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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 1:49 pm 
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[quote]And that, I think, was the handle -- that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point of fighting--on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave . . .

So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark --- that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back."[quote]


It intrigues me that Hunter uses the word 'handle' in that way. I actually don't quite get his meaning in that useage, so if anyone has insight into that, please enlighten me.

I like how he capitalized Old and Evil but not forces. Old and Evil seems to me to be the status quo, the staid, the unchangeable. That there didn't have to be a revolution or a war between the generations, but an evolution by riding that momentum. I think a feeling that change was inevitable.

Then I think he's saying that change only went so far, maybe not far at all. Maybe not even beyond the insular group of people partying in Cali. It didn't touch Vegas, home to some terrible visions of the worst of Middle America and his own version of what he considered to be a political and cultural nightmare.

Just IMHO, of course. I am very curious how y'all see it.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 1:53 pm 
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Liz wrote:


Interesting perspective on why they left SF, QoK. Where did Bear live?


In the mid-60s he was in SF for a time. Then Mexico, and Jail. Then I don't know. Last 12-13 years, Australia. At least, last I heard.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 1:58 pm 
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Oh yeah, Hunter says you can only see where the wave broke with "the right kind of eyes."

I take that to mean people without blinders on. Those who didn't have their heads buried in the sand. That a whole lot of people still didn't realize it was futile.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 2:04 pm 
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QueenofKings wrote:
Oh yeah, Hunter says you can only see where the wave broke with "the right kind of eyes."

I take that to mean people without blinders on. Those who didn't have their heads buried in the sand. That a whole lot of people still didn't realize it was futile.


I was taking it a touch differently--I took it more generally as those who look beyond the surface. But I think you may be right.



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 2:11 pm 
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luvdepp, I agree with your metaphor of the 60's and 70's.

The most powerful part of the Wave for me is:

"And that, I think, was the handle -- that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point of fighting--on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave . . ."

We were simply right and it was so obvious that we were right that it seemed so inevitable that it would only be a matter of time before the rest of the country realized that we were speaking the Truth. We had to be right because the forces of Old and Evil were trying so hard to silence us and show we were wrong. There was incredible optimism. And I think that is what happened to the 70's, we found out we weren't going to prevail and that there were splinters and people out to manipulate the culture or just be a part of it to be in fashion without really caring what it was all about. However, I do think people were awakened to some realities of the time and that society was changed. The pendulum always swings back to some middle ground when it stops but it leaves its mark.

QofK, my take on the word handle is the literal meaning. That is what we had to hang on to, the sense we were right.

I interpreted "the right kind of eyes" to mean if you had been a part of it you could see it. If you never understood the Wave, you couldn't see the impression it left.



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 2:35 pm 
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QofK wrote:

Quote:
It intrigues me that Hunter uses the word 'handle' in that way. I actually don't quite get his meaning in that useage, so if anyone has insight into that, please enlighten me.


I would think of a handle as a way of safely holding or touching something potentially dangerous. Is this what he meant here? The idea that the times had brought dangerous changes, ones that most peple liked the sound of, but the reality could have been too dangerous?

Quote:
..that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil.


A sense of inevitable victory, not a reality. I think that the human species as a whole dislikes change. Old or evil those forces may have been, but change was scarier for most people. I think that most people in that time were glad that society didn't change that much, and they could carry on being complacent about their basically comfortable lives.

More rambling, I'm afraid.



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 2:42 pm 
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I know I'm obsessed with F. Scott Fitzgerald, but hey, so was HST. I think the "high water mark" was not only "the peak" but also "the high white note” (F. Scott Fitzgerald). Here is an excerpt from a letter to Lynn Nesbit, his agent, July 15, 1968 (from Fear and Loathing in America):

“It occurred to me the other night that I should probably concentrate all my current efforts on the The Rum Diary, because I doubt I’ll recognize any part of it if I wait another year. As a hopelessly American writer, I’d be foolish to waste that moment of high drama and terrible understanding, that “high white note,”—as Mr. Fitzgerald heard it, that has to die on the way up, because there’s no way it can come down. It’s a note that , after a certain point in time and action, you never hear again…which is why nearly all good American novels are written by….WATERHEADS!”



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 2:50 pm 
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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:
However, I do think people were awakened to some realities of the time and that society was changed. The pendulum always swings back to some middle ground when it stops but it leaves its mark.


DITHOT, I may be a dreamer, but I believe that. I don't think it was all for nothing. I think it/they made a difference.

DITHOT wrote:
QofK, my take on the word handle is the literal meaning. That is what we had to hang on to, the sense we were right.


This makes sense to me. I'm glad QofK brought it up (was it QofK?) because I wondered what it meant.

DITHOT wrote:
I interpreted "the right kind of eyes" to mean if you had been a part of it you could see it. If you never understood the Wave, you couldn't see the impression it left.


I love the way you expressed that. :cool:



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 2:53 pm 
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Endora wrote:
Quote:
..that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil.


A sense of inevitable victory, not a reality. I think that the human species as a whole dislikes change. Old or evil those forces may have been, but change was scarier for most people. I think that most people in that time were glad that society didn't change that much, and they could carry on being complacent about their basically comfortable lives.

