(2 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
The other night, I found the full movie of “The 60’s” on youtube and decided to watch all of it. It took awhile, but I began to recognize it as a movie that i’d seen on TV a number of years before. Here it is:
The most interesting parts of this particular movie were the black-and-white motion pictures of true incidents that occurred during the 1960’s, ranging from ordinary American families just going on with the so-called normal lives, to the Civil Rights Movement, with the sit-ins, arrests and beatings and snipings that took place in the South, as well as people helping African-Americans register to vote. As a person who hails from a family who was very much involved in the Civil Rights Movement, as well as the anti-war Movement to get us out of Indo-China, and later, in the anti-nuclear Movement, I was very much aware of what was going on back then, but, due, at least in part to the fact that I was carrying my own baggage due to issues that I had, I opted out of becoming involved, unlike my siblings, who proved far more idealistic than I was/am. My lack of involvement in all that may very well be what shaped my outlook and attitudes towards the world, and people in general, but that’s a whole other issue, imho.
As I watched the movie “The 60’s”, however, I not only found the black-and-white motion pics of the actual events that took place back during that period, all the way from the Civil Rights Movement to the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago to (the original) Woodstock much more interesting, but I found the rest of the movie rather fake and phony, with a rather abrupt, somewhat cheesy, albeit romantic ending.
All of the mixed feelings that I had about that 1960’s as they took place came up as I was watching this particular movie, and I realized, that, while a lot of good happened during the 1960’s, there was, unfortunately, a lot of bad stuff that happened along with the good, which, unfortunately, helped usher in the kind of era that were now in. When I saw the movie unfold, along with the police roughing up, arresting and injuring Civil Rights and anti-War demonstrators, I couldn’t help realizing that right now, it’s deja-vu all over again, not only in terms of unnecessary brutality on the part of many police departments across the country, but the fact that we’re still involved in the same sort of gunboat diplomacy that we’ve been involved in for over a half century. We’re involved in several wars (i. e. Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen), only we’re doing it by more covert means, and the suppression of dissent, not only in politics, but in all else, generally, is back with a vengeance. It seems that everything is worse than it was in the 1960’s, because it’s much more covert, and even more violent at times, and because of the fact that, all too often, dissent in all arenas is stifled.
Sorry to rain down on everybody’s parade, but I don’t think that Obama’s Election as POTUS has a whole hell of a lot of meaning to it, if one gets the drift. Obama’s election as POTUS has proved to be a double-edged sword; On the one hand, it indicates that a non-white can be elected POTUS, and on the other hand, the kind of arrogance, hubris and overall abuse of power that Obama has, unfortunately exhibited since taking office knows no boundaries. Anybody, whoever s/he is or what their walk of life may be, is capable of it.
Ever heard the expression:
The more things change, the more they stay the same”?
Sadly, that applies here.
Although there were many good things that happened during the 1960’s, much of which had to happen, there was, unfortunately, much bad, as a result. The assassinations of JFK and MLK, and their aftermaths, which were also shown to some extent, were also an indication of how out of control things had gotten. Jules Wittcover’s book, “The Year the Dream Died: The Revisiting of 1968 Here in America”, imho, provides an excellent insight as to how and why things began to decline and unravel during the late 1960’s, and was the beginning of a much darker era, which we’re still experiencing. I realize that I’m not providing a very optomistic mood, but I think that, despite the phoniness of some parts of the movie “The ’60”s”, it showed the overall mood; that particular era was a mixed bag. It’s also true, however, that at least some people came around to have a somewhat more accepting attitude towards differences overall.
