The Red, White and Blah

I had a conversation with an older friend this week about some of the unbelievable things taking place at the government level. Visibly enraged, he suggested that a social revolution is in the offing. I shot back with the assumption that he had probably had that feeling most of his life. He shook his head, and as a million thoughts flashed before me, said, “its never been like this.” While youthful anger and rebellious thoughts are one thing, I thought aloud, how can the young generations of today comprehend a social revolution?

The difference, he pointed out, is that — older generations knew things would get better, their parents had made it through the depression, etc, and inevitably they would become the how-u-say generation most great, and shared with their offspring, the most money ever. Now, I take my friend’s opinions and statements seriously, dramatic as they may occasionally be, and always with some sort of Jon Stewart-ism thrown in, but this is a man who reported on both the Vietnam and Korean wars.

The youth today are faced with the reality that we will not be as well-off as our parents, generally speaking, and that aside — inefficient, overpriced health care, poor schools, etc — it may become obvious that we’re on our own. We can’t change foreign policy or prevent future nihilatory preemtion abroad, but we can muster it within us to rebel and come together to improve our own tangible independent worlds.

Things may happen fast, but in regards to freedom, liberty and independence, things seem to be falling apart quickly, or at least getting ugly. Old glory can’t be old forever, at least not while maintaining its glory.

American sentiment and esteem appears to be so low at this point, it’s laughable. Here are some links to recent snippets from home and abroad:

Christopher Hitchens: Ignore Polls on the U.S. Image
David Rieff: America the Untethered
Poll: Britons Tire of Cruel, Vulgar Americans
Oxford Analytica: Negative Image of U.S. Grows Overseas
Mort Zuckerman: What Sets Us Apart

Cartoon by S. Kelley, New Orleans Times Picayune 2006

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