Wednesday, May 28, 2014

What the late 1960s were really like for me

America is composed of "Subcultures" might be the best way to put this. In different areas there are different subcultures that have to do with race, religion, philosophic and economic backgrounds. People of a certain ethnic background tend to live in the Eastern Parts (north and south) of the United States and tend to all think the same way in that neighborhood. And sometimes gangs form along these lines too and always have of teens from about 11 to as high as 25 when most people back then got married (between 15 and 25) (older usually for men then in the 1960s).

So, if you weren't the right subculture to begin with you likely weren't going to experience "Flower Children" or "Hippies" or College educated "Flower children" or "Hippies" from place like Berkeley, San Francisco or eventually Los Angeles. And each area had it's own version of these always.

Each area and ethnic group and subculture even then had different versions of "Flower Children" or "Hippies" or whatever you want to call them.

And then you could be like I was which was a car clubber and a Surfer Dude who thought Hippies looked interesting because in 1969 I was 21 so I was 3 years older than a prime Hippy or flower child which would be born in 1951. So, if you were born in 1951 and grew up white on the California coast and were middle class or above you might become a "Flower Child" in High School or College.

So, this is the best way to look at it.

Car Clubber: my definition would be you raced cars on the streets with your friends a lot like in the movie Grease.

Surfer: You either wore your hair and dressed like a Surfer which was called a Gremmie or you dressed like a surfer, owned a surfboard and actually went surfing and also dressed like a surfer which is what I did from 1962 when I was 14 until I was 21 and a friend of mine got run over with a surfboard skeg or (fin) and hurt his back. Then he went to Viet Nam in the Air Force so I stopped surfing on boards so much. I dated girls more, rode motorcycles more and climbed mountains more than I had in the past.

Flower child: Usually it meant you came from or went to San Francisco during the 1967
Summer of love:

Summer of Love - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Summer of Love was a social phenomenon that occurred during the summer of 1967, when as many as 100,000 people converged on the Haight-Ashbury ...

Images for Summer of love

I wasn't one of these because I was still "Straight which meant I hadn't become a long hair yet. I didn't start going in a mustache and long hair direction until I was 21 and started meeting girls who were "Flower Children" who were sexually very free and amazing for a young man then.

I also met some musicians who became my friends who were from Palos Verdes in a band and this also changed my life a lot also. 

Then I moved to Venice, California because I got a job and an apartment there and this turned out to be Los Angeles' version of Haight Ashbury along with Hollyword in southern California. So, I met many people who likely would be considered hippies in Venice, California and in College in San Diego when i moved there too. 

  1. Free Speech Movement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    The Free Speech Movement (FSM) was a student protest which took place .... The Free Speech Movement had long-lasting effects at the Berkeley campus and ...
    1964–1965 - ‎1966–1970 - ‎Reunions - ‎Today
  2. The Berkeley Free Speech Movement
    University of Illinois at Chicago
    The Berkeley Free Speech Movement. by Jo Freeman. The Free Speech Movement (FSM) at the University of California at Berkeley during the Fall 1964 ...
  3. Calisphere - The Free Speech Movement
    University of California
    The Free Speech Movement began in 1964, when students at the University of California, Berkeley protested a ban on on-campus political activities. The protest ...

There was a very heady time that I would say started with the "Free Speech" movement in UC Berkeley and never really ended after that. But, the most intense changes to society began to occur in San Francisco and Berkeley from about 1965 to 1970. Then this movement of music and ideas exploded all around the world mostly on songs and ideas and through colleges all around the world.

Somehow, the Beatles coming to America in 1964 was a part of this phenomenon too. And then the Rolling Stones and the Doors were sort of the bad boys of this movement and the Beatles were sort of the idea people and dreamers and idealists and idea shapers more than most. Also, they were all really incredible musicians and writers of music sort of like a Mozart or Beethoven in the Rock and Roll World. So, their songs likely still will be sung 100 to 500 years from now much like Beethoven and Mozart and Bach.

Then Janice Joplin and Jimmie Hendrix died of overdoses and everything changed a lot because it killed the idealism of the times. However, the back to the land movement continued and I was a part of this when I helped my friend build his house on land in Mt. Shasta that he bought after getting his master's degree at UCLA in 1976. IN 1980 I bought land in the Mt. Shasta area too with my wife and son from my first marriage and my two step children from her first marriage. 

So, all these things were very influential in my life and the life of most of your parents or grandparents depending upon your present age. 

Later: I think the single most important thing to understand about this era was that it was not about drugs. 

Some people used them and a lot of those went crazy or died. But, what this movement was actually about is "Keeping the Human race alive and Happy and not nuking ourselves out of existence".

If you don't understand this then you are missing the whole point of what this has been all about. We were trying to find a way for mankind to survive and not all die. So, our experimentation was seen as a way to try to keep the human race from committing suicide which was obvious to all of us where the "Straight world"  (the uptight world of the past) was taking us all to our deaths.

So, our motto was "Make Love Not War". I was surprised this idea actually came originally from Freud. 

Also, as I grew older and studied psychology myself I also realized:

"That there are young men who kill and young men who make love" and usually the young men who took pride in never masturbating were the quickest ones to kill another man or woman or themselves.

So, I realized not "making love" to oneself through masturbation or by not making love to another often results in that person murdering others either directly or indirectly in their lives or eventually committing suicide or a murder suicide like the young man recently at UCSB.

So, in my late 20s I realized what I had been a part of all along was much more powerful than I had ever imagined at the time and much more profound and long lasting than most of us actually realized at the time.

So, realizing "Being celibate" often resulted in murder, indirect murder, insanity and even suicide taught me a great deal about the human condition worldwide. 

It taught me that whoever has his finger on a nuclear trigger worldwide should be married and having sex regularly in a healthy way. That way the human race  might not go extinct anytime soon. 

If people are well fed, sexually satisfied and happy, they treat others and themselves better and are much less likely to kill others or themselves individually or in groups or as nations.

No comments: