I remember when......
My 20 year High School reunion recently came and went. I didn’t go, but I did meet up with 2 guys from those days. It was a throwback meeting of friends. 20 year old memories came back to us over some beer and laughter. I remember life without cell phones and portable computers. I remember when NYC was a dangerous place to walk at night. I remember when we could fight at school to solve our problems. All of this was part of the American concept of Rugged Individualist. We used to pride ourselves on pushing the limits and breaking the rules to achieve things.
A meeting with friends was a big reminder of how things have changed.
I live in Asbury Park, NJ. Recently we had a 3 day concert in town featuring some pop rock, old school rock, and assorted youth friendly acts. You would expect 90,000 people over 3 days to be a problem. I expected the town to be sacked by an army of young Vikings from the surrounding areas. The town was dead. Nothing happened at all. The kids came, they saw, they went home in an orderly fashion.
I am upset with the fact that everything ran smoothly. I am glad nobody was seriously harmed and property was not destroyed. But I am kind of dismayed by the docile behavior. The youth culture of today is lacking action. The revolt can be found on Facebook and Twitter while the streets stay peaceful and clean. I bumped into a kid who said "Sorry Sir." When I was 17 I probably would have said "Watch it Mother Fucker!" Yes, I was an asshole (arguably, still an asshole).
Revolutions are supposed to be fought in the street. The real world is where ideas are to be born and fought for. Americans used to grab their guns and march forward into the wilderness. Now they upload their apps and sit on the couch to shoot their digital guns via X-Box and PS3.
When I was much younger, Woodstock 2 ended in pure chaos. Fires were lit and stages were trashed. I didn’t support this but I can respect the FU attitude and the energy it takes to fight against the tide. That group of people said “NO!” to conformity, if even for a moment. These people will hopefully maintain some of that spirit for the rest of their lives. They will hopefully remember how much fun it was to rebel and will use that spirit to make a hard call one day. Hopefully it will lead to action that allows them to stand up for what they believe.
Again, I am not calling for violence. I don’t want to see a rush of gun store purchases that lead to a takeover of Canada. I want a spirit of adventure and exploration to return. I want Americans to not be afraid of the real world. I want people to get out and try to do things again.
My buddy Shawn played CBGB’s. He played the NYC Punk Mecca before it was torn down. He is better for it. He is Punk forever because of it. He will always be able to say “FU” and dare to be different because of it. He will be more Free than many around him because of it.
America is great due to our Freedom. We have more Freedom than most. Everyday we are giving more and more of our Freedom up to politicians because we forgot how to act. We are becoming a Nation of followers when we need to be leaders. Our couch has too deep an ass print and our thumbs are too tired from texting. We need to stand up and make choices for ourselves. When we allow others to make choices for us we are giving up our precious Freedom.
While we are busy with our technology others are running our lives. A select few have a massive power in pop culture and politics. Our social media’s are engineered to drive someone else’s agenda while making us think it is our own. The rising tide of obesity and lack of opportunity to physically express ourselves is leading to sloth which is easily lead.
How much positive change does your life produce? Do you defend what you believe to be truth? Do you simply participate? Or are you one of the sheep?
Sheep want the government to take care of us. Sheep feel that one man’s gain due to his work should be divided amongst the rest of us. Sheep don’t want to do anything but graze on land provided for them. Free and liberated people want to learn, to take action, and to prosper due to their own efforts. If they choose to share their earnings with others, they should have the Freedom to or not to.
We all need to get up, get out, and participate. Our Freedom comes with a price. We all have to be willing to take responsibility for ourselves or our Freedom will go away.
I wrote this on my Tablet while talking on the phone. I will post it on my Blog, share it on my Facebook which is linked to my Twitter, and I will email it friends. Technology is an amazing tool for communication, education, entertainment, etc..... It is a modern tool that can enhance or life and share our experiences. It is not meant to be our life and it it should not replace real experience. Don’t let the Freedom only exists in your digital existence!
Brian Wright Leading from the Front