Tom Hanks THE SIXTIES, CNN #8
SEX, DRUGS AND ROCK & ROLL
The Hippies did not invent Sex, Drugs or Rock & Roll, nor did we corrupt them! Wipe that condemnation off of your belief system!
The problems with sex and drugs were already widespread before 1967. The hippies were trying to solve the problems and pitfalls imbedded in sex and drugs. We tried to compartmentalize, verify and legitimize them.
Stop laughing and read…!
The counterculture of the 1960s and 70s tried to find a way to live with sex and drugs without allowing them to destroy our lives. We were thinking party animals!
Sex and drugs were already realities in the mid-20th Century; they were already out of Pandora’s box. Society could not wipe them from our memory or put them back into the box and forget them as Christianity wanted to do. Not to mention, also, that sex is a natural body function that cannot be stopped by any religious effort at abstention.
The hippies were the guinea pigs for America's cultural education about sex and drugs. We tested birth control to see if it was safe, so that others who say they don’t use contraception can use it safely.
The Pill allowed us to experiment and enjoy without the concern of pregnancy. So we tried to see if we would become jaded or bored with sex. What we learned was that we got better with practice and more spiritual about physical love. We learned that sex was more enjoyable if both parties were committed to it and consenting. Hippies didn’t need or want to rape and kill.
With the introduction of LSD and increased availability of the whole spectrum of drugs, most of which had already been used for thousands of years, the counterculture experimented. Some died, some had their minds expanded, but what really happened was we learned lessons. Speed and heroin kill, downers make you stupid, and psychedelics turn you on to new thoughts. We also learned that new thoughts were good for the evolution of humankind and that these new Ideas didn’t spoil our heritage.
Rock and Roll—now there is a subject of explosive consequence! Some people think that music died when Bach, Mozart and Tchaikovsky died, and some people think that the music died when Elvis overdosed. Not so! In the 60s, music and its lyrics became more culturally tolerant, peaceful, and intellectual.
In THE SIXTIES, we tried to make Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll work better for mankind, not against it. We practiced control of these urges and tried not let them control us!
The attractions of Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll can never be completely wiped from our desire, and that is why we should always have an exit strategy when we realize we are screwing up. If something isn’t working, take a U-turn, forget about your ego, and protect your soul!
Making love must be a cooperative effort between lovers, or else it will always fail! Failing to reach total fulfillment in love is a tragedy, and it also means that you are doing something wrong.
In a sad twist of fate, a number of events during the hippie era perpetrated by criminals like the Manson Family and the Hells Angeles at Altamont turned the world against the Love Generation’s solutions and ideals of tolerance, democracy and love. Then Reaganomics and the election of Ronnie ended the Flower Power evolution that would have produced a more peaceful and open-minded society.
If those things had not happened, people like Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Gloria Steinem, Peter Coyote, Todd Gitlin and Lisa Law would be running this country, not the dregs of the “Greatest Generation,” who got us into all these wars and ecological disasters in the first place
CNN, Tom Hanks, Goetzman and Mark Herzog have produced another wonderful stepping stone to historic self-realization. Far too many of our history books speak volumes about our wars. That is the bad part of our history. THE SIXTIES is the good part of our history!
“We have no reason to hide from what’s true!” Moody Blues
“History is true when it is used as a tool to convince rather than a weapon to force.” JMc
“Imagine!” John Lennon
John McCleary, Author of The Hippie Dictionary: A Cultural Encyclopedia of The 1960s and 1970s