In the 60’s I was a fan of the musical, “Hair”.
Yeah…I know. As it has since been revived and filmed several times…it could be viewed as nothing more than yiddish pot stirring. But, actually this was not a jewish enterprise… it was written and produced in its entirety…book and music…by Gentiles. Even its stars on Broadway…Lynn Kellogg, Shelly Plimpton, Ronnie Dyson et al…all Gentiles. Of course it changed over time and became about celebrity and money and its power got lost. Then the REAL tribe moved in. But it was a great musical as written…I saw it in the old Biltmore where it ran , with the original cast. They shook the rafters of that old theater and the values of a country. It rocked. You cannot see it now as it was then. Do not watch any of the altered versions, the revivals or films of the play if you want to come away with the bite and the flavor it left in the late sixties.
My older sister is a loveable goof. Always was. Although she would probably test into genius level intelligence, she never really used her abilities. Well she had many jobs…mostly she enjoys teaching…math of all things. She is one of those people that understands and remembers calculus entirely. I’m sure you know that type. Which made it very difficult for me to follow her through school. I am not a real “math” kind of person. Not an analytical thinker I guess.
Anyway, she keeps me on my toes to this day. And as I have said here before, although she is a tough nut to crack…if I could win her over to my way of thinking…I believe I would quit harping on about the world’s problems and whom I think is behind them. But she still giggles at me and calls me a conspiracy nut. Although it is all in good fun…it is a puzzlement to me. Her lack of social concerns…and my obsession with them.
I remember when I was singing the praises of that musical to her…how popular it had become and how it was changing minds about a lot of things, and on and on…like I have been known to do – she said something to me that always stuck. While trying to get her on-board the “revolution”, I often referred to that play. She told me “That song, “Easy to be hard” is from your Hair play thing, right?” “You should listen to the lyrics…they were written for you”.
Well the song was a lover’s lament in the play(later becoming a big hit)…yet among other crazy sentiments expressed as generational “FU”… it addressed the obsessive social conscience that was part and parcel to the “revolution” in which a lot of us were embroiled. It was me at the time, and maybe even now. Although I don’t feel my attitude toward injustice in the world has overshadowed my personal life that much…maybe it has. What would I have been if not for the experiences that I had then. Indeed what would any of us have been without our personally felt influences?
Sis did the 50’s twice, then straight on to the 70’s. Many people did. They didn’t get it…they didn’t care. To them the 60’s were just a brief interruption to their lives as they were told they should be lived. A pause in the materialism of the 50’s. We were a generation that was troublesome to them, and just fodder for the evening news.
I will probably never win her over on an academic level. And it would be impossible to do so on an emotional one. Though if she used that inquisitive mind of hers, even at this later date, like many others that let injustice whiz by them unnoticed throughout their lives…they could certainly be the leaders of this the latest social revolt. And that is what we are going to need…sanity in the times to come. If the intelligentsia of any generation could get their noses out of their own lives long enough to look around and understand that all do not have their advantages…it would certainly be easier for we that have understood from the beginning that change is needed, and is truly coming.
These are fine people that would hurt no one. With much to contribute to our world. And perhaps they feel that they are doing so in their small ways. But I charge them with a bigger task. Because it seems to escape them that their lives can and do influence the world, we are lacking much of their input that could expedite this unveiling…this birth process.
I guess that type of intellect when mixed with our brand of social caring, produce the people that we now admire. This is a time for the poets and the thinkers. As are all times of social upheaval. We live in interesting times to be sure. But more than just interesting, I feel the world is at the very brink of an apocalypse. One of a magnitude that this tired old world has never seen. Win or lose…we that only ‘care about the bleeding crowd’, could use a little help. Those brilliant minds and hearts which they harbor are needed.