Springtime for Garrison

A letter I wrote at Salon.com responding to “Garrison Keillor’s latest column”:http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2006/04/05/keillor/index.html (“The people who are getting reamed by this administration are people under 30, and they are, like, OK with that… Flowers will bloom in whatever wreckage we make. Take the day off, dear reader, and ignore the world and let the president play his fiddle. If that be ignorance, make the most of it.”) received an Editor’s Choice star:

bq. Well, I suppose that no one under 30 (at least among fellow commenters) has a sense of humor, or has experienced the rebirth of a Midwestern spring the likes of what I see outside. Even the sullen office drones streaming onto the sidewalks have a sense of purpose and camaraderie in their strides, a vast change from the downward shuffles and anxious sighs of last month’s parting blizzards.

bq. I’ve tried several times to politically mobilize other young people in my trendy city neighborhood. People here have a vague and frightfully cynical notion of politics, but alarmingly few are invested in it or even believe that anything could change. Our generation has been raised on a steady diet of distrust or even disbelief in government, society, and community, in any form of collective action, and after all that it’s tough not to retreat into a hedonistic, individualist shell. The countless, 24/7 distraction available makes it even simpler to not reach out.

bq. In any case, this column falls along the lines of Keillor’s “We’re All Republicans Now” songs. Those as thoroughly dispossesed of political power as we Democrats might find it temporarily uplifting to turn the tables and laugh at the ridiculousness of it all, to find new inspiration for why we fight, and to learn new ways to connect with one another.

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