Will Bueché



I don't blog much 

Looking down at one’s boots

Posted in Personal by Will on Wednesday, February 28th, 2007 ~ 9pm

While viewing the prologue of the film Keeping Mum (starring Kristin Scott Thomas) — a prologue set in the early 1960s — it struck me for the first time that the 1960s are now truly of another era, another age entirely. It was not always this way. As an infant, I existed for two years within that decade, although I was too young to notice anything beyond my diapers. However, there were remnants of the decade found in the television programs of the 1970s, which I noticed later — particularly, the go-go boot. The go-go boots that were popular in the 1960s were still worn by the female extras on the BBC’s Monty Python show, filmed between 1969 and 1974, that was repeated on PBS when I was old enough to notice (and fawn at appreciatively). Other traces of 1960s fashions were recorded in these programs as well.

Though I may never have seen a live person wearing go-go boots, the 1960s still felt tangible as a decade that had just recently occurred, which a few Brits had thoughtfully filmed bits of. People had moved on to different, more feral, looks in the 1970s, but the 1960s were simply a decade prior — a young adult looking back on their college years, not a historian looking back in time.

Now, today, the 1960s are so much further removed. The 1960s began nearly 50 years ago. People who were in their twenties in the 1960s are in their twilight years today.

I hate to imagine what a disappointment the world is to them — though the downward slide began early, as everyone knows, with the idealists of that era being shot dead (by right wingers), slowing and arguably halting the progress towards utopia.

In glancing over some web pages about the 1960s I was both interested and saddened to learn that the hope for a futuristic utopia that was present in the 1960s (a hope that existed before the right wing took us to war in Asia), was expressed in the very fashion item that came to define that age for me: the go-go boot.

According to various sites (link) (link) the look of the go-go boot, and the materials, were inspired by the ramping up of the “space race” (the effort most famously pushed by President Kennedy to get to the moon before the Russians).

Though it may not have been explicitly implied, the boots expressed a hope for a future that was clean, safe, sexy, powerful, and any other concepts that one might associate with a future where the human race’s potential was unbounded.

I don’t know where I am going with this blog entry. It is mostly just a recognition that an era that existed is now too-far isolated within the stream of time, with few connections to either living people (due to their passing away) or to the very idea of an exciting future.

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