The next generation is us

It may not be something you've thought much about, but you really should. Put aside your problems and your work and your play and just sit down and consider it for a few minutes. Take a look at the world around you - read a newspaper, watch CNN, listen to NPR - and think about what you read, see, or hear. How many wars are going on right now? How many "international disputes"? How many homeless are there in the United States? How many dying children are there in Africa and Indonesia? How many trade disputes are there between nations? How many polluted lakes and rivers are there in Oregon? How many robberies, carjackings, and homicides have there been in the last 5 minutes? How many babies have been born? How many incidents of "domestic violence" have there been in the last week? How many political prisoners are still locked away? How many people have died because of what they believe, how they look, or what they choose? How many guns have been bought by ordinary citizens? How many hate crimes have there been? How many teachers have been laid off? How many more species are extinct today than yesterday? How many years has all this been going on? Whether we like it or not, we are going to be the next ones in control of the United States and the world. Will anything change when that happens? Does anything need to change? Does everything need to change? (Yes.) We are the children of a generation that put humanity into the beginning stages of puberty. We're not grown up - some doubt we ever will be - but we are _growing_ up, and it's a step in the right direction. The next generation, our generation, has and will continue to run up against the stranglehold that the older generations have on everything. We find it in schools, where 50-year-old instructors are teaching 50-year-old ideas and 50-year-old parents control what can and can't be said. We see it on TV which has beat us into pasivity with its microcosmic utopias we call "sitcoms"; has sapped our creativity with the idolatry of "Beavis and Butthead"; has numbed us with models-SLASH-newscasters broadcasting the day's worst disasters mixed in with just enough human-interest stories to make it all go down smooth. We see it in advertising in which 40-year olds try and mold us into what they think we are. We see it in government, where more 50-year olds with more 50-year-old ideas decide what kind of world we're going to be living in when they die. With all of this and more against us, holding us back, trying to stomp us into the ground so we can propogate the establishment ad infinitum, there's only one option we have open to us - we need to start changing the world.

-Tyler Jones

Tyler Jones, tjones@willamette.edu