Sunday, August 9, 2009
i wrote about the summer of love a month ago when the moon landing celebration was going on. a lot was going on then in the nation & personally. as that tumultuous decade wound down, the beatles broke up, altamont undid woodstock, & charlie manson sealed the fate of the hippies today, aug 9 1969.
nixon & his creepy thieving vice president agnew had tried to demonized the counter-culture. they worked really hard at it too. manson achieved it in one horrific night of lunacy. from then on, there wasn't any peace or love perceived, just the probability of grotesque violence. god knows how many parents cowered behind their bedroom doors, worried about their kid's hair length & what that might mean. hell, we were just trying to get laid. i don't know about peace but we were all after love that summer, no doubt about it. still, if all you needed was love, then why did the beatles disintegrate before our eyes? if there was a woodstock nation, what would you call the altamont nation? to answer elvis costello, there's nothing funny about peace, love, & understanding when it leads to all this.
in the film, roman polanski: wanted and desired, they make it pretty clear just how much his marriage to sharon tate had stabilized this survivor of nazi germany. a survivor of one of the 20th century's worst atrocities had been saved by california peace & love, only to have that salvation destroyed by california peace & love in its most deranged, warped form.
the decade that began w/kennedy & the new frontier ended w/nixon & the morass of vietnam. the decade that began w/"i want to hold your hand" ended w/"let it bleed." the decade that began w/the coolness of the beats ended w/the violence of manson's hippies. something was surely happening but nobody, least of all mr jones, knew just what it was.