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The American Counterculture: What Happened?
And who won?
"Never trust anyone over 30." That was a general order of the American counterculture in the 1960s. But these days, people of all ages are under a spell of woke racism, Trump hysteria, and "blue man bad" attitudes.
Our minds might generate images of Woodstock or Volkswagen vans when we think of the counterculture, but people revolted by doing more than hitting the road for festivals and mushroom trips.
Hippies challenged cultural norms, created communities, and stood up to corrupt government and corporate practices.
Liberal journalism majors couldn't get through school fast enough to expose the truth about the war in Vietnam or politics in Washington.
Left-leaning comedians, actors, and other entertainers used to mock "the man" and create content aimed at companies that threatened the environment or civil rights.
And yes, musical artists such as Buffalo Springfield, Jefferson Airplane, and Credence Clearwater Revival wrote countless lyrics to spread the counterculture message.
Of course, not all cultural rebels were stand-up citizens, but as a whole, the movement sought positive progress.
So what happened? Did they self-destruct after successfully completing their mission like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2?
Or is there more to it?
Journalism Used to Mean Something
"When He cometh descending from heaven
On the cloud that He writes in His Word
I'll be joyfully carried to meet Him
On the wings of that great speckled bird."
Sit down. It's not a hymn.
It's a country-folk song by Roy Acuff, written way back in 1938 titled "The Great Speckled Bird."
The tune inspired an American independent newspaper during the late 1960s by the same name. Tom and Stephanie Coffin created "The Great Speckled Bird" in 1968 to voice off-the-beaten-path views that criticized social issues of the day.
The Speckled Bird was the newspaper of the American counterculture. But while these alternative journalists sought to expose government hypocrisy, not everyone was a fan.
What happened? Well, censorship happened.
Most schools and universities banned the publication and even had distributors arrested for frivolous crimes like jaywalking to keep the paper from circulation.
In 1972, someone took it a step further when they firebombed the papers Atlanta office.
The Speckled Bird team was obviously left of center politically speaking, and "the man" did their best to keep them quiet.
Isn't it crazy how everything flipped?
The people in control censored liberals of yesterday, but today these radical leftist ideas are doing the censoring.
In 2021, the mainstream media serves major corporations and big government. Many people would write this off as an extreme opinion or conspiracy theory a couple of years ago.
But when 2020 hit, more people watched the news, and soon after, the lying became apparent.
They told us Trump colluded with Russia to win the presidency.
Like Maury Povich's lie detector, we determined that was a lie.
They told us Trump put kids in cages due to overcrowding at the southern border, only to find the photos were from the Obama era.
If anyone argued these lies, the media would run them out of town.
Just look at what happened to New York Times columnist Bari Weiss.
Weiss questioned the woke mob and considered views of conservatives and moderates.
And the Times doesn't care for that. People might assume Weiss, a homosexual Jewish woman who works for the New York Times to have some liberal views, but nobody is safe from the mob.
When Weiss practiced free thought, they wrote her off as a right-wing extremist, and they bullied her into resignation.
Again, everything flipped.
Liberals used journalism to seek equality 50 years ago.
Now, extreme liberals run the media and decide what the public sees, and they remove anyone that gets in the way.
Would the 1960s American counterculture and employees of the Great Speckled Bird be proud of today's state of "journalism?"
Music Soundtracked the American Counterculture
"Everyone loves the 60s, especially those that weren't there." -AD. Aliwat
I mean, that would be fun. Although I can hardly stay up past 11:00 PM these days, let alone trip on acid in the rain for three days.
Still, these events in upstate New York and California were more than entertainment. These artists made it their work to fuse opposition to cultural norms in their lyrics and music, and festivals served as networking events.
They also hosted an open-air drug market, let's be honest.
But for the most part, music was an accessible medium that allowed the American counterculture to spread positive messages of peace and love.
Most lyrics of the time spoke out against Vietnam and equal rights.
Yet, it wasn't just the hippies in San Francisco putting flowers in their hair that opposed the mainstream culture.
While the patchouli oil thinned out in the California air, the streets of London brewed the scent of leather and spray paint in the late 1970s.
When The Sex Pistols and The Clash hit the airwaves in 1977, a new rebellion arose with neon mohawks and spiked belts.
We credit the United Kingdom with creating punk rock but it soon spread to the United States with bands like The Dead Kennedy's, Bad Brains, and Black Flag.
Much like the hippies in the United States, Londoners didn't know what to think of the new crowd. But soon enough, they would find it was more than a fashion statement.
It was the next cultural revolution.
Many 1970s and 1980s punks grew up with their parents enslaved to their jobs. And those parents often confused their kids with hypocritic beliefs. Such as "leave the world a better place than you found it," but then they go work for a paper company that dumps toxic waste in local waterways.
However, the punks didn't just push against their parents, and they spoke out against much of the same issues the hippies did. Corporate greed, unfair treatment of minorities, and an overreaching government were targets of these safety-pinned rebels.
And like hippies, much of their message played out in their music.
