Sunday, June 17, 2007

Hippie hippie shakedown

"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. ...

"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 [Chet] 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. ...

"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."

—  Excerpts from "Hippie Hippie Shakedown," my op-ed (and headline) on the 40th anniversary of the Summer of Love in today's Los Angeles Daily News. The paper published my piece alongside an opposing op-ed. It's interesting to contrast the pieces, considering that neither I nor opposing writer Larry Atkins got to preview one another's articles.

THIS JUST IN: The folks at Democratic Underground have named my op-ed the "nutzoid column of the week" [warning: contains profanity].

Buy The Thrill of the Chaste: Finding Fulfillment While Keeping Your Clothes On at