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The Catalog: Products | Obituary File | Ask Mr. Guilt | Helpful Hints |

Ask Mr. Guilt!

  Joon Rhee from Korea asks:
Dear Mr. Guilt:

I noticed on my last trip to America, while visiting the Wall in the USA capitol, that many of the Americans there were wearing old military clothing, which in most cases did not fit. Is this some obscure American ritual to pay homage to their dead? Should I have worn old military clothing as well? In my country we wear our best clothing when visiting our honored ancestors and fallen heroes. Help me, Mr. Guilt.

Mr. Guilt Replies:

I too have noticed this unfortunate display of bad manners and worse tailoring. But what can you do? Some of our veterans' customs harken back to more savage times when wearing some part of a fallen comrade's clothing was considered an honor to his death. In these more sensitive times (number of Golden Retrievers increasing exponentially) some of our veterans feel that they should be seen in the uniform that the dead saw them in last. Yes, yes, Mr. Guilt knows... but the Park Service made them clean up the shit and the blood long ago. It scared the regular visitors. Mr. Guilt suggests that all these old uniforms/totems be sent to the Robert F. MacNamara Relief Fund so that young men have something military to wear while they again die for Islam, Jesus or some other madness. Show the dead that you have prospered by your good deeds. No more old utilities, doubleknits, macs, nehru jackets, or other sartorial horrors. Shape up.
Clive Ormond of Muscatine, Iowa writes:
Dear Mr. Guilt,

Holiday seasons are really rough on us vets out here in the heartland, even after years of help from the VA. Why, just the other day I thought I heard the doorbell and when I opened the door there stood 16 members of my old platoon in various stages of disarray, all pointing bony fingers at me. They wanted me to go with them; they blamed me for their deaths. I managed to slam the door.

When I was wrapping presents for little Winston--a basketball (Michael Jordan Street Fighter) --I looked down and in the box instead of a basketball was the head of the kid my track rolled over. I closed the box. I don't want to take up valuable time, Mr. Guilt ,but what can I do? I am getting afraid to flush the toilet or, God forbid, open a Christmas present.

--Mystified in Muscatine.

Mr. Guilt Replies:

Dear Mystified,

Mr. Guilt used to be haunted by various claques of shades who all wanted Mr. Guilt to do some kind of penance for being alive when they weren't. It was particularly bad at holiday times and other activities which celebrated life, friendship, and continuity. I once squeezed a tube of toothpaste and you can't imagine what came out. Well, maybe you can! Mr. Guilt reached into his bag of tricks and pulled out his Thinking Bush Hat and figured it out. The dead among us just don't know what to do so we have to help them. This Christmas just send them to the great void. Tell them that they are absorbing the light that you need. Tell them that they are dead. Mr. Guilt finally figured out that the dead absorb light and that life reflects it in many forms. Why do you think the "Wall" is black? Shine on in Muscatine and everywhere else and let the light of your fire warm the life around you. Don't waste it on the dead...

Mr. Guilt needs some eggnog... where the hell is the rum?

  Dear Mr. Guilt,

The TV and radio coverage of our Marines in Somalia is really wonderful. Guns, tracks, helos, planes, and those great big ships all bring back those memories and, well, you know.... make me feel so hard, so vital, but somehow hollow. I really want to be there. The last time in Chu Lai wasn't really that bad, was it? Can you help?

--Stiff in Seattle

Mr Guilt replies:

Mr. Guilt understands. You need Mr. Guilt's book, Tips for the Turgid, wherein are listed many exercises and tips for making the feelings you describe go away. Here are only a few. (Remember, you might not want members of your current family present while you do these.)

Tip #22: Buy a live chicken, stun it, cut into its body cavity, plunge your hand into the cavity. While it is twisting in pain, pump it full of morphine, all the while saying, "The dustoff will be here soon [insert friend's name], just hang in there... soon, oh please make it soon." See how long you can keep it alive. When it dies, cook it and eat it.

Tip #33: At your next road pizza, jump out and make it walk away, make it dance, identify it and pretend it is your best friend. Write a letter to his/her parents explaining how the death occurred. While writing the letter repeat Mr. Guilt's mantra, "He is just sleeping, he is just sleeping."

Tip #45: Read the letter to your children and explain to them why it is a good thing. Go on a trip to Disneyland.

Tip #67: Put on a 75-pound pack and run around your back yard until you collapse and when you come to, do it again, and again. Such fun.

Tip #68: Get a country ham. Call it Ralph. Take it to your local grade school and explain to the children that the ham is all that was left of your friend after his track hit an AT mine. Eat part of the ham. Watch the kids' faces.

Remember, these and other tips are available for you when you begin to feel indestructible, powerful, and begin to lose your higher reason.

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