Category Archives: sixties

Women, Love Your Bodies

 Female language is funny.  I was discussing female bodies with my friend after he told me a girl broke up with him based on a misinterpreted comment about her weight.  I told him never to assume anything with regard to a woman’s weight.  In our conversation, he used the word ‘shapely.’  I said to be careful using that word, because it can be construed as ‘fat.’  Then he used the word ‘athletic.’  I said to be careful using that too, because if it refers to above the waist, it can be construed as a small chest, and if it refers to below the waist, it can be construed as bulky.

 

Are we really that complex?  Most men I’ve encountered have a much deeper appreciation for variety within the female form than women give them credit for.  Women critique and analyze every centimeter of their bodies (certainly not all women, but many).  They set themselves up for failure by taking cues from the acting and modeling industries.  In that sense, I think men somewhat inflame the problem, because the norm within those industries is what men come to expect as the contemporary iconic sex symbol.  However, that’s just association.  In everyday life, men seem to be far more tolerant, forgiving, and loving of figure flaws than women realize.

 

My judgment might be wrong, but from what I’ve observed, models were ‘shapely’ until 1965, when Edie Sedgwick ushered in the impossibly thin boyish look as a model for Vogue in New York.  The models before Edie would now probably be viewed as somewhat matronly with their curves and red lipstick.  Edie is my favorite model of all time.  She changed everything.  Within months, New York women were emulating her style, and within a year, the world was.  She had no curves, was muscular but incredibly thin, was extremely pale, wore nude lipstick, cropped her hair short, and played up her boyish persona.  At the same time, she was heavy on black eye makeup and fake lashes, wore oversized jewelry, and dressed exquisitely feminine.  Sound sort of like today’s models (minus the cropped hair)?  Twiggy ushered in 1966.  She is usually credited with creating a unique look, but like Edie before her, she had almost platinum blonde hair, an impossibly boyish figure (she was 16), pale skin, nude lips, and went over the top with black eye makeup and fake lashes.  Edie preceded her, but Edie’s fame was mostly confined to New York, whereas Twiggy was international.  Twiggy changed a lot, but Edie deserves the credit for being the leading light.  (Below: Edie on the left, Twiggy on the right.)

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The fashion industry still hasn’t moved on from many of the style norms set by women like Edie and Twiggy.  The industry has traditionally always swung like a pendulum between trends and body types, but the rail-thin angular model has been a runway norm ever since the sixties.  Designers claim such models are better for runways because they come closest to emulating what clothes look like on a clothes hanger (truly), and this is somehow desirable to them.  The trend has come under heavy crossfire lately due to concern over super skinny models.  The sixties influence is enormously popular now (although it’s waning), and with the resurgence of sixties style, the demand for super skinny models has become greater than ever.  The two historically went together, so it seems like a predictable match again.  The style trend will change, and with it, I think more shapely models will make the biggest comeback since the 1950s.  No small part may be that the heavier the public gets, the less women will tolerate anorexic frames on magazine covers and in movies.  The runways will, as always, precede the trend, Hollywood will follow, and it will filter down to style for the masses. 

Will any of this affect how men view their women at home?  I still believe most men are gracious, respectful, and awed by the form of their female lover, no matter what she sees in the mirror.

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Filed under Beautiful People, sixties

Hunter S. Thompson on the Sixties

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” ‘KILL THE BODY AND THE HEAD WILL DIE.’  This line appears in my notebook, for some reason.  Perhaps some connection with Joe Frazier.  Is he still alive?  Still able to talk?  I watched that fight in Seattle–horribly twisted about for seats down the aisle form the Governor.  A very painful experience in every way, a proper end to the sixties: Tim Leary a prisoner or Eldridge Cleaver in Algeria, Bob Dylan clipping coupons in Greenwich Village, both Kennedys murdered by mutants, Owsley folding napkins on Terminal Island, and finally Cassius/Ali belted incredibly off his pedestal by a human hamburger, a man on the verge of death.  Joe Frazier, like Nixon, had finally prevailed for reasons that people like me refused to understand–at least not out loud.”

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Filed under Drugs, Literature, sixties

American Gangster Today

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I haven’t seen American Gangster, but I was checking out the boards on IMDb, and I came across a comment that really got under my skin.  It just seemed so ignorant.  Here was the originial post (by a user named mizwright):

I was in an audience sitting next to some young black boys and I don’t think they understood what they were watching. They have no concept of the Vietnam war, the drug wars that started in the 1960s…the older people understood perfectly about that era.  Good movie, but youngsters won’t understand it.

