Monday, August 29, 2011

Jon Voight on the sixties

Jon Voight
American actor Jon Voight was asked in an interview about the culture of the 1960s. His response is interesting:

It was a disturbing time. When I look back, we were all in confusion. I have to say, I think we were traumatized because we had our great president [John F. Kennedy], whom we believed in so deeply, this great young man of Camelot—and it was dashed by an assassin's bullet. Then, a couple of years later, it was [U.S. Senator] Bobby [Kennedy] and Martin Luther King [Jr., who were both assassinated in 1968]. That set off a tremor that we really didn't know how to deal with. We were traumatized in the Sixties and all of that behavior—the dancing in circles, the smoking pot and saying "all we need is love"—it was because we couldn't identify evil; we couldn't believe in evil—we didn't want to believe in evil so we just hid from it. It was a very disturbing time. Some of it—let everybody do their thing and all that stuff—was OK in terms of getting to the truth of things and that was a nice energy. But, really, overwhelmingly, it was a very bizarre, selfish and hedonistic philosophy that wasn't very helpful. It attacked the family—the attack on the family was very severe because not only was there this idea of [indiscriminate love] and that would solve the world's problems, which gave rise to teen pregnancy, but also this idea not to trust anyone over 30. This was from people who were over 30 and bombed out of their minds with every kind of drug they could put into their system. Then there was the romanticization of the drugs—there were people coming out with [pseudo] scientific evidence that [drugs] increase your enlightenment—it was devastating. Today, I find that people look back at that time in a romantic way and that's as dangerous as anything is. It wasn't a romantic time. It was a time of great distortion.

Voight seems to have grown up in a liberal milieu (which would explain the idealisation of the Kennedys) but he doesn't look back nostalgically on the 60s and he thinks it's a mistake to romanticise the era.

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