So Full disclosure here. I was born in 1979 and that means I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s. Which culturally speaking was about as far from the 60’s as possible. We had benefitted from the surge in women’s rights and fight for civil rights. But we lost our soul. The children of the 80’s and 90’s were flushed with consumerism. We (collectively but obviously not all) were raised as the center of attention. We were special, just like everyone else.
I have always been a fan of history. My dream is to finally get my degree and teach at a high school level. Eventually I want to earn the title of professor. Even if it is adjunct professor of basket weaving. But back to my point. I LOVE history. To read about the great men and women who forged ahead to create the very privileged world I now live in. But history is wasted on so many people. No one cares where we came from or how we got here. We simply are here. As if we magically appeared one day in 1979 and nothing of interest happened up to that point.
The 60’s especially astonish me. The United States (My dear home) was a flashpan for new ideas. Revolutions were the happening thing. People no longer blindly followed king and country. The way it was, wasn’t the best it could be. Burn baby Burn! Times They Are A Changin’. The world was on fire and we were the fuel for it all. Women burned bras, men burned draft cards, people of color marched, and former soldiers renounced war. And love was in the air. (and on the ground, and in the back of a VW Minibus, and in trees and on stage, and in alleys, and dance floors, and parks and beaches……………………)
Now I can’t say this was a perfect time or a perfect movement. Violence was the method for peace it seems. Sit-ins turned to riots, love-ins were little more than drug inspired orgies. But “Make Love. Not War” became a slogan of the time. And this is where the Hippies got it mostly right.
Like anything that can be used, love, can be misused to the point of abuse. But again this isn’t my point. As I write this article, several things have recently gone down. A few weeks back a man entered a nightclub in Orlando and killed 49 people. He swore his allegiance to ISIS, a terrorist state. (Though ISIS really had no contact with him) His target was a gay dance club. Worse still from his apparent history it appears he may have struggled with his own homosexual tendencies. Combine this with a very strict religious upbringing, and you have instant terrorist. This man (I want to call him names but I neither feel sorry for him nor hatred, merely sad) was so pent-up that it was likely easier for him to murder 49 people than to admit he was probably gay. Something that would shame his family before God.
I struggle with the notion that the supposed creator of all things, would create a condition within a man or woman, that so affronts the creator that he should condemn them to death. This is the way of the extremists. And no, I don’t mean Muslim extremists. I mean overly zealous religious sects around the world. Some Christian faiths are every bit as tyrannical as Muslim sects. Imagine just for a minute, without religious implications, that this young man was able to express himself to his family and his faith without fear of retribution, secular or otherwise. The best case is 49 people are not brutally gunned down.
Now back to the hippies. The world seriously needs to get laid. Yes i said that. let’s be adults for a minute and talk frankly about sex. Mainly the feeling after sex. It is difficult to imagine committing violence after having sex. Sex releases endorphins and lends itself to relaxation and sleep. We need to MAKE LOVE. NOT WAR. Now, as my tagline says the hippies got it “mostly” right.
Let me add what little wisdom I have gained in my 37 years of life. Sex without soul is an addiction. But sex without dogma is peace. The hippies were mostly right in the notion of free love. But in order to be more than animals in an orgy we need to practice some discretion. So while I do seriously believe the world needs to get laid in the worst way possible, we need guidelines.
Being committed (sic married) is a method in which we semi-evolved animals have taken some of the violence out of finding a mate. We no longer have to kill the largest male in order to sire young. And finding someone you trust and love is a treasure in our semi-evolved lives. So “free love” can and should stay between the two married adults. Marriage should be open to anyone willing to commit to another. there, I said it, let everyone who is of age and consenting get married. Man and man. Woman and woman. Trans and Trans or whatever combination you come up with. We should encourage everyone to find sex with other safety minded, consenting adults. ( A note on hypocrisy. Some cultures encourage the marrying of children 10 years old to men in their 40’s yet believe sex between two men or two women is somehow unnatural)
So to sum this up. You young men and women of the summer of 69. You had the right idea. Let’s get the world laid and stop bringing violence upon ourselves. “Make Smart Love. Not War”
The Madness Without the Method