Sunday, May 28, 2017

1967: The Summer of Love; 2017: The Summer of Hate?

Memorial Day Weekend is the traditional kickoff of summer. 1967 was the Summer of Love, emanating out of San Francisco and the Haight Asbury. San Francisco had earlier gone through the Folk Era and Carol Doda and Topless on Broadway. None approached the Summer of Love in fame and tourist dollars dropped in San Francisco. San Francisco’s Folk Era featured the Smothers Brothers, The Kingston Trio, and the Limeliters. Rock had pushed folk out by 1967, but the San Francisco scene had evolved into psychedelic rock. Grace Slick and the Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company, the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Company, Sly and the Family Stone, Santana, often at Billy Graham’s Fillmore Theatre. The first and last Monterey International Pop Festival June 16-18 in the Summer of 19967 brought them all together from around the world: American, British (the Beatles Sgt. Pepper also was released in June), folk, rock, psychedelic rock. Scott McKenzie sand “If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear flowers in your hair.” Check out the 3:03 music video on YouTube. Eric Burdon and the Animals released San Franciscan Nights and Monterey. The Haight Asbury Hippies, the counter culture, drugs, head shops, peace symbols, underground papers, especially the Berkeley Barb, long hair, love beads, posters, Flower Children Jann Wenner published Vol. 1, No. 1 of Rolling Stone The Summer of Love, Free Love I had a ringside seat to the Summer of Love. The University of San Francisco is 6 blocks from the famous corner of Haight and Ashbury. I often walked to USF that summer along Haight Street. Haight Street was a phenomenon greater than Broadway a few years earlier. The sidewalks and cars were so jammed together that the quickest way to walk along Haight would have been on the roofs of the cars. Mondays and Fridays saw long lines around the block from the Bank of America as the Flower Children and Hippies were cashing their checks from home. This summer is the Summer of Hate, mostly directed at Donald Trump and conservatives. 1967 was the summer of the Flower Children. 2017 is the summer of the Snowflake. The mainstream print media drips a daily drop of venom on President Trump. The TV stations selectively edit the day’s news to diminish the President and his team. Fake news shows up on both. 1967 was the Summer of Love. 2017 witnesses college professors and students wanting President Trump impeached, killed, silenced, imprisoned. The campus snowflakes and academic Neanderthals want trigger warnings and safe spaces for themselves, but not only seek to muzzle opposing speakers but also often engage in violence. Conservative professors are muzzled. Professor Laura Kipnis at Northwestern is learning the price of deviating from the academy’s orthodoxy. Administrators have been cashiered. Berkeley students rioted in the 1960’s for free speech. Berkeley students in 2017 riot to suppress speech. A Fresno State history professor tweeted President Trump “must hang.” An Orange Coast Community College professor in class called trump’s election “an act of terrorism.” She was voted Faculty of the Year while the student who secretly taped her class was initially suspended. An assistant math professor of color at the University of Hawaii has demanded that white professors get out of the way, quit their jobs or take a demotion. Many of our colleges and professors are teaching hate in 2017. And then there’s the California Democratic Party. The Party met in Sacramento a week ago to elect its new officers. John Burton, the former Congressman and alcoholic, and outgoing chair of the California Democratic Party, raised a one finger salute to President Trump and then led the delegates in a rousing chant of “F--- Donald Trump.” Such is the state of discourse in America today.

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