In the 1950s and 1960s I grew from a boy of 5 to a young man of 25. These two decades were, indeed, formative ones. I often reflect on these years as we all do on our childhood, adolescence and young adulthood. These reflections are often more acute as we head into late adulthood and old age. The Kennedys on ABC1(1) television had a mnemonic and nostalgic effect on me as I gazed at a replay of some of the major events of the presidency of JFK, Jack Kennedy, in the years 1960 to 1963. These events have been endlessly repeated anecdotes in the last half century, anecdotes about Kennedy, his women and his administration's crises dominate this series.
The background of the period, the wider society and the major aspects of its contemporaneity took a back seat in this telemovie. The focus in this episodic four part series was squarely on The Kennedys and the more than five hours of visual stimulus took me back to my mid-to-late teens. I was a hippy back then, 15 in 1960 and 25 years of age by 1970, part of that sixties generation. -Ron Price with thanks to (1)ABC1, 22 and 29 May as well as 5 and 12 June, Sundays, 8:30 to 10:00 p.m.
Thanks, Bruce, for your illuminating(1)
analysis, for that background, to this
telemovie which I've enjoyed these
last several weeks…You say that the
period was dominated by a reform-
minded, bipartisan, consensus liberalism,
classical liberalism's last hurrah, as you(1)
put it. And there was all that talk about a
new world order, sex and the single girl,(2)
Betty Friedan's Feminine Mystique(3) &
more talk of oneness. Did anyone know about
the election of the Universal House of Justice?
1 Bruce Bawer, "The Other Sixties," The Wilson Quarterly: Surveying the World of Ideas, Spring 2004.
2 Helen Gurley Brown wrote this book in 1962 the year my travelling-pioneering life began in and for the Canadian Baha'i community.
3 Betty Friedan's Feminine Mystique was published in 1963.
4 June 2011
Watching The Kennedys on ABC11 last night took me back to the land of nostalgia. President Kennedy gave an inspiring speech at American University's spring commencement on June 10, 1963. It was less than six weeks after the first global and democratic election of the apex of Baha'i administration. I have been associated with this new world Faith for nearly sixty years. In this speech Kennedy called on the Soviet Union to work with the United States to achieve a nuclear test ban treaty and help reduce the considerable international tensions and the spectre of nuclear war at that time. The Kennedys series did not make mention of this speech, indeed, much of the background in society in the years 1960 to 1963 were not included in this TV docudrama.
But the series did conclude with the assassination of both brothers, JFK and RFK, in 1963 and 1968 respectively. I pondered yet again what North American society and the world has pondered now for nearly half a century. Why the assassinations? Four years ago The New York Times published Alan Brinkley's review of David Talbot's book Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years.2 Alan Brinkley is a professor of history and at Columbia University.-Ron Price with thanks to 1ABC1, 8:30-10:00 p.m., 12 June 2011; and 2 Alan Brinkley, The New York Times, 20 May 2007.
You1 explored the conspiracy
scenarios, the vast literature,
David…..You told us how you
thought the Kennedys tried to
change the world……...Well, we
thought we were back then, eh?
We were the hippies, the flower-
power, counter culture and there
was a clash with the forces of the
past…..I survived by the skin-of-my-
teeth and all that Kennedy stuff was
a backdrop music-noise to my battles
with life back then. You said, David….
that "history cracked open" on that
22/11/'63 in a world-changing death2
as I was 1/3rd of the way through first
year of my arts degree and 1/5th of the
way into episodes of a bipolar disorder.
I missed entirely that 10 June '63 speech3
six weeks after the Baha'is won a unique
victory4 because I was a milk-man, a book
salesman or was it a janitor? It was all a
life-time ago, David, and few Downunder
whom I meet now know or care about it.
1 David Talbot's book and discussed in Alan Brinkley's review cited above.
2 A quotation from Talbot's book.
4 Century of Light, prepared under the supervision of the Universal House of Justice, Baha'i World Centre, 2001, p. 92.
13 June 2011
Edited 3 total times.