Can ya dig it? Fer sure, if you grew up in the 60s and 70s. What a cool time to be alive and young! There was this feverish uprising of a suppressed youth that longed to break out and break all the rules. And we did! The assassination of President John F. Kennedy seemed to trigger a need for change, and change came when The Beatles hit the scene. Believe me, for those of you that did not live through Beatlemania, there are no words I can use to describe the effect on America and much of the planet. It is something that will never be repeated, ever. There was a combination of their energy and the energy of the youth that, combined, well. . . you had to be there. And all this is just my opinion, of course, having been there.
The 60s were about hippies and communes and free love and lots of sex. The peace sign became the symbol of the era, and to hell with the establishment. Youth wanted to know who they really were and find out what the purpose of life was all about. Unfortunately, this led to some really potent drugs, especially hallucinogenics like LSD. I was never, ever into the drug scene, but there was a difference between back then and now. I think the kids then really had no idea what they were getting into, they were just so filled with this rebellious energy and wanted every opportunity to build the world in a new and better way. I was a SERIOUS Beatles fan, and really, they were basically these good, innocent lads from Liverpool, who got thrown into a fame that was more than their systems could handle. They were one of the leaders, not only into the drug movement, but back out of it. They studied with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi to learn how to take control of their lives through Eastern meditation, again, starting a fad for the new age, which continues now for a huge group of us.
The "War" in Vietnam (which was never actually declared a war), started an era of protests and even greater hatred for the establishment. "Make Love, not War" was the new battle cry. And add to that, the Civil Rights Movement, led by many, but certainly in the forefront was Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., adding racial riots to aid the crumbling of society as it had been.
In fashion, well, Twiggy was queen, with a toothpick for a body, and big bedroom eyes, complete with globs of mascara. There were mini-skirts, followed by granny gowns, fishnets stockings, Go-Go boots, and of course, bell-bottom pants, and lots of beads and "Flower Power." Yep, my style. The psychedelic drug culture inspired psychedelic art, which showed up everywhere, even on VW buses!
But what happened? The Beatles broke up in 1970, and the Vietnam War ended, but not before catastrophes like the shootings by the National Guard here at Kent State University, about 15 minutes from my house. Gradually, the rebellions quieted down and life returned to normal. Or did it? Not the normal of before but a fresh and new normal, at least for a while. As youth wore off, the hippies of the 60s settled down to high-paying jobs and became the yuppies of the 70s and 80s. Ideals, in most cases, were compromised for money. It seems the end of the 70s was the antithesis of the beginning of the 60s.
But not for all of us. Some of us have remained hippies at heart. If you read the writings of those who are leaders in the Global Awakening movement, now reaching its climax, you will find that, yep it's us again. Some people are just never satisfied with the status quo.
Right on, Brotha. Peace.