Stewart Brand et al.--forever, forever, and forever (4 April 2009)

“I do not mean denigrate the people and their efforts, Lord knows they've collectively done more than I could possibly hope to do, had I a couple of additional lifetimes. Rather, I question why the film chooses to present them as it does. It is really necessary to give them titles like "The Radical," or "The Politician" or "The Futurist"? These one-word descriptions may be meant to give perspective, but they just seem like toe-tags.

All these folks are keeping on keeping on, but the other thing you notice is that they're all pretty damn old. The next generation of environmental warriors, while still in short pants, will run up against problems that are considerably larger, more complex and infinitely more dire. All the swelling strings in the world won't help them one iota.” (Dorothy Woodend, “Too Much Eco-Elder Worship?,” The Tyee, April 3, 2009)

Yeah, since we're not yet up to challenging their magnificence or openly deriding their refusal to fade away, we're left with dreaming of them dead and gone, and/or envisioning the emerging world as too complex for their 60's -- and ostensibly relatively simpler mindsets -- to handle. This is not where I want us to be, but it's a macabre mind-set which speaks of an ability to see and a willingness to confront, generational injustice, of an awakening dissatisfaction with the accommodating life and all the comforts it has afforded. And it's a start.

Stewart Brand et al. – I know your type, dude. You guys/gals did great things in your day, but have NOT allowed your children to have their own era. Instead of rebellion, you guided them to "Harvard," and while they did all their progressive causes which allowed you to believe you'd encouraged them to speak and live freely, you coached them away from ever doing ANYTHING which risked really irritating/angering the older generation professors/liberal establishment, which risked a tarnish in the straight-A resume, and the only real ticket to relevance. Leftist thought culminated with you guys -- everything else is praiseworthy but, really, just fleshing out. That's what you really think. Any really divergent strand of thought is either ignored, or identified as "Rightest," politically incorrect, and dismissed. The really awful truth is that you created a generation of progressives so shaped and guided they may not be able to surpass your brilliance, even if they come to see their low-key approach as not just bespeaking their more even and gentle temperament, their greater satisfaction with the simpler things. But acknowledging that truth might at least give them a chance, give US avenue, now, for more open and solid rebellion, and perhaps ensure that we don't end up looking at our own kids and think, "we didn't get to -- why should you?": perhaps ensure that we don't see a marked de-evolution in the greatness of leftist genius and spirit, which, I think, is actually a real risk.

Link: Too Much Eco-Elder Worship (The Tyee)


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