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The Spirit Of 1969 Unleashed

09 January 2020 @ 17:25

Over at Public Discourse, Alexander Riley has written a very Insightful review of Harlan Lebo’s 100 Days: How Four Events in 1969 Shaped America.

In that book, Lebo covers Woodstock, the Manson Murders, the Apollo 11 Moon Landing, and the invention of the Arpanet [prototype of the Internet].

Mr. Riley demolishes Lebo’s positive take on Woodstock and the whole essay is well worth a read.  But I want to concentrate on a subject the former covers and the latter — conveniently — ignores: Altamont.

We are stardust, we are golden, we are billion year old carbon,
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden [of Eden]

—Joni Mitchell, Woodstock, as sung by Crosby, Stills, Nash, And Young

As the essay’s author puts it:

…Lebo is not a straightforward radical apologist for ’60s excess. Nonetheless, he clearly wants his map to make the case that 1969 — like the ’60s as a whole — is essentially something to be celebrated, with just a smattering of excess and regret.

Thus we see here another Apologist for The Left In America trying to make lemonade out of lemons.  The problem is: the lemons have gone bad — one might say toxic.

To ignore Altamont, is to leave a serious and important gap in any analysis of 1969 and the influence that one year has had.

I’m going to concentrate on the year-end concert that dare not speak it’s name in Lebo’s book.

Alexander Riley:

…The Rolling Stones’ Altamont concert of December 6, 1969 is a near-perfect symbol of the disturbing legacy of 1969 and the ’60s counterculture.

This unruly entity ‘the ’60s’ cannot be reduced to the preferred progressive narrative, i.e., necessary and broadly positive social and cultural change that freed restrained populations from the grip of crushing and soul-destroying traditional culture and belief. But, if one is rigorously honest, neither can the ’60s be legitimately turned into the too simple contrary story from the right: a horrifying, monstrous, and obviously evil annihilation of the good and the true. To be sure, the good was under attack at Altamont, and in the counterculture. But this was done with stealth, under the concealment of what appears, to the superficial eye, to be beauty.

Any such event is Doomed when it is organized by people in the midst of an Utopian Orgasmic Frenzy that is not based in Reality.  Robespierre, DeSade, Lenin, etc. suffered from this as well.  The consequences of their actions brought Misery and Death; the consequences of Woodstock and Altamont brought about a Stealth Movement to undermine American Culture.

More from Mr. Riley:

By the time the Rolling Stones took the stage at the old Altamont Speedway on December 6, 1969, they already had a reputation in the pop culture world of the era as bad boys, even as emissaries of evil, in the half-serious way in which such things are intended in the analysis of people who make careers writing about rock stars. Rock ’n’ roll should never be respectable, Eric Clapton said somewhere, probably copying what some bluesman said about the blues, and the Stones had made that their motto….

The thing is: there were many Rock And Roll composers and musicians who were trying to make the Genre become Respectable, such as Deep Purple.

I got to keep on movin’…
Blues fallin’ down like hail…
I got to keep on movin’…
Blues fallin’ down like hail…
And the days keeps on worryin’ me…
There’s a Hellhound on my trail…

—Robert Johnson, Hellhound On My Trail, as arranged by Bob Belvedere

Mick Jagger was and is a superb businessman and he knew what he was doing in setting-up an image for The Rolling Stones.  The Beatles had been the ‘Good Rockers’; The Stones were, at first, the bad neighborhood boys and, when that image played itself out, Mick and company switched-over to a more Sathanic and Violent image [starting with the album Their Satanic Majesty’s Request].

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name
What’s troubling you is just the nature of my game

—Jagger/Richards, Sympathy For The Devil

More from AR:

There is no denying, when one views the cinematic record of that concert, the film Gimme Shelter, that there was something akin to beauty in some of the Stones’ music of this period, and something still closer to it in their faces and in the faces of some of those who followed them around as they sang their songs. Readers who have not seen it should do so if they want to fully understand how the evil of cultural nihilism and anarchy presents itself.

I know how it felt.  While I have put behind such foolish thoughts, I still listen to this band.

Paint it black…paint it black you devils!

—Stone’s concert audience member, intro to Sympathy, from Get Your Ya Ya’s Out

More [re-paragrahing mine]:

The film is by turns gut-wrenchingly terrifying and astonishingly seductive. It is the faux angelic smiles and the comely silhouettes of the girls in the front row, searching for a second’s attention from Jagger, these obsequious nymphs, fawning children already wholly and perversely sexualized in the way that has become de rigueur in American culture 2019.

It is also the spastically gyrating, intoxicated boy who has somehow managed to get himself atop a scaffold stories above the crowd, and who teeters precariously close to toppling to his death; and the vacant, inhuman stare of the naked obese woman in the front row, attempting to climb over and through her fellow audience members as though they were inanimate objects.

