Friday, January 16, 2009

The Sixties

In the late sixties I had an uncle who was a Benedictine monk. He made a name for himself in monk circles. Got into meditation and mantras. He came back from the states for a visit and he asked me if I had seen the movie Easyrider which had just been released. I said I had just seen it twice; two days in a row. So he asked me what I thought of it and so on and I asked him what he thought and he said that after seeing the movie, it had such an effect on him that he took off his watch and either gave it away or threw it away— I don't remember which. This had a profound effect on me. Here was a guy, clearly from the older generation who was totally hip to the idea that time actually didn't exist.
He talked about America and the rock concerts there which hadn't even started in Ireland and were just barely coming to the UK. He saw them as a huge youth movement that was sweeping the nation with change. He said all you could hear at these concerts was the throbbing of the bass, and all you could see was a giant cloud of marijuana smoke.
Here was a country at war having attacked the Vietnamese and everybody at home was getting stoned and I wanted to be there in this land where the monks threw away their watches and the soldiers threw away their medals.

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