Where’s the Revolutionary Punch? Richard Fariña’s Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me at 50


Mimi and Richard Fariña, at the Newport Folk Festival in July 1965.

“On May 23, 1958, Cornell University’s serene, gorge-encircled campus exploded in anarchic student demonstrations that presaged the widespread campus upheaval of the 1960s. Less disciplined and more inward-looking than the civil rights, antiwar and Black Power-focused demonstrations of the next decade, the Cornell protests erupted in response to the university’s crackdown on campus socializing—over the objections of students and faculty—and in particular the coeds-only curfew and restrictions on female students’ presence in off-campus apartments. Though the rules were introduced with some high-minded language about the university’s in loco parentis responsibilities, and the students’ obligation to ‘conform to the mores of the society in which we live,’ eventually the administration admitted that they simply didn’t want students having sex. Leading the protest was Cornell Daily Sun editor Kirkpatrick Sale, who 18 months earlier had exhorted his fellow students to shake off the blinders of student apathy and challenge the repressive status quo of Cold War America: ‘Cannot Cornell take its place with other people across the country in refuting the abominable notion of The Silent Generation?’ Sale, who went on to write the definitive history of the 1960s student activist organization Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), seemed to know what he was doing, and approached the protest with a clarity of purpose that other students appeared to lack. What began as a fairly disciplined day/night protest (culminating in a group of female students publicly breaking curfew), eventually devolved into storming and egging the president’s house. Sale, along with three other students identified as leaders of the protest, was arrested and suspended from school. Also arrested was Sale’s one-time roommate: a wild-haired, strikingly charismatic, half-Cuban, half-Irish beatnik named Richard Fariña, who seems to have approached the protests with an audacious dose of ironic detachment. …”
Paste
The Paris Review: A Maker of Mirrors (2016)
Mimi and Richard Fariña: Dulcimer

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
This entry was posted in Black Power, Bob Dylan, Civil Rights Mov., Music, SDS, Vietnam War and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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