notes on government, sports and popular culture
I spent a good bit of Christmas Eve and Christmas day trying to finish up last week's N.Y. Times before the current issue hit my porch last night.
In his review
of three books on the 1960s, Christopher Hitchens, who has expressed his contempt for fellow baby-boomers in many essays, says bah-humbug to the Age of Aquarius:
"...The days of love and peace had their sordid and nasty side, too. The Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco was idyllic for about five minutes before the following famous flier was distributed:
"'Pretty little 16-year-old middle class chick comes into the Haight to see what it's all about & gets picked up by a 17-year-old street dealer who spends all day shooting her full of speed again & again, then feeds her 3,000 mikes & raffles off her temporarily unemployed body for the biggest Haight Street gang bang since the night before last. The politics of ethics and ecstasy.'
"The '3,000 mikes' there are micrograms of LSD...and represent 12 times the normal dose. I still know people who undertook such voyages of the imagination, or had them inflicted upon themselves, and who never quite came back."
When reviewing Eleanor Agnew's "Back From the Land," Hitchens is equally cynical toward communal living:
"Countless educated young Americans went off the map, in pursuit of Walden or some other version of bucolic utopia. They learned to chop wood and sometimes to grow crops, and they got hypothermia and piles."
I had to look "piles" up in the dictionary: Another term for hemorrhoids.
Despite this denunciation of the era in which mass liberalism took hold upon society, a time when the "crazy lean-to of the Unabomber began to take shape," Hitchens, as usual, refuses to show his political hand:
"Conservatism cannot, and does not, despite itself, remain static. It mutates into something far more reactionary than anything from which the hippies were ever fleeing."