Tuesday, March 03, 2009


I was born in the Summer of Love (July 1967) and so Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In was always there, somewhere below the threshold of my conscious perception, just part of the world. I knew it existed long before I realized I knew, or understood what it was.

As one of those things that had always just been there, and therefore never really got me to think about it, I was well into my teenage years before I finally realized that it was, in its time, countercultural, even revolutionary. Even now, it's hard to think of that and take it seriously. It's so goofy, and so dated, and so desperately a part of its time, that while I know in my head it was counter-cultural and even shocking, I can't quite get myself to believe it in my heart of hearts.

I wonder when I realized that the title was derived from 60s phrases like "love-in" (a phrase I first came to realize had a specific association with the 60s counter-culture from listening to the lyrics to "San Francisco", another case where something that had always been part of the world suddenly rose to my awareness).

I wonder if there are people who find it hard to believe that James Dean, or Nirvana, were meant to be rebelling and counter-cultural, because they happened to come to prominence at that moment when you're aware of things but not yet aware that you're aware of them.

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