Thursday, May 03, 2007

Human Normalcy and the Top 45 Conservative Songs of All Time

(forgive typos -- I'll have to edit later... and why not scroll to the bottom first and enjoy the tunes while reading?)

It is interesting to me how many of you instantly understood my brief aside about the dark spirit of the 1960's and its damaging effect on the soul, both individually and collectively. I wasn't even sure that anyone would appreciate my point, but many of you obviously did. This issue is so deep, that I'm not sure I can formulate my thoughts about it yet. We are still so immersed in much of the abnormality of that time, that it is sometimes difficult to see it.

It is like the proverbial fish that has no way of knowing that it lives and moves in a watery medium, and that there are other beings who move in a gaseous one. I am aware of the fact that it caused very real damage to me, if only in the form of a lot of precious time that I can never get back. Time is all we have, and if we do not use it wisely, we have wasted our lives and ultimately squandered eternity. I feel as if I am still catching up with things that should have been foundational to my being.

The spirit of the 1960's basically obliterated the human foundation and called it "liberation." But it is a false and destructive liberation that is not rooted in rock solid reality -- which is to say, our transcendent source. It is like living without gravity (both literally and figuratively). Without it, there is nothing to push off of, no way to vault yourself upward. You can try to spring yourself this way or that, but you're just fooling yourself. Ultimately, you are just drifting in an existential vacuum. What is most striking about so many people today is that they are simply "adrift." Without their hostility to those of us who are not adrift, they would have nothing whatsoever to push off of and "know where they stand." Our trolls are an obvious case in point. They are reactionary to the core (or absence thereof).

It's one thing to not realize that you live in the water. But what if you've spent your entire life swimming around in polluted water? In such a case, you would sense that something is wrong, but you would have no way to know what it is. I think this is a pretty apt analogy as applied to our existential situation. So much modern philosophy is a reaction to the abnormal conditions of the murky, unhealthy water in which modern man swims. Therefore, it is a prescription based upon an inaccurate diagnosis.

All forms of leftism fall into this category, for not only do they give the incorrect diagnosis and treatment, but the treatment always aggravates the underlying condition it is trying to cure. In the end, it will only result in more polluted water and more soul-sickness. At this time in our history, I truly don't know how much murkier the water can get and still be consistent with human survival. Or, we may survive physically, but the human being will not survive, because there will simply be no cultural conditions in which the human soul may nourish and articulate itself. Here again, you will either understand exactly what I am talking about, or you will have no idea what I am talking about. It all depends upon your ability to perceive the water we are swimming in.

And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God. (Rev 22:1)

In fact, the only way we can perceive the abnormality is to reconnect with what is normal, but doing so requires a considerable amount of.... I don't know if "courage" is the right word, but you must be extremely secure in your beliefs, and you must be willing to stand out from the group and risk rejection and ridicule. As I have mentioned before, human "groupishness" long preceded the emergence of true human individuality, and 99% of human evolution took place in an archaic environment in which the group took precedence over the individual. Therefore, human beings have many built-in evolutionary tendencies that we must actively counter in order to be spiritually "normal," one of which is the desire to "fit in" and sacrifice our individuality to the group (and leftsim begins and ends with our primitive groupishness).

Another way of saying it is that we have many traits that are biologically or genetically "normal," but humanly abnormal. Much of religion, in its more conventional, exoteric sense (which I am not in any way belittling) involves teaching us what is normal for our created self, or soul. A perfect example is the Ten Commandments, as we were discussing a couple of weeks ago. None of the commandments are "normal" in the Darwinian sense. Rather, if we were to assemble a list of Darwinian commandments, it would be very short -- perhaps as few as two: 1) survive, by any means necessary, and 2) reproduce, by any means necessary. That's pretty much it, is it not? At best, you could extend it a bit to possibly include some superficially altruistic behaviors, but they would ultimately have to link back to the survival of one's genetic line.

That in itself is a critical idea: that there are cultural arrangements and attitudes that are normative for human beings. The source of these is not found "below," but "above." It is not genetic, but archetypal. We have a human past which is genetic, below, and behind, and a human future that is archetypal, above, and ahead. Spirituality allows us to be drawn into the attractor of our true self, which is located in the "future," but is in reality outside space and time-- to requote Schuon, The purpose of freedom is to enable us to choose what we are in the depths of our heart.

A couple of days ago I was idly channel surfing and caught a bit of Christopher Hitchens on the Daily Show, promoting his new book, God is Not Great. As much as I respect his unwavering support of our war against Islamic fascism, he strikes me as having a pretty malevolent soul. Or perhaps it's just me. Or, to be completely fair, one of us is not just wrong, but probably nuts. It is for others to decide who.

Please bear in mind that when I say this, I say it in a very dispassionate and matter-of-fact way. Please do not picture in your head some religious nut screaming from the pulpit. But there is such a sinister darkness to devoting the gift of one's considerable intelligence to mock, ridicule, and undermine intelligence itself, that one cannot help pointing out the obvious.

I also couldn't help thinking about what it might be like to debate him on the issue, even though it is something I would never consider doing (nor would I ever be asked), the reason being that metaphysical stupidity -- even a kind of broad intellectual buffoonery -- has all the advantages in such a situation. After all, that is why you can discuss such "ideas" with lightweights such as Jon Stewart or Larry King or Chris Matthews and be completely at home. Hitchens has no religious ideas that cannot be understood by an 8th grade mind, but almost nothing of what we discuss here could be so understood. In short, I will admit up front that I am not a trained debater and that I would lose any such debate -- unless it were in the form of writing, in which I could not lose, but then, he would have no way to realize this, so there would be no point.

In any event, there is no way to have a serious discussion about a serious subject with a spiritually frivolous person who necessarily has only frivolous ideas about the subject. What kind of person would react to the death of a great soul such as John Paul II by dismissing him as "an elderly and querulous celibate who came too late and who stayed too long"? What a thing to think, let alone, say.

Probably not fair to quote wikipedia, since it may or may not be accurate, but it says that Hitchens "no longer considers himself a Trotskyist or even a socialist; yet he maintains that his political views have not changed significantly. He points out that, throughout his career, he has been both an atheist and an antitheist" -- in other words, he is not just indifferent to God, but aggressively antagonistic. Being that he comes across as a generally angry and antagonistic man (which might just be an act for TV, for all I know), it would be fruitless to debate him on substance unless one first identified the unconscious source of his reactionary hostility toward God. It is probably safe to say that the same emotional, irrational factors in his soul that attracted him to Marxism account for the religious hostility, because such impulses are way "below" the level of the conscious intellect. Rather, intellect simply serves its unconscious master. IQ is completely irrelevant to the uses to which intelligence will be put. That will be determined by one's conscious values or by unconscious factors, not by one's intelligence.

As I have mentioned before, although I was on the left when I was younger, it was only because it was the cultural water everyone swam in back then, before there were any other sources of information -- talk radio, the internet, etc. I literally did not know a conservative, let alone a conservative intellectual. True, my father had a conservative inclination -- as indeed all basically normal people do -- but he was not an intellectual, and could not have really articulated his beliefs in any systematic way. Plus, he probably voted Democrat half the time, which it was possible for a "conservatively inclined" person to do back then. This is no longer conceivable. There are undoubtedly some normal older people who are basically Democrat out of habit, but to be a dailykos/huffpo type person, you have to be rather frighteningly abnormal.

It's also hard to know whether the drinking is just part of Hitchens' TV schtick, like Dean Martin. The wiki article says he "admits to drinking heavily; in 2003 he wrote that his daily intake of alcohol was enough 'to kill or stun the average mule.' He noted that many great writers 'did some of their finest work when blotto, smashed, polluted, shitfaced, squiffy, whiffled, and three sheets to the wind.'" That's true, but the same thing cannot be said of any great theologian, as it is simply a psychological truism that "spirits" are a substitute for Spirit (I use the word "theologian" in its orthodox sense, not as someone who just writes or thinks about God, but who knows God; there can really be no valid theology without mysticism and vice versa). So take what you will from a heavy drinker trying to write something true about God.

