Sunday, December 28, 2008


Many teachers of the Sixties generation said "We will steal your children", and they did. A significant part of America has converted to the ideas of the 1960s - hedonism, self-indulgence and consumerism. For half of all Americans today, the Woodstock culture of the Sixties is the culture they grew up with - their traditional culture. For them, Judeo-Christian culture is outside the mainstream now. The counter-culture has become the dominant culture, and the former culture a dissident culture - something that is far out, and 'extreme'. - Patrick Buchanan, Right Now! June 2022

What I believed in the Sixties: Everything. You name it and I believed it. I believed love was all you need. I believed you should be here now. I believed drugs could make everyone a better person. I believed I could hitchhike to California with thirty-five cents and people would be glad to feed me. I believed Mao was cute. I believed private property was wrong. I believed my girlfriend was a witch. I believed the university was putting saltpeter in the cafeteria food. I believed stones had souls. I believed my parents were Nazi space monsters. I believed stones had souls. I believed the NLF were the good guys in Vietnam. I believed Lyndon Johnson was plotting to murder all the Negroes. I believed Yoko Ono was an artist. I believed Bob Dylan was a musician. I believed I would live forever or until twenty-one, whichever came first. I believed the world was about to end. I believed the Age of Aquarius was about to happen. I believed the "I Ching" said to cut classes and take over the dean's office. I believed wearing my hair long would end poverty and injustice. I believed there was a great throbbing web of psychic mucus and we were all part of it somehow. I managed to believe Gandhi and H. Rap Brown at the same time. With the exception of anything my mom and dad said, I believed everything. What I believe now: Nothing. Well, nothing much, I mean. I believe things that can be proven by reason and by experiment, and, believe you me, I want to see the logic and the lab equipment. I believe that Western civilization, after some disgusting glitches, has become almost civilized. I believe it is our first duty to protect that civilization. I believe it is our second duty to improve it. I believe it is our third duty to extend it if we can. But let's be careful about that last point. Not everybody is ready to be civilized. I wasn't in 1969. P. J. O'Rourke.

..the awful power of make-believe...-- P. J. O'Rourke, "Second Thoughts About the 1960s"

It was a kind of hoggish appetite for romance that sent my spoiled and petulant generation on a journey to Oz, a journey from which some of us are only now straggling back, in intellectual tatters.-- P. J. O'Rourke, "Second Thoughts About the 1960s"

Of course teenagers have been throwing high-blown and moralistic fits of childishness since the dawn of time. So what was new about the ‚60s? What was new was that in the ‚60s the children were allowed to get away with it. Instead of rebutting their exaggerations and silliness, the adult culture told the kids they were idealists and visionaries. Then suddenly whole bunches of people started growing their hair, inventing their own rules, and railing against limits, responsibility, and adulthood. A couple million Peter Pans said "I really believe that..." and wham! many of the grown-ups running the country were dressing, thinking, and acting in confused sympathy. -- Karl Zinsmeister

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