Art, Literature And Society in 1955-1970 Essay
Fear and Loathing in a Clockwork AgeAh! The noble search for identity. That intangible achievement that all artists lust after and lay in torment over. And during the post war era that struggle reached incredible magnitudes. The world cried out for legions of anti-heroes, who were only virtuous in their unapologetic and brutally honest lack of virtue. And the art world provided as many counter culture messiahs as was needed to “Damn the Man”. The Beats, hippies, and punks are evidence that behind the white picket fence of suburbia lay an America that wanted more out of life than the sugar coated portrayals of domesticity and patriotism it received from pop culture. The unfortunate side of authenticity often lead to the conclusion that autonomy was an impossible dream and that just mere existence required an individual to compromise his integrity.
The post-war generation developed an interesting love-hate relationship with the mass culture of it’s time. Some, like Andy Warhol, embraced the inevitability of mass culturalization in order to control the beast (yes, this is a reference to Revelations). While others recognized the American Dream as being a hypocrisy and so chose the Golden Eternity instead.The Beat generation and early hippies sought to separate themselves from mainstream society where they believed they could start anew and fully experience life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The flower child philosophy was in fact very Transcendental, minus the stuffy New England mentality. The sexual, spiritual, and intellectual freedom and autonomy that characterized the Haight-Ashberry scene were closer to the Whitmanesque ideal than anything achieved during his life time. Postwar America was extremely prosperous from the stand point of the middle class white suburbanite. The only problem was that not everyone fit that mold. And even those who were born into that environment often found it’s conventions limiting and unfufilling. At home the issues facing minorities went, for the most part, ignored. Jim Crow laws were allowed to stand in the south until major Supreme Court decisions like Brown v. Board of Education declared segregation to be unconstitutional.
But even still that did not solve the problem of good old fashioned prejudice, which was as rampant as ever. And not every woman was delighted to once again be her husband’s house servant. The war machine of WW2 had given many women their first pay check. And the sense of power and freedom even menial jobs provided was not something many wanted to trade in for being cooped up in a split level tract house with only the companionship of a vacuum cleaner and a screaming five year old. To the Beats the only solution to a life of domestic stagnation was to pack up and let life lead you down one winding road after another. There was a certain comfort in the unknown. Ambiguity turned survival into a triviality, while one could find the deepest meaning in chance and whimsy. When mere existence doesn’t seem to be guaranteed it’s the little moments of perfection that become one’s focus. No other Beat poet understood that concept as well as Jack Kerouac. “Jack Kerouac single handedly created the beat generation. Although Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and William Burroughs Brought their separate and cumulative madness to the beat generation, it was Kerouac who was the Unifying Principle.”(Krim,p.4)While Kerouac certainly lived for the moment it would be missing the whole point of his work to claim that was just trying to get his kicks in before it was over. If anything, he eagerly awaited his termination. And found his solace in moments of pure tranquillity, since they were the closest he could come to the state he named the Golden Eternity, which he believed awaited him after death. This was in opposition to his friend and fellow beat Allen Ginsberg. Ginsberg believed “in grasping after life as much as you can because of it’s sweet sadness and because you would be dead someday”( Hipkiss,p.63).
