When I was younger, circa 1968 and so forth, I used to wonder why I never fit in with the Hippie crowd.
Now I think I understand why….
Oh … I liked the “love beads,” the “Flower Power,” the Sgt. Pepper album cover and all the psychedelic colors. But I never could pull off wearing tie-dye t-shirts or billowy all-cotton tunics.
And I never ran away from home to walk around in a daze at the corner of Haight and Ashbury nor did I have any particular desire to drive across country and sit in a field of mud to listen to music.
Oh, I was a typical rebellious, angry teenager, but not in any kind of, shall I say, *exotic* way. And I liked the security of having a place to live.
After high school, I went to community college and then I went to college some more. During and inbetween school, I had a string of mostly boring jobs and then, much to the surprise of all my liberal Los Angeles friends, I joined the Army.
I marched in orange-y/gloppy South Carolina mud/clay, but never on the campus of a progressive university with a bunch of shabbily-dressed hippie-dippy types.
(When I was in college, I actually, well, I … *studied.*)
So I’m inclined to be rather alarmed and even amused by the kids “occupying” the streets in the big cities across the United States these last several weeks.
Call me jaded or cynical (or … maybe just *wise*) but if people are going to sit outside in the street all day in the middle of their own filth and trash, at least have a valid reason for it … or have an inkling of WHY.
Like for instance, homeless people — they have a more valid reason to camp on the sidewalks than do kids who have had all the goodies handed to them since before they popped out of their mothers’ wombs. (Nowadays, they are what is called “entitled,” but back in the day it was simply known as being “spoiled.”) (And most of the homeless people I’ve met DO make an effort to clean up.)
I do agree that there are a lot of problems with the way corporations have done business over the years. But carrying around a sign that says, “Abolish Capitalism” is not going to fix anything.
In my opinion (and of course I DO have one), the mangy-looking kids with iPods barfing up Socialist doublespeak in New York are sadly being used by political entities who care nothing about what actually happens to them.
Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it and all, but it doesn’t take much research to discover that the agitators who drummed up all the chaos in the 1960s were a bunch of Socialist nitwits with ulterior motives also.
When I was in my 20s and 30s, I never really knew what I knew, but now I know because I learned from all the cuckoo mistakes I made AND from all the things I did right too.
There is not much to be learned by sitting on a sidewalk holding a sign all day. Capitalism and corporations in and of themselves are not evil. The best way for an “Occupier” to figure that out might be to start a corporation or business and then run it the way he or she believes that it SHOULD be run instead of criticizing the greedy capitalists that they so despise.
©October 2011 by Phyllis J. Hanniver