My annoyance at all the lame krap floating around now about 1967 in the Haight-Ashbury district, “The Summer of Love,”just about turned to repulsion of late. Yeah, strong word, but man is it bad! We went to the deYoung Museum in San Francisco (an architectural catastrophe) Friday for their exhibit. $25 entrance fee! Most of the exhibit consisted of posters and yes, the posters were magnificent, but the exhibit was mostly ’60s drivel.
The “hippie clothing” was awful. No elegance, no simplicity. People with bad taste and too much time on their hands; bad colors, mishmashes of design. A truly awful crocheted bedspread commissioned by Bob Weir. Two rooms of flashing video montages of blurry dancers — senseless, dumb; not trippy — sloppy.
And the clincher: when you leave the exhibit, they funnel you into The Summer of Love Gift Shop. I kid you not. T-shirts, hats, trinkets, a poster of lame buttons — all made in China.
These curators are giving the ’60s a bad name.
The “Hippie Modernism” exhibit at the Berkeley Museum was way better.
As is the exhibit at the California Historical Society. Really good b&w photos, tracing the ’60s from the Beats-on. $5 entrance fee.
There was a conference this weekend, some 45 presentations on the era, mostly by college professors.
Sorry, I’ve been brooding over all the distortions, all the weren’t-there, don’t-get-it pontificators.
“The Haight-Ashbury was a neighborhood. The ’60s was a movement.” -Ken Kesey
PS The “Summer of Love” (1967) was in actuality a disaster in San Francisco.