Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today

Now that was a chant meant to get some attention. That was a purist protest by people that actually had some skin in the game.

I remember reading years later how LBJ's daughter went to sleep listening to that chant.

That is getting your message across. On TV every night protesting a war that sent boys required to register for the draft to go to some far a way place and do your duty. Or whatever the corrupt military, at that time, commanded you to do. I don't know how bad the corruption was,  I was not there. But I have talked to too many people that were there, that shit really makes some of the movies seem tame.

Then we had Kent State. That turned out really badly. I actually wrote a letter to President Nixon and I got a response. Yes, it was in crayon as I am still quite young, and yes the response was boilerplate. But I complained to the President and I got a response. Funny thing, not one person in my family noticed, questioned or asked to look a letter from the president, but that is another story.

So I am befuddled about the Occupy protests. What is the purpose? I get they are pissed about the Wall Streeters not suffering during the recession. How is sleeping in a tent making the Wall Streeters uncomfortable in their 1500 thread count linens on their excellent mattresses?

But sleeping in a tent with your generator is not making me feel the desperation of your message. What are these people trying to present to us all that will cause some sort of change? How can they justify the damage to the environment with the generators? How can they explain how they can afford the generators and the fuel? What exactly is it that they want?

The 60 and early 70's

People ignored the sit-ins, not a real message. People took notice of the Black Panthers, they had a huge and visible message. You may not have liked it, but you could not ignore it. UAW riots, decades earlier, those sent a message. Marching in the south for Civil Rights, message sent. Opponents sent some messages back on that one, but the point is, we all knew the message.

Occupy Whatever, not getting a clear message.

Now if the complaint is about how law and policy caused you to suffer, there is a remedy for that. It requires gathering signitures to  recall your legislators, sitting in their offices until they respond to your questions. And maybe if we want to just take a little bit of history and make it work in today, get tough with the lobbyists. The lobbyists do not sleep in the park.

Nixon resigned, LBJ declined to run for another term and someone decided to get rid of the draft. I do not think all those protests were worthless. I do think all of us had a mission. Change.

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