MoonOverPittsburgh

Some tiny creature, mad with wrath,

Is coming nearer on the path.

--Edward Gorey

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Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Outlying Islands

Writer, lawyer, cyclist, rock climber, wanderer of dark residential streets, friend.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Way We Are, The Way They Were

Revere, guest posting at Majikthise, provides a thought-provoking framework in which to compare and contrast the resistance of the baby boomer generation during the sixties with the current ideological schism between right and left.

[T]he split is not generational as it was then. The draft had something to do with that, but not everything. There was a cultural discontinuity that occurred in the 1960s that excluded the older generation. Today our children are not so very different than we are. That's not where the split is now. The people who are different are the religious right. On November 3 half the country woke up to find the other half of the country not only strangers, in some deep and unsettling way, but also threatening. Threatening to cultural moorings.

He concludes with this worrisome observation:

[U]nlike the parents of the 60s generation, since our split is not generational, we won't just die out. The split will reproduce itself in our children and the other side's children. That is where the battleground will be. Focus on the Family, with its preoccupation with religious (i.e., ideological) education, values imparted in the home and public education signals where the struggle will take place. That's the meaning of the gay marriage debate, evolution, religion in the schools. It is a struggle about reproducing ideologies in the next generation.

The discussion doesn't get significantly more probing than these excerpts, but even so it comprises a series of really obvious, yet relatively unremarked (in my limited experience, anyway), observations. Read the whole thing.

2 Comments:

Blogger brian said...

Lacking the time to read the whole thing, I'll add one comment about this:

That is where the battleground will be. Focus on the Family, with its preoccupation with religious (i.e., ideological) education, values imparted in the home and public education signals where the struggle will take place.

I'm no fan of Focus on the Family, and this isn't a defense of them, but to claim that non-religious education is not ideological is irresponsible. Everything, everything, everything, is ideological. Your high school history teacher had a particular worldview that she imparted along with her lessons, whether you realized it or not. No one is completely objective -- but then, Revere admits that. I guess the problem is that he(?) just doesn't agree with the religious ideology, so therefore it is a Bad Thing.

That said, I agree with his conclusions about the comparison between then and now.

9:57 AM  
Blogger Moon said...

After posting on this, I considered revising it to distance myself from the overly polarizing rhetoric regarding precisely the point you raise. I don't share the one-sided, Us v. Them mentality suggested by Revere's overblown way of stating the current situation, notwithstanding that by his lights I'd surely pass for one of Us. Mostly, however, I just liked his analysis of the distinction between the conflict our parents faced with the conflicts our generation faces. There is a category difference, and one must reach must further back in history, I think, to come up with fitting analogies, whether salutary or terrifying (and my vote is for the latter, to be candid).

10:06 AM  

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