Friday, September 26, 2014

Hippies' Despair

I think I've got another case of Hippies' Despair.  I first noticed this syndrome years ago while pondering how my good friend, comrade and compatriot, Woody Konopak, could possibly be so dramatically, completely and thoroughly stuck in a vortex of doom.  Woody finds a reason to say "Ba Humbug," at just about everything, while most people can look at things like a parade of liberals carrying home made signs down Central Park West and see all kinds of positive developments.

Pinko always finds something to celebrate in all sorts of endeavors most people would consider absolutely futile, but he's had a special training that emphasizes how socialists, communists, etc have a better chance of winning friends and influencing people among the liberals than among the teajadists, for example.  I suppose that makes sense, and as the world slides even further down this trajectory to hell in a hand basket, maybe more USers will start thinking they were lied to about communism just like they were lied to about the reasons the US has bombed so many innocent bystanders to kingdom come in our recent wars.  But honestly, when white people across this nation still have a hard time admitting that Whites and Blacks have a different cultural experience of the police - even after all the videos of cops shooting innocent bystanders like John Crawford, Levar Jones, Michael Brown and countless other brown men - it looks to me like we have a country filled with people desperately looking at anything other than the facts in order to maintain their comfortable, consumerist lifestyles just like Carmela Soprano pretended to believe merchandise fell off trucks and into her living room.

But back to Hippies' Despair.
I originally defined Hippies' Despair as a persistent, pervasive pessimistic outlook brought on by the overwhelming realization that there is no way the social changes your generation fought for back during the Vietnam war and the civil rights movement will come to fruition in your lifetime.  And maybe they'll never come to fruition at all given that war criminals of the past are leading the way to the future.  What gets me is that so many people can watch Hillary Clinton and Henry Kissinger admiring each other all the time without hearing echoes of The Who singing, "Meet the new boss; same as the old boss."  That's how the people keep getting fooled over and over and over again.

I will admit that the climate march was kind of like a pleasant block party where everyone had an opportunity to connect with new people which is a good thing.  When you're going to hell in a hand basket, it's always nice to know your neighbors.  Pinko even managed to coax me out of my bad attitude:

I had fun chanting with a lively group from ILPS (International League of People's Struggle), but I still ditched the march at 66th Street and went home for some peace and quiet.  I also enjoyed meeting a Fellow Worker named Bennet the next day.  He had suggested heading up to the UN to the folks who could hear him at Flood Wall Street.  Pinko, his friend Paul, a fellow worker from Reno and a young fellow from Ohio were the only ones who came up there, and since I was in the neighborhood for a dentist appointment anyway, I occupied the UN for about an hour.

Meanwhile, down on Wall Street, the cops changed shifts once the closing bell rang and the traders all went home.  All the Officer Friendlies went home for the day, and the new guys showed up in Riot Drag.  Over a 100 people were arrested that evening, and the episode was as neatly choreographed as a production number on Broadway since Occupy apparently had bail fund money for everyone who had signed consent forms indicating that they were willing to be arrested.  Unfortunately, Fellow Worker Elliot, who climbed on top of a phone booth to address the assembled crowd in a time-honored tradition among labor activists, was not among those receiving bail money.  Pinko took a photo of him with his phone:

The Huffington Post showed him getting dragged off to jail a little while later.  I see he took off the blue t shirt.

I am glad that Pinko didn't get hauled into the pokey in solidarity with his Occupy buddies.  I'm all good with him getting arrested peaceably - once he gets a job - but you never know when cops will withhold someone's asthma medicine until they die.  Cops are tricky that way, even with white people.

Tonight we are going to a forum sponsored by Pinko's friends at the Solidarity Center - which is a common office space shared by organizations like Fight Imperialism Stand Together (FIST), People's Power Assemblies, and International Action Center.  I think Workers World Party is in there too.  Someone will be reporting on what's happening with immigration and the National Caravan to the Texas/Mexico border.  I'm sure it will be informative and enlightening for me since I don't know much about what's been happening with those bus loads of kids coming up from Central America.

As someone with a confirmed case of Hippies' Despair, however, I will bet that somehow the United States Government put the whole thing into motion through the enduring clusterfuck we call Foreign Policy - which is essentially us trying to covertly manipulate the economies of other countries in order to enrich the plutocrats at the top of the food chain (see photo of Hillary and Henry).  
Henry Kissinger's work in Chile during the Nixon Administration is well documented (Democracy Now).

It's easy to see how those of us who actively remember the Nixon White House would have Hippies' Despair.  The same motherfuckers who fucked things up back then continue to fuck things up now - and that includes the supreme rat bastard, Dick Cheney, and his offspring.  But the trouble, for me, isn't really about how a bunch of sociopaths and dominionists are continually trying to run the world.  That's what imperialists do.  What bugs me is the way so many well-intentioned liberals honestly and sincerely believe that electing Democrats - like Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren - will make the world a better place, as if our entire national existence hasn't been one long exercise in Manifest Destiny.

People think China is the worst polluter, and depending on how you calculate statistics, that is mostly true.  However, the US Military Industrial Complex, aka The Pentagon, uses more fossil fuels and emits more C02 than any other institution on the planet (Flounders, 2009).  Sadly, when discussing environmental impacts, hardly anyone ever points to our own military.  It's much more comfortable and convenient when China is the bad guy.

If I've got to hang out with people in my free time, I much prefer to hang out with folks who already know and acknowledge this kind of shit.  In ordinary social situations, like weddings and cocktail parties, I can't manage the small talk anymore, but hanging out with activists all the time can make your head explode, or at least raise your blood pressure.

I wonder if anyone knows how many activists it takes to change a light bulb.


Blogger Cali said...

I completely understand. My own hippies' despair got so bad a couple of months ago that I had to go back on antidepressants and just stop watching the news, reading ANYTHING about the middle east, and keeping to myself because I just can't stomach the ignorance of the masses.

September 26, 2014 at 6:45 PM  
Blogger no_slappz said...

The climate march was a lot of fun. I was there with my colleagues from the Center for Industrial Progress. We stood in the middle of 6th Avenue in front of the Hilton (between 53rd and 54th) holding our signs, which said "I <3 (heart) Fossil Fuels."

As you might imagine, some of the marchers made unkind statements about us.

October 8, 2014 at 5:41 PM  
Blogger PENolan said...

I love the way you're relentlessly provocative, you dog.

Cali, the whole thing makes me want to stay in bed where, fortunately, it's quite comfortable.

October 8, 2014 at 8:23 PM  

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