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Why So Many Elders are So Topical

This is a very short sharing of why this seasoned interactionist feels that so many older people are so topical in their analysis, desires, and orientation, and invites reader commentary.
Older people are part of a more conservative generation, generally. I'm talking about people in their upper 40s and 50s who seem to attach themselves so fundamentalistly to the Democrats getting a Democratic figurehead in office, and go ape-shit when they don't.

The phenomenon is wide-spread in this social challenger's experience. And you can see it readily in the IMC projects.

One can look at the 'bigger picture' and see some rationality for wanting a Demobilican, er, Democrat in office, as opposed to a Republicrat, er, Republican. One point, perhaps the most resonating for younger folks as well, is that faithful Democrats believe that Democrat-ic polytricksters, er, politicians who play polytricks, er, politics, *would stop another Vietnam from happening*; even tho many of the same age privately confess that the Democrat-ic angle would no-doubt go into the same cesspool as the Republican, only more *slowly* and drawn-out.

Anyway, to avoid digressing too much...

My study of the meta of institutionalized human beings and their organizations (including attacks on them, legal and illegal) moves me to say that our seemingly topical elders are *survivors* of a sort. They've seen their more openly radical fellows get bogged down in court cases and made mince-meat of via such programs as the f.b.i.'s illegal Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO). They've also tended to perhaps intuitively question left-wing fundamentalist attitudes (not that right-wing fundamentalism is viewed as any better), such as the Politically Correct (PC) movement.

If this sounds choppy, it is. It is being written on short notice without much time to write.

I really just wanted to bring this issue up and try to promote more radical consciousness. Some of the phenomenon is certainly *lack of nerve* and a reflection of people who are growing older and must "get by" around most others inebriated in Mundania. A "falling back" on "the path of least resistance".

But let's not forget that, like the gay rights movement, that when radicals began to find success in tiny numbers (Stonewall was comparitively tiny to the turn-out in national gay pride marches, for instance), gay men came out of the woodwork, and now overflow gay bars and such everywhere.

And most gay men of the older generations were *underground* with their true hearts. They married, often not telling their spouses of their true desires (which were called "mentally ill" at the time), and lived lives of seeming superficiality and topicalness.

So there's an example of the lessons gay history can tell the rest of us.

Where to go with this? Perhaps it will resonate with you, and this will assist you in continuing to formulate your own consciousness!
your stereotyping of "elders" 22.Nov.2004 13:28


is just as dumb as stereotyping of blacks, gays, or young people.

The surprising thing left out of your analysis is any mention of the fact that their long experience may have actually taught the elders something of value. Instead, you begin by dismissing them as wrong, and then try to analyse why they might be wrong. You'd get farther looking at why the impatience of youth so often leads to wrong actions.

My advice, youngster, is to listen a little more carefully to your elders. They actually may have something to teach you.

Incoherent 22.Nov.2004 14:01

George Bender

Difficult to follow your argument. Try again when you have more time.

I don't think radicalism is concentrated in any particular age group, although we used to think so in the 1960s. I guess every generation likes to flatter itself that it's in the vanguard. The 60s radicals, after college, found it surprisingly difficult to apply our radicalism to politics, and very difficult to make a living. Both of those things are still true. I'm still a radical and still active, in my 60s. We all do what we can. You need to forget your lame theory and find people, of whatever age, you can work with for social change.

What will you be like when you get older? 22.Nov.2004 14:16


Suggestion to author of post, Human Spirit Liberation: Print out your post. Put it in an envelope to be opened 11/22/2024.

I 22.Nov.2004 14:43

Catalina Eddie

am an old fart of 63. I've been a Libertarian since 1976 when I dropped the Democrats. I would have voted Democrat last time if Kucinich got the nomination, because I believe in him, not his party. Whether or not he could make any difference is quite another thing, but I could be proud of being a citizen of a nation that chose him.

Your thesis holds no water applied to me, or to my friends who are mostly Republican (nobody's perfect, and friends are hard to find).

And be more sparing with those cutesy word games. They are distracting.


WTF?!?!! 22.Nov.2004 17:55


Since when are people in their 40's and 50's old? The folks in my family live up into their late 80's so I'm just barely halfway through. Fuck ageism!

