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  The Underground was a 1960s movement whose members were concerned to drop out of advanced industrial society, using its artefacts but rejecting its philosophy and values. The movement was part of the general feelings of protest and liberation current at the time, and became associated with such phenomena as flower power, the adoption of Eastern religious and meditative practices in the West, and advocacy of such ideals as universal equality, an end to war and a rejection of every kind of complexity in human existence. Characteristic underground art forms were protest songs (whose musical style hybridized folk song and pop, and which covered the range of expression from nursery-rhyme-like innocence to the wished-for ruderies of Punk Rock); poetry (also using folk styles) which was philosophical, ironical or both; ‘adult comics’ and a huge variety of manuals on how to survive on the margins of society. We now live in a post-underground age, in which the ideal of a free-living, free-swinging lifestyle has been absorbed by young people worldwide (fostered by advertisements and consumer-manipulation of every kind), and ‘mainstream’ fine artists, designers, musicians, performers and writers have assimilated and worked on underground ideas to such an extent that they are part of the mainstream: chief signifiers, not to say modifiers, of what we are. KMcL  



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