Sunday, September 13, 2015

The 60s and 70s

That Facebook comment startled me. Ray Lewis, the retired Philadelphia police captain who became famous on the Left when he went to the Occupy Wall Street protests in his police officer uniform, had posted a picture of a painting of a couple making love and had commented that only sick and depraved minds would think of something like it as pornography. Ray often rails against the conservative Christianity movement.

The comment startled me because I didn't think people thought of the "60s and 70s" as a time "when people were more loving and free." There was that aspect of the Counterculture, of course. "The Counterculture" being that whole hippie thing but of course more than that, the styles, the whole liberal swing of the country and much of the world, the music and art and ideas, the opening up of peoples' minds, the liberation struggles, equality.

People who were heavily into the Counterculture held peace and love and the free expression of emotions in high regard, but my take on it was that it was just those few people thinking that and they just thought it for a little while. The mass of humanity had been influenced somewhat.

Then the Counterculture got swallowed up and overwhelmed by human nature as it was emphatically reasserted by the Reganites while Disco music cleansed all the former hippies' minds of all their silly notions so they could set them to cutting their hair and getting jobs and falling into line.

For a few years after the Counterculture petered out you'd read something about it now and then. Many in the media especially the Leftist media had been involved in it in one way or the other and were trying to come to grips with the fact that whatever their vision of a better and more loving world had been, it was starting to get further away, not closer. Why this swing to the right in the country? Why had the the Counterculture gone away? What had it been? I can't say that I've seen anything written about what happened to the Counterculture in a long time. I haven't stopped thinking about it for one minute.


  1. A friend of mine from Mogote, Colorado used to say that the "counterculture folks" were totally organic and together and would not eat eggs for fear of being called out by others for exploiting the chickens.

    I recall one hippie living off of the royalties from a book he had written on some culture in Africa which was required reading in some college courses telling me to "drop out" one day when he was higher than a kite from eating mushrooms and smoking pot. I told him I could not afford to, I needed a job because I had to make a living. He could not understand why I wanted to join the rat race as a "wage slave". I told him I did not know of any other way to make a living. I do not think he and I ever really understood one another, we came from different worlds. He saw himself as trying to get back to the land and I was trying to get a cushy job like he had had before he dropped out.

    He never quite made it to where he wanted to go and neither did I. I do not know what happened to him, last time I saw him was 1969 in San Geronimo, NM by Las Vegas where he was tending goats. Me? I was working at the Glorieta Baptist Assembly just outside of Santa Fe as a night janitor at the time.

  2. Damn! Great comment NM.

    I would guess you encountered your share of pretty far out dudes (as we said in those days) in those days. Before and after, probably, too. New Mexico's a magnet for such folk, isn't it? People want to trek across the land on the old road, headed for California and the sea maybe, and here's this New Mexico, a blank slate to most people but here it is and it's easy to get hooked. It was to me. I've come across mentions of several communes that sprang up here (my utopian dream was to live on a commune) and it seems like I've come across repeated references in the paper to writers and poets and all kinds of people who basically were just going to come through here and stayed. New Mexico does seem to hit way above its weight in artists and writers.

    Speaking of which, I hope you're doing some writing. You have tools -- stories, experience, expressive ability, well read, smart, have thought about things, etc. And you were night janitor at the Glorieta Baptist Assembly, fer crissakes. Writers have died to get jobs like that.

    But if writing isn't your cup of pinon coffee my blog has sure benefited from it and I appreciate it.