A favorite refrain from the opposition to the #OccupyWallStreet movement is to mock the participants as unwashed and unfocused "hippies," not unlike the criticisms that were heard back in the late '60's, following the Summer of Love, 1967, in San Francisco. Then, as now, a world usurped by corporate values—untempered profit, growth, and earnings per share—hardly knew what to make of a generation that turned materialism on its head and extolled peace, love, and sharing.
Then as now, the financial powers that have ursurped our sovereign currency and credit — and used this theft to gain control over governments, military and intelligence services, media, and voting processes — are desperate to discredit any person or group that threatens to reveal the root cause of our dysfunctional political and economic organization: private control over public, sovereign functions. In the context of a world run by private interests, wars, disease, and ignorance are the necessary by-products of profiteering.
|The Company — Photo: Joan Marcus
Despite this climate of disinformation and fear perpetrated by the puppet masters through those they own and control, this lovingly produced musical revival and the culture it celebrates looks back at us from 43 years ago and says, "We're still here and we're not going away."
Yes, the kids are confused about some issues, and the media seizes upon this as if what they represent has shown any competence in areas they claim as their domain: economic and political functionality. In fact, so great is the insecurity of the powers-that-be regarding what they are selling us that they did everything they could then to suppress this musical, the culture it represents, and the truth that it speaks about the money cartel's resource wars, just as they are presently doing everything they can to disinform the public regarding the #OccupyWallStreet movement that dares call out the culture of criminality—which begins with the folks that control the Wall Street banks that own the Federal Reserve and use this printing press of the world's reserve currency to spread their debt-based slavery system around the globe.
|(L to R) Lawrence Stallings,
Steel Burkhardt, and Matt DeAngelis
Photo: Joan Marcus
As for the musical, despite all its fun and innovations at the time, Hair is also guilty of generalizations regarding the generation it purports to represent. Who were the hippies anyway? That depends on who's using the term. The Los Angeles Times tried to call the Manson Family hippies, because their leader had moderately long hair and was into drugs. Bikers often had long hair, but generally used harder drugs and carried weapons, so could hardly be classified as hippies. Some people with long hair didn't smoke pot and some people with short hair did. Some protested and others were apathetic. Some wore tie-died clothing and some wore work shirts and bluejeans. In Britain, Mod was the popular style. In the U.S., it was the Resistance that set the pace with burning draft cards; they, too, were a diverse group, but mostly politicos who dressed like the working class and spoke out against the war.
|(Left to right) Steel Burkhardt
and Paris Remillard
Photo: Joan Marcus
Hair gives us episodic glimpses of these elements, folded under the colorful "hippie" cliche, and ties them together with a thin storyline. It plays more like a musical review, with all original songs, some of which caught a ride on the pop radio rotation, such as "Aquarius," "Hair," and "Easy to Be Hard."
It's the exuberance of the cast, though, that delivers the spirit of those times and makes Hair a delightful revisitation of the beginnings of an incredible cultural shift.
Denver Center Attractions presentation of Hair runs through October 16th. 303-893-4100 or www.denvercenter.org.