The Civil Rights Movement, Manifestaion or Motive

drieux H. (
Thu, 11 Apr 1996 14:52:26 -0400

I would have to argue against Sandra Flowers apparent
assertion that the Civil Rights Movement, which had
clearly preceded the American Involvement in World War II,
was the cause of the 'youth rebellion' that becomes a popular
icon known as 'the sixties' - since for a wide range of people
who were active in the "Great American Cultural Revolution" they
had at best only a tangentally connection to the Civil Rights Movement
and/or for that matter the AntiWar Movement. Yes there were clear
connections betweenthe two groups at times, clear enough for
the fed's to consider them all one big happy Red Konspirakii, but...

I would start with the current Revisionism that cropped up recently
in the Doonesbury cartoon series, in which Doonesbury is pointing out
to the GenXSlackers that the reason the Sixties were so awesum was that
there was full employement, and Job Security Ruled. At one level this
is the clear motive behind the whole 'youth rebellion' - since at the
time there was relative prosperity, and a lot of Dollars free floating
around in bell bottom jeans.

I would remember by 1970 that both my Uncle and My father would begin
to speak of the 'AmericanExpressHippies' who were out on the 'hippie trail'
with "daddy's american express card" in hand to pay the freight. Granted
father reached back into the 'beat generation' having hitched up and
down the west coast, but that is another tale, but it grounds the cultural
distinction which the family holds between "hobbo's and bums" - with the
former willing to work for a living, the later merely looking for a handout.
Which of course puts me in well with the debate about 'diggers' - at least
from a Traditional Family Values Perspective....

So one might really want to stop and find out if there REALLY WAS
a specifically unique 'youth rebellion' that went on in the Sixties,
or was it more a matter of better Marketing, what with the BabyBoomers
being the Big Demographic Bulge filtering through the MarketTrendAnalysis.

One might also pause to notice how little things really have changed
all that much. The Boys are still trying to meet the Girls, and
there are troubadours out there making racket that this generation
wishes to tell us is 'music' - but it clearly is no Pink Floyd, or
Doors, or that San Francisco Sound....

Kids are still doing variations on the whole 'rene decarte' scene
of doubting all until they can come unto firm grounds. It is just
that so many of us now can hardly watch 'the big chill' without worrying
that we too sound like our parents. Our parents who waved the Red Demons
of Kommunism at us, and some of us had fun when Komsomol reprinted, almost
verbatim, that good "Young Communists" should not wear blue
jeans, and listen to Rock_N_Roll, since these would corrupt their moral fibre.
I must confess that it was pleasing to note that my parents had been
so clearly ahead of their time to Be SuperSekretKommieAgents well before
that was trendy. Or was it the case that Komsomol was leaking that the
RedHordes were really just our Parents in Drag?

Even the current 'back lash' in the party alignment in congress has shown
little more than that some have great hopes of managing change better
than it has been previously done - even if they like to counch their
terms in absolutist rhetoric. I rather doubt that anyone can seriously
see their way clear to return to an age before 'brown v. board of ed.'
when Jim Crow was the Law and not merely a cultural icon. It is rather
a frightening thought to consider that the 'hard corp republicans' wish
to create the economic conditions that would allow for such extravaganza's
as WoodStock, and being able to comfortably afford to have all of those
hippies wandering around in the Haight again.... Not to mention being able
to ship out large numbers of our kids to Peace Corp Projects abroad, or
even WarKorpProjects like vietnam....

Nope, I would have to say, Easy Rider was just a Movie.