Burt Prelutsky

Even back then, I found it disturbing that for the first time in human history, youngsters didn’t want to be adults. Worse yet, neither did adults. As a result, one could almost have sympathized with the contempt the kids felt for grown-ups if it hadn’t inevitably led to contempt for America. It also led to a soft spot in their hearts for any and all of our nation’s enemies, which, at the time, included such arch villains as the Viet Cong, Mao, Che Guevara, Chou En-lai and Fidel Castro.

The prevailing lies were so self-evident that I couldn’t imagine how it was that so many people could be so self-deluded. For instance, there was a great deal of self-serving blather about individualism. But most of those doing the blathering wore identical clothes, listened to the same music, went to all the same movies and mouthed the very same clichés. There was more individualism to be found in a flock of sheep.

Perhaps the biggest lie fomented back then was something called the Free Speech Movement. It was like something taken straight out of George Orwell’s “1984.” The title, alone, would have made Big Brother smirk. The movement, which stretched across America’s college campuses from UC Berkeley to Columbia, consisted of student radicals commandeering offices and classrooms, doing their level best to silence professors and administrators who didn’t buy into their fascistic dogma. Funny how little some things have changed over the years.

Today, the children and the grandchildren of those flower children are also in favor of free speech, but only so long as those speaking share their politics and their prejudices.

Because those radical idiots lacked both reading skills and any semblance of self-awareness, they didn’t realize that they were very much like the totalitarians that Orwell had in mind. When in “Animal Farm,” Orwell’s villainous pig dictator, Napoleon, standing in for Stalin, altered the original battle cry of the barnyard revolution from “all animals are equal,” to “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others,” he had the Soviet oligarchy in mind, but, unfortunately, it very neatly summed up the thoughts and actions of America’s own youthful swine of the sixties.