Ah, yes, The Boomer says to me over a six pack, it’s tremendous fun remembering the merry, sexy, riotous 1960s when all young people everywhere, and some of their less benighted elders, began their crusade to overturn the established order and make a New World.
And we did it, didn’t we? I say.
We did! says The Boomer. Now we have no more wars. No more famines. No more race hate. No more nuclear bombs. No more cancer. No more tyrants. No more Lawrence Welk (that’s what passed for music before the 1960s). And no more everything else rotten, foul and over 30.
All women are safe and equal in our land, with equal pay and equal respect. All races, colors, faiths and unfaiths are safe and equal, too. So, too, are those of sexual preferences a bit different from yours and mine, or at least mine as I’m never too sure about yours.
Yep, I say, sex, drugs and rock & roll made it all happen and we should be proud of what we accomplished.
Oh, well, says The Boomer, there were one or two downsides to the ‘60s. We beat polio but didn’t know we had AIDS. That surprise would come a bit later. We didn’t do much about the miseries of people of color or the poor. They had to make a revolution of their own to get even a bit of what the generous American spirit should have granted them from the start, and the start for some was 450 years ago.
But we made the Vietnam war end, I say, and that’s really what the ‘60s was all about, right?
Sure, says The Boomer. Ending the war. Ending the draft. Ending young (white) men being drafted. Ending their fleeing to Canada or Sweden or their pet psychiatrists or the favorite party colleges to keep out of the draft and let other young men (less white, less rich, less clever in running away) carry their burden.
You make it sound, I say, like the weedy, sexy, boozy, motorcycle-y, folk-singing 1960s really were all about ending the killing of white boys?
Well, I suppose it was, says The Boomer, when you get right down to it.
So, I say, all that sex, drugs and rock & roll was all about sex, drugs and rock & roll and nothing more?
Oh, no, says The Boomer. We really did make a New World. Trouble is, it looks a lot like the old world.
Pass me another six pack, I say to The Boomer.
© 2016 Steven Hardesty