Cultural Icons and the Impact of the Peace Movement

Joseph Parish

America has elevated the peace movement to a cult status. Many of the initial players in this movement have been promoted to icon status as we move into a new dimension of understanding. We now find the peace sign as a symbol of the 60s and a reminder of what the era stood for with its opposition to the Vietnam War. This anti-war counterculture developed first in America and quickly began to spread throughout most of the Western world. There was a drastic increase in the movement’s popularity as our authorities increased our military intervention in Southeast Asia.

With the baby boom from the previous war, we were seeing an increase in the number of young, disillusioned youths who were attempting to influence the direction and path America was traveling. There was widespread use of marijuana as well as psychoactive drugs. The age of Timothy Leary was upon us and his “Tune in, turn on and Drop out.” We began seeing various musical leaders emerging under the guise of anti-war. College campuses were becoming war zones as the police and students fought their disagreements violently. Typical of this was the Kent State massacre. American was going through a period of turmoil and civil unrest was becoming common. To view the events from that era we discover the political activism of the young people in the college atmosphere to be a strong influence upon our culture. The tragic shooting, which took place at Kent State tossed the country into a downward spiral causing public opinion to disfavor increasing the war in Vietnam. The events caused a national student strike to take effect and closed hundreds of colleges around the country. Opposition to the war created many sub-leaders in the war for peace. We find people such as Abbie Hoffman, David Dellinger or Rennie Davis was stepping up to accept responsibilities towards stopping the war.

This era and the desire to stop the war were quickly creating several icons in the entertainment business as well. John Lennon was extremely vocal in his calls to halt the bombing and declare a state of peace. Youth groups everywhere were demanding the halt to the fighting. These protests were like a huge wave of dissatisfaction going from the east coast cities to the west. The Scott McKenzie’s 1967 rendition of the song “San Francisco” engrossed as many as 100,000 youths to celebrate the Summer Love Festival held in San Francisco. This musical gathering became an instant hit. There were many personalities present such as the Grateful Dead, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Country Joe and the Fish, Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and the Holding Company. The Beatles were busy peddling the interests of LSD in their songs.

The music of the sixties came in a variety of shapes, styles, and colors so to speak. The Beatles readily admitted that they were influenced by such greats as Bob Dylan, who was an avid spokesperson for marijuana use and a prominent protest singer. He, in turn, has publicly stated that he was inspired by none other than Pete Seeger and the great Woody Guthrie. Folksingers sang of the events of the war and included such well-known names as Joan Baez and Peter, Paul, and Mary.

It was Dylan who was responsible for the introduction of electrics in the rock scene with his decision to use an electric guitar at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965. This electronic sound was molded into mainstream music by groups such as the 13th Floor Elevators, Pink Floyd and the Beatles. Contributors to the ultimate sounds included the successful groups like Big Brother and the Holding Company, Blues Project, Doors, Frank Zappa, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendricks, Mamas & the Papas, Melanie, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Santana and Sly and the Family Stone.

From the above information, we can see that not only was Dylan instrumental in the progress of the peace movement, but many other groups made their own contribution to the pot as well. In my opinion, there was no limit on the endless variety of musical sounds from this period of history. I have always said that I was glad to have grown up in that time period.

Joseph Parish
My name is Joseph Parish. I am also known as "Word Writer", a freelance writer who specializes in a host of subjects from survival and emergency actions to gardening. Over the years, I have found that many people involved in the subject of survival claim an attraction towards the subject they practice. A few of them have really meant it. Fewer still have put their life into it and shown their true feelings about the subject. I attended the American Public University, specializing in Emergency Management and Terrorism. I have written one book on terrorism entitled “The Mind of a Terrorist”, and it is available on Amazon. I was brought up in southern New Jersey and attended school in the Millville area, graduating from the Millville Senor High school in 1966. By the time I graduated, I was hooked upon entering the United States Air Force. I was determined to enter the military and pursue a field of study in the area of electronics. I initially attended a course in Aircraft Radio Repair at Kessler Air Force Base in Mississippi. Later, I was trained as a Ground Radio Repairman. Little did I realize that this course of training would eventually lead him into the Forward Air Control Career field. I remained in the military for 21 years, at which time I visited many foreign countries as well as just about all 50 states in America. In 1987, I decided that it was time to get out of the military and retire from active duty. It was at this time that I made a quantum career leap; combining my, military electronics training with my love of Aircraft, I became employed by TRW Aerospace in Redondo Beach California. The company was involved in developing and manufacturing various space craft units and satellites for the government. I will readily admit that the company was one of the greatest places I had ever worked, and really hated to leave the company, but I decided to depart the area. I have developed many interesting and cherished friendships while learning survival techniques, particularly those that dealt with earthquakes. Unfortunately, the area was not the best place to bring up children in and upon the conclusion of my contract with TRW, I returned to the east coast. Upon my return to the New Jersey area, I began teaching school for several years. I generally taught Junior High subjects, such as science and math. After getting involved in the teaching of young minds, I was informed that a close relative in Florida was ill and required help. Without hesitation, I headed to the sunshine state to assist. While in Florida I was employed as an RF Amplifier Engineer. Eventually the crisis which had brought me to Florida was over, and I was once again heading back up north, only this time to the state of Delaware. Here I worked as a mainframe computer operator for a major chicken producer until I decided that it was time for me to permanently retire. I decided to take a slightly different route. I was attracted to the topic of survival because of my love for the military and my field of work while I was active duty. When 9-11 took place in America, there was a rise in the popularity of survival preparations which led to both government and private citizens being concerned about survival. These people and agencies had the freedom to select the various topics relating to the subject and the followers began to flock to them because of their knowledge and values. By the end of 2007, various internet websites began cropping up relating to survival. One such website was mine. Being a part-time newspaper reporter in New Jersey years ago, I would create my own form of written articles. My first exposure to "survival" came as an Air Force Forward Air Controller (ROMAD) during my 21 years in the military. I have served as a unit Safety NCO, Emergency Preparedness NCO and other related duties. Some of my safety related articles had been published in the Air Force Safety Manual. Over the years I have taken courses ranging from FEMA sponsor classes to “Aircraft aviation” courses in my efforts to become more informed on survival techniques and procedures. I am a firm believer that you must be ready for any sort of emergency and above all you simply cannot rely upon the government to help you during times of crisis. I am a follower of the philosophy that you should continue to learn as much as you possibly can and believe that when you stop learning you are simply dead. I am currently an active volunteer in the Delaware Medical Reserve Corp, participating in the Delaware Bat Monitoring Program and the Terrapin Rescue. I previously was a Red Cross volunteer working with the Emergency Management Section of the organization. My hobby is gardening and I have my own greenhouse. I love experimenting with the propagation of plants. Many of my articles center around the topic of gardening. I look forward to accepting assignments from potential clients. Feel free to contact me at (302) 404-5976.

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