Sunday, July 5, 2015

We Are the Counter Culture

I'm going to riff on a couple of ideas I mentioned in passing way back in 2010.  Take yourself back in time to the summer of 1969 - if you're old enough.  Consider this in the light of the last few years two historical events from that summer.  I'm talking about the Apollo 11, the first moon landing, and then the Woodstock music festival which was about 3 weeks later in mid-August.
The first was a tribute to hard working men and women: engineers, technicians, assemblers, and tens of thousands of hard working people who undertook a task that many viewed as impossible.  "To land a man on the moon and return him safely to earth by the end of this decade".  It was hard work, it was risky work.  Men died: outstanding men you'd be proud to have known or worked with.  It was a triumph of intellect, done with slide rules and calculators that your Smart Phone out powers by a factor of thousands.  Even today, it is thought of as being so hard to do that about 5% of the US population thinks we never did it.
These men weren't perfect; nobody ever is.  They worked hard, and in some cases played just as hard.  When it was the weekend, the workers on Kennedy Space Center, in Houston's Manned Spaceflight Center, and on the campuses of the many subcontractors by and large came home to their families and lived the suburban life of the dominant American culture.  Think weekend barbecues, Sunday drives, backyard swimming pools and dozens of other ideas that have come to be associated with the 50s and 60s.  Certainly Sunday included church for many of them. A song in the early '60s, Little Boxes, mocked that culture; mocked the idea of suburban tract houses.  It was a popular idea to attack; the Monkees did the same in "Pleasant Valley Sunday" within five years.  This was the dominant culture of the time, so the counterculture attacked it.   
The second was a bunch of kids having sex in the mud while drugged out of their minds, listening to singers and musicians drugged out of their minds.

The first group was dedicated to doing things others can barely only imagine - bending the universe to their will through sheer intellect and power.  They are "can do" people. 

The second group was dedicated to rubbing body parts against each other with no effort of will and no character.  Their entire focus in life is their genitals.   

The second group is now in charge of the country.
There's no denying that the counterculture of the 1960s is now the dominant culture in our country.  The examples are everywhere: the sexualization of even young children is widespread; the increasing sexualization of the content of movies and other entertainment is obvious to anyone who compares songs or movies from that period with now; the hookup culture is straight out of Woodstock; it is simply everywhere.  In the summer of 1969, TV family sitcoms like My Three Sons had functional fathers.  Today, if there is a father at all, he's shown as a bumbling moron always being educated by his children or wife.  Nowhere is this more apparent than in commercials, where men are always morons. 

One the worst effects of an incessant stream of labor and other regulations is a constant reduction in the number of people working a steady full-time job, and while the progress of technology has enabled more and higher quality home entertainment options for the dwindling incomes, there are fewer homes living in the older culture.  

Today, those of us who live a quiet life trying to work honestly and diligently at a career, provide for our families, spend time in quiet reverence and just keep plugging are the minority.  Those of us who want to be left alone, free to choose our way of living, our way of working, our way of worshiping and our way of earning, are in the minority.  If you object to having sexuality thrown in your face every time you venture outside, you're in the minority.  If you object to the perpetually intrusive government requiring more and more of you for no benefit to you, you're in the minority. 

In half a century, the country has turned upside down.  Counterculture and mainstream have switched completely.  Of course, I suggest we take it back, but the only way I know to do that is by being a good example.  And that won't work if nobody is watching you.

But I can't talk about this subject without showing this video of Joe Cocker from Woodstock, which always makes me laugh.

I can laugh at it, but I don't want Joe or his peeps telling me how to live.


  1. Those who can, do. Those who can't run for election.
    I have often thought of getting into politics when the local school board or city council pulled one of their stupid tricks. But I had a family toraise and a full time job and a life to live. In other words I was "doing". I don't know how the politicians support themselves (not all of them are rich or paid for by George Soros). I don't know how they get through those long and boring meetings. I do know that they are there for their own reasons and that does not include keeping our great country great. They are their to change it and to change it in a way that benefits them or their ilk. The founding fathers had to give up some of their life to create this country and unless we can convince more common everyday Americans torun for office I think we have lost this country. We are today seeing it carved up; seeing our wealth and our childrens future carved up by those who got elected to change American and to take from Americans.

  2. In 1958, 59 and 60 my brother was a "spy" listening to Russian radio transmissions. He worked in remote locations two hurs on two hours off for 7 days a week. During that time of unmanned space shots by Russia some of those tiny satellites were in fact manned. First they sent monkeys, some of which died. Then they sent men, some of which died. They didn't admit this because it was a failure, a dedly failure. But my brother and his fellow "spies" heard the transmissionsand their dying words.

  3. You're right about everything, but I have to admit that "Little Houses" struck a chord with me.

    When my kids were younger and doing competitive gymnastics, we drove to meets out of town a lot. It was always a bit disappointing that so many towns looked exactly alike - the suburbs, the retail strips, etc. I understand that some one thing can meet the same needs in different places, but it just looked so much the same. I once heard it referred to as the United States of Generica. I suppose it's a symptom of market efficiency.

  4. I disagree with Weetabix's sentiments. I like the feeling of familiarity that I get when I visit different parts of the US. I feel instantly at home, and I get to concentrate on the primary purpose of my visit, instead of feeling like an alien.

  5. I drove by a Shell station the other day that had a pavilion set up...for passing out free cell phones. And for a moment, I felt stupid for working. Then, I felt ashamed for having that feeling for even a second.

    It can't go on forever, more people living off of the working than are actually just can't...

  6. Weetabix - in South Florida, I've heard it called "the Blob". It expands across the city and county lines and makes every little city look the same. One of the things I noticed was the homogenization of radio stations. It used to be that local stations had a local flavor and more differences. Since automated playlists and syndicated programming, stations everywhere sound the same.

    Suburbs with similar style houses don't bother me. The homeowner's associations are what I avoid. They force houses to look the same.

    LCB - those first three sentences speak volumes.

  7. Of course, I suggest we take it back, but the only way I know to do that is by being a good example. And that won't work if nobody is watching you.

    You can thank government school for making the method of liberation from government literally unthinkable. Here it is: stop paying taxes. Stop paying taxes and their logistics collapse. I didn't say stop working and earning income, I didn't say submit to being put in prison or having your savings confiscated or any other penalty; I said, stop paying taxes.

    Imagine if there was a web page like the free state projects used, which took signups under fake names of people who pledge to stop paying taxes if X total people signed up. How low could X go and still have the scheme work? One million, which is a tenth of 3%? A quarter million?

    Think of it. They'd probably do a month of screaming in all the media where the monkey jumps up and down and screams and flings his poo. Isn't the display of impotence alone worth it? You could show the videos to your grandkids, tell them you did build it. Then they'd do another month in disbelief pretending to renegotiate. Then all the currencies would collapse worldwide and all the big bad stuff would end, because the big bad's employees would stop getting paid.

  8. Counter culture yes. However I feel more like a counter-revolutionary at this point.

    Bordering on Soviet dissident.

  9. Snort .. finally an accurate translation of Joe Cocker's performance.

  10. Chipmunk - thanks! Someone finally acknowledged watching the video!

    I know I can have juvenile sense of humor, but that always makes me laugh.