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Cultural eradication and bingo cards!

It has recently occurred to me how my generation has done a HUGE wrong to my parents’ generation. How back in the 60s and 70s we brought about a cultural revolution that is still prevalent today. One that is on the verge of erasing their culture completely.

Frank Zappa quote (circa 1969): “I think a revolution―not the sloppy kind, but the kind that really works―you know, it's about time for that. The sloppy kind is blood-in-the-street and all that bullshit. Today, a revolution can be accomplished by means of mass media, with technical advances that Madison Avenue is using to sell you washing machines and a loaf of bread and everything else. This can be used to change the whole country around painlessly.”

Well, it happened and it didn’t. The hippies grew up and became yuppies, and because of all the “free love” they shamelessly engaged in at Woodstock, they found they had kids to feed. Hence, many of them joined Corporate America to pay the bills.

Me, I was only ten during the Summer of Love (1967) and I didn’t grow fully into my own rebellion until the punk movement came along in 1977. And then came the Reagan years, and then the Grunge movement and Bill Clinton as an answer to that. And then came the Internet!

But hey, I get these new right-wing ultra-conservative born-again Republicans (and some Democrats like Tipper Gore) in America today. Really I do. I know what’s got their knickers in a twist. We used their parents’ vast media machine and our own tools (All in the Family, Saturday Night Live, etc.) to threaten their cherished way of life when we kicked June and Ward Cleaver to the curb.

Frankly, they’re scared. You can see it in Rick Santorum’s eyes. In Michele Bachmann’s phony smile. In Sarah Palin’s… Hum, I’m not exactly sure what she’s been smoking. In any event, their cherished values are on the brink of extinction, of being snuffed out forever. They’re fighting back with everything they’ve got! If they have one saving grace, it’s that they haven’t discovered bingo cards...yet.

Proposed solution: So as not to totally eradicate my parents’ culture, perhaps we could build a few museums dedicated to the ways of yore. As to June and Ward Cleaver... As long as such cultural venues as Nick at Nite are around, Leave It to Beaver will be preserved for future generations.

I’ve got my own bingo card, but it only has one box so far.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 13th, 2012 03:36 am (UTC)
Funny, I was just thinking along these lines yesterday, while watching Martin Scorcese's documentary on George Harrison. All the photos and news clips made me remember what a revolutionary time that was, with *ROCK N ROLL* (my God, it's evil and twisted and ruining the young generation!!!!) and all those changes. Rebellion, and not just in the streets, but on the home front by *gasp* defying our parents!
Jun. 13th, 2012 03:45 am (UTC)
"We're the kind of people our parents warned us about." I'll raise my hand to that. ;-)
Jun. 13th, 2012 11:34 am (UTC)
Frankly, they’re scared. You can see it in Rick Santorum’s eyes. In Michele Bachmann’s phony smile. In Sarah Palin’s… Hum, I’m not exactly sure what she’s been smoking. In any event, their cherished values are on the brink of extinction, of being snuffed out forever. They’re fighting back with everything they’ve got!

This is a weird tangent that goes off-topic, but there's something fundamental here, in this statement. There's this kind of cultural instinct to pull in your arms and legs and adopt the foetal-protect-your-soft-bits that happens when people see their culture being snuffed out. The Torah wasn't codified until Jerusalem was sacked, for example. Fairy tales weren't written down until they were being destroyed by the printing press. Flemish had nearly died out until the French Belgian majority tried to impose their language on the Walloons. Suicide bombing as a response to total military defeat.

I've been trying to put my finger on exactly what is so weird and scary about the right wing in my ex-country up to now. That's it. They're so f-ing desperate, they'd be willing to destroy the country to save it.

But here's the difference, I think: the Republican leadership, which really only cares about preserving the military-industrial money machine, has been using the idea of getting a tractable idiot to pair with their usual military-industrial thug where said idiot can be a lightning rod and loose cannon both. So as the cultural fascists grow more alarmed and extreme, the person they choose has to be even more of an idiot and extremist than the last. Some sort of Pinky for their Brain. So Nixon and Agnew-Ford, Reagan and Bush, Bush and Quayle, Dubya and Cheney, McCain and Palin, and so on.

But somewhere in the near future, these two opposing horses are going to split from each other. It's going to have to come soon, because this tension is making the overall Republican platform logically absurd, especially in the economics department. Either that, or they're going to have to start proposing some sort of Hermann Göring option, some kind of combination of wacko politics and capitalist hegemony. Their sort of inside man when the counter-revolution gets messy.

[Scans Mitt Romney from head to toe]

Naah. Failed Kwisatz Haderach. But close!
Jun. 13th, 2012 12:12 pm (UTC)

No, not off topic at all as per the paragraph you pointed out. It’s just rather weird to me. Many of these people are my age. Did they miss the cultural revolution? Did our invitations to the all-night party not get delivered? Did they not like anything by The Beatles after Rubber Soul? The right wing will always be around in some form or another, but in a generation or two I think it’ll lose much of its power. This is their last hurrah and they know it.

While I meant everything I said above, much of it is steeped in irony and how youths of every new generation must slam the previous generation or the world in general. I now look back on some of the things I did and said when I was in my twenties. Thankfully there was no internet then to immortalize my youthful indulgences for eternity. ;-)
Jun. 13th, 2012 12:25 pm (UTC)
No, of course not. I faked all my posts, too. ;)

Mayhaps the real issue is that the humpty-dumpty of unified American culture kind of broke down, and bits of its shell are still living off in Nebraska, and Wasilla, and Dubuque, like those little monasteries in Ireland and the Hebrides.

I know D.C. was a weird place, where you could turn the corner and be in a totally different culture and society, turn again, and be in yet another; so I can't say it's something that doesn't happen in cities, but there seems to be a definite suburban component to it: America's gotten fractured that way, but in the mind. So that the person living next to you can live a totally different reality via selectively filtering TV and Internet, and commuting without interaction with anyone else's America through the Work-Store-Home triad. In air-conditioned comfort.

But that was the apple-pie-June-Cleaver dream wasn't it? Even if it was concocted on Madison Avenue and sponsored by Lucky Strike. Perhaps that was the first wave, when TV forced one culture to invent an idealized version of itself.

Which would imply that the Internet is a second wave of the same desperate sand-castle building.
Jun. 14th, 2012 01:22 pm (UTC)
I'd say that the entire country has done tremendously well by our parents' generation and Republicans--wealth, laws, bennies, catering, supporting--the list really doesn't end. And for being the generation of love, love, love, they seem to be the most unbelievably selfish, self-serving, spoiled lot on the planet.

Just wait until we're going to try and take the car keys from their hands just because they're running over people: what?! wait for a ride? give up independence? not on your life. I picture Charlton Heston, remember when he's holding up a rifle, saying, "From my cold dead hands!"? That'll be all the old farts with their car keys; god forbid they'd be inconvenienced; car keys a symbol for all the rest of it, too, see.

Lotsa luck with the museum idea and the whole ways of yore thing--they're never going to die out and they'll tromp all over you on just suggesting it--I'm laughing as I write all this silly stuff, but, still...:).

Edited at 2012-06-14 01:24 pm (UTC)
Jun. 14th, 2012 01:50 pm (UTC)
Ha! I was first introduced to Charleston Heston when he played Moses in The Ten Commandments. He seems to have added an eleventh: "I'll give you my gun when you pry it from my blahblahblah!"

Thanks for your thoughts, Karen!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


Marshall Payne
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