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 1960 The American Dream

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Nakia the Rogue
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PostSubject: 1960 The American Dream   Tue May 10, 2011 1:58 am

It was a prosperous time, a time of a fragile peace. The Cold War raged and we were taught to duck and cover. Just t good this would if a nuclear bomb was dropped on us I have no idea but we dutifully obeyed our teachers. It was at least a break in the tedium of what many called learning. Oh some of our teachers were great just like now some things never seem to change.

My grandfather had died when I was fifteen ending my safe, secure and wonderful (mostly) world. My mother and I moved from the farm to the small town near us. We survived. Life went its quiet way. After graduating from high school I got a job and went to college at night. Joined the Newman Club and had a nice social life. Every thing seemed normal but I wanted more I had a bit of messianic attitude and wanted to save the world from what I am not sure.

The Korean police action had ended and other than people building bunkers in their back yards things were peaceful. In 1960 I got the bright idea I should join a religious order. Not a Roman Catholic one but an Episcopal one. My family had been Episcopalians as well as Christian Scientists. Interesting combination. My mother being a bit of a rebel had refused to be confirmed and did not have me baptised. After the death of my grandfather I had chosen to be baptised in the local Roman Catholic church. Searching for a substitute for the father figure I had lost I think.

So I trotted off to join a rather off beat teaching order. The founder was the daughter of a Baptist minister, a brilliant woman who had been a professor at Smith College. I was in love, passionately in love not with her but with God. Oh what a glorious feeling. There I received teacher training as well as theological classes. A lot of fun and very interesting. I enjoyed theology. The Order had its own teaching system which was tutorial, small classes and workbooks for the students so they could learn at their own pace. On the whole very good.

The age of Camelot arrived and then was chartered by a lone rifleman. Camelot ended. In the 50s the Master and Johnson report came out informing us that our parents were not quite so moral as they claimed to be. Caused a big furor when it came out. Reports were published that the younger generation was going to hell and weren't learning anything. Just normal everyday things. Then it happened.

In the South segregation was strictly enforced. Blacks had their own water fountains, own bathrooms, own places to eat all that sort of thing. In the North things were more subtle and of course those damn yankees claimed their weren't prejudiced. At least my relatives had the good sense to realize that they were prejudiced but that didn't bother them. That was the way things were.

Now enters a new factor. Each journey begins with a single step, each movement begins with a single person. A black woman got sick and tired of being pushed around, told to sit in the back of a bus and she refused. The news made national headlines and the that new thing called Television. Television made a big difference in the world. Actual real life videos of things that happened around the nation. Johnson signed a bill to integrate schools. Nine, if I recall correctly, children entered their local all white school. At least they tried. A big protest was organized by the upset whites and the militia called out. I remember the pictures of those young people walking up to the school and entering surround by soldiers. Some things you don't forget.

We had begun space exploration and a man was landed on the moon. It is not made of cheese and there does not seem to be either a man or a woman living there. So much for ancient myths.

Martin Luther King rose to the forefront of the struggle for Black rights. There were others but he assassinated and so became a symbol of the movement. He also gave that wonderful speech "I have a dream". Songs were written. "We will overcome" was very popular.

The Viet Nam war started. Our young men marched off to kill and be killed. It went on and on and on.l Students rebelled and took over college offices. The National Guard was called out and we had the Kent State Massacre. Nasty business that. Our own soldiers kill our own people most of whom were innocent of anything but being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Now what makes this time so special? Why is that people like me who were not directly involved in the events remember it so vividly and passionately> I was living my own dream, riding my own high wave. Learning that religion does not a saint make. That religious order can reflect the prejudices, turmoil, morals of the world around it.

Would you like to know what finally got me fed up and disgusted? NO? I will tell you any way. This is my story after all. Shoes, a blasted pair of shoes and they weren't even for me but another sister. Our Reverend Mother and her chosen flunkies were going to Hawaii ostensibly to see about setting up a school but really just for a vacation. We all knew that we weren't dumb after all we did teach others and did rather well at it. One of the sisters need really badly need a new pair of shoes. Nothing expensive just ordinary walking shoes. She was told no because the Order couldn't afford them. What? I am dumbfounded but maybe there is a god after all. The Rev. Mother got sick, Hawaii was cancelled and the shoes were bought.

I spent the summer at our New York summer camp was assigned to stay at the boarding school there. I have a cousin who lives in Manhattan, New York. I was able to contact her and say I am getting out of here can I stay with you until I can get a job. I picked a bad as there was a recession going on but she said yes. My mother and stepfather sent me some money so I informed the powers that I was leaving and I left. This was 1973. A lot had happened in that time, The Black struggle, the Women's movement, the Gay movement was beginning. Must admit I am rather proud of the fact that women started that one when they told the police were to go when they, the police, tried to arrest some people. Have no idea why they were being arrested but it was probably because they didn't try to hide what they were and some lunatic complained.

Now I haven't touched on a lot of things. Just being a bit nostalgic here if you want to call it that. Maybe I'll continue this, maybe I won't.

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PostSubject: Re: 1960 The American Dream   Fri May 20, 2011 12:13 am

Please do! I enjoyed reading it. Sort of a firsthand account on 1/2 of the last century. I thoroughly enjoy reading about anywhere from the 20's to the 60's
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Carabas
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PostSubject: Re: 1960 The American Dream   Fri May 20, 2011 1:00 am

I can only second what Nicdude says. I'm sure Nakia can tell us a lot more about the 50s and 60s.

