The Friends of California Libre...

24 June 2007

The International Summer of Love

Greetings, friends,
That's right, in case you forgot, the title of this screed reminds you that as of 21 June 2007 we are now in the 40th anniversary of the Summer of Love. I don't know how they're celebrating up at Haight and Ashbury in the City, but so far it doesn't sound very lovey dovey:

There's not a lot of love in the Haight

Gutter punks roam where, 40 years ago, flower children protested the war in Vietnam.
By John M. Glionna, Times Staff Writer,1,1016688.story?coll=la-headlines-frontpage&track=crosspromo

And of course, even though there were newspaper articles around the world about this fabulous hippy anniversary, nobody had a more jaundiced eye than the San Franciscans themselves:

Summer of '67 was time of excess

Activists recall moments of love -- and 'stupidity'

Jonathan Curiel, Chronicle Staff Writer

That's why I love San one could be more depressed to be living in paradise. Why do you think they still haven't built a suicide barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge? Because in the Bay Area you have the RIGHT to jump off a bridge:

I know what people in San Francisco are thinking, better by choice than by accident, eh?

2006 Darwin Awards

List offers a collection of unusual (and supposedly real) fatalities.

Down here in LA, we are catching up fast to this urbane mentality, but there is still so much gee-shucks optimism about how fuckin' great Los Angeles is, it makes me sound like an incomparable naysayer just to contradict it with the TRUTH. No matter. Back in 1967, the cops down here were beating the crap out of the hippies. Our Summer of Love was the riot on the Sunset Strip:

Speaking of hippies, I forgot to pan the last episode of "The Gilmore Girls" last May. Now, I used to think that Lorelei and Rory were the surrogate wacky-but-self-sufficient girlfriend and whip-smart-yet-coolly-collected daughter I never had, but the last two years ruined it. Lorelei's been a trainwreck ever since she broke up with Luke and made up with her real life she'd have run the Independence Inn into the ground and gotten hooked on Zoloft! Make up your mind, woman! And Rory, that little bitch went crazy after she got into Yale, I mean, she broke up Dean's marriage, and then after all the trouble she went through to get that asshole Logan to marry her, she won't go to fucking San Francisco with him! Rory, you idiot, people like you are SUPPOSED to move to San Francisco! Summer of Love! Blah blah blah.

So at the end of seven years, we get nothing, although fans of the Gilmores got a little more nothing than fans of the Sopranos. I love the way people are fighting over whether it was that finale was completely lame or an intellectual master stroke. IT WAS A TV SHOW ABOUT JERSEY MOBSTERS, people. I agree with Wanda Sykes that at the very end, Tony really should have whacked his wife and kids. That would've made sense. And how about Hillary whacking Bill and Chelsea:

Man, that is Creepy with a capital C. Yeah, that makes me want to vote for Hillary Clinton RIGHT NOW. Nice try to transform her into a human being, but frankly, I prefer the Pittsburgh Pirates' take on the Sopranos:

Anyway, I prefer to think of 2007 as the 20th anniversary of the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Love, 1987, the fake love summer when, as a fresh graduate of the University of California, I had a great job as a drugstore clerk on Hollywood Boulevard, got all that nasty crystal meth out of my system, gained back 20 pounds (one pound for each lovely summer), and found a new anthem for my kind of fun in a Berkeley apartment full of wacky girls (and I'm still speaking to one of them!):

PS I agree that Kate Pierson is the only original B-52 left in that performance (and gained a quick 20 herself!) The babe filling in for Cindy Wilson is Julee Cruise, who some of you remember as the nightclub singer from "Twin Peaks".

Since we're yakking about music now, you might have noticed a pretty big funeral last week when the most famous mariachi in Mexico rode off to the big hacienda in the sky:

As I was watching the mayhem on "Escándalo" I was thinking, who the hell was this guy? According to Robert, Antonio Aguilar, to a Mexican, was like Ronald Reagan and John Wayne rolled into one, so my sympathies to my Mexican friends. Now go find yourself another hero:

How about Lola Beltran with that whip, eh? Phew! And Lola, hit Pinkberry with a whip for yanking Lady Tigra's Pinkberry Song off the website:

Seriously, the song is better than the fro-yo. I can report, however, that the girls behind the counter at the Pinkberry on Rowena and Hyperion are nice, friendly Marshall students, not like the assholes at the Melrose store.

Okay, in answer to a recent reference question, someone asked me, "What's the New Wave song that M&Ms ripped off for their most recent commercial?" Easy, of course (for me and Miss Amy), because it's the classic "This is the Day" by The The:

That question, however, made me curious about the music from a car insurance commercial here in California (GEICO), which turned out to be "Remind Me" by Royksopp...the original animated video for the song is awesome; check it out:

Anyway, I always encourage my friends to explore YouTube at your leisure, but occasionally something pretty awesome flicks by, and so I've got to shove something down your throat. You are encouraged to check out my playlists here, where I compile the bad and the beautiful:

And with that, on to the Summer of Love screed, wherein I do a little clean-up, showering you with all the weirdness I've come across in the last few weeks. For example, my new interest in watching poker (it's much more interesting that actually playing) made me curious about some of the slang:

The Pasteboard Jungle

Various superstitions associated with playing cards.

