Although the people who rewrite history have been busily rewriting that period of time known as ‘The Sixties’ (in actuality primarily the years between 1965 and 1973), those of us who came of age back then know that, whereas politics and protests were a part of it, in the end they were only, at best, a small part of the intensity going on. We know from our lived experience that this era was indeed a special moment in time. A short window when it was almost taken for granted that a new world was being born. A blink of an eye before dull hedonism took over, when ‘sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll’ were almost innocent pleasures.
And this new little organization is by no means an attempt to romanticize or relive the era. Rather it arises from an understanding that, no matter where on the political or cultural spectrum we were back then, and no matter which year we graduated, we all somewhat share the same experience. What’s more, not only do many (if not most) of us consider that this experience was integral to the rest of our lives, but it also has no doubt made our little cohort distinctively different from the Yalies who have come before and since.
So, besides the practical reasons for starting such a group, here are a few vague and not-so-vague hopes as to what it might facilitate:
First, as a cohort, not only are we not joiners, but our individual lives have gone off into so many different directions. And therefore traditional class activities, not to mention all the boola boola stuff, often just do not appeal. So that in a sense this is a call to form a group for people who don’t do groups.
Second, what with the quickly accelerating Apocalypse which seems to surround us, we hopefully can create at least a small oasis from that craziness. A place away from shrill partisanship, where people talk and disagree respectfully towards one another, where maybe even a small sense of community can develop here in this age of atomization. Where we can keep our aging minds sharp by interacting with other people who still read (!) and think (!!).
And, who knows, there’s always the chance that we might re-spark the energy and the creativity of our youth.