Hmm. I didn't mean to get sidetracked into a discussion of the state of Christopher Hitchens' soul. Rather, the point I was about to develop is that, unless there is normalcy, there can be no deviancy. Unless there is health, there can be no pathology.

And pathology itself is an interesting idea, since it introduces an undeniable element of teleology into the human condition. What does it mean to be normal? If we seriously examine this question, I believe we will discover that the essence of leftism is an assault on the very assumptions underlying this question. Not only cannot it not be answered, but one is not allowed to ask the question. But I think I'll ask it anyway in tomorrow's post.

Speaking of conservatism and normalcy, I assembled a new Finetunes list, The 45 Greatest Conservative Songs. It's not actually definitive. Rather, they were just picked off the top of my head, and I am sure there are better ones I haven't thought of. In fact, feel free to come up with your own.

The songs emphasize a number of themes, such as unapologetic love or appreciation of America and its traditional values (including one by a well known God-and-America-hater); tributes to freedom, low taxes, maturity, and independence from obtrusive government and illegitimate authority in general; a pro-Israel song by the famous ex-leftist, Bob Dylan; an ode to the type of manly and normal Democrat who basically no longer exists except for maybe one Joe; tributes to the virtues of hard work with no complaining; a bum who is proud of the fact (and who would never pose as a "homeless" victim); a few songs about the cruelties of communism and socialism by David Bowie, Scott Walker, Creedence, and others; an anti-drug song by a guitar god from Austin, Texas; a lighthearted look at capital punishment by an American icon; a couple of attacks on the welfare state; an anti-Islam number; a song about military life by the King; and some noteworthy contributions by blacks who refuse to be victims of white liberals.

(The set list is here. I believe you can fast-forward to the next song there by hitting "play" again.)


juliec said...

Hmm. As to the cultural version of seeking purer water, have you seen what Whittle's up to? I know a few coons have. He doesn't have a new post up yet today, but if you scroll down toward the end of the comments section on the most recent post, he lets the cat out of the bag.
It will be very interesting to see what, if anything comes of it.

juliec said...

doh! Try here

or in case I've fumbled it again,

juliec said...

Back to the Finetunes for a moment, have you tried the desktop version already? any problems?

My only gripe with the browser version is that songs often won't load.

Anyone? Must have been a late night watching for trolls last night...

walt said...

From the Unwanted Agreement File:

Bob wrote today, "At this time in our history, I truly don't know how much murkier the water can get..."

Last night I listened to an interview with Thomas Sowell. At the end, he said it is his opinion that "the counter-culture has won."

Susannah said...

I haven't read Bill Whittle in a long time. Thanks for the link. Sounds very interesting!

Anonymous said...

Here's a great conservative song I just discovered on the album "Let's Hang On and More Great New Hits" by The Four Seasons.

The song is called "Beggars Parade".

Tell me who's good
and who's bad
Tell me who's happy and who's sad
then go line 'em up to march in the parade

Who needs the truth?
Feed 'em lies
They're all hungry for alibis

Oh they're all the same
Bowery Bums
Bankers' Sons
Beat the drum
Here they come
Bankers' Sons
Bowery Bums

Your skin is thin
Mine is too
What's so special about you?
Make excuses 'cause you just can't make the grade

Look in the mirror
Yeah it's true
Pitiful soul
Oh that's you

Oh they're all the same
Bowery Bums
Bankers' Sons
Beat the drum
Here they come
Bankers' Sons
Bowery Bums

Hungry for bread?
Plant a seed
Satisfy your evil greed
Oh, you'd rather collect that unemployment check.

Why should you work like the rest
when it's easier to protest?

Oh you're all the same
Bowery Bums
Bankers' Sons
Beat the drum
Here they come
Bankers' Sons
Bowery Bums

Beggars parade
(Talkin' 'bout a)
Beggars parade
(Oh everybody's in a)
Beggars parade
(No you can't get out of)
Beggars parade
(Keep marchin' in a)
Beggars parade

This CD (which is great all the way through) is still available on


hoarhey said...

I heard Hitchens on Dennis Millers radio show yesterday and would have to say that the man is definitely hostile towards religion and spirituality in any form.
Miller asked him a question of what might have happened in his upbringing to have begun the hostility. Hitchens related a story of how in school a teacher asked the class to look out at all the greenery on earth and that it was green because God had made it that way since the color green was easy on human eyes.
He thought that was so ridiculous and began forming the "box" into which he tosses all things religious, along with the simplistic views of that school teacher. And with extreme prejudice, in my opinion.
So in essence he began his jihad against spirituality and religion with a childs understanding, and due to his hostility, his understanding remains as a childs.

geckofeeder said...

Bob said:
" I am aware of the fact that it caused very real damage to me, if only in the form of a lot of precious time that I can never get back. Time is all we have, and if we do not use it wisely, we have wasted our lives and ultimately squandered eternity. I feel as if I am still catching up with things that should have been foundational to my being."
You certainly have more than made up for lost time! Coons everywhere, mostly type A slackers as far as I can see, are in your debt for communicating with such eloquence how to think and unravel our own erroneous thinking and inspiring hope in us all.

Van said...

"I feel as if I am still catching up with things that should have been foundational to my being."

Got a big resonance on that one.

Van said...

"it would be fruitless to debate him on substance unless one first identified the unconscious source of his reactionary hostility toward God. It is probably safe to say that the same factors in his soul that attracted him to Marxism account for the religious hostility, because such disordered impulses are way "below" the level of the conscious intellect."

Hmm. I think there is a difference between the 'conservative' athiest, and the rabid leftist athiest who not only rejects God, but Truth as well. The 'conservative' athiest sees himself as a defender of Truth - and sees 'god' as being false, which goes to say those promoting 'god' must be promoting falsehood.

I think the 'conservative' athiest's problem goes more to the desire (and fear of) "not to be fooled (again)"

The mind that is intent on being correct, not just not in error, but not fooled into error, not primarily intent on discovering the truth(Truth is important to them, but fear of error is stronger), but on not being fooled - that mind is going to recoil at any hint of talking snake stories, and positively (I choose that word purposefully) revile those who promote such 'stories'.

They do think and feel that they are keeping the playing field clean and fair, and it won't be until they remove that mote from their eye, that fear of being tricked, until they agree to accept the nature of life, of freewill - it's plusses and negatives, they will find themselves fending off all deeper truth.

Their problem is similar to that of determinists who seek to escape free will altogether, but those such as Hitchens fear the unavoidable implication of freewill - that you can choose wrongly, you can make an error, and they prefer a net beneath their tightrope.

Sorry, no net. Pay attention and keeps your eyes forward and up. Their problem is they keep looking down, and losing their balance.

Anonymous said...


I don't think I'm a troll, but I do have a little problem with the direction you have taken the last couple of days, in regard to the significance of the 60's. I am a post-boomer, born in 1969. The older I get, the more insignificant I believe the 60's really were. Obviously, this was the time you were gorwing-up, and it had a profound impact on the development all those who lived through it. However, in the grand scheme of humanity, it was just the natural flow things.

"It is interesting to me how many of you instantly understood my brief aside about the dark spirit of the 1960's and its damaging effect on the soul, both individually and collectively."

"The spirit of the 1960's basically obliterated the human foundation and called it "liberation.""

I don't disagree with your sentiments in these statements, only the level of significance you place on the events of the 60's, to anyone but the baby-boomers who lived it. The vast majority of humans who have ever lived on this earth, lived their lives "adrift," in one respect or another. It was the culmination of the Enlightenment in the American Revolution which changed that. The 60's didn't obliterate anything. It just provided people with a new way to be selfish, in a world where survival was no longer a logical justification for being self-absorbed.

The only thing unique about baby-boomers is that you were the first generation of a society, who as a whole, have lived in relative comfort and economic prosperity for your entire lives. While enjoying the comfort and prosperity, which they had no hand in creating, baby-boomers just back-slid to the default human condition of ingratitude and selfishness.

