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."
Bullshit. The epidemic of fathers running from their responsibilities is a direct outcome of the Greatest Generation's 'Great Society' experiment which was hatched in DC years before the oldest boomer could even vote. Nice try though skippy.
Well, it took a few years for the 1960s to bear fruit.
Truthfully, though, much of the serious social problems we have today can be directly linked to LBJ's "Great Society" programs. Seriously. The opening of the floodgates to 3rd World immigration with the corresponding loss of shared American values, the destruction of the black family, the rise of violent street crime and a predatory criminal underclass, the rise of single motherhood, and on and on. While other factors definitely helped, LBJ's policies were instrumental in getting the ball rolling.
That's why I consider Johnson the worst president in the 20th century. I'd say the worst president ever but our current one is really trying hard for that title.
FWIW, I was born in the 60s and a child of the 70s and a teenager in the 80s and I can remember playing outside till nightfall without a worry in my mind.
That is laughable.
Yes, and I went on to mention "Great Society" but it looks like you beat me by about a minute.
This we can agree on. Since some here are attempting to place blame, is it not interesting that Johnson came out of Texas, and where, oh where has this current President surfaced from?
Never question anything! Just live like everyone else, and you’ll surely be happy.
Hopefully the next President will be from California!
The Sixties generation has got to be one of the most evil generations in world history. They cursed the country that defeated Nazism while celebrating one-party totalitarian states headed by "great leaders" (like Mao and Castro) where dissent was against the law and the press was entirely controlled by the regime. These miserable Communist ratholes were embraced as the antithesis of fascism while their own country, a country where dissent has almost always been tolerated (barring a few short emergency situations), whre there is a presidential election every four years and a full congressional election every two years--a country where the government doesn't own the press (though sometimes the contrary seems a possibility!) was despised. The hippies dismissed all these "petit bourgeois" freedoms as illusions and embraced carbon copies of Hitler and Mussolini because, they claimed, they fed their people.
So I guess according to the hippies, if Hitler and Mussolini had merely "fed their people" (instead of merely making the trains run on time), they would have been "morally superior" to the United States of America!
Does this means if President Bush "feeds his people" that he can declare himself "president for life" and outlaw all dissent, and then be supported by the Stephen Spielbergs and Michael Moores???
These Sixties hippies are the scum of humanity!
You mean the generation where only the Dad had to work? The generation where they said, "gimmy a bucks worth of regular"? You mean the generation that purchased brand new homes on *one* income where Mom was actually able to say home and raise the kids without having to worrying about making the mortgage every month? The generation that had secure jobs, great, affordable family medical benefits? The generation that not only had secure jobs, but actually had retirement pensions? The generation that left lights on without worrying about paying the electric bill? The generation that used and wasted resources like they were endless?
Oh, that generation.
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And your point?
Oh, that generation.
And your point?
LOL! Ferrrget it.
Would to God that they were in fact dying out! But in truth, the counterculture's values (or anti-values) are now mainstream in many places, California being one of them. Marriage, children, family life . . . forget it! It's all just ME, ME, ME . . . scratch every itch, and the consequences (many of them tiny) be damned.
Oh, my GOSH, I love that picture!!
I’d buy that(those) for a dollar.
Really, never heard of a drive by shooting or an invasion of millions of people entering the country illegally while the government encourages it.
What specifically is the relationship here?