Another commonly-held belief which Morgan’s book reveals to be a total myth is the story that veterans returning home from Vietnam were “spit on” by anti-war protesters. Instead, “[Jerry] Lembcke’s search for documentation of spitting incidents found only a few press reports of pro-war people spitting on antiwar veterans." Nevertheless, this myth serves the larger establishment goal to “shift historical guilt from those who instigated and ran the war to those who opposed it."
If for no other reason then the quote above (from the post below), I am doing what I almost never do, and that is to linger a bit on the sixties. However, I have long lambasted and been ticked off about that canard that those opposed to the Vietnam war spit on returning soldiers which has become accepted as fact. I keep asking where are the pictures, the video, the film, anything? Never see it, didn't happen. Anyway, got that off my chest.
I don't write much about the sixties because my experience has convinced me that young people are tired of hearing about it (although that may be changing now as "we" become to seem more and more like those old commies of the thirties seemed to "us"...back than). I am just not so much into glory days and looking back...looking to the now and tomorrow is of much more interest to me. Talking about the old days, I'll leave that to Bill Ayers.
I need to confess that I have written the absolute great American novel of the sixties. At over one thousand pages long, it is a crying shame you will never be able to read it. However, really, no one has that much time on their hands. I originally undertook that undertaking (did you like that) simply because I found virtually everything written about the era to be trash...either overly romanticizing, or demonizing, or apologizing for those exciting days of yore. I penned the thing in the 90s, was asked to edit it down, tried to do that, got tired of the whole project, and then as time passed thought to myself...who cares really what I have to say about a time long gone. It was about then that this blog actually started up (as the Oread Daily, at first) and the rest is history...as they say...whoever "they" are.
But hey, one needs an exception to make the rule, so that is what I am doing today for Scission's Theoretical Monday (and/or Cultural Monday). I am breaking my rule and giving you one person's take on,
...the two-pronged mass media campaign to denigrate and obscure the democratic promise that the movements of the sixties still hold, while at the same time co-opting the symbols and imagery of the sixties to make Corporate America “cool” and thereby sell more products...and how,
...the mass media during the 60s consistently misinterpreted the democratic surge of social movements in order to discredit them in the eyes of the public and prevent them from picking up too much steam.The truth is despite the fact that we did not win the revolution (or make a revolution), we did make some things better. It is hard to tell at times, but really I conclude we did.
Now, I think the author of this piece anyway has gotten some things quite wrong, but that's okay. I'm not presenting this as some guide to action, more as a background piece for your lazy thoughts.
By the way, I never read the book....doubt that I ever will.
The following is from The End of Capitalism.
Obscuring The Promise of Democracy: Mass Media Reacts to the 1960s.
- The prison-industrial complex and the “War on Drugs”
- Rolling back the social safety net and redirecting funding to the military
- The flight of manufacturing overseas and crushing the labor movement
- Television’s orchestration of electoral politics and Wall St.’s command over campaign financing
- The non-profit industrial complex, which professionalizes and moderates dissent
- An infinite number of new media and entertainment forms, offering distraction and fantasy
- Student debt and the skyrocketing cost of higher education