BY KRISTINE MATTIS
In an era marked by the election of yet another phony Presidential savior, the somnambulant masses have been forced to awaken. Not only have the conditions for the already marginalized grown excruciatingly horrific, but the members of socioeconomic classes who formerly expected to have a solid, productive outlook have been offered instead a harsh present and a bleak future…”
Cynicism and Incoherence
I came of age in the 1980s which was, at the time, considered the epitome of pop culture, selfishness, competition, and corporate domination. The “greed is good” line from the movie “Wall Street” – meant as irony by the writer/director – became a motto forAmerica. Indeed, the unbridled pursuit of material wealth was synonymous with “freedom.” Concurrently, in the context of the prevailing capitalistic system, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher decreed to the world: There is no alternative (TINA).
Around the time I graduated from college in the early 1990s, the so-called disaffected youth had aided the election of a modern new president, viewed as almost a messiah by his flock. Sound familiar? The difference back then was that the deleterious effects of rugged individualism, blind ambition, unbridled greed, and neoliberalism had not yet permeated all of the masses. The poor, many people of color, and most indigenous people remained as marginalized by society as ever, but a critical number of the middle and upper-middle class citizens still had access to their “piece of the pie” to which they felt entitled. A faction of twenty-somethings that didn’t believe in the system of greed found themselves underemployed during this era for two main reasons: 1. A large number of available jobs had gone from union, livable-wage, skilled or professional labor positions to low-paying service-sector positions, and 2. The higher-wage jobs available were detrimental and damaging to people and the environment; these young adults did not want to partake in such a corrupt, destructive system. Those particular Generation Xers were dismissed as “slackers,” and though that label was inaccurate, it was a more useful meme for the powers that be to declare that the dissenters were lazy rather than admit that they were purposefully noncompliant with the fraudulent, unjust, unethical status quo. Continue reading »
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