Best hook lede in the world.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Arts & Letters Daily - ideas, criticism, debate: "Robert Hughes’s wife, Danne, gave him a strain of the clap that she’d likely picked up from Jimi Hendrix. It was so antibiotic resistant, it almost outlived Hendrix himself..."

15 comments:

Fresh Air said...

Oh, lordy! Another A&L Daily nut. This sort of thing will you drive you crazy clicking and reading until 2 a.m.

vnjagvet said...

Yeah, that one sure pulled me in. It is, sadly, all too typical of life in the late, unlamented sixties.

Syl said...

'nam aside, the sixties were a time of experimenting. I enjoyed the sixties and have some very fond memories.

Seeing the blue marble from the moon was an awakening to our planet. It was exciting and humbling and not a bit frightening. I still remember the first Earth day.

I don't lament that at all. It's later that the Left took it and everything else we awoke to that decade to extremes.

MeaninglessHotAir said...

The Sixties were a lot of fun, in exactly the same way that getting drunk off your butt at a party is fun. To claim that the hangover that follows had nothing to do with your own personal actions is...disingenuous.

vnjagvet said...

Syl:

"It" was referring to the Robert Hughes article. The article is fascinating and describes some of the stuff that I remember going on as a guy about his age. At that time I sort of envied guys like Hughes who were living a "free-er" life style than I was.

I also had just returned from VN and was trying to get back to normal in a society that I was having a problem understanding.

For me, the late sixties are unlamented in most ways.

I can understand, of course, why others don't share my perspective.

Peter UK said...

"The Song is Ended,But the Malady Lingers On".

Seneca the Younger said...

I enjoyed the sixties and have some very fond memories.

"If you remember the 60's, you weren't really there."

chuck said...

For me, the late sixties are unlamented in most ways.

I always felt that I was born into the wrong generation by some horrible accident. I just couldn't connect. I mean, the I-Ching, Tarot, Astrology, Vegetarianism, Eastern mysticism, drugs, free sex, Ho Ho Ho Chih Minh, dubious psychology, on and on and on and on. I tried, really, I tried, but it just didn't work for me.

Seneca the Younger said...

I always felt that I was born into the wrong generation by some horrible accident. I just couldn't connect. I mean, the I-Ching, Tarot, Astrology, Vegetarianism, Eastern mysticism, drugs, free sex, Ho Ho Ho Chih Minh, dubious psychology, on and on and on and on. I tried, really, I tried, but it just didn't work for me.

Hmm.

I-ching: check.

Tarot: check. (I like to take my cards on vacation. Amazing how good a way to meet people they turn out to be.)

Vegetarianism: check. Although I wasn't really into it until the 90's.

Drugs: not much.

Free sex: God knows I tried.

Ho Chi Minh: nah, I was a warmonger then too.

Dubious psychology: As opposed to what?

Eastern mysticism: check.

Golly, maybe I wasn't as boring as I thought.

Syl said...

To claim that the hangover that follows had nothing to do with your own personal actions is...disingenuous.

Am I to take this personally or what?

There were some who lived, loved, and enjoyed the sixties then moved on. There were others who opened up to new ideas and considered them an end in themselves instead of folding them back into a whole.

Like the anti-war protestors who are now gray and bald but still carry the same old signs. Or the radical environmentalists. Or the aging rock stars who refuse to adapt to new realities.

I did the Tarot thing myself and was frighteningly good at it. I still have my deck though I'm afraid to take it out and haven't done a reading for 15 years.

(Well, I guess many of us have our genies that can't be put back in the bottle. :>)

The sixties was an explosion of freedom and awareness in dozens of directions. The current times are the opposite. We have to focus on the Islamc Fascist threat. And that's why I think the conservative movement is strong right now.

But it will only last as long as the terrorists and the excesses that resulted from the sixties are with us.

There will be another explosion like the sixties, but probably not in our lifetimes.

chuck said...

Syl,

Maybe it should be called the Penicillin decade. I knew various folks who had syphilis, tuberculosis, and the plague. None of them died; in an earlier age two would have and the syphilis would have done its long term damage. What bugged me about the period is that people forgot the basis of their lifestyle: modern medicine, manufacture, mining, power generation, farm machinery, oil, education, soldiers. In fact, they despised those things. Like those children of the middle class who bitched at the government while taking food stamps paid for by actual working folk, there was a wholesale blindness to the basis of the good life and a closed mindedness that hinders us even now. I don't think that period was an opening up to new ideas, I think it was a willful movement towards ignorance and superstition. You can't eat a Beatles song and love won't boil water. The full consequence of the 60's silliness is still emerging in the US and it will be difficult to recover from it.

Syl said...

chuck

I've never in my life gotten foodstamps, welfare, or any handouts (except from my mom on occasion). My life in the sixties didn't lead to the necessity for penicillin or anything else.

Rejection of authority, not trusting anyone over thirty? Most people mostly got over it when they reached that age themselves.

My point is that it's only those who continue as if the sixties never ended that are the troublemakers the last couple of decades.

Methinks you are painting your contempt with an overly broad brush.

MeaninglessHotAir said...

Syl,

Sorry, no, it wasn't meant personally. Perhaps I should have said "one" instead of "you".

The point I was trying to make was made very well by chuck above.

I understand your point; I just don't agree with it. I believe that actually many of the "liberations" of the Sixties were moves in the wrong direction. So the problem, in mine and chuck's view, is that the ideas and choices themselves, not just the people who are still trying to follow the Grateful Dead around.

I believe that this fundamental problem (that many of the choices made then were the wrong ones) has not been faced at all in our popular culture and until we do face it we are in trouble. We have not agreed that those changes were wrong because the proponents of those changes have cloaked themselves in the mantel of "progress". Therefore, to argue that those choices were wrong is akin to arguing that progress is wrong and so one who so argues is a priori a caveman. (See, I used "one"!) That's not honest debate, that's demagoguery.

I don't see it as a matter of the Sixties were "liberal" and we're now "conservative". In many ways we're more "liberal" now than the Sixties and in many of those ways I'm happy with the changes. I prefer to think about issues one by one, so as not to get trapped in the "hurray for my side" thinking you were complaining about earlier.

Syl said...

MHA

I believe that actually many of the "liberations" of the Sixties were moves in the wrong direction.

Does that imply the possibility of moves in the right direction too? I dislike the term 'progress' because it implies a utopian end goal. I prefer change. Simply a difference from what came before.

I'm not a conservative but I am not a progressive either.

And my point was that some of the choices were not bad in themselves, it's what the 'progressives' turned them into. That would be the wrong direction you refer to I guess.

I do believe in try before you buy, though. :)

But, remember, the civil rights movement was there too! That was a good liberation that turned into something else.

(As the women's movement itself an outgrown from the civil rights movement morphed into something quite unmanageable as well.)

The changes and new attitudes couldn't be stopped, but could they have been managed? There was simply too much going on at once methinks.

chuck said...

The changes and new attitudes couldn't be stopped, but could they have been managed? There was simply too much going on at once methinks.

I think many of things turned bad because of the replacement of thought by ideology. In universities today there are whole departments devoted to promoting political ideology: women's studies, sociology, and education come to mind. The loss of intellectual rigor that follows from replacing thought by ideology allows alternative realities to be invented out of whole cloth. In a nutshell, objective reality is replaced by wishful thinking and superstition. It is this general loss of rigor that hobbles us today. And it is dangerous because Nature is not amenable to our desires but follows her own course regardless.