Thursday, February 10, 2011

Don’t call me Hippie...I am a Freak! Really! That’s What We Said

The strangest thing about being an old Peace Marching, Manifesto Writing, Pot Smoking, Country Joe and the Fish Freak of the late 1960’s is how fast we disappeared. I noticed when I was 30-years-old that the 22-year-olds graduating from college had very little interest in the political, but had embraced the sex part with gusto. My younger New York City friends had lost track of the number of men they had sex with after  getting to 100 (not sleeping with...going up into the high seats of Palladium and mating and parting without even knowing names...a practice AIDS stopped) and yet they became very respectable wives and mothers without a thought. I barely made it to 10 real  relationships (plus one date rape) in my whole denimed, communal, Woodstock life. The disco party started as the Vietnam War disappeared and died. There was no longer a Draft to resist and people discovered credit cards when the rates were 3 percent and you could pay it all off every month for free. We actually had to pay for things at bizarre.  I remember in 1969 at Ohio University, when the Pong Game arrived at the Student Union. Within 24 hours people were wrapped around the block, waiting to play that simple, boring little game. (By the way, Pong recently beat Andy Roddick in a tennis game, but we always suspected that Pong had the best return of serve.) Parents were becoming increasingly irrelevant and unimportant to the life of the generation after ours. Our parents, fresh from surviving the Depression and World War II, passed on different neuroses than the parents who slogged through Korea and only knew shopping as being at a Mall. We knew the world before plastic, but the generation born after 1956 were raised on Tang and McDonald’s. But now, like it or not, now, we have 2 stupid wars. We have a hideous economy and the rich oppressing the poor more than ever.  The party is over. We have to get back in the streets. We have to stop playing and start understanding. “One, Two, Three What are we fightin’ for? Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn! Next stop is Bagram!” Yeah, there goes Grandma again...talking about a Revolution.

1 comment:

  1. In the 1960s, Canada was an alternative to Viet Nam. Today it's an alternative to expensive American medication.

    My 20-something relatives dig Clapton, Burdon, Jagger, Hendrix, Morrison, Joplin, but never heard of Phil Ochs and Tom Paxton.

    Why is there no protest music now?

    Without a draft for motivation, there is little need to sing "I ain't marching any more"

    OTOH, "Alice's Restaurant" is a classic and "Whoopie, we're all gonna die" is a catchy tune.

    I've left instructions that I want Country Joe's "F Cheer" (preferably the dirty version) to be screamed at my funeral.

    "And now back to the dull 21st century," the aging baby boomer said wistfully.