“The 60’s” are remembered as the golden age of rock and roll. It was the music of a generation on the edge and part of that edge was the politics of the time which meshed so easily it was hard to differentiate between artist and audience. Which was the mirror, and which was the reflection? It was the music of the experience of the times. We’re now living through one of the most politically volatile times in American history. We have to ask where is the outrage that pushed kids to protest in the streets, to know who and what the establishment was and know they didn’t want to be part of it (the irony, those youths are now the powers that be)? We’re now in the midst of political times to rival the chaos and themes of the 60’s, civil rights are endangered, we have a president abusing power to his own ends, we have politicians who are literally and unapologetically corrupt and criminal. Where is the electrified counterpoint to this establishment?
There are some voices out in the wilderness, a few that come easily to mind are the women of the Woman’s March, the Parkland shooting survivors, the Black Lives Matter movement, the LGBQT community, teachers protesting for the ability to make a living teaching. But they need a unifying voice, they may have different goals and aspirations, but they need a voice of their generation to focus the message, someone not to lead but to give the feeling of unity that they’re all in it together, a voice that says, “you fucked it up, let us try.” Or have the youth become too afraid of the establishment or are they too much invested in the establishment?
Bob Dylan sang songs that spoke to the humanity and dignity of all men during the civil rights era, Neil Young wrote and released Ohio within weeks of the Kent State shootings, Young also addressed racism in Southern Man, The Doors protested war in The Unknown Soldier, Jimi Hendrix titled an instrumental Peace in Mississippi. Where is the poet that speaks with the voice of this generation?