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Sunday, July 7, 2013


I was a little kid in the 60s when hippies were protesting the Viet Nam war and everything else their bourgeoisie parents represented.  I told my dad that I couldn’t see how he could argue against “make love not war”, but I was too young to know that making love was an actual act little kids aren’t supposed to know about, and the hippies were doing it all over the place.

I sat on the floor and played with my blocks and felt rather torn about whether the hippies were dirty and lazy or doing something really inspirational.  Having no real understanding what a draft card was and never worn a bra, I didn’t see any point to burning them, and I didn’t get what was the point of burning flags either other than all this burning stuff made my dad really, really mad.

“It’s just a thing, Dad.  They aren’t hurting anybody.”  “It’s what it represents!” Dad shouted, but that didn’t explain anything to me either.

A young man with long hair and cutoff jeans played guitar at church one week.  I was in love.  He was handsome and played beautifully.  Dad sputtered “How dare he come to church like that!”, and I thought the young man’s long hair was pretty and clean, unlike all those hippies on tv.  “But you like guitars Dad!”  After all, Dad leaned forward to watch the tube anytime Charo played blazing fast flamenco music.  I hate double standards – well unless the double standard is working in my favor and lets me look at handsome young men.

I admired Charo’s musical skills.  I didn’t like that she dressed like a porn star and shook her ample chest to get recognized for her abilities.  I wanted the equality that I started to recognize in the barrels of burning bras.

Sometimes I wonder how much all these major events of my childhood formed me.  Sometimes I wonder if the sanitized wars we’ve been having in later years robs young people of passions that make their lives more meaningful?

“Passion rebuilds the world for the youth.  It makes all things alive and significant.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“It is a fact often observed, that men have written good verse under the inspiration of passion, who cannot write well under other circumstances.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“There is no passion to be found in playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” Nelson Mandela

“Passion is energy.  Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” Oprah Winfrey

“If you don’t have a passion, you’ll give up.” Steve Jobs

First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the socialists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.
~ Martin Niemoller


  1. That's quite the quintessential peace sign--you've captured the era.

  2. I was also just a no-need-for-a-bra kid during the hippie era. Didn't know much about Viet Nam and all the protesting. Tie dyes and peace signs were very popular. I like your peace sign. It would make for a "groovy" t-shirt!

  3. Unfortunately it's not only because of what looks like sanitized wars that young people today don't protest as much against war is in earlier days. It's also has to do with a society and medias that are much more controlled. We are show or made believe there is such a thing as sanitized wars, but there is never anything sanitized about wars at all. Civilians suffer just as much in modern warfare. I think the quote of Martin Niemoller is great - because that's where we are heading. As far as I believe.

  4. I did think of tye dying something for "protest" :) I agree with you Otto about where we're headed with our sanitized wars because "those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it" -- but I can hope that the future will be better and people quit fighting so much. Or perhaps the more attainable thing might be to wish for the calmer heads to prevail? Thanks for the comments!

  5. “If you don’t have a passion, you’ll give up.”
    I worry about our children, those who spend so much time in shallow activities; (read electronic activities)...
    These are good and necessary in small doses, but their ubiquity precludes exploration ~which would otherwise lead to personal passions.
    is there a way off this freeway?
    does my protest here have any hope?
    ~~nice manipulation of reds for readability.


  6. Linda, your heart with peace symbol made me flash back to the time I was a kid and all kids at middle school were wearing peace and love symbols. They came as necklaces, bracelets, marks on t-shirts, and stickers on school bags. They were everywhere.
    Your bright illustration immediately made me think of the 70s without reading your story.
    Well done again!

  7. The wonderful red sign immediately caught my attention - it is just so wonderful.

  8. We must have been kids at the same time Linda, I can remember seeing all the war footage on TV and the terrible napalm attacks...I can still see those poor souls with their skin burning. Thank goodness that is all over. The rest of the post made me smile...all that bra burning and making love. I even had a smiley face badge I wore with out understanding what it meant...ignorance was bliss then eh ;0) Have a great week x

  9. I worry about the same thing for our children Richard, but I'm not sure our worrying is doing any good either.

    I collect smiley faces. I figure it's good to spread smiles around. We had a colorful childhood, didn't we? "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

    Thanks for the comments!

  10. I have to agree with munchow, above. Although I keep relatively abreast of current events, I turn off the news much more often than I used to. And it's true that the news is more sanitized than it once was... and in fact I've heard some horrors about, for instance, calls for the arrest of one of the reporters (?!) of the Edward Snowden story. How we got to a place where freedom of the press can be under attack is just a horror I do not like to contemplate.

    I could go on, as I'm sure you could!, with a list of news stories about our quickly diminishing liberties, but with no idea how to halt this backwards progress I prefer to talk about other things. In my small way, at least I try to avoid adding to the ugliness around us.

    It seems you were a hilarious and whip-smart kid! I hope your dad appreciated you, despite some of his, er, unfortunate views. ;)

  11. My dad seemed to like to argue with me about world events, so I guess he did appreciate me? Sometimes I think kids' views of these kinds of things are so much wiser than adults' because kids' thoughts are less confused by socialization.

    I agree with you Cindy about current events. I wish I knew what to do about it. I try to write about happy things a lot of the time, but sometimes we need to say the stuff that needs said too. I guess life is a balancing act. Thanks for the comment!

  12. I had shoulder-length hair and wore love beads in second grade. I had no idea why. I knew there was a war in Viet Nam and worried that my brother would be sent there. (He just turned 18 when the war ended.) I look back and laugh at how clueless I was.

    Oh, and Graham Parker said, "Passion is no ordinary word."

  13. Good write-up and graphic Linda. Personally, I remember very little about that era. lol But you saw my embroidered pocket, so I musta been around... :)

  14. You've taken me back down memory lane. :) I was older than you (oh, still am), but still a young child or young teen. I suppose I felt about Vietnam and afterwards as my children feel about 911.

    Where this world is headed...who knows. I think the children of today will do as well as we've done. Afterall, our parents and grandparents didn't think we could keep the country going either.

    Hey, I've taken from two songs of the era: Back down Memory Lane by Minnie Ripperton and Ball of Confusion by The Temptations - the latter especially relates to your post.

    Love the image. You should hire Abby to show you how to film yourself working on it and then speed it up. And of course, then posting it on the blog!

  15. I like the idea of filming the process of making an image since I never seem to stop long enough to take WIP photos. Glad I'm not the only one old enough to remember Viet Nam and other things from back when, but I don't think I was as cool as some of you since I didn't have an embroidered pocket or love beads in my hair :) I know the older people have always complained that the young people are going to be the ruination of civilization, but we never had kids spending their whole days in front of TVs and computers before either. I guess time will tell how they hold up in the long run. I'm wishing the best for them. Great comments everybody!

  16. Inspiring quotes. Inspiring post!

  17. I always come away with much to think about when I visit you. As I stay tuned to current events, I often reflect upon what I hope for my daughters as they inherit a world of so much change. It feels as though there is unchartered territory for all to move through and determine their paths each day. There is SO much to worry about, but hopefully with the worry, comes knowledge in how to handle change. And hopefully the change is for the better. Thanks for sharing your stories with us! Such a strong graphic image depicting a desire for peace and love...and hopefully understanding. I am always grateful for your kind visits!

  18. I hope for your daughters' future too Shirley. Sometimes I quit listening to the news for a while because it just makes me nuts, but in the end I figure it's better to stay informed so I listen to it again. Thanks for the comments!