Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mind Fuck: Post-Modern War Trip and a Revolution

The last two Netflix dvds Ryan and I watched were Steal this Movie and The Weather Underground. I don’t know if it was coincidental that we received two movies revolving around Vietnam, protesting, movements, hippies, riots etc. but we did and it got me contemplating. Many people are comparing what’s going on in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan to Vietnam. It makes sense, in one of those movies they refer to the president sending over 50,000 more troops—so the link comes easily. What doesn’t come easily and what isn’t even close to comparable is United States citizens’ reactions. Yes. The wars have parallel events, but how we handle them are completely different.

1960’s and 1970’s are exposed as a time of “revolution,” a revolution that was short winded and didn’t quite get the job done. And when I see these movies I wonder how much of a propaganda they are. Because I feel torn. I feel paranoid. Almost all of the anti-war protestors, the anti-capitalists, pro-equality leaders have been defeated, whether they were killed or whether they were influenced to the point of giving up and joining the cocaine binges and shoulder pad excitement of the 80’s.

Don’t they feel pissed off that the cycle has repeated itself, and in their lifetime even. Aren’t they infuriated that everything they once stood for got shat on and no one seems to care? That most people look at the Vietnam time period through nostalgic lenses instead of a lens of learning.

These movies make it seem that it is nearly impossible to create true change. They do such a good job of influencing apathy that people my age are defeated before they even begin. We think what we learned from the 60’s and 70’s is to not do it that way because it doesn’t work. Perhaps, it works TOO well. Perhaps they were truly on the brink of something monumental and they gave up because it truly was too difficult to battle one of the most evil passive aggressive/ violently obvious power houses ever to exist in the history of this planet.

The most intelligent and influential people have control of your knowledge. Do you think they would allow you to see how a true revolution works? At first, you may answer, no. But then, yes. Perhaps it’s a psychological mind fuck. They know if you see it and you see that it didn’t do much for change that you will not want to repeat those actions. But. Let’s be real. Things have changed since the 60’s and 70’s. The fight wasn’t worthless. And they did stop an unjust war.

We’re entering a new decade. This past one has sucked ass. I am pissed off that 1/2 of my life was under the control of the Bush family. I’m pissed that people don’t pay attention to history. That people live passively, idly by, waiting for their life to end. We can ALL see that capitalism is a fucked up game. We are aware that racism and sexism and ageism and all the isms still exist. We are all aware that 30,000 more people are going over to fight in a war for reasons that are just not justifiable. But what are we going to do about it? Ignore it until we implode anyway?

Yes, it’s great in theory to think you can live in your little shell, your tiny box, to imagine that you are not connected to anyone else or anything else, but if you weren’t connected, you would be dead. Like about 100,000 civilians who already are (not to mention the military).

What really sucks is how quickly hope can shatter. I believed in the Obama’s campaign for change. I still feel that part of my apathy and passivity comes from the euphoria of getting Bush out of office and getting, finally, a non-white president. But, now I’m wondering if he again is just a figure-head, a puppet like Bush but with a better smile. Was he just a ploy to get the liberal uprising to calm down? I want to trust him. I really do. But I can’t help thinking he’s being manipulated and played like the rest of us.

We need a new revolution. Time has altered us. Perhaps the picketing and the riots are no longer the best solution. But we NEED something. This frightens me. In the deepest parts of my heart, I wish they would have stuck it out in the 60’s and 70’s, pushed through so that when I was born in the 80’s my life would have been a hippie’s paradise. But the battle has waxed and waned. The same general goals still exist. I don’t want to leave this world knowing that I did nothing to make it better. If I kept my voice silent I would internally torture myself while also missing vital connections and relations to people that I need in my life. So maybe we do it a bit differently this time around, but at least let’s do something. I know I want to. But I have to be honest. I’m not sure where to go or how to start.

I know what we do not need. We do not need a resurgence of cocaine or shoulder pads. Nor do we need to go around smelling like patchouli oil or forgetting to comb our hair.

But our time of ignoring all of this is over.

Or we are.

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