Somehow, the dog days of summer are already upon us. Something about the manic heat of August (compounded by the manic pace of the daily newsfeed) has us looking back to the scorching socio-cultural landscape of the 1960s. The date might be different, but many of the same issues that plagued those heady years and drew untold millions into the streets in protest remain today: forever wars, environmental crisis, ethnonationalism, poverty, the yawning chasm between political orientations. The list goes on. To make sense of our times, it helps to look back, learning from the mistakes and lessons of the past. This month’s Miscellaneous — Athletics’ no-frills round-up of the cultural items that inspire us each month — dips its toes into these clarifying waters. A good place to start is Jonathan Lerner’s 2017 memoir Swords in the Hands of Children, documenting the author’s prominent role in Students for a Democratic Society, and later, the radical youth movement’s violent offspring: The Weather Underground. Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, the latest blockbuster by Quentin Tarantino, presents a kaleidoscopic vision of America at the twilight of the 1960s, oscillating between hilarity and horror as only a Tarantino film can do.
Stay tuned for more editions of Miscellaneous in the coming months.
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“And now the Sun has gone, has bled red,
Weeping behind the hills.
Again the night shadows form.
But beneath the placid face a storm rages.”
— From “The Sun Came” by Etheridge Knight (1986)
Header image: “The Photographer” by Jacob Lawrence (1942)