If you were born 1946 through 1964, please tell of us about your experiences in the early 60's and 70's:
Glorious, Horrendous or Hilarious!
Also, I am interested in your political beliefs at the time and whether or not you have changed your political viewpoints.
I have surmised that as people mature they become less and less inclined to be on the political left. I could be wrong. Am I?
The older I get, the more I move to the left.
I will concede that I might actually be moving to the right, but nothing like as fast as the rest.
The 60s and 70s were the two best decades in my life. The 80s, and the hard right, was the worst.
John, I think when we're talking to people from across the pond, and I mean this with all due respect to people from across the pond, our experiences in the eighties were possibly quite different from theirs.
Different nations and different values (although I concede that we *probably* all desire the same outcomes, but disagree when it comes to the route) We remember our country as superior before Americanization, folks in the US see any form of socialism as inherently wrong. US citizens see capitalism as a good thing, we (or at least people of the same political colours as you and I) find it distasteful and that it only really works for certain sections of society.
In America, it appears (correct me if I'm wrong) that money and material things are all important. That people with vast amounts of money (more than they could ever need) should be respected, In the UK that is not necessarily seen as something that makes and individual worthy of respect. We have a very different set of values.
Agreed, at least to some indeterminate point.
The US is a very consumer oriented society. Great value is placed on material possessions, less on what much of what our friends across the pond value (I think).
Several people have posted "quality of life" charts here, all aimed primarily at more socialist countries. None address the 2 or three car family, the 1,000+ sq feet of residence per person living there, Multiple giant TV's, a plethora of expensive toys, (boat, RV, 4-wheeler, motorcycle) etc. Yet these are what Americans work toward; what they will sacrifice for.
Free time, friendly neighbors, close family ties, and particularly a socialistic society where wealth is shared among all are not valued as strongly as is often done in Europe.
It's quite odd though, because once people have achieved the material things, they value the small things quite highly. The big TV, posh house and nice car are valued here too. But strangely, once people have acquired those things, they start to question whether their life is better because of those things. Don't get me wrong, a certain amount of money will improve your life when it comes to having enough money to buy food, pay rent and bills, but after that, how much happier does the plasma make us, or the extra bedroom?
The OP asks about our political leanings as we become older. For me, it's not about extra money over and above what we need to survive, but recreation and time. I have enough to lead a comfortable life (can pay the bills, treat my kids and go on vacation) but I'm time impoverished.
This Just In:
"might actually be moving to the right."
I only said that I might be, and added that if I was, it was a lot slower than the rest of society.
I don't actually believe that I am though, it's hard to remember where I stood in my youth. I actually think it was further to the right - when I had no life experience and still modelled my belief's on those of my parents.
...what would "moving to the r i g h t " actually mean to you, John? What was "Right" to your parents in Britain at that time?
Basically, the right equals less tolerance and more restrictions.
Now we are cooking with gas!
Not quite halfway in the year spread for the baby boomer class.
Basic political stance unchanged overtime. For me, becoming more conservative with age means being less impetuous and more considered in my view and the conclusions derived from them.
I never really became politically more conservative.
So IT is not true of everyone, not me anyway...
The 1960's and 1970's were great, gotta dig up my platforms and leisure suits.
This is a nice hiatus from the usual stuff....
Sorry, I'm not one that is going to be able to help you prove your hypothesis. I have always been on the left and have not moved toward the right as I have aged. I intend to stay on the left, just as my grandmother did; she lived to be 98 and was a very liberal-minded academic to the end, as was her sister.
So, Left is liberal minded and academic.
Right is materialistic
Interesting concept Kathryn. I was involved in a progressive movement in the S.F. Bay area. We held huge demonstrations with bands playing at the end of our marches. Then come to find out, the leaders were scouping from the donations and vacating in Jamaica. They also purporsely tried to get the police to bash people in the head by confronting them and doing the oppositive of what the police said. It was called radicalizing the participant.
So, I see it not as left or right into thinking or money. Some people have integrety, whatever their policial persuasion. And they're not there to be bought and they don't always think their ideas are the best ones. So they look around.
You said it, not me. I was simply describing my grandmother and her sister -- no one else.
Left believes in tolerance, fewer restrictions, is liberal minded, academic and for Big Government.
