Ed Driscoll

The Ghosts Of 1968, The Year Of The Hippie Poseur

Tom Stoppard describes 1968 as “The year of the posturing rebel”. Or as John Lennon confessed a decade later:

“I dabbled in politics in the late 1960s and 1970s, more out of guilt than anything. Guilt for being rich and guilt thinking that perhaps love and peace isn’t enough and you have to go and get shot or something, or get punched in the face to prove I’m one of the people. I was doing it against my instincts.”

Fascinating though, that the 1960s and ’70s, a period that was rife with poseurs such as Lennon, is still influencing us to this day. You can see it in music, in the form of ersatz nostalgia acts such as Lenny Kravitz and Sheryl Crow, who dress in period costume (sort of the tie-dyed equivalent of greasers like Sha Na Na in leather jackets and D.A.s in 1975, or a big band that same year still playing in tan dinner jackets and bow ties). Or much more dangerously, in a politics that still takes it rhetoric from a period now four decades in the past, whether it’s John Kerry in 2004, or Rev. Wright in 2008.

But then, when starting from zero, one is always tempted to stay trapped in Year One.