The sixties was just the normal ebb and flow of the battle between that to which humans can aspire, and that to which the human animal is drawn, i.e. good and evil. For lovers and seekers of Truth, it sucks to live in the ebb tide of the Enlightment, which we surely are. However to elevate the 60's to something more important than that, is to engange in narcissism similar to that of your baby-boomer bretheren of the left.

The 60's weren't magic or mystical. They were just an entire country full of spoiled rich-kids, who were duped and taken advantage of by some self-serving nihilists. Forgive my lack of nostalgia for the time of your childhood, but someone is going to have clean up the mess that the boomers have made of this world, and you and I both know its not going to be Hillary, or John F'ing Kerry, or or Newt or Rudy, or for that matter, even you or me. I hope you continue to raise Future Leader well, because he and his generation are going to be the ones doing the REAL work, if there is in fact work left to be done.

To charaterize the time or the generation as having some sort of special magic that just went wrong is to miss the point. From the beginning, peace and love crap of the 60's (as opposed to Truth of peace and love) had nowhere to go but wrong. (A point I believe you have made yourself.)

Before parting, I do want to compliment you on your pun-ditry. It is a sure sign that we are in the presence of genuis. Even if there were no other reason for me to read your blog (and there are many), I would still come for the puns. You have filled a hole in my life left by the death of the master of the art, Louis Rukeyser. For that, among other things I owe you debt of gratitude. Thanks Bob.

River Cocytus said...

A funny thing happened to me, and it kind of relates to the poem I was muddling around with yesterday. In my gardening quest, I've found that there are things I would like to buy that I simply can't buy because, I think, they aren't worth selling.

Things like, a light teepee trellis frame for my cucumbers? Maybe I can find one online, maybe not. But it might break getting here. What I need is a junkyard, a good set of eyes, a saw and a bunch of cheap nails.

It was an odd realization. Some things are just too 'cheap' to put a price on... are they free? No, but if you want one, you have to get someone who will make one for you, or make one yourself. The stores won't stock them.

In fact, the stores cannot be expected to stock them--! They aren't profitable. So.. How in the heck do you get one? What happens when you need non-one-fits-all solutions for many things?

Government can't do it. Marketplace can't do it.

No wonder so many Americans are autodidacts. Hawkeye was mah hero..

River Cocytus said...

anony - I did not live through the time myself so I would not believe that I am able to explain it, especially not the spiritual aspects.

Suffice it to say it is not an either-or proposition in this case.

juliec said...

"The 'conservative" atheist sees himself as a defender of Truth - and sees 'god' as being false, which goes to say those promoting 'god' must be promoting falsehood."

That's the impression I've often had of conservative atheists, as well.

I have a bit of sympathy for those who fear being fooled/ being in error, given that that happens to be one of my personal mind parasites. My remedy for that one is to point at it and laugh, whenever necessary (hence the subheading on my blog). How terrible must it be to be incapable of laughing at your own rigidity, folly or mistakes? If you can't step outside of yourself and see how very funny you are (and we all are, in our own ways), you must instead be like Van's tightrope walker, grasping the balance bar with white knuckles while second-guessing every step, the fear of falling so incapacitating that you virtually guarantee that it will happen. But if you could just step back and see the look on your face, you'd laugh yourself silly. Then you could look ahead instead of down, and feel your way along, trusting in your feet, your legs, and the balance bar.

Well, that's what works for me, anyway.

Gagdad Bob said...


Your comments are well-taken, especially the flattering ones. In the past I have written about how the 1960's were both inevitable and an extension of ideas that were only known to elites in the 19th century but first became more widespread among the upper classes in the 1920s. There was than a delay as a result of the great depression and World War II, before these ideas again began to spread in the 1950s, only to achieve critical mass delusion in the 1960s. So yes, you are correct that the arc is much longer, it's just that these ideas were never accepted on a mass scale like this before. For one thing, people were way too busy working and just surviving.

juliec said...

Anonymous, I think I must politely disagree with you. You do have some good points about what brought forth the events/ mindset of the 60s, but as one who was born in 1975, I have to say that the years I came of age did not have the same effect for me (and it seems most of my peers, though I may be wrong) that the 60s did for most of yesterday's commenters. In fact, I seem to recall that during my adolescence the 60s were still being lived and exerted a rather powerful presence.
Look around - even today, while there is a lot of nostalgia for the 80s, for example, it still pales in comparison to the overwhelming wish on the part of certain vocal members of our culture to return to the "Summer of Love." I don't see many people desperate to go back to break dancing in the streets, but an awful lot of people go to Burning Man every year, which strikes me as a mashup of druidic or pagan rites and an idealized Woodstock.

Whatever happened then, whether it was bound to happen as a result of the baby boom or an outward manifestation of something ultimately sinister, it exerts a powerful hold over the present, in a way that subsequent years have yet to match, in my estimation.

Biker Lady said...

I read your posts everyday Bob and I think you make more sense then most Preachers I've ever heard.

I don't say much here but when you mentioned the 60's and it's Dark Side and wasted lives (I am joyful in my soul that you are no longer a liberal)I did not see any mention of what the hippy leftists did to destroy lives other than their own.

To some here, my words may be harsh but I make no apologies.

Oh yeah, the Dark Side of the 60's and it's evil hateful Spirit and what it did to our military and their families and they're still trying to do it today.

While the hippy leftist scumbags were doing their thing in the 60's my husband was fighting and dying in Vietnam. One of the last things he told me was, "We're not here to win this war - it's all politics!"

My husband was an Infantry Officer, he gave his all and I supported him because he was a true patriot soldier who believe in Duty, Honor, Country. But those of us who were left behind have not forgotten, we can never forget.
The Dark Side of the 60's is all the blood on the liberals hands... and they're still doing their thing today.
I would not want to be in their shoes when they kneel before God.

So, this was my life, my husband's life and my children's life during the 60's.
The February 14th, Valentine's Day so long ago, that two Uniformed Army Soldiers came to my door to tell me that my husband had died in Vietnam are seared in my brain and my heart and I can never forget.
So, sometimes, I can't really care too much about the music of the 60's and I will never forget the hippy leftist scumbags of those days.

maineman said...


You make your points well, and I agree with a lot of them. You may even be right that what once loomed so large in a positive way for me now looms in a similarly unrealistic negative way. But i think not. Watershed moments do occur, and this sure felt like one and still looks so in the rear view.

Don't forget, by the way, that it also happened in Europe, the seeds of which are looking pretty bleak these days. Article in the new issue of Commentary: "Can France be Saved?"

I think that we minimize the impact of those delusional times at our peril, since the reigns of power in the MSM are controlled by many of us who only grew up physically and professionally but not emotionally and spiritually. Why else would Sowell be so pessimistic as to say the counterculture has won?

I think he's wrong, by the way, but I have a day job to get to. But not before mentioning that the Hitchens style of confusion seems to me to be a result of the advent of "science as a world view", which also reached full steam in the sixties, I think.

Red said...

Howdy. First time commenting.

I couldn't help noticing the observation about Chris Hitchens' heavy drinking, and the Wiki claim (who knows if it is accurate) that he has defended the practice by pointing to many great writers doing their best work when drunk. If the quote is accurate, it suggests to me that Hitchens is whistling quite loudly in the dark. We'll overlook his rather pathetic attempt to class himself with the great writers solely on the basis of using the same recreational drug (using his logic, I could use a quill and inkwell and declare myself literary kin to the likes of Thomas Jefferson), and focus in on the fallacy of the argument that great drinking somehow leads to great writing. To be fair, a number of famous authors seem to have believed in this fallacy--that their ability to write stems, not from themselves nor from God, but from a bottled genie named Jack Daniels. In fact, I believe alcoholism does precisely the opposite. When great writers chose to drink in excess, they ended up damaging or destroying the very genius responsible for their best thoughts. It is difficult not to see this pattern in people such as Thomas Paine, whose clear, logical writing provided one of the firmest and most ardent defenses of liberty at a time when such defenses were sorely needed. His alcoholism did more than just cheat us of his potential additional works--it slowly robbed him of his intellect, his ability to put that intellect into printed words, and eventually took his life.

