Thursday, July 07, 2016

Not 1968 Yet

This week's fatal police shootings of Philando Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Louisiana brought the issue of "blue on black" violence to a boiling point, culminating in widespread demonstrations. Tonight's headline, Snipers open fire on officers during Dallas protest, killing 4, is shocking, but not surprising, given the inflamed emotions of the current day.

[Update - 7/9: the final casualty count is 5 officers killed, 7 officers wounded, 2 civilians wounded, and 1 shooter killed.]

The zeitgeist of the times has evoked memories of a Presidential election year a half-century ago, but we have a long way to go, thankfully, before 2016 will be as tumultuous as 1968, which had two assassinations and hundreds of American troops dying each month in a far-off war. True, there are protest movements that threaten to disrupt the major parties' conventions, there's a cloud of uncertainty over Europe as Russia and China are ascendant, and neither of the leading Presidential candidates excites the majority of the country, but 2016 is not 1968, and we'll pull through.

In one respect the past was much better than today. Here are 1968's top 20 songs, many of which are still played. (50 years from now I doubt that we'll have more than a couple from 2016.)
1. Hey Jude, The Beatles
2. Love is Blue, Paul Mauriat
3. Honey, Bobby Goldsboro
4. (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay, Otis Redding
5. People Got to Be Free, The Rascals
6. Sunshine of Your Love, Cream
7. This Guy's In Love With You, Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
8. The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, Hugo Montenegro
9. Mrs. Robinson, Simon and Garfunkel
10. Tighten Up, Pt. 1, Archie Bell and The Drells
11. Harper Valley P.T.A., Jeannie C. Riley
12. Little Green Apples, O.C. Smith
13. Mony Mony, Tommy James and The Shondells
14. Hello, I Love You, The Doors
15. Young Girl, Gary Puckett and The Union Gap
16. Cry Like a Baby, The Box Tops
17. Stoned Soul Picnic, The Fifth Dimension
18. Grazing In the Grass, Hugh Masekela
19. Midnight Confessions, The Grass Roots
20. Dance to the Music, Sly and The Family Stone

No comments: