14 comments on “1960’s and 1970’s Culture Archives . . . . . . . . . . . . . HENDRIX – the DRAFT – the VIETNAM WAR . . . . . and the FREEDOM and RIGHTS WE HAVE LOST!

  1. Another great post, thank you!

    That the war was wrong doesn’t diminish the courage and honor of those that served. On this 4th of July let’s pause between the bar-b-q and the fireworks to remember the Vietnam Veterans Against the War and the Winter Soldiers who stood with honor, on our behalf, against a military and government that was prosecuting an unjust and immoral war.

    Contrary to commonly told myths about soldiers returning from Vietnam, the vets who were “tuned in” to the truth were welcomed home with open arms by the brothers and sisters of the counterculture. The Anti-War Movement provided, not only a refuge for the vets but it gave them an environment where their voice could be heard, amplified and applauded. They found a sense of purpose in communing with others who were trying to stop the war. The Anti-War Movement enabled them to transpose something horrible into something constructive and they were proud that their military experiences added credibility to something so important. They felt that they could continue serving their country by contributing to the collective, unyielding, immutable, stentorian voice of TRUTH!

    Watch the documentary Hearts and Minds for a refresher course on Government abuse of its power. The Winter Soldiers documentary displays the bravest of the brave as they recount the horrors of their experiences and speak out against the war.

    Straight society has worked very hard to marginalize these great people (and other icons of the 60’s). It takes effort to learn about those who resist, sometimes the truth is hidden between the lines. Peace!

    Steppenwolf’s Draft Resister, a reminder of the forgotten heroes who risked everything for the cause:

    He was talkin’ ’bout the army while he passed his pipe around
    An American deserter who found peace on Swedish ground

    He had joined to seek adventure and to prove himself a man
    But they tried to crush his spirit ’til his conscience ruined their plans

    And he thought of those who suffer for the sake of honesty
    All those who refuse to follow traitors to humanity

    Here’s to all the draft resisters who will fight for sanity
    When they march them off to prison in this land of liberty

    Heed the threat and awesome power of the mighty Pentagon
    Which is wasting precious millions on the toys of Washington

    Don’t forget the Draft Resister and their silent, lonely plea
    When they march them off to prison, they will go for you and me.

    Shame, disgrace and all dishonor, wrongly placed upon their heads
    Will not rob them of the courage which betrays the innocent


    • Thank you for these important reminders. My personal experience was only one facet; the Vietnam Vets Against the War and Winter Soldier efforts are historic and further prove the senseless and criminal aspects of the Vietnam War. We all had a voice and when so many anti-war groups converged it sent the message loud and clear; unfortunately there was irreparable damage in the process.

      • It’s like history is a vinyl record with the needle stuck in a groove; the same things keep repeating over and over!!! It’s difficult to reconcile how the same mistakes keep happening while the lessons that should prevent them have so recently occurred. After Vietnam was finally over Abbie commented that the anti war movement’s legacy was that never again would we send our boys overseas to fight an unwarranted war. He’s gotta be turning over in his grave!

        • Well, sad to say, that may be an example of the human condition of selective forgetfulness that Governments and the “people” in power count on to reach their own private-interest ends.
          Since most “history lessons” are from personal experience only those who went through them learn:
          “And still I’ll try to tell him all the things I’ve done,
          relating to what he can do when he becomes a man.
          And still he’ll stick his fingers in the fan.” – JBS
          Ultimately, you’re right, it’s a cycle that repeats and may tragically never be avoided.

          • This won’t leave me alone – WW1 was called the war to end all wars; WW2 was also referred to as the war to end all wars; the salient lessons from the Vietnam war were so recent they couldn’t be ignored. Then, after all that we have Iraq and Afghanistan; wasn’t the folly of those invasions as plain as the nose on our faces? Wasn’t there one person involved in those decisions that could have stood up and said WTF???

            • I hear you and feel our mutual pain. My frustration with the non-elected Bush admin. and their trampling of the Constitution Monday thru Friday, had me forgetting the atrocities on Friday from the ones of the previous Monday!!!!!
              I may have been more enraged then, than back when! The difference was that because revolution was “new” and I mean that in a contemporary sense, our unity meant something and accomplished goals. Recent generations have either become distracted or disinterested (in their own future) or justifiably threatened to speak out (you are a terrorist if you do) – or both.
              We can only know “our history” and what it meant to us, the generations since have no “patriotism” or sense of self-worth in that regard. I do have empathy tho’ as standing up vocally or in writing can land you in jail – with no representation – for as long as they want. That is a scary reality that I find no different from our “enemies” regimes that we have fought against for our “freedom”. We are witnessing “the Fall”.

              On a much more positive note: we, you and I, were blessed to live and experience the absolute best time in American history regarding the economy, the pop-culture, the innocence, the technical and innovative and creative advances, the art, the MUSIC, movies and TV and the freedom we had as kids, teenagers and young adults with no politically-correct rules and regulations to retard us – we were, and are, truly a blessed generation that this world will never see again – until Gaea fries and is repopulated – then maybe we’ll see it evolve all over again to have a similar “history”.

              It’s very sad for our children, but like us they’ll have to do whatever it takes to survive and ironically maybe because of their non-experience of our history it won’;t be as bad as we think – in a “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” sense.
              Deeper sigh.

              • The same things rattle around in my own head. We are brothers from another mother but then again many of us were back then and I miss that. I must also admit that part of me misses the feeling of being an outlaw on the side of what I knew was righteous. Life has brought me very far away from that though (that’s probably for the best, lol). Besides it’s much more dangerous to dissent these days.

