The New School Speech

Nothing To Fear

Remember the 60s? Yeah, me too. What a crazy time, right? All those love-ins and drop-outs, flower power and huge demonstrations about what we, the children of the new age, wanted changed. What the hell happened? Why did so many of us grow up to be integral parts of what we said we hated? And why did we raise our children to keep their mouths shut about everything they see that’s wrong with the world?

That last question has been on my mind alot lately. When my kids were kids, they had only 3 rules. Rule #3 was that they had to correct their parents whenever they found a chance. The only stipulation was that they had better be right. As a result, at 23 they both have the habit of not accepting BS as fact. They can be quite vocal about it. I’ve learned over the years to listen to them; they do seem to do the research before they open their mouths.

But still, something seems missing. For instance, where are the hundreds of thousands of young people taking to the streets to peacefully protest the insanity of Iraq? Or the inhumanity of Guantanamo Bay? Where is the unrest that should be led by our young people when they find that big oil companies are raking in record profits and our congress does nothing? Where is the voice of America that I grew up with, whispering, flatly stating and if needed, screaming for us to be “the good guys”? And why the hell are we still ignoring what’s happening with the climate?

No unRest For The Weary

It bothers me that there is no massive unrest in this country right now. If ever we needed to assert our civic responsibilities, it is now. Our government and the large corporations who control this country are obviously not concerned with anything more than short term profits at any cost. Our future, literally, is at stake and we, as a society, do nothing.

It’s made me sad. I’ve been thinking that I am just getting old, missing the “good old days”, and that made me feel even worse. How do you look forward to growing older in a world that, for all intents and purposes, nobody cares about? And then I found this video. Here, a lone young woman named Jean Sara Rohe stands and states in certain terms her objections to… well, just listen to her. She brings me to tears with her honesty and her courage.

Just one more thing: I want to quote a small bit of what she had to say on her blog the day after this speech was given. Although I am and have always been a voting Republican, I have to agree with her here:

“It’s been noted in several columns that anti-McCain sentiment coming from the left may actually help him to garner support from the conservatives by giving him the opportunity to paint us as extremist liberals, so we should all keep our mouths shut. I say we need some “extremist liberals” if we’re ever going to get our democracy back.”

I am Jon, and I will stand beside anyone, of any age, who delivers like this.


7 Replies to “The New School Speech”

  1. This has been a issue that I have been concerned with for years now. As a current youth of today I am personally outraged with the way our country is being ran and for the absence of civil unrest with this matter. I WAS raised to question the world around me, I WAS raised to believe in peace and justice, I WAS raised to fight for my rights and for what I believe in. However, it seems that every opportunity that has arisen for me to take action I have been discouraged to do so by those who taught me to believe what I do. There are many like me, my age who are passionate about what we see going on around us. There are many of us who are disgusted with the world that your generation has created for us. The problem seems to be that my generation, as well as your freedom fighting one, thinks that placing a bumper sticker on their car and going to the polls with their little vote will cause radical change in our nation. This absence of action and apparent lack of passion about what their bumper stickers are stating is causing the powers to be to continue to rise and everyday continuing to chop away at our civil liberties. Most of my generation has become so incredibly numb and down right dumb by our government controlled school system and our blessed media to where they just really don’t know how to think for themselves and the few that do, such as myself, feel so incredibly alone and isolated to what they believe that we don’t know how to take a stand and actually be heard without being labeled a terrorist or unpatriotic. Despite all this I still have faith. I have faith in the people to stand up. I have faith in the people to recognize the world that this new generation is being brought up in. I have faith that the people of this nation, the people of my generation, will get fed up, will stand up, and will take action. I will be who does as I am one who believes. Thank you Jon for writing this article, I believe this is a serious issue that all generations need to think long and hard about. If we continue to ignore our right to stand up, that right will be taken away. This is Stesha and I will stand.

  2. And I will stand with you.

    I can see you are passionate about this. Please don’t think that “my” generation created this mess. Truthfully, the fight you are describing, the fight to educate our population, the fight to be free and allow freedom everywhere(and not necessarily the US brand), the fight for equality and justice – that fight is an unending one with no generational regards. it is the same fight today as it was in the 1960s, and the 1860s. My generation didn’t create this problem, it simply failed to correct it, just like the generation before.

    Interestingly, the generation you belong to may be the last chance to fix anything. If our response to the climate problem is too slow or lacking in real effort, that freedom and education, that fight for justice and equality, might have to be given up in favor of survival-at-any-cost.