The Golden Eternity was a perfect void. The beauty of this state of total nothingness was that existence was reduced to its pure and uncontrived elements. A far cry from the outwardly prosperous, but inwardly hollow and commercial suburban life. Kerouac was a Roman Catholic with a strong fascination with Buddhism and other Eastern philosophies. He melded that into a unique set of beliefs that would not have flown with any Pope, past or present. The vegetative existence he sought was based on the “do nothing” state the Chinese call Wu Wei (Hipkiss, p.63). Kerouac was particularly interested in mastering the four noble truths. The first being that all life is suffering, and the fourth being that all suffering can be repressed. Although the only way to repress life’s suffering, aside from maintaining constant and intense meditation, was to return to the blissful void of death (Hipkiss, p.65). In the “113th Chorus” of Mexico City Blues is a perfect explanation of this blissful void. Since only two lines address life(“Got up and dressed up, and went out ; got laid”), it is clear that Kerouac’s emphasis is on the hereafter. It is only after everything has ended, that perfection is achieved. The lines “Yet everything is perfect, Because it is empty, Because it is perfect with emptiness, Because it’s not even happening” echo Shakespeare’s philosophy on existence.Examples of such beliefs can be found in the famous “to be or not to be” soliloquy from Hamlet. Where Hamlet recognizes that only while he is inactive does he have possibilities. As soon as he commits to any one course of action his fate is set. Oberon, in his speeches expresses similar sentiments. The last stanza equates emptiness with a state of total knowledge, which is destroyed once we become something. “Everything”, which is the opposite of the void, is ignorant. While the void, or the starting place, is Teaching. The implication is that if one were to ” numbly not get there” they would be able to achieve and maintain a state of divine emptiness and knowledge.
Part of that knowledge was an acceptance of everything else as divine(Hipkiss,p.70).Kerouac delves deeper into the essence of divinity in “Poem.” The first half of the poem is a description of how he came to find the Golden Eternity. While most of his poetry is centered on death, Kerouac believed that if one must endure life he should at least stop to smell the roses. Which is exactly what Kerouac was doing right before he passed out and traveled into the void. During his blackout he sees three divine images. The single word that binds these images is “alone.” The last stanza is an obvious contortion of John 1:1. Which says “In the beginning there was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Kerouac clearly states that not only is Christ capable of divinity, but all things. And like Christ we must chose death to realize our divinity. In fact the Beat mentality, which rejected worldly influences in order to achieve divinity, was a very Christian notion. At the end of Kerouac’s black out he has permanently achieved an altered higher state. This is because of the strange syntax of the line “woke up flat on my back in the grassy sun.” Unless it is one horrible typo, it is obviously an indication that Kerouac has graduated from a terrestrial plane to a celestial one. He succeeded in escaping the earthly cycles of rebirth, that are found in the Buddhist religion.
These cycles are a motif through out “Poem.” He compares life, in the first stanza, to “the iridescent paraphernalia of radiating candles” and “mentation.” “Mentation” is an interesting word of Kerouac’s own invention. It is a hybrid of the mental and the cyclical process of menstruation. Also “Poem” ends on a image of radiation similar to the one in the beginning of the poem. Thus creating a cycle within the poem. “And end with it, your goal is your starting place” (Mexico City Blues “113th Chorus”).The entire Fifties and Sixties were colored by Cold War apprehension. Mass hysteria had reached such a fever pitch in the mid fifties that Senator Joseph McCarthy was allowed to conduct the largest witch hunt since Salem. Communists were so vilified by the government and the media that America, in it’s attempt at containment, started to become the same totalitarian state it claimed to oppose. Questions began to arise as to the government’s size and power. How truly democratic could a nation be if it was imposing it’s government on others by force? Is there such a thing as free speech anymore?And if the first amendment was more than merely a sham, the Hippies would utilize it to the furthest extent of the law to keep the government off the peoples backs and out of Vietnam. Since they were America’s youth, it was their bodies that would be lying in the soggy Vietnamese soil. Not surprisingly, these youth rebelled in spirited protests and public burning of draft cards. These common ideals bound the hippies into tight knight communities like the famous Haight-Ashberry district. There they could just be. They were free to let their eccentricities flow on rivers of illicit drugs. Dilated pupils were as de riguer as tie dyed clothing.And no one was on a longer or stranger trip than the Grateful Dead. Besides just being a living, breathing, and touring monument to the Sixties, the Dead had a disciple like following of hippies, young and old, nicknamed Deadheads.