I don't believe that alcohol (itself only matter) is sinful, but alcoholism (a spiritual malady) certainly is. And unlike a number of people today who cling to their sins in the benighted belief that vices give them "authenticity," I believe that sin serves to make the individual human soul less like its true self, less authentic and more abnormal.

River Cocytus said...

red: hear, hear.

Gagdad Bob said...


Yes, an interesting point -- one of the most successful radio stations in Los Angeles is KRTH, which has been playing a steady diet of nothing but '60s music since about 1974 or so -- the same songs, over and over for 30+ years! In other words, by 1974, people had realized that the 60s was a distinct era, and they were already nostalgic for it! Imagine a format today, celebrating the music of 1995-2002! It would be absurd.

So yes, there was a distinct vibe in that period --which actually extends from JFK's death in 11/63 and the Beatles arriving in America in 1/64 to the end of the draft in 12/72 -- and it is very, very different from what came before and after.

Sawdust said...

Bob; I can definitely identify with the wasted time, probably wasted a lot more than you did. I was born in 48, so the sixties caught me in my prime. I never felt comfortable with the ways of the times, but more or less drifted with the current. In fact, it has just been during the past 10 years, since I lost my wife, that I seriously began to question my motives for the life I was living. I've studied a lot, and have to say that your posts (and book) make more sense than anything else I've heard or read. Thanks for that.

Anonymous, not having lived through the sixties, can be forgiven for not fully understanding the full impact of those days. He does make some good points.

As I read the part about a fish swimming in polluted water, I couldn't help but think that such a living condition would surely produce some abnormalities or pathologies in the fish. Same with the sixties.

MizzE said...

I’ve been so many places in my life and time
I’ve sung a lot of songs I’ve made some bad rhyme. . .

My soul looks back and wonders 
'How I Got Over' doing the garden, diggin' the weeds.

(Looks like we're in for nasty weather)

Sail on Silver Girl,
Sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way

And now that I'm 64.
Who could ask for more.


Now being how I've been on the scene longer than most gathered here at Bob's watering-hole, hope you don't mind if I host some older but goodies.

Looking over GagDad's
c-o.o-nservative playlist, I noticed only one overlap by the rock'n'roll maestro Chuck, too fine, Berry. And certainly his Back in the USA deserves to be close to the top, but my vote goes to Dylan's inspiration: "This Land Is Your Land" by Mr. Woody Guthrie.

Dylan is my contemporary and we've been through some trying times together and I don't know how I missed "Neighborhood Bully'. The power of his poetry just gobsmacked me. Dylan has always been able to do that to people, guess that's why he's my generations icon.

Anyway thanks for the big flag Bob and thanks for helping me get my 'things together'.With my little boat prepared to handle namasty weather, I'm prepared to face the storms threatening our ship of state. Be a trimtab, so to speak.

cosanostradamus said...

For some reason Finetunes is blocked in my work environment while Pandora is not. Listening to music while working is actually encouraged here, to block out the hummin' humans.

But at least I can scan down the gagdad playlist and drop the needle on each tune in my head. It's surprising how many of them I apparently memorized through the haze and can semi-faithfully mentally reproduce. I must have been paying some kind of attention back then...although I hear them far differently now.

Agree with gecko regarding lost time. I used to deeply regret some very bad choices (15 years worth) I made back in my 20's - 30's, and I paid dearly for them, especially in terms of subsequent career limitations. On the other hand, I met my wife because of them and I wouldn't trade her for any number of changes to the past. We have been blessed because of her, and I am just lucky enough to go along for the ride. She is one of 'God's chosen people', after all. ;-)

Thankfully, time can be redeemed and God can work all things together for good. I may well have never known just how polluted our zeitgeist really is had I not so fully participated in the 60's culture and been literally saved from it by the grace of God. I was yanked out - very painful at the time, but necessary and effective.

I agree that time is all we have and that we cannot afford to squander eternity, but it's never too late to begin again. In a way it makes the time left much more precious.

Philomathean said...

The Canadian columnist David Warren wrote a great column last month about the decline of Western civilization in the 1960's, a phenomenon he dubs "the great rotation". As Warren notes, "All these changes happened (not quite literally) overnight. Yet within a year or two, nobody could remember that anything had ever been any different. Or rather, nobody would dare remember. For suddenly we were living in that brave new world, and anyone who doubted it was marked as irredeemably 'square.'"

Read the rest at

will said...

>> . . . doing so (maintaining one's spiritual bearings) requires a considerable amount of.... I don't know if "courage" is the right word, but you must be extremely secure in your beliefs, and you must be willing to stand out from the group and risk rejection and ridicule<<

I think it also requires the courage to hope, to keep the faith. Given the world descent into chaos and darkness, these virtues will be sorely tested.

>>At this time in our history, I truly don't know how much murkier the water can get and still be consistent with human survival<<

I think it will get to the point where that will literally be the case. That's why when the spirit of the antichrist - and that's exactly what it is - really has its hold on the world, it will not last all that long. Look for an Intervention.

Re: Hitchens - I think his basic, aboriginal prob is pride of intellect. Pride led to indulgence, indulgence to insanity.

robinstarfish said...

Hidden In Plain Sight
probing proboscis
skeeter sucks the sleepers dry
west in denial

will said...

For what's it's worth, I've long thought Zimmie's Like A Rolling Stone to be a thoroughly "conservative" song - it celebrates (in a sense) the pure individual, stripped of illusion and maya, and set to a'wandering, a stranger in the earth.

River Cocytus said...

>> . . . doing so (maintaining one's spiritual bearings) requires a considerable amount of.... I don't know if "courage" is the right word, but you must be extremely secure in your beliefs, and you must be willing to stand out from the group and risk rejection and ridicule<<

Now I understand why this whole thing came naturally to me. This basically describes my life at school; wanting in an outward fashion to be accepted and fit in, but always having this 'fire in my head' that wouldn't let me. I always ended up in conflict with others, and mostly over stupidly petty things. Or, rather, sometimes people insist on pettiness, which drives me completely up the wall. It always has. Even if it is just joking, if it is petty I have little patience for it. This put me at odds with a great deal of the public school kids (even my own friends often.) When I was 'petty' it never felt right, or seemed right. Was not sure what that was about, either. Maybe I had been read the Bible and LOTR and Narnia too many times as a wee one.

So when I was exposed to the idea of being conservative, that is, defending what is noble and enduring and true against what is petty and fun and selfish it was a no-brainer. When my brother (who has slid into a mire of libertarian mishmash sadly) first exposed me to NRO (which I really don't read too much anymore) something just clicked for me.

It clicked because that was my experience; constant struggle against petty nastiness and shallowness and selfishness.

And so even when I became a bornagainagain Christian (continually so, I hope!) in college I was not 'content' because even there, there was a pettiness of thought about multi-culturalism, diversity, and so on that irritated me.

But I didn't like 'mainline' Christianity either because their pettiness was in conduct (and not belief.) Many seemed cliquish and superficial despite what they professed to believe. The college kids were not petty in conduct, though their thought was riddled with this pettiness.

When I say cliquish I simply mean that in the petty fashion, not in the 'rebuke your brother' fashion. Cliques are ultimately superficial and do not have any vertical underpinning.

As much as I adored the 910 Group while working with them, there was a lack of spirituality or spiritually anchored thinking for it to have a great sway on myself.

Part of the reason I stick around here is because the experience of defending what you know to be true (even if you cannot find the words to say it) resounds with me very deeply.

I wonder if there are some people who 'know' things that the words have been lost for? Or have not yet been found? I wonder what that would mean?

PS - I had most of my School time in the 90's - the era of petty selfishness in the public and private spheres.

Go figure.

walt said...

Well, I only mentioned Thomas Sowell's opinion because we've been sorting through such things and ideas, and I know some Coons respect his opinions. He DID say, when asked whether this or that could be done about it, "No, I'm too old." (I think he's in his 70's.)

Personally, I am more inclined to Will's ideas about polarization, and quickening, than I am to "who won/who lost".

