Friday, February 7, 2014

The Sixties, Vietnam, and Beatlemania Culturally Produced No Meaningful Lessons Learned

It was a decade that changed my view of America's claim of exceptionalism, racial equality, patriotism, and an era that culturally destroyed America. The Beatles exemplified how to make money by exploiting adolescent music. The results are disappointing.

Fifty years ago, I was 26 years old. It was The Sixties, a decade that forever changed my view of America's claim of exceptionalism and racial equality. It was an era that changed my rah-rah patriotic attitude and opened my eyes to a very dismal view of patriotism. I would never trust government again. It was a time when the “make love, not war” mantra made a hell of a lot more sense than what we were doing in Vietnam. It was a tumultuous time littered with many confusing questions that I now view with much disappointment. It was a decade that has proven not to be very fruitful for America.

Culturally it destroyed America. A little less than 3 months following JFK’s assassination, a heretofore-unknown Beatles proved how marketing could create the craze “Beatlemania.” The 1964 Beatles were a precursor of things to come. Their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 exemplified how promoters could exploit adolescent music and make huge amounts of money.

There have been no meaningful lessons learned from The Sixties. At the time, there was a generation of young people on the right side of many issues that did not carry over into adulthood. I believe it’s why we have trouble in our parenting and our schools. The young people of that time carried over attitudes of permissiveness and disrespect into how they raised their children. Those results, too, are disappointing.

My Pembroke, Massachusetts community, as well as in the larger Boston community where I worked was caught up with “Beatlemania.” At that time, the death of JFK was now in their rearview mirror and other pressing issues of the day seemed unimportant.

At 76 years old it has been a “Hard Day’s Night” and it certainly doesn’t “make me feel alright.”

Copyright © 2014 Horatio Green