Suffer the little children as adults experimented


The 1970s was not a time anyone in their right mind should feel nostalgic for.

It’d be a difficult ask if you actually lived through its madness.

Maybe you might recall Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry movies is worthy of note, but I can only watch them in fury today – as I did then.

Starting in the late 60s, the only movie roles for young attractive women were the gamut of hair colours from blonde to brunette, with various accents and skin colours. They all behaved, regardless of the colour of their wigs, like that male invention, a nymphomaniac, dropping their undies for any cop with a swish-back hairdo and a big handgun.

The effect was comedic; the intention not even ironic. Feminists who dared to call for equality were portrayed as monsters. Clint couldn’t stand them.

It seemed like everyone was slavering after young women who were “on the pill,” the notorious new gateway to much bad sex. Hugh Hefner was taken seriously, even in his pyjamas.

And in New Zealand, we had Bert Potter’s Centrepoint commune. I look back on that experiment as a turning point for middle-class values that left a legacy of unhappiness and regret.

Just how a former pest controller (no irony there either) came to be a guru of human sexuality can never really be explained, but Centrepoint was covered by a tame media as a credible pathway to the fully realised life, kids watching the adults in action, the old boy himself living his personal pornographic fantasy, while otherwise intelligent people joined up to be liberated from bourgeois hang-ups like fidelity and privacy.

It ended in crying. In a courtroom, fun looks so different, and excuses echo hollowly.

I expect there’s embarrassment among many former livers of that dream who’d rather forget. I know there was real harm done to children, some of whom were fed ecstasy to make them co-operate with Centrepoint men.

And their parents thought that was OK. Or didn’t think. There wasn’t much thinking happening. Continue reading

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