The Sixties

Sunday, June 7, 2015 – The Sixties

People today are still living off the table scraps of the sixties. They are still being passed around – the music and the ideas. ~ Bob Dylan

We were all on this ship in the sixties, our generation, a ship going to discover the New World. And the Beatles were in the crow’s nest of that ship. ~ John Lennon

The Stones were more dangerous than other bands of the Sixties. It looked like they had more fun than the Beatles – like they stayed up later. ~ Alex Lifeson

Remember when you used to watch TV in the Sixties and you’d see Perry Como in a cashmere sweater? That’s what rock ‘n’ roll is becoming. It’s your parents’ music. ~ Neil Young

I always knew the Sixties wasn’t a revolution. It really was just a bunch of university students with wealthy parents having fun. ~ John Lydon

In the sixties, everyone you knew became famous. My flatmate was Terence Stamp. My barber was Vidal Sassoon. David Hockney did the menu in a restaurant I went to. I didn’t know anyone unknown who didn’t become famous. ~ Michael Caine

If you can remember anything about the sixties, you weren’t really there. ~ Paul Kantner

I like to think of my behavior in the sixties as a ‘learning experience.’ Then again, I like to think of anything stupid I’ve done as a ‘learning experience.’ It makes me feel less stupid. ~ P. J. O’Rourke

The other day they asked me about mandatory drug testing. I said I believed in drug testing a long time ago. All through the sixties I tested everything. ~ Bill Lee

The sixties were when hallucinogenic drugs were really, really big. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we had the type of shows we had then, like The Flying Nun. ~ Ellen DeGeneres

The Sixties are now considered a historical period, just like the Roman Empire. ~ Dave Barry

The freedom that women were supposed to have found in the Sixties largely boiled down to easy contraception and abortion; things to make life easier for men, in fact. ~ Julie Burchill

The great triumph of the Sixties was to dramatize just how arbitrary and constructed the seeming normality of the Fifties had been. We rose up from our maple-wood twin beds and fell onto the great squishy, heated water bed of the Sixties. ~ Edmund White

On one level the sixties revolt was an impressive illustration of Lenin’s remark that the capitalist will sell you the rope to hang him with. ~ Ellen Willis

It has to be acknowledged that in capitalist society, with its herds of hippies, originality has become a sort of fringe benefit, a mere convention, accepted obsolescence, the Beatnik model being turned in for the Hippie model, as though strangely obedient to capitalist laws of marketing. ~ Mary McCarthy

When I think of my childhood, I see my mother, the complete sixties parent, decked in purple frappe silk caftans, the acidic smell of newly stripped pine mingling with incense. ~ Hamish Bowles

The Sixties were different in an isolated place. We got two television channels if the wind was blowing in the right direction. The radio stations went off at sundown. Then you picked up Chicago and heard the teenage music you really yearned for. ~ Charles Frazier

The real 1960s began on the afternoon of November 22, 1963. It came to seem that Kennedy’s murder opened some malign trap door in American culture, and the wild bats flapped out. ~ Lance Morrow

Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969, ended at the exact moment when word of the murders on Cielo Drive traveled like brushfire through the community, and in a sense this is true. The tension broke that day. The paranoia was fulfilled. ~ Joan Didion

The 1960s: A lot of people remember hating President Lyndon Baines Johnson and loving Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison, depending on the point of view. God rest their souls. ~ Richard Brautigan

Being president is like being a jackass in a hailstorm. There’s nothing to do but to stand there and take it. ~ Lyndon B. Johnson

The American foreign policy trauma of the sixties and seventies was caused by applying valid principles to unsuitable conditions. ~ Henry A. Kissinger

The cultural situation in America today (and indeed in all Western societies) is determined by the cultural earthquake of the nineteen-sixties, the consequences of which are very much in evidence. What began as a counter-culture only some thirty years ago has achieved dominance in elite culture and, from the bastions of the latter (in the educational system, the media, the higher reaches of the law, and key positions within government bureaucracy), has penetrated both popular culture and the corporate world. It is characterized by an amalgam of both sentiments and beliefs that cannot be easily catalogued, though terms like ‘progressive,’ ’emancipators or ‘liberationist’ serve to describe it. Intellectually, this new culture is legitimated by a number of loosely connected ideologies – leftover Marxism, feminism and other sexual identity doctrines, racial and ethnic separatism, various brands of therapeutic gospels and of environmentalism. An underlying theme is antagonism toward Western culture in general and American culture in particular. A prevailing spirit is one of intolerance and a grim orthodoxy, precisely caught in the phrase ‘political correctness.’ ~ Peter L. Berger

I was lucky to live in New York when it was dangerous and edgy and cheap enough to play host to young, penniless artists. That was the era of “coffee shops” as they were defined in New York – cheap restaurants open round the clock where you could eat for less than it would cost to cook at home. That was the era of ripped jeans and dirty T-shirts, when the kind of people who are impressed by material signs of success were not the people you wanted to know ~ Edmund White, City Boy: My Life in New York in the 1960s and 70s

In the sixties, the Commune emerged as a riposte to the nuclear family. This was an autonomic re-creation of not only preindustrial, but pre-agrarian life; it was the Return to Nature, but the Commune, like the colleges from which the idea reemerged, only functioned if Daddy was paying the bills, for the rejection of property can work only in subvention or in slavery. It is only in a summer camp (College or the hippie commune) that the enlightened live on the American Plan – room and board included prepaid – and one is free to frolic all day in the unspoiled woods. ~ David Mamet, The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture

But, really, so much was accomplished, so much changed (and even less noticed, a lot held on to), that it seems inappropriate to be quite so uncomfortable with our past. For by refusing to accept the world as we were told to (most pointedly the war in Vietnam) we held on to many of the traditional values we had been taught, not the least of which was to demand accountability from our government. We shouldn’t forget that a lot had to change. For America couldn’t forever remain the child of the Hula-Hoop with the arsenal of Armageddon. ~ Ethan A. Russell, Dear Mr. Fantasy: Diary of a Decade

Nothing happened in the sixties except that we all dressed up. ~ John Lennon

The Sixties were an oyster decade: slippery, luxurious and reportedly aphrodisiac they slipped down the historical throat without touching the sides. ~ Julian Barnes

History is hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even without being sure of “history” it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time – and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened. ~ Hunter S. Thompson

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