Sex, Drugs & Rock Criticism

Richard Goldstein On the 60’s

Above is a Rolling Stone interview with music critic Richard Goldstein, who has been working since 1966.  I was interested by some of the social commentary in the interview.  A sample (Especially read the second part of the answer, where I feel he is dead right.):

There seemed to be some disappointment in the book, a feeling and desire for change that maybe didn’t quite come through.

I think the Sixties produced a lot of changes. Multiculturalism comes from the Sixties. So does feminism, gay liberation, environmentalism, sexual freedom in general — even veggie burgers. A lot of things people take for granted today come from that decade. Most people had better lives as a result of the Sixties. But what didn’t change is the social justice agenda: equality. We’re less equal than we were as a society, and certainly racial justice has never been achieved. This was a huge priority. Almost everything of importance in the Sixties had something to do with race, including the music. Black music became front and center in a major way — black music by black people. And that’s never changed.

All of the things that did change were economically profitable. Multiculturalism created a new market. Feminism has, unfortunately, meant a cheap labor force. Gay liberation, gay marriage, means a new wedding industry. The things that didn’t change are things that demand that you give people money. Like racial justice. It means there has to be a program that redresses poverty — so it costs money. Same with economic equality: You have to tax people and distribute the wealth. These things failed. So to the extent that we thought we were changing the world…we were only making new markets. And we ended up as an advance force for the free-market economy. Maybe this is the way things work in history; I’m not saying we failed. But I certainly think our major goals in terms of justice were defeated.

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