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‘The Summer Of Love’ Fifty Years Later: What Sex, Drugs, Rock ‘n’ Roll Gave Us

The actual Summer of Love took place in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco. It had become a spontaneous hedonistic mecca for 100,000 hippies. A “summer of drugs, sex, and rock ‘n’ roll” would have been a more accurate description. Showing the proverbial power of the pen, writers managed to glamorize and mythologize a prolonged session of debauched self-indulgence. They portrayed hormonally charged young people taking the path of least resistance and luxuriating in sensual pleasures as something supposedly idealistic — loftier and nobler than the war in Vietnam and the economic struggle for the supposedly “almighty” dollar. The counterculture embraced the Summer of Love as its nirvana. Whatever thrills the hippies at Haight-Ashbury might have had then, the legacy of the summer of ’67 is far from glorious. Drugs, sex, and rock ‘n’ roll is hardly a formula for generational excellence. Think of “the greatest generation” that found the inner strength and character to prevail in the existential conflict of World War II: Would they have achieved such heroic heights had their priorities been to tune out the world and pursue ease and pleasure? Not a chance. (READ MORE)


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