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BALTIMORE - Researchers at Johns Hopkins have demonstrated that the sixties, a period of mythical renown in American culture, really were as "groovy" as some people claim. In the controversial study, thirty-six carefully screened, non-drug-using subjects were given "magic mushrooms," a popular recreational substance during the sixties, in a controlled laboratory setting.
The subjects recorded their reactions, which were then analyzed and compared to recollections of the sixties provided by a group of Deadheads at a Phil Lesh and Friends concert in nearby Columbia, Maryland. The similarities between the group's reports were significant.
"Both the experimental group, whose members had never used psychedelic drugs, and the control group, whose members were veteran trippers, reported finding deep spiritual meaning in the work of artists like Jimi Hendrix, Quicksilver Messenger Service, the Grateful Dead, Moby Grape, and Tim Buckley," said chief researcher, Stephen A. Ritter, MD.
"We expected that kind of response from the control group," said Dr. Ritter, "but the nearly identical response from the experimental group indicates that people who remember the sixties as the greatest decade ever aren't simply blowing smoke."
Dr. Ritter, who pointed out that the sixties actually began in 1964 and ended in 1974, also noted that the similarities between the experimental and control groups' experiences gave the lie to the irritating cliche: "If you can remember the sixties, you weren't really there."
"Both groups not only remembered their psychedelic experiences but also reveled in those memories," he said.
At a follow-up interview three months after they had eaten 'shrooms, members of the experimental group, a number of whom turned up barefooted, talked fondly about sitting in a dimly lit laboratory during the experiment, listening to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon while watching The Wizard of Oz with the sound turned off. Many of them said they had repeated that experience in their own houses.
Members of the experimental group also said that 'shrooms had given them a fondness for tie-dyed clothing and old VW buses, an inclination to greet people with the peace sign, and a tendency to smile at strangers on the street.
"I'm no longer going to think 'that's bullshit, man' when somebody's rapping about how cool the sixties were," said subject X27. "I'm hip to that scene now. I was still tripping when I got home the other week, and me and the old lady had the best sex we ever had. You haven't balled until you've balled behind 'shrooms.
"I can also dig how people back then put an end to the Vietnam war. It's a bummer we can't do likewise with Amerika's imperialist occupation of Iraq. Up against the wall, m*ther-f*cker!"
In related news, President George W. Bush criticized "the John Hopkins study for attempting to rewrite the discredited history of the sixties." Mr. Bush also said, "This research sends the wrong message to our enemies in the war on drugs."