A running joke being that old hippies don’t die they just stand in line for Dead concerts. But what was the key to the Grateful Dead’s pied piper quality? The only answer is the beautiful and tripped out lyric’s of poet Robert Hunter and the dizzying jams that whirled together a psychedelic mix of rock, folk, and blue-grass. They provided a place to escape from a hostile and close-minded world for a few hours, or in some cases a few years.”Truckin’.” What more perfect anthem for the bohemian generation? With it’s steadily rolling beat and Garcia’s gentle voice, full of yearning, “Truckin'” walks a slightly tipsy line between fulfillment and searching. All things are taken with patience and acceptance, because of the transitory nature of the song. The only constant is motion. The lyrics follow a wave like pattern. The song begins with mostly positive images, and then towards the end reaches a level of fatigue. But instead of simply sloping of there is a promise of regeneration, “Back home- sit down and patch my bones and get back Truckin on.” Death is equated with settling down. No wonder the Dead were in so much conflict with the mainstream, which valued it’s security above all else. In the song, home is just one more destination in a string of many, with no more holding power New York or New Orleans.” St. Stephen” is true gem, rich in imagery and allusion. First we have St. Stephen for whom the song is titled. While there were several St.Stephens, the song is most likely named after “the protomartyr, for he was the first Christian to die for the Faith. Although not an Apostle, Stephen was one of the seventy-two original disciples, and after Pentecost was appointed one of Jerusalem’s seven deacons. Accused by pious Jews of preaching blasphemy, he was arrested, tried before the high priest, Caiphas, and condemned to death by stoning”(Kelly, p.260). And with him we have the perpetual Grateful Dead image, the rose. In Christianity the rose is a symbol of perfection and eternal life. For example Christ is often refereed to as the Rose of Charon. The rose is that completion and perfection that is all but impossible to achieve, especially during this life. How fitting that it is St. Stephen who has achieved the rose, and is now able to travel freely ” in and out of the garden.”
It may also be also be noted that the skeleton with a rose garland, that is such a hallmark of Grateful Dead art work, is commonly identified as St. Stephen. He is a prime example of one of the grateful dead, who lead a life of integrity, kindness, and faithfulness, and was rewarded with eternal life. That is ultimately the Grateful Dead motto. Live life according to your own rules, seek only truth and kindness, and don’t worry about what life has in store for you for all things pass and the truly dedicated will be rewarded. The life of a saint is clearly detached from all things worldly. “Stephen prosper in his time, Well he may and he may decline, Did it matter? Does it now? Stephen would answer if he only knew how” shows how truly inconsequential wealth is in the big scheme of things. In fact the question is so absurd that if you posed it to Stephen he wouldn’t even be able to answer because his mind is so far removed from such matters. The skeleton is the perfect image for Stephen, because not only is the skeleton total stripped of all societal convention such as clothing( remember that Adam and Eve were naked in the garden) but he also does not have to deal with temptations of the flesh, because he simply doesn’t have any. The next interesting image is the “wishing well with a golden bell.” It follows the classical notion that hell is located at the center of the earth, as can be seen in the line “bucket hanging clear to hell.”
This image is also found in several other Grateful Dead songs. The fascinating part about this scene is that instead of filling the bucket at the bottom and drawing it up, St. Stephen fills it at the top with his own overflowing waters of eternal life and then lowers it down to the poor souls in hell. This is an allusion to the story of Jesus were he tells the woman at the well that she will receive the waters of eternal life. The source of the evil is indicated by the golden bell. The message being that if one prizes wealth to much, it will cost his soul. Then there is a scene of dawn searching for meaning. This is most likely the hell, which is “halfway twixt now and then.” Answers come with the sun, as in Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave.” The rest of the song deals with knowledge and enlightenment. There is a dichotomy between the knowledge of society and the true wisdom of St.Stephen. The knowledge of the world is like the “speeding arrow, sharp and narrow” and the Answer Man. The Answer Man was the star of an old radio program, who answered listeners questions with such speed that he seemed the all the worlds knowledge at his finger tips. Obviously this type of knowledge consists of concrete facts, but can’t accommodate the bigger questions that really count. The only other person in this song besides Stephen who has the broader type of wisdom is the Calliope woman. Calliope was the muse of epic poetry in Greek mythology, so obviously her great amount of experience with life has granted her wisdom.”Uncle John’s Band” could be called the Dead anthem.
