A Peek into Another World

What kind of music was I listening to, when I was in college?

Well, a lot of stuff like this: Isle of Islay, by Donovan.

Don’t get me wrong. This song is at least 500 times better than anything we’re cranking out today, and I still like it after all these years. Really, it’s pretty fair poetry.

But the trappings! Oh, the Flower Power! Such a vast amount of twaddle never could sustain itself, and it sank into a swamp of Far Left Crazy. Oh, the price we had to pay for Maharishi Mahesh Yogi! Run screaming back to the Fifties.

The simple beauty of the song endures. It had nothing to do with the imagery that surrounded it at the time. All that poop has passed away. Oh, to think I was contemporaneous with Hippiedom! I must be careful to seek out all pictures of myself taken back then, and burn them. And everything I wrote–burn that, too.

So where were you in ’66?

All those of you who weren’t born yet are excused.

11 comments on “A Peek into Another World

  1. In 1966 I saw the Rolling Stones in concert, and in 1967 the Beatles. I really liked Donavon’s “Catch The Wind.” The ’60’s & 70’s produced so much varied and creative music, where the stuff of today is indistinguishable (and the rap crap that is not music).

  2. The dippy-hippie ‘60s. There were some good songs back then, especially in comparison with the garbage of our current time.

    But the pretense was laid on very thick. All of that hippie nonsense was just that; nonsense. If you peel away the PR, the hippie thing reduced to drugs, immorality and irresponsibility, as a lifestyle. Some of them outgrew it, and some learned through hard life-lessons, but sadly, a not insubstantial portion didn’t survive long enough to learn. It’s no longer fashionable to report drug overdoses honestly, so it’s even less likely for the younger generation to ever learn.

    1. Hippiedom didn’t last for all that long. The outward trappings were pretty hard to bear–and of course all my friends back then dove headfirst into drugs. It was cool, you see.

    2. If you take a step back, hippies were all about virtue signaling and vice. They claimed to be pure of motive and free of greed, but that was an inversion of reality. Hating the Free Market excused the fact that they were more than willing to take what was not rightfully theirs. They hated “the system” but were more than happy to receive government handouts and more than a few resorted to theft.

      Drug abuse and promiscuity were considered vices, but they made these sorts of things legitimate in their subculture. While hippiedom didn’t last all that long, I would argue that the virtue signaling and vice we see around us today derives from the same rationalizations that the hippie movement used to justify their conduct.

    3. A hippie friend of mine used to brag about “ripping off” other people’s property, as if it were a blameless little pastime. Then one day she took a load of her clothes to the laundry, went out for a few minutes to get something, and came back to find all her clothes gone.

      She was distraught. “Somebody stole my clothes!” she cried.

      No. They ripped you off. Tee-hee.

  3. In most of the 1960s I was working as an editor — first management consultant reports, then mental ability tests, and finally business books, just before I joined the Air Force. The popular music that I listened to was mostly Motown and country western, but I was also a great opera buff, not only listening to records but also going to the opera almost weekly (cheap seats, always the cheapest seats, and sometimes standing room and hope someone with a seat will leave at intermission and I’ll be able to slip into their place!).

    As for the hippie stuff, I would have agreed even then with Unknowable that it was silly, and I thought the drug-pushing music was unconscionable and often stomach-turning. Don’t get me wrong, though; I was still pretty leftist in my politics, although I was obviously rethinking some of it, considering that I joined the Air Force in 1970. But I’d also been working for a living during most of the 1960s, and had worked my way through college (with a lot of help from scholarships) before that. I didn’t have the luxury of sitting around and showing off what a sensitive soul I was. And now that I’m retired and do have the luxury, no one wants to hear about it. 🙂

    1. We are here to hear anything you have a mind to say! Here you can vent.

      “The Movement,” as they liked to call it, was pretty much over by the early 1970s. No one left to be in it but student actors on midwestern college campuses. I mean, yeesh–! The visuals that go with that Donovan song. Mercy, mercy!

    2. With regard to the visuals, I think that it’s yet another manifestation of seeking a Golden Age. IIRC, the Rushdoony writings regarding Native Americans that you participated in editing into a book, mention the concept of people wanting to believe that there was some sort of Eden in the Americas before the Europeans arrived. Of course, it’s wishful thinking. The old ways of the various tribes in the Americas were mostly a matter of survival.

      So, on to the visuals:

      Donovan appears pretty carefree in that video, and there’s always an attractive young lady nearby, playing something that looks like a primitive flute, then a recorder. Wow, a carefree life in a beautiful setting and a talented and devoted companion that even contributes to the music. I’d be up for that.

      Of course, it’s a fantasy, and the people in that video faced the same realities as the rest of us. One problem with the proliferation of videos aid that it’s easy to frame the subject and create a visual image which excludes reality. While videos can be used for the good, they can also be used as a means to mislead and to distort reality.

      The fallen state of creation is forgotten in our modern society, yet that understanding is key to our comprehension of the world in which we live. When all is restored, in the Kingdom of God, He will open his hand and mankind will experience His blessings. I think that there will be more to life than singing laying about singing songs to the accompaniment of a pretty young lady, but we are promised freedom from want and security, with our own vine and fig trees.

      Keep in mind also, that Donovan’s music was part of the psychedelic scene. To many of these people, hallucinogenic drugs were where it was at. At the time, in the innocence of childhood, I saw these as quirky songs, and somewhat fun, but from the perspective of an adult, I can’t see them as anything positive and I suspect that much of this musical rubbish served to lure the unwary into something that was anything but idyllic.

      I knew a hippie, of sorts. He was a gifted singer and fairly good musician. I liked the fellow and enjoyed his company. Decades later, I ran into him again as an aging person, he was no more accomplished in life than he had been in his younger years. He had failed to care for himself and was in wretched health. When we caught up and compared notes, I felt a bit self conscious, because it was obvious that I had experienced a much more successful life than he had. The last time I saw him, he was well into his 60s, still scraping by and sharing a cramped apartment with a roommate. He wished that he had done more with his life, but in reality, he had lived to smoke pot and to hang out with his buddies. The last I heard of him, he had been fired from the same menial job he had held 30 years before. Hippie life was not all that good.

    3. I never could see how a song like “Isle of Islay” could possibly have anything to do with the drugs scene.

      A lot of my friends from the 60s are dead now.

    4. Speaking as someone who has never, ever, sampled any kind of illegal drug–and yet was socially surrounded by those who did–I never found these songs tempting me into the drug scene. I laughed off the hippie stuff and enjoyed the music.

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