The Dead and American Culture

Re: The Dead and American Culture

Postby Charlie » Tue Aug 02, 2011 6:22 pm

zambiland wrote:
pfarrell615 wrote:ok mabey 95 might have been alittle late for innocence but it was certianly not post 9/11,foriegnly saturated, pre bankrupt,crackberry,shrunken middle class, rude,egocentric,consumer freak,american idol rap gulf full of oil, SHIT WE HAVE TODAY


1995 was right in the middle of everything you say. It started in the 80s with Ronald Reagan and his Grover Norquist inspired movement to shift the wealth to the wealthy and "shrink government to the size where it could be drowned in the bathtub." The conservatives have been trying to repeal the New Deal ever since it happened and Ronnie Raygun was their man. HW Bush helped and Clinton made it even worse with NAFTA and other free market lies. For those of us that were aware of what was going on in the 80s and 90s, we could tell that we'd end up where we are now. If you only read one book this year, it should be The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein. Then learn about how life really did change after the Wagner Act in 1935 and how that created the middle class. Then, study how the wealthy did their best to destroy labor, which destroyed the American Dream. This debt ceiling agreement, signed today, is the real fulcrum of before and after. We are now on the direct path to becoming a third world country, where an oligarchy of the very wealthy live on the backs of the rest of the country. All the things you mention are but symptoms of the real economic warfare that started with Ronnie. The GD were a life outside of that reality, a welcome relief, however, they were not immune from darkness that existed throughout their whole existence. Innocence is an ideal, not a reality, just like free market capitalism, communism and the perfect cappucino. Lovely, and fleeting.


As an outsider I find many aspects of American politics culture quite mystifying, but the main one is why so many working/middle class Americans vote against their own economic interests. You guys seem to have this morbid fear of taxation and and any type of state based assistance to your population is branded as "socialism", which was apparently the spawn of the devil. I would argue that in many cases taxes are OK and worth paying as long as the appropriate services are being provided for your tax dollar.

Australia and most northern European states have systems in place that offer a safety net to thier citizens in case of unemployment and disability and most have state subsidised health schemes which offer at least a minimum level of medical treatment and access to subsidised medicines. These are not bad things, and in Australia at least the majority of the population is happy to contribute to their maintainance through taxes. Yes it costs money, and yes some people abuse the welfare system, but what you get in return is a stable and relatively peaceful society where people are generally not forced to turn to crime in order to survive.
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Re: The Dead and American Culture

Postby tcsned » Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:46 am

As someone who has studied US history and world history pretty extensively I would say that the concept of an "age of innocence" has less to do with the time period than being something that all generations go through as young adults enter the "real world." The loss of innocence usually coincided with young people being sent off to war. Some generations were spared this as those of us who came of age between Vietnam and the Gulf Wars were. Every generation loses its innocence in one way or another. In addition, every generation has its time to go out and explore the world. For many, this was going to war or going to the city to find work or going off on to explore the world. Not that this pioneer spirit is uniquely American there is a strong streak of this that has always been a part of American culture. The Grateful Dead served this purpose for most of us. Well, for most on this board it was first and foremost about the music but it also served as an adventure of hopping into car and going to a new place and having as much fun on the journey as in reaching the destination.
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Re: The Dead and American Culture

Postby Rojack01 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:22 pm

The Grateful Dead's Impact on American culture goes way deeper then the "counter culture" that flourished around them and their music. Robert Hunter's lyrics draw on images and ideas that are deeply ingrained in the American experience that our ancestors more so then us, experienced. One reason those lyrics and ideas resonate with us is our genetic memory. In Greil Marcus's words, its "The Old Weird America"
The Reason those songs are still important is because they remind us of what it used to mean to be American. A lot of it is lust, greed, longing, spite, love and hate all in the context of a christian up-bringing that taught us that denial of self was the path to righteousness. A lot of those songs are about Americans who know they are flawed and doing the wrong things because they had to, if they ever hope to get a sniff of the "American Dream"
Those songs seemed to be set in the past when they were written. Even then things were different. Now the secret is out. America is about money. The people at the top have always been about money, it just wasn't so easy to see cloaked in the rhetoric of freedom and independence. As the decades have passed, more of us can see that money and power was at the center of it the whole time. Now, kids don't dream of what they want to be when they grow up, they dream of what they are going to have.
If I had to pick a time that as a nation we lost our innocence. I would have to say from the time that JFK got shot till Ford pardoned Nixon. Its all downhill from there
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Re: The Dead and American Culture

Postby philipsteele » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:09 pm

Yea some grateful Dead are played very impact on the American success history..the american society essays contains their different types of cultures, music and other civilisations info...this was one of the main things I was going to look into...
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