  3. I do not place blame whatsoever on your generation. This has been building prior to the memory of your grandparents and perhaps theirs, at this point we could blame everybody…or nobody. We are all responsible for allowing this to continue. I agree with you that my generation may be the last one to have the opportunity to make any positive change, any possible reversal of this extreme mess we all have found ourselves in…that is, if it is not too late already. We may be beyond repair with our environment, but we still have hope for our society…that is if people are willing and ready to see a vision of a better future and actually make efforts to see it manifest.

    This has stuck in my head throughout the day. This afternoon I was traveling and a song began to play on the radio, perhaps you have heard of it “Waiting on the World to Change” by John Mayer. In the past, I have greatly admired this song, in all its bubble-gum glory. However this afternoon it occurred to me that this song was one of the main problems with my generation. My generation has become so spoiled! We have always had everything available to us immediately and never really had to fight for anything or really work for it. It has been a age of credit and Nintendo’s. To quote a few verses from this song,

    “Now we see everything that’s going wrong
    With the world and those who lead it
    We just feel like we don’t have the means
    To rise above and beat it
    So we keep waiting
    Waiting on the world to change
    We keep on waiting
    Waiting on the world to change”

    That is exactly the problem!!! We are waiting for somebody else to do it! Instead of finding the means to do it ourselves, we are still living like it will eventually just be handed to us. I’m sorry to say, but this is not the case. All of us, multi-generations, religions, races, and whatever else you want to call yourselves, we all have to do this together for it the manifest. The ones who don’t may very well end up dead in the end. It has to come back to local communities, all of us. We have talked about this… It is time for us all to get aboard and try to reroute this train before we crash!

  4. “the problem seems to be that my generation, as well as your freedom fighting one, thinks that placing a bumper sticker on their car and going to the polls with their little vote will cause radical change in our nation.”

    I agree w/the bumper sticker statement. However, I also believe we can make changes with our “little vote”. The problem is, as you said, that our nation is unable to cast their “little vote” without the media leading them in one crooked candidate’s direction or another. My solution, which will never happen, is to make political offices completely UNPAID positions – up to and including the President. Then you will see people who REALLY care about this country standing up to take the reigns, instead of multi-millionaires trying to suck up to their big-business-buddies with BS spending and shoving the working class into poverty. No longer, then, would we have rich old white men running the entire country and ruining others at the same time. We would have people like Stesha, and Jon, and Adam – people who have great ideas for change but can never realize those ideas in the current political climate – standing up for what is right and just. Wow, “right and just” in a conversation about politics? What a concept!

  5. I’m sorry but nobody will ever oust the “rich white men”, except God. The puppet government in which we live (and will continue to live)has an agenda, and that agenda will be fulfilled until their destiny has run out. Our vote does not have any power, it just “justifies” our “right” to b#!@!^* and complain. Even the biggest wave of revolt will be stifled because the waves of destiny will not be altered, only slowed. I know this perspective seems rather pessimistic, but it is the truth. Usually, I am very positive in my way of living, but in this regard I am not. We can vote, we can have bumper stickers, etc., but this is all way bigger than just the US and our little complaints about the government, and our next presidential election. We are dealing with population control, and an inevitable One World Government and One World Religion. It will happen, however crackpot it may sound. We are all bred to be livestock, to spend money, and keep the flow of “money into power” going. We need to be focusing on educating others about what WILL HAPPEN, and saving our own souls, making sure that our minds are right, and our spirits in the right place. We need to make sure that our loved ones know that we are living in an illusion, and how to deal with life once that illusion is shattered. Also, I am of the mind set that we should “get it while we can,” make sure that the things that you are living out, the things that are important to you and make you happy, because it will be very soon that those things will no longer be available. I am not saying that we should ignore what is happening around us, and live in oblivion, but at least enjoy life a little while we still can, and be prepared when the time comes for us to fight. Because these events that are taking place are very controlled, and very much planned, and we are not going to stop it no matter how hard we try. Maybe we prolong the agony (or bliss) a little, but we need to be prepared for survival and tough conditions in the world, i.e. climate extremes, biological warfare, moral decay, attack on “family”, loss of personal freedom, and our own minds. No generation is to blame, as all conflicts are planned, cultural movements are planned, economical crises are planned, and spiritual decay is planned. The problem is we are all thinking too small. Maybe we make a change in our little microcosm, and that may provide us with some relief or temporary happiness, but it is no substitute for awareness. Thats just the way I see it, but what do I know?…

  6. “We need to be focusing on educating others about what WILL HAPPEN, and saving our own souls, making sure that our minds are right, and our spirits in the right place. We need to make sure that our loved ones know that we are living in an illusion, and how to deal with life once that illusion is shattered.”

    Agree w/that 100% !!!

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