Sunday, May 07, 2006
Following Sean
I was wandering around in the Haight-Asbury area yesterday when I passed the Red Vic Movie House. I glanced at the schedule. Following Sean was playing. I had never heard of it, but, from the description and the fact that it started in three minutes, I decided to plop down eight bucks and watch it. The movie concerned Sean, a four-year-old boy living that lived with his hippie parents on Cole Street during the 60's. Following Sean's director, Ralph Arlyck, had lived below Sean had made a student film with Sean as the subject in which Sean talks about pot use and living with speed freaks.

That student film garnered significant attention, but did more to show the movement in Haight-Asbury as irresponsible, infantile, and self-indulgent, and Sean was a poster child for the failures of the counterculture.

In Following Sean, the director flies back to San Francisco to meet Sean and his extended family. Sean, actually, leads a pretty normal life. He's an electrician and is contemplating going back to law school.

It was a fantastic meditation on the legacy of Haight-Asbury, the failures of the Old and New Left, and the role of choice in our lives.

It was also rather meaningful for me. In high school, I was fascinated by Haight-Asbury. I was into psychedelic rock, and I'd write my book reports on novels like The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and One Flew Over the Cookoo's Nest. I'd go to Phish concerts.

Justin lived near me in the dorms freshman year. If you ask him about me then, he'll refer to me as the "bearded hippie kid that lived downstairs."

But over the course of my college career, I was lured away by the bright and colorful lights of economics and largely abandoned my high-school interests.

I never actually made it to Haight-Asbury until last year, when I stopped by for an hour after I flew out for an interview (I felt that I owed it to my seventeen-year-old self). I parked my rental Ford Taurus a block or two away and walked the street for a bit. It was, in short, a (highly commercialized) carictature.

Things like this are reminders to me of who I was before and who I am now. I had a similar experience last week when I visited Madison and my hometown (including my junior high school). I remember experiencing this when I visited Tower Hill ten years later.

And all that from just ambling into a little art film theater.
It'd be fun to hear of your experiences at a Phish concert.
O yeah, and more on Economics related stuff.

As the captcha says, "umbjuh"!!
You know, you visiting Madison reminded me of who I used to be, too, and I live here all the time.
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