Other than watching poker and promoting (a la Donald Trump) Scream at the Librarian, what else have I been up to? How about getting pissed off at the Russians? You know, how low have you sunk when the former director of the KGB is one-upping you?
US Steps Up Missile System Push in Eastern Europe
By Peter Spiegel
The Los Angeles Times
Putin: US Has Triggered New Arms Race
By Vladimir Isachenkov
The Associated Press
Russia Warns US on Missile Defense
By Maria Danilova
The Associated Press

That's what we get for not nuking them after World War II! And here's the potski really calling the kettle black:
Putin Is Said to Compare US Policies to Third Reich
By Andrew E. Kramer
The New York Times

And this time I don't want to hear any whining from my European friends (who are sucking up Russian natural gas at this very moment):
The Russia-Europe Chill
Le Monde Editorial
Russia to Suspend Compliance With Key European Pact
By Peter Finn
The Washington Post
Russia calls for new economic world order
ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin called on Sunday for the creation of a new world economic order that gives greater clout to fast-growing emerging nations. Days after attending a Group of Eight summit in Germany...

Nor do I want to hear any more apologia for the Goddamn Red Chinese:
China Orders Resettlement of 250,000 Tibetans
By Tim Johnson
McClatchy Newspapers

I mean, don't you think Sam Walton might have started Wal Mart as a Commie plot for the Chinese to take over the US? Yeah, right, we did it to ourselves. Wal Mart, the war in Iraq and the fabulous amount of money we've wasted on a planetary genocide:
1,200 Billion Dollars to Arm the Planet
By Pierre Haski

Seriously, let's leave the Russians and the Chinese out of this for a minute. I've been reading Nemesis by Chalmers Johnson, a nice happy book that postulates the United States was essentially overthrown by a military coup during World War II, with the help of President Roosevelt and the CIA, and that executive/military/industrial junta has been cemented ever since. Makes sense to me. I hate to give George Bush the credit for destroying our democracy, like some others:
Bush's Mafia Whacks the Republic
By Robert Parry
Consortium News
Top Security Chiefs Leaving in Droves
By Matthew Lee
The Associated Press

Nope, just like the weak structure of the EU is intentional and NOT an expression of their nationalism, but the strength of local/municipal/regional autonomy, let's see if we can break the Fed again, just like my redneck ancestors did in 1861, in the name of a better cause:
Court Abortion Ban Ignites Activism in States
By Allison Stevens
Women's eNews

I know some of you have high hopes for our "new" Democratic Congress:
House Reverses Contraception-Aid Ban
The Associated Press
McCloskey Leaves Republican Party
The Contra Costa Times

You want to blame the dimwit in the White House:
Bush Promises to Veto Abortion Measures
By Jim Abrams
The Associated Press
Bush Vetoes Bill Easing Stem Cell Limits
By Deb Riechmann
The Associated Press
Powell's Chief of Staff Proposes Impeachment
By David Swanson

Sorry, the problem runs a little deeper than that:
"Knocked Up" Bans Abortion From Script
By Sandra Kobrin
Women's eNews

And we Californians will take it too far, as usual (thanks, Robert):
The greener side : Sex is natural, but not always

Police fight new menace: cuddling couples

I'll give up money, sex ... but not the mobile

Four percent of American adults never had sex

Which reminds me; anybody remember "Canoe Canoe"?

The Erotic History of Advertising: Aromatic Aphrodisiacs: Fragrance

This book excerpt discusses the "sexual content in fragrance advertising "and how "fragrance marketers play to people's fantasies." Features analysis of advertising from the 1970's and 1980's, along with selected images of print advertisements. From the Advertising Educational Foundation, "the advertising industry's provider and distributor of educational content."

Not that the people running our country aren't complete scum who SHOULDN'T be obliterated; gosh, I would NEVER suggest that:
Cheney Power Grab: Says White House Rules Don't Apply to Him
By Justin Rood
ABC News

This was especially pathetic; you can hear our pipsqueak Prez watching Cheney and yelping, "Dick did it! Me too! Me too!"
Bush Claims Oversight Exemption Too
By Josh Meyer
The Los Angeles Times

At least they pulled the plug on this monster, who owes the US about $500 billion for Iraq:
Wolfowitz Resigns From World Bank
By Peter S. Goodman
The Washington Post

No, long after George and Dick are gone, we're still gonna have to Fight the Power one asshole at a time:
Imprisoned Freelance Journalist Released
By Bob Egelko and Jim Herron Zamora
The San Francisco Chronicle
Padilla Trial Opens in Miami
By William Fisher
t r u t h o u t Report

