Thursday, October 6, 2011

Dial a Demonstration

During my idealistic youth I remember calling "Dial a Demonstration", a telephone service where you could hear a recorded message describing the demonstrations going on in New York that day. If you wanted to protest the war, fight for women's rights or even march for the International Lady's Garment Workers Union, you could for the cost of  bus and subway fare.

Twenty years later I was sitting in a bar and a young man walked in with hair past his shoulders. The woman next to me smiled and said, "he could use a haircut". I laughed with the other middle aged people at the bar.

Now I was now part of the establishment. Instead of fighting "the man", I now was "the man". I've noticed the change. Now when I hear a car on the street that is playing loud music I get aggravated while as a youth I would have been thrilled to hear  loud rock music booming from a car at a red light.  The last time I demonstrated was for my pensions, a pale echo of the idealism of the young, hip, WBAI listener of a happier time.

Which brings us to the current Wall Street protests. Oh what is it that they want to do? Put another thorn in Obama's side? Oh what do they hope to accomplish? Will these demonstrations bring them jobs? Will they make us all happier and make us willing  to give up buying cheap shirts made in China? The aging baby boomer is full of dilemma. I wonder for a moment, what it is like at the demonstration. I suppose they communicate using social media instead of telephone loops.  I wonder if there are LJG's like the old days.

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