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The hour of the rough beast is come

“It was a strange time in American history, a time when many seemingly unrelated events were combining to shake the very foundations of our most cherished institutions. It was a time of the Beatles and sub-orbital flights, of civil rights marches in the deep South, and black-and-white TV. After the simple satisfaction of the fifties and the patriotic frenzy of the New Frontier, and after the Bay of Pigs, and the Cuban missile crisis, and that day in Dallas, we all felt some kind of ominous tension. Even our high school teachers had seemed somewhat bewildered. You couldn’t watch police dogs attacking blacks on the evening news and believe the United States was the land of the free and the home of the brave. You used to think the Commies were far away, but then they showed up ninety miles from Florida. You used to think boys had short hair, but then the British invaded, and you looked at history books, and there really wasn’t anything wrong with long hair. The grown-ups objected, then suggested you go to church, and Christ’s hair was on his shoulders, and everything seemed suspect. They spoke of obligations to your country and whispered about tax breaks. They told you to defend freedom and then used cattle prods on the Freedom Riders in Alabama.” – John Ketwig, …and a hard rain fell

Published inJohn KetwigPolitics & LawThe Vietnam War

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