Right is materialistic, intolerant and restrictive and against Big Government.
(-wondering what "social conservative views with strong libertarian influence means, donotfear?)
Who, on the left, has mentioned big government?
Although they protest a lot, it is really the right that loves big government with its money making opportunities and its willingness to wage war.
Add to that, the restrictions that the right love that are only possible with big government and its very easy to see that the right's claim to favour small government is a myth designed to distract from their love of big government.
Yup, it's like when ever they get things wrong they shout "it was socialism that did it".
you mean, whatever the right gets wrong they blame it on the left?
Prime example. Hitler was a socialist! Go on, prove my point and say he was
Hitler was a nationalist, you want to prove your superiority with this argument?
O. K. for the sake of argument Hitler was a socialist. (However, I have no idea about the aims of Hitler. I did not know his agenda made any sense except to his own crazy speed-addicted lunatic self and the German nuts who were fooled by him.
...and yes, I did totally sleep through every period of Mr. Keyes WWI and
II History class, even though he was SO into it!)
But, this is not the era we are discussing!
"What a bringdown!" ( in the words of Cream.) Thanks for nothing, John.
He's just trying to show how conservatives think Hitler was a socialist, he thinks we don't know the difference.
But I've had that argument with more people on here than you would believe.
Their usual "proof" is that his parties name included the word "socialist" which is about the standard of proof I've come to expect from some on the right.
I believe you have arguments everyday, how wonderful for you.
Better than only showing up to put people down with superior wisdom!
That seems a trait many share here including you.
When in doubt, start name calling.
You've ceased to have anything meaningful to say.
Kathryn, John is always off subject. Nothing new. John, the THEME here is THE BABY BOOMERS. BABY BOOMERS, not ADOLF HITLER and THE NAZI PARTY. As usual, John, you cannot stick to the subject. Ms. Hill is talking English and you are talking Magyar. Pay attention John please.
Grew up with integration happening around 1968. Missed Woodstock; was only 11. So here comes the 1970's! We called ourselves 'freaks', meaning, we were past the 'hippie' age so into the 'freak' age. Small southern town, 50,000 pop. So what do we nonconformists do? You can guess. No interest in school, just party party party .....and I don't mean the goat-roper way. No kid in their right mind put there 'stash' in their locker; how dumb can you get?
Grand Funk Railroad, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Deep Purple; that was rock! Just get through school so you could get a 9-5 job to earn enough to party more. At 18, reality hits....being on your own, thrown to the wolves is not a bed of roses in 1976. You find out really quick that not everyone is honest nor cares how you feel.
Closing out the decade with marriage, motherhood, divorce, disco, flashy clothes & disappointments. You wanted it straight, you got it. The details are rated......whatever.
Now: Social Conservative views with a strong Libertarian influence. NOT leaning far left. Never left.
I was a young child in the early 60s. My dad was in the Air Force. He was transferred from Idaho to Johnston Atoll island, where no women and children were allowed, so we lived and went to school on Kauai, which was also where my mom was born--so bonus for my mom to see family again. The 60s represented a lot of moving with transfers until my dad retired from the service in the early 70s in the Midwest. I wanted us to retire in California, somewhere that included mountains and sounds of water crashing onto beach sides. I had liberal parents and have reaped the benefits of that style of thinking because I am a heavy thinker.
In the mid-70s, I remember being forced to watch Watergate in history class. Even at that age, I carried heightened thoughts and emotions and a level of philosophy for every subject. I have always been politically in the middle, always. That will never change.
I loved music, still do. I was never a true "hippie," although I have that freedom mentality. I'm either called Ghandi or told "you're a grown hippie, aren't you?" I grew up with the Beatles, James Taylor, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, then Billy Joel, Rolling Stones, more Paul McCartney, Sting, ahh, who can go every day without listening to music? Music in the 80s is something my grown children love to listen too.
I'm a right-brained perpetual thinker, problem solver/fixer who has played with language since I was 12 years old. My tall instincts have grown into bits of wisdom and then some.
I generally tell people I'm growing up backwards. I still get in a swing at the park. Still love to dance and talk. Will always have a free-spirited soul because life is too short--it's a fast train ride. But, I'm no longer just sitting at the depot.
Good thoughtful discussion down many memory avenues.
