I have recently been asked by a college student to be interviewed about my experience and opinions of the sixties. Ouch. Shows my age. But on the other hand it gives me the opportunity to set a few things straight. This student is doing a project for a class in Gender Studies called: “Sex, Love and Politics in the Sixties”.
Well, there is enough covered under that banner to fill a library. But I will try to keep it to an hour. I dunno about the “love” part…but I could write books about the sex question. The politics portion could get a bit sticky however.
Gender studies. I don’t really know what that means. According to the jewipedia definition : “Gender Studies is a field of interdisciplinary study which analyzes race, ethnicity, sexuality and location.” Huh? The limited reading that I have done on this subject keeps referencing people from a particular academic and religious background. That being the Frankfort school; and of the kosher persuasion. How it interlaces with Freudian psychoanalysis and the aforementioned academia makes me more than uncomfortable. But that’s just me.
Back to talking about the sixties.
How do you relate the feel of such a time to a kid today? Someone that doesn’t understand the concepts of active protest…rejection of an entire social culture, and having fun in the process. It was an odd time to which nothing I have experienced since, can compare. It will be much like trying to describe a dream. You know when you try to relate the “feel” and texture of such a phenomenon…words can fail. The old joke “I guess you had to be there”…often applies. But beyond that, it seems to me that this generation is so far removed from what we rebelled against, that I will be hard-pressed to effectively relate to this student the revulsion we felt for all things “establishment”, in those times. How do you explain that what they see as every-day now…is the very culture to which we took exception then? It will be difficult to express…I’m sure. I will try, however. Because I think it is important, in a small way.
As I try in my humble fashion to link these things that make up the world we live in now, to the judaic…I will try to convey my take on a world gone mad since that time. It will be a bit of a delicate minuet to explain those times in my terms…and not be discounted as an obsessive, raving “antisemite”…but I have had much practice on that dance floor. I know the steps and how to lead my partner. My very adversary has instructed me in this promenade. No one can bullshit like a bullshitter. And I am that…for all that I hold to be true and good. I can sell, if pressed to do so.
Aside from this coming interview and my efforts here, I have had many occasions to instruct. I re-read that last sentence, and I am struck by the impudence. I guess what I mean to say…like a preacher of the gospel, I have had opportunity to spread the word. The gospel according to Timster. Ha. Now if that doesn’t strike you as arrogant…your eyes must have just skipped a line. If you are even still reading. I guess there is no way to say “I know everything…and at times, I will teach those that don’t”, without coming off as just a tiny bit vainglorious. That’s me. But you know this.
So I will be relating tales of my membership in the SDS and the John Brown Society and protests and concerts and love-ins and orgies and experimental drug experiences. All that. But when it comes to my feelings now about then…well that’s when I have to remember my steps. I have often come up against the mashed-potato wall of “poor jew” indoctrination that fills the heads of the current generation. Simply because they know nothing else. They weren’t there when it was first being sold to us in this country. They weren’t there when we took them at their word. “Holo-what?” “Six MILLION?!?” “Oh…you poor things”. All that. There were so few that questioned it back then, that I share a culpability for not being a bigger part of resisting such propaganda…for the sake of these kids now.
But I am making amends. My mia culpa is in these pages and in those rare opportunities to instruct, in my fashion.
Kids. Go figure.