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Cultural revolutions

Maggie's Farm had a couple of posts last night on the "Summer of Love" and Woodstock, keying off this essay by Cinnamon Stillwell, which in turn links to Ted Nugent's look back at the Sixties. As you might expect, the Nuge didn't much care for all that hippie stuff:
While I salute and commend the political and cultural activism of the 1960s that fueled the civil rights movement, other than that, the decade is barren of any positive cultural or social impact. Honest people will remember 1967 for what is truly was.

There is a saying that if you can remember the 1960s, you were not there. I was there and remember the decade in vivid, ugly detail. I remember its toxic underbelly excess because I was caught in the vortex of the music revolution that was sweeping the country...Death due to drugs and the social carnage heaped upon America by hippies is nothing to celebrate.
Sadly, because of all the hype and distortion laid down by the media, some of us who came after the "Woodstock generation" had to learn those lessons the hard way, and the learning is still going on today as the damage persists. I sometimes wonder if the popularity of anime and manga, the product of a far more structured culture than ours, is due at some level to a desire for that structure and a rejection of the hedonism of the Sixties that persists today in so much of our pop culture.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
materia_indigo
Jul. 26th, 2007 03:58 pm (UTC)
Your comment about anime rings very true for me. One of the reasons I enjoy anime and manga is because much of it reflects my values more closely than American entertainment.

For example, I typically don't enjoy American romantic comedies; our culture's approach to relationships is not something I can really identify with.
wombat_socho
Jul. 26th, 2007 04:56 pm (UTC)
This.
I can't watch most sitcoms any more. They just aren't funny to me - they're about unpleasant people doing stupid things, and why would I want to waste time on that?
materia_indigo
Jul. 26th, 2007 05:47 pm (UTC)
Amen to that. I haven't really been able to watch sit-coms since high school, and not even then.

Many anime characters, on the other hand, concern themselves with things like honor, justice, setting things right or protecting others. Things I can respect. For example, I appreciate how the principal male characters in Bleach treat the female characters. There's an endearing combination of deference, affection, and an understanding for each person's strength's and weaknesses.
materia_indigo
Jul. 26th, 2007 04:00 pm (UTC)
Ditto on films/books/shows involving drug-use. I don't (and never did) use drugs, I don't approve of drug-use, and I don't identify with characters who are abusers.
wombat_socho
Jul. 26th, 2007 05:00 pm (UTC)
Much like alcohol, the fun of drugs is highly overrated. I've used them, and while I don't think there have been any lasting effects, I have to wonder if I really wouldn't have been better off without them. I also had the dubious privilege of seeing people who couldn't handle them seriously screw up their lives. "One spends one's youth accumulating regrets for one's elder years."
materia_indigo
Jul. 26th, 2007 05:49 pm (UTC)
And I lost my friend PW two years ago to alcohol-related organ failure. He was younger than M, and it wasn't anything other than stupid and tragic.
qob
Jul. 26th, 2007 04:00 pm (UTC)
I lived through it and I have to agree with the Nuge. Also I think it is telling that once the draft ended, so did the war protests. I am afraid my generation was partially made up of lying cowards.
wombat_socho
Jul. 26th, 2007 04:55 pm (UTC)
Every generation is. There were draft riots in 1863, and while nobody talks much about it, it's pretty obvious that not all of the "Greatest Generation" were all that eager to head off to the jungles of New Guinea or the hills of North Africa.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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