And we’re back. Thanks for reading part one. Deuxième partie means part two in French. Not to brag, but I’m very cultured and worldly.
I just Googled it and learned it three minutes ago. Ahem.
Let us pick up where we left off, shall we?
We were discussing how if you grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, your memories, whether positive or negative, and ultimately whether or not we look upon these memories with fondness, are specifically tied to our individual experiences.
As per Wikipedia, “The counterculture of the 1960s refers to an anti-establishment cultural phenomenon that developed first in the United Kingdom and the United States and then spread throughout much of the Western world between the mid-1960s and the mid-1970s, with London, New York City, and San Francisco being hotbeds of early countercultural activity. The aggregate movement gained momentum as the civil rights movement continued to grow, and would later become revolutionary with the expansion of the U.S. government’s extensive military intervention in Vietnam. As the 1960s progressed, widespread social tensions also developed concerning other issues, and tended to flow along generational lines regarding human sexuality, women’s rights, traditional modes of authority, experimentation with psychoactive drugs, and differing interpretations of the American Dream.
Many key movements related to these issues were born or advanced within the counterculture of the 1960s. As the era unfolded, new cultural forms and a dynamic subculture which celebrated experimentation, modern incarnations of Bohemianism, and the rise of the hippie and other alternative lifestyles, emerged. This embracing of creativity is particularly notable in the works of British Invasion bands such as The Beatles, and filmmakers whose works became far less restricted by censorship.”
Those two paragraphs perfectly describe the duality of the era. On one side, the United States was experiencing an unbelievably unstable time with the ongoing Vietnam War and the civil rights movement. On the other side of the coin, you had an entire counterculture movement that dared to defy such violence and instead believed in the power of community, love, and nonviolent resistance. And, sure, a little acid for good measure.
So, the question is this — did you experience the ’60s and ’70s with your best friends at Woodstock of 1969 and other festivals? Did you form lasting relationships and lifelong bonds with people during the days of the hippie cultural movement?
If so, your memories will be vastly different than those of an African-American teenager who was not allowed to use the same restroom as a Caucasian. Your memories will differ than someone who was merely trying to be accepted as an equal in the eyes of society.
It is all about perspective and personal experiences, absolutely, but maybe in the end we all romanticize our past a little. It seems human nature to do so, no?
Maybe the struggle, and the fact that we came out of it and are still here to tell the story, makes it all the sweeter.