From another (small L) libertarian 22.Nov.2004 17:55

Grey Tiger

I agree. But in fairness, many of the Sixties radicals DID simply retreat into "Mundania" - some even became (ugh) Republicans, although hopefully these are a minority. I think the major difference between the age groups is one of perspective founded on bitter experience. It's not that older people don't feel the same degree of outrage, but years of butting our heads against the wall, oftentimes at high personal cost, and in the end having to console ourselves with "winning" small victories that in reality turned out not to be victories at all, convinced us of the futility of most "accepted" forms of public dissent. If protest were effective, all of what ails us would long since have been put right and we wouldn't be faced now with the same issues we confronted in our youth.

Public protest is a manifestation of optimism - the belief that ones efforts can make a meaningful difference. Pessimists, on the other hand, are defined as optimists with experience - those who have learned the hard way the truth of the old beatitude "Blessed are they who expecteth nothing, for they surely shall not be disappointed."

Don't be too quick to criticize the older generation for what you perceive as inaction. Not all of us are as publicly involved as you are, or as you might like us to be, but this may be merely a difference in kind rather than one of degree. While you're busy making banners and marching with placards, many of us are quietly stockpiling ammunition.

author: human spirit liberation 22.Nov.2004 19:38

Troll alret

This is another in a long chain of planted devisive "posts" attacking age. Why is that?

Hey Grey Tiger, and others who can allow themselves to think 23.Nov.2004 14:41

human spirit liberation

Grey Tiger,
thanks for your thoughtfulness. The others seem to like to just knee-jerkedly react, not apparently even reading the article! Well, I take that as a measure of the power of my points that trolls work so hard to discredit it!

Yeah, protest is not effective, but then again, it really isn't supposed to be. You analyze the meta that vanguards and "leaders" play, and you start to see what they're doing, and it's not what they're saying. It's just like polytricksters, er, politicians.

As long as we play along and just immerse ourselves in media that is organized to keep us hyped up and mobilized like soldiers in a platoon, we will be used and victimized in this way.

Now, older folks, admittedly, usually didn't have as much access to information that we now have today (with the internet and such things). So, it was easy to believe that the existing establishment of "alternatives" was all their was. But things have changed. And if you *dare* to explore, beyond permitted confines, you might start to see that *we DON'T HAVE TO* keep busting our heads against these fortresses and these armors.

That we DON'T HAVE TO take "our places" as soldiers in Left or Right-wing fundamentalisms, that we *can lead* our own desires by engaging informally with people we've been hyped-up to fear and hate, for one. That we can begin making meaningful community with a broad diversity of people, and, if a new form of nazi takes power (or the current form continues as its doing), we'll have made the kinds of connections that will allow for a new underground. An underground that is far more mutually liberating than traditional beliefs have reduced us to.

Look, i'm pressed for time, so maybe i'm not saying this as excellently as i might if i had hours to compose this, so i hope you'll bear with me here.

Just remember that we're largely viewed as *tools* to be exploited, not only by the mainline, but by anyone else who buys into that kind of bigotry--and that should come as no surprise that "alternative" elites are products of their "good educations" just like other elites, except they're allegedly catching onto a single issue here or there.

This really is a vital point. And we've got to take a step back and see the bigger picture!

We don't have to uncritically buy into these dark age constructs!

I don't buy into the either/or of optimism or pessimism. That's awfully convenient, two extremes...i have serious, heavy shit experience, have put my life literally on the line for my ideas (and continue to do so), have watched my colleagues get dragged through the hot coals of polytricks, er, politics as usual, and wake up a little bit more only after being punched in the face with reality.

Maybe i should direct people like yourself to those who really inspire the hell out of me. How about those E.Timorese? Talk about having to deal with heavy shit! Or, how about Native Americans? i find John Trudell, a Santee Sioux, to be on the forefront of the kind of consciousness that just, well, i don't have words for it.

Trudell lost his entire family, including 3 young daughters, to the illegal COINTELPRO attacks. He went through a radical scrutiny of his own beliefs, and came out with the kind of stuff that moves him to live an underground existence *all the time*. His stuff is hard to find, but it's well worth the looking.

Just to make things clear, I'm not seeking to put down ALL people who happen to be older! Didn't i make that clear??? Just generally. Like all of these people who somehow cannot permit themselves to imagine life beyond the two factions of the business party (republicrat and demoblican)!

i'm *deeply* inspired by older radicals, people who've been forced to explore life and the world beyond the *easily* found ideas. People like Noam Chomsky, Thomas Szasz, and Trudell. What would we do without them?!!?

human spirit liberation 23.Nov.2004 21:03

Indy Reader

Are you being paid by the wored? Divid and what?