Affluent and Neutered

by Alex Hutchins

It has been said by experts that one’s emotions and behavior are pretty much fixed by the age of 5 and will there has been data to support this claim, I disagree with it.  For me, there are basically 4 stages in human evolution or develop, which are:

Unconscious Perfection
Unconscious Imperfection
Conscious Imperfection
Conscious Perfection

While there is not definitive age that can be assigned to each of these stages as they vary with childhood influences, stages 2 and 3 most definitely can be observed in one’s teenage years.  For me, that was the 1960’s, moving from age 13 to 22.  For me, the 60’s was a complete explosion of the senses and an explosion of the mind.  For me, it was a sensory overload.

The 1960’s, was marked with musical lyrics that resonated inside our minds that caused sympathetic vibrations inside the fibers of our thoughts, expanding our horizons.  These sensations were enhanced with drugs, alcohol, and sex, and a type of innocent freedom that none of us would ever experience again.

Weathermen Underground
Paralleling this “fairytale like” freedom was the ravaging, brutality of the Vietnam Conflict (somehow it never rose the status of a full blown war) that was blasted out on the screens of our televisions with riveting articles and combat photos in our newspapers.  The juxtaposition of the two extremes (Intellectuals and the War Eagles) resulted in the polarization of our society.

Out of this adrenalin rush of awareness, came the music of Bob Dylan, who laid the cornerstone of an American Dissident Movement, the likes of which has never been seen again and probably will never be seen again.  Out from the bowels of our youthful thoughts, came:

The Students for a Democratic Society

The Weathermen

The Black Panthers

The Chicago 7 Trial

Hypocrisy, Freedom, and Equality strongly resonated out from the voice of these groups as the “establishment” tried to silence their childish outbursts.  The nation was immersed in an ideological battle where each side was caught-up in the quicksand of their own pre-conceived ideas and ideals.
Looking back (1960-2010), half a century has passed and America no longer has its out-spoken citizens, neither in the lyrics of the music or in the echoing messages of the spoken word. 

Gone is the SDS

Gone are Panthers

Gone are the Weathermen 

Gone is the trial of the 7

America has been silenced. 

Poets and writers have acquiesced. 

Former dissidents, like Abby Hoffman, work on Wall Street as investment bankers.

We have been successfully neutered as year after year after year, the affluent successfully replicates its power and control.

Then take me disappearin' through the smoke rings of my mind
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow.

This last stanza to Dylan’s Mr. Tambourine Man, says it all . . .

No comments: