Surviving the Sixties

This is another assignment I had in Media and Society about if I had lived in the sixties what would I have done or been into? What would my life be like? So here it is. . . my vision of Art Holmes living in the sixties:

Thursday, October 27, 2011
Surviving the Sixties
So what would I have done without all the distractions of technology in the sixties? Assuming that I graduated high school in 1969 that is a damn good question. Go cruising and parking with a hot girl perhaps in a bitchin’ muscle car? Have a baby? Focus on my future? Worry about the draft? Move to Canada? Do a lot of drugs and alcohol? Learn to play a mean game of pool? Be the king of the bowlers? Hitchhike to Haight Ashbury, Washington D.C., Woodstock?
I think knowing myself the way I do, I think the draft would be my biggest concern. I definately would have been into The Beatles, The Doors, and Hendrix, and dreaming of a life in Southern California where it was all happenin’.  But I have to assume that I’m stuck in the cheese wiz utopia known as Milton, Wisconsin at the mercy of my parents, stuck in a life that anyone with a soul and half a brain would call hell. 
I would have been very focused on what was going on in Vietnam. Growing up in the eighties and nineties I was so into music and making my own projects that I never really focused on what was going on outside of my life. It was’nt until I ended my term of service in the military and Dubya going to war with Iraq that I really started to focus on all that stuff in my later twenties. Without all the technological distractions I can only assume that the sixties could not have happened because what else did people have to do? Go to the movies, watch the news or switch the channel to Laugh In to escape the constant barrage of war, get married and have babies? Work a job you hate for 20 years, get a pension cause you could get one back then. Of course that was the normal thing to do. But your smoking 3 packs a day and an alcoholic, ignoring your pregnant wife who slaves all day being Molly homemaker while your playing poker with your manly man friends in your smokey man cave. Sounds awesome. 
In the fifties when everything was perfect it was this Leave it to Beaver utopia and that was what you were supposed to do. Be the breadwinner, get married, have kids. The cycle repeats itself and everyone is hunky dorey swell. Come into the sixties and you have these kids who have not been corrupted and brainwashed and feeling this immense need to be authentic individuals, to connect with humanity, and make a change in the world that was becoming a matrix of bullshit. I’m not so sure the sixties movement could have happened with all the distractions we have now?
On the commentary track for ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ Terry Gilliam talks about how he made the movie for the college crowd but it’s the fourteen and fifteen year olds who come up to him and say how much they liked the movie. Gilliam sais this has to do with the fact that teenagers have’nt been corrupted by society yet so they’re the ones who really identify with the themes of the movie.
In today’s world we have occupy wallstreet which gives me hope, but we also have the Glen Becks of the world who make thinking obsolete and fear is the name of the media game. In the sixites there were three channels and on one of them you had Walter Cronkite getting up from his desk and saying that the mission in Vietnam will not work and everyone listened. Even in the fifties you had Edward R. Murrow and his trusty friend Mr. Smokey telling us about the evils of McArtheism. Today our equivalant to Cronkite and Murrow is Jon Stewart on Comedy Central and Keith Olbermann on Current TV and born again republicans have their O’Reilleys and Hannities, Steve Ducey’s and guys that are not Steve Ducey but want to be Steve Ducey.  
Had I lived in the sixties I believe I would have found out a lot more about myself at an earlier age. Maybe I would have gone the married with a pile of kids route and ended up just like my dad because I would’nt have known any better. Sometimes I wish we were living in the sixties so I wouldnt have to hear some annoying cell phone ring tone every other minute. As Tony Soprano once said about the cell phone before he beat the crap out of his bartender for not being able to work the phone, “we were better off before.”
I do love living in the future but on the flip side for every technology advance I’m pretty sure America takes two steps backwards into the realm of an idiocracy where Darwinism has become obsolete. Technology makes our lives easier but it also makes us dumb and dumberer and it’s your choice to take the blue pill or the red pill when everything you ever wanted to know is right at your fingertips. 
But at the end of the day I believe we were born at the time we were meant to be born into to accomplish and learn whatever life lessons come our way and to have certain life experiences that could’nt be experienced in any other time in history.

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