Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 1. 28 February 1972
The Age Of Paranoia How the 60s ended
The Age Of Paranoia How the 60s ended
Rolling Stone have put out — to put on — to inform to put on after so long telling exactly where it's at: now, how it really was in their own gold plated words — to tell us and take our money?
Just how come everything does seem so screwed up? — One possible answer saith the Stone lies in the global media network telescoping time between events and the synthesis, finds the present youth generation beating its brains out over irreconcilable, and impossible problems which only exist because the media defines them. One of the great faults in the alternative — seeking generation lies in its hopeless belief that the human creature is intelligent enough to take in hand his own destiny — and on logical grounds. The presumption that humanity appreciates the essence of the social organism — enough to conduct surgery on it using the rusty tools of a language built around concrete realities and linear definitions is at least laughable — at most — catastrophic.
And believe it or not — this incredibly human cock-up is what this frightfully (yes frightfully) depressing book is all about. Indictments of the human condition are easy, however this is a document of confusion and of a frustrated baited generations, exhausted and so far failed attempts to stay the hand that holds the power — and is using it to burn our bridges before us as well as behind. In a selection of articles and essays from Rolling Stone its editors do an efficient job of reissuing "perspectives from above and beyond", a series of erratic and sometime boring images detailing what turns out actually a cohesive thesis on how the seventies see the end of the sixties — at least some of the seventies. For those who groove on continuing tales of injustice from the Land of the free (or was there anyone so stupid?) — whilst you'll surely groove here, the Playboy Forum is easier understood for all it lacks in journalistic polish compared with the Stone.
In assembling a history of the Movement, the Stone follows the same pattern as other nouveau historians such as Mitchell Goodman whose Movement Towards a New America is locally available, unlike The Age of Paranoia — not yet released in the States — and has a wider range of source material- However those sufficiently inspired to radical zeal not to mind reading lots about the same old civil liberties shockers viz the Chicago Conspiracy Circus and Campus Pig riots will more than likely not be disappointed over pissing around ordering from the States and waiting three months.
Subjects covered range over a wide spectrum from standard sick society rhetoric to — as already mentioned- the Conspiracy song and dance, so if you don't succumb to the temptation to-let the apocalyptic ravers smother you in enigmatic pedentry (spelt meaningless shit) then you'll be the wiser for having gone through the smoke since we were spared the fine.
No Rolling Stone doesn't let you down, sing hosannas, they've been in the business too long — for lo! and The Age of Paranoia does have a unity, even though it be raised on a high pedestal of bullshit, and rationalization for its own sake. The end product distinctly reeks of another of Jan Wenner's "Rock and Roll is the only way the power of youth is structured" — pathetic temper tantrums — which means yet another sectional interest claiming to have got it all together — How else do you put out a paper as consistently good as Rolling Stone.
Yes politics are assholes; to destroy is not the thing to do goddamn, ("He not busy being born is busy dyin" there proof) and revolution comes not of rampant factionalism -but on the other hand — to quote the one Mr Wenner who seems to know it all- "it looks like a shuck". Whether it is, depends on whether you believe Bo Diddley invented the wheel.
The Age of Paranoia contains a lot of A-1 journalism which is a refreshingly new direction for underground media dealing the same old Movement rubbish — However when it turns out a massive stage for a creep like Wanner to prostelyze his own cultural perversions in the name of historic ("Rock and Roll is the only way"!) it can just about give you the shits.