April 21, 2014

Sixties Flashback

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:22 pm

Going to Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park on Sunday April 20, 2014, was, for the World’s Laziest Journalist, as close to experiencing time travel as we will probably ever get because it revived some very old dormant memories.  People who support the legalization of marijuana were going to go there to urge the decriminalization of the use of cannabis for recreational purposes.

Doing a column that used the idea that smoking dried banana peels was just as effective and not illegal seemed like a good way to get a led for a column that used the “Mellow Yellow” fad as a basis for opening a gap in the debating community that has decreed that using the “conspiracy theory” label is an irrefutable gambit that kills all (no exceptions!) controversial topics just as effectively as saying “check and checkmate” ends a chess game.

“Smoking Typewriters,” a history of the alternative media in the USA, by John McMillian, covered the topic of the banana peel as a quick legal pathway to a psychedelic high in Chapter Three.  It is portrayed as being an elaborate hippie practical joke.

Of all the topics in the Conspiracy Hall of Fame wing of the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory’s Reference building, the idea that bananas can be used as a legal substitute for pot is the only one that is subject to a definitive fact checking experiment at home.

A sixties era song described a scene with the young girls coming to the canyon and if they flock to Hippie Hill then the young men will follow as surely as (insert trite cliché here).

Watching the young people’s enthusiastic efforts to play music, dance, and smoke pot seemed like a textbook perfect example of the contention that John Beckman makes in his new book “American Fun,” that fun and rebellion being interdependent has been an American tradition since long before the first beatnik was born.

How effective was the effort to recapture a Sixties moment in early 2014?  Seeing the Cracker Family Circus (they have a Facebook page) play near Hippie Hill did remind the World’s Laziest Journalist of seeing another band perform in the same place in 1969.  Was it the Jefferson Airplane (they have a Facebook page, too.)?

The “flower power” aspect of the day was not lost on a columnist who did check out more than one “Be-in” back when they were a newsworthy aspect of the pop culture scene.

Student maxim:  “If you remember the Sixties, you weren’t really there.”

Now the disk jockey will play Scott McKenzie’s “San Francisco (Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair),” Donovan’s “Mellow Yellow,” and the Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit.”  We have to go dig up a column for Friday.  Have a “Gr-o-o-o-o-vy day” type week.

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