The pink hibiscus flowers appearing in Steven’s Dream is the national flower of South Korea, Mugungwha. I went to look at the meaning of the flower in a Korean context. There’s definitely a lot to think about.
A flower from the tree blooms during the dawn, shrinks in the afternoon, and falls in the evening. By every Mugungwha tree during the blooming season, you can see a bunch of shrunken flowers at the bottom. Even though a flower lasts only for a day, more flowers bloom every day in the tree, making it look like the flowers never wither.
The whole Pepsi commercial thing reminded me that people always mis-remember the famous flower in the gun barrel photo as being a young woman. It wasn’t. The photo, taken by Bernie Boston, is of George Edgerly Harris III better known by his stage name Hibiscus. He was a member of the San Francisco based radical gay liberation theater troupe the Cockettes. He died of AIDS in 1982 at the time AIDS was still referred to by the name GRID which stood for Gay Related Immuno-Deficiency. The photo was taken at a protest at the Pentagon.