Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Flower Power – RETRO Wordplay Wednesday™ 09/19/18

Let Your Writing Blossom with Retro Fun 

The 1970s were terrifically prolific with slang! Oh, so many to choose from … Having lived through them while working at UC Berkeley, however, none stand out more than …

FLOWER POWER (flouʹɘr pouʹɘr) n. – a nonviolent ethic as advocated by hippies. [WW / RETRO #182]
Dictionary definition: again, no “official” dictionary definition, but the best slang rarely makes the tome’s pages, don’t you think?

Gaining momentum in the late 1960s, Flower Power truly defined the early 1970s. Throughout this turbulent decade of contrasts, the phrase personified a more peaceful movement, away from the ugliness of international wars and national strife.

Said to have originated in 1965 with American poet, Allen Ginsberg, Flower Power stemmed from his imagined world where peace and love would conquer conflicts. He, along with other free-thinking literary scholars led the advent of the beat generation, which fed into the Sixties’ hippies. Hence our rose-colored glasses of the 1970s.

Embodying all that is right in nature, flowers in all their vibrant colors, usually make people happy. How can we be mean and combative when given one, right? Great in theory.

The 1970s embraced Flower Power from its beginning (until it was trampled by Disco Duck in the latter part of the decade). But it wasn't until the spring of the '70s that Flower Power really blossomed in the pages of most major magazines. As with all things, it takes the mainstream a while to co-opt the culture of the trend makers. Once the Mad Men (and their clients) realized the selling power in groovy graphics...”

Together with Peace signs—cue two fingers to form a V—and psychedelic music, Flower Power tried valiantly to climb the “Stairway to Heaven” and change the world. Alas, we were too cynical, even for Hippies and powerful musicians.

However, Flower Power remains a fond symbol of a not-forgotten time when some at least tried to turn the world on its axis with “Make Love Not War.”

Word Challenge: FLOWER POWER. Whether you remember the 1970s or simply curious about them, give a pretty petunia to someone as you fit Flower Power into your week of blossoming writings.  

Learning knows no prejudices or boundaries, and it isn’t fattening! Expanding your mind is a no-cost, simple joy. Do you feel that way too? What’s your inspiration? Share your creative genius and Wordplay Wednesday comments below.

Write first for yourself … only then can you write for others. (L.Rochelle) 


LinDee Rochelle is a writer and editor by trade, and an author by way of Rock & Roll. She has published two books (of three) in her Blast from Your Past series, available on Amazon (eBook and print): Book 1Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The First Five Years 1954-1959; and Book 2Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The Swinging Sixties. Coming soon, … The Psychedelic Seventies!


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