More rambling, I'm afraid.


Not rambling, Endora. I agree with that. Change can be threatening, risky.



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 3:06 pm 
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Quote:
Endora wrote: A sense of inevitable victory, not a reality. I think that the human species as a whole dislikes change. Old or evil those forces may have been, but change was scarier for most people. I think that most people in that time were glad that society didn't change that much, and they could carry on being complacent about their basically comfortable lives.


Absolutely, Endora. That is why society didn't change that much in the long run. I don't think any force that is considered "radical" for it's time is ever going to succeed 100 percent for that very reason. But, I do believe it leaves an impression and some change in its wake.



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 3:25 pm 
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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:
Quote:
Endora wrote: A sense of inevitable victory, not a reality. I think that the human species as a whole dislikes change. Old or evil those forces may have been, but change was scarier for most people. I think that most people in that time were glad that society didn't change that much, and they could carry on being complacent about their basically comfortable lives.


Absolutely, Endora. That is why society didn't change that much in the long run. I don't think any force that is considered "radical" for it's time is ever going to succeed 100 percent for that very reason. But, I do believe it leaves an impression and some change in its wake.


You're certainly right about the impression, the ghost of what might have been being left in the corner of our lives. Just look at us all here, what a lot of us have been influenced, directly or indirectly, by the spirit of those times.

(Heading off to listen to BBC radio 2 now, JD being on in 10 minutes... link, if you need it...) http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 3:34 pm 
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Here's my take on the Wave Speech... remember, waves flow into shore then ebb..... then flow in again.

If you were a hippie, a freak, in the 60’s there was a sense of tribal belonging. I think by the early to mid 70’s (in my experience, obviously the good doctor saw it earlier) there was a fragmentation and polarization between groups of freaks. Weathermen vs. Black Panthers vs. Brown power. The racial civil rights movement vs. the women’s civil rights movement, etc. Back to nature Hippies vs. hyper-real Hell’s Angels. The question was, do you drop out and go underground or join and subvert from within?

The hippies just burned out. They became a parody of themselves. They became Halloween costumes. The rallying cry had been “Hell no we won’t go”… to Vietnam and the glue had been an intense hatred of Tricky Dick and everything he stood for. After 1973 it was all moot. (Here is an excellent timeline explaining, as succinctly as possible, the action in Vietnam as well as comments on US and world reactions. I think it’s fairly unbiased. http://www.landscaper.net/timelin.htm#time line )

Someone mentioned in another thread (forgive my bad memory…everything has it’s consequences.) that the war in Vietnam was more important in this book than is evident at first glance. I couldn’t agree more. So much of the strength of the ‘movement’ was that there was a clear and evident evil to fight against. (I don’t believe that our government will ever allow such open and public knowledge of it’s foreign affairs ever again… don’t get me started)

I think the Wave Speech, eloquently and beautifully, describes the tribal feel of idealism and hope evident in the Anti-establishment youth who chose to remain on the fringe and make lots of noise and their inevitable disintegration and integration into The Establishment. I say inevitable because this was a youth movement and only youth have the kinetic energy to move mountains with just a wish. The problem is that all youth inevitably grow up.

I think Hunter was acknowledging this special peak in history. I don't think he was mourning the passing of the 60's. It doesn't feel melancholy to me. After the ebb of one wave there is always another.

I haven’t really said anything different that what has already been posted, I guess. I thought QoK’s post was dead on. Interesting about Bear too. SF was such an amazing catalyst in that time.



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 3:52 pm 
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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:

I interpreted "the right kind of eyes" to mean if you had been a part of it you could see it. If you never understood the Wave, you couldn't see the impression it left.[/b]


I like that you use the word impression. Like footprints on a beach when the wave recedes. It's a perfect description.

Funny thing about change. I notice this a lot in everyday life around me: Change = Fear. Most people are afraid of change, but I prefer it to stagnancy. I guess that's why I read 3 or 4 books at a time, work on multiple projects and can't sit still unless I'm sleeping. But I notice people around me freaking out when their routine is disturbed.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 3:57 pm 
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Wow, this whole FALILV discussion is really opening my eyes up to the differences between Britain/Europe and America in the 60's and 70's, and earlier. Of course we were aware of stuff like the Vietnam war, Watergate and the civil rights movement but for us that stuff was happening somewhere else so I think that era was much less political for many of us here. Yes we cared, but it wasn't our brothers and boyfriends getting drafted, or our black friends fighting for equal rights.

I was watching a film about Dylan last night on TV (No Direction Home by Scorsese) and he talked about his early years, the duck-and-dive drills you people talked about and the sense of impending doom and the threat of the Russians/Commies. That stuff just didn't enter into my childhood, and I'd never really understood how much that stuff must have affected Americans growing up at that time.

Gotta go now. Will post more later



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 4:08 pm 
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JD101 wrote:
Here's my take on the Wave Speech... remember, waves flow into shore then ebb..... then flow in again.
I think Hunter was acknowledging this special peak in history. I don't think he was mourning the passing of the 60's. It doesn't feel melancholy to me. After the ebb of one wave there is always another.


I hadn't thought of it that way, but that is how waves go. :ohyes:



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