Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Art Gallery - Jeffery Miller (2003)

Written somewhere between 2003-2005 (I honestly can't remember)

We pay our respects to Jeffery Miller, who was killed at Kent State for the crime of protesting the reckless actions of a runaway government. This was one of the iconic events of that era that stretched from the assassination of John F. Kennedy to Watergate. Those iconic '60s that everyone remembers.

It can be difficult for someone in my generation to understand what it was like back then, marching against Vietnam, marching for Civil Rights, marching for Women's Rights. Everything is written with capital letters; it's all been lionized now. In America today, there is still political activism; the run-up to the Iraq war was met with the largest antiwar protests in a generation. Unfortunately, that really is the exception to the rule. Most folks are too busy struggling with their daily lives to worry, or too apathetic to care, or just too ignorant to participate. We've tuned out of the process. This time next year, we might forget that war ever happened.

Politics today is almost the exclusive domain of nerds, social outcasts, and the obsessively ambitious (ever see "Election?"). If you want to be cool and popular and well-liked, you don't talk politics. Talking about deficits and chemical weapons won't score you a lot of dates. You have to fit in with the crowd, you see, and nobody wants to be seen as out of place, rocking the boat. What would Simon Cowell say?

Politics is such a dirty game, anyway. The whole system's been rigged to keep us out, or keep us distracted. It's best to sit back and watch TV, buy more things, work on our pick-up lines, and worry about what the celebrities are wearing. Don't think about, you know, things and stuff.

Maybe we shouldn't worry about what country we're invading this year, or what campaign promise the President is breaking behind our backs, or where your state will find the money to keep the local libraries open. Public libraries have become homeless shelters, anyway. No one visits there anymore; we have Barnes & Noble now. Besides, who reads anything besides Cosmo and Maxim? Reading is for losers.

Maybe we just don't care anymore. Or maybe we do, and this is our way of tuning out the information overload. Maybe those "60s" were overrated in the first place. I really can't say. We're all living in such crazy, trivial, epic times.

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