Friday, November 09, 2007

Tin Soldiers And Nixon Coming

Students who staged an anti-war sit in at their suburban Chicago school have been reprimanded--too severely, in my and others' opinions--by Berwyn school district officials, who claim that their (by all accounts) peaceful demonstration exhibited "gross disobedience and mob activity." The students, who range from sky-high GPA achievers and varsity athletes to average students who participate in a range of school activities, could be expelled. Well, according to some parents and guardians, those middling students could be. The AP-credit darlings seem to be threatened with lesser punishments.

All of these kids should be praised. They should be poised as examples of opinion in action for other kids who are caught up--rightly so--in their own lives full of football, or senioritis, or friends, or World of Warcraft, or TRL Live, or whatever is highly important to teens across the motivation spectrum.

I've been reading about the Seventies this week, some of the text specifically about the incident at Kent State in 1970.

Can you imagine that happening now? We do have an ill-advised, secretively and ineptly executed, and plain old drug-out (as they'd say in Kentucky) war going on. My friend's brother-in-law is returning to Iraq in a few weeks--just before Christmas, of course--for a SIXTEENTH-MONTH tour. In addition to the time that took him away from his family for two other Christmases.

Who's standing up and saying something about?

And why are those who are getting the a less-pointed but still obvious sort of ire that led to Vice President Spiro Agnew to pontificate and condemn the "psychotic and criminal" elements that led to Kent State?

And where's our CSNY to remind us?

Well, I guess there's still Young. But while he's playing to smug and deep-pocketed audiences who can shell out $159.50 (plus fees) to see him play, is he saying the kind of thing that Graham Nash did after the release of "Ohio?"
"Four young men and women had their lives taken from them while lawfully protesting this outrageous government action. We are going back to keep awareness alive in the minds of all students, not only in America, but worldwide…to be vigilant and ready to stand and be counted… and to make sure that the powers of the politicians do not take precedent over the right of lawful protest."

There were some contemporary kids listening, guys.

Look where it's gotten them.

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