Television hit us back in the Fifties. The “we” I am referring to here were the Midwestern Americans in Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa that I grew up with.
TVs were quick to invade the homes – every home had one, and everyone there spent hours watching it. But when I went to college, we had none – and didn’t miss them.
The physical installations of any successful technology may be spotty – but their overall effect is total. Just knowing they are around, and not too far away, has a profound effect on everyone. TV changed everyone.
Ten years later, in the Sixties, another force was added – psychedelic drugs. I was attending, what was supposed to be an experimental college, in a remote village in Mexico – but the main focus of my fellow “students” was drugs. I tried some myself – marijuana – powerful stuff that gave me laughing fits.
But this experiment did not last long – and I ended up in a Mexican jail. The other students just paid the Federales what they wanted (which wasn’t much) – and they went scot free. I hadn’t done anything wrong, and insisted on my rights as an American – but I was in Mexico – a small matter, that made a big difference.
Drugs continued to invade American culture – and was the force behind the Flower Power that soon appeared. Not too many were hard users – but users (including the Beatles) affected everyone. In the Seventies, and in some places, into the Eighties.