Essay on Permanent Impact of the Counter-Culture on Today's American Society

Words: 1928
Pages: 8

"What is not illusionary is the reality of a new culture of opposition. It grows out of the disintegration of the old forms, vinyl and aerosol institutions that carry all the inane and destructive values of privatism; competition, commercialism, profitability and elitism…It's not a "youth thing" by now but a generational event; chronological age is the only current phase". The previous quote was written by Andrew Kopkind in Rolling Stone on the Woodstock festival observing that a new culture was immersing from the roots of the adult American life (1960's 198). Words such as "counter-culture", "establishment", "non-violence", "free-love" and "Woodstock" were not even in the American vocabulary until the war against North Vietnam started in …show more content…
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Drugs and alcohol were one escape for the hippies and another was music, but definitely not an ordinary kind of music. Many hippies were mostly musicians themselves. Music was influential for them. Rock and Roll from the fifties changed a lot during the sixties. It was just ‘fun music' before and during the sixties, the lyrics started to talk freely about all the things hippies wanted such as alteration in the society, or about drugs, free sex etc (Hollis). In 1969, almost 400,000 young people, many of them being hippies gathered in a small town in New York to listen to rock and blues music, sing, talk, drink, smoke marijuana and have casual sex and to show everyone that they are all together like a union. This music festival was later named Woodstock (Hollis). Rock songs' lyrics sometimes could be political as well. Rock music has developed and changed with the hippies. Rock music shows a whole generation on American culture. Many of the sixties' rock songs are still popular today. Rock music, starting from the sixties had an influential affect on American youth.

The final impact of counter-culture was the anti-war movement and politics in which the hippies were very effective. Hippies had intense feelings about the Vietnam War, Civil Rights Movements. They wanted their voices about those issues to be heard. Hence, they started sit-ins, musical shows and protests. But the American government did not really pay attention to