Saturday, February 23, 2008

Where They Have Gone

I always figured when the long hair turned gray or disappeared altogether it would get ugly. Nobody ever expected the counterculture of the late 60s to age gracefully. Some have done remarkably well; myself included if I may be so bold. It doesn't take much these days to figure out that the values of that era are long gone. True, there is a peace movement, and certainly the use of recreational drugs continues, but make no mistake, we live in a mean spirited time.
I'm hopeful that will change. With age and experience comes a different kind of hope. Cycles bring things back around. I'm certainly not waiting for any return to the way things were, that's not what I mean. I'm talking about perspective and what we can take from the past.
Lots of talk lately about the failures of the 60s. A friend of mind recently explained to me why he's voting for Obama. "Boomers have had two chances at the presidency; both have fucked it up, wouldn't you agree?" Hard to argue with that. Between Clinton's wandering eye and Bush's wandering mind, I think it's safe to say they didn't exactly REPRESENT well. Yet there are those from my generation who are supporting Obama because he represents everything that the 60s were about. They further add that there is something in the air and it's moving forward. To borrow a phrase from back in the day..."You know something's happening and you don't know what it is, do you...Mr. Jones?"
Yes, something is happening here, and even if it isn't all that clear yet, I submit that one thing is. I believe that the values and sacrifices and vision of the late 60s didn't go away. They're all over the place. They've filtered into classrooms and medical buildings. They make their presence felt in the workplace and in the board room. Some of the brightest figures burned out early. That's always the case. Too bad Janice or Jimmy couldn't have gone farther down the road. The most violent proved to themselves how limited their methods truly were. They self-destroyed; some sooner, others just a little later. But for most others, I argue they becme the difference they wanted to be. Ask them. See what they say.

1 comment:

Kalirati said...

I hate the phrase "the failure of the sixties." As if that sense of urgency could be sustained after we pulled out of Vietnam. I have been touched by many people who believe in questioning authority and creating positive change.The sixties did not die, but like the Nile branched down into many fine tributaries to feed an ocean.