I Hate the 60's: A Personal Rock Odyssey
Deus Ex Machina 2012 Dot Com
What can be said about a generation whose de rigueur seems to have been dressing like post-fallout Cossacks, and passing out in public places? Certainly nothing particularly nice from my point of view, but I find it hard to think of any other group of people so often heralded, and in such mystical terms. Sure, you can rattle on about civil rights, but I think the economic and political advancements made by blacks had more to do with their march towards equality than a bunch of long-haired goons sporting powwow roaches and vacuous expressions.
There are countless films, documentaries, and writings on the subject that create the impression that this generation wasn't simply human, but instead, transcendent beings sent by a higher power to occupy administrative buildings, and lie face down on the ground drooling while listening to songs about ethereal electric blue papayas.
Paul Wilkinson, the author of "Black Sabbath: The Classic Years" certainly has a few things to say on the subject. Plenty of pretty prose is penned (there's a lot of “P” in this article. Zing!) about the times and the people, but the author raises an eyebrow when he writes: “The truth is, unlike today, music in the late sixties and early seventies emanated from a creative movement independent of its parent , corporate ownership. In those days records were made to shift consciousness and opinions, not units." and “Music has become so populated by sex, hatred, and violence … that their latter-day purveyors are termed retro should they choose to avoid them.”
First and foremost, rock and roll from its inception was a purely commercial venture. It was an attempt by record companies to market rhythm and blues based music played by pretty young white boys to a white audience. I suppose there is something admirable, perhaps even romantic, about its early pioneers who became musicians because it was a better alternative than working in the cotton fields, but it was always about profit in the end.
What is more, sex and violence have always been at the heart of rock and roll; a thematic holdover from its forefathers, blues and country. Songs about getting some good loving, getting wasted, and knifing someone in the face were only secondary to losing that good loving, thusly resulting in getting wasted and knifing someone in the face. The sickeningly sweet stuff came after rock had been cemented as a market force.
All good things must come to end, as they say, and eventually the British came along and made it about holding hands and dressing like a gay pirate, evolving into gay space wizards, and finally just dressing like a girl. It is true that peace and love did seem to trump violence for awhile, but, like a blind man whose other senses become stronger, the themes of sex and drugs became that much more prevalent.
As you can tell, I have no love for such a feculent generation. Their Godless nature, and their ask first; answer questions never, approach pioneered the selfish, valueless, commercial waste that is the current generation. The “I'll believe it when I see it, and until then you can find me in front of the TV watching women with fake tits vomit on each other in a reality dating show” generation. And don't get me started on generation Jones. Any vessel that bore forth Barack Obama, whether intellectual or physical, is one worthy of much contempt.
I will end this on the subject of the book that spawned this whole tirade. The best criticism I can level against it is to say that there is a reason why just three years after being published it received a hefty twenty-dollar discount. After all the set up, the tidbits (i.e. the actual interesting parts) at page forty-four the entire book devolves into nothing but nauseatingly overwrought descriptions of every song spanning their first six albums. Descriptions nearly defying description; as narcissistic as they are sycophantic. Still, you could do worse for five bucks.
Hell! I don't even need to make fun of these people. They do a great job of making themselves look bad.