Tuesday, August 9, 2011
The Young and the Not So Restless
So the stock market drops 600 points and the usual crap spews from radio and TV. My intellectual friends roll their eyes once again, shake their heads and think how the suits in Washington have done it to us again. It really is getting quite pathetic. A made for TV movie unfolding right in front of our eyes. I am grabbing a box of candy and cuddling up with my business journal instead of watching TV. Surely there is a banker boasting about solvency and a business being acquired here or there from fire sale because of the lending crisis. Good stuff.
I, for one, am discounting this entire episode. In fact, I am going to discount the entire crisis until the one thing that our country can count on to save things gets its shit together. Our young people.
So when will our young people start standing up for what they have to lose? Or better said, what they have already lost? Will it be the total depletion of their parents income that sparks the fire? Those middle classers centered on creating trophy kids in the 90's dead broke at the hands of their own values? What will finally evoke enough concern in them to say, "Hey, my education can work in my favor, I better use my friggin head to get some change working here, or my parents will be living in my one bedroom apartment".
Using education to change things? Isn't that what it's for? My question centers on why this group not embraced the crisis, engaged it, marched on it, localized on it, or, and here is the biggie...gotten money behind it. The good ole American political bullshit way.
Viet Nam was a crisis that was embraced and engaged by our young people, was it not? And as wacko as things appeared from those awful images from the 60's and early 70's, well, they got stuff done. Perhaps our young people only want to get involved if there are human atrocities spewed over radio and TV? Or perhaps they cannot be inspired because of a trained eye on filtering that which does not provide comfort; the fallout of social media and the age of "too much information". Are our students passive because they have filtered that which is the most important; clear perspective on their condition and the world that they live in?
I was searching youtube this morning to get a handle on things--to get college students perspective on the state of things. I didn't find much other than the usual "play by the rules" rhetoric aimed at government funded agencies being cut and their lobby to get the funds back. Then I remembered, while lying on the couch Sunday, I saw a PSA on TV. It had something to do with questioning "the way things are" in our government; an advocacy group of young people speaking out. Nothing to say about the right or the left, Dem's or republicans. Basically that the whole damn thing was bullshit. I am sure I saw it, I heard it, while nodding off here and there. They blamed government, all of it, for our current predicament, the system broke, the process corrupt. Maybe I dreamed it. God, I hope not, that would be disappointing.
What baffles me is that, as long as our middle class offspring are in college, the longer they likely feel protected from crisis. This is the disconnect. It's a safety net put in place by their parents (and not a very big safety net at that). It is us little league coaches, soccer moms, trophy kid manifestation gone array. I think those who can attend college at the hands of their parents income or loans, still tend take things for granted. It is our little middle-class-proverbial-sticking-your-head in-the-sand conflict. I cannot tell you how many 23-27 year olds I know who live with their parents--educated kids without a clue as to what is needed to break out of their culture of entitlement. We are responsible for this. We the middle class. We coddled our children to be that which they have become.
Yes, there are a those who are concerned, a beacon of light. Many of our young folk are taking our countries challenges seriously. But how many really live in fear, without a safety net, without a fall back? How can we sift and find candidates for the right movement, any movement, to get this group of people motivated? At what point do we look to our kids and say, "look y'all, it's time you got your shit together and make something happen". "What are you waiting for?"
Have you been to California lately? I was incredibly moved by that states economic predicament. In the beach cities, people with their heads in the sand, in the density of the concrete jungle just to the east, millions of multi generational stratagized families who accept the way things are because, as immigrants, they understand how tough it can be. Bottom line, it is still better than the fear of not having enough to eat.
I find the lack of motivation among our young folks disturbing, because we now have to rely on them to come forward, to get engaged, to change the things that we, the middle class must take responsibility. We have let our country evolve to what it has become and we have created a culture of entitlement with our kids. What is the key that will unlock the door that will funnel an educated movement towards change?
It sure seems like this would be a good paper to write all you young folks. I hope my paper pisses you off a tad...ifyouknowhatimtalkinbout.