Sunday, April 01, 2007

Stoned and complicit

I'm enjoying Sixty Days and Counting by Kim Stanley Robinson, (also author of the delightful Escape From Kathmandu), although not as much as the first two books in the climatic disaster series, Forty Signs of Rain and Fifty Degrees Below. Robinson's books spend a lot of time in the character's heads, and this one is mostly in Frank's head which is not quite stable or functional. Unfortunately, Frank's dysfunctions result in circular obsessions, and I'm as tired of his indecisiveness as he is.

Back to the point though: Robinson has a passage in a chapter prologue that I think is the best description ever of the legacy of what is imprecisely called "the sixties":

" old hippie, you got lucky and were born in the right little window and got to grab all the surplus of happiness that history ever produced, and you blew it, you stood around and did nothing while the right reaganed back into power and shut down all possibility of change for an entire generation, you blew it in a ten-year party and staggered off stoned and complicit. You neither learned to do machine politics nor dismantled the machine. Not one of you imagined what had to be done. And so the backlash came down, the reactionary power structure, stronger than ever."


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