Now that summer is over, I reflect on the fact that the Summer of 2009 marks the 40th Anniversary of the Summer of 1969 -and what a summer that was!
It was a doozie if you look at it from my viewpoint and the things I’m interested in.
Had I been older after that,, I believe I will have noticed -and appreciated -what that time meant socially and historically, mind you. I don’t remember much of it from an adult’s outlook. Basically, I work with clients every now and then whose lives been saved, improved, and are thriving thanks to the helpful advantages of prescription medication. Her death was a lesson in what substances can mean to us. Like, Judy Garland died of an accidental overdose of the barbiturate/sleep aid Seconal on June She was only 47 -2 years older than I am now -and yet made show business history in those short years in movies, radio, concerts, and television, and became arguably the greatest gay male icon of all time. Judy’s legacy is an example of how these medications must always be treated with respect, even reverene, lest they take over our lives.
Her life is an example is that you don’t necessarily have to live very long to make a lasting impression on the world.
Bless those drag queens throwing rocks!
Her death is rumored to have fueled the anger of gay men in the Stonewall Riots, in June, 1969, that marks the ceremonial beginning of the modern gay rights movement. Sometimes, a great loss like Judy’s death, can be an inspiration. Gay men re down barriers during those nights of rioting in New York and paved the way for a more just, dignified, legitimate, respected, and mainstream existence than ever before. Perhaps the darkest events of an otherwise sunny summer were the murders over two nights perpetrated by the youn gang under the influence of the crazed Charles Manson. Let me tell you something. With that said, this event, chronicled in the book Helter Skelter, and others has not lost its macabre appeal in will kill for him shows that mind control is a very real, dangerous thing, and underscores why a healthy questioning of authority -whether it’s ward Charles Manson or George Bush -is always a healthy thing. Groupies have idolized powerful bad boy men for centuries.
Accordingly the fact that one man, insane and evil as anyone has ever been, could influence others to literally commit murders on his behalf on innocent people, boggles the sane mind.
They viewed others with suspicion.
They lost some innocence. It is the golden summers of Los Angeles should never be similar. People locked their doors. Native Angelenos will often tell how nobody in LA was quite as trusting after those events. That said, perhaps not until 9/11/01 should such as large group of Americans feel the collective grief caused by one small wellmeaning group’s evilly ‘self indulgent’ malacious acts with such shared trauma. This is the case. Therefore this event showed us that while we might generally try to love our fellow Man, we always have to reserve just a little fight or flight in the back of our minds to guard and protect ourselves, that evil exists, and that strengthening the mind with the ability for objective, critical thinking is a powerful ol that gonna be a part of every young man’s or woman’s emotional/intellectual/social development, lest they be at the mercy of an influential madman.
Summer of 1969 also brought us the landing on the moon in July.
With the Cold War, I think when we see how awfully conservative things got in the 80′s, greed is good, conspicuous consumption, the return of racism and homophobia, AIDS/HIV, and the hard Right turn in the country under the leadership of the murderous Darth Vader, we would do well to remember the 60′s and 70′s, and the momentous summer of 1969, that meant a lot to so many.
It was almost impossible to see the dark, poor resolution images, yet I knew as long as my entire family was gathered around the TV set, including my grandparents who were visiting, that this was a momentous occasion. Back thence, the most momentous occasion on TV any year for me was the annual showing of The Wizard of Oz I also have a great affinity for another event of Summer, 1969 -the Woodstock Music Festival. Whenever seeing news coverage of that event has fueled my admittedly rabid attraction to guys with long hair, I think to this day.
Sure, drugs used to serious abuse is a huge problem, and I treat clients for these kinds of problems any day in my practice.
With lousy sound quality coming from the major networks’ connection to the lunar capsule, I remember watching many hours looking at our kind of dark TV screen.
Even consequently, I knew that the liberation, expression, and meaning of that festival meant a challenge to the status quo -status quos like racism, homophobia, sexism, and the general conservatism with which I grew up that I have generally learned to eschew at each turn. Let the Sunshine In! Usually, I’m doing all that, as the 40th Anniversary of the Summer of 1969 comes to a close. This is where it starts getting interesting, right? Also in our appreciation of our own life history, or history before our lives even began, part of Having the Life You Want. Is living in gratitude. Of all that is around us -in the present.