And not to invoke the ghost of Marshall MacLuhan, but a couple of additional reasons why 60's culture STANDS OUT in minds and memories:

I recall in '65 when Bob Dylan came onstage at the Hollywood Bowl after intermission, with an ELECTRIC (!) guitar i.e. the music CHANGED, and got 'way-louder. Also, all of a sudden, TV was in COLOR, and so was the news. Vietnam didn't only threaten young adults, but KILLED so many (God bless your husband, Biker Lady). The advent of DRUG USE across class lines "turned up the volume" on the experience of many. (Oh yeah, and then there was the sex thingy....)

So yes, there is a long arc of history that contains the 60's, and every decade, or generation, has it's share of influences. But a BUNCH of powerful ones converged in a short period of time around '67.

I say: if the counter-culture has won, DON"T TELL THEM - and I'll second Van's suggestion: "forward and up!"


River Cocytus said...

walt: To the stars in a thundering chair?

walt said...

River -

Indeed. A very LOUD chair!

hoarhey said...

Rock on!
It ain't over till it's over so I ain't goin' to just roll over!

bolt said...

Darwinism applies at the meta-level of culture, society and nations. Here to we see the Left failing. True religion is fundamental to Darwinian survival. The genius of Classical Liberal culture is the hard forged union of Judaic-Christian religion and the principles of the Enlightenment. For the first time, people were part of an advancing culture guided by the pole star of spirit. We were free to grow and advance, to evolve as a people worthy of God.

The counter-culture declared themselves God and embarked on an exploration of the “virtues” of all but God. They preached a doctrine of love, but the doctrine was empty of everything but self-love. In the church of self-love, self-sacrifice is among the greatest sins. If children are a burden, don’t have them! There goes pro-creation. If the common defense requires self-sacrifice just pass a UN resolution. There goes survival.

To defend the good, even at great sacrifice, is an act of transcendent love, rooted in the divine. To let the good languish is a denial of transcendent love. The Left will always choose self-love over the good and will deny the very existence of transcendent love.

Maybe normal is being capable of transcendent love.

bolt said...

Here TOO we see the Left failing.


Teri said...

I don't disagree with your sentiments in these statements, only the level of significance you place on the events of the 60's, to anyone but the baby-boomers who lived it.

That is because you did not live through what came before. When I was growing up, it was a totally different world. It was so totally different that I can't know where to start. Let me start here then: I was raised by a single mom (divorced before I was born). That was so rare that I kept getting asked in school why I had a different last name from my mom. There was a respect for your parents, elders and the law that all vanished with the 60s. People who have had birth control pills available their entire lives can't imagine what things were like before they were readily available. Even politics were different. You didn't have that demonization like you see now. The two parties had to cooperate to get things done. It does make one wonder what things would have been like if the craziness had never happened.

Gagdad Bob said...

Related, on NRO: Hope I Retire Before I Get Old.

walt said...

From the NRO article Bob linked:

"History, of course, is rife with generations of young people who thought they were on the cusp of doing noble and original things only to realize, later in life, that they were merely reenacting the most grotesque errors of the past. What’s so insufferable... is their continued obliviousness..."


the drive-by songreader said...

I don't love you
But I'm lost
Thinking of you
And the ghosts
Of so many special moments
That passed so quickly at the time
And now they come and track me down
And echo round and round and round
And time goes slowly
Or disappears completely
And I feel like I fade away
Like drowning

I don't need you
But it's so hard
To be without you
Though you're not far away
I censor my emotions
And tell myself to bide my time
But every time you come around
You batter my defenses down
But so gently
Like some sweet hypnosis
And the world just slips away
I'm drowning

It's dark
My heart is pounding
I'm sinking down
Into a pool of passion
There's laughter as I drown
Like so many lost before me
Damned by lust and gone to hell
And then I look into your eyes
And something melts
I shake inside
And cool water
Washes me all over
Washes me away
And still I'm drowning

- Joe Jackson, "Drowning"

MizzE said...

Bob - Thanks for the link to Mark's article at NRO.

Sal and I were raised on DDT, so we can vouch for the accuracy of Goldblatt's facts: Frankie Avalon, Rosa Parks, “I Have a Dream”, Voting Rights Act, Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, American public opinion turned against the war and eventually forced the United States to cut and run thereby
paving the way for the communist Khmer Rouge holocaust in Cambodia. As for the question?
"Will America ever outgrow its most adolescent era?" Only if the retiring adults have raised healthy adults.

My son Dylan (ret.'Desert Storm' Marine) had himself baptized last spring, so I guess Mom didn't fail in her responsibility after all.

Gagdad Bob said...

From today's WSJ Best of the Web, which I hope you subscribe to:

Meanwhile, an Ohio university is installing unisex toilets so as to accommodate students who aren't sure whether to use the ladies' or the gents', as the Daily Kent Stater reports:

"April Templeman was pleasantly surprised when she saw that the sign on the family restroom on the third floor of the Student Center had been changed to read, 'unisex.'

"Templeman, co-chair of the Queer Liberation Front, said she and other members have been talking with university administration about installing more unisex bathrooms to accommodate transgender students. . . .

"Thomas Euclide, director of the Office of the University Architect, said although the department doesn't have the funding to put gender neutral bathrooms into every building on campus, all new designs and renovations will include at least one.

"Taylor Hall is the only building on campus with faculty bathrooms, and we're looking at ways to convert at least one of those into a unisex bathroom," he said. 'We have grander plans, though.'"


Wow, what could possibly be grander?

Van said...

Bolt said "The genius of Classical Liberal culture is the hard forged union of Judaic-Christian religion and the principles of the Enlightenment."

I agree with the comment, and I'm probably being too picky, since 'Enlightenment' implies it, but I think it needs to be stated, especially in these PC days of 'lose the old dead white guys', Greco-Roman philosophy and Judaic-Christian religion and the principles of the Enlightenment."

bolt said...

Absolutely so Van.

dilys said...

I lived through the sixties, as a matter of fact hit a key activist campus just after the big demonstrations of '69 and the student strikes through '72.

I don't think the 60's invented anything new, but something like a perfect storm coalesced to unleash Primary Process, the Intoxication Dionysiaque, that had been bottled up at least in public by social agreement until that time. And had been 99% banished by contemporary exoteric religion.

Suddenly it was "Mardi gras: not just for carne vale any more!" And because of the robustness of the prosperity engine that is our economic system, no one called Closing Time.

Looking back at being caught up in the Faux Freedom of the thing, I think any "glory" that attaches reflects an example of what will has referred to as the teachings on the Glamours. [A partial but not useless discussion here.]

We craved entertainment and seduction. Once we found it, many participants were, unlike Bob, too proud to say later, on reflection, oops, I was wrong. IMO a deep enough draught of The Glamours undermines the ability to keep a footing in reality, rather like the neurological change that can come with drugs [dovetails with this article].

We can probably expect the nostalgic appeal of the 60's, the participation mystique, to increase, as cultural commonalities fray ever further. Not to mention the Boomer generation's defense of their sunk costs of life in pursuing its dreams with the added infantile appeal of sticking it to the Failed Authority Figure. And every generation's iteration of memory-enhanced earlier times, earlier places, "when I was young." There is an inevitable subjectivism to different memories and different eras. I remember my parents found Irving Berlin pretty darned profound and numinous.

Traction past memory and individual histories might be found in these classic pre-Enlightenment advisories on The Good Life.

The Bunnies said...

I've found the song here to be a nice, relatively unknown conservative song.

Contrasted with this, which is one of the filthiest pieces of crap ever written, just covered by Green Day and polluting our airwaves yet again.

MizzE said...

Yes, I 2nd Bob's Hope. WSJ Best of the Web sends email right to your inbox for free.

As to: "Wow, what could possibly be grander?"

Well, separate and segregated potties for the Muslims is part of their "I Have a Dream" machine coming to US PoMo institutions of lowered learning soon.

Ricky Raccoon said...

