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  •  The lost movement (0+ / 0-)

    The problem with the 60's is that the revolutionary moment cannot be described or transcribed. As much as it existed, it existed before it had a name. Once it had a name, it was a concept with a definition, and that meant limits on its potential and aims that could be blunted.

    The experience of 1972-6 was significant, because it really was an experience of subversion of the package that had been named "60's." McDonald's gave away Flower Power stickers! The main force got turned inward into the blossoming of the self-help and "Spiritual" movement. The music went from The Monks to Bread and Jim Croce.

    I was a punk, and we screamed at the corporations deciding music and selling sex and anxiety at the disco. We had a revival of the "movement" that had been, complete with radical Marxists and passive resistance movements, until we got a name and could be called Cindi Lauper (nothing wrong with her herself). There was about a six year window, and then rap allowed the corporations to get back in total control.

    I would argue that there has only been one movement all along, and all the names are distractions -- they are names of the stalling tactics and detours -- they are the names of the weapons used against the movement.

    Everyone is innocent of some crime.

    by The Geogre on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 06:25:35 PM PDT

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    •  That's an interesting way of putting it. (0+ / 0-)

      Your last statement, I mean.  If the goals of the movement are more freedom and justice for everyone, I can see that.  But each movement also has the more direct goal of propagating itself both culturally and socially, which is completely understandable.

      About "McDonald's flower power stickers":  The way I see it, the narrative of "co-optation" (or, as you say, "subversion") has done more harm than good.  That is gonna happen.  Too often people react as if The Movement (whatever it might be) has gotten cooties if the Mechanism touches it, as it inevitably will.  Why people don't just do what they would've done anyway I don't know.  This is entirely to be expected; it doesn't mean necessarily that anything has gone wrong with The Movement itself.  The turning inward also wasn't necessarily a bad thing--as long as it wasn't permanent.  I guess some people got discouraged because Utopia hadn't materialized by 1974; meanwhile those who understood 1974 as a step forward either couldn't take the next step or were undercut by the creative community losing faith and deciding to re-invent the past (a world we're still living in now, and as I've mentioned elsewhere a handy way of revitalizing conservative signifiers; speaking of which, I notice that punk also made rock safe for extreme right-wing politics).  All I knew as a little kid was that things appeared to be moving at least forward, and then they started slowly going backward.  But punk, for me, wasn't the answer.  By the time I turned 15, I knew I'd never be hip, and I don't have much of a home in the "square" world, either.  I'm suspended between both, which is another way of saying the early-to-mid-'70s did just fine by me for the most part.

      I do notice, though, that the '60s movement has been much worse served by this narrative than punk has.  Punk/new wave/alternative/whatever has worked itself into a position of unassailability that the '60s never attained, even though it's been just as co-opted (maybe even more so, since esthetically it's much more conservative in the end and so less of a threat to TPTB).  I'm an esthete, I guess, and to me esthetics matter.  I mean, I really think Tales From Topographic Oceans really is the great album it means to be, so what do I know?

      FWIW, I suspect punk was successful precisely because it very much owns its name in a way hippies never quite did.  A name indicates coherence, direction, and an integrated sense of itself, you could argue, and that's necessary for progress.  

      I definitely don't see how "rap allowed the corporations to get back in total control".  I thought hip-hop was "the black CNN".  

      (Sorry this is so late, BTW--I had to think about it for a while.)

      The '60s were simply an attempt to get the 21st Century started early; don't mistake an unfulfilled dream for a lost one. A dream has no deadline!

      by Panurge on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 09:05:16 PM PDT

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