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JOHNNY STRABLER (The Wild One) meet GEORGE BAILEY (It’s a Wonderful Life)

JOHNNY STRABLER (The Wild One) meet GEORGE BAILEY (It’s a Wonderful Life)

This story is about the exuberance, excitement and passion of youth. Johnny Strabler and George Bailey were clearly excitable boys. George Bailey was played by Jimmy Stewart. All George wanted to do was to get the hell out of his home town of Bedford Falls. He didn’t want to settle for a mundane life like the rest of his family. George wanted to travel to exotic places, do exciting things and make his mark on the world.

Shit happened and he ended up staying in Bedford Falls, working at the family business, marrying his high-school sweet heart, buying an old, drafty house and raising a slew of kids. He never traveled to exotic places, did exciting things or made his mark on the world (outside of Bedford Falls). By the end of the movie, he learned the same lesson Dorothy learned in the Wizard of Oz, “There’s no place like home.”

Most of us were dreamers like George. We wanted more, we wanted to travel to exotic places, do exciting things, make our mark on the world. And like George, shit happened, and we settled for a life less than what we had dreamed. With any luck, you had some moments of exhilaration that touched on those youthful dreams, as you changed diapers, mowed the yard and paid the bills.

Of late, the streets are filled with passionate and exuberant youths. It reminds me of lyrics from the classic 1960s protest song by Buffalo Springfield, “For What It’s Worth.”

“A thousand people in the street

Singing songs and carrying signs

Mostly say, hooray for our side

It’s s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound

Everybody look what’s going down…”

This tune, by Stephen Stills, reflected the angst in the streets of LA at the time. It was written about the closing of a rock club on the LA strip, but became a song for the times, as the fury against the Viet Nam war blossomed.

The kids on the streets today are equally passionate about the recent turn of events. Some of their disappointment and anger has a legitimate basis. Good for them…protesting, making your voice heard is a cornerstone upon which this country was founded.

Some of the protesting is based on emotion without a factual basis. And the violent protestors bring nothing to the table but response in kind. And unfortunately, some of the ‘song singers and sign carriers’ are professional, paid protestors. And finally, some are protesting in the same fashion as Marlon Brando’s character ‘Johnny Strabler’ in The Wild One. In it, Johnny was asked what he was rebelling against. He responded with, “What do you got?”

I’d like to remind the folks out on the street, that we have been here before. The country will survive, life will go on, things  may get worse, but they will eventually get better. I like to think that things may even be better than before.

Fifteen years from now that angry kid with a bandana masking his/her face, waving a “Not My President” or “Black Lives Matter” sign will likely be pushing a shopping cart with a kid or two in tow, looking for the best price on ground chuck. They will have become George Bailey. And there is nothing wrong with that.

 

 

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WHO WILL BE THE NEW ABBIE HOFFMAN?…IT AIN’T DONALD TRUMP!

Abbie Hoffman
WHO WILL BE THE NEW ABBIE HOFFMAN?…AND IT AIN’T DONALD TRUMP!

Abbie Hoffman, the 60’s leader of the counterculture revolution garnered thousands of supporters. They were primarily young adults of the age we see nowadays, only with their heads buried in their iPhone posting selfies. Abby urged his supporters to join a revolution to change politics as usual, to stop the Viet Nam War and essentially burn down the system and start over. Their tactics were dramatic, comedic and often violent. I think it is no small stretch, that our country is every bit as f##ked up now as it was when Abbie Hoffman was leading the charge against the establishment machine.

America’s place in the world is no longer recognized as the best and most solid nation. Our once vibrant inner cities have turned into ghost towns filled with gangs, drugs and hopelessness. The corrupt, union run, school systems have failed. They cannot perform the job of teaching and being a family to kids who have little or no social support system to show them right from wrong. Industry and good paying jobs have moved from hands-on production to sophisticated technology which requires education. Since the schools are unable to fill that need, unemployment brings more gangs, drugs and hopelessness.

Our roads and bridges running through our urban areas are falling apart. People with means have been fleeing the cities for decades. They leave and with them goes the taxes they would have paid to make improvements in the area. They leave behind those without means, to make it any way they can. And as some have said, “If society fails you, you make your own society.”

The military industrial complex and the political corruption that was targeted by Abby Hoffman and the Yippies in the 60’s and 70’s is stronger than ever. Outrageous activities like the obscenely expensive Mylan EpiPen, the corrupt Justice Department giving Hillary Clinton a free pass for her classified emails, illegal Mexican gun running in the ATF’s ‘Fast and Furious’ f##k up, illegal gun running in Benghazi, the lies and cover-up told to the American people on the Sunday news shows about Benghazi, the genocide in Syria, the terrorist attacks on American soil and an ongoing war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The hits just keep on coming. And Obama is sending more and more ‘military advisers’ to these places. Did he not learn anything about the failure of the concept of wartime ‘military advisers from the history of Viet Nam?

YES…He learned plenty over the last two terms. He learned that ‘Hope and Change’ is impossible. He learned that the power of military industrial complex-the political machine, the lobbyists and the super-rich elite cannot be sustained without national and international conflict and war. Obama, the Clinton’s, Trump and all of those holier-than-thou clowns in Congress you see on the 24 hour news cycle are part of the machine.

If things remain the same, our third World War is coming. It’s just good business for the powerful elite running the country. You think our hands-off approach to the Middle East, the rise of ISIS and the artificial manipulation of the economy by the Federal Reserve is happen-stance? This is all part of their master plan.

The rise of a Donald Trump is a testament to the fact that so many are so fed up with the established politically corrupt machine and they want a different direction for the country. Trump may be an outsider to the political machine, but he has been an insider to the powerful and elitist groups running the country for decades and thus we can rule him out as the next Abbie Hoffman. Just because he is the lesser of two evils, still leaves him as evil.

Sure this sounds a bit paranoid. William Burroughs said, “Sometimes paranoia is just having all the facts.” Perhaps someone legitimate will come on the scene, call for change, and we will listen.