by Art Chantry ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
yesterday i posted an issue of LIFE magazine dated september 9, 1966. the cover was a huge strobing image of a stoned boho on acid with the headline “LSD ART”. in 1966, that was an extremely weird cover to see, especially for LIFE magazine – which in retrospect has become known the ‘sentimental boomer weekly tabloid’. i always associate LIFE with petty nostalgic slop rather than any accurate reflection of the real era the specific issues originated in. and i think our contemporary view of it is pure nostalgia and boomer sentimentality. LIFE has become branded tripe.
but, back in the day, it was often gutsy and daring and controversial. to give you a tiny taste of what i mean, this issue of LIFE (dated may 13, 1966) is only 4 months earlier than that acid art blowout trip cover. this cover i show you today is what “hip youth culture” looked like in mid 1966. but, the acid cover shows you how dramatically and how FAST popular culture was changing then. it also portends the feelings of the time – total disillusionment and betrayal. everything we held dear, everything we were taught everything we learned to value was pulled away from under us. so, the young people back then simply walked away from america and tried to find their own world.
much like we are experincing today. welcome to the beginning of a long strange trip, kiddies.