The sexual revolution turns 40 this year — we have it on no less an authority than Philip Larkin, in the opening lines of “Annus Mirabilis”:p> em>Sexual intercourse began br> In nineteen sixty-three br> (Which was rather late for me) — br> Between the end of the /em> Chatterly em>ban br> And the Beatles’ first LP. /em> /p>
Britain actually lifted the ban on Lady Chatterly’s Lover in 1960 (a year after the United States), so Larkin is taking poetic license there. But the Beatles’ first LP was released on March 22nd, 1963.
I was born on December 16th of that year, so it’s quite possible that I was conceived on the very day that Please Please Me hit the shelves. Yet much as I would like to believe that my first sparks of life were raised to the strains of “Love Me Do,” I’m virtually certain it didn’t happen that way. The album came out on that day in Britain, but the Fab Four didn’t invade the States till almost a year later. In any case, my parents have never been rock and roll fans.
Still, the event is personally significant to me, because if Larkin is right, that makes me an exact contemporary of the sexual revolution. I am in no way representative of that revolution, but no one who’s had his eyes even occasionally open over the last four decades can have missed the astonishing changes in mores.
According to the pop-historical account of this trend, it started with the first issue of Playboy in 1953 and culminated at Woodstock in 1969. By that time, the story goes, everyone except a few Bible Belt ministers and Midwestern congressmen had surmounted their inhibitions, and even those blue-noses were probably indulging in private.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?