By the way, welcome to Belle Sakura Saloon Nicdude. You've picked one of the best written topics (if not the best) in the entire forum to make your entrance.

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PostSubject: Re: 1960 The American Dream   Fri May 20, 2011 2:21 am

Thank you for your thoughts on that era Darlin'.

I was in 'Nam, when the incident occurred at Kent State. Since I wasn't there, I do not know what occurred. Many that died shouldn't have and the ones who should have, didn't. But either way, it was bad.

My thoughts on that era? It's history. But it haunts my every waking and sleeping moments of my life.

The 60's and the 70's, were rough and they will haunt me till I finally meet my maker and account for all my deeds.
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Nakia the Rogue
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PostSubject: Re: 1960 The American Dream   Sat May 21, 2011 4:39 pm

nicdude. The 50s I lived on a farm or a small town. Rather boring time although traumatic for me as I lost my adored grandfather then.

Thank you, OldCoot for servings. Our soldiers got a bad deal because of the anger at the the long drawn out war. The more I read about it myself the more frustrated I get at our politians. It is easy to romatize the past but that is a mistake. We learn from the past but only if we are honest about it.


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PostSubject: Re: 1960 The American Dream   Sat May 21, 2011 7:12 pm

I wished we could have received even 1 thank you when we came home. So your "thank you" means alot to me Nakia. You just made an old man cry. Thank you so much Darlin', I truly mean that.
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Nakia the Rogue
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PostSubject: Re: 1960 The American Dream   Sat May 21, 2011 9:06 pm

OldCoot46 wrote:
I wished we could have received even 1 thank you when we came home. So your "thank you" means alot to me Nakia. You just made an old man cry. Thank you so much Darlin', I truly mean that.


My grandfather joined the army when he was 15, he was big for his age and I guess they didn't demand proof of age which was sometimes hard to get. He became a calvary officer and fought in the Spanish/American war or whatever it was. He was in both Europe and then Japan for World War I. He would have stayed but that was the war to end all wars. He left but was very patriotic. My grandmother, his wife, served in WAAC. I was against the VietNam war because of the way it was handled but never against our soldiers. Never a flag burner. I would like there to be peace among people but I know that is a dream. Our soldiers protect us from the worse of what our enemies would do to us. Without a strong military we would not have what freedom we do manage to retain.l Sometimes I think our politicians are our worse enemies.

I have forgotten which general said that every boy (and In My Opinion every girl) should have to visit a battle ground and see what horrors war causes then prehaps we could end wars.

My thanks come from my heart and although I might protest a war I will always honor those who fight.

I saw live the second plane fly into the World Trade Center. Those people did not care who they killed they would not have stopped because a bunch of people protested. It is niave to assume that they will stop whatever we say or do.

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PostSubject: Re: 1960 The American Dream   Sun May 22, 2011 1:20 am

And yet 9/11 lead to the Patriot Act, Guantanamo, the alleged WMDs and the war on Irak (which had nothing to do with fighting terrorism).

War begets war and like a wise man once said "an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."

When I think about 9/11 I can't help establishing a connection with what had happened in Santiago de Chile in 1973. I understand this is a sensitive subject but I don't think it's a coincidence.

I can't imagine what it must have been like to serve in a war as a young man. The French started the Vietnam war and we're still trying to come to terms with what happened in Algeria during the Independence war.

My great grandfather lost his two brothers in the first world war. I'm grateful that I didn't have to make the same sacrifice. In a perfect world nobody should have to.

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PostSubject: Re: 1960 The American Dream   Sun May 22, 2011 3:05 am

As long as nation or group of people insist that their way is the only way we will have war. Doesn't matter what the form of government is forcing our goverment or eithics or culture on others only leads to conflict. I do believe that people have a right to protect themselves but insisting that we are right and those who don't agree with us are evil is wrong especially when it is done by force.

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PostSubject: Re: 1960 The American Dream   Sun May 22, 2011 3:20 am

And Thus Bethesda said it correctly:
"War Never Changes."

But they left out part of it:
"Only the faces do."
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PostSubject: Re: 1960 The American Dream   Sun May 22, 2011 7:10 am

The "war never changes" line was already present in the first Fallout (by Interplay).

In his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell illustrated the fact that perpetual war could be a means to unite and thus control populations thanks to an elusive enemy to be feared and hated.

Such a siege mentality was a hallmark of the Cold War. Now, the Cold War has been replaced by other wars but the result is the same. People are kept in line by fear and the government is allowed to infringe upon individual rights for the sake of the greater good. It happened with McCarthyism and it happened with the so-called Patriot Act.

It's ironic when you consider great American thinkers like Emerson and Thoreau who were part of the Transcendentalist movement focusing on the individual's need to avoid conformity and reject dogmatism (to summarize).

The notions of Self-reliance and Civil Disobedience can't be dissociated from American history.

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PostSubject: Re: 1960 The American Dream   Mon May 23, 2011 3:46 pm

It seems that Self-reliance and Civil Disobediance are history. Although we still do have some rights under the Constitution bit nabt oeioke wukk yse Civil Disobediance these days. As far Self-Reliance goes many people want the Government to take care of them and protect them from all kinds of things.

I really do not like Big Goverment. It has gotten out of hand interfering in peoples lives and causing more problems than it solves.

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