Top News

Schukov: A look back at the 1960s

Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson enjoy a laugh together, during a visit to Canada in 1967.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson enjoy a laugh together, during a visit to Canada in 1967.

I just read a book about the 1960s. It has all kinds of great historical pieces on people and events of that glorious decade, year by year. (The part that confuses me is it was published in 1953 and written by a single moniker person named Nostradamus. Anyway.)

Speaking on behalf of the few baby boomers who do not suffer 1960’s amnesia brought on by over-indulging in recreational medication (now legal) infused during their formative years, I would like to spotlight a few big-ticket items that highlighted that magical blip in time:

  • The invention of good music : Before then, all music was not good. After the 1960s and 1970s, all music was not good. (This space reserved for octogenarians, millennials and trolls who are all upset at my inflammatory gall.)
  • The invention of bad art : Before the 60s, you needed to be a Rembrandt to have your paintings recognized as high art. Then came images of blue and green Marilyn Monroes and Campbell tomato soup cans, until a canvas of three fat straight lines could cop you $12 million at auction.
  • We landed on the moon : And introduced off-planet littering. Subsequent landings (until someone at NASA asked, Why are we going there?) featured fun films of astronauts playfully kicking beer cans across the moon’s horizon. (With zero gravity, you can pooch kick a field goal from 700 miles out.)
  • The secret agent craze took over : It replaced the craze of westerns and detective stories, and everyone on TV became a spy, except Tarzan because he could not qualify as being “under cover.”
  • The Rolling Stones emerged : They will be the first to eventually become the only rock group to perform on walkers by 2050.
  • The Maple Leafs won their last Stanley Cup : This was about the same time as when we had only three stations on our TVs. (Remember rabbit-ear antennae perched on top of boxy sets? And a remote was someone sitting next to the TV, changing channels for you.)
  • Cigarettes were marketed as healthy : Doctors swore that tobacco was a healthful digestive after every meal. Even camels smoked.
  • The Queen was . . . uh . . . oh yeah. It’s still Elizabeth II : It took a while before her face on our money aged appropriately.
  • Clothing was actually funky : Flower power has given way to crab grass. Prints on shirts devolved to plaid. Bell bottoms – gone. Cargo pants – puke.
  • The Sound of Music played in the same theatres from 1965 through 1969 : Today, it would have jettisoned to Netflix after 4 days.
  • Geography lessons on where a Third World country was located was totally based on the U.S invading or bombing it : See Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Nevada, etc.
  • There were only two types of washroom signs : Men and Women. Today we have Men, Women, Neutral and I’m Still Thinking About It, Not Sure.
  • Invention of colour in the actual real world : Until then, the whole world was actually black and white as shown in most pictures and movies. (Your old family colour prints were actually colourized professionally.) I didn’t know my cat was yellow until 1967.

And finally:

  • Consumer cars were big and heavy enough to take out castle walls : And they had loads of character, not like today’s cars that look like aquariums on wheels.


Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019

Did this story inform or enhance your perspective on this subject?
1 being least likely, and 10 being most likely

Recent Stories