I am of 1957. I am youngest of six and adopted. My parents taught me to be their parents child. Which was forever young and more forever free. I do not know an enemy. I do not know failure. I know work to be done and to be an activist. I know I cannot teach or lead my children by fiat or command.
I know I have seen more love than any man should know.
I am a boomer and love my fellows so.
Yes, Eric. You reveal the influence of the astrological configuration of the outer planet of Neptune in Libra for most of this generation. It influenced us to be very idealistic. Very into love, peace and music. Also, we had Pluto in Leo which makes us very arrogant, yet benevolent. I find the younger people mistake our pride and benevolence to be egotism. Well, that view point is based on my narrow (life) findings.
http://news.discovery.com/human/psychol … 120119.htm
http://www.livescience.com/2360-busting … l-age.html
After reading these links ( posted elsewhere by Josak ) would you agree or disagree?
Born in 1948. What a different world America was then. Life was not good for people of my skin color and having little money only exacerbated living during that time.
How interesting life was at that time to be socially bonded with one another as friends and family while on the outskirts of one's community being hated by people you've never met.
The strides being made in order to change the conditions of those minorities suffering at the hands of the establishment brought about hope and inspiration for a brighter tomorrow-this is that brighter tomorrow.
My growing up has allowed me to see life in such clarity that it is relatively easy for me to size people up rather quickly. Growing up during that time period It is sort of like trying to explain to someone what it is like to be in military combat service, one can outline their experience but unless you've been there you cannot fully appreciate what you're being told.
I am also curious about any memories Vietnam Vets could share about America... regarding the war they went to fight and the country they came home to. Are there any parallels today?
Yes I Am a Vietnam Vet.
That was quite an experience but I as I'm sure like many other veterans I feel I'm among the lucky ones of those who manage to come home still mentally sound and physically fit.
Before I went to Vietnam I didn't clearly understand the necessity for all the drug use by the soldiers who did return to the United States but having undergone the life of a soldier in a combat zone I now recognize the pressure, the fear permeates people's lives and we all deal with stress differently. Ironically I believe the kind of life I was living in my neighborhood in a way prepared me for the stressed that I would face along with so many other soldiers that kept me away from those illegal drugs.
I have seen people come to Vietnam clear minded and vigorous in attitude but before I left Vietnam they had changed into someone completely different such as having now a dependency on illegal drugs, considerable weight loss as well as a considerable amount of paranoia.
Some people might not believe it but going to war can and usually does change you because for day in and day out the threat of you losing your life is very real, will it be 2 minutes from now? 15 minutes from now, maybe tomorrow. The thought is always in the back of your mind.
This is an excellent forum post. There are going to be many people who will respond.
Thanks gm. It is based on the idea that people become less Left in their thinking as they age. Josak's form of rebuttal were some links, ( see above ) attempting to suggest the opposite. I say that our life experiences will prove otherwise... against the stats and research. I hope others will weigh in.
It should be interesting.
I'm doubting the whole thing. I don't think anyone can define left or right. What we have, instead, is greed, split between two sides who what it all. And everyone seem to feel entitled to get what they want, whether it be a gun to fight the government, a small impotent government, or a big help- everyone government.
There's no left or right, here, just selfishness. Half the people in the U.S. aren't even following the politics. They're indifferent or lazy or unculturaled. When the majority is like that an empire collapses from within, which is what happen to Rome. The middle class lost it's definition of patriotism. That U.S. is going that same why. What's a patriot, anyway? All the old definitions don't apply to those under 45.
Perhaps, patriotism is demanding the right to play with your smart phone 5 hours a day. I just don't know.
What exactly IS being on the Left today???
Has it changed from what it meant in the past... say under Kennedy?
My childhood was like the show Madmen -- suburban NY with Dad commuting into an office where
men were execs and women were secretaries.
He was Republican, as was the vast majority of my neighborhood (most of the dads worked on Wall Street).
My Mom was from a hard core New Hampshire Democrat politically active family.
First political memory was hand writing "vote for Jonsin" (sic) flyers and putting them in neighbors' mailboxes. I would have been 7.
Remember elementary school becoming integrated. One of my best friends was black (or African American is the preferred term now).
Our cars had no seatbelts. Our house and car were full of secondhand smoke. Expectant mothers drank and smoked throughout their pregnancies. Life was a lot less regulated!