The comment got me thinking.  From what little I know of American Gangster (Manhattan drug lord Frank Lucas rises to power by smuggling heroin– “Blue Magic”– into the country via the coffins of fallen soldiers returning from Vietnam in the sixties), it seems like several conclusions could be drawn between then and now.   My response: 

 I haven’t seen AG, so I don’t know how much it focuses on the Vietnam War or other strictly 1960s material. However, I’m willing to bet it’s not impossible for younger people to understand it, as they still face many of the same issues in somewhat altered form. The 1960s weren’t the only years to struggle with war and drug abuse. Today, 92% of heroin in the world originates in Afghanistan. The poppy resin used to make it is grown illegally by Afghan farmers, and is bought by hands that eventually reach al-Qaeda and the Taliban. These terrorist organizations don’t deal opium directly, but they supply gunmen to protect drug-producing labs and transport convoys. In return for their mercenary-type work, they receive a cut of the profits, which is where the bulk of their funding comes from. No one knows how much the terrorist organizations bring in from this work, but conservative estimates run into the high tens of millions per year. While the number of casualties don’t approach the 1960s, some young Americans are dying to fight these terrorist organizations, and other young Americans are caught up in battling addiction on American soil. History repeats more often than we think.

Drugs are getting so scary.  During the last couple of years, America was inundated by a huge influx of fentanyl-laced heroin (stamped as Rolex, Rest in Peace, D-Boy, White House, Timberland, etc.) that has been dropping users like flies.  Twenty-two pounds of this crap was put onto the streets (eighty million hits worth).  People are still dying from it.  Paramedics are unable to revive people who overdose on it, or else they have to use four times the typical dose of naloxone.  It is estimated to have killed well over 1,000 people so far.  These users often die with the needle still in their arms, and sometimes even before the dose is fully administered.  Overdose is rarely instantaneous with heroin, so this is completely scary.  No disrespect to mizwright, but I think today’s young people can somewhat grasp what the youth of the 1960s felt, at least with regard to drug use, trafficking, and the resulting impact on individuals and society.

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Velvet Underground Lyrics

“I’m gonna try to nullify my life…cause when the blood begins to flow…

And it shoots up the dropper’s neck…when I’m closin’ in on death…

Ah, you can’t help me, not you guys, or all you sweet girls with all your sweet talk…

you can all go take a walk!  And I guess I just don’t know.

 

Heroin…be the death of me…it’s my wife, and it’s my life.  Because a mainer to my vein leads to a enter in my head, and then I’m better off and dead….”

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Filed under Beautiful People, Beautiful World, Drugs, Rock 'n Roll, sixties, Uncategorized

Hunter S. Thompson (Again)…

True American author. 

“My attorney was now fumbling with the salt shaker containing the cocaine.  Opening it.  Spilling it.  Then screaming and grabbing at the air, as our fine white dust blew up and out across the desert highway…A very expensive little twister…”  ‘Oh, jesus!’ he moaned.  ‘Did you see what God just did to us?’

” ‘God didn’t do that!’ I shouted.  ‘You did it.  You’re a fucking narcotics agent!  I was on to your stinking act from the start, you pig!’

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Hunter S. Thompson: True American Literary Hero

“We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half-full of cocaine and a whoe galaxy of multicolored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers….Also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether, and two dozen amyls….But the only thing that worried me was the ether.  There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible than a man in the depths of an ether binge.”

“My attorney said nothing for a moment….He tucked his khaki undershirt into his white rayon bellbottoms and called for one more drink.  ‘You’re going to need plenty of legal advice before this thing is over,” he said.  ‘And my first advice is that you should rent a very fast car with no top and get the hell out of L.A. for at least forty-eight hours….This blows my weekend, because naturally I’ll have to go with you– and we’ll have to arm ourselves.’ ”

“Getting hold of the drugs had been no problem, but the car and the tape recorder were not easy things to round up at 6:30 on a Friday afternoon in Hollywood.”

“My attorney had taken his shirt off and was pouring beer on his chest, to facilitate the tanning process.”

“The car suddenly veered off the road and we came to a sliding halt in the gravel.  I was hurled against the dashboard.  My attorney was slumped over the wheel. ‘What’s wrong?’ I yelled.  ” ‘We can’t stop here.  This is bat country!’ ”

“Few people seem to understand the psychology of dealing with a highway traffic cop….It helps to have a police/press badge in your wallet when he calms down enough to ask for your license.  I had one of those– but also a can of Budweiser in my hand.”

“Here I was all alone in Las Vegas with this goddamn incredibly expensive car, completely twisted on drugs, no attorney, no cash, no story for the magazine– and on top of everything else I had a gigantic goddamn hotel bill to deal with.  We had ordered everything into that room that human hands could carry– including about six hundred bars of transluscent Neutrogena soap.”

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Filed under Drinking, Drugs, Literature, sixties

Ooh, Where Can I Get That Dress?!

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Love it.

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