Re: Have A Nice Day (Multiple posts)

Sun, 22 Mar 1998 18:28:48 EST

I think Marty Jezer is VERY MUCh onto something re what he calls "niceness" in
the sixties movement/counterculture, though my own take on (and in) it was
that this was basically an expansion, into every area of private life (as in
"the personal is political", subsequently), of more traditional
nonviolence/c.d. concepts. Like him, I recall a turning away from the (not
merely "perceived") tight moralism of many longtime "nonviolence"
proponents----to demanding, on the one hand, that our feeling for others be
felt as well as acted-as-if (as so many c.d. demos etc. seemed), and on the
other hand, that actions be effective even at the cost of some moral
righteousness. --Yes, I know that already embodies the contradiction.--
Indeed, I think this contradiction, and the tension and vitality of both
views, continues (logically, of course, but also in the event) long after the
sixties. (I presume it began awhile before--cf. Jesus's "turn the other
cheek" and chasing the money-changers from the Temple--.) I could give
instances from the Gulf War protests and the 1987 protests at Concord Weapons
Station, locally--as in, whether to "take the bridges" or just march, whether
to tear up train tracks ff. the rally after B. Wilson was maimed, etc., but
I'm sure we can all think of examples.
The use of flower-power, groovin', smiley/nice, etc. as an
organizing/educating method, I do NOT recall. But quite likely, the Diggers
in the Haight, and others, indeed so used it, I don't know.
But--a fascinating subject.
Paula Friedman