Better a Witty Fool than a Foolish Wit

Inner Workings of My Twisted Mind.

Failure?

I don’t know if anyone caught it, but last week on VH1 there was a great 4 part documentary called Sex: The Revolution.  It was a four hour series about the sexual revolution from the repressive 50s to AIDS and Reagan’s denial of it in the 80s.  It is a fantastic series.  If you have a TiVo see if you can catch it, otherwise you’ll just have to come visit me and watch it on my TiVo.  

There are about one million things that I want to talk about from this series, but one, in particular, sticks out.  In the first part, which is the part that brings us from the repressive 50s where Doris Day and Rock Hudson were the peak of sexuality (and a little figure named Kinsey changed everything) to the rumblings at Berkeley and Reagan’s witch hunt against university students who fought for free speech.  
Over the course of the hour one of the sentiments expressed is that of communication.  The documentary talks about how the early 60s were a time when freedom and honesty were really coming to the forefront as what people wanted.  Writers like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg spoke and wrote openly about their sexuality and sexual encounters.  Dean Moriarty in 1958 was a character that had sex with men and women, few of whom he was actually married to.  The piece goes on to say that the dishonesty and hypocracy that went along with sex, which was a dishonesty and hypocracy that permeated all socio-cultual strata, was really what the sexual revolution was fighting.  
So I want to know if this means that the sexual revolution was, at its core, a failure?  Our culture is still ripe with hypocracy and dishonesty about sex and sexuality (hello, abstinence only sexual education anyone?  And seriously, who is thinking that high school students are abstaining from sex voluntarily?).  But our culture is also still ripe with dishonesty and hypocracy at all levels.  In fact, we seem to be in a very similar situation.  Unpopular war, backlash against liberalism (Bill O’Reilly and Ann Coulter, among others), bitter culture war, and little by little we are drawn out of the cave and into the light.  Maybe the legalization of gay marriage in California (and the hopefully ensuing domino effect) is the first of many wins in the culture war.  Then again, if we go that route can we expect a backlash like we got in the 80s?  And can America survive another Reagan?
I’d rather not see.  The bitter cold of England is looking mighty appetizing right now.
Peace, Love, and Unhappy Thoughts,
Julia  
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May 22, 2008 - Posted by | Brits, Culture, Education, Politics, Sex, Television

1 Comment »

  1. I don’t believe that the revolution was a failure. I think that a significant human fault is hypocracy, and it will always exist in some form. There will always be holier-than-thou finger waggers, liars and hypocrites. It’s part of the human condition. That being said, we’ve clearly come a long way. I saw parts of this documentary, and finding myself shocked and appalled that gays used to be arrested and incarcerated for the simple fact that they are gay. Just the fact I find this appalling is a sign of the times. This used to be regular, accepted. Look how far we’ve come!

    Jess

    http://www.lieblingartcrafts.wordpress.com

    Comment by lieblingartcrafts | May 23, 2008 | Reply


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