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Prompt 087: Style & Language of the '60s
87. Like any decade, the 1960s had its own style and language. How would your friends react if you started dressing and talking like you were from the 60s? Would any of them mimic you and join along? Why or why not?
For white guys, there were maybe three camps to fall into regarding the '60s:
1. Uppity, straight White Folks. These were also the up-and-coming politicians. Not harmless on the outside, but had a lot of dangerous ideas. Many of those dangerous ideas made it into terrible laws. When cornered, they would bare their teeth. Abused women a lot, and felt all other classes and races were inferior.
Maybe the only good thing they did was make NASA. Personally, I am lumped in with this group the most, because I take my day job really seriously and I don't formally know a skilled trade.
2. The hippies. Now that I think about it seriously, I feel like most of these folks were boring. Most of them were rich but didn't show it, preferring to live whatever lifestyle they wanted while their parents paid for it all. The rest sponged off of uppity whites who had hippie leanings. Not very dangerous, except that they too abused women a lot - initially through conniving and manipulation. Generally speaking, these folks tried to escape the world that was being built around them. They rode the coat-tails of the civil rights movement, and with only a few exceptions really didn't help it move forward.
3. Working class whites, and white trash. I personally empathize with this group the most, though their racism is reptilian and wrong-headed. In fact I think that, were it not for racism (which was technically fomented and encouraged by the uppity whites) these folks would totally have sided with black folks in the fight for civil rights. Were I a plumber instead of a "teacher," I'd have made a better activist. These folks abused women a lot, too.
Back in the '60s, just as much good music came from the working class as did from the hippies. I'm willing to argue this point, should anyone care to have a go at it.
I suppose the writer of this prompt would encourage people to think about the "free love hippies" in terms of wardrobe and language. Well, I might have the language already - because I like talking like that, personally - but I'm not one for leather fringe, flower prints, tie-dye, and bell-bottoms. Would my friends take me seriously if I dressed like that? Absolutely not. I'd have to find new friends, I suppose. I'd have an easier time getting back into a band, though.
More likely, people would totally take it in stride if I started going for the "uppity white folk" vibe. With the exception of my muttonchops, I already present myself in public like this most of the time. Only in the summer do my weird-ass tee shirts see the light of day. Otherwise my wardrobe is pretty nondescript. If I wore more collared shirts, no one's feathers would be ruffled.
Working class is a scene I envy, to a point. I'd love to know a skilled trade. I keep babbling on about becoming a plumber, learning welding, and even building my own home from shipping containers. To be able to sit back at sundown and see the results of all the hard work you put in that day can be gratifying. I wonder if I'd be so attached to this romantic notion of the working class, however, if I actually did have to work a trade for a living.
Speaking of which, I have the suspicion that I have about one more year at my day job. To sum it up, grants that come through have demands and criteria that no legit organization - let alone, ours - can really afford to achieve. In this economic state, who could? The world is steadily, slowly unraveling. Our organization is digging into its reserve fund to pay for office rent and staff salaries. I'm just hanging on to a work-from-home job so I don't end up -completely- helpless and hopeless, like the rest of the real world.
I'm not really interested in elaborating on this right now. Suffice it to say that the way that funding is going, and the way the city I work in is being run... "Outlook not so good," as the Magic 8 Ball says. My annual review is tomorrow morning. I'll pick my supervisor's brain and see what he has to share.