You don’t need a picket sign to want some sort of change in this world. And that doesn’t necessarily mean that the best way to get that change is to go tour the television morning show circuit either, even though more people will pay attention to you if Matt Lauer is asking you questions. Unfortunately, a lot of people just stop at making a “hell no we won’t go” sign with some red magic marker, hope for the best and expect to be listened to.
I doubt that what was meant by “the pen is mightier than the sword.”
Thomas Jefferson once said “A little revolution is a good thing now and then and as necessary in the political world as storms are in the physical.”
With that in mind as you look at what is going on in this world on a day-to-day basis, you might feel inclined to get out the poster board and the magic markers and try to gather some sort of “lynchmob” to accompany the “witty phrase of disdain” that you draw in big block capital letters.
Some people with enough time on their hands seemingly have a lynchmob on speed dial or data-based in their email. You might recognize some of these local lynchmobs from such issues as the smoking ban in restaurants, slots in Maryland, too much noise in Berlin, and the ever-popular Ocean Pines Rec. Center. Quite frankly, if you talk to enough people, they’ll tell you stories of mini-mobs coming after them for building a garage on their own property, taking on a landscaping project, again, on their own property, or just wanting to take their kids trick or treating.
I guess all the burning torches that the OP lynchmobbers hold are reason enough to not have even one working streetlight.
I was reading Hunter S. Thompson the other night and it was from a letter from 1968 in which he was talking about hippies and if they would hold any significance in the nation’s history other than offering the difference between dank and schwag, patchouli, and Grateful Dead bootlegs handed out at the unemployment line.
As I read this letter now, and see a lot of former hippies now rocking pleated pants and 401K’s, some even with very successful businesses hidden in their rucksacks, I find the letter almost humorous in a way.
The person that one was 40 years ago certainly is not the same person now, at least not in theory. Think of it like this: your oldest relative is probably very much against anything that is different from what they do now. Probably even down to what kind of oil they put in their car. Young folks on the other hand, are constantly changing. They kind of have to because who really is rocking the same persona as they did when they were 20? I mean, that could get pretty ridiculous, just the hairstyles alone.
So in 1968, for that generation’s elders to be all up in arms saying that the hippie culture was single-handedly destroying the most basic and original of American values with their anti-establishment, free love, cheap drugs and incessant need to protest everything under the sun, was a bit harsh as that lifestyle couldn’t possibly have stuck for the rest of their natural born lives. Shouldn’t the elders have had some foresight that eventually, the hippies of yesterday would conform to the pursuit of the American dream, get a job and cut their shoulder length hair?
The average hippie from that era is in their 50s or 60s. Yet, they yell at their kids or the kids of today from being almost exactly the way they were concerning matters of politics, the man, and the world as we know it. I wonder if anyone else sees the irony in that?
I guess all of this ends up coming full circle back to politics. I mention this as I watched Dubbya make yet another ridiculously pompous speech from the biggest of Bully Pulpits the other day concerning Iran.
You hear on the news about all the fuss about the John Stewart’s and the Stephen Colbert’s of the world taking the young “hipster” generation by their popped-collars and feeding them with satirical swill concerning the policies of this administration or the world as we know it.
The good Dr. Thompson had a point in saying that the hippies had Bob Dylan as the voice of their movement, and since music has not and will not ever produce another Robert Zimmerman (that’s Dylan’s real name for those whom I lost there) to the masses, is it fair to say that perhaps the fake news anchors like Colbert and Stewart have become in a way the voice of this new generation of revolting hippies (or hipsters as I think they go by now)?
If you talk to any of the original hippies from that era, from the entrepreneurial hippie to the hippie that is still reliving Woodstock one forgotten day at a time, they all mention “the scene” in relation to what was going on.
What happened to the scene? Well, the same thing that happens to any scene: People grow out of it, or start to realize that they can make money off of it. The Haight-Asbury is now a hippie tourist trap, Grunge made everyone start spending their money on flannel rather than Poison records, and the Colbert/Stewart duo of the fake news world has made kids start taking politics at face value rather than gospel truth.
History hasn’t really changed as much as it has come full circle and repeated itself with different people in the title roles. The only difference between the hippies and the hipsters is their choice of music, the fact that they choose first to laugh rather than blindly protest, and of course they have better personal hygiene. I’m sure though, that eventually they will simmer down, buy some pleated pants and just blend into the herd like every good American is told to do.
As I get older I’m not sure if realizing that trend is sensible or sad.
Just when I start to believe that dissent is unpatriotic and that I should just cut my hair and support Dubbya to bomb the hell out of Iran, I find this quote from the nation’s first President:
“Gentleman, you must permit me to put on my spectacles, as I’ve not only grown gray but almost blind in your service to our country.” — George Washington
You go get the poster board and the markers. I’ll rally the lynchmob.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.