Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Hey Teacher, Don’t Leave Us Kids Alone

Why the hell is my generation so apathetic to our current political predicament? Or if it’s not apathy, it certainly is a sense of bewilderment as to what to do about it. We may not be living up to our slacker image in the realm of business, but we well deserve the title when it comes to political activism. Is this a result of the way we were raised?

Children of the 50s grew up within a culture where hard work was not only valued, but also rewarded. One wage earner households were the norm, which meant that if you worked hard, you could support yourself and a family and live mostly above the poverty line. And what did these hard-working, good old fashion American parents produce but children who saw a war that was unjustifiable and a system of segregation that should no longer be tolerated, so they got together, raised hell and demanded a fix. Things are much worse now than they were in the 60s, so where’s the outrage and more importantly, where’s the action?

The rabble-rousers of the 60s spawned the children of the 80s. These ex-hippies taught us that we were “free to be you and me” and that we were entitled to dignity simply because we were. It’s a great concept, but where’s the work ethic? If we are, by nature of being born, good and decent, shouldn’t we be handed everything we want? Why work for it when we can put it on plastic? This is the legacy of the 60s. You’ve raised a bunch of lazy ass kids who are content to skate by on the advances you made. Some of us are willing to fight in order to not lose ground, but advancing the movement, making great strides forward in the fight toward equality and economic justice is simply more than we’re willing to take on. The world should be good because we want it to be. We don’t know what to do when the reality doesn’t fit with our desire and it seems that wishing it into existence is all we’ve got to offer. Sorry to disappoint you, but our failure is your failure too.

So the question becomes, what do we do about it now? Clearly you hippies didn’t demand enough of us when we were young. You did a great job of instilling in us a sense of self-confidence (perhaps too good, we’re kind of an egotistical bunch), but you forgot to give us the tools we would need to carry on with the fight. It’s almost as if we were raised inside the bubble of your hopes and dreams. You brought us up as if the world was already the way you wanted it to be with the hope that we would be more tolerant and accepting than the generations before us, and for the most part we are. But we believed in the illusion to the point that we have become a little Pollyannaish in our outlook. The future through our rose-colored glasses still looks okay, making us a bit blind to the horrific reality in front of us. You can help us now by confiscating our glasses and demanding more from us. Challenge our complacency and force us to justify our inability to take action when it’s so clear that action is necessary.

We see you at the war protests, demonstrations and candle light vigils for peace. You’re still doing your part, but as long as you’re willing to bear the burden, we’re happy to let you. Instead of smiling at us, like you’re happy we showed up at all, why not demand to know what else we’re doing? Ask us the tough questions like, “Besides this, what else are you doing to further the cause?” and “Where are all of your friends?” or better yet “When are you going to get off your ass and run with the baton we have passed to you?” Most likely we won’t have an answer, but ask us again and we might feel compelled to have one ready in case we meet again.

Tell us you’re tired and could use a little help, we do care about our fellow man, that’s your legacy too, we just have to be spurred to action. And don’t be afraid to get a little rough, call us armchair liberals and point out that when we socialize with one another we must stop talking about our mortgages and investments and start discussing the issues of the day if we ever hope to reach the goal of a better America. Our hearts are in the right place and we believe in the world you started to create. We want the end result, a level playing field and social justice for all, we just didn’t know we were going to have to work to make it happen, we thought it was a done deal. Our bad.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Jonathan said...

I would like to piggy back on what Liberal Girl wrote with a plea for action. Alito believes in the Unitary Executive and has stated that the President’s powers during war time are “plenary”. Meaning that he believes that the President can do whatever the President wants in time of war. I find this frightening and un-American. Especially when the President has essentially said that we are going to be at war with terrorists for decades.

Bush has already shown a deep disregard, nay disrespect, for our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. With Alito on the Supreme Court Bush will become even more emboldened in his quest to make the Constitution and the Bill of Rights “quaint”. Quaint. That is what our Attorney General, one of Bush’s right hand men, called the Geneva Conventions just a few years back when he was defending the President’s decision to use torture.

Please call your Senators. Email them if you can’t call. Tell them you support a filibuster of Alito, or at the very least a no vote from them. I’ve called and written my Senators. I even called Patrick Leahy in Vermont and Ben Nelson in Nebraska. Leahy because he is the Ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. And Nelson because he, so far, is the only Democrat who has said he will vote yes. The Nelson aide I talked to sighed and sounded bored when I told him Alito had no business being on the Supreme Court. Maybe his office needs more calls so they get the message how important this nomination is. But the most important thing is to call your own Senators and let them know where you stand.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous roberta kelly said...

I am a child of nature and I was definitely a hippie of the 60s.

However, I worked varying jobs, primarily waiting tables because I was also a child of the 50s and the responsibility of earning my own way in the world was programmed into my conscious, unconscious and subconscious too ~ but, my DNA had been programmed for anti-fascism, anti-capitalism, etc, by my peers who awakened to open the flood gates for the "Dawning of the Age of Aquarius".

My two sons were 'well-planned' births, born after I had traveled and lived in Southeast Asia, Europe and Northern Africa; and, after finally graduating from the university, in 1975.

In 1966, I first entered the university in Tacoma, Washington, studying the medical arts at Pacific Lutheran University.

I spent almost every weekend hitch-hiking with my friends to Seattle. Boy was it a wild place back then, Jimi Hendrix playing on the "Avenue" and long hairs absolutely everywhere and I mean everywhere ~ just like what was happening on Haight Ashbury in California.

