Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Black Man, White Woman
The Sexual Revolution in America
A Black Man Examines Sex Mores 1969
What a time it was! America was experiencing a period of incredible, noisy upheaval. The background noise was pumped over the airwaves. A vital form of new music registered its arrival in the very physical way, limbs swayed, feet thumped and singing reached a new decibel level, and the lyrics seemed to be written in a new code. Rock an' Roll was here to stay. No more than one generation back the culture proclaimed "I Remember Mama!" I remember arriving in New York Harbor, after completing a year and one-half graduate study in West Germany, and on the deck of the ship hearing the Rolling Stones on the New York radio station. Passions were being ignited from Great Britain to the New World, via music that had originally come to Chicago from the Mississippi Delta. The year was 1964. The season was Spring, April, when I first walked across Washington Square, and matriculated at NYU. The steady rhythm of guitars and drums in the Park signaled the eclipse, the virtual ending end of the Jazz form championed by the Beats. Yes indeed! The times, they were changing! Turned-up electronic amplification ran the acoustic folk music scene off Greenwich Village Streets.
There was another noise traveling the airwaves at this time during the 1960’s. It was the noise of war. Gunshots, aircraft on bombing runs, the cacophony of fire fights, the endless war with correspondence reporting right from the bush, capturing all the sounds of every kind of weaponry: flame throwers, helicopters, and armored speedboats powering jungle delta waters. Those sounds were apart of American living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms.
Today, it might be hard to believe, but children went to school with those sounds hammered into their heads as parents watched or listened to the morning news. Those sounds of war were the leitmotif to life. Explosive death unhinged us and led us with its constant clanging and hammering to sex, nihilistic all consuming sex, Hippie sex, drugs of every hew and kind, and protest. Injustice was now in plain view. The ultimate dichotomies of weak and strong, small and large were all over the airwaves.
THE NOISE OF PROTEST AND DISSENT
Posted by STANLEY PACION at 5:39 PM