RE NRO today, this is an uplifting must-read:

“Last week, I appeared at the Oxford Union to debate the proposition: “This House regrets the founding of The United States of America.”…

Oxford’s Preposterous Proposition

Anonymous said...

The 60's....

Copious "Altered States"....
Precious few "Altered Traits"!

blogophhilia said...

Christianity was lost to me when I was about 17 and entered a debate with a woman at my Christian Camp about dinosaurs. She struck me as wrong/phony in the matter.

How could I give myself to Jesus when his people were apparently lying to me?

Mormonism lost me at the golden plates and the American tribes of Israelites. These are so implausible as to beggar the imagination.

Memo to the founders of revealed religions: Make the story plausible.

Then I embraced Shamanism, but found it to be possibly self-delusion.

Then I went to Hinduism; its creation myth involves a giant turtle. I could accept this as a metaphor.

The sacred texts of Hinduism are historically believable and therefore a better fit for me, because I'm a real skeptical dude.

Zen is good. Experience tends to back it up and there are no sacred texts to disagree with.

Buddhism is a bust, because Nirvana is not a worthwhile end-point.

In the end, Hinduism and Zen take the field.

Islam is a non-starter because I don't wear chadoras.

Darwininsm is compelling but hasn't a suitable endpoint.

So I shopped around, and found the good deals, eh what? And to think the basic product is all the same.

protoplasmic emanation said...

blogophilia, you are full of crap. You can't "shop" for a religion. You have to take one on faith, which you seem to have none.

If your parents were Christians, you should stay a Christian. Don't be wandering off to other faiths.

Stay with your own people, you fudgehead.

maineman said...

Biker lady,

Can't stop thinking about what you wrote, and I'm just so, so sorry. Please forgive me. I really, really did not know what I was doing.

The Bunnies said...

In regards to boomer eternal nostalgia, I agree with Shelbey Steele's assertion in "White Guilt" that the boomers were the first generation in American history to have actually won in their youthful rebellion against their parents.

We all feel nostalgia for our youth, but having the grown-ups admit that your're youthful naivety was actually the right way to look at things is the most efficient way to ensure eternal immaturity.

robinstarfish said...

blogophilia - take heed:

wisdom's secret is
suspension of disbelief
let the tale unfold

scratching the surface
for seeds left on stony ground
certain starvation

jwm said...

*Sensei Robin*


Anonymous said...

Hitchens is note only an atheist he is an a--holist.

Van said...


(at least soccer hasn't been brought up)

Smoov said...


The Clash is an odd choice on a list of "conservative" songs (the rest I liked very much, BTW).

Joe Strummer used to wear a Baader-Meinhof T-shirt on stage, and they were huge supporters of the communist Sandanistas--Reagan's arch-enemies.

At times they were hard to clasify, but "conservative" is a stretch when it comes to those leftist English blokes.

juliec said...

Smoov, The Clash are what they are, but it seems to me "Rock the Casbah" is very compatible with conservative thought.
If you don't like them, there's always the Richard Cheese version...

late convert said...

it is simply a psychological truism that "spirits" are a substitute for Spirit

Best Looney Toons voice, while beating self rapidly about the head: “Now he tells me!”

Reading Hitchens’ descriptive list of states of drunkenness convinces me that he is, at best, a piker. I don’t see the oblivion express anywhere on that list, but I used to ride it daily.

One of the few areas where I am in complete agreement with the teachings of AA concerns what it calls the “phenomenon of craving.” Per AA, in the alcoholic, this craving occurs after alcohol is first ingested. AA further suggests that it is an “allergy” to alcohol that causes the phenomenon, and this leads to their belief that alcoholism is a disease. There I part company with AA! I wasn't the victim of a disease, rather I was a person badly in need of repentance and redemption.

I suppose this "craving" is caused by what Bob calls a mind parasite. It's sobering (heh-heh) to think that something so self-destructive could manifest such power in determining a persons behavior. ("IQ is completely irrelevant to the uses to which intelligence will be put. That will be determined by ones conscious values or by unconscious factors, not by ones intelligence." Oh, I see.) I wonder what sort of mischief such a virulent mind parasite may continue to cause even after one has been alcohol free for almost decade -- or perhaps they sort of wither on the vine if you stop nourishing 'em?

I find comfort in the thought that "spirits are a substitute for Spirit," and perhaps it explains my attraction to this site. When I first stopped drinking I joined a church (the nearest one ... I figured they were kinda like saxomaphone players). It was doubtless a fine church to fill the needs of a certain type of believer, but the more I tried to adopt their attitude that Christianity isn't a mystical religion and their literal understanding of the Bible, the more I struggled.

Eventually I left that Church in a quiet crisis of faith. Later I found my way "here," where I read "there can really be no valid theology without mysticism and vice versa." I also recall reading here that "Intellectuals have needs too." Exactly. (Not that I rank particularly highly as an intellectual, mind. I'm more of your piker along those lines.)

River Cocytus said...

Intellectual Cowpie...

River Cocytus said...

Which was cleaned up! Whoa. Speedy.

late convert said...

Anon, you are mistaken. A bear breast would not have caused such an uproar.

Apologies for the unintentional double-spacing on my previous post.

River Cocytus said...

lc: The erroneous concept is that Christianity was 'mystic' but only for its founders, or maybe only for the apostles, or something nebulous like that. It reminds me of the answers I give for inklings I have rather than what I ought to understand about the Absolute...

It is both literal and metaphysic.

late convert said...

Which was cleaned up! Whoa. Speedy.

Yeah ... killed my quip, but it wasn't that great anyway.

Gagdad Bob said...


The songs were chosen for the message, not the messenger.

walt said...

"Which was cleaned up! Whoa. Speedy."

Apparently, to not miss anything, I must sit here all day and refresh OC over/over/over/over.

(Hmmmm, wait. I already do that....)

jwm said...

Damn good thing it was the nuclear Fathers. As evil as they were the Soviet and Chinese nuclear Fathers were dedicated to the survival of their nations. The nuclear Fathers gave us M.A.D. We lived. While the Soviet Union is gone, you may notice that the nuclear Fathers of Russia, and China, and America are still here pursuing their own national interests instead of rebuilding the world after a nuclear holocaust. The psychotic infants we're dealing with now view that nuclear holocaust as a desirable outcome. They are dying to bring on the apocalypse. They do not care how many of their own they have to kill if it will mean the destruction of Israel and America.

And what a joke those old TV shows were. Imagine portraying a father as a man of integrity, wisdom, and compassion instead of as a bumbling, drunken, lecherous fool who lives in another city.

And fantasy Tarzan that left intimate physical details off camera. Too amusing.
Pity we never got to see the Ape Man go all animal on Jane. Bummer. They never pooped on screen either, if I recall.


jwm said...

Oh. Nevermind.


late convert said...

JWM said "They never pooped on screen either, if I recall."

Yeah ... as I recall, Cheeta even wore a diaper. Bummer, huh?

Anonymous said...

Pikers Unite.......

Even those of us in training appreciate the Unfoldment!!!

MizzE said...

wv: fhubl YES! Futbal

The secret of good vision, sound balance and awareness is to look around before receiving the ball, and to receive the ball sideways-on rather than front-on whenever possible to get a better view of the play.

Ximeze's emissary,

Joan of argghh! said...

I've found the Source for all of the pomo trolls:

You gotta read the liner notes.

Joan of Argghh! said...

Oh wait! We are all wrong about the 60's. I kid you not.

Van said...

He should let the dada generator write his columns - more authentic.

maineman said...

Hey, Bob. Where's "Stand by your Man"?

terrence said...

Joan of argghh! said...
I've found the Source for all of the pomo trolls:

I followed the URL. What a sight.

I read the first few entries and said “Typical pomo claptrap”.
Scrolled down and read the description of the sight “completely meaningless” -how true, and how indistinguishable from the “real” thing. I have seen the light, on that sight.

Nick said...

I've been reading Meditation on the Tarot, my question is this... do they have to be read in order, do they build on each other? Or can you skip around? Bob, Van, River, or Nomo, what do you think?

Canada Cornrow said...

