Free form essay follows…I head to my new friend Casey’s (not his real name!) house on the lake. First sight of Casey a few hours earlier is an aging hippie who wears a pro-union T-Shirt. Nice guy, brought some free beer. Words lets slip that after the standard Fourth of July festivities in out town he’s having a party at his place on the lake. i decide not to go, but then change my mind.
I find the place. Not bad, small house by the lake side…garden is overgrown with weeds, there are vines on the terrace that gives it something of a artfully disheveled look. free food being passed about…I forgo because I ate at a diner earlier.
I don’t stay long, the party is a bore and there’s no one there i know., but three things kind of stand out (and one of these things is made up, BTW.) First, that Casey has a dog which he named Marx. Friendly animal, better than naming him Spot. Second, a group of wanna-be artists sit in a corner discussing the pros and cons of polyamory and how it might apply to their lives….odd, hopefully they won’t take the next step and film it. Third there’s a fellow with studs in his cheeks and massive holes in his ears (a wanna-be punk if I ever saw one) holding court in a corner about the evils of religion and how the vast majority of people are gullible fools to follow anyone wearing a funny hat. I bail at that point – being catholic, I feel uncomfortable hearing religion being disparaged by undergraduate gurus…at least not without three shots of whiskey.
On the drive back, on reflecting, a few thoughts occur. Wen live in an age of nostalgia…the right-wing tea baggers at my martial arts dojo (another story for another time) equate Saint Sarah Palin with the Virgin Mary. They dream of a nation where the government never collects a penny in tax, yet somehow the roads get paved, and they get their Medicare and free gummint bennies. This is supposed to be libertarianism or something close to it…which boils down to essentially letting the rich people run the show…nostalgic for a country that never was.
But of course none of this had anything to do with the people down by the lacked, if anything they’re on the other side of the argument. But it occurs, they’re nostalgic for something else – a revolution that didn’t so much fail as fade away. Listening to them gas on about the evils of Capitalism and Religion and America-Is-Evil-WesterS-Civilization-is-Evil-Christianity-Is-VERY-Evil…their rhetoric wouldn’t have been out of place back in 1968 and back then it was cutting edge, but today its just old. They want to wave the red flag of revolution and build a new Utopia on these shores…problem is, their arguments seem filled withing but hot air and more than a whiff of hypocrisy. It’s hard to take armchair revolutionaries seriously when they’re preaching from an air conditioned house by a lake filled with recreational boaters…just one can easily dismiss the anti-tax ramblings of someone whose head would explode of there was even the slightest hint of talk about reducing his social security benefits…
Nostalgia…it seems that those who have the strongest opinions are the ones who never have to face the consequences should those ideas become reality. A good reason for any for everyone to shut the heck up.