Free To Be You and Me, A project of the Ms. Foundation, Inc.
McGraw-Hill Book Company

When reading the book or humming along to the Free to Be You and Me album, this work could easily be mistaken as a piece of seaweed in the giant wave deemed the pc movement. But alas, the videotaped version featuring bell-bottom clad host Marlo Thomas leaves little to the imagination: It's the seventies. With a foreword by Gloria Steinem and an afterword by Kurt Vonnegut, this all-star liberal compilation is one for the kiddies. The self-explanatory title cites the main objectives: a book chalked full of songs, poems, and quirky stories which reinforce the completely unrealistic idea that a child should be "free to be" anything they want to be. With songs such as "It's All Right To Cry" and "William's Doll" the book might be misconstrued by beer guzzling daddies as a sissy manual that attempts to diminish gender and racial boundaries. However, Free To Be You and Me, was one of the first attempts to produce literature for children that does not reinforce prescribed roles. Its staying power is a combination of the timelessness of racism and sexism and those damn catchy songs:

"When my friend William was five years old
He wanted a doll to hug and hold.
'A Doll,' said William,
'Is what I need to wash and clean
and dress and feed; A doll to give a bottle to
And put to bed when day is through;
And any time my doll gets ill,
I'll take good care of it,'
said my friend Bill.

A doll! a doll! William wants a doll!
'Don't be a sissy' said his best friend Ed.
A doll! A doll! William wants a doll!
'Why should a boy want to play with a doll?
Dolls are for girls,' said his cousin Fred."

MELVIN Note: William is now one of Madonna's transvestite dance stooges.

Summer of Love
Joel Selvin

Freebasing the late '60s San Francisco hippie scene, Summer of Love author Joel Selvin takes readers on a bustop tour of the freaky world of psychedelia. Summer of Love's bedtime anecdotes stick readers' hands deep into a gossip-column grab-bag that holds the answers to the immortal question: "Why did 'Family Ties' make so much fun of the '60s?"

Through fun, name-dropping anecdotes, Selvin (not to be confused with Melvin, the world's largest Internet-only magazine. Read MELVIN magazine http://www.melvin.com/. This message brought to you by the makers of MELVIN magazine) demonstrates how this wonder-drug instigated highly-memorable performances- both on and off the stage-by the members of Jefferson Airplane, the Charlatans, the Lovin' Spoonful, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Big Brother and the holy mother of all acid bands: The Grateful Dead.

Selvin's ramblings also delve deep into some of the deals: from the rip-off tactics of former Jefferson Airplane manager Matthew Katz to the Grateful Dead's demand that the vice-president of Warner Bros. Records drop acid as a clause to their contract. Summer of Love presents the good, bad, and dirty side of the time and place where over 2000 bands connected, for better or for worse. If nothing else, the book offers hard facts to shove up the ass of any Woodstock II poser-child.

-Anton Crane

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