                I keep thinking that some one of us has to create something that will exemplify what it really meant to be a part of the counterculture. Something like a movie screenplay which will forever separate cliché from fact. I think that people today are resolved to accept that they have little control over injustice. Nobody could tell us that we had to settle for things as they were (“the whole world is watching”). For this generation and those that follow, inspiration is in short supply. We were really, really fortunate to have been part of that most unique period of time and the facts which support that realization shouldn’t die with us.

                • I’m with you Brother, I’m with you.
                  This makes me wonder if past historical revolutionaries felt the same frustrations. And then, is it only us and those select interested parties that care or will care. When people today live so much in the present and from what I can only surmise as pretty shallow existences then who would we be leaving this information of ours to? Historians?
                  I believe my pessimism is actually just an acceptance of reality. Which only makes my yearning, like yours, for the “outlaw” days more heartfelt and missed.
                  Maybe those times were just for us. I’ve come to a realization that it’s quite possible that what we experienced was just for us, not for others – on one hand it is a reality, duh, but on the other it’s cosmic. Maybe in the end all we went through was for our generation as no generation before or after would have the capacity to embrace and understand what we were presented with and were going through. Kind of like a mounting climax in history that we got to experience the ejaculation or were the ejaculation of and after that, the excitement subdued – and returned to build again in another century or two?
                  A definitive movie “for the archives” would certainly be worthwhile but it would have to be perfect. Have the cliched stereotypes been so indelibly imprinted that it would make it nearly impossible to relate even if done perfectly? Are the stoned hippies and lava lamps the icons that can never be erased? I know that even with my good intentions I have contributed to that with this blogsite. However, it was an integral part; but only a part.
                  I was never a member of the SDS or any other “organized” sector so my experiences were personal but as you know and stated there were many of us who made up our generation and that was the key; unity. That feeling that you and I miss – it was real, I know it, you know it. Was there ever a time in history when that truth existed, even if in reality it was only for a period of a year or eighteen months (like Peter Fonda states) it still existed. For myself I let it roll for a few years but we all felt it slip away little by little and as I’ve stated in a past post, it wasn’t Altamont or Manson that ended it all, it was the morning that you woke up to see your stuff ripped off by a brother you let crash at your pad – that was the beginning of the end – distrust, where there was unconditional trust the day before.
                  I know we’d make a good team effort to attempt a screenplay, but the realist in me knows what it takes to do that – it took me a few years to complete and that’s when I had the time. I’m an independent artist so I’ve experienced insane highs and lows. These days my creative jones is satisfied by these quick posts with the occasional original art, otherwise it’s all about survival.

                  You’re an excellent writer so you know it can flow. But screenplays are incredibly time-consuming. and to convey what we’d want and need may not even be possible.
                  Our writings make sense to us, but would they strike a chord with those who never felt the way we did? Do people even know brotherly love anymore? Is it a foreign/alien concept/feeling? Is it a joke?
                  Several years ago I was hired by a 25 year old to work in a R&D sector with a group of 25-30 year olds and they were jaded, and old – I’d jokingly call them “old farts” (I wasn’t joking) and when I’d try and relate my experiences it was like I was a Martian to them. They did not have the capacity to even begin to understand even simple premises – and these were very smart kids – academically.

                  As I’ve said before, the inspiration for this site is to relate to anyone of any age who is interested about those times – and it’s difficult – I find myself repeating passages – either it’s my lack of literary communication or that like you’ve previously said “Webster hasn’t created the words for it”.

                  All I know now is that it is refreshing to have this interaction with you – it brings back those feelings we both miss and I sincerely thank you for that my Brother and Friend.

  2. BTW, it was common in the late 60’s to be called for a pre-induction physical upon turning nineteen. I had been treated for asthma as a child and outgrew it but my family doctor still asked me about it every time I had an examination. When I turned eighteen the doctor wrote a letter explaining my medical history. I took the letter to the office of my local draft board and it was placed on file.

    When I received my notice to appear for the physical, the letter was still in my file and I was classified 1Y (drafted only during times of national emergency). I still had to go through the indignity of walking around the induction center all day in my underwear but 6 months later my classification was changed to the coveted 4F (no f*cking way!).

    When I was in my mid 30’s I was asked to join the Civilian Review Board for the Selective Service. Even though the draft had been discontinued, the Selective Service and its Civilian Review Board was still in place so that if the draft had to be implemented, everything would be ready.

    The military cannot determine the outcome of a request for draft deferment; a civilian review board makes the decision to grant or deny these requests. The board meets twice a year to review the Selective Service procedures and to study the protocol for draft reinstatement. The board also practices determining the outcome of several mock cases (religious, conscientious objector, etc.). One has to be recommended for board membership and my reasons for accepting the position was so that if the draft were to be reinstated, I would have sufficient knowledge to council draftees.

    • Good job, my Man – fighting the good fight from within! I wasn’t aware of this at all.
      While those were strange times indeed, could we ever have imagined the state of the world today?

  3. So true the points you make about Marijuana. Always seemed to be what the authorities feared the most about it. A free thinking and perceptive population is so much harder to fit like cogs in their machine.

    • Thank you for your time, interest and comment!
      Like the government’s LSD experiments that back-fired, so did the lethargy they hoped would be instilled by marijuana use. All it did was awaken us to the severe realities of injustice, to make “Question Authority!” our mantra, and to become vocal and take to the streets!

  4. Pingback: 1970′s Historic & Classic Rock Albums . . . . . . . . . . . . #1 BEST YEAR for ROCK ALBUM RELEASES – 1970! | 00individual

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