Don't mean to nitpick but why does your list have "Taxman" twice? I love SRV but his version pales in comparison to the Beatles. Why not Frank Sinatra's "That's Life"? If you want to stick with the SRV theme then why not "Wall of Denial"? I guess I do mean to nitpick. Oh well.

NoMo said...

JulieC - You listen to Richard Cheese??? TOO MUCH. I'm not sure I would have admitted that in public (I know I never would - oh, jeez, until now).

Nick - True coonfessions...I haven't read MOTT. But, my guess is, either should work fine (it certainly does with the Bible). Come to think of it, most other books as well. There's nothing like reading a book from back to front. Defy the author's intent and all that. You're the one in charge, right? Make it your own.

wv: ixldegi (its been a weird night)

2nd wv: xacxhxe (OK, now I'm getting concerned)

hoarhey said...


If you read the beginning of each chapter it tells how it flows from and builds on the previous.
That said, you're free to read it anyway you wish. ;^)

juliec said...

Nomo - we (DH and I) just discovered Richard Cheese last week, and have been laughing our butts off ever since. Some of his renditions, IMHO, are far nicer than the original version.

Sal said...

Yes, mizze and I were experimenting with DNA-altering substances at an early age. I think she took a few more hits than I did, though...

I hate to use a cliche, Anon., but you had to have been there.

So many good descriptions here - to me, it seemed that in the space of a very few short years we were told Everything You Know is Wrong.

And since what was on offer to replace it appealed so very much to everyone's fallen inclinations, well - it wasn't pretty.

But there was a time, at the very beginning of the '60's of real idealism: the Peace Corps, the civil rights movement, even Vatican II. Didn't last long, but it was there.

by '74, Classical Christianity bailed me out of the few forays I made into the times and gave me a spiritual benchmark for judging whatever was coming down the pike.
A mixture of timidity, fastidiousness and a vague sense, even as it was occuring, that this was all going nowhere fast, had kept me out of a lot of '60's-'70's trouble. The tin ear didn't hurt, either.

Except for having to live in the resulting murk, I've been a very lucky girl.

walt said...

Joan -

Mark Morford, who wrote the column you linked about how right the hippies are/were, has found a comfortable niche in the SF Bay Area by consistently being the most x-treme dude on the block.

Many months ago, Bob wrote some posts about "vital men," and as as I recall, he linked one of Morford's columns as an "x-treme example" of the type.

Roseanne Barr, soon likely to replace Rosie O'Donnell on The View, has written the same sort of stuff about the "hippies being geniuses" on her blog. So, expect MORE of this, coming soon...

Anonymous said...

"The spirit of the 1960's basically obliterated the human foundation and called it 'liberation'."

I was just born in the sixties, but the spirit of the 60's seemed to me to be a rebellion against the phoniness of the plastic lives led by "all American" families. Man-made religions can give you precious and real "aha" moments and they also can keep you a hypnotized zomby, oblivious to Life. The 60's did not "obliterate" the human foundation. It stirred up the phoney pot and all the hidden poison inside, the emptiness behind the facade of a big cheesy smile. Like someone said, the rich kids looking for meaning in life that they couldn't get from their hypnotized parents who worked and slaved to make life easy for them and never took the time to care for their own souls and the souls of their children with meaningful truths.

It took the football from the relative oppression of emptiness and zomby phoniness of the right and ran to the left with it. Just like feminism ... which said "let us vote, let us become a full partner in this journey with our male counterparts" and then ran to the extreme left with the football and became Feminazism, the monster it is today. I see this constant back and forth, mankind trying to balance himself out. Too far to the right or left is no good. There is a Center to aim for. Sex, drugs, rock and roll, rap lifestyle, sensuality and looseness, homosexuality are not normal (not just cuz "the bible tells me so"). People need to become vocal about this, but not in a knee jerk reactionist kind of way, but to deeply realize WHY it is not normal. Americans need to learn how to think, and to turn off the damn sitcoms and so called "reality" TV shows.

The 60's seemed to be a knee-jerk reaction to a lifestyle that was shallow. But it reacted and ran in the other direction and went off the deep end, into the shallowness that was at the other end of the spectrum.

walt said...

Nomo -

My wife will be relieved to hear that at least one other person besides her husband has been known to read a book backwards.

walt said...

Anon -

Ha-ha, I'll do the '60's "thing" and reply to your post with the words from an old Frank Zappa tune:

"Take a day, and walk around;
Watch the nazis run your town.
Then go home and check yourself - you think we're singing 'bout someone else!"

There was a time when, perhaps, I could have authored your opinions about others. But missing entirely from my perception was that I would have been talking about REAL people, flesh-and-blood, living their lives as well as they could. When I finally found the genuine phony zombie, he was looking back at me.

Anonymous said...

Exactly what I said ... We are all zombies until we find the way out ... have the "born again" experience, so to speak, come out of the Matrix of Whatever. The Matrix of Religion or the Matrix of '60's or Hip-Hop, the Matrix of Being a Good Conservative and never truly understanding why. Whatever you're running from is in some way an aspect of yourself until you face it and find the way out.

Smoov said...


I hear you. In that case we could theoretically include songs by Kanye West (for example). I'm serious. His song about his church organist grandmother is a straightforward appreciation to her years and years of low-profile humility and piety.

River Cocytus said...

"We are all zombies until we find the way out ... have the "born again" experience, so to speak, come out of the Matrix of Whatever. The Matrix of Religion or the Matrix of '60's or Hip-Hop, the Matrix of Being a Good Conservative and never truly understanding why. Whatever you're running from is in some way an aspect of yourself until you face it and find the way out."

Were it only so simple as that...

Culturally speaking the 'fuel' for the 60's was present in the movies of the 1950's - radical individualism and things such as that. It wasn't Just One Thing or Another but a lot of things that made that whole thing happen.

If you read the poem I posted, man finds that by doing what he is 'supposed' to and not stunting his dreams, he finds his eternal purpose.

The hippy would never have caught the fish, and the materialist would never have chased the girl.

I'm not sure the necessity for the combative tone, and why the 'Matrix of Religion' necessarily is included? If a man does good and lives well, what quarrel should you have with him? Even if you think he is phony, you've got zero business, sorry kid.

That's something I've had to learn.

Susannah said...

I always seem to come in on the tail end of these threads, but I wanted to add something in response to this:

"The 60's seemed to be a knee-jerk reaction to a lifestyle that was shallow."

My mother was born in 1940 (as was my dad, but he's gone home now).

At any rate, by her testimony, the 50's were not "plastic" at all but there was a genuine innocence--not exactly innocence, but decency, I guess is the word--that has been completely lost. Granted, she lived in the South, where people of real faith in God might have been more plentiful at that time. Genuine faith has the effect of keeping people honest before each other and before their Maker.

I remember her reacting in disgust to the movie "Grease" and saying, "It wasn't like that AT ALL!" Very anachronistic 20th century mores injected into the past.

Sometimes I feel for her generation, who must feel a certain amount of despair over the depths to which the culture has sunk. I can see it in her reaction to the political scene and the people she deals with in daily life who blame everybody but themselves for their problems. She is very concerned about the world her grandchildren are going to inherit.

Susannah said...

Oh, and Bob, I just had to be a copycat and get a FineTune player for my own blog. What fun! I was surprised at how long it took me to choose 45 tunes.

Biker Lady said...

Maineman... I appreciate your words. Saying I'm sorry is a good step to healing pain for all of us. We all have to say I'm sorry over something unless our conscience is dead.
God knows and understands if it's real and healing begins.

Those of us who lived through the almost unbeliveable change from the 50's to and through the 60's know that underneath all was a buildup of an evil enemy (you might call it the enemy within -satan using humans) during the 20's, 30's and 40's.
This enemy was just waiting for it's moment, for the right time to destroy this country.
It didn't happen through the World Wars or Korea - we were still united as a country but that was about to change.

This period is just like that period of the 60's except the evil is worse and people are even blinder and appear deaf, dumb, and blind to what is happening.

