I keep trying to make sense of the divisions we are almost all feeling currently. How can one get “under” them, i.e., in hopes of lessening them a little? Does anyone who is reading this enjoy feeling estranged from others, especially old friends, for example, because of political opinions? Very few, I’ll bet. But it’s happening.

Then the insight came: Remember what it was like 47 years ago. Remember what it was like in the Spring of ’70. Everybody, and I mean, everybody, was up in arms! If you were a college student then, your campus was probably shut down. You couldn’t get to class, you couldn’t get to the library, you couldn’t finish your work and get your transcript, you couldn’t basically do anything. No kidding. It was a wild ride. Many people believed it was the end of the world. God help you if you were on the wrong side, or if you wanted to put your head in the sand. You were not allowed.

What I am saying is that looking back on it now, after 47 years, the whole apocalyptic scenario which possessed our youthful world proved… forgettable and unimportant.

What?! How can I say that? How can I aver the Vietnam war was forgettable and unimportant? How I can say that Richard Nixon or LBJ or Kent State was forgettable and unimportant?

I’ll tell you why: Because other things — like girls or getting a date or making the
all-important 4.0 — were actually the Front Story of our lives. In retrospect, unless you were a total nerd and had nothing going — except resentments — that date, that girl (“That Girl” – Marlo Thomas), that grade were the Real Thing. We might have said at the time that demonstrating against the fascists who manufactured napalm is the the Front Story. But it only looked that way. The real Front Story was growing up, and suffering rejection, and “Looking for a Love (To Call My Own)” (J. Geils Band).

This cast reflects on the current explosion of feeling in light of … memory. And it comes out that its urgency dates. HUGS, PZ