My mom said something very sage to me once: never be a rebel; be a revolutionary. That has always stuck with me, that and the understanding that rebels are just conservatives waiting to happen. Being a rebel is about just acting out your angst and whatever minor ills have been inflicted on you. Being a revolutionary is taking whatever dissatisfies you and making it into something new. That’s a good thing.
I’m not sure. I’m seeing so many revolutionaries of my generation in a weird way today. So many of them are still fighting the good fight or, if they’re not, working ironically for the man while maintaining their distance from that work. No one, I repeat no one I know is working and comfortable and invested in what they do and why. No one is happy. No one.
Well, okay, maybe they’re happy, but they’re not happy as I would’ve figured happy, secure adults would be. I think rather they, like me, are still possessed of a vision of the world in a kind of utopian, perfected landscape. I’m not saying we share a vision but we share the desire and belief in one. This much I think is true across the political and social spectrum.
Reasons for it I guess matter less then the ramifications of it. We have no place to settle, no worldly place to go that will ever feel comfortable. How will anything we do ever be satisfying? I envision people piling into therapists’ offices rife with anger that their bodies are letting them down, that the world is a tale told by an idiot and that their lives have a meaning that is out there and ill defined, a meaning ungraspable but believed in insofar as it would seem something should be able to be grasped.
This all concerns me as I fear the level of frustration I see my brethren soon to fall into. I see the promise of transcendence becoming a curse. I see vision being savagely born upon the psyche of the seer. I fear we will be destroyed by our own hope.
To you my therapist today I say that as Paul Simon once said: “I swear I’ll do some damage one fine day but I would not be convicted by a jury of my peers, still crazy after all these years.”
What was poetry in 1975 is today psychopathy.