The fact that it openly invited fans to pack up and follow the Grateful Dead, could explain why many towns tried to ban the band’s shows from their towns. Basically it asks people to leave behind conventional society and form their own community centered on peace and love. The image of America is a hostile one, as one can see from “Their walls are built of cannonballs, their motto is Don’t Tread on Me.” After that Hunter invokes a baptismal image of Uncle John’s Band beside a river. The river, besides just being a symbol of life, is an allusion to John the Baptist baptizing in the river Jordan. The things that need to be discussed are clearly metaphysical because “It’s the same story the crow told me.” In Christian mythology the crow brought wisdom to holy men wandering in the desert. In a way this is metaphor for those seeking enlightenment who are all alone in a world deserted of meaning. The song ends on a salvation image of the band leading it’s flock home. The simple arrangement and gentle fatherly quality of Garcia’s voice give the song the simple sweetness of a children’s song or country hymn. And that makes it all the more inviting.While Garcia’s view of the government may have been that of a cold fortress, it was nothing compared with totalitarian ogre of Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange. A Clockwork Orange was actually written a few years before the Grateful Dead came around. At that time America was at the height of the Cold War. It dominated the foreign policy of President Kennedy(Downey,p.34). In an ongoing race to be the most powerful, intelligence agencies on both sides seemed to go to any length to maintain national security. A Clockwork Orange portrays a future were the government has settled it’s foreign problems and turned it’s awesome strength against it’s own citizens. The shocking apathy of it’s youth is merely a reaction to the desensitization and debilitation they experience at the hands of their government.Alex, our rebellious yet humble narrator, is an eerie foreshadowing of the Punk movement that swept both England and the US in the seventies and eighties. His taste for “ultra violence” is simply an attempt on his part to control something, in a world that has robbed him of every other choice. Alex uses destruction to master the powerlessness he has been subject to his whole life.
If one looks at the scene were Dim and Georgie attempt to take power, you see that Alex is not content to have control over his own life but he must have authority over others. He beats his “droogs” into submission and makes himself once more dictator over his small dominion. A key to his behavior is found in his name. Alex is named after Alexander the Great, the famous general who conquered the world but took his greatest solace in intellectual pursuits such as philosophy, which he was trained in by Aristotle. The name Alex, means, depending on which source one trusts, either leader or defender of men( Mathews,p.36). He acts out because he has been denied his birth right. Despite his viciousness the reader is forced to empathize with Alex. Burgess uses several tools to keep the reader from judging Alex to harshly. From a semiotic stand point, the dialect that Burgess calls nadstat is the most powerful element of the book. First of all the language helps to distance the reader from the atrocity of his crimes(Mathews, p.38). It also forces the reader to look at things from Alex’s perspective and by doing so recognize ourselves as being like Alex. The repetition of the phrase “Oh my brothers” and the first person narrative also serve to include the audience in the plight of Alex. Also his episodes of ultra violence are phrased in such youthful exuberance that one can not help but savor his twisted individualism. As disconcerting as it may be, violence is Alex’s expression of individuality, and that is what causes the disappointment when he willingly becomes a part of the mass culture. His maturity comes at the price of his individuality, just as Holden Caulfield’s does . This explains why the American version, which has the last chapter edited, has always been more popular. While Alex might slit our throats, at least he provides hope of autonomy.
