If we were all just doing drugs and having sex…

…then we’d all be smiling on on our brothers. At least, that’s what video historians of the 60’s would have us believe.

That’s the problem with my generation. We have a perception that we missed out on the naked, puddle-swimming, have clean sex in a dirty tent while sharing a good toke off the hookah good times. And frankly, we’re pissed off about it.

About the time most of us were losing our virginity, the world was waking up to some very good reasons why we should keep our hoo-hahs in our collective pants. About the time most of us went looking for something with which to experiment, a movie cowboy’s wife-turned first lady was telling us to say unh-uh. About the time we were trying to find our musical voice, Dee Snider was feeling depressed and giving up on Twisted Sister. It wouldn’t be long before Oliver Stone would make a movie starring that guy from Real Genius as Jim Morrision. This is the end, my only friend, yada yada, yada.

If this were a real gripe about missing out on the 60’s, it would be about time to start lamenting the sad state of our musical and sexual affairs. However, this is not a real gripe about that.

Thing is…I have a sneaking suspicion that the 60’s weren’t that great for most people. I don’t know. I have no proof, but I’m guessing that the legends of the 60’s are perpetuated by people who like to make money off nostalgia; conspiracy theorists; and people who aren’t sure we ever landed on the moon in the first place. I wasn’t born until right after Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix all gave up the ghost. I grew up with the rest of my generation trying to figure out what a Bee-Gee was and what it had to do with getting some “act-shon.” So, I guess I have little room to doubt the beauty of the 60’s.

My focus is wandering here…so before I turn into Gloria Gaynor…the point:

I haven’t found many happy people in the last few weeks. I like to find happy people, people who smile on their brothers, people who…if they can’t be with the one they love…love the one they’re with. For a long time I felt like I was rolling around with these people in a dirty tent. Seems like in the last few weeks, all of those people have bagged up their tents, started paying three dollars for a bottle of water, and started sniping about perceived injustices done to them.

In short…the happy hikers of yesteryear are the people with blisters on their feet today.

I don’t know if people really liked each other more in the 60’s than they do now. Looking back at the civil rights struggle, the assassination schedule, and the Vietnam War, I have to imagine…happy times were a commodity that didn’t sit on store shelves long.

But…damn it, if their songs didn’t make it sound like people were happy.

If you need me, I’ll be in my tent.

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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