Re: Sex, drugs, R&R (fwd)
Tue, 14 May 1996 11:38:38 -0400

Sender: "Marc J. Gilbert" <>
Subject: Re: Sex, drugs, R&R

Jeff Apfle wrote:

Marc Gilbert took issue with some of my comments in an earlier posting. While I
am certain we would disagree if the terms of the debate were clear, I think that
in a few instances he has taken issue with things I did not say. I wrote in
response to a number of postings, focussing mostly on a recent posting by
Elizabeth Gips on sex, "drugs" and rock and roll in the Haight. Among other
things, I raised the issue of what I view as the failure of some of the extreme
tenets of sexual liberation in the era . . . Norman O. Brown . . .

Marc writes:

My point was that Betty Friedan and Norman O. Brown were not young,
and that "Free Love" as a means of changing the world was but a part
of the pop culture of the day (I would say that suburban swinging
was more important in the everyday lives of most Americans then, and
it had little to do with the philosophy of anyone on the Left). It
was a lifestyle for a few, but there have always been communes,
dozens in California since the '20s, and free love was not a
philosophy confined to the sixties (Mein Lieber Herr!). It is the
use of Free Love as a philosophical underpinning for the sixties that
I object to, because when one chooses to illuminate action by terms
defined by intellectual history, one still must prove that people
were actually motivated by these ideas. It is certainly fun to
assert that Norman O. Brown defined a part of the Sixties, but before
I would do so, I would ask if was anyone on this list movtivated by
Norman O. Brown. But that is just me, a pedantic and anal retentive
historian. Jeff asserts his own experience of the '60s and makes a
stab at mine. No offense taken, but political views do not
necessarily reflect activism. My own FOYA file might suggest that I
was a student rebel AND worked for Robert McNamara. Both would not
necessarily be true, but one should move with care; it is better to
avoid making such preesumptive connections in correspondence. There
are some presumably "activist" folk on this list whose security
classification would boggle the mind. I AM a distant cousin of
Senator Barry Goldwater. So? We are in the business of ideas here,
and if experience has a connection, people will make it clear enough
when they have a mind to do so.