I think my subset of the Boomers was about 5 years behind the activists. Too young for
Woodstock and the late '60s tumult). I envied my friends who had older siblings, as they seemed to be in on rapidly changing fashion and music trends (Beatle boots!) whereas I was not.
What can I say about the 70s?
I hated the disco culture of the mid 70s, but liked some of the music.
College expanded my political horizons. Mostly around women's issues (it was a women's college, so no surprise there).
Thinking about it now, I remember when pantyhose and tampons came on the scene. How freeing
I don't think my views have moved "right" so much as they have moved from inflexible ideologue
to pragmatic "let's figure out how to solve this." Living in the capital of California, I see "big government" at its worst (rarely its best). But also see some awesome public-private partnerships in action.
I guess what I can really say about growing up during that time, is that all the crazy, wild stuff I did which turned out bad taught me a lesson. I try to use the bad choices I made as an example of what not to do. As far as the southern culture of that time 1960's to 1980's......I returned to my original conservative roots when it was all said and done with. BUT, I am not a finger pointer and very accepting of those things that others consider "far left".
I'm for freedom from dictatorship and don't want a governing entity to take charge of what choices I make unless to do so could harm myself or others; meaning violent acts.
Born in 1958 and lived a Leave it to Beaver childhood. Our neighborhood was full of kids, and we had a plot of woods, a stream, and three ponds nearby. We spent our days building forts, fishing, swimming, and picnicking. We walked or rode our bikes everywhere. We were just a block away from a shopping mall and theater, too. A couple of my guy pals and I had ponies that were kept elsewhere, but sometimes our parents would bring the ponies to spend a few days in our back yards. Too fun!
Halloween was the best - our streets were filled with hordes of costumed kids, and we didn't have to worry about getting "bad candy" from any of our neighbors. I live in the same house now that I lived in as a kid, and things have certainly changed. Now the neighborhood is old. Most of the same people still live here, but their kids have grown up and moved away, of course. And most of their grandkids live in other towns. It's still a great neighborhood, however, and two of my daughters and 7 of my grandchildren live in my neighborhood. One daughter and her fam live just 2 doors up from me.
It really saddens me that my grandkids can't enjoy the things I did as a kid. My childhood pals and I roamed all over the neighborhood and woods, but my grands can't do that - it's simply not safe. When did the world get so mean and crazy??
Politically, I'm more open minded on social issues now. I've become more of a "live and let live" sort.
1958. And I missed being a Hippie. My relatives lived next door to the Haight, and since my family were Country Bumpkins driving around in a '61 Olds, we always wondered why these people in jeans and tie-dye were hanging their bodies out of the windows of stately Victorians. I will never have the experience of dropping acid or participating in a love-in. Oh, well! LOL! Left? Right? I have been a "live and let live" sort all of my life. My parents were immigrants, and I have always been grateful to be a U.S. citizen.
The music of the 60's, 70's still has a huge influence on my values and what is important to me. My goal in life at the age of 10 was to help people be happy. It's still my goal. I grew up in a middle class, midwestern family. My parents were Republicans, my mom more so than my dad. I always leaned to the left and remain that way today. I lived a childhood similar to what Habee has described. We were always outside, or roaming the woods on a Saturday. If I was inside, I was usually reading, studying or listening to music and talking with my brother, or my close friend from across the street.
I think it's somewhat difficult to answer the question as far as moving to the left or right. Those positions have altered since I was a young child. I think it's probably more fair to say that as I have grown, I have seen the great need to be more aware of how we're the same rather than focus on preconceived differences.
- less emphasis on "preconceived differences" is needed, rebekahELLE. Interesting.
...maybe somewhere in the realm of simple c o m m o n sense, (that which is common to all people.)
I'm not sure common sense is what I'm referring to. Take almost any given political HP forum thread right now on page 1, and you notice these preconceived differences. There is little room for debate or discussion with a closed mind. It turns into jabbing and throwing darts, which is a total waste of time. I have to go elsewhere for political discussions.
I know. We do need to find what concerns are common to all of us...
as in survival, freedom and happiness.
