Quotes: The Sixties

"If you can remember The Sixties, you weren't really there."
Unknown / Disputed, frequently attributed to Grace Slick, Paul Kantner, Dennis Hopper, George Harrison, Robin Williams and Judy Collins, among others.

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    Film — Live-action 

Dr. Evil: Isn't it ironic, Mr. Powers, that the very things you stand for — swinging, free love, parties, distrust of authority—are all now, in the Nineties, considered to be...evil? Maybe we have more in common than you care to admit.
Austin: No, man, what we swingers were rebelling against were uptight squares like you, whose bag was money and world domination. We were innocent, man! If we'd known the consequences of our sexual liberation, we would have done things differently, but the spirit would have remained the same. It's freedom, man, yeah!
Dr. Evil: Your freedom has caused more pain and suffering in the world than any plan I ever dreamed of. Face it, freedom failed.
Austin: That's why right now is a very groovy time, man. We still have freedom, but we also have responsibility.


Although it is hard to believe, the sixties are not fictional; they actually happened.

    Live-action TV 
Another decorator's nightmare! This era had a distinct lack of taste.
Garak grows weary of a spy simulation (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, "Our Man Bashir")


"Sexual intercourse began
In nineteen sixty-three
(which was rather late for me)
Between the end of the 'Chatterley ban
And The Beatles' first LP"
Philip Larkin, Annus Mirabilis

"Come gather 'round people wherever you roam
And admit that the waters around you have grown
And accept it that soon you'll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin' or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'"
Bob Dylan, "The Times They Are A-Changin'"

"What's that I hear now ringing in my ear
I've heard that sound before
What's that I hear now ringing in my ear
I hear it more and more
It's the sound of freedom calling
Ringing up to the sky
It's the sound of the old ways falling
You can hear it if you try"
Phil Ochs, "What's That I Hear"

"The Eastern world, it is explodin'
Violence flarin', bullets loadin'
You're old enough to kill, but not for votin'
You don't believe in war, but what's that gun you're totin'?
And even the Jordan River has bodies floatin'
But you tell me over and over and over again, my friend
You don't believe we're on the eve of destruction"
Barry McGuire, "Eve of Destruction"

"Politicians don't debate, they transcendental meditate
Stockbrokers aren't in at ten, they're all strung out on heroin
Baseball players aren't so square, they've got beards and stringy hair
Car dealers don't just sell trains, they sometimes also deal cocaine"
T-Bone Burnett, "The Sixties"

Chinese people were fighting in the park
We tried to help them fight, no one appreciated that
Martin X was mad when they outlawed bell bottoms
Ten years later they were sharing the same cell
I shouted out, "Free the Expo '67"
Till they stepped on my hair, and they told me I was fat
They Might Be Giants, "Purple Toupee"

    Web Original 

Vietnam... well on the bright side, it inspired a lot of pretty good music. (And with the exception of Apocalypse Now and Platoon [Before Charlie Sheen became insane], some pretty mediocre films.)

Chris: These are also some well-dressed crooks. Jackets and ties on all three dudes, and Catwoman in a fur overcoat, black dress and knee-high patent leather boots. The '66 era had this incredible stylishness to it that was a huge part of why it was so successful in a time of mod fashions and pop art.
David: This entire show IS incredibly stylish. It’s remembered far more for its garishness, but… well, garishness was in back then.
—Chris Sims and David Uzumeri on Batman: The Movie

For all its nods to political correctness over the years, Star Trek is about one thing and one thing only: the militarization of space. Depicting a universe ruled over by a benevolent military dictatorship, Star Trek and the roughly contemporaneous Dune marked a distinct about face in 60s sci-fi, a return to the ethos of Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers. This certainly fit the agenda of the Great Society, which married social largesse at home with unrelenting militarism abroad.

The early 1960s seemed pregnant with future, with the UK, in 1966, seemingly back where it still, in its heart, belonged: at the center of the world, the sun never setting upon it.

Scratch the surface, however, and things were altogether more unsettled. The British Empire was collapsing by the day, and the reality was that Britain’s cultural dominance in the 1960s marked the transition from the most powerful nation in the world to an also-ran that bordered on being a client state to one of its own former colonies. If Britain dominated the world in the 1960s, it was only because Britain was doing an excellent job of marketing its culture to the United States, who bought into British music from The Beatles on, and who bought into British television series like The Avengers. Meanwhile, the bright future promised by the wave of post-War science fiction was fading to an altogether more uncertain relationship with technology in the face of the growing realization that one wrong geopolitical move could unleash a planet-destroying nuclear war.

    Real Life 

… we stand today on the edge of a New Frontier—the frontier of the 1960's—a frontier of unknown opportunities and perils— a frontier of unfulfilled hopes and threats.
John F. Kennedy, Democratic National Convention, 1960

There is a Chinese curse which says 'May he live in interesting times.' Like it or not, we live in interesting times.
Robert F. Kennedy, Day of Affirmation speech, 1966

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.
Martin Luther King, Jr., "I Have a Dream" speech, 1963

So Jack and Nixon (Congress, class of '47) are now both gone—paladin and goblin, each put back in the theatrical box of discarded puppets and, to a future eye (or puppet-master), interchangeable. Why not a new drama starring Jack Goblin and Dick Paladin? In their political views they were more alike than not if one takes the longest view and regards the national history of their day as simply a classic example of entropy doing its very chilly thing.
Gore Vidal, Palimpsest

I'd read enough about it to know they weren't Satanists, they were bullshit artists and they'd found an exotic way they could ball each other and have an orgy. And get stoned. It was fun and games and dungeons & dragons and debauchery and as long as the chick was happy and wasn't really going to get anything sharper than a dildo stuck into her, I wasn't going to walk away from it.

The lessons learnt in the '60s about merchandising stupidity to the American public on a large scale have been used over and over again since that time.