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Keep Calm and Carry On

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Summer of Spoiled Brats

I was just reading an art review when I was struck with, let's be honest, righteous indignation at the snide and smug self-satisfied tone of the article. I was surprised at myself, but maybe if you read the article, you'll see where I'm coming from. Here's the article: Summer of self-love. What I find insulting is this part:

Eying the scores of icons on display - from the mind-bending re-creation of the Joshua Light Show to footage of Timothy Leary pushing acid tests in Central Park - inspired not just the expected rush of smug memory, but an awareness of something made palpable by its very absence from the current climate: a sense of openness, a faith in change, and thus, a very special type of romance.

Looking around at the images spread over two floors, one couldn't help but notice the pervasive hope that lives here. In the art's bold colors, the music's explorative nature and the drugs' promise of transcendence there thrives a feeling that the world could be made vastly different. And that simple people had the power to make that happen, just because they said so.


Okay, it's not just baby boomers who had that feeling. Every kid I know between the ages of 18 and 25 has had the feeling that they could make a difference. Many of them do take action and try to make a difference. Hope is a common denominator of the young. It's only as people age that they forget the power of hope, and the habit of it. The boomers as a group aren't any different than any other group. Well, maybe that isn't exactly true. They've got numbers, and they've got one other thing:
Unfortunately, the era also holds a certain intimidation factor for the young. John Mayer enjoyed a radio smash with his recent song "Waiting on the World to Change," which talked about a generation that feels too enfeebled to do anything to affect the politics around them. How could such lethargy not make people pine for a time when those who hated a war didn't just voice their anger in opinion polls, but in the streets?

They liked to cause civil unrest.

In fact those who are in the media are still acting this way. Spoiled kids having temper tantrums because the grown-ups aren't listening to them and doing things their way. Maybe it's just me, but nostalgia for lawlessness makes me nervous, how about you?

Posted by guest author: Mrs. Lewis on May 29, 2007 10:16 am

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