The OB Rag is a grassroots organization that publishes progressive articles on international, national, state and city news. The main focus of the blog is to bring attention to situations in Ocean Beach. The OB Rag website is widely read by tens of thousands of people each month and the Facebook and Twitter pages have many followers. The site is run by local volunteers who have a passion for the neighborhood and sharing their political stances on a wide variety of subjects. The OB Rag is a very good representation of the sort of anti-establishment viewpoint that is shared amongst many locals which has helped to give OB its unique distinction from other San Diego neighborhoods.
What makes the OB Rag special is that it is an important part of the history of Ocean Beach. The OB People’s Rag began in September, 1970 as the first issue was published. Way before the Internet, the OB Rag began as an underground newspaper where every two weeks between 5,000 and 10,000 copies were passed around Ocean Beach, other local beaches and college campuses. The OB Rag continued in print form until 1975 when it disappeared until coming back anew on the Internet. The OB People’s Rag began with Editor Frank Gormlie leading a group of activists against the establishment. This paper was an opportunity for the counter-culture, young people with values or lifestyles in opposition to those of the established culture, to speak their minds and spread their message. A hippie’s view of the Vietnam War may just be the defining feature of the entire hippie movement alongside their rejection of the established institutions, criticisms of certain middle class values and opposition to nuclear weapons. These topics were commonplace in the original OB Rag that were published during the early 1970’s. The OB Rag was not the only alternative local newspaper in the history of Ocean Beach as local resident Norman Lamssies printed the Liberator, an underground newspaper in the 1960’s.
The current online edition of the OB Rag offers a forum for people to discuss many different topics. Daily posts by the volunteer staff and guest writers provide commentary on local, national and worldy news and allows comments from anyone who wants to speak up.