Tag Archives: 60s

Read This: Who’s afraid of the nuclear bomb?

Who’s afraid of the nuclear bomb? | Richard Rogers: Just shy of my sixth birthday when the Berlin Wall fell on 9 November 1989, I have no memory of ever being aware of the danger of imminent nuclear attack. For my oldest brother Seb, born in 1968, things were very different… (via Comment is free | guardian.co.uk.)

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oui a la révolution

poster from mai ’68

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Spectacular Times

The Spectacular Times is a series of pamphlets written/produced by Larry Law in the late 1970s/early 1980s that took the often abstruse ideas of a group of French radicals called “situationists” and explored them in concrete ways and easy(er) to understand language. They are generally considered to be one of the most accessible introductions to situationist ideas available.

The situationists were a loose group of (mostly) French activists and intellectuals, very active in the events of May 1968, who tried to formulate a revolutionary theory applicable to daily life (speaking very loosely here) under what we would now term postmodernism. [As usual, see Wikipedia for a more extended introduction.]

While interest in the situationists themselves is fairly limited – confined mostly to radicals of various anarchist tendencies and academics in the humanities – many of the ideas put forth by the situationists have been much more widely influential, particularly their exploration of the politics of “everyday life” and their critique of a consumer-oriented, mass-mediated social order. Their analysis of these topics is directly applicable to many of issues raised in my discussion of “kids and kommercialism.” Continue reading

Radical History Revisited: Paris, May 1968

41 years ago this month, revolution (and tear gas) was in the air in Paris, as the streets heaved with riots and protests, in the events that are often just referred to as May/Mai ’68…

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Photo: Bruno Barbey/Magnum

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Documents of Social Revolution

The Modern Records Center at the University of Warwick (in the UK) was founded in 1973 with the goal of preserving primary sources (ie, original texts and other material) for modern British social, political and economic history. A number of influential organisations and individuals have housed their archives at the Centre, including key British labour organisations, the left-wing publisher Victor Gollancz, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and Amnesty International. Continue reading

Students for a Democratic Society

I was out of the USA for the bulk of the Bush administration, and I missed some things – among them, the “re-membering” or reformation or remaking of that 1960s stalwart, the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), which reemerged at the end of 2005 and was officially relaunched in early 2006. Continue reading

Radical Records Revisted: Gil Scott-Heron

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
but it may be podcast and blogged

I recently learned that Gil Scott-Heron apparently has a serious crack problem.  Given his past, his fierce advocacy of a black radicalism and critiques of addictions of various kinds, there’s a bitter irony to this coda to a career that was an inspiration to a generation of poets, musicians and radicals.

Gil Scott-Heron is a writer, poet and performer best known for his socially conscious music, including most famously “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” as well as “Whitey on the Moon,” “Sex Education Ghetto-Style,” “Home is Where the Hatred Is” (memorably recorded by Esther Phillips) and his scathing critique of Ronald Reagan’s presidential candidacy, “B Movie.”  He is considered by many to be the grandfather of rap and had a particularly powerful influence on music fusing jazz with funk, and later hip hop. Continue reading