It was the most magical time in America ever. One could literally hitch-hike across country and there were "children of nature" (hippies) everywhere.

We were a mystical power in Europe and Southeast Asia.

I do a rear view mirror of that time and I think about it as compared to what's happening now.

And I believe Bush/Cheney&Co., et al didn't spend any time during the 60s to soul search the truth of peace on Earth and love to our fellow Humans as ~ "all together now . . . we are family".

What are my sons doing at the ages of 28 and 25? They are creating art, just like you Liberal Girl, and it is political in nature because their parents are still basically liberal hippies who continue the legacy of freedom and anti big brother.

But I am very, very sad in watching this time unfold. It is not what we envisioned as the future of our Country, those of us who participated in what we thought was a revolution, to gain the liberal arts core beliefs, which is who and what America truly is.

Every American citizen should be in the streets and in fact we should all stop working and march to Washington DC.

Furthermore, we should all stop paying taxes and refuse to vote.

But I do believe, the revolution which is 100% necessary right now, is going to occur whether we want it to or not and it is the rest of the world preparing to detach from our dollar standard.

Nature always has a way of bringing balance back into reality.

I feel for my own two sons and my one grandson. The man to whom I am now married has two daughters that I helped teach some feminine arts to in their teen years, and I worry for them and their children. My sister has children and I fret for them and their children. I also feel betrayed and angry with this government for thinking that the "ordinary" citizen is nothing more than a commodity for them to exploit.

But I fear, should we all take to the streets, this lunatic and all his goons would declare Marshall Law and it would be an ugly scene indeed.

Perhaps we all know intuitively, those of us who are plugged into the universe of compassion, that the subtle energy is beginning to cleanse the filthy polluted gene pool of the super elite and it will be in the form of a devalued dollar.

Never mind getting ourselves into situations of powerlessness like Padilla, et al.

The rest of the world is getting ready to drop US directly on our asses by rendering our $$ to be exactly what it is and has been, since the 1970s ~ of no value.

We're broke America and we just don't know it ~ yet.

Unfortunately we may find ourselves in the street alright about this mess and it won’t be in the form of demonstrations but in the soup lines like the Great Depression.

The USofA government had a choice over 100 years ago and whether the leaders were democrat or republican isn’t really the point. The choice was made and it’s what we are experiencing right now. Thus, we Americans can’t beat ourselves up too much, for being trusting children of nature ~ all the while the hungry conquerors were flickering their eyes in rapid movement from side to side, like reptiles, preying upon the innocent, globally.

It’s over for the predatory family named Bush and it took 100 years for the revolution to be televised. Just watch and see.

There is hope on the horizon and it’s beginning to shine like the sun at midday. So, take heart LGND and all the children of the 70s and 80s, 90s and Aught years, too!

6:22 AM  
Anonymous roberta kelly said...

Oh, I didn't mean to forget the children born in the 1960s. All these "love children" are now turning milestone corners, too, exactly as I.

Smile, Smile, Smile because this is the miracle of subtle energy.

But don't forget to pay attention to how this energy feels because it is the Tsunami of economics!

Be prepared.

6:31 AM  
Anonymous Jonathan E. Schiff said...

I also am (was) a child of the 80s. And, you are correct, in part, that the hippies then carry part of the responsibility for what is happening now. (Think Jerry Rubin and his investing career) I think it's a function of the hedonism that was widespread. Becoming rich is the ultimate high, I suppose.

But let's give credit where credit is due. The real changes were orchestrated by members of what Dwight Eisenhower, in a moment of weakness, dubbed the "Military Industrial Complex." These members of what had become an entrenshed elite were scarred s--tless that a rangy bunch of longhaired anarchists was going to burn all the stock certificates and unleash a communist pogram--not to mention those of darker hues lusting after and ravaging their daughters.

The result was a 30 plus year effort to make America once again safe for permanent warfare, wage slavery and the sacred right of monopolistic bueiness enterprises to pillage and loot the planet without interference from effeminate officious intermeddleres attempting to assert the preeminent interests of the broader community.

Against all that, what do you propose could have been done?

7:50 PM  
Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door said...

This post has been wildly misinterpreted by many. My intent was simple: an intergeneration plea within the progressive movement to our collective parents to light a fire under us, your progressive children. Activists of the 60s are still out there walking the walk every day, but my generation seems bewildered as to how we should go about changing the system from the outside, who better to ask for help than those who have had some success at it.

It was also meant to be a challenge to us younger folk to get active and think outside the box in order to find a way to effectively challenge this dirty, evil regime. The old ways are all we know (and we're even slacking on that side a bit), but they don't seem to be as effective as they once were.


This post was not meant to be an indictment of anyone, simply a plea and a light and hopefully humorous look at one aspect of our collective upbringing that may have contributed to our current stagnation. Clearly this idea of mine needed more care, time and space to adequately convey. By making it so short and simple, my purpose was lost.

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Roberta Kelly said...

LGND, this post was/is radical and perfect too.

Art is supposed to create the challenge and the artist as well as the participant of the art, are supposed to engage in the tension of experiencing the creative/receptive energy.

You did exactly what you were to do and the proof is in the incredible awakening of minds and emotions.

Everyone who has even half a brain wishes to have this insanity be brought back into balance.

Be yourself and continue to write the brilliant work that you do.

Rejoice when you stir up the deep rooted feelings in the bowels of the belly of the beast.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said that if we don't have something worth dying for then life isn't worth living.

4:13 PM  

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