[sixties-l] Re: letting it all hang out

From: PNFPNF@aol.com
Date: 12/13/00

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    Terrific question from Dougill, one that gets to a heart of the sixties.  I 
    agree with others here on the importance of Paul Goodman (and Perls and the 
    Gestalt therapists) in the stirring, in late 1950s and very early 1960s, of 
    the sense society not self was sick.  (The psychology of Wilhelm 
    Reich--rather, of some of his interpreters, particularly in NY--had similar 
    effect.)    There was a whole Greenwich Village bohemian crowd, 
    too--partially predating the Beats--but one can go back to J.D. Salinger, 
    esp. Catcher in the Rye, with its highly sane and compassionate "sick" young 
    hero, and to several pop books of the time (The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit, 
    Reismann's Lonely Crowd), which at least implied repression was a problem.  
    (And de Beauvoir pointed out some alternative ways to look at things, for 
    women anyway, before Friedan.)  And there was a tendency for young college 
    intellectuals, in a culture no longer laced in religion, to question their 
    campus parietal rules and emphasis on "saving it for your husband" (with the 
    assumption there had to be a house/job/husband/little-boxes)...especially 
    once they saw a broadcast of folks sitting down at a Southern lunchcounter, 
    or heard about a Campus SANE meeting that might begin to give the tiniest 
    start of a bit of barest hope that maybe there was possibly something one 
    might begin to try to do that conceivably could somehow possibly prevent 
       And people, especially young people, spoke with one another in coffee 
    shops and wherever about these books and ideas--and of course lambasted one 
    another for not being cool--in the new senses, soon, of uninhibited--enough; 
    and, with a wee help from LBJ becoming president, and the like, it spread.
        It's interesting, and probably natural, so many of us have written of the 
    escape the sixties offered from the (40s and) fifties.  From the Dark Ages is 
    right, Marty (but maybe the Dark Ages had more going for them).   --See my 
    "You asked 'What was happening then?'" in Viet Nam Generation vol. 6 no. 1-2, 
    on the ways many of us women found we were indeed whole and loving and 
    strong, after decades of being told we were not. (See Rickie Solinger's Wake 
    Up, Little Susie! esp. the chapter on the Little Girl Who Wasn't Loved, on 
    this, and on the blaming of mothers' mothers in the 1945-65 period.)
       The subject is terribly important.

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