Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Harry Reasoner's Wild Kingdom

We travel to the undulating landscape of San Francisco, where our intrepid CBS television newsman Harry Reasoner is on the trail of the mysterious hippie.

I'll stay here in the Impala to safeguard our supply of narrow ties and gray woolen suits. Meanwhile, Harry is instructing our Haight-Ashbury guide on our game plan for luring a pack of hippies to our camera position. Let's listen in on what Harry is saying to tracker Warren Wallace:
"Well, it's going to be tricky to snare one, Warren. Usually, they can smell Establishment at a great distance, and they'll run away.

"But I estimate that if we can bait a trap with enough incense and cigarettes . . . oh . . . and munchies -- and if you stand off to the side and start yelling . . . and the exact wording is important, here, Warren . . . if you start yelling, 'Sunflower scored some really good
[BEEEEEEP!], man' . . . I think we can snare one or two."
FAST FORWARDING from 1967 to 2010, we get to pass judgment on the completely unhip and slightly bemused Reasoner's conclusions about his encounter with the wild hippies amid the coastal hill country of the Bay Area.

And you know what? For a clueless, tragically square old fart, it would seem Harry Reasoner had the hippies' number.

Because the Age of Aquarius remains just another pipe dream, and Better Enlightenment Through Chemicals was just another (dis)illusion.

And the hippies? They ended up selling out to The Man, of course.

COULD IT have been any other way? Harry was right . . .
such a waste.

Dissent was in order. New ideas were in order. The Establishment was corrupt. And what was the great rebellion against establishmentarian rot? Tuning in. Turning on. Dropping out.

That worked out so well for us all.

Well, at least the music was groovy. Maaaaaaan.

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