Youth Counterculture And Its Effects Essay

1120 words - 5 pages

During the 1960s and 70s, many events had taken place. The country was already several years into the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement had just begun. These occurrences, along with others, would stir the baby-boomer generation to question what they were taught and rebel against the holds society had placed on them. In the world of pop culture, music and film would adapt to the changes by transforming itself into something that would appeal to the young generation. Musicians and artists were now using song lyrics to powerfully convey messages of protest and change, making situations of love and heartbreak, ideas that had always been covered though music, appear less trivial to ...view middle of the document...

With the Vietnam War and Civil Rights movement in full swing, much of the youth were questioning involvement in the war. Some were asking for changes following acts of racism that had occurred mostly in the South. As a result of these events, music would be the first to offer itself to the counterculture’s need to speak out. Much of the songs written used powerful lyrics to protest the war. One anthem, in particular, is a perfect illustration that reflected the current attitudes of the counterculture. In Phil Ochs’ “Is There Anybody Here” he asked the audience, “Is there anybody here who’d like to change his clothes into a uniform/ Is there anybody here who thinks they’re only serving on a raging storm”. In addition, Ochs and other songwriters would use their musical talents to produce hits that countered the bigotry and race-fueled events occurring in the South. For example, Bob Dylan’s, “The Times, They are A-Changin’” was written and performed in response to the murder of civil rights leader, Medgar Evers. These protest songs provided a powerful suggestion that the counterculture was making an important impact on the pop culture world as well as the nation.
While music had changed lyrically, it had also changed harmoniously. As a result of the counterculture’s culminating drug use, various other forms were emanating, specifically within rock itself. Bands such as Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, and Big Brother and the Holding Company had formed a new style within rock. Much of these performers had used LSD and marijuana themselves which allowed them to reproduce the acid trips and other drug effects through vocals and instrumentals. Thus forming psychedelic rock and acid rock.
Other elements of pop culture were also affected by this new youth culture. During the earlier part of the 1960s, much of film and television had remained stagnant, and there were no obvious reflections that a counterculture had even existed. Television shows and movies appeared to have ignored the events that were taking place at the time. The comedies and Westerns were still capturing the all-American feel, but this was the very idea the counterculture had chosen to abandon. It would not be until the last part of the decade that studios would eventually catch on to what audiences really wanted to see. Studios shed the façade they had been living in...

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