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Lost Children

By       Message David Glenn Cox     Permalink
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So I got drunk last night, it had been a while. I was celebrating actually getting paid for what I would do for free. A pittance of what I used to earn but I consider myself damn lucky to get it. It was a victory of spirit, a victory of the burning aurora's behind my closed eyes.

I was steeped in liberalism from an early age, an unavoidable consequence of growing up in the sixties and early seventies in America before the darkness fell. My high school counselor recommended that I take the highest level of academic classes available. He then offered, "If they are too tough you can always transfer down, but if they are too easy you can't always transfer up." That's the way they used to think back in those days before the schools and teachers were held directly responsible for my academic success or failure.

That guy thought that I was the one responsible! It was an amazing time to be growing up in a drug fueled and literate generation. Smoke a joint and talk about the books that we read, "You read Kesey?"

Yeah, sure man, have you read, "Steal this Book? Brave New World? Kerouac? The Catcher in the Rye?"

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We would take the train to the Loop in downtown Chicago and cruise the head shops. We would buy underground newspapers as well as rolling papers. Downtown we could get in to see x-rated movies that we wouldn't be allowed to see even if they had ever come to suburbia. They had this hard and fast rule in the loop, you had to be eighteen or accompanied by three dollars to get in.

Naked images, sexual situations, bragging rights, young boys seeing things that they weren't supposed to see. This was our generation, we'd seen a President assassinated, several civil rights leaders and the President's brother gunned down. It became a way of life and you almost became desensitized to the violence, you know? Until, "We interrupt this program to bring you an special news bulletin."

We'd seen riots at political conventions and wars on TV splayed out in living color and we'd seen what happened to families that had received visitors from the army. All the older guys carried their draft cards and would laugh at us saying, "soon enough kid." We worried about getting into college, otherwise we were draft bait or we might have to take a job at the steel mill or in the car factory.

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In the ecstasy of our youth we were bathed in our idealism, environmentalism, civil rights, women's rights and abortion rights. A generation in flux, a generation locked into a vortex of change. We smoked cigarettes and we smoked dope and dropped acid as we walked out on the ledge of life. Underneath that youthful optimism we were very jaded, we understood that green fatigues could soon be in our future.

We failed to understand the true meaning of Kent State or as it was called at the time, the Kent state tragedy. Looking back, it wasn't a tragedy, it was a massacre. It was reactionary forces snapping back, Nixionian forces shooting down demonstrators protesting an illegal war. Funny isn't it, when the Chinese shot down their own demonstrators twenty years later. The world media condemned it as the actions of a brutal government without even a semblance of freedom.

The American media called Kent State an accident, a situation mishandled and a breakdown in communication. After all, just because Nixon had invaded a neutral country with bombings and troops was no reason for the students to get all riled up. The National Guardsmen were defended by the courts and the school and the state were defended by the federal courts as well. Surprised? In this day and time there is no reason to be but back then it seemed troubling.

Troubling and numbing, not only could Federal troops shoot you down in the street but you had no legal recourse if they did. We had already learned from the My Lie massacre that the government had no regard for the lives of foreigners but Americans? Then their was the FBI's Cointelpro program to frame, incriminate and harass anyone who the government thought wasn't loyal enough.

These programs were wildly successful, the accused went to jail because the docile, well fed and gainfully employed populace wouldn't believe their government would do anything as heinous as that. Even as Nixon waved good bye from the helicopter following his Watergate crimes the bulk of the populace believed that the government had worked. The underlings took the fall and the ring leaders walked away.

The rich and powerful don't go to jail ,it is only an illusion of a justice system. Jim Morrison faced jail time but not Richard Nixon. We were young and naive' we didn't realize that the sun was going down in America. Ronald Reagan told us it was morning in America, that government wasn't the answer. As stupid as that argument might have sounded for millions of Americans it seemed plausible. Reagan was going to cut their taxes and lower the tax rate for millionaires from 70 percent to 28 percent.

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Union jobs began to dry up as factories fled to non-union states Reagan told those unemployed people to, just move! Government help? Don't be ridiculous, meanwhile the Reagan administration was busy fomenting government overthrows and revolutions in Central America but America had just stopped listening. Perhaps it was mental fatigue, or MTV, or the tons of cocaine that washed up on our shores from the same countries where the CIA were covertly operating.

In the disco's, narcissistic dance music blared with messages of consumption, lust and style over substance. Read books? Look at my new shoes! Got any blow?

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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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