Thursday, June 30, 2011

RIOTS HERE?

Realities are settling in -- a lot of people feel country is on the wrong track. There's sadness and frustration, an inchoate rage more profound than the sign-waving political fury we saw during the elections last fall.

Newsweek Beast polled 600 people and informed us that three out of four believe the economy is stagnant or getting worse. One in three is uneasy about getting married, starting a family, or being able to buy a home. Most say their relationships have been damaged by economic woes or the dread and nervousness that accompany them.

The poll asked: Are you anxious because of your economic situation? -- 49 % say no. How upset are you by the price of gas and other commodities? -- 89% upset. Are you nervous about your retirement? -- 70% say yes. Have you lost sleep because of your anger about the economic situation? -- 56 % said yes.

I don't like polls, don't trust them or the percentage numbers. Too much depends on the tone of the questions and the conclusions the poll takers are hoping to get. But I am wondering if the days of rage we've already seen overseas might happen here?

In Spain, protesters recently clashed with police in a violent demonstration against economic woes and austerity measures. Riots have swept the Arab world, exploding out of unemployment and people wanting a better life. Nearly one in five American men between 25 and 54 is without a job right now, while Wall street and the corporations that probably caused the economy to tank, are back, confidently paying executives huge salaries with bonuses.

It bothers me that big banks, and car manufacturers are back to doing what they did before -- like car manufacturers, bragging about the great mileage new cars get. It's s the same M.P H. their cars got 5 years ago. (I remember the ads 5 years ago, when we were helping our son buy a new car.)

And I can't forget what happened in Wisconsin this past winter -- is it a where we are heading? Thousands of protesters (25,000 some say) commandeered the capital building, revolting against attempted curbs on union power.

I'm remembering faces, fury, greed, violence, a mish-mash from movies, photos, a disordered jumble from long ago, from yesterday, other yesterdays -- gay pride marches, pro and anti integration crazies fighting, madness at the Chicago convention, riots at concerts, Los Angeles burning, fists breaking store windows, raggedy guys stealing TVs, New York's blackout with angry folks cursing, throwing bottles, chairs, stones, and last year's crop of kooks with guns.

I think the rebellion can happen here. The wall of accumulated frustrations is already shutting out light and air, There's a new morality in the new generation that's been, bottle-fed on rage and violence, and the terrified despairing seniors follow them as if they're juniors,

I wish I could hide but I'm don't know where the hiding places are anymore, so I use words to protect me and tell me this will pass. We were in Los Angeles when the rioters were burning the city, and the streets were exquisitely quiet, empty, almost too quiet. We were fearful when we saw the sky was red, but relieved when nothing happened -- the madness didn't touch us.

Is that what I'm hoping for? A place to hide? Golly, I don't want to find myself following the kids. Maybe if I pour out a lot of words that others read, and nod over, it might filter into the ears of our new leaders, new pace-setters, the kids ...

3 comments:

Carola said...

I don't think we'll get riots, but I think that people you and I hate and fear will win elective office.

Terry said...

We don't want to pay the bailout rich bankers anymore than the Greeks do.

Yes it can happen here and probably will if we don't soon see some perp walks by banksters in handcuffs, clawbacks of banker bonuses and exorbitant salaries, some serious economic reform such as the reinstatement of Glass-Stegall, and an ethical POTUS with some backbone.

Sorry for linking to Faux News, but it's a good summary of the growth of flash mobs:
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/06/18/top-five-most-brazen-flash-mob-robberies/

Or imagine enjoying a nice sidewalk cafe to have this happen:
http://articles.philly.com/2011-06-29/news/29717406_1_maria-teens-mob-assault

It's only a short step from organized flash mob thefts and attacks to full scale rioting.

TLC

Alex Johnson said...

I am not an American, but your question can be taken Globally. Riots in America have happened and they can happen again! You can push a populace only so far, but at some stage they will turn and push back! i.e Syria & Egypt, Greece & Spain.

I agree with 'TLC' the rich are getting richer as the poor become poorer, as the middle class lose their savings. Not only is the US in need of reform, but the rest of the world too!

Alex Johnson

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