Friday, November 22, 2013

The Age of Aquarius

You've probably heard by now that President Kennedy has been shot. The official verdict is that Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, did the deed. But we now know that a secret cabal of newspapers and television networks arranged it, knowing they could milk the story for at least the next 50 years. (What they didn't count on, of course, was that newspapers and TV would be obsolete in 50 years.)

So by now you’re sick of hearing about how today is the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination, and about how his term in office was Camelot, especially when compared with politics today. It was a kind of coming of age for that population bulge affectionately known as the baby boom.

It was the start of an inflection point for the anti-war movement, the civil rights movement, the rock movement, the sexual revolution, the space program, the environmental movement and, most importantly, the comedy movement that brought us the Smothers Brothers and Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In. (Remember how funny it was to say “Sock it to me” or “Here come da judge?”)

The decade known as The Sixties started on that fateful November day in 1963, and ended with Nixon’s resignation on August 9, 1974. In his inauguration speech, Kennedy noted that “the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans.” Man, did he get that right. This was the generation that was going to change the world, bring universal peace and love, and still get stoned out of its mind. All the great innovations … tie-dyed shirts, smiley faces, dogs in bandanas, Ultimate Frisbee, blacklight posters and nipples … are part of the legacy of this era.

(Ok, technically nipples predate the sixties, but that’s when they really came into their own.)

So here we are, fifty years later. No more wars. The earth is pristine. Lady Ga-Ga and Miley Cyrus are cultural icons. The Voting Rights Act has become unnecessary because freedom and equality reign everywhere in America. Sexting and selfies have replaced that antiquated notion of intimacy. And the Internet has ended divisiveness and brought us all together in harmony. This is truly the Age of Aquarius.

What’s not to like?

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