Terence Blacker: You still gotta stick it to The Man, man

 

Share
Related Topics

One by one, the chicks and dudes of yesteryear are having their say. They are part of a lucky generation, never having had to fight a war, catching a wave of personal liberation four and a half decades ago, and now checking out before things get too heavy on Planet Earth.

They have never been short of opinions. In the 1960s, they started using stroppy imperatives – Make love, not war! Give peace a chance! Never trust anyone over 30! – and have continued to pronounce bossily about this and that ever since.

Some of them are still famous, and are letting off one last blast of opinion in their memoirs. Keith Richards looked back and concluded that "life is an experiment, and it's just a matter of getting the alchemical or chemical combination right". Jilly Cooper has revised a guide to love and marriage. Joanna Lumley has been laying down the law, too. It is just fine for an older woman to wear clothes designed for teenagers, she has said. As for the idea that she should have short hair after the age of 40, "bollocks to that! I want my hair long and I'm going to keep my long hair".

The point about the advice of those who had a busy and exciting time during the Sixties and Seventies is that it is liberating and sensible, and disproves the tired cliché, so beloved of politicians and rent-a-gob moralists in the press, that many of today's ills were somehow germinated by the attitudes of 45 years ago. It is worth remembering how many of the slogans of those years have been proved true over time.

Let it all hang out. Surely only the dreariest killjoy can still argue against the all-hang-out option. Joanna Lumley with her hot pants and long hair, Ronnie Wood with his young girlfriend, Lulu skipping about on Strictly Come Dancing: each in their own way has proved that to put dignity before fun, to "act one's age", is a sort of death.

Take time to smell the flowers. Yes, Chris Grayling, Yvette Cooper, Danny Alexander – it's you we're talking to. Your glazed, ambitious eyes, your Whitehall pallor, your aversion to anything resembling a joke all tell the same story. It has been a long time since you lingered by the flower-bed. Attend to your careers, but remember this great truth. Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans.

Stick it to The Man. For years, the old hippies have been warning you about The Man. And what happened in 2008? The Man did his thing and the world paid the price. "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss," was the way the old warning went, but no one was listening. "Won't get fooled again"? Some hope.

Up against the wall, redneck mother. This suggestion may have been a little crude in policy terms, but it showed an impassioned commitment to politics which subsequent generations have failed to match. With even more redneck mothers around today than ever, often wearing Armani suits and advising the Government, this cheery call to arms remains relevant.

If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with. One of the most useful legacies of the alternative generation was the blurring of boundaries between love for mankind and love for someone with whom you would like to have sex as soon as possible. When the two became confused, infidelity became an act of global altruism. There has been a lot of this kind of love over the past few decades, and very beautiful it was, too.

Kick out the jams. Nobody has ever discovered what the jams were, nor why it was so imperative to kick them out, but the message was repeated on virtually every radio show of the time. We should play safe and keep kicking them out. After all, the Sixties generation have been right about everything else.

www.terenceblacker.com

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Pensions Administrator

£23000 - £26000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: I am currently recruiting level 3 n...

Are you a Teacher interested in Special Needs?

£110 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Are you a qualified Teacher w...

**ESOL**

£60 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Preston: The Job:* The Tutor will prepar...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Photo issued by Flinders University of an artist's impression of a Microbrachius dicki mating scene  

One look at us Scots is enough to show how it was our fishy ancestors who invented sex

Donald MacInnes
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp  

Oscar Pistorius sentence: Judge Masipa might have shown mercy, but she has delivered perfect justice

Chris Maume
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album