Don't get me wrong. I still believe in what were ultimately the progressive social and political ideals of my generation at that time. And some of them have partially come to fruition –– today's inauguration being an example. Moreover, I fully realise that the long hair, the grungy clothes, head bands, beads and other "accessories" were all part of that statement. Nevertheless, as with most large scale, unstructured good intentions, the "It's not what you see on the outside that counts; it's what's inside" philosophy of so-called open mindedness was easily corrupted into what has basically become a lame excuse for bad taste.
Of course the prostitutes –– er, designers –– of the fashion industry found it so much more expedient to follow, and hopefully capitalise on this "free spirited" so-called style of the times, they merely contributed to the overall decline in standards and personal discipline with which our society has now become so insidiously plagued. So called icons of fashion such as Giorgio Armani have been enablers of this trend. All you have to do is walk into an A/X store and see the gratuitously overpriced rags that pass as fashionable sportswear. It's become so prevalent and easy that just about any street thug who manages to make him or her self a successful hip-hop album, or reality show contest winner, or drug and alcohol induced former airheaded model, or any other talentless pop icon can become a "designer;" thus further perpetuating the fraud that looking like either a homeless person or a gang member is considered fashionable or "cool." This takes us further into the subject of what defines good and bad taste...(to be continued)