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WebSideStory Pick of the Week! 3/16/98

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WebSideStory Pick of the Week! 3/16/98
    Dark Side Of The 60s

    April 27, 2016 am.
    Peace and Love?
    The Dark Side of the Sixties by Mike Marino.
    John Lennon said it best about the Sixties..."We Blew It!"

    Boomers refer to the 1950's as the "good old days". Cars had big fins and lots o' chrome. Bill Haley was rockin' around the clock, carhops were rollerblading royalty and the suburbs were squeaky clean and so damn bland. Boomer kids said things like "gosh" and "gee" and "thank you ma'am/sir". Guys opened the door for girls and never called them broads or chicks. Everybody's mom was June Cleaver in disguise and Ozzie Nelson was everyone's dad.

    Then along came the Sixties. The Democratic Un-Convention in Mayor Daley's Chicago in 1968. A police riot and rampage of pissed off proportions, of such billy club violence and teargas intensity, it could only be measured on a Richter scale, went unabashedly unabated for hours. The end result was an inevitable headbangers ball that left the Left dazed, pulp beaten and left to bleed on the proletarian pavement.

    The PTA seemed meaningless anymore, as the school bell rang and announced to all that it was now time for class to commence in the school of the streets, and the Parent Teachers Association was replaced by the SDS, Students for a Democratic Society. The 1960's were they peace and love and all was groovy?

    It was almost the Summer of Love, and the streets became clogged and crowded with weekend "hippies" while the diggers were dishing out free food in the park, music was in the air, performed mainly on the stage of the flatbed truck Great White Way, the dope, she was plentiful and the sky was a zillion rainbows with prismatic balloons floating overhead and inner mind. To most, this was the beginning of something wonderful, spectacular and spiritual. It was peace and love, while Vietnam raged on unabated, peace and love not withstanding. Timothy Leary preached to the muddled huddled masses to turn on, tune in and drop out, while wearing flowers and kaftans, but over on Cole street on the other side of the garden, was a deadly apparition called Charles Manson seeking out a sect of the weak to help him become the Jesus of Mass Murder.

    The political skies were darkening and within the year, another Kennedy and a King would be brought down, and flower power would give way to billy clubs on the streets of bloody Chicago. The Woodstock Festival in 1969 would fade as Altamont muscled its way into the fray with beer bottles, knives, and pool cues and a death at the hands of Hells Angels, and the peaceful marches of an earlier time would end with the events of deaths on the campus of Kent State. Do the math....It's one, two, three, what are we fighting for....equals = four dead in Ohio!

    This civics lesson of democracy in Chicago eventually exploded for five days with the Chicago police rioting with billy clubs and batons, brute force all in the haze of a tear gas that floated in an ethereal manner, a dreamlike fog that burns and brings reality to a crashing halt. The cops rampaged beating everything in sight including journalists covering the appalling events that would make Syria's president proud. Journalists cameras were smashed, film confiscated, and heads busted. Even Dan Rather was the victim of brutality on the convention floor and writer Terry Southern ran for cover into an apartment building along with Bill Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Jean Genet their heads bleeding from wounds sustained as journalists/observers.

    As the Sixties dawned and German Sheperd Police Dogs and municipal fire hoses were keeping drinking fountains white only, and diners, segregation was about to ignite and explode into an inferno consuming a dividing a nation. James Meredith, young school girls victims of racist bombings of schools and churches, three young college students from the north who came to register black voters were found in an earthen embankment, and a mother from Detroit found murdered for daring to come south and volunteer for civil liberties. This does not count the hundreds of locals who were beaten, jailed, hung or shot.

    Leviathan demonstrations to levitate the Pentagon, which led to the demise of the short lived garden of Hedon spawned by the tender loving care of love and peace of the Flower Power Generation would be trampled underfoot and suffer from Flower Power Degeneration as Kent State added four more dead in Ohio to the body count, (as though 50,000 plus American lives, not to mention the untold tens of thousands of Vietnamese) weren't enough to feed the hypodermic needle of the junkie needs of an addict addicted to a sense of false democracy with war machinations.

    The B-52's in the Sixties weren't just some damned mindless band on the radio, and napalm was not a froo froo drink on the veranda in a tropical paradise. Hell..the Sixties were on fire with anti-war sentiment and all some of us wanted to do was avoid the draft, go up country, jump in the water and stay drunk all the time. Some of us had those options, the Vietnamese did not. It was their country being told to bend over and take it in the ass. Hell where could they go to get away, and did they want to? In time, and soon out of step, the innocence of American hi-fidelity nights of Brylcreem dreams, last dance songs and fresh fin's of Bel Air's would face the final curtain. The wet head was dead, the fin began to retract, withdraw and disappear into automotive obscurity, and soon, very soon, too soon, the first body bags full of America's young and dead, would come crashing home to American shores on a tsunami wave of death from that far away land of Vietnam.

    Woodstock and Altamont were warning flags. One was a mud bath, the other a bloodbath. Both signaled the end of an era and the dream of peace and harmony. There were other warning signs on the hip horizon. and carried to schizophrenic extremes as Timothy Leary's peace and love mantra would soon be overshadowed by events that would take the tie-dyed generation from Kaleidoscopic beauty to a bright, deadly Clockwork Orange, as Charles Manson was ready to take center stage and the Flower Power skies were darkening into a thick dark black, as deep black as dried blood in a L.A. mansion where the final nail was pounded into the coffin of Peace and Love.

     Recommended Books
    Buddhist Chants & Peace Music
    Various Artists
    For your state of mind. Peaceful soul searching and enchanting Buddhist chants
    and accompanying music from around the world. [more]
    Lonely Planet Thailand
    (Thailand, 9th Ed),by Joe Cummings, Steven Martin
    This is the guidebook that I used on my trip to Thailand - I found it useful and accurate.
    Eyewitness Travel Guide to Thailand
    Although I didn't bring this book with me to Thailand, It was instrumental in planning my trip. It's jam-packed with photos that really helped me to decide where to go. [more]
    The Beach DVD
    Not a great movie, but the scenery of southern Thailand is amazing and makes it worth watching. This movie has started a new tourist trade in Thailand - you can take "The Beach" tours and see places where Leonardo DiCaprio visited during the filming. [more]

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