But where are the punks when you need them?
Punks accused the US of being a police state when cops kicked skateboarders off-campus. Yet today, the government wants to force people to take medications they don't necessarily need and tell people when they can and can't leave their house.
Yet here we are again, flipped. Music went from being an outlet to speak out against wrongdoings to pop nonsense.
Today's famous artists side with the mainstream ideas, and they censor anyone that opposes them.
If anyone writes a song speaking out against today's woke racism, they'll have no chance of winning awards.
Entertaining the American Counterculture
Before the first television program aired, you can bet a federal agency was there to regulate it. In 1934, the Federal Communications Commission replaced the Federal Radio Commission as technology advanced.
Whether we're talking about the news, late-night comedy, or weird HAM radio van people, they were all subject to federal regulations set forth by the FCC.
But as television, film, and radio gained popularity, the question of censorship arose.
What can you say? What can't you say?
In 2021, we can see the broken barriers from the time.
Consider Star Trek. It's hard to believe that when Captain Kirk kissed LT Uhura in 1968, it was a national story since William Shatner, a white man, kissed Nichelle Nichols, a black woman.
Today, most people don't think twice about seeing interracial kisses or couples. In fact, people are more likely to question programs or advertisements that don't feature a certain level of diversity.
If I ever lose my job, as a white male, I take comfort knowing there will always be acting work for me as a robber on home security commercials.
Anyway, recorded programming was easier to censor and regulate with post-production editing.
However, a group of young comics in New York City presented a new problem for the FCC during the 1970s.
Saturday Night Live
From the darkest corner of weekly broadcast slots, Steve Martin, Dan Ackroyd, and Gilda Radner regularly questioned the establishment of their time-usually at the expense of conservatives.
Who can forget Chevy Chase's Gerald Ford impressions?
And do you recall the "Word Association" skit from season one with Chase and Richard Pryor?
The act portrays underlying racial tensions as the country progressed.
Of course, the SNL team had to obey some rules to stay on the air. But they likely had fewer restrictions due to the time slot.
Where entertainers used to stand up for social progress and censorship, they now hinder progress and participate in cancel culture.
Today, SNL doesn't write or tell jokes, and they just repeat leftist talking points. I mean, did you see the recent skit with Pete Davidson as Joe Rogan?
That's just sad.
Late-night TV doesn't have the same flair it once had in the modern streaming world.
In the 20th century, the local news came on around 5:00 PM. Then the kids hog the TV with prime-time programming, then another newscast around 10:00 PM.
To stay up with pop culture and entertainment, adults had late-night TV. And that was about it unless you paid for premium channels. But even then, who wants to start the second half of Sleepless in Seattle before bed?
Most late-night hosts such as David Letterman and Jay Leno provided a funny monologue typically written around current events, followed by celebrity interviews, then a musical guest.
To stay relevant and connect with their audience, they sometimes picked on politicians, but the programs weren't pushing politics in the majority of material like today. And maybe it's not even the majority, but when you alienate your fan base, it sure seems like it.
Now we see garbage like Stephen Colbert. I mean, the man did a musical piece called "The Vax Scene."
Really? Outright big pharma promotions?
Free thought and discussion aren't on their schedule.
Check out this conversation between Colbert and Jon Stewart. Look at Colbert's face as Stewart challenges everything the left tried to censor.
Someone check the chocolate factory, please.
The State of Today’s Counterculture
So, what happened?
Did the counterculture win the war against "the man?"
They definitely helped, but then they became the man.
The revolution went through an evolution, and now leftist leaders are implementing the authoritarian practices that the liberal rebels of the 1960’s fought.
To have liberal views used to mean to fight for equal rights. But today, it's something completely different.
The extremist liberals of today will cancel anyone that tweets a message that contradicts the establishment.
They'll dig up pictures or videos from 20 years ago and drag people into the town square for trial.
"Journalists" are not welcome to do honest research and give stories based on critical thinking.
Just watch this. It's frightening.
How does this happen?
The American counterculture today is Forrest Gump when he played for Alabama. He got the ball, and he just kept running past the endzone, into the stadium, and to the parking lot.
Stop running. We scored. No, the world isn't perfect, but it will never be perfect.
We're letting perfection stand in the way of greatness.
But cancel culture doesn't work if we stand up to it.
Forced medical procedures don't work if we reject them. Woke racism can't enter our schools and workplace if we say, "This is wrong."
Woodstock was nothing without the crowd, and neither was the counterculture that made progress for the rights of minorities.
Today's counterculture consists of people that want freedom, and people want the choice to decide what's best for them when it comes to their health.
Modern rebels don't want racist ideas taught in schools, and we want a thriving economy and avoid lockdowns.
So today, we need rebels of all ages to stand up, but we aren't suiting up in leather jackets, wool hoodies, or growing dreadlocks.
By simply using common sense, believing in freedom, and treating each other based on the content of their character and not by the color of their skin, we're revolting.
If you do that in 2021, you're a regular Sid Vicious.