There was a musical event up in Oregon called Pigstock in 1974. It was a mini Woodstock. Three of us girls travelled up to Camus Valley Oregon from LA in my '64 bug and stayed the whole week for this weekend celebration in August. There was home made food (their harvest), and the locals had built a large stage on a couple of acres. They featured three days of musicians taking turns: local talent playing their tunes, band after band. The sun was shining, the children were playing (mostly naked) under trees and flowers were in the hair of their hippie mothers. The field was warm and golden and tents were up in the distance. Every one was smiling, and harmonious. At night the bonfires flickered and reflected the on the faces and dancing figures. I met a guy who wanted to marry me the next day. I didn't want this weekend to end and I didn't want to say No this beautiful happy guy... but, somehow I knew it wouldn't last and there was something unreal about what we made happen for one weekend. I went back to reality in my 64' bug and started back to college as soon as I got back!
Attention: John Holden!
What we really want to know is this: Did you see the Beatles? Did you see Traffic? Did you see Cream? Did you see The Who? Did you see Genesis? The Kinks? T Rex, Procol Harum, Elton John... back in the day...(You were right there during the best years for British Rock and all you want to do is discuss the H man? ) How about Led Zeppelin?
See youtube video of Plant /Bonam Rare Interview 1970. Led Zeppelin guys talking about being a "commodity." They were fine with it.
Another great one: Jimmy Page Stairway to Heaven (Inst.) with Beck and Clapton@ Madison...
My childhood and adolescence were wonderful. I remember Radio City Music Hall and Horn&Hardart. I listened to the Supremes & other Motown groups. On Sundays, my mother and I went to the Apollo, my father was home cooking Sunday dinners. Sundays nights were capped off with the Ed Sullivan show.
There were great television shows such as The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Rifleman, and American Bandstand. I also remember the assassination of John F. Kennedy when I was in 4th Grade. That was a sad day. I remember watching the civil rights protests in the South and Martin Luther King.
The 1960s seem like a promising time, full of wonder. Anything seemed possible for the sky was the limit. In 1968, I felt sad-there were the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy. Great men who were cut down in their prime. There was such a dark cloud after their assassinations. I remember Woodstock and psychodelic rock.
There were miniskirts and go-go boots. Junior high trips to Hershey Park, Pennsylvania and pep rallys. I distinctively felt sad at the passing of the 1960s. Then there was the 1970s with Sly and the Family Stone, the Fifth Dimension, and the Temptations. I also listened to Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66. And there was Kool and the Gang with their funkmastery.
I remember the blossoming of the Black consciousness movement with Afros, Afro Sheen, and dashikis. There was John Shaft, shut your mouth. Then there was the birth of the women's movement. I became a feminist in the 1970s. I began to question my Roman Catholicism much to the utter chagrin of my parents. I was broadening myself. There were great shows in the 1970s such as All In The Family, The Jeffersons, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and who could remember the television movies of the week.
College was a time of growth and renewal. Being more independent of my parents, had extremely strong ideas regarding many aspects of life. Left Roman Catholicism for good in my 20s, never looking back. From a good, meek Roman Catholic girl, I am became a liberal, liberated, freethinking woman. Now I am a New Ager, have been so devoutly since my 30s. I am conservatives in some ways and quite liberal in others. Yes, the 1960s and 1970s were a grand time of growth and exploration. The 1960s and 1970s had the BEST music bar none!
I'm not a baby boomer, missed it by a couple of years. However, my two sisters and brother fall into that category. I grew up listening to Diana Ross and the Supremes, David Bowie's early stuff and Oliver the Musical. As you will no doubt notice my siblings had eclectic tastes lol (actually, you could throw some Dolly Parton in there, too)
These were my formative years, and they did seem to be kind of carefree for my sisters and brother. Work was abundant and, from memory, or maybe this is just how I'm remembering it, they seemed to have a lot more freedom in many respects. It was a given that they'd work hard, buy their own home, have a family and generally have a pleasant life. And they did, to some extent. Just a few years later when I left school, things seemed so very different.
I don't know about the US, but in the UK the baby boomers seemed to be blamed for so much. The 'They had it so good' mantra, and now the rest of us are paying. I don't see it that way. It's a stupid statement to say the least. A conservative MP has even written a book about it.
But, yes, in some respects I'd have liked to have been an adolescent a few years before I actually was. It seems there were more possibilities.
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