Op-Ed: You Say You Want A Revolution? (Part Deux)

Okay. Just read Drew Goldberg's editorial, and I've got a few things to say. Quit your whining, Drew. If you feel that this generation needs a voice, then do what you can to become that voice. Stop relying on other people to do it for you. Sure, it'll take a lot of hard work, but it'll give you focus and purpose.

Yes, the world we live in is fucked up. But guess what? It always has been. I'm frankly sick to death of our generation thinking they know so much better than everyone who's come before, or looking to the '60s as some glorious period of youth power and culture. Most hippies were in it for the fashion. They were doing it to be cool. That's why they eventually outgrew it and became stock brokers.

Throughout history, young people have protested the way their elders were running things. I myself think a trained monkey could prosecute this war on terror better than the Bush administration is doing. But the simple fact is that the world's an incredibly complicated place, and we're all just human. Not a single one of us has all the answers. None of us really knows how to run a world filled with as much variety and diversity as ours. It's impossible to make everybody happy. All we can do is try to make some small sense of the chaos around us. We're powerless to stop it, so we may as well embrace it.

What I find completely unfathomable is your statement that the space program is a waste of time and money and that we're too dependent on technology. Feel free to move back to the farm if you feel that strongly about it, but I think technology is the one chance we have of making our world better. The space program is worthwhile if for no other reason than keeping the spirit of exploration alive. Where would we be if Columbus, Magellan, and the other great explorers had said, "Oh, screw it, this exploration business is too expensive and dangerous"? I believe there's an inherent human need to see what's over the next hill - and when you've made it over all the hills and come to the sea, to see what's across the sea - and so on. Shutting down the space program would be shutting the door on human imagination, and that concerns me a whole lot more than squabbles over oil. Besides which, the Chinese have no intention of shutting down their space program and in my opinion, the US needs to stay ahead of them. I'm sure you'd be even unhappier living under Chinese rule than you are living under Texan rule. And at least our government changes every four or eight years (sort of...).

Technology? Technological progress has been unparalleled in the last 100 years. Have we become too dependent on it? Granted, it's a bit ridiculous to have electronic toys that simulate the lifecycle of an animal and chirp at inopportune times demanding attention, but I believe that by and large technology has made our lives better. It's certainly given you a place to communicate your feelings to thousands of us who wouldn't have any clue who you were otherwise.

The point I'll definitely concede to you though is complacency. As a people in general, Americans have indeed become much too complacent. We're in danger of losing everything we've worked toward - our rights and freedoms, our standing in the world. But kids don't need to put down the video games and realise the importance of their voice, because their voice isn't very important. Complaining doesn't do much good. What they need to do is put down the video games, get off their asses, and use their brains and their hands to effect some change, however small. Some of them might choose to do this by posting an editorial on a music website, others might choose to get a good education and follow it up with a good job where they can help create something useful, others may exercise their talents in making music or art that brings their fellow humans joy in some small way, still others might choose to blow shit up in order to try to get their point across. With luck, maybe a few of the ones with good heads on their shoulders will run for office, but unfortunately, it seems that only the greedy, small minded ones tend to do that.

Bitching and moaning about how screwed up things are doesn't do anyone any good. So instead of looking for an A-level bitcher and moaner, we'd be a lot better off actually doing something productive.

Speaking of which, I need to get back to work.

Source: Marc Bock | Tripwire User (m@swyve.org)

Op-Ed: You Say You Want A Revolution? (Part Deux)