The theme of A Clockwork Orange can be summed up as Manichean(Mathews,p.39).That being that there is no such thing as pure evil or goodness, and that each must come from the other. The book is also centered on the Catholic doctrine of free will (Kennard,p.183). In order to remain human, Alex must have control over his own actions. Because of his youth he does not fully understand the power of the state, and therefore is powerless against it. Burgess states that as impossible as it is to escape mass culture, it is just as impossible for mass culture to prevent rebellion against it. We get a picture of the person Alex will become in the owner of HOME, F. Alexander. Which stands for both future Alex and father of Alex. We know that Alex will become F. Alexander because when he returns to the house after his treatment, he recognizes the author of A Clockwork Orange as another Alex. Also they are both the authors of A Clockwork Orange. F. Alexander can be considered a father figure for two reasons. First of all Alex recognizes that his compassion is of the parental type. HOME, is far more home like than his parents apartment. Also by having sex with the wife he plays out the Oedipal drama that Freud believes is a part of human development( Aggeler,p.82).The son he envisions in the 21st chapter, likewise will become Alex. He even says;”My son, my son. When I had my son I would explain all that to him when he was starry enough to understand. But then I knew he would not understand or would not want to understand at all and would do all the veshes I had done, yes perhaps even killing some poor starry forella surrounded with mewing kots and koshkas, and I wouldn’t be able to really stop him. And nor would he be able to stop his own son, brothers. And so it would itty on, round and round” And so Alex grows up and sells out, but this time he chooses to join the mass culture instead of having it forced upon him against his will.The Ramones embodied the same vibrant, amoral youthfulness as Alex ,of A Clockwork Orange. They were saviors to rock ; roll, which was already beginning to age and sell out. The Ramones put rebellion back into rock.
That essential ingredient, and a sense of fun, is what saved the world from a life time of elevator music. “The Ramones, four leather-jacketed reprobates from the glue-sniffing, acid- dropping teen milieu of Forest Hills, Queens, landed on this flabbed scene like a boulder on a box of sugar cream doughnuts”(Loder,p.367). Even though they were enormously influential the Ramones never became a huge commercial success like the Beatles. Punk stayed mostly underground for a long time. This was due to the fact that radio stations didn’t feel comfortable sticking songs like “Beat on the Brat” or “53rd and 3rd”, which is about a homicidal hustler, between K.C. and the Sunshine Band and Olivia Newton John. The Ramones were rebels all right, and definitely without a cause. Where as the youth of the sixties had lofty ideals, the Ramones and their whole generation saw those ideals crash and burn. “The Ramones, like all 60’s children, had grown up on the Beatles, but by the early 70’s they had grown up, period”(Bessman,p.15). “Chain Saw” is a true break in the pop song mold. It is both a tribute to a favorite slasher flick and parody of the bubble gum sentiments of most pop songs. The last two lines “Ooh, now I’m so much in love/ Cause she’s the only girl that I’m ever thinking of” sound like they could have been taken of any number of pop songs from the sixties. But few of those songs had their love interests sawed to bits by a maniacal serial killer.The satire comes out in full force against the excesses of the government in “Havana Affair.” By the time this was written the Cuban missile crisis was pretty much forgotten and Vietnam was declared an official disaster. Yet still the US insisted on sticking it’s nose into anything that smelled the least bit of Communism. For example in 1973 the CIA sponsored a coup to put Augusto Pinochet in power in Chile instead of Salvador Allende(Downey,p.43). This song with it’s ridiculous spy for the CIA sent to infiltrate a Cuban talent show, shows the apathy of the average American for the whole mess. The Ramones did the only thing they could, find the humor in a government that was becoming more corrupt and absurd every day.”53rd ; 3rd” deals with a more serious subject matter than many Ramones songs. The central image is that of a desperate vet from Nam who has been used by his country and then abandoned with a lifetime of pain and trauma that he must deal with on his own. The sad irony is that if he would have committed the same crime in Vietnam against Charlie he would be a hero with medals. But instead he is a fugitive from the same law that made him so willing to kill in the first place.
