The Students Take Over
In talking about the Revolt of Youth we should never forget that we are dealing with a new concept. For thousands of years nobody cared what youth were doing. They weren’t news. They were minding.
They aren’t minding now. That isn’t news. They haven’t been minding since the days of…F. Scott Fitzgerald. In those days, they were cutting loose. In the thirties, they were joining up…. During the McCarthy Epoch and the Korean War, they were turning their backs and walking away. Today they are striking back. That is news. Nobody else is striking back.
–Kenneth Rexroth, July 2, 1960
Two Cheers for Kennedy
Vice President Nixon defends the record of the Administration in implementing cold-war policies and says he would do better; Senator Kennedy says he could do a lot, lot better….
…Both are opposed to the recognition of China;…neither has suggested that the Congressional inquisitorial committees should be curbed or abolished; neither acknowledges the existence of civil liberties as an issue. On civil rights…the Democratic nominee enjoy[s] a margin of preference….
Still a dilemma remains. New Nixon or old,…his consistent policy has been: never meet debate if you can stifle it…. In the past, his adherence to this method has not resulted in irreparable damage; in the future it might…. In the circumstances, there is only one way to cast an effective protest vote against Nixon and that is to mark a ballot for Senator Kennedy.
–Editorial, October 15, 1960
That torture became passé with the Inquisition is an illusion which the Algerian war has dispelled. In that gruesome conflict, the Algerians have specialized in assassination, the French in torture.
–Editorial, “The Efficacy of Terror,” November 12, 1960
Marilyn Monroe was supposed to be the Sex Goddess, but somehow no one, including, or indeed first of all, herself, ever believed it. Rather, she was a comedienne impersonating the American idea of the Sex Goddess…. Her performances indicated that while sex is certainly fun, and often funny, it is only one of many games. Others include the use of the intelligence.
–Lincoln Kirstein, August 25, 1962
Pellet of Nihilism
An act of cynicism, because it is immoral rather than amoral, still carries the seeds of its own salvation; no matter how despicable, it is still the act of a man. The execution of [Caryl] Chessman, however, was an act of insect-morality, carried out in a moral vacuum; it seemed to lack even the possible medieval dignity of vengeance or the possible sick strength of sadism; in terms of cultural tragedy, it felt like the last twist of the knife.