Friday, March 21, 2008

Boomer Nation, Move Over

I’m a leading edge Boomer. Born before World War II was over by a few months. I came of age in the early 1960’s. And was passionately involved in the movement to end the War in Vietnam. I joined the rallies and demonstrations to end the war. We marched to the Utah State Capital and demonstrated. We marched to the University of Utah and briefly took over the Administration Building. We joined forces with anyone against the war, including the Black Panthers. We raised money to bail-out anyone picked up and jailed during any demonstration. We were glued to the news coverage of the mounting casualty numbers. And we knew that there would be a tipping point at some point when middle America, that famous Silent Majority, would become so sickened by the carnage that they too, would join us. It only made them angrier at us. We thought there would be a revolution. We rooted for the Students for a Democratic Society, the Free Speech Movement, Youth International Party, The Chicago Seven, the Weather Underground. In the end they shot a bunch of kids at Kent State, they jailed and prosecuted just about everybody in a leadership role in any of those organizations. They called us communists. And it all fell apart in disgust and alienation.

During the decade of the sixties I moved from Salt Lake to San Francisco, and a year later I sailed on the Michael Angelo to Italy for a year. During a demonstration against the war, in Milan in 1965, I was with the chairman of the Communist Youth Organization (a kid whose father was a wealthy shipping magnate) when someone in the crowd behind me, grabbed me and pulled me into a cafe, whispering in my ear, “Don’t speak English, they’ll kill you if they know you’re an American. If anyone asks you where you’re from, say you are Canadian.” I looked around to see who said this, and he was gone. I never planned to return to the United States. I was working as a model and making plenty of money. My friends were famous artists and writers. Life was good. And by the way, communists are allowed to vote in Italy. Pretty much all artists and intellectuals in Italy were communists in those days. It was about as radical as voting democrat in Utah. But at the end of my first year, my mother sent me a telegram telling me she needed me to come home. She and my father had divorced. She had moved back to the family home, and wanted me to come back to the States for awhile, to keep her company.

Returning to Utah was one of the worst decisions I ever made. The real reason my mother wanted me to come home was her “friendship” with a man who worked as a covert agent for the FBI. Due to their relationship, he told her to get me back here, to keep me from my “dangerous” associations. This is how I found out there was a file on me at the FBI. Those were the good old days of J. Edgar Hoover. That cross-dressing hypocrite bastard! Sorry, not meant to insult cross-dressers anywhere. Really, I’m all for it. It’s the hypocrite bastard part I find objectional. That’s when the spying on all of us began. You guys remember Nixon, Watergate and that Great Senate Hearing? Ah, those were the days.

Now we all know the government is spying on all of us all the damn time. We’re getting used to it. Common place. We have let them take our civil right’s away without a peep. They can come into your house and do a sneak-n-peek with impunity. Fancy that. Move over boomers, we’ve fucked it up. It’s time to retire from the leadership roles we’re hanging onto, and leave the podium after we’ve handed over the keys to the crumbling, about to collapse kingdom. Good luck, Generation Obama.


Vigilante said...

Yeah, good night and good luck.

Vigilante said...

I remember it as the "Chicago 8".

Utah Savage said...

Vigil, I think of you as a young man. Are you Vietnam era vet? Were you old enough to remember the millions in the streets?