V for Vapid
As a 23-year old male resident of
The last people that Americans want to recognize as being forceful or even relevant are the French. John Tierney’s column last week dismissed the French as suffering from “low self-esteem” and “not feeling empowered.” But, what is more empowering than being young and angry? Granted the French protests may not be for all the right reasons. Maybe the French could use less slacking on the job; maybe more Frenchmen need to be fired. What Tierney failed to realize is that a protest against a protest against complacency is better than no protest at all.
And that’s where we come in. According to The Los Angeles Times, some seven thousand students, mostly from middle schools, walked out of classes last week in protest. It’s something, but it doesn’t really amount to much. These kids have either been told to walk out of school by their moms and dads or are doing it to get out of class. It’s hard to imagine that a 12 year-old understands the complexities of our immigration laws; he/she just understands that what’s going on is “a bad thing.” It is something, but what does it say when middle school children are showing more zeit than the contemporaries of les etudients?
Those who should be analyzing and deconstructing, and most importantly caring about governmental policies, don’t seem to be. The complacent college student of
That film that has been viewed by countless numbers of Generation Apathy has a tagline that reads, “People should not be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their people.” The government of the
But isn’t our country the one that’s lost? Isn’t our identity more confused than
It is, of course, our fault. We don’t vote, so the lawmakers continue to make the debt, social security, the environment, and the clash of civilizations our problem. And then, we don’t protest and it only gets worse.
One of V’s jukebox tunes is a Velvet Underground number. Lou Reed, always the rebel, has apt application, here, too. Not the first and certainly not the last to say it in his refrain to “Perfect Day,” Reed warns over and over again: “You’re going to reap just what you sow.”