Some people may think that I am stuck within the Sixties. That is not true.
The sixties was a great idealistic, transformation period of time to have lived through but I am not hopelessly adhered to its era in some time-warp. The sixties was never a fashion for me. It was a period of time that I was thoroughly at home in because it mirrored the ethos of my personality.
I am a revolutionary idealist. I believe we should oppose things that are wrong and put them right. I believe we can make a better world.
Prior to the 1960s England was a stuffy, hide-bound society, drab and boring. People were stereotypically harnessed to a limited lifestyle, appearance and career. England was ruled by an elite with a clear class-ridden hierarchy, in which you knew your place, and an old-boy network that kept things in a reactionary rut.
It was grey and dour.
The sixties brought a revolution that blew that out of the window. It is that spirit of liberalisation and liberation that I still celebrate. It is a revolution that did not cease with the sixties but continues to this day. There is still much that needs addressing. The class structure, old-boy network and reactionary forces are still in existence and still maintaining those social structures that maintain the power balance and dictate personal freedoms.
I celebrate the spirit of the sixties because it brought:-
- Hedonism. It was alright to enjoy yourself and have fun. The stiff upper lip and repressed stoicism of English culture was discarded. We could let our hair down and actively seek pleasure.
- Liberalisation. You could enjoy sex without it being an evil that could not be mentioned. You could film it and write about it without it being prurient and dirty. Sex was a natural part of life to be celebrated and not hidden away. That included homosexuality. You could look at other religions and cultures as being interesting and of equal respect. You could look at other people as being equal. The days of the superiority of the English and their great Empire was over.
- Irreverence. There was a new questioning of authorities. It was no longer thought that our elders and those in authority were to be trusted or that they knew better than us. It was no longer God, King and Country. People had minds of their own, ideas and views and openly questioned their leaders. They did not automatically believe that the policies proposed, including war and economics, was in the interests of the country, individuals or the world. They began to openly protest and make their views heard.
- Individuality. You could dress and think differently to those around you. You were free to live your life how you chose and not be forced to conform to the wishes of the establishment.
- Global perspectives. The environmental movement, Women’s liberation, anti-war movement, Civil Rights and Social Equality had their roots in sixties ideology. We felt we could change the world. The Hegemony of big business and political and religious power could not continue to dictate world policy with impunity.
These were the precepts I took forward from the sixties that have suffused my life and philosophy. These are the ideals and freedoms I have made the corner-stone of my actions. I have taken the respect, tolerance, freedom and fun and tried to put that into everything I do and stand for. I am not stuck in the sixties. I use the motivating force of those days of rebellion to inspire the future.
The sixties wasn’t a fashion or period of Rock Music it was the spawning of a idealistic social force that continues to transform the world. It created a new Zeitgeist that is still flourishing today.
Let’s help make that positive Zeitgeist even more powerful and transformative! We have the power to solve the population explosion, Racism, Environmental degradation, Sexism, War and exploitation. We have the power!
You may like to read more in my book on life in the sixties – The Times and Tales of a Sixties Freak :
Or the story of my life with Rock Music in – ‘In Search of Captain Beefheart’
Or my book on the Environmental catastrophe happening around us in ‘Anthropocene Apocalypse’
Or my book on my life in Education ; ‘A passion for Education – the Story of a Headteacher’
Or check out my other novels, books on Rock and Sci-fi.