So, why should we be surprised this is occuring when the Bible tells us that when the "end of the age" gets closer, the world, it's peoples, and the evil spirit using all will get worse and worse.
Now, unless I really believed in God's Word I would be ready to go bonkers. But, I'm not because God is in control, His is the last Word. Just remember this bible verse "...In the World ye shall have Tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the World" (John 16:33)

Susannah said...

I read Morford's column. He's a real sweetheart...I've read some of his other stuff about Christians.

Anyway, all I could think was "Go capitalism! Woohoo!" That's what he has to thank.

juliec said...

You have a blog? What's the address, if you don't mind sharing? If it's been posted before, my apologies - I've not seen it.

TalkinKamel said...

I'd like to say a word in defense of the 50's; its alleged "Plastic" sensibilities and "phoniness" were projected onto it by the phony and plastic Boom generation---so spoiled and spiritually deadened they couldn't even feel gratitude towards the parents who worked for them and took care of them. And, of course, if that work and care hadn't been forthcoming---if the parents of the Boomers had taken off to find themselves spiritually (whatever that means), then the Boomers would have squealed that they were being neglected, and misunderstood (which, of course, they did anyway.)

There was evil beneath the surface of the 50's, but it was the evil of Marxism's long, radiactive half-life, of rebel-without-a-cause spoiled bratism, and growing drug and alcohol abuse.

The 50's were a time of optimism. Of jazz and real rock and roll (not "Beatin' on my ho' wit' a two-by-foh!" or "IhatemyselfandmomanddadandIwanttodie!" teen angst.)
The 50's were a time when it was okay to read a book. (This was NOT okay in the 60's, at least where I grew up.)
The 50's were a time when we were reaching for outer space; when we thought we could do any, and anything---without the help of pot, LSD or all those nice hallucinagens pushed on us by "kindly" father figures such as Timothy Leary, who assured us that this was the only way to paradise.
The 50's were a time when fashions actually looked good, when nobody had ever heard of Twiggy; it was okay for women to have curves, men didn't sport scruffy, overgrown beards, people took baths, instead of reveling in their "natural" body odor and nobody asked what your "sign" was, or tried to induce you to take drugs as proof of your friendship.

Susannah said...

My blog is a boring account of the mundane details of life as a homeschooling mom of six children. LOL! Although, I have found that other moms enjoy hearing mundane details.

Every once in a while, I write something more thoughtful, but lately I can't seem to come up with anything. I'm a little embarrassed to post the address but...

juliec said...

I wasn't around in the 50s, but one of the projects I've been working on with my mom is a little family history. Right now, the lion's share of this project is archiving letters written by my grandmother and great-grandmother in the mid-50s. I know that the letters give only a hint of what life was like, but never do I sense that there was an evil zombie-state dominating their lives. Instead, they talk of friendship, challenges, and basic family life. I don't know what happened as time went on, but for a while there, and certainly in my mom's memory, things were hard but good.

NoMo said...

In the end, when considering the particular characteristics of any time in history, I have to say that my own conclusions are much like those of the writer of Ecclesiastes: "That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one might say, "See this, it is new"? Already it has existed for ages which were before us. There is no remembrance of earlier things; and also of the later things which will occur, there will be for them no remembrance among those who will come later still."
(Ecc 1:9-11)

It is this somber Truth that should drive everyone toward the Eternal.

Magnus Itland said...

Some years ago I read in a Norwegian article that there was only one generation gap in reasonably modern history. It was between those who were young in 1968, and their parents. There was no generation gap between the parents and the grandparents and so on, neither was there any real generation gap between the 68ers and their children (and presumably grandchildren now). I think,by comparison at least, this is true. There was a world that was lost and another that was found.

If the change had not happened then, I am convinced that it would have happened as soon as possible afterwards, and perhaps with even more intensity. It was not a choice we made, it was a birth long in the coming.

NoMo said...

Susannah - We homeschooled our three sons through the first few years. "Homeschool" was kind of a misnomer for us, since it was really about learning the basics in a family-oriented rather than peer-oriented environment. That, and shadowing us through many of the day-to-day routines of living (valuable education in itself).

A blog like yours would have provided some great support. Of course, this was in the early 80's, so no blog, no PC, etc. Keep up the great work! You won't regret it.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not sure the necessity for the combative tone, and why the 'Matrix of Religion' necessarily is included? If a man does good and lives well, what quarrel should you have with him? Even if you think he is phony, you've got zero business, sorry kid."

I'm sorry you think my tone is combative. I'm just making observations. Alot of people think they are good and they are living well. Doesn't mean its the truth.

"At any rate, by her testimony, the 50's were not "plastic" at all but there was a genuine innocence--not exactly innocence, but decency, I guess is the word--that has been completely lost. Granted, she lived in the South, where people of real faith in God might have been more plentiful at that time. Genuine faith has the effect of keeping people honest before each other and before their Maker."

Did the Black people of the South also feel the same way and look back on the 50's in the South with nostalgia of innocence? I suppose everyone looks at the world through their own experiences.

Susannah said...

"Did the Black people of the South also feel the same way and look back on the 50's in the South with nostalgia of innocence? I suppose everyone looks at the world through their own experiences."

I'm sure many of them did, because families were much stronger back then. How many of us grew up poor or disadvantaged, but never realized it as children, simply because our homes were secure and we were loved? Thanks to the denigration of faith and religion and "normalcy," and the elevation of victimhood--thanks to the legacy of the sixties--black families have disintegrated in dismaying percentages. From legalized discrimination to utter bondage of the soul. Not much of a trade, if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you. It isn't much of a trade. The Black family has largely been destroyed by "victimhood mentality" and unearned privilege. Alot of it is an out-of-control reaction to injustice. If you are not strong, you run to the Left and turn into a victim. I believe the Black family will make a comeback ... they have experienced the horror and they have no where to go but up ... the hypocrisy of "affirmative action" is coming to light. I think the same applies to children of the sixties, but in a slightly different way. There are many sixties children, if they didn't kill themselves with drugs, became successful businessmen with somewhat of a conscience.

Sometimes faith, religion and "normalcy" are built on shifting sand, not on solid rock. The house collapses. There is no true understanding, just a "I do it this way cuz everybody does and I don't think about it."

I guess what I'm basically trying to say is ... there is a reason that drives the sheeple to the extreme right or left. In order for the children of the sixties to do what they did, they obviously were missing something in their upbringing. They were either spoiled and life was made too easy for them, they were not taught to earn things or to challenge themselves, they were not taught to think. They saw alot of hypocrisy in what they were told to do, and what their folks were actually doing.

The same thing with "gang-bangers" today ... single family homes, no fathers or weak fathers, no marriage or commitment. There is a reason for the end-product. And from what read from history and psychology (not that I'm very educated, but I'm trying) is that the health of a society seems depends on the health of its families. It all starts with Mom and Dad, the microcosm of family and then the society at large.

I'm not sure about "faith" or "religion" but ... if you don't sacrifice yourself for your kids, not only monetarily but your time and your Ego as well, if you don't take the log out of your own eye before you attempt to take the log out of your child's, your child will never see straight.

Susannah said...

It's possible that hypocrisy drove some into the counter-culture, from emptiness to emptiness.

It's also possible that some turned against basically decent homes because of the draw of drugs, sex, and irresponsibility, and then tried to justify it by calling their parents hypocritical. That being human nature & all (Gen. 3).

I'm wary of anything approaching Hollywood's distorted depiction of the 50's (repression, trapped housewives, blah, blah, blah). Especially given the history and testimony of my own parents.

In other words, the reason for the "end product" is the draw of sin on human nature (in every generation). When the culture's awash in sin, the next generation is not guaranteed to hold to the Truth, however well we do as parents. It's a sobering thought. The best thing you can do, as you say, is have your child's heart.

Ayşe said...

I agree with much of what you said. You have an insightful take on what it means to be spiritual in the modern era... the search for and respect of historic human normalcy is totally out of fashion right now. Secular modernity seems to have become a religion of its own.

Except the part about supporting the 'war on Islamic fascism,' whatever that is... I am Muslim.