‘ As a result the drug culture of the Sixties died and the religious quest took on a whole new meaning or perhaps one addiction was just swapped for another one. Would it be fair to say ‘the Sixties’ experienced a ‘cultural revolution’? Indeed ‘the Sixties’ experienced something and if not a ‘cultural revolution’ what then? The Sixties underwent a different type of revolution to the French revolution or Mao’s real ‘cultural revolution’.
Everything from Women’s attitudes changing toward men and vice versa, to sexual liberation, xviiyouth’s ‘dropping out’, ‘turning on’ and ‘tuning in’. Every level of living standard it seems was challenged and affected by the Sixties youthful rebellion. But then does not every generation go through life changing experiences which can affect the entire population in that area? What was so peculiar about ‘the Sixties’? Was it a time of mything-out on Jesus or spacing-out on drugs?
It appeared to be time of drastic measures, of shocking statements, as this xviiiletter written by the daughter of a rich Memphis family to her parents, on the 12th September 1967 will reveal, ‘We saw the teeny-boppers in their mini skirts and fishnet stockings in Los Angeles; but I didn’t believe the conservative Middle West would be caught dead in such gear. I must be wrong [… ] [she went round the main shops in Arkansas] there wasn’t a single dress I even wanted to try on. Everything is made for the junior figure [… ] cut too short.
Even my favourite Peck and Peck has deserted me for the mini-mod. ‘ But then this is true of today, so it would appear that that was the beginnings of fashion dictating to the market, where everyone wanted to look like xixTwiggy and in ‘the Sixties’ it was all about teenage consumerism. xxJim Hayes sums up ‘the Sixties’ with these words, ‘The end of ‘the Sixties’ came as a kind of incredible collapse, a collapse of hope, and the innocence and naivety of the decade when everyone felt that we were changing the world, that we could change the world.
Then maybe a few people began to realise that through music, through long hair and colourful costumes, through our attitudes, hopes and fears we weren’t going to change the world. We could only maybe change ourselves a bit. And I think this resulted in a depression for some people and a rush of cynicism. ‘ But xxiMaureen Nolan and Roam Singleton have a more positive view, ‘And did all the upheavals in living standards, in attitudes and fashion have a lasting effect on the lives of the adults who were teenagers in Liverpool in the sixties? I believe it did.
‘ In their opinion the Sixties was a mini-renaissance in which the right of individual expression was encouraged, applauded and nurtured by a generation whose nai?? ve belief was all they needed was love. The Sixties experienced a cultural revolution that happened with startling speed and force and on many levels, from grass roots to the leading politicians. The Sixties touched many people’s lives for the better or the worse, but for the most part it continues to colour and enrich our lives today. [1995 words] i An Introduction to Humanities, The Sixties, Author of unit 25 and 26.
ii Eric Hobsbawn’s book Age of Extremes: The Short Twentieth Century 1914 – 1991 iii The Sixties- Cultural Transformation in Britain, France, Italy and the United States, c. 1958 – c. 1974 iv a memoir by Maureen Nolan and Roma Singleton , Resource Book 4, pg 23 v Jim Hayes, A3, Thanks for Coming! an autobiography, Resource Book 4, pg 24 vi Letter from Birmingham Jail, Resource Book 4, pg 27 vii The Feminine Mystique, Resource Book 4, pg 28 viii An Introduction to Humanities, The Sixties, pg 99, Table 2 ix ‘Declaration: Equality for women in science’ Resource Book 4, pg 5, B7.
x An Introduction to Humanities, The Sixties, pg 103. No 3: Writing scientific papers for publication is the most important way of building one’s professional credibility and visibility in science. xi ‘Has feminism changed science? ‘, Resource Book 4, pg 54 xii Theodore Roszak, ‘Journey to the East… and points beyond’, Resource Book 4, pg 56- 60 xiii Theodore Roszak, ‘Journey to the East… and points beyond’, Resource Book 4, pg 56- 60 xiv Tom Wolfe, novelist and journalist, Mauve Gloves and Madmen, Clutter and Vine. An Introduction to Humanities, The Sixties, pg 134 xv Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, a drug which was used in the past for religious quests and was not considered illegal in the nineteenth century and earlier.
xvi Maharishi Mahesh Yogi founded the Spiritual Regeneration Movement (SRM) 1967 xvii Tim Leary, ‘Start your own religion’, Resource Book 4, pg 72 xviii Letter, Resource Book 4, pg 33 xix Twiggy, 16, who was the face of 1966 xx Jim Hayes, A3, Thanks for Coming! an autobiography pg 24, Resource Book 4 xxi ‘mini-renaissance’, Resource Book 4, pg 25 Please note the Resource Book 4 is a course book for An Introduction to Humanities, A103 Debbie Wren; Personal Identifier: W5978943: TMA08.