On The Man And The Millennials

There was a time when those who resisted imperialism, exploitation, and collective murder in the name of national identity understood the concept of “the Man”. Casual references to “the Man” in songs such as “Military Madness” by CSN and “Born On The Bayou” by CCR reflected the collective insights of the youth of that generation as to the transparent authoritarian nature of the American way of life. And as Jack Black so passionately proclaimed in “Schoolhouse Rock”, the simple reality is that the Man is everywhere!

In fact, the reason that the counterculture youth movement of the late 60’s and early 70’s was “counter culture” is because in those days those who resisted in general understood that the Man is rooted in the mainstream institutions of society which serve to execute systemic oppression and economic exploitation of the masses in the name of conventional ideology. Indeed “the Man is in the White House and down the hall”. The counter culture youth of that era rebelled against the establishment as such, for they recognized the fundamentals of fascism in the very institutions of convention which propagandize the fairy tale myth of freedom and liberty in a society of domestic wage slavery and interventionist wars abroad.

The counter culture revolutionalists of that time rebelled because they realized that the Man was not just an individual or a specific political party, but rather the entire amoral system which used and abused people while parroting lip service to the concept of liberty and human rights. Frankly, the counter culture youth of the late 60’s and early 70’s were critical thinkers in a culture which coveted conformity as a means of subtle crowd control. That which the Man cannot abide is the individuality of critical analysis and free thought.

Now inasmuch as I have an unapologetic respect for the counter culture movement of the youth of 50 years ago, I am equally amazed at the resiliency of the Man. For in spite of the Woodstock culture and the Watergate scandal, the Man not only survived but in many ways is as influential as ever in an effective beat down of would be social dissidents. Ironically, the effort to foment fear as a means of social control which failed in the case of the counter culture youth of the late 60’s has yielded its intended effect in post 9-11 America. For even though the young counter culture revolutionists of the late 60’s had been trained as grade school children to hide under their school desks in case of a hypothetical nuclear attack, in time they came to recognize the Man as the enemy instead of the imaginary Commie crouching in the shadows. Such fear baiting may have failed the Man by the late 60’s, but that very methodology has proven quite effective since 9-11 for an entire generation which has been raised to willingly march off to war in order to battle alleged enemies harboring imaginary weapons of mass destruction. Perhaps the most perplexing aspect of that reality is that whereas the Man depended on the Draft in order to facilitate the Vietnam War at that time, there is no such systemic coercion in order to maintain the ongoing Bush-Obama-Trump wars of today.

It would seem that the Man has finally achieved authoritarian utopia. A generation of seemingly willing participants who dutifully volunteer to fight and kill in the interventionist wars of the 21st Century. And the Man doesn’t even have to worry about any Catholic priests or rebellious teens burning Draft Cards! The will of the Man for collective conformity would seem to be complete. Those who have not sold out to the Man seem to have bought into the concepts which enable the authoritarian tyranny of the establishment.

And then came the social dissidents from among the Millennials.

For as in the 60’s, the times they are a changin’.

For the millennial generation seems to have awakened to the corruption of the establishment. And the Man is once again beginning to feel the heat of the people in the streets. Even the political puppets are showing albeit tentative signs of concern that they may actually have to consider the will of their constituents instead of merely representing the interests of their corporate doaners.

Critical thinkers of a generation who are informed enough to know the reality of the effects of climate change and world war are actually questioning the wisdom of denying the reality of the one and engaging in the other. The youth of today are becoming aware of other cultures less prosperous than our own who have the will to provide healthcare for everyone and higher education for the qualified, and they are pressing the establishment to account for student debt and healthcare insecurity in a society that writes blank checks for endless wars and is willing to fund silly ventures such as a Space Force.

The times are a changin’, and the Man is feeling’ the heat.

Time will tell whether the generation of my children; the Millennials, and that of my baby grandson will be able to resurrect a counter cultural social resistance which once and for all brings social change which ends imperialism, exploitation, and collective murder in the name of national identity. But at the moment such a movement for the sake of humanity seems to be underway.

As CSN once sang, “it’s been a long time coming, but it’s always darkest before the dawn”.


The Confessions of an 11th Hour Hippie

(Note: I posted this on a Facebook Group earlier. After reading it again, I thought to myself: “What the hell!! This is going on my Blog as well!!)

Confessions of an 11h Hour Hippie:

I really dig hearing all you long time, hard core Hippies testify. Reminds me of the best of times of my youth (70’s), then my years of wandering in the Wilderness of Conservative Crapology (the 80’s), and my redemption to reason and sanity by simply reminding myself what it means to be human (Bush whacked back into the reality of the real world):

I am a half generation removed from the true Hippie era. Born in ’61; my generation enjoyed the 70s because of the dirty work of you folks who are a decade older than myself. You guys got your butts kicked, were tear gassed, and got drug off to jail by the Fascist Security Patrol (the Cops), while a decade later my generation did Disco and Star Wars. We had it good: Because of you guys.

In the 70’s the Military was distrusted, the Cops were distrusted, and Politicians were distrusted, because YOUR GENERATION had the intestinal fortitude and the integrity to stand up and say “Hell no” to War and Fascism instead of just enjoying the benefits of your forefathers who worked their butts off working for “the man” to give you good homes, but who in the process were mere cogs in the machine of social injustice trying to do their best by their families.

While you; the children of the 60’s had the guts to “drop out”, we the children of the 70s were damn lucky enough to have some fun and just chill.

Then came the 80’s; when so many of us got too close to the Reagan exhaust fumes and allowed a Grade B Actor who became a Grade D President, to convince us that if we would just give the wealthy a massive pay raise, then the returns would just “trickle down” on us like manna from heaven. We just had to trust the system, keep our mouths shut, work hard, go to church, and vote Republican. I did all that crap, and in the process we “Young Republicans” allowed that war monger and insensitive creep Reagan to conduct his illegal wars and slash social programs for those who were truly in need of help, and all while we applauded him and stood for the pledge and got caught up in that whole patriotic American propaganda of the 1980’s; all the while forgetting that what our society was becoming is what you; the children of the 60’s had WARNED US we would become if we sold our souls for profit and patriotism.

Then came the 90’s, and the initial effects of Trickle Down economics. The rich got rich, and the poor suffered more than ever. The rich were now enabled to buy the political system to the point that they were able to get Trade Agreements that screwed Labor, and Economic policies that allowed rich people to use that extra money from Reaganomics to play lottery games with other people’s money. Then, by the time Bush came to office all we lacked to complete the sinister bidding of the super wealthy was a war to plunder other societies and enrich the Military Industrial Complex; which of course King George II was all too glad to make happen in the 2000’s.

By this time, I was seeing how the poor were suffering more than ever, that workers were being exploited more than ever, and so by the time I found out we were torturing people, AND heard my fellow church going friends actually DEBATE whether such was wrong, that was when I had my social “come to the hippies” meeting.

That is when I realized that Fascism is as real and always was as real as the hippies and rebels of the ’60s had said that it was, and that is when I realized how badly our society needs more Abbie Hoffman and more Port Huron Statement ideology; and less Rush Limbaugh, less Faux News, and less plutocracy for the privileged.

And so it goes….

Anyway: Thank you to all you lifetime Hippies. I hope my kids and my grand kids generation can relight the fire and rekindle compassion and revive environmental awareness before it is too late for our kind.

If only we would have listened to your generation 50 years ago….