The older I get, the more I notice cycles repeating themselves. Health care reform. Unrest in the Middle East. Old people complaining about teenagers.
And now I'm the old guy.
So it is with some amusement and much disappointment that I have followed the recent Occupy Wall Street movement. Evil big business. Heavy-handed police. Vague unfocused street protests. Lots of irrational and hypocritical "green" talk flying around on high-tech smartphones and social media platforms that could not exist if we really lived how the enviro-preachers would like us to live.
I don't expect the clueless-yet-optimistic youngsters born in the late 1980s and early 1990s to have much of a sense of history. But I do expect a bit more perspective from the media. Yet even the newshounds bray like this "movement" is something original when, frankly, it amounts to little more than 1960s "Lite."
I expect more. I expect our younger generation to act like they learned something from their history classes. I expect the media to provide at least a little perspective. But all we get is the same pile of political cliches that have been bouncing around for nearly 50 years.
That said, I make the following requests:
When we rage against "the war," please remember that Vietnam cost 50,000 American lives, not 5,000. No death in combat is trivial, but there really is a difference in scale here.
When we rage against the "big corporations," let's take some solace in the fact that GM, P&G and many others actually hire women, black people and gay people. Many even provide benefits for "domestic partners." It wasn't always that way, as members of older generations can attest.
And when we rage, rightfully, against cops shooting pepper spray in the faces of harmless kids at the "sit-in," let's also remember that they used dogs and firehoses in Birmingham and real bullets at Kent State.
A writer, a dad, a citizen living the dream in Cincinnati