Columns

Eating Our Young

Rodney Dangerfield
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and the third President of the United States. At the beginning of the American Revolution, he served in the Continental Congress, representing Virginia and then served as a wartime Governor of Virginia. | Photo: Rembrandt Peale | Thomas Jefferson, President, Declaration Of Independence, Congress,

A Bad Habit When They're The Large Guerrila in the Boom

There's the august Thomas Jefferson:

"As it is, we have the wolf by the ear, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go. Justice is on one scale, and self-preservation in the other."

And, then, there's Rodney Dangerfield, as the mercenary Al Cervick, in 'Caddyshack': "Now I know why tigers eat their young."

While the founding father referred to slavery and the bounding bother to irksome children like Spalding the Spoiled, the question remains eternal as well as eternally unwieldy. From 'don't trust anyone over 30' to 'whatever', the young have routinely been seen by those who aren't as either fickle or downright feckless when it comes to their most basic entitlement: the vote.

Combine the two attitudes and the great political conundrum rears its head, again and with particular resonance in this year of revolutionary politics, yielding the reliably repeatable democratic experiment whereby the young are a. enslaved by the status quo & b. so much protoplasm to be consumed in war and peace.

It is posited here that this may have reached its own peculiar critically massive tipping point at which the amply broadcast evolution will be both electrifyingly electric and eclectic.

Let's unpack this scenario, given that it amounts to unchecked baggage on our first class flight aboard spaceship Earth's American section, screening the in-flight movie 'Electric Eclectic Election', soundtrack fittingly by the Eels.

1) Electric: While the fiddling lazy often biased traditional top-down media battles for audience share with the latest platforms based upon bottom-up selection 'Roam' burns into the portably screened messaging taking place at the speed of light young person to peers. How many of these latter consumers of such content are being tracked by Nielsen ('who?' ask they) or Gallup ('Oh, the Kentucky Derby thing...' snark they)? Can you say 'below the radar' in an age when Virtual Reality immersion can make them Terminator avatars with the click of 'X' box? Hardly enough said, however suffice to say that THEY won't OBEY (see: John Carpenter's 'They Live', mottos therefrom abounding on 'their' t-shirts/hats, etc.) and are increasingly influencing their parents culturally and, yes, politically.

Rodney Dangerfield Aaron Stipkovich
Rodney Dangerfield Aaron Stipkovich

Rodney Dangerfield (November 22, 1921 - October 5, 2004) with Aaron Stipkovich, circa 2004. Rodney Dangerfield was an American comedian and actor, known for the catchphrase "I don't get no respect!" and his monologues on that theme. He is also remembered for his 1980s film roles, especially in Easy Money, Caddyshack, and Back to School. | Photo: Aaron Stipkovich | Link |
2) Eclectic: As ever, THEY set the trends in entertainment, language, and with ever-increasing ease of transmission; hence, the varietal array of electrified experience makes choice of seemingly contrary tastes, memes, tropes is commonplace for..youth. How many 'adults' reading this hasn't consulted their offspring about something unfamiliarly cutting edge with a battery and a screen?

Given, then, this state of affairs in such flux that weekly is forever to those who they deem 'retro', it is predicted that many surprises are imminent such that the conventional retrograde/always-catching-up media won't get the message until it's a surprise.

Prime example: the constant tone of that surprise by talking heads on those quaint TV monitors fewer and fewer are actually watching: "The self-proclaimed democratic socialist Sanders is proving to be no fringe thing after all..........blah, blah, blah."

As Jimi Hendrix might have observed: 'Excuse me, while I kiss the sky.......'

That's right, it's 'in the air'---how many times have you heard that seemingly paranormal assessment to a feeling your fingers can't quite be put upon? Turns out that, rather than being paranormal it's more a matter of serious preternaturally---case in point, Dr. Roger D. Nelson's seminal work at Princeton: noosphere.princeton.edu known as 'The Global Consciousness Project'. There, measurement is taken of various phenomena using random number generators as baseline against which to detect zeitgeist versus so-called coincidence. While his site speaks best for itself, this appears among other things to be a scientific attempt to gauge what Carl Jung (yes, it's fittingly pronounced 'young') termed the collective consciousness and its interplay with synchronicity--that property of the world's events to be meaningfully timely for one's (or a large populace's) greater awareness of, well, meaning in these events. [His work as to 9/11 is chillingly persuasive relative to just before dynamics worldwide].

Conclusion: expect the unexpected, 'unexpected' more because of a significant lack of awareness than unforeseeable. Cue Bob Dylan's 'Forever Young', and, fade to bright(er).

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Updated Aug 12, 2017 12:01 PM EDT | More details

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