Woodstock Boomers Revival Manifesto

Or how we can get our groove back. This is a work in progress. Just posting here because I am decluttering my Notes app. And also because things can be useful even in rough draft mode. (Note, if anything sounds totally weird or nonsensical it’s because I missed something while proofreading my talk-to-text.)

Woodstock boomers revival manifesto

This is for all my fellow what I would call Earth Day boomers or Woodstock boomers, who are genuinely horrified and distraught at the state of the planet and the effect it is having on people and all other living things.

This might be a manifesto, might be a kind of Ted talk, we will see what it turns into.

We spoke up against the war in Vietnam. We Spoke up about environmental crisis.

Then, fast forward to the 80s, somehow we became tame and venal. Caught up in affluence and prosperity. Some of us didn’t last for long and dropped out. But no judgment on those who didn’t drop out; we all get caught up in things sometimes. And some people had kids into the equation and that weighed in favor of them taking the corporate route.

But, now it is now.

I see a lot of my fellow boomers crying out against climate change, pollution, but then not being willing to do the things that will actually help unravel the structure.

In no particular order.

First and foremost that came to my mind, we need to acknowledge that the way we went about our war protests was wrong. Spitting on veterans and calling soldiers baby killers was wrong. Our focus needed to be on the government that was doing the wrong, not on the people who were conscripted and not able to take the college loophole.

Or, not on the people who felt like they were doing the right thing by signing up because they didn’t want to just leave it to someone else.

So we need to make some kind of amends to veterans. Saying thank you for your service is problematic in a lot of ways, as others have already pointed out. What we could do is join Veterans for Peace; donate to organizations that provide mental health care for veteran; and other services. And, we can also refrain from persuading our young people to join the military. We never wanted to live in a world where the best chance that a kid has for a stable life is to sign a contract where he promises to kill on the orders of the government. That is no deal. And we need to stop being all happy when our nieces and nephews and grandkids etc. I thinking of that as a path. We need to support them in their hearts path.

I also want to talk about the smug memes that we are posting. Oh look at the simple life we lead, look at the dangerous stunts we did on the bicycle. And yet now we won’t even let go of our fourth house, or take our 401(k) off of Wall Street. And order the others they simply have something like a basic life.

Some steps we can do.

We can stop the consumerist travel. Yes we can just stop. Most of the fun we’re having is on social media, not in the reality. We are old as dirt and we need to start just being happy at home like our sensible grandparents did.

We can stand up to our husbands about the lawns for god sake. Seriously? We’re going to tell our grandkids that we let the planet die because our HOA wouldn’t let us have a wildflower yard. Or our husband liked to mow? What the hell is wrong with us. Tell the man to stay the hell out of the wildflowers.

We don’t get to have it both ways. We don’t get to think of ourselves as some kind of cool revolutionary, and not be doing any of the work right now.

We can stop being members of so-called “liberal” congregations who ridicule people who actually walk the walk.

another big thing, we need to stop making ourselves wrong and saying that we were being unrealistic and impractical and idealistic back in the 60s and 70s. We were not wrong. The way that we went about a lot of our stuff was erroneous in various ways, but we were not fundamentally wrong and we need to stop making fun of hippies and saying that we were impractical and then finally we grew up and now we’re being practical. Because we are not being practical, we are being basically murderous with our habits.

Yes, we got caught up in drugs, and some of that involved sexual exploitation. but there have always been hot hippie boys that made a mini harem or cult around themselves. We needed to deconstruct the patriarchy and we did not, now we can.

We should not throw the baby out with the bathwater as it says.

I used to wonder why my dad was so contemptuous of hippies. Toward the end of his life he told me that we never should’ve been in Vietnam. That was not what I expected to hear from a 22-year career Navy officer, but I found out after he passed that he and many of his classmates that Annapolis has opposed the war. So if you feel a certain way but you/squash your heart’s voice, what are you going to do but be contemptuous of people who are acting on their heart?

We can stop living in car dependent cities and suburbs. We need to move where we can walk to our needs. Or else we need to invite people to live with us. We cannot keep being these entitled elders who expect everyone to wait on us hand and foot.

And we need to stop NIMBYing apartment complexes and town houses out of the neighborhoods. Hey who knows, a lot of these people might end up being our home health care or yard care.

And we need to stop pretending that our fancy electric cars are going to save the world. That is bullshit.

Not facing the truth makes a person cranky. I know, I’ve done it. Done it both ways.

We can protect our grandkids from getting into college debt. Encourage them to pursue a trade, pursue their heart. The so-called practical path is not practical it has made us into a murderous society.

Further exploration:

“Decades after Kent State shooting, the tragic legacy shapes its activism” (Jonathan Edwards; Washington Post). “The university where 13 student protesters were killed or injured during the Vietnam War era worries that other schools have learned nothing from its history.”

“How to support student protests; the history of Cinco de Mayo; environmental hazards in Gaza; and the racist history of the filibuster.” (Nicole Cardoza and guest writers; Anti-Racism Daily 5/5 weekend edition). “Over 2,000 students and faculty have been arrested as student-led protests grow at college campuses across the U.S. Many of these demonstrations are being misinterpreted as generic acts of solidarity with communities in Gaza. But, in reality, students have clear and comprehensive demands from their universities – and they’re not budging. Although each school has it’s own focus, here’s what’s common throughout their demands. …”