=v= Ever since there was that ruckus in the 1960s, the media has been peddling a meme about how those kids should just settle down. It started right away with profiles of youngsters who'd switched to crewcuts, then morphed into a variety of MSM "trends" pieces featuring a nonrepresentative handful of people who have put their youthful zeal behind them and gone on to get married, make money, find Jesus, etc. etc. etc. Oh, and har! har! isn't it so ironic?
A recent story in the Los Angeles Times about street kids in the Haight Ashbury (registration required) trafficked in this meme, quoting some self-described "former flower children" who now own homes and want those damn kids to stop blocking the sidewalks and lowering real estate values. (Ironic! Har!) Actually, I recommend this article as pretty good overall and more sensitive to the plight of these kids than anything I've seen the Bay Area media, but it was really marred by this stupid meme.
The Haight is one of my own stomping grounds, and in the course of some local political activism I've met the "former flower children" quoted in this article. The Times failed to mention that all these grumblers are part of the Haight Ashbury Improvement Association, a group pretty much specifically focused on getting the police to hassle the street kids. Their ex-hippie line is a schtick; they are not a representative sample of the neighborhood nor of their generation. (The actual ex-hippies have their own group, of course.)
Oh, and happy 40th anniversary of the Summer of Love. I think I'll go visit me a street fair now.
(Via Boing Boing, though I regret to report that what they emphasized was the stupid meme. To which the right-wing blogosphere responded with the inevitable har! har!)