Wednesday, April 29, 2015

History repeats itself, and somehow we're shocked by it.

I posted on Facebook today that we would do well to remember the peaceful nebbishes of Occupy Wall Street, because the next group that shows up to protest is usually not so polite. At least that's what history tells us. Of course, we ignore that.
We ignore at our own peril, but ignore we do.
Why? Because we're stupid.
I choose that word carefully. Naive has a connotation of simplicity, ignorance cannot be helped.  But stupidity is different. We are willfully complicit in our own stupidity. We choose to be stupid. Stupidity is selfish,  vain and shortsighted.
We see what we choose to see, and turn our head to what we do not.
Occupy Wall Street was protesting the growing disparity, in this country,  between the rich and the rest of us. It protested the obvious unfairness between a CEO paying less taxes than his secretary. It protested the ongoing militarization of local police until they resembled an occupying army rather than cops on the the beat who knew every merchant by name.
How quaint. How '60s.
How fucking retro.
Who could take them seriously?
The oligarchy tolerated them for a while, then called out their bully boys and turned the fire hoses on them. They figured they would wash away like detritus on the pavement and come morning the streets would be pristine for the ruling class.
But now there's Baltimore.
And if we don't wise up, and begin to look at the issues that create a Baltimore, like racism, corruption, cop violence, poverty, plutocracy, we're going to experience a lot more.

A primal termite knocked on wood,
And tasted it, and found it good,
And that  is why your Cousin May
Fell through the parlor floor today.
                         ~Ogden Nash

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