We've been doing it since before the Summer of Love:
The Martin Luther King You Don't See on TV
By Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon
t r u t h o u t Guest Contributors
How Creative Mass Non-Violence Beat a Nuke and Launched the Global Green Power Movement
By Harvey Wasserman

And we'll have to keep doing it forever, because rust never sleeps and neither do oppressive oily assholes:
The Right Wing Domination of Talk Radio and How to End It
The Globalization of Electronic Election Theft
By Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman
The Free Press

There are a lot of crises in the world that needs attending to after we get rid of Bush & Co.:
Around the World, Protesters Call for Action on Darfur
Agence France-Presse

Paris Hilton to give Larry King post-jail interview
Shitty Neighborhood Rallies Against Asshole Developer

And surprise, a lot of it is related:
Darfur Conflict Heralds Era of Wars Triggered by Climate Change, UN Report Warns
By Julian Borger
The Guardian UK
Illegal Aliens: Crocodile Tears, Then Indifference
By Pierre Haski
Most Katrina Aid from Overseas Went Unclaimed
By John Solomon and Spencer S. Hsu
The Washington Post

Congressman urges condoms for border control

Mexico complains of flag abuse on Australian show

Again I hope to see my European friends step up and remind the world about VALUES, not FAMILY VALUES, just HUMAN VALUES:
Bad News for the Naysayers: The European Constitution Stirs Again
By Pascal Riché
Polish Honor
Le Monde Editorial

I like to see progress to a better world, even if it's on another continent:
Europe-wide high-speed rail advances as German train comes to Paris
The Associated Press
The journey was a symbolic but important step in preparations for a new high-speed line opening next month that will reach four countries ­ France, Germany, Switzerland and Luxembourg. Eventually planners, including the once-rivalrous French and German rail giants, foresee a network stretching from Barcelona to Budapest.
A French Success
Le Monde Editorial
TGV Est Travelogue
Please click on the link to see the corresponding content:

We are really planting the seeds of our own demise in this country:
Europe Outpacing The U.S.
OECD raises economic forecast for region and lowers United States.
By Parmy Olson
Anguish on Wall Street as European Stock Markets Push US Off Pole Position
By Stephen Foley
The Independent UK
Declining dollar, declining standards
When will it hit average Americans that they're working harder for less return than ever?
By David B. Brown
It's 10:30 a.m. I've finished my cappuccino, while reading my International Herald Tribune. I haven't had a bite to eat, bought a souvenir or paid an entrance fee to a museum, much less factored in tonight's lodging, and already I've spent nearly $10. In the 1970s, when I was a student, many an American toured Western Europe on less than this per day.
Syria to End Dollar Peg, 2nd Arab Country in 2 Weeks

I even like to see the growing pains; that's the sign of a mature state. We see it taking place in the UK, with the recent Scots election:
Scotland may go its own way
An election victory for nationalists could set the country on a course to break from Britain.
By Kim Murphy
Times Staff Writer
KINGHORN, SCOTLAND It was on the low cliffs looming over the white-capped Firth of Forth here that Alexander III, the last of Scotland's Celtic kings, plunged from his horse to his death one inky night 721 years ago.,1,140636.story?coll=la-headlines-frontpage

And in la France:
National Identity or American Imitation?
By Serge Halimi
Le Monde Diplomatique
French Voters Pick Sarkozy to Be President; Turnout High
By Elane Sciolino and Ariane Bernard
The New York Times

Firm helps find love in a wine bottle

Although it is fairly easy to distract the French with fine art and fine dining!
The Best Baguettes in Paris
New Restaurant in the Decorative Arts Museum Changes the Rivoli
Vauban in the running for UNESCO World Heritage listing

But positive news can spread from Ecuador...
Ecuador Heads for Socialist Reform of Constitution
Agence France-Presse Italy:
Anti-US Uproar Sweeps Italy
By David Swanson

Nude bather arrested at Rome's Spanish Steps

How about the Maldives (although the whole country may be underwater eventually)?

Undersea Restaurant

Photographs show a unique undersea restaurant.

Even Bulgaria!
The awakening of Sofia!

Well, at least West Hollywood is making some progress:
PDC Paints The Town RED
Even though WeHo makes history regularly, to say that today's ground breaking for the Charles Cohen's Pacific Design Center's Red, a 400,000 sq. ft. ultra-modern completion of Cesar Pelli's iconic trio.

And Georgia:

Man kills bear with log at Ga. camp site

Finally, let's offer a toast to the class clown of American astronauts, who was once asked to describe the rendezvous of two Gemini spacecraft he commanded, and replied thus: "When a man looks across a street, sees a pretty girl, and waves at her, that's not a rendezvous, that's a passing acquaintance. When he walks across the street and nibbles on her ear, that's a rendezvous!"
Mercury 7 astronaut Schirra dead at 84
By Eric Malnic
Special to the Times
Walter M. "Wally" Schirra Jr., who followed his barnstorming parents into the sky as a Navy combat pilot and the only astronaut to fly in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space programs, has died. He was 84.,0,6062882.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Vive le screed!

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