A couple of weeks ago I got worked up overyour typically bullshit nostalgic comment over at Susie’s place:
Now-a-days our younger folks are too engaged on these fucking
machines to get out into the cold (or heat) to raise HELL; but, guess
what? They’ll stand in line all night long to be the first to purchase
the latest version of an IPOD. CRAZY!
Yeah, kids today, with their long hair and their rock music. You never see THEM at protests.
Look, just because campus activism doesn’t look exactly like it did
back in the Glory Days (and I mean that in the Springsteen sense)
doesn’t mean young people are all shallow and stupid now. That’s as
simplistic as saying Baby Boomers were happy to protest when it was
their asses on the line in a war but can’t be bothered to get off them
for their kids.
And readers here of all places should know that judging a generation
by what you see on TV (long lines for iPods and stories about kids
showing they titties on the MySpaces) is dangerously shallow.
Here in Chicago we had protests before the war that shut down Lake
Shore Drive. We had young people throwing their bodies onto cars. That
was on TV. Lots of young faces here:
And I remember a great deal of rhetoric about those stupid kids and
how they didn’t understand that protests didn’t work because people
tried it in the 60s and it didn’t lead to anything good. Something I
strenuously disagree with, but still.
If you yearn for the days of protest, ain’t nothing stopping you
from doing it tomorrow. Go take to the streets and the university
professors’ offices and your congresscritters’ halls. Join Code Pink,
they’ve always got something going on. Find another group to hook up
with if this only interests you if there’s a billion other people doing
And direct your anger at a media establishment (both online and off)
that belittles protest and those who engage in it, because that’s
really to blame for your skewed perception.
This example wasn’t available to me at the time, but the kids are protesting just fine when it’s something that pisses them off enough, as evidenced bythings like this:
On Monday, about 100 students defied warnings from campus police and
entered Wheeler Hall declaring they were going to hold an “Open
University.” About 40 students have spent the night in the building in
sleeping bags. The daily schedule is created by participants and posted
at “Live Week.”
Joseph Agredano, 20, studied for his linguistics
final between protest duties at the information booth. Mr. Agredano, a
third-year transfer student and interdisciplinary studies major from
Moorpark, Calif., joined the movement for the September campus walkout
and became one of the dozens of students arrested on the second floor
during the November protest and takeover of Wheeler.
Agredano, who says his education is paid for by financial aid, said he
was protesting because he believes “education is a right. Higher
education should be accessible to any person.”
Good kids. Have a cookie.