The Week the Sixties Died

By

The past 7 days may have been the week in which the over—hyped spirit of the 1960's has finally been put to rest.

Who could have imagined the now prune—faced Rolling Stones as a half time nostalgia act at Super Bow XL?  Sunday's show was compelling only in its misery.  Once when a 62 year old man complained 'I can't get no satisfaction' he had our sympathy, but today is, after all, the age of viagra and cialis.

The week also saw the funeral of one of the last remaining icons of the Civil Rights era, Coretta King.  And of course those political attention seekers who haven't had a good idea in 40 years made her service into a platform for their cheap shots in a story that would have been buried if it weren't for the new electronic media. Someone tell Jimmy Carter these days the whole world is watching, not just the antique media gatekeepers, so you can't get away with this kind of crap.

Wretchard at the Belmont Club noted yesterday in a piece on the cartoon controversy that 1960's protest songs are now a source of irony as editors who grew up in that period practice self—censorship. I wonder if just—departed Chicago Tribune public editor Don Wycliff still hums or even knows these words?

Though your brother's bound and gagged

And they've chained him to a chair

Won't you please come to Chicago

Just to sing

In a land that's known as freedom

How can such a thing be fair

Won't you please come to Chicago

For the help that we can bring.

Finally, a 60's activist who hasn't lost his moral compass, Roger L. Simon, received this year's Oscar ballot with disdain. In comparing his current reaction to  the excitement he felt when he first became a member of the Academy, he quotes Christopher Marlowe's The Jew of Malta 

But that was in another country and besides the wench is dead.

It is hard to come up with a more appropriate sentiment for a media and entertainment culture that ignores the murder of Theo Van Gogh and the ongoing intimidation of the Danes even as it prepares to honor the following: Moral equivalency in the war against terror (Munich); Racial tension (Crash); A deeply flawed writer (Capote); the wholesale breaking of marriage vows (Brokeback Mountain); And,  let's have one more round of applause for ourselves, another retelling of the McCarthy hearings that fails to note the communist threat was real (Good Night and Good Luck). 

Whatever vitality these people may once have had, this week they've proven themselves dinosaurs before the polar twin forces of Internet communication and radical Islam.

Rosslyn Smith   2 11 06

The past 7 days may have been the week in which the over—hyped spirit of the 1960's has finally been put to rest.

Who could have imagined the now prune—faced Rolling Stones as a half time nostalgia act at Super Bow XL?  Sunday's show was compelling only in its misery.  Once when a 62 year old man complained 'I can't get no satisfaction' he had our sympathy, but today is, after all, the age of viagra and cialis.

The week also saw the funeral of one of the last remaining icons of the Civil Rights era, Coretta King.  And of course those political attention seekers who haven't had a good idea in 40 years made her service into a platform for their cheap shots in a story that would have been buried if it weren't for the new electronic media. Someone tell Jimmy Carter these days the whole world is watching, not just the antique media gatekeepers, so you can't get away with this kind of crap.

Wretchard at the Belmont Club noted yesterday in a piece on the cartoon controversy that 1960's protest songs are now a source of irony as editors who grew up in that period practice self—censorship. I wonder if just—departed Chicago Tribune public editor Don Wycliff still hums or even knows these words?

Though your brother's bound and gagged

And they've chained him to a chair

Won't you please come to Chicago

Just to sing

In a land that's known as freedom

How can such a thing be fair

Won't you please come to Chicago

For the help that we can bring.

Finally, a 60's activist who hasn't lost his moral compass, Roger L. Simon, received this year's Oscar ballot with disdain. In comparing his current reaction to  the excitement he felt when he first became a member of the Academy, he quotes Christopher Marlowe's The Jew of Malta 

But that was in another country and besides the wench is dead.

It is hard to come up with a more appropriate sentiment for a media and entertainment culture that ignores the murder of Theo Van Gogh and the ongoing intimidation of the Danes even as it prepares to honor the following: Moral equivalency in the war against terror (Munich); Racial tension (Crash); A deeply flawed writer (Capote); the wholesale breaking of marriage vows (Brokeback Mountain); And,  let's have one more round of applause for ourselves, another retelling of the McCarthy hearings that fails to note the communist threat was real (Good Night and Good Luck). 

Whatever vitality these people may once have had, this week they've proven themselves dinosaurs before the polar twin forces of Internet communication and radical Islam.

Rosslyn Smith   2 11 06