[sixties-l] 50s and 60s; age groups in 60s; dropping out.

From: William Mandel (wmmmandel@earthlink.net)
Date: Fri Jun 09 2000 - 00:28:21 CUT

  • Next message: Sandra Hollin Flowers: "[sixties-l] Music of OUR generationS"

        Posts by others yesterday have made me take another look at
    certain phenomena.
        It is true that SANE and other organizations opposing
    existing policy came into being in the late '50s. With three
    exceptions, their style and membership confined them to the
    polite and ineffectual existence best described by comparing them
    to NGOs today. I was very conscious that, as phrased it then:
    "There are three things going in America today: Martin Luther
    King, KPFA, and the American Friends Service Committee."
        The order was deliberate: King led a mass movement and a
    people; KPFA was asserting freedom of speech in a McCarthyized
    country; the AFSC High School Committee in Northern California
    provided and education and cultural outlet for the best elements
    of a new generation. I have long thought that its camp at Lake
    Tahoe is where the San Francisco sound was born. Someone might
    investigate that.
        When a post referred to Mort Sahl, that was ipso facto a
    reference to the San Francisco-Berkeley-Oakland-San Jose area, a
    very, very different place, because there alone, in the entire
    country, the New Deal alliance between labor, culture, and
    intellectuals had not been smashed by Red-baiting, thanks above
    all to the resistance of the Longshoremen's Union and its leaders
    -- Bridges, Dave Jenkins -- hauled before the committees and, in
    Bridges' case, the courts.
        My post about white youth retreating, circa 1970, into
    communes and making a buck, was not well phrased. Others'
    comments about the purpose of people in joining communes were
    well put. My point was that, as is generaly realized today and a
    couple of us older heads did then, they were a blind alley. As to
    making a buck, perhaps the best single footnote on that is that
    one such person recently gave enough millions to UC Berkeley that
    it agreed to put up the marvelous Free Speech Cafe, with
    photo-murals, a computer with archival data, and changing
    exhibits informing students visiting the main undergraduate
    library of that history.
        On the same subject, a month ago I attended the 40th
    anniversary reunion of SLATE, the left-liberal UC Berkeley
    student party. All those present, ranging from the current
    attorney-general of the state of California through Bob Scheer
    now of the L.A. Times, through people involved in every
    imaginable type of social-issue organization, had remained
    activists. This pertains to the matter of "generations" or,
    better, age groups, among 60s people. The SLATE veterans are so
    completely into lesser-evilism that a proposal to have a SLATE
    contingent at the Democratic National Convention was about to be
    passed when a Berkeley ex-student-of-that-generation objected
    that there were those of us who don't think Clinton and Gore are
    the way to go.
       But among those just a little younger, who represented the
    successive cohorts of the 60s generation, I'm not at all sure
    that the stress some have placed upon that succession is
    deserved. Certainly as someone old enough to be their father, but
    involved with them day to day as a member of the FSM Executive
    Committee, I did not see the difference between the youngest
    FSMer, 18 in 1964, and the oldest, a dozen years his senior, that
    some posts emphasize. Perhaps that was true in SDS nationally.
    Much more important in Berkeley, and I personally suspect, in
    other centers of activity, were the gender differences out of the
    women's liberation movement was born. Because gays were in the
    closet (I have in mind individuals who later came out as gay),
    their activities were in no way different from those of
                                                William Mandel

    To be removed from list, e-mail "Opt Out."
    You may find of interest website www.BillMandel.net

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Jun 09 2000 - 00:34:33 CUT