This problem extends beyond the plight of a single vet. An entire nation was victim of a authoritarian government that refused to take responsibility for it’s mistakes.For all the hippies who tried to promote drug use as a mind expanding experience, “Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment” set forth the blunt truth. Drugs merely provide an easy way out of reality. Not that the Ramones had anything against escaping a dull suburban existence. But they called it for what was. The song also pokes fun at the idealistic notion of peace and love. Here happiness is merely a side effect of being brain dead. “Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment” is a testimony to notion that ignorance is bliss.For Hunter S. Thompson not even massive amounts of narcotics could hide the fact that the American Dream was dead. This statement, from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, is most evident in the lines “almost two hours later Dr. Duke and his attorney finally located what was left of the “Old Psychiatrist’s Club”(the American Dream)- a huge slab of cracked, scorched concrete in a vacant lot full of tall weeds. The owner of a gas station across the road said the place had “burned down about three years ago.” Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas walks a strange line between fact and fiction. Thompson molds reality to his own ends both in his writing and in his experience. Thompson was greatly influenced by the Beat writers like Jack Kerouac. Fear and Loathing follows the same spontaneous structure and prose of books like On the Road. The book centers on the disillusionment of a generation left in the wake of the sixties youth movement. “We are all wired into a survival trip now. No more of the speed that fueled the Sixties. Uppers are going out of style…All those pathetically eager acid freaks who thought they could buy Peace and Understanding for three bucks a hit. But their loss and failures is ours, too. What Leary took down with him was the central illusion of a whole lifestyle that he helped to create… a generation of permanent cripples, failed seekers, who never understood the essential old-mystic fallacy of the Acid-Culture: the desperate assumption that somebody- or at least some force- is tending that Light at the end of the tunnel.”Thompsonalso addresses the hypocrisy of authority. In Vegas, as in all of society, one’s level of guilt is determined by wealth.
Thompson and his attorney are able to get away with anything their tripped out, paranoid schizophrenic minds can envision because they have two very large expense accounts to back them up. Yet Thompson relates a story of his gentle hippie friend who was arrested and victimized by the police on trumped up vagrancy charges. The section where Thompson describes the speaker setup for the drug conference serves as a metaphor for the nature of authority. The drug expert is depersonalized and distorted by the blaring, “low-fidelity speaker mounted on a steel pole in the corner.” This creates a kind of wizard of Oz effect. Because the source of the voice is ambiguous, the stupidity of the experts remarks gain an inflated importance. The fact that he doesn’t know an once more about the “drug culture” than the back woods cops he is lecturing to, is hidden by a barrage of degrees, which have nothing to do with street culture. Besides that, the cops don’t have enough sense to distinguish fact from fiction anyway.While most artists were grieving the death of the idealistic Sixties and coming to grudging acceptance of the falseness and commercialism of the Seventies, Andy Warhol relished the capitalistic bent of society and played a large part in creating the image driven celebrity culture of the Seventies. Many think of Warhol as a whore, and of Pop Art as prostitution(Doyle,p.153). Warhol would probably agree with that statement, but he would defend himself by saying that he enjoyed his profession. But with out moralizing his work, one can see that it was indeed a new form of American Realism, because it’s subjects were inspired by mass and folk culture. And what could be more realistic than a silk screened photograph. Pop Art, even though it may seem like another form of abstraction, is actually a reaction against the Abstract impressionist movement, which was lead by artists like Jackson Pollack(Banes,p.164). And if anything that’s what Warhol’s work was about. He presented a little slice of Americana directly to the public without passing his own aesthetic judgments. But Warhol’s reality, even in his macabre pieces like “Electric Chair” and “Orange Car Crash”, was not a gritty one because we don’t usually perceive reality as gritty. As a coping mechanism we cloak the cold hard facts, behind veneers of public image, drugs, and idealism.Marilyn Monroe embodied the two things that interested Warhol the most, celebrity and death. It is no wonder that he did so many paintings bearing her image. Marilyn was the emblem of, if not the American Dream, at least the Hollywood Dream. She was a testament to the belief that image is everything. How else could one explain how a plain and insecure girl could become an enduring sex symbol. She was pure fabrication, from her appearance( Marilyn was notorious for taking three hours or more just to do her makeup), to her personae and name. That artifice comes across in the painting. Her features are veiled by flat panels of makeup and her hair color is cartoonish. Marilyn became for Warhol a symbol of the power to shape one’s own destiny. The mystery surrounding her death also greatly intrigued Warhol. Although she was not particularly talented and was not a natural beauty she managed to exit life surrounded by conspiracy theories involving everyone from the President to the Mob. To Warhol death was the ultimate celebrity, which he explored extensively in paintings like “Orange Car Crash.”Warhol’s morbid paintings have a stark reality that is much more powerful than any abstract impressionists interpretation could ever be(Lippard,p.99).
