La Voz then and now: The power of not giving a damn

‘I don’t give a damn anymore’

Originally published Nov. 10, 1967

Dear Editor:

I have just gone insane. Not by choice. I have been forced into it by the circumstances of my environment. What forces? I won’t go into the gruesome details here, but look at any newspaper, magazine, or television newscast and you will see the horror.

I am sitting here laughing and crying at the same time over an article in the Chronicle which is telling me that the Soviets will in 1968 have orbiting missiles capable of hitting their targets within three minutes. Those targets are us.

The two extremes of fear and hope have just crumbled leaving me in a state of hyper-sanity, or relative to the norm: insane. Actually, it’s a state of I DON’T GIVE A DAMN ANYMORE.

So, if anyone is still wondering why all these people are letting their hair grow long and smoking dope, it’s because they don’t give a damn anymore, either.

Since all the sane people on this planet are hell-bent in destroying themselves, why shouldn’t dope-heads sit around and enjoy it? Why shouldn’t people wear beads and act funny? After all, sanity is only relative and the hip think they are normal.

Why don’t you do something you really want to do today, because the hour-glass is almost out of sand.

Let your hair grow long.

Love and kisses,

Name withheld on request

The power of not giving a damn

Published Nov. 9, 2017

In honor of La Voz’s fiftieth anniversary, the editorial board has spent a considerable amount of time poring over hundreds of articles from our publication’s past, searching for hidden gems to share over the next quarter.

This particular letter to the editor struck us as wonderfully dramatic, laughably nihilistic and, more than anything, woefully relatable; how often have we found ourselves overwhelmed to the point of futility, especially when considering current events?

It’s heartening to recognize that the fear we experience is an echo of generations before us.

While we often think that the state of our world is only getting exponentially more unstable and violent, a glance back through  recent history — including the pages of a favorite community college newspaper — remind us that such atrocities have always plagued our world.

Maybe the hour-glass is perpetually almost out of sand. If the past is any indication– and given the cyclic tendencies of humanity, it is– we will never run out of sources of existential dread.

 While pervasive political rhetoric would have us believe in the validity of these fears, we must not believe the myth of our own powerlessness. Nuclear attacks and foreign conflict, however awful to ponder, are currently out of our control– there’s nothing to be gained from letting it wreak havoc on our mental state. 

There are countless sources of hope, peace and compassion available to us every day; these are ultimately what color our reality, allowing us to reclaim hope, thus our minds, thus our power.

Maybe we should all let our hair grow long.