Innocense Lost (it's nothing new to This Being Human)

We walked home as a group from school each day. As the leaves began to change finding themselves pushed from their summer caregivers, we strolled knee deep in the autumn bounty of color, scent and sound. We would wade through the colorful and crunchy captors of our imagination and tell tales of school and of Halloween and the new television shows that flickered upon our black and white television screens. When we arrived home we would change out of our school clothes and put on our play clothes, grabbing a snack before heading out to romp with our friends.
There were those boys among us that were older now and sported cigarette packs rolled up under their tee shirt sleeves, just ever so slightly above their developing guns. Fast cars were every boys dream. Fast cars and fast girls. And beer. Have a Bud! Hey neighbor, have a Gansett! The right of passage was a car, a girl, and beer. Even so, there was only one full time cop and one cruiser that doubled as the ambulance responsible for covering all four precincts.
When President Kennedy was shot in Dallas on that fateful day in November 1963, I was nine years old. Although only understood in part, the shock upon the community and upon my known world was palatable. When I was fourteen, Bobby Kennedy was also shot and killed. The shock of this level of violence had little time with which to subside. A few months later Martin Luther King also became the target of an assassin's gun. Vietnam loomed larger with every passing week. Body counts and battle scenes were on the news each night. People that I knew were being drafted or had enlisted. Innocence was being replaced with an awareness that things can change; and change quickly.
The town police department swelled to a full time staff of six, and then eight officers. There were two cruisers now and an ambulance was purchased for the fire department to manage. Mental health patients were being de-institutionalized and reintroduced to society; and it was fitting. The world was going crazy.
Hair and beards; and drugs. The world was in transition and we just held on for the ride.

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
Here in status symbol land
Mothers complain about how hard life is
And the kids just don't understand
Creature comfort goals
They only numb my soul and make it hard for me to see
My thoughts all seem to stray, to places far away
I need a change of scenery

Kids left school and hitchhiked across the country. Long haired
and barely dressed boys fed their munchies at the neighborhood store.
Lawmakers quickly responded and wanted enforced
a "No Hitchhiking" on all major highways and followed
with "No shirt: No shoes, No service" for all business establishments.

It became obvious that the country was comfortable
in it's image of itself and when challenged,it could
get ugly.
Question authority? Nuh-uh. It doesn't work that way.

I'm a flea bit peanut monkey
All my friends are junkies
That's not really true

I'm a cold Italian pizza
I could use a lemon squeezer
What you do?

But Ive been bit and Ive been tossed around
By every she-rat in this town
Have you, babe?

Well, I am just a monkey man
Im glad you are a monkey woman too

I was bitten by a boar
I was gouged and I was gored
But I pulled on through

Yes, I'm a sack of broken eggs
I always have an unmade bed
Don't you?

Well, I hope were not too messianic
Or a trifle too satanic
We love to play the blues

Well I am just a monkey man
Im glad you are a monkey, monkey woman too, babe

Idealism unresolved leads to cynicism. Or apathy on a grand scale. I realize the possibility that this just might be "me". I can't believe that we found ourselves fighting in Iraq. We learned our lessons on Vietnam well. No real war footage. No showing of the dead coming home. Most of the news correspondents covering the war never leave the safety of the "Green Zone."
There is no level of evidence to suggest to me that the US is in Iraq for the reason of bringing freedom and democracy.

The U.S. soldier swears an oath to defend the constitution; not to defend corporate profits. But this is the way of things. We now find ourselves in an economic jobless recovery. Where is all the money? At the proverbial top! Imagine a country that tightened its belt together. A study done in 1980 stated that the average Fortune 500 executive made 42 times as much as the average worker. Zoom to 2009 and make that 319 times as much. Any suggestion of hunkering down together and of tightening our belts together suggests that it is a Socialist idea and that we're looking to redistribute the country's wealth to those that don't earn what they do have.

Perhaps there is no answer. But our brand of capitalism is looking too much like "For the love of money is the root of all evil; which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith; and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."

Thank-you for allowing me to ramble.


baroness radon said…
Hi Little Brother,
(I was 16 when I came home from school to find my mother crying and watching the TV when JFK was shot...and she had been a Nixon campaigner!)

Unfortunately, as Clinton said, "It's the economy, stupid." It's all about money and profit. In Hawaii--where the public school system is not something we are proud of, and which really needs attention -- they are going to close the schools for the next 14 Fridays, putting teachers on a fulough. THe state university is cutting its faculty's salaries by 8 percent (but not the six figure income administators'. We can bail out AIG and all those others, but we furlough and cut the pay of our educators? SOmething is terribly wrong with this picture.

Mahalo for letting ME ramble!