This is because America, as a society, is so used to being barraged with false emotions from the media that we have learned to tune out. But when a person is confronted with tragedy, pure and unadulterated, the reaction is all the more personal and powerful because the artist has not attempted to interpret it.Halston was no stranger to the power of image. First as Jacqueline Kennedy’s personal milliner and then as hugely successful celebrity designer during the seventies he single handedly defined the feminine ideal of his time. The women’s movement really took hold in the seventies. Fashion at the time was all about power and freedom. As opposed to the demure femininity of the Fifties and Sixties, the disco age was embodied by aggressive sexuality. This is look is epitomized by the quintessential Halston dress. Halston produced many variations on his halter-necked, wrapped, backless dress(Milbank,p.246). Lots of bare skin made it sexy yet the cut and the fabric was simple and unadorned. In general, seventies fashion was pared down and close fitting. The growing simplicity and androgyny of day wear was important to women who wanted to be taken seriously in the workplace. Establishing equality with men was of up most importance in the beginning of the women’s movement. A large part of that equality involved dispelling the double standard that frowned on promiscuity among women but praised it in men. A closer fit emphasized the contour of the body over the construction of the clothing. Sexy replaced pretty in the seventies view of beauty. Also blatant sexuality was the rule when it came to Seventies night life. At exclusive discos like Studio54, admission depended on one’s ability to attract attention. And Halston ruled the New York fashion scene that presided over places like Studio54 and Andy Warhol’s Factory.Ultimately the post war period was about learning to cope with quickly changing environment where mass culture and the government was stripping away peoples sense of individuality and autonomy. The changing landscape allowed repressed minority groups such as women and blacks to finally gain the power they had been denied for so long. While the average white male felt that his opportunities were becoming increasingly limited.
This manifested itself in the formation of many counter culture movements. All of which eventually succumbed to or were engulfed by the mass culture. Because the truth of the matter is that as much as culture controls who we are, we control it by virtue of the fact that we make up society.Works CitedIn order of appearance:Krim, Seymour. “Introduction to Desolation Angels.” Modern American Literature; Volume2. New York: Fredrick Ungar Publishing Co, 1960, p.253Hipkiss, Robert A. Jack Kerouac: Prophet of the New Romanticism. Lawrence. The Regents Press of Kansas.1976Kelly, Sean, Rosemary Rogers. Saints Preserve Us! New York: Random House.1993Downey, Matthew T, et all,ects. ed. The Twentieth Century: Postwar Prosperity and the Cold War (Volume4). New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.1992Mathews, Richard. The Clockwork Universe of Anthony Burgess. New York: The Borgo Press.1978Kennard, Jean E. “Anthony Burgess: Double Vision.” Modern Critical Views. New York: Chelsea House Publishers.1987Aggeler, Geofrey. Anthony Burgess: The Artist as Novelist. Birmingham: The University of Alabama Press.1979Loder, Kurt. Bat Chain Puller: Rock and Roll in the Age of Celebrity. New York: St.Martins Press.1990Bessman, Jim. Ramones: An American Band. New York: St.Martins Press. 1993Doyle, Jennifer, Jonathan Flatley, and Jose Munoz. Pop Out: Queer Warhol. Durham and London: Duke University Press.1996Banes, Sally. Greenich Village 1963. Durham and London: Duke University Press.1993Lippard, Lucy R. Pop Art. London: Thames and Hudson.1985Milbank, Caroline. New York Fashion: The Evolution of American Style. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. Publishers.1989All Other SourcesAli, Tariq, Susan Watkins.1968: Marching in the Streets. New York: Free Press.1998Allen, Donald M.ed. The New American Poetry. New York: Groves Press.1960Burgess, Anthony.A Clockwork Orange. New York: Ballatine Books.1963De Castelbajac, Kate. The Face of a Century:100 Years of Makeup and Style. New York: Rizzoli.1995Dodd, David. The Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics: A Web Site.
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