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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Whatever Happened to the Flower People? By Guest Author @JennyTwist1

We were the generation that was going to change the world. We made love not war (I can hear my

father saying, “One wonders whether they are capable of either.”). We Banned the Bomb.
We lived in communes and went on peace marches and sang protest songs. We joined the CND. We camped out on Greenham Common.

What happened to us? Did we all become merchant bankers, business tycoons or, Heaven forbid, politicians? Do we smile indulgently at our younger selves who were so naïve we hadn’t realised that the important thing was making money?

We sold out. We sold out and now we have got what we deserve. The two greatest world powers are ruled by a madman and a psychopath, and the fascists are marching again all over the western world.
People I know, nice people, say that we can’t take any more refugees because Britain is full and we have enough on our plate with our own homeless. And so we turn away the desperate and the destitute who are dying trying to escape the bombs and their own harsh regimes.

The Earth, our only home, is slowly choking to death.

And we shake our heads and say that perhaps it won’t be so bad. Maybe Trump won’t turn America into one huge unreality show. Maybe Brexit won’t destroy the British economy and our cherished National Health Service. Maybe it doesn’t matter that Theresa May has scrapped the Human Rights Act and ordered more nuclear weapons. Maybe climate change is a hoax.

We should be marching in the streets again. We should be camping outside the White House and the Kremlin and the Houses of Parliament. We should be writing to our MPs and our senators and demanding another election, another referendum.

We should not just be sitting here afraid to speak out.

What happened to the flower people?

About Jenny Twist
Jenny Twist was born in York and brought up in the West Yorkshire mill town of Heckmondwike, the eldest grandchild of a huge extended family.
She left school at fifteen and went to work in an asbestos factory. After working in various jobs, including bacon-packer and escapologist’s assistant (she was The Lovely Tanya), she returned to full-time education and did a BA in history, at Manchester and post-graduate studies at Oxford.
She stayed in Oxford working as a recruitment consultant for many years and it was there that she met and married her husband, Vic.
In 2001 they retired and moved to Southern Spain where they live with their rather eccentric dog and cat. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, knitting and attempting to do fiendishly difficult logic puzzles.
She has written three novels - Domingo’s Angel – a love story set in Franco’s Spain and harking back to the Spanish Civil War and beyond - and All in the Mind – a contemporary novel about an old woman who mysteriously begins to get younger and The Owl Goddess.
She has contributed short stories to many other anthologies, of which two – Doppelganger and Uncle Vernon have been released as short ebooks.
Other works include the Mantequero series: novellas about a Spanish mythological figure, and An Open Letter to Stephen King & Other Essays, a compilation of non-fiction essays and articles.

Her latest novella, The Minstrel Boy, was published in the anthology Letters from Europe in 2016.

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Twitter: @JennyTwist1


Jenny Twist said...

Thank you so much for posting this, Lyn. You're a star!

Unknown said...

A compelling article from Jenny Twist. She is able to put into words the feelings that many of us have. This piece has certainly caused a stir on facebook, and with many shares,and this blog hopefully it will continue to engage people. I so admire Jenny's views and her ability to put them into stirring words.

Jenny Twist said...

Hello, Unknown. I'm very heartened by the response. And very flattered by your kind words. Thank you. Love, Jenny xxx

Mary Thornburg said...

What a thoughtful post, Jenny! And, yes, it's disturbing at best to think that a whole generation sold out, as you say. But I wonder if there might not be a simpler or at least a kinder explanation than that. Not all of the "flower children's" hearts were totally in it to begin with, maybe -- they were very young, in a lot of cases, and adopting a popular fashion without actually thinking too much about what it meant, and they dropped it when it went out of fashion and went on to do whatever was expected of them without thinking too much about that, either. On the other hand, I don't think for a minute that they all went away or sold out. I'd bet there were plenty of those kids, now grandparents, marching in the worldwide Women's Marches a week ago!

Jenny Twist said...

Hi Mary
What you say is absolutely true. I had lots of people commenting on this article on Face Book, protesting that THEY hadn't sold out. It is, of course, a generalisation and I am very proud of all those people who marched. Perhaps we'll achieve something after all.

E. Ayers said...

I think a lot of people in the USA said they were tired of the direction that we were taking. Tired of all the handouts both in this country and elsewhere. They were tired of working so that others can freeload. So they stood up and voted! That shocked a lot of people and they don't like it. Oh well, such is our system. Trump is not an eloquent speaker but he knows how things work and how to get them done. I think we're in for a very interesting time.

Tara Fox Hall said...

As an American, I didn't expect Trump to win. The majority of the people I knew pretty much said that Hillary was going to win, which is what the polls said. "BY A Landslide," they all said. I would say a great many of the people who voted Trump felt that they had been marginalized, and have been afraid to speak out these last 8 years. Rest assured, Americans who are unhappy have not been being quiet AT ALL - every new day there is a protest and new articles and marches, etc. etc. I am fine with people speaking out for their beliefs, whatever they are - that's our right to free speech. I don't like all the hate-mongering and bashing of anyone that has the opposite viewpoint...especially when its being done by paid protestors. We have many problems to face in our country, and we are never going to solve them if no steps are made towards compromise. I'm not saying give up your views, I'm saying we can't get anything done when all we focus on is our differences. Stop being part of the problem and start working together to find a solution.

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