Funny thing about the so-called Summer of Love: it wasn't in summer, and it didn't have much to do with love. Dawn Eden discusses:
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 April 1967 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.
The most exasperating aspect of it all, I thought, was that constant call to "do your own thing" provided, of course, that it matched everybody else's "thing." All the nonconformists looked alike.
But collective appearance wasn't the tragedy:
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