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The 1960s

Normally I don’t think a lot about American culture, but the other day I realized just how profound the 60s was on America and the world. I’ve been listening to a Beatles station on Pandora for a couple of weeks, and the other day while working I was keeping an ear tuned to the lyrics as songs played. A couple of the songs were about Vietnam and the draft, and it got me thinking about all the events in the 60s as a whole.

On the surface, to me it has always been “oh yeah yeah the 60s”. I knew individually the Cold War, Vietnam War, the space race, the Cuban Missile Crisis, JFK, Elvis, Beatles, hippies, communism fear, and student demonstrations happened in the 60s. Not to mention the spectacular volumes of now-legendary music that was made then. But thinking about all these events as a whole on the same time line, along with the new civil rights laws and drafts made me realize that there was a lot of permanent change going on. We conscripted men to war. We went to the moon. All within a decade. People and a nation were motivated.  It seems hard to me that anyone couldn’t get caught up in it all. Anti-war protests not your thing?  Then get on board cheering on the Apollo missions! Maybe go to Berkeley to make/experience cool music instead. Watch some Star Trek!

In this way, it reminds me of World War II. It’s easy to think about all the fronts/theaters as discrete wars. You had the Germans moving around Europe, the Russians defending their cities, U-Boat attacks in the seas, then across the globe we were fighting the Japanese. But, all these events happened within a several years of each other in the 40s and were definitely related.

I can’t name many fascinating things that the 70s and 80s gave to us.  Porn and energy crises?

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