Monday, October 29, 2007

The sixties are over, ma'am!

Or so said young MU student Brian Collar to an aging hippie protesting the existence of ROTC on the Marquette campus. Shades of the Strawberry Statement. At least he could have called her "miss."

This is what it's come to. You can't trust anyone under 50, man! I have mixed feelings about the sixties. All the protests and drugs and free love were pioneered by our older brothers and sisters. We envied them and there is a sense in which that never goes away. Nor do I have anything against idealism even though I mistrust messianic politics. I like the music. I enjoy some of the cultural references even if, srictly speaking, I was a child and not an adolescent when most of it, as they say, "went down."

But I do feel that the sixties are still a blight on our politics. They established some paradigms - pacificism, relativism and reification of the "other" - which, while they can serve a particular purpose at a particular time - are not as helpful today. Even as we have enjoyed a conservative ascendency, these paradigms still influence the way in which we think and must talk about a host of issues.

So while young squire Collar may have indulged in a few cheap "oldster" cracks, he is right. The sixties are over and we should get over them.

6 comments:

Dad29 said...

...so long as 'getting over them' does NOT mean we transition to the '70's.

karl marx said...

That post was groovy man.

Anonymous said...

A few cheap cracks? I finally found the post. No wonder you wanted to spare your student the link to it.

Wait 'til a potential employer finds it -- since employers tend to be so old, man. Some actually hold a view of the '60s different from yours, too.

Hasn't MU warned its students that employers google to find their sorry pasts now? There goes more than $100,000 in MU tuition. . . .

Brian said...

Gasp!

The last thing I would want a business leader to find out about me is that I led independently organized and managed a pro-military counter protest!

You're right, "anonymous," the better life choice would be to post anonymously on the blogs of people who have the courage to voice their opinion out in the open.

Brian

Rick Esenberg said...

It was an oversight that I did not link and Brian is not my student. I do think, however, that he'll be ok on the blog thing.

Anonymous said...

So what's your last name, Brian?

If Brian is your first name, that is. . . .