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What Will You Tell the Children?

By       Message David Glenn Cox     Permalink
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What will you tell the children when their dreams are no more? What will you tell them when the barrel is empty and the sidewalks lonely and the future is homely? Will you tell them of brighter days of sunset plays cascading coins and folding money?

When we did things just for fun, when there was no worry when there was no hurry. Pretty smiles and dollar signs, cheap gas and cars that went fast just for fun with no harm done. When the sun was warm and the nights were soft when we sang Mustang Sally before the Beijing two step came across.

What will you tell the children when you send them to school? Should they study and try to achieve the highest degree and credit card color? To become the best-educated unemployed they can be? To rule over ruins and reign over broken ramparts to make a joyful noise in ashes and sackcloth what will you tell the children as the future goes by?

Will they join the Huxley's or the Orwell's or will they live in Brazil waiting for Tuttle to fix the air? Perhaps beginners luck on a broken TV or a bad break for Buttle's mistake. They could be anyone but probably not, just me and my little knife! Snip snip - slice slice... can you believe it?

Imagining the unimaginable, dreaming the undreamable conforming to the nonconforming while in living black and white with occasional streaks of faded gray. Believing the unbelievable with sacred knowledge unknown, dancing in the dark laughing in church allergic to the truth and vaccinated against fact with a remote control search with closed antiseptic eyes.

Will they fight for tomorrow or play in the debris as an upscale prole with a credit card voice and a bachelor's degree. Will they fight for a place that won't fight for them to fight the same battles over and over again? To fight for half measures or maybe a third to then ask for help and to be thought quite absurd. To not cross the line, to never cross that line where the big cars park, where the big dogs bark and the electric gates lock.

To follow your orders and do what you're told to man your post till your finger fingers get cold. To protect all your betters till you're told to get lost, to worry about your own when the heat goes off. To be candlelight blind and thin blanket warm and macaroni fed with a soul that's half-dead. From the years, from the tears, from the almost and the nears.

What will you tell the children when their dreams are no more? That the politicians said, "wait" so we waited? Well, what's another year or two maybe you'll live again some other time and perhaps things will go better for you? Waiting for the high tech jobs that came and went or waiting for green jobs with baited breath. An alien life in an out of body existence hoping against hope for hope in the distance and searching for change in the dark crevices of couch cushion sedition.
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Tomorrow's a vision Marley was told your children are young will you make them chains to hold? What can they take from you? What can they make from you? What can they do to you that's worse than what's true for you? You have no friends there can't you see that? The good guys and bad guys wear the same Dali fedora hat, a morality play, a plurality play, the persistence of memory the insistence of imagery. The scalding of a people who ask, "where do I go?"

The arrows of time point from forward to back write your name on the wall, kick down your stall, stand unrequited, stand alone or united. Laughter's small medicine fears a deadly disease patience isn't a virtue it's license to let them do as they please. The future is untitled, unbridled; unplanned and unmanned the future is yours to build with your hands.

What will you tell the children when their dreams are no more? I was busy, I was lazy, and I was scared? That the game was on or that movie you wanted to see? What's it matter, you can't change it or it's too late for me? So they don the polyester and perhaps a paper hat and clock in five minutes early and ask, "you want fries with that?"

Maybe they'll be lucky and escape the intellectual malaise and free their mind from empty stores, endless wars and places where we don't live anymore. Places where daddies don't scream and mommies don't cry where we'll work for real money and the TV won't lie.

To rouse the undead and to teach them the word, a word with as much power as has ever been heard. To shake the machine and break the machine and then take the machine back to put it up on it's foundations as it was supposed to be. To pronounce that change will arrive with a feather, with a kiss or with a fist to announce to the unlistening that we want things better than this.
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We is a word with unlimited power we is the word that makes the powerful cower. We can do anything, we can get loud we can make them listen and we can bring change. We did didn't start this, we never cut pay we never locked plant gates or moved a factory away. We don't get the money we don't get the job we want too much and they think we're just slobs. The country is ours if we want it and the country will change if we make it.

Maybe you'll die in your bed old and in debt or perhaps hit with a baton with a gun to your head. Or in holographic images of fantasy lives sleeping so softly you're unable to rise. That's a good boy, sit, now stay, what will you tell the children when their dreams go away?

 

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I who am I? Born at the pinnacle of American prosperity to parents raised during the last great depression. I was the youngest child of the youngest children born almost between the generations and that in fact clouds and obscures who it is that I (more...)
 

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