Waterloo, Anyone?

You might have heard the expression the fish stinks from the head-down. Yesterday I wrote about how I am encouraged by the Parkland teens who, in the aftermath of their high school becoming a killing ground for the latest psycho with access to high-powered weapons, have become quite vocal in their revulsion of the massacre. They are equally repulsed by the blatant unwillingness of elected “leaders” to do anything–anything!–to help prevent another such incident, given that in their mid-to-late teens they have already lived long enough to notice what happened at their school happens just about anywhere, and isn’t an infrequent, nightmarish, event.

I was reminded by a trusted voice of reason who read my posting, that those teens are up against much more than the NRA. Indeed, as my friend noted, we live in a corporatocracy. More than half of our federal budget goes to the Pentagon and its attendant “military, industrial complex,” as famously first warned against by President Eisenhower 60 years ago. Ike’s warning certainly was prescient, given our ever-expanding military presence since the end of World War II. 

Yes, the righteous indignation of those young voices of dissent–mostly not yet of legal voting age–are up against a massively monetized, multi-national, media-abetted, take-no-prisoners, system that does not give a fuck about their concerns, or the concerns of anyone who can’t help put more money in their already stuffed pockets. Teenagers up against the biggest, baddest, predatory, most rotten stinking fish from its gory head to its gaudy tail. I may be CRAZY to think their energy, that has seemingly lit a small fire that lights their way, will find enough forward momentum to provide the oxygen that can turn that small fire into a firestorm.

Recall, those of a certain age that, not long after Ike’s famous quote, the U.S. became embroiled in the Vietnam War, and it didn’t take too many years before youthful protestors, mostly college aged, took to the streets and said, enough is enough. They were ignored, then vilified, then bashed by police, but they never backed down. And as that war dragged on, more and more of “middle America” became engaged in voicing its opposition to the war. At this same time–the mid 1960s to early 1970s, the civil rights movement and the women’s movement had joined in protesting against that era’s version of a fish that stunk from its head down. The war ended, as the public demanded. Civil rights causes gained traction as did women’s rights. Yes, war, racism and misogyny are still issues, still part of a work-in-progress effort to create a better world. And good luck with that, for sure.

However, showing up, in larger and larger numbers can break through the current incarnation of a compliant, collusive media that is also corporatized, anti-democratic and very dangerous as such. It’s still up to we the people to smarten up and help fan that Parkland flame that might flutter or flicker, but that has real, palpable potential to burn those hands that feeds that stinking fish. If we voted for Trumpistan (and stupidly, we did, no matter who did or did not vote) we can vote against it. The best form of protest: an informed, critically thought out vote.

David and Goliath, right.  That’s just a mind-set, however. Believing becomes seeing, and if one refuses to believe they have any voice, any ability as an individual, to help inact positive change…well…they won’t see much beyond the end of their noses.

If those individual teenagers–united to affect a bullhorn–can articulate their rage at such an early age, and gain more traction by not shutting up, not backing down, by inspiring others who see what certain of us also see, also think, also feel, then it is possible that the NRA, along with the quid pro quo of a predatory form of capitalism and it callous, dispassionate agenda, can be replaced. The government works for us. We do not work for them. That is a fact. What seems to be a system so large and powerful that one might easily feel helpless in its presence is nothing more than a state of mind. Ask Emma Gonzalez if she believes the system is indomitable. She and her Parkland classmates put most of a lazy, stupid, short attention-span, instant gratification-seeking, heads inserted into asses, electorate to shame. And again, Emma and her ilk are likely not yet of legal voting age!

But they will be.

Trumpistan. A fish that stinks alright. A fish so flawed, so repulsive to the senses, that I would like to believe that it will implode in its own Waterloo. But why wait for it to self destruct? The future is, if one is willing to embrace the notion,  now. Help fan that Parkland flame.

Waterloo, anyone? Let’s drain that swamp of all its stench-ridden denizens.


About jharrin4

mass communication/speech instructor at College of DuPage and Triton College in suburban Chicago. Army veteran of the Viet Nam era.
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2 Responses to Waterloo, Anyone?

  1. Julie Samuels says:

    Right on. We need to work to eliminate the Silos and help everyone to understand that any issue they are funding is related to every other issue on the planet….In Unity There is Strength.


  2. So true that the odds of defeating the deadly agenda spearheaded by the NRA are achievable, as long as we don’t perceive them as impossible. Your post is a testament to the possible.


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