Burn Baby Burn And Other Stuff From The Sixties; Ugh!


So. When I was a kid and young adult, America was a country in turmoil. Social turmoil. Our dark-skinned citizenry had finally had enough oppression after a few hundred years of slavery and racial bigotry, and rose up en mass to gain equal footing with we whites. Black people burned their ghetto neighborhoods to force their position.

Women, the second class citizenry of every race, rose up en mass and burned their bras and told any unyielding man to kiss their ass.

Young people burned their draft cards and refused to go to Viet Nam, a military action fought to keep the military industrial complex financially strong and assuage the conservative right politicos of the time.

I, luckily, have several childhood injuries that prevented me from getting accepted in the military. My draft number was 42 and I was called to induction early in the process. My best friend, Streaker Jones, had already prepared for our flight to Canada. If we hadn’t both been declared ineligible for service we would be in Vancouver today.

What pushed those divergent groups of Americans to rise up and start burning shit is not a complex social sciences problem. You don’t need a think tank to figure it out. The fucking Rand Corporation is no wiser than the average American on this dealie, because the issue in each case can be traced to the same, very basic and very easy to see cause.

Whenever any group in power uses their power to oppress other groups, those groups will rise up. The uprisings always start with debate—reasoned, logical and moral debate. When the power structures ignore reasoned debate, things move to the heated debate stage. Heated debate is when polarization occurs. That’s when all Americans are forced to choose sides.

When the power structure continues to use its power to enforce the oppression— well, folks, that’s when things start burning. And I, for one, am afraid America is at the tinder box stage.

I got frustrated with myself last night while trying to get my tee shirts ready for sale here to my bloggie. Brandon over to My Own Private Idaho designed these terrific graphics for some products, but I’m too computer stupid to take things from there. I spent four hours on it and couldn’t even get the images loaded onto the Cafe Press site. Ugh.

My ADHD was driving me mad so I decided to take the girls and go for a drive. Squirt and Honor the cat love driving in my old GTO. I have safety harnesses for each that allow them to safely move about the cabin, so they get to poke their noses out the window and bark and growl at people and shit.

Did you know cats can growl? I didn’t. First time Honor growled it scared the shit out of me. And cats aren’t like dogs, uh-uh. Dogs, they’ll growl and then bite if you don’t pay attention to the warning. A dog’s growl says, “Back off asshole or I’m ripping your balls off.”

A cat’s growl often arrives after a peremptory strike. Cat’s growl says, “OK motherfucker. Those bloody balls… you want some more of that?”

Anyway, we were cruising down south and decided to stop for a cup a Joe. That’s what the Squirt calls the dregs of my cup she gets whenever I finish my coffee. But I have to be careful to insure that she gets but a few drops of Joe. That little shit is high strung as it is. Last time she drank too much coffee was a fucking disaster. I left my chair out and she climbed onto the table and swilled a half-cup from my mug. I drink dark roasted Costa Rican beans, espresso ground, and I place three tablespoons of the powdered bean into each mug I brew.

We stopped at a local coffee shop in south Austin to have an iced coffee. The girls waited outside to hold a table while went in to get our order. When I came out to sit, there were six older folks sitting at the table next to us. They were in a discussion about the debt ceiling. They were speaking of how the right-wing Christian conservatives have debased our education systems and social systems in Texas just so Rick Perry can run for president and gain favor with big business.

And they were angrily talking about Boehner’s speech from Tuesday night. They think he is a liar and a lout. I won’t tell you all of the reasons they do not like the Speaker of The House of Representatives. I think that my reading audience is smart enough to figure that shit all the way out. But I will tell you that they used the word “hate”. They hate Boehner and they hate what he and his ilk are doing to our country.

While I stayed out of this conversation verbally, I was listening intently. The subject went from what they hate about the situation and moved to what they are going to do about it. That is when I heard chilling words. One of the women at the table spoke of the thing that I fear most from our current political situation.

“Hey,” the woman said. “Do any of you guys remember the Gray Panthers? Maybe we should restart the Gray Panthers and take matters into our own hands.”

Guys, I think the debate has heated up. Drink Carta Blanca beer and come back manana, y’all.


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5 Responses to “Burn Baby Burn And Other Stuff From The Sixties; Ugh!”

  1. NetShark says:

    If Im not mistaken, Rick Perry has one of the best current governing records out there. Didn’t his state produce half the jobs that were created this year? I’d like to see people run for the presidency that have a record of accomplishments. I’m a conservative and will root for the best one, but I would love to be able to say that for once I respect the whoever the two candidates will be because they run on their merits and not spin fantastic tales of change if there is no back up to support their rhetoric.

  2. Squatlo says:

    I can see it now… legions of seniors burning their AARP cards in front of the Social Security Administration Building, causing Faux News viewership to drop by 80%, and sending the markets into chaos. Not the stock market, actual market. Keeping senior citizens healthy after second degree burns is a trick not even Walgreens can handle.

    Seriously, we’ve not seen shit, yet. If this default meltdown occurs, the very people who are apathetic and bitching because Obama interrupted their precious Bachelorette show or whatever the hell it was will find themselves out of work, facing double digit interest rate increases on all their loans, basically up a creek with a straw for a paddle.

  3. Squat. My fears are trickier. People with nothing left, no future filled with promise, can be easily pushed to irrational behavior. Old people creating real mayhem is a scary thought.

  4. Sherry says:

    I don’t remember that the Gray Panthers were a violent sort. I’ll have to look it up to refresh my memory. I would be willing to sign up for peaceful protests, but not for guns and dynamite. I’m allergic to lead and things that go BOOM. They make me bleed and interfere with my ability to breathe. The Gray Panthers were started by someone who was forced to retire at age 65. Mostly an activist group supporting anti-ageism and a single payer healthcare system, naturally. At least, that’s how I remember them.

  5. admin says:

    Netshark. First I want to thank you for showing up and making a comment. I enjoy hearing from opposing views. You are mistaken though, or you believe in fairy tales. Rick Perry didn’t create jobs in Texas. The little rat fucker stole most of those jobs from other states by luring greedy businesses with tax cuts and abatements. Those jobs were bought, my friend, with a $27 Billion state budget deficit. He has attempted to reverse that negative balance by ruining our public schools and social support systems– like our schools for the blind and deaf. Fact check time.


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