbow Sugar. Baca-Has was also a member of a Kabbalistic underground cult of the time period known to it's members as the Old Time Relijun. Jonathan Willett aka Roulette aka 'The Eater of Time', is reported to have 'gone native' for a time on what was then the Indian subcontinent. Emerging from what we now believe were embellished ordeals as a competent plucker of strings and bellower of rude vocal commands, the core group for some reason elected him minister of operations, which surely was a smoke screen maneuver in order to obscure the true identity of whomever truly lead the movement. With a resume that included the blunt shock tactics of the Tough Love society, and the earlier subterranean group, the Disappearer, he appears to have been a perfect patsy for whoever truly held the reins. Emilinia Disette, long a patron saint of the lost tribes of the California deserts, was indeed a real woman, and an integral part of the Harsh Sunshine. Apparently raised by a series of feral outlaw groups in the early '00s, namely Show Me The Pink, some sort of gypsy family, and the notorious Sprockettes, a bicycle gang of the time period that was known to terrorize small villages with their 'dance performances'. In the Harsh Sunshine movement she was known to swell the assembled into states of hallucinatory revelation at the sound of her, some say, possessed organ. Of all the Harsh Sunshine principals, none is more mysterious than J. Daniel Gonzalez. His origins lost to history, what is know is this: during performances he remained seemingly aloft and disdainful of the proceedings while simultaneously keeping a steel girded foundation in place throughout with his manipulation of low tones. It was said of his ability at the time that he had been hired to demolish condemned buildings with nothing but his bass and five stacks of amplification. In one of his only surviving statements he elaborated: 'Demolition is essential. It is society at large that is condemned!' This is the extent of our information on the phenomenon known as Harsh Sunshine. It was said for many years after their disappearance that Harsh Sunshine had not disbanded, but had gone underground in order to practice an esoteric form of inner alchemy. The fruits of this struggle were believed by their followers to hasten the coming of the 'True Cascadia', a location of the heart rather than one of geography, always made manifest the day before tomorrow. From: Cole, S. (2112). The Liberation of Cascadia; A Social-Anthropological History, Portland: People's Pdx Publishing.