The Me Decade

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The Me Decade

The period me decade was coined by novelist Tom Wolfe in New York publication in August 1976, recounting the new American preoccupation with self-awareness and the collective withdraw from annals, community, and human reciprocity. The period appeared to de-scribe the age so aptly that it rapidly became routinely affiliated with the 1970s. Compared to the 1960s, Americans in the 1970s were self-absorbed and passive. Americans turned from road theater to self-therapy, from political activism to psychological analysis. Everyone, it appeared, had an analyst, consultant, guru, genie, prophet, cleric, or spirit. In the 1970s the only way numerous Americans could concern to one another was as constituents of a nationwide treatment group.

Much of what the period me decade really recounted was only a stylistic change in American preoccupations. Whereas the 1960s had been preoccupied with inquiries of communal and political fairness, the 1970s were worried with self-fulfillment and individual happiness. Unable to explain communal difficulties, numerous self-absorbed Americans concentrated on individual fulfillment through wellbeing nourishment, eating sparingly, warm tubs, and personal exercise. Specialized sportswear emerged in shops by the mid 1970s, and juvenile Americans took up kung fu, aikido, yoga, tennis, jogging, massage, living in marquees, hiking, skiing, and promenading as a entails in the direction of self-fulfillment. Californians, encompassing numerous movie and TV celebrities, pioneered these trendy amusements, and Woody Allen satirized the wellbeing nourishment and fitness craze in his Oscar-winning comical presentation Annie Hall (1977). Nevertheless, most Americans pursued as these fads migrated from the West Coast to the East. Slogans like "do your own thing" and "cool out" echoed the mind-set of the time.

More considerably, the me ten years echoed a sense of religious crisis. Because the counter-culture of the 1960s had turned down customary belief as meaningless and corrupt, when Americans turned to religious affairs in the 1970s, they often looked east. Typical of the time was fundamental activist Rennie Davis. One of the Chicago Eight, suspect and acquitted of inciting riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, in 1973 Davis became a proponent of the fifteen-year-old Indian guru Maharaj Ji, who pledged "perfection" on soil by 1976. Richard Alpert, who along with Timothy Leary had been an support of LSD and other psychedelic pharmaceuticals in the 1960s, altered his title to Ram Dass in the 1970s and championed Hindu mysticism. Alan Watts, an English author and Episcopal cleric, became the foremost exponent of Zen Buddhism in the late 1960s and early 1970s before his death in 1975.

In dozens of publications, items, campus addresses, and wireless and TV programs, he suggested new wish to the disillusioned. His notion of inward calm and issue from the guilt and limits of Judeo-Christian heritage acquired him an passionate following. Indian mystic Maharishi Mahesh Yogi furthermore profited a broad countercultural audience. He presented a mantra-chanting scheme called transcendental meditation (TM) to Americans. Popular with numerous as a entails for accomplishing a calm personal and mental state, reassuring disquiet or tension, and enhancing morale and productivity, TM was even taken ...
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