An Eye for an Eye, A Bullet for a Bullet, A Gun for a Gun and an Idiot for an Idiot…

One of the benefits of age is experience.

I remember the 1960s and 70s because I was alive, conscious, alert and oriented enough to remember them personally. There was talk of “Revolution” in the air.

A lot of it. Talk. A lot of talk.

“The Revolution will not be televised.”

“The Revolution will not be announced.”

“The Revolution will come like a thunderclap and when it is over everything will be different.”

Well, no, no, no and did I mention… no.

But there was, as I say, a lot of talk, much of it scary. Remember, this was a world for whom the second world war was no distant memory, it had been personal, too.

So when people spoke of armed uprisings and revolution and political upheaval, lots of folks got frightened enough to take it all at face value and they got together and decided to dig in their heels and resist.

The FBI and the CIA started looking for revolutionaries in all kinds of places, their logic dictated largely by irrational and self-serving paranoia.

And the reactionary conservative political movement was seeded through this means, the movement which gave us Richard Nixon, Spiro Agnew, George Wallace, Ronald Reagan, George Bush the First, Newt Gingrich, George Bush the Second, Dick Cheney, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin and perhaps the most bizzarre manifestation of this philosophy ever conceived, Donald Trump.

Just to name a few.

I say all of the above because yesterday I heard some people speaking in tones and ideas that I haven’t heard in 50 years. And I wasn’t at all happy to hear them again.

Gun violence by police aimed against black men and other minorites has planted the seeds for sniper gun violence aimed against police in Dallas, Texas, and soon — who knows where else?

(By the way, am I the only one who sees the tragic parallels of a sniper in DALLAS?)

I lived through the polarized days of the Vietnam War and the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention and Kent State.  It wasn’t glorious, it wasn’t enobling, it wasn’t fun and it wasn’t cool.

It was so distressing, right down to the level of the subconscious, that the eighties which followed the seventies were dubbed the “me decade” because everybody was exhausted from caring about the larger issues and the consensus was that we should all of us just take a break, get stoned and just stop worrying about anything that went on outside our immediate neighborhood, or even beyond our own front yard.

This was the decade people stopped carrying pizza out and started to have it delivered to their front doors instead. This was the decade that gave us the placebo phrase “victimless crime.” Renting porn movies on VCR cassettes – like smoking weed – was at that time a victimless crime.

Now, a full generation later, we have an entire population of men who view ritualized sexual assault of women as a rite of passage and smoking weed is viewed with much the same gravity as the failure to signal a turn.

And now we have reached the age that may quite possibly give us the phrase “victims of justice” or, more simply, “police victims.”

I hope not, but I once more fear for the future of this once-great land and I do not think that polarizing people further is the way to restore that greatness.

Let us pray, not prey.

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About jaypochapin

Married adult human male, father, brother, son, writer, voiceover actor and humorist. Frequently funny, sometimes snarky, occasionally profound. Beatles, Stones, Who, Python, Firesign Theatre, Shakespeare, Bogart/Bacall, Marx Brothers, Alice Cooper and more besides. Have worked as many things: traffic reporter, disc jockey, newscaster, interviewer, producer, copywriter, voice over talent, teacher, emcee, housekeeper, janitor, uniformed security officer, bagel baker's assistant and more, but don't let the uniform fool you, baby! I ... AM ... THE WRITER!

3 thoughts on “An Eye for an Eye, A Bullet for a Bullet, A Gun for a Gun and an Idiot for an Idiot…

  1. While everyone else is looking at who’s behind the guns, I’m looking at who’s behind the cameras. Why is the media so obsessed with stirring the cauldron, pitting groups against groups, individuals against individuals?

    What happened to the more noble role of understanding what might motivate people to use guns and fists to solve problems? Could it be that the mass paranoia created by media slant plays a part?

    Turn off the television, say I. It gives a frighteningly distorted view of how the world works. Get outside. Listen to the birds sing. Watch the clouds float by. The earth will live on, if we don’t blow up or poison everything else along with ourselves.

    Like

    1. Thanks for following my blog, Katherine.

      You appear to blame the messenger for the message. What many people are feeling and expressing isn’t paranoia, it’s genuine justifiable distress, brought about by real human tragedy.

      Ignoring the facts solves nothing.

      And your own closing line betrays you: “if we don’t blow up or poison everything else…”

      So even you are looking at “who’s behind the guns…”

      Remember, I myself used to be one of those you wish to blame: behind the camera, behind the microphone and behind the keyboard.

      Thanks for reading and thanks for thinking, (and I mean that),

      Jay

      Liked by 1 person

      1. First, I have been a newspaper reporter and editor, so I know how you have to make choices about what goes into it. In a newspaper, space is limited, and it depends on advertisers to survive, so advertisers are the ultimate determinant of what gets reported.

        Likewise, the electronic media is dominated by a small group of inter-connected power-brokers, primarily in Washington DC, New York, and Hollywood. Yes, there are exceptions, and there is a pretense of presenting “both” sides, but there are more than two sides in every situation. There are as many perspectives as there are individuals, and this is where the media, as well as our schools, universities, and governments, fail us.

        And while you assume I want to “blame” the media, my point is not to blame anyone, but to recognize that there’s more to life than the television. As a Southerner, I feel the race issue has been beat to death, and more of the same helps no one. Perhaps the media–composed primarily of urban Yankees tied to Wall Street advertisers–could do a real service by attempting to understand rather than pit the races, or the religions, against each other. To recognize that we are all humans beings, just trying to do the best we can.

        And yes, we are all paranoid. Look at American history (which is my latest obsession) and how it has diverged from the ideals we all bought into. Read Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” and tell me if the US Government has fulfilled its promises so far and whether it’s likely to do so in the future.

        I do like following your blog, if only to know how the adversary thinks. You are willing to respond in a thoughtful way, a rare gift in today’s world. I love people who challenge me to think outside the boxes of modern monotony.

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