Posts Tagged Kent State

Abortion of Cultural Rebirth Always Begins With a Conservative Backlash by The “Religious Wrong”

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A Conservative Backlash by The “Religious Wrong”‘ Attempts to Abort the Generational Changing of the Guard in America’s “Pleasantville”

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“You Can’t Legislate Morals”

With the support of the Chamber of Commerce, we know Big Bob has the power to do whatever he will with the two on trial. slide_194730_434143_smallAnd since the events preceding the trial has included mob actions which have included a book burning, the attack and destruction of the malt shop, and the cornering, physical intimidation, and physical attack of “coloreds” by gangs—images common to modern times which has seen these sorts of events in actuality occurring in the civil rights and anti–Vietnam-War movements, and currently in democracy and freedom uprisings in the Middle East, America, and throughout the world in the Occupy movement—the fate of the prisoners is imagined to include the ultimate penalty of death.

“Conservative Backlash”

Indeed, this ominous possibility is promoted by the actions of the soda-jerk Artist who, at the trial, pitifully pleads for a compromise. This is pitiful since we know that his art is his life, that it is the one thing that has truly enriched his life and made it worth living.

Sitting at the Lunch Counter

We know of its importance in that, even after the attack on his malt shop, he defied the “rules” laid down by the town’s authorities which outlawed art and color by working with the Prince through the night to produce a colorful mural on the outside wall of his shop depicting the current events of the town and the feelings swirling about inside its residents.

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This defiant act by the artist is reminiscent of antiwar demonstrators, who got fired upon at Kent State, of civil rights demonstrators, who police attacked with dogs, and of Tiananmen Square demonstrators, who were rolled over by tanks, shot, and killed, and most recently of all the courageous men and women of the Middle East risking their lives for freedom and of the Occupy heroes throughout the world putting their bodies in front of the most dire, widespread fascism ever to exist.

Since this character, recently so courageously defiant, is intimidated into pleading for a compromise in which he would be willing to use only certain colors or where he would submit for approval by the Chamber’s leader his ideas for painting beforehand–a compromise which his body language and facial expressions show, wonderfully acted by Jeff Daniels, is one near up against the very death of his soul–we know he fears for the loss of his physical life.

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“Just Sign This Confession.”

The compromise is too much like the compromises we have witnessed being offered and come to expect being offered to some of the Tiananmen Square and other political prisoners of recent times wherein they are required to do something along the lines of admitting their guilt, apologizing to the State for the trouble they have caused it, and promising to never again to engage in such activities…and only in the most benevolent of circumstance being allowed to continue anything like their former activities but if so only under the supervision and with the approval of authorities with veto power over their proposed actions.

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The Religious Wrong

So Big Bob and the Chamber of Commerce represent in the current social framework the Religious Right (sometimes referred to as the “religious wrong” and sometimes about which it is noted that the Religious Right is neither). Big Bob’s Chamber of Commerce represents Republicans, Tea Partiers, and those in general in our society who have succumbed to the rewards and threats of the World War Two Generation to live a regimented robot-like unfeeling passionless life; to become one of J. D. Salinger’s “phonies,” to abide by their misconstrued idea of “family values,” and above all to “behave” and not do anything to rock the boat of the status quo which might threaten the privileges of those currently enjoying power and wealth handed down, mostly, by heredity.

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Civil Rights Movement

It is highly significant that in the courtroom scene the “colored” would be sitting in the balcony, above the black-and-white men. One might say this represents their status as being an elevated state, something to aspire to, and yet not on the level where matters are decided. But even more so, this scene is important in that it is a near exact replication of the courtroom scene in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” wherein the balcony of the courtroom is filled with Blacks, another kind of “colored.” This makes it clear that when the movie is dealing with the conflict between the adult males of the town and the “colored” it is referring to the Civil Rights movement.

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Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter Seven: Cultural Rebirth, Aborted

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First They Took the Campuses, Much Later Was Wisconsin..Next?

Wisconsin Now, First Were the Campuses

Once they attacked and dismantled liberal arts programs on campuses in the 70s, the wealthy elite, the Matrix, could methodically dismantle human rights and economic justice in America, with few educated thinkers in a generalist, let alone a humanist tradition, to speak against it. What is happening in Wisconsin now is a direct outgrowth of the movements of the 60s and the backlash that occurred to them among the “filthy rich,” which involved an all-out culture war, which is only coming out into the broad daylight now but has been going on for decades, imperceptibly yet powerfully changing the face of America and what it means to be an American.

In spring 1971, after some of the biggest antiwar demonstrations in history had rocked the nation in the previous 18 months, after a million spoke out in Washington, DC, at Moratorium Day, 1969, after the nationwide student-professor walkout to protest Nixon’s illegal bombing runs into Cambodia in the spring of 1970–the campus closings which were highlighted by the killings of students at Kent State and Jackson State—a nationwide all-out culture-war assault by the filthy rich against free thinking on campus was launched. They actually fired professors on my campus, not because they were radical or speaking out against the war, but because they were cutting back departments that had anything to do with the Humanities—even the social sciences, religious studies!!!…anything that involved encouraging students to be independent thinkers or to learn anything different from the elementary and secondary school propaganda we’d been taught before. Philosophy, for one, was considered as dangerous for students to be studying as taking LSD (er, God forbid! in either case…)

We stormed the administration building and found the documents—the letters from wealthy benefactors and alumni insisting on this change or they would stop their funding. This was a concerted effort by the wealthy elite that hit all the liberal arts institutions/universities in America. We demanded the Dean appear on the steps of the Administration building and answer to the charges and respond about the documents, as a condition of us leaving the building. He showed up, sheepishly, and mealy-mouthed his way through his responses to r evidence. He never denied it.

Some students chipped in (what little they could) to pay for some profs to continue teaching the next semester. We couldn’t use any facilities; we sat on the grass, outside. Of course, we could not afford to continue to do this; nor could the profs get by on the $1-$25 voluntary donations!

And before the corporations there were the rich of other times and under other economies, in particular the feudal economy. Filthy rich nobility kept the peasants as virtual slaves.

The point, I guess, is that we are all taught something quite different about America, from kindergarten on up. So since it is all untrue, I wonder how different it is from the brainwashing and propaganda that we heard that totalitarian societies engage in, especially the Communists in the Soviet Union who were used as examples for most of my life.

But is it corporations that do these things, the enslaving? Let’s say it exactly so we can pinpoint who are really the actors. Is it not the people who own/run the corporations? So, that, in my opinion, makes it what one network (CNN, I think), who did a documentary a couple years ago on the obscenely increased wealth and power of this class (occurring during the Bush Administration), termed “the Filthy Rich.” I think it is high time we started being specific about who is running this country into the dirt.

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