The Mass Age Medium and Future Shlock: Making Sense of the 60's

The recent passing of Mary Travers—who, with Peter and Paul, was years ago always intoning that the answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind—brought back some quaint memories of kumbaya moments, and the consoling thought that at least Mary Travers lived long enough to see her political vision fulfilled in the person of Barack Obama.  The recent revival of the “musical” Hair also took me back, or to be more precise, I was taken aback by it.  Who would want to see now what was entirely vacuous the first time around?  I avoided it then, but I couldn’t have avoided the 60’s altogether, now could I?  I tried, but I wasn’t at that time ready for the physical extinction that would seem to have been required.  Maybe I should have had more nerve—maybe there are some who wish I had—but however that may be, long hair and nudity seemed to be something less than an achievement then, and still seem so today.  The 60’s were a mess from which we have never recovered, and I doubt we ever will.  The bizarre principle of the ubiquity of loud, ugly music has been accepted for decades, and the related principles that political thought is defined by identity groups, and that sweaty passion is the hallmark of authenticity, are with us today in full force.  Violence, drugs, and even riots took strange forms then, and they still do.

When did the 60’s begin?  The...

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