Using that good old 20/20 hindsight, I’ve come around to the idea that their effect was more baleful than beneficial, and Lileks zooms in on one particularly noxious manifestation thereof:
This is what annoys me to no end about the 60s, to cram it all into a tidy convenient decade; the overculture and the underculture ganged up on the great Middle, for different reasons but with equal gusto. The Middle was Crass, in the eyes of the overculture; Phony, in the eyes of the underculture. Now here we are a half-century later, and people will build websites detailing the few remaining examples of postwar roadside architecture, documenting the survivors, eulogizing their demise.
I spent enough time on Route 66 this weekend to appreciate this phenomenon. But here’s the punchline:
No one organizes a petition to save a building the underculture built, because they didn’t build anything.
And they’re certainly not going to start now, unless you count the palatial Washington home of the Department of Health Enforcement and Energy Rationing. Or was that the other way around?