Concepts of Pain: The Stuff of the Sixties
The '60s are still with us, as they were in the '70s. We are left with a kind of unconscious landscape, on which buildings that seemed solid tumble, and structures that seemed unfinished are redeveloped, or even shown to have a beauty in their unfinished state. Behind these are the nascent ideologies of the '60s, ever-present as the hypostasis of the music. In the '60s culture reached the speed of light. We have been going backwards ever since. But reinvesting in the buried dreams, we become spiritual contractors, making the monuments our own and for our time.
Music is an orchestration of pain, and through pain we reestablish our belief systems. All the slipping out of social conventions, the dislocationsthese shared experiences of the '60s youth generation exposed them to a new social nerve center. In The Gay Science (1882) Friedrich Nietzsche lamented that we no longer build for the ages, as in the age of cathedrals. 90 years later, that was still true, but with a difference. Hippies were taking drugs and experimenting with sex, living in the moment as it were. But this is deceptive. Their goals were still long term, establishing civil rights, ending the Vietnam war, creating a more loving society. The pleasures of the moment, by becoming ends in themselves, at once satisfied the instincts on their road to political idealism, and led to a new understanding of human sexual response, extrapolated into a whole new sense of human relations. Much went wrong in the '60s, and that wrong still persists in the form of drugs and crime, but a new understanding of the psyche came with itor rather the dawning of a new understanding that will take the patience of an age to fulfill.