One of the reasons America hates the sixties may be because so many of its performance artists, like Jerry Rubin and Hunter Thompson, were such tiresome clowns, showing off instead of hunkering down. About Leary another drunk, Jack Kerouac, is quoted here, with maybe the smartest thing he ever said: “Coach Leary, walking on water wasn’t built in a day.”
Is it me or does this read like it could have been written by Bill Bennet? Read that again and imagine it in the National Review.
I do think Leary fucked up. Consciousness-exploring is important but he made it look like a circus. Made LSD look like a game to be played, a fad, rather than something that should be explored—soberly and intelligently—like Huxley did. It did the same thing that tabloids have done for UFOs—made it seem ridiculous. Still, Leary is not worthless.
Luc Sante’s take isn’t much better: “In part because of Leary, however, ideals and delusions were encouraged to interbreed, their living progeny being avid consumerism and toothless dissent.”
He whittles down all of Leary’s ideas to that of “delusion.” I don’t mean to defend Leary so much as this kind of thinking—that reaching beyond what we can see, however flawed the process, is fruitless in the face of rational thinking. If anything, I think this kind of thinking will inspire consumerism: why look any deeper, there’s nothing there. Consumerism has less to do with the failure of the sixties and more to do with the anesthetizing influence of television. But that’s a whole other discussion.
Leary was a major ego but you have to respect his drive. You don’t just look at someone’s actions, but their will. Have we had anyone who touches that in American culture in years? John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Warhol, Jim Morrison, MLK, JFK, etc. That’s why people might hate the sixties. Because we suck compared to it. We’re still living in the era of Nixon, yet without the dissent. That’s not a result of the sixties, that’s a result of there not being enough Learys in our culture.
In a sort of similar vein, there was a recent article on a possible free energy discovery in Ireland. I thought, cool. I went to Daily Kos, which I’ve been doing too much of lately, and found this post:
World Saved! Pigs Fly! Film at 11.
No, the sum of these claims is a collapse of physics as we know it and a complete overturning of the world order. Unfortunately, the sum - and the parts - are also completely unbelievable.
Reads like it could have been written by an oil company executive. Nothing to see here, move on. I like the Shaw quote put forth by the Ireland company: ”All great truths begin as blasphemies.” It’s fairly retarded to claim something like this to be impossible. There’s no limit to what we don’t know. We could channel energy from the ninth dimension, who knows? Liberal, rational thinking is a way to preserve the status quo. Basically, everyone’s too conservative, just in different ways.