Skip to comments.Summer of love: 40 years later - Hippie Hippie Shakedown: But where was love?
Posted on 06/17/2007 12:07:44 PM PDT by DogByte6RER
Summer of love: 40 years later
Hippie Hippie Shakedown: But where was love?
BY DAWN EDEN, Guest Columnist
LA Daily News
WHEN it comes to inappropriate names, "Summer of Love" has to be right up there with "Joy Division," the name the Nazis reportedly gave to the sections of concentration camps that housed the guards' sex slaves.
For one thing, it was not just a summer event. The countercultural happening that swept through San Francisco and beyond began with an April1967 planning announcement by concert promoter Chet Helms, aka Family Dog, creating the "Council for the Summer of Love."
It still goes on today in the burned-out minds of its rapidly fading survivors, remnants of the thousands of teens who ran away to find Love in San Francisco, only to wind up wasted on a street whose name sounds like hate.
Where, indeed, was the love in the San Francisco of Helms, the Diggers, the San Francisco Oracle, and other Summer of Love organizers, of whom so many have died young?
Helms would later boast on his Web site that the event "sowed the seeds of a compassionate idealism which still lives in the hearts of many of our own and subsequent generations." He pointed to the organizers' efforts to feed the runaways. Other Summer of Love chroniclers note that the Haight Ashbury Free Clinics, founded in the summer of 1967, still help the needy today.
The irony is that there would have been no need to feed those runaways, nor to care for so many drug abusers, alcoholics and venereal-disease victims, had Helms - who succumbed to hepatitis C at 63 - and his compatriots not encouraged youths to flood San Francisco. And for what, exactly? Drugs, to be sure, and "free love" - "free," as opposed to the kind that costs money, apparently.
Thanks to the Pill and a counterculture that defined rebellion as annoying one's parents, thousands of youths became guinea pigs in a kind of mass experiment propagated by prurient Beat Generation relics such as Helms, Allen Ginsberg (died at 70, hepatitis and liver cancer) and Ken Kesey (died at 66, liver cancer). They were told that they would overcome the superficial consumerism in which they had been raised, reaching a higher spiritual level by uniting their minds to drugs and their bodies to willing takers. Instead, they themselves became products to be consumed - victimized by pushers, treated as sexual objects to be disposed of, or corrupted into predators.
It boggles the mind to think what the Summer of Love's sad victims could have accomplished if, rather than seeking to fulfill their own juvenile desires, they had aimed to create a true culture of love. Instead, in following their leaders' urging to do their own thing, they found themselves locked in a society that gave them all the restrictions of communal life - poverty, squalor, and social pressure to self-destruct - and few of the protections.
At the celebrated Be-Ins and Love-Ins, the mob ruled, while - like those Playboy cartoons of orgies where one person's orifice is indistinguishable from another's - the individual was subsumed.
Meanwhile, one corner of the culture, recognizing the counterculture's threat to the individual, composed a clarion call for the restoration of human dignity. A work in progress during the Summer of Love, published the following summer, it attacked those who, in pursuing solutions to overpopulation and other contemporary concerns, put forth "an utterly materialistic conception of man himself and his life." Instead, it urged world powers to develop a solution "which envisages the social and economic progress both of individuals and of the whole of human society, and which respects and promotes true human values."
That's real love.
However, when those words of Pope John XXIII, quoted in Pope Paul VI's "Humanae Vitae," emerged in 1968, few of the hippies bothered to read them, let alone follow them as far as they led. All they knew was the five-word condensation of the encyclical that appeared on a popular poster, underneath an image of the Pope pointing his finger Uncle Sam-style: "The Pill Is a No-No."
Supporters of the hippies' objectives argue that they and future generations benefited from the dismantling of repressive Eisenhower-era values that restricted sex to marriage. Well, say what you will about a culture that presumed women found their highest fulfillment in motherhood, but one doesn't see many repressed housewives panhandling on modern-day Haight Street. One does see lost geriatric flower children with stringy hair and rotten teeth who contracepted or aborted the children who could have taken care of them in their old age.
Years after the Summer of Love's Bay Area invasion, a more moneyed class of Californians popularized a term that parallels what the hippies accomplished: garbage in/garbage out. The true measure of the success of the Love-In is the love that came out.
Today, the counterculture's victims are dying with few children to mourn them - at least, few who are willing to speak to parents who put their own desires ahead of their children's. It is the end of a long, bad trip.
Dawn Eden is director of the Cardinal Newman Society's Love and Responsibility Program. She is author of "The Thrill of the Chaste: Finding Fulfillment While Keeping Your Clothes On."
In just a single generation, America went from The Greatest Generation to The Worst Generation.
Reminds me of the Sly Stone song "Luv N' Haight" from the (amazing) album There's a Riot Goin' On.
It wasn`t the summer of love, it was the summer of drugs.
HIV, Aids, and STDs are proof trhat we humans lost the sexual revolution of the 60’s.
The hippies aren’t gone...they are faculty in many universities, in Congress and even running for President...check out pictures of Hillary Clinton in her 1960s glad rags.
check out pictures of Hillary Clinton in her 1960s glad rags.
I can’t imagine those rags would be glad about anything.
I’ll take number 1 for what ever it takes, Alex.
The last time I met real hippies was in 1982. There were two of them, man and wife, and they were landlords who happened to be very upset about a tenant who wouldn’t pay his rent. The flower wreaths in their hair and their bill-collector tone made it seem as though Rod Serling would step around a lampost at any moment.
Interesting how those famed drug users all died of liver ailments.
Was the successful propaganda campaign by the record industry, Hollywierd and the MSM to undermine our nation by substituting the word love for sex. It was delayed 15 years Because of "Tail-gunner Joes' and The House Unamerican Activities revelations.
Hmmm ... can't remember .... maybe .... nahhh, that wasn't it .... The Common?
Hard to tell.
Discovered acid in '67 ...
Woke up in '81
What a long, strange trip it's been
(So I've been told ... can't remember)
The only Woodstock I knew of in ‘69,
was on my M-14.
True, and here's proof!
That deserves a Semper Fi!
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