You have convinced me that keeping my mouth shut is not an option. I’ll be 60 in July. I grew up hating Nazis, Japs and guys in black hats. I had a paper route at age 10 because the old man was having trouble keeping a job. My first car cost me 60 bucks and I couldn’t even drive it until I fixed the leaky oil pan.
Most of my friends and neighbors were from Appalachia and had just a tad less or more than I did. We learned math figuring out the batting averages of Mickey Mantle and Rocky Colavito. We combed our hair and washed our clothes so girls would look at us. Cops were tough guys who actually came when they were needed. They didn't command respect. They didn't need to. Their actions were enough.
John Kennedy was magic and Nikita Khrushchev was a chubby little guy who did not really understand us. The factories were hiring and everybody's dad actually made or fixed something. Moms had more respect and power than the Pope.
Viet Nam was a place you went because you had to. The Beatles started blowing smoke into their songs and girls got funky. Nixon got busted and the system started to smell. My friend Harry died in Cu Chi and never saw what sex on leave would leave.
Money became free. Work became work. And America started talking about being America instead actually being America. Thomas Paine cried. Thomas Jefferson moved to the Bahamas. Alan Greenspan changed his resume and took over the bank.
So, how did this stinking pod in the corner become America? Why are so many of us pissed? Is it because we've finally figured out that we are never going to get the fuzzy little bear out of the plastic box no matter how many quarters we put in?
Has your prescription drug bill gotten bigger than your SUV payment.? Is your cholesterol twice as high as your IQ? Are your kids the last people you would invite to your next party?
What the hell is wrong with us? The talking heads keep talking. Politicians don't give a rat's ass about the people who pay them. A big talking Texas transplant who never made a honest buck or pulled KP at Fort Benning is trying to scare the shit out me and my family over a bunch aggravated desert nomads who have never been able stand in a line without getting pissed off.
How did Adams, Jefferson, Washington and their ilk ever ponder the weighty issues without getting smothered with the crap we deal with? Was their real estate tax bill ever higher than their house payment? How can Chin the Chinese guy riding a donkey to work cause me so much grief? What the hell is going on here?
I'm getting older, but not happier. The more I know, or think I know, the worse it gets. I've come to trust no one. I'm not alone. When we get together and finally figure out what has really become of our America -- the shit will hit the fan. I can't for the life of me understand why there aren't more of us at the polls, the schools and government offices. Everybody says THEY are the problem. Well, let me tell you something folks, THEY is US.
I'm starting to listen more to free thinkers and real patriots. Ron Paul from Texas deserves a look. Keith Olberman cleans O’Reilly’s clock. George Ure at Urban Survival makes tons of sense. Joe Bageant can see through the fog, why can't we? There are thousands of real Americans out there with real decent innovative ideas. Nothing against tap or pop, but Sinatra sang his ass off. Saving those poor bastards in Africa surely deserves a look. C'mon folks, where's our soul? Every man woman and child on the planet deserves as a chance for life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Our forefathers had the gumption and took the risks to build a foundation for all of us. If we build a shack over it, damn it!! That’s our fault.
I read a piece by Chalmers Johnson this morning making a good guess at what it would take:
"For the U.S., the decision to mount such a campaign of imperial liquidation may already come too late, given the vast and deeply entrenched interests of the military-industrial complex. To succeed, such an endeavor might virtually require a revolutionary mobilization of the American citizenry, one at least comparable to the civil rights movement of the 1960s."
Personally, I think it would take something much bigger than that, and even then it would become a job for Homeland Security to handle. I'd like to believe our generation still has the gonads to rise up, as it were, and tear this current system completely apart, and rebuild anew over time. After all, we are the last generation of ordinary folks who can remember what freedom felt like. But looking around me, I just don't see it happening. The fact that the Democrats willingly funded again a military spending bill, massive portions of which are unknown to them because the expenses are "state secrets", is evidence enough that maintaining a false and weakening military, financial, consumerist empire is the number one priority of both supposedly opposing parties.
Frankly, I think if it's gonna get done it will be in the wake of collapse and be done by the next generation. Handicapped as most of them are by media, pop culture, etc., there are millions among them who can think for themselves. Then too, there is that little matter of so many old vets, ultra-libertarians, and just plain old working guys who have these little ordinance collectors clubs others might describe as, shall we say, militia. It's gonna be interesting to watch some old graybeard Nam vet instructing a 25-year old in black clothes and with spiked henna dyed red hair and whose piercings make him (or her) look like they fell face down into a tackle box:
"Now son, the black wire is your ground wire, and when you set it up for the IED in a government building, you have to scotch tape it down on the inside of the air conditioning vent, because ..."
I personally do not advocate any of that radical stuff like mass refusal to pay income tax or destruction of certain government properties, of course. ;-)
In art and labor,