It is the fat, sweet electric guitar chords and the swaying, frantic drumbeats from the stage; and it is the sinister glares, and snarled insults, and lobbed beer bottles, and flashing pool cues of the bearded and leering Hell’s Angels.

It is Mick Jagger’s impish grin as he voluptuously takes in the crowd as he climbs on to the stage; and it is the slender pistol produced by Meredith Hunter and aimed at that same impish singer and then the knife blade that glides almost unseen across the screen to snuff out Hunter’s life.

It is the naïve hippie promise of a wonderful day of utopian peace with no restrictions or plans required — “it’s all gonna be an experiment,” as one of the show’s non-organizers puts it; and it is the inevitable, predictable, and dreadful outcome of a few hundred thousand human beings together in one place, with no moral rules, no authority to enforce such rules even if they were present, plentiful intoxicants and hallucinogenic agents, and turbulent, unpredictable, yet absolutely deterministic human nature in abundance.

Dead Solid Perfect.

More that you may not have known:

The film does not even show us the full extent of the depravity. It is only hinted at in the commentary track, in which we are told by the directors that the Hell’s Angels and many others in the crowd stayed on long after the show. The Angels built a huge bonfire out of scrap wood, and the remaining hippies were “drawn like moths to the fire.” And thus “the beatings and the battery continued on at length into the night.”

Altamont captures, especially the filmed version, the Consequences of ‘Let it all hang out’ Nihilism that was emerging at the time.  There may no longer be many open Hippies left in America, but, as I put it in my book, On The Causes And Effects Of THE PRESENT CRISIS In America:

It is now known that a certain element of the New Left decided to re-orientate — re-engineer — their Movement starting in the late 1970’s, and continuing through the 1980’s. No longer would it be as rude and rowdy and in-your-face and impatient as it had been in the past fifteen years or so. Instead, they would put on suits, pantsuits, and dresses, and then then blend-in within American Society. The Left would [seek] to destroy the existing Order from inside the Establishment.

So, the New New Left In America put on business attire, cut their hair, polished their shoes, shaved, and bathed. And they wormed their way quietly into every area of our Society that they could, rarely letting their fellow workers know of the Radical ends they sought. They were aided in their efforts at infiltration by Old Leftists already inside and by the usual suspects: fellow Travellers, Dupes, and Useful Idiots.

As to the result of the Counterculture Movement, Mr. Riley writes:

This is how the evil of cultural destruction presents itself. It would be so easy to turn aside from it, if all collapsed into ugly, nauseating chaos instantly as soon as the old cultural rules and restrictions were abandoned. Such things take a little bit of time, though, to materialize in their full wreckage, and they can produce beguiling little temptations in the forms of pleasant sounds, and intoxicating substances, and seductive human forms all along the way. Why was there such a consuming desire to “experiment,” to reject planning, to put into action stupendously poor organizational decisions in the most cavalier, irresponsible way imaginable, given the possibility of catastrophic consequences? Because, the counterculturalists maintained, “the system is corrupt.” Because, they reasoned, things could not conceivably be worse. Why not experiment? What is there to lose? Only everything, if it turns out — as it did — that things could be worse.

And things are worsening as each day passes.  Our Culture is in it’s Death Throes because Leftist Thinking has Invaded every nook and cranny of our Culture.

Mr. Riley:

The difference between the culture of Altamont and the culture it wanted to supersede is both subtle and immense. Recognizing the unavoidable contagion of evil, the pre-’60s American cultural world endeavored to maintain time-honored methods and structures that had kept it at bay sufficiently to enable the human drama of moral progress….

But they were suffering from an unknown handicap: they were being brought-up in the first Unmoored Generations, where God was dying a slow death and Relativism was having an Enormous Influence on them.  In other words: the Pre-Sixties Cultural World entered the War in Ignorance.  And, thus, they Failed…Miserably.

Everywhere is freaks and hairies
Dykes and fairies, tell me where is sanity
Tax the rich, feed the poor
Till there are no rich no more?

—Alvin Lee, I’d Love To Change The World


Fifty years after Altamont, no clear-eyed observer of American culture can doubt that the demonic spirit of 1969 is still very much in the air in our country.

Indeed.  We are beset by Evil in all it’s forms all of the time now.

For you Believers out there, I say that Leftist Ideology is The Antichrist.  For you Non-Believers out there, I urge you to see Right Reason and understand that Evil walks among us.

Now I have you with me, under my power
Our love grows stronger now with every hour
Look into my eyes, you will see who I am
My name is Lucifer, please take my hand

—Black Sabbath, N.I.B.

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