Post Modern and Contemporary Period in the United States

Topics: United States, Peace movement, Social movement Pages: 6 (2221 words) Published: August 30, 2010
The 1960s-1970s, the Peace Movement, the Hippie Movement, the Antiwar Movement, the Protest Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, the Postmodern and Contemporary period; These names, periods, epochs, eras, and movements all have different meanings, however they refer to the same time in history and the emotions related to it. For these purposes it will simply be called the Postmodern and Contemporary period in the United States. This epoch was one of peace, individualism, spiritualism, unity, change, progress, mass harmonic assemblies, war, death, destruction, discontent, fear, hope, expression, free speech, questioning, and development of the arts. The emotions of the period are now trapped in the literature and art we see today. In the Postmodern and Contemporary period of the United States, the previous and current diplomatic and military relations with other nations as well as domestic peace movements of the time generated an anti-war and pro-peace sentiment as we see in the literature and art of the period.

The Vietnam War was a major instigator for many of these ideas at the time. The foreign policy of the United States at the time was called by many critics as, "Vietnam Syndrome" and showed contempt and unwillingness to be over-involved in an "unwinnable and morally dubious war" (Mullin). To many of the supporters of the Vietnam war at home watching the protesters on T.V., the protesters looked bizarre, due to the media's biased reporting methods. "Focusing in on the bushiest beards, the longest hair, the grubbiest bellbottoms and sandals. Despite this public face of protest, opposition to the war was spreading rapidly" (Fighting the war at home). The supporters claimed that the United States had no business to intercede in a country with a corrupt and unpopular dictatorship such as North Vietnam. Many poets and artists who were also critical of governmental activity in Vietnam picked up on the mass political views of the people at the time, and incorporated it into their pieces of literature and art. This "propaganda" against the war in Vietnam furthered the cause, and encouraged others to join and break through the walls of ternary.

The Hippie movement shows the sentiment of the people in the United Stated at the time. The Hippie movement is commonly misunderstood and seen only as generation of rock and roll and drugs, however if you look deeper, you will see that the youth of the time "shared a commitment to political change" (Culture of Protest). To change the political agenda of the United States government, the youth had to first change the culture of the people. The Oxford English Dictionary defines a hippie as "a young person associated with a subculture which advocated peace and free love and adopted an unconventional appearance." One could argue that instead of a "subculture" hippies were associated with a "counterculture", because the majority of people in the United Stated supported peace and free love and adopted an untraditional appearance. This "untraditional" appearance was never more exploited than through the coverage on Woodstock.

Woodstock was one of the most memorable and revolutionary highpoints of the hippie movement. Woodstock was a concert featuring bands and musicians from all over the United States, and even the United Kingdom. In the "Culture of Protest: Woodstock", the author criticizes how "press coverage... often overlooked the real reason for the gathering: the music" and that the attendants of Woodstock were gathered for a musical commemoration of "peace, and love, the watchwords of the counter culture." Woodstock brought music and the hippie movement together. It showed the peace, love, and anti-war sentiment of the nation through music and unity. Music was influenced by the domestic culture of the period and the foreign relations of the United States.

Bob Dylan was one of the musicians that contributed to the success of Woodstock. Many see Bob Dylan...

Cited: "Antiwar Movement." Web. 18 Mar. 2010.
"Bob Dylan." Web. 16 Mar. 2010.
"Culture of Protest: Woodstock." Web. 23 Mar. 2010.
"Culture of Protest." Web. 23 Mar. 2010.
Dylan, Bob. "Blowin ' in the Wind." Writings and Drawings. New York: Knopf, 1985. 33. Print.
Dylan, Bob. "The Times They Are A-Changin '" Writings and Drawings. New York: Knopf, 1985. 85. Print.
"Fighting the War at Home, 1954-1975 (overview)." Web. 22 Mar. 2010.
Lennon, John. Imagine. München: Knesebeck, 2008. Print.
Lennon, John, and Yoko Ono. Give Peace a Chance. Lund: Bakhåll, 2007. Print.
Riboud, Marc. March for Peace in Vietnam. 1967. Photograph. Duncan Miller Gallery, Los Angeles,. Duncan Miller Gallery: MARC RIBOUD. Web. 23 Mar. 2010.
Mullin, Chris. "A Nation in Upheaval." Web. 22 Mar. 2010.
Scaduto, Anthony. Bob Dylan. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1972. Print.
Shelton, Robert. No Direction Home: the Life and Music of Bob Dylan. New York: Beech Tree, 1986. Print.
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