Yet, there are certain aspects of the 1960’s that I have sweet memories of also, despite my relative social isolation. Despite a lot of the bad stuff that happened, the 1960’s, as a whole, were very exuberant times, and it was truly beautiful being a teenager during that period…and an interesting time to grow up, to boot. I’m glad I didn’t grow up during any other time. Had I been born a decade earlier or later, I believe I would’ve had it much tougher, perhaps been more seriously handicapped, and/or suffered more severe taunting, with physical assaults added to that, along with social isolation. To get back to reallity about the 1960’s, however, I realize, on thinking and looking back on that whole era, that it’s just as well that I hadn’t gotten involved in any of the stuff that went on. I might’ve been traumatized for life, either by total exposure to what was happening, because I wasn’t equipped to handle becoming involved in political and/or social movements, or I might’ve been injured physically and been rendered emotionally, as well as physically impaired for the rest of my life if I’d been arrested, beaten or jailed. The pressure to conform to the fashions and styles back then was definitely there, however, and anybody who didn’t was subject to open ridicule and/or isolation. Like most teens, I liked, and still like rock-n-roll music. I, too wore mini-skirts and set my naturally-curly hair in jumbo-sized plastic rollers to straighten my hair (Long, straight hair was in fashion by then, and I envied girls who had naturally long, straight hair.), and then sit under the hair dryer for about an hour or so, after washing it and setting it.
My dad was distressed by the fact that I set my hair after I washed it, while my mom was more sympathetic to my need to follow the fashions of the times. My dad and mom reluctantly allowed me to set my hair in rollers and sit under the hair dryer once a week, after washing it, but that was all. It was clear what my family, especially my dad, would’ve really wanted; for me to have my hair cut extremely short and close-cropped, which I would’ve hated. But I persisted.
The movies and the music were another thing that I really liked about the 1960’s, and folksingers Judy Collins, Joan Baez and Judy Collins were cool;, too. So, the good and bad memories linger. Do I wish I’d had the opportunity to dance to the music back then? Yes, at times. Do I realize that there’s a lot of stupid stuff that lots of people got hurt by, as teens, and especially during that turbulent era? Most definitely. So, on thinking back on it, I’m better off for not having been involved. To many people’s chagrin, however, those kinds of attitudes have stuck with me, in a way.
I still remember getting hassles from other girls, especially during Freshman year of high school, about how “I had beautiful hair that wasn’t meant for having long”, and that I should have it short because it was curly. But I ignored their opinions, and kept my hair long anyhow. Although I gave up setting my extremely naturally curly hair in rollers and using a hairdryer long, long ago, I still insist and persist on keeping it long.
The 1960’s, although an interesting era, had some holdovers from the 1950’s. There was still quite a bit of going steady during that period, and people of the different socio-economic classes, racial, ethnic and religious groups were pitted against each other, as they are now. The Civil Rights Movement was something that had to happen; citizens born and raised up here on United States soil were having so much injustice heaped on them that somebody had to intervene, stick up for them, and help them assert their rights; the right to vote, have an education, earn a living, and to live in a decent, safe neighborhood. Thank heavens that people aren’t confined to the back of the bus, that they can eat in any restaurant, patronize any movie theatre or whatever that they wish, and that school committees can no longer deprive people of going to the schools of their choice just because they’re non-white. On the flip-side of all that, however, is the fact that, in many places, especially in the Northern metropolises, including and particularly Boston, that the housing is very cordoned off and segregated, affectively depriving many people of their right to llive where they want due to not looking like any of the people who live in certain areas. That, imho, is wrong.
Yet, regarding myself, there are certain things that I wasn’t able to do until later, when I was older and more mature; going out with guys, learning martial arts, and living independently and separately from the rest of my family. When I think about it all, however, I realize that there’s good and bad in every era, and that wishing things had happened with me that didn’t happen (i. e. a teenaged social life..i. e. going to dances, parties, etc.), is a waste of time and energy, and an exercise in futility, to boot. I used to think that the idealistic 1960’s were kind of mirage, to boot, after I’d grown up, but I realize that there were many good, legitimate things that had to happen, and they did. Yet, at the same time, some parts of that era, such as flower-power, love all around, etc., are somewhat of a mirage, because the line that separated the so-called good guys from the so-called bad guys was extremely hard, pronounced and obvious.
Now, howevever, we’ve long been into an era where the line that separates the good guys from the bad guys, as well as right from wrong, have become blurred, almost to the point of condoning wrong-doing.
On a more optomistic note, Aziza is doing fine, her breast feathers have grown back, and I have to have breakfast and get ready to take her to the pet shop for a grooming, plus I’m running out of steam and things to say. Talk to you all later.
Please note: This thread is crossposted on both firefly-dreaming and docudharma.com.