Tuesday, November 16, 2004

a free society and other dreams

I was going to comment on Downer et al and their plan to make Australia larger. I suspect this is so that we (please exclude me in that we) can mine the Barrier Reef and further buttress 'fortress Australia.'

Then I had an opinion about the proposed changes to the Government's national security agenda, but I seem to have reached my fill of outrage at how quickly this government is rolling back basic human rights.

Then in my wanderings I came upon this and I got to a place beyond incredulous.

Let me tell you why.
I was very young when I first saw Bob Dylan perform live in Australia. I was dating an older man who bought me a ticket to see him play Festival Hall in Melbourne. It was an amazing time and I can remember feeling alive and vibrant and on-the-verge-of-having-my-voice-matter. As said, I was young. This is what young people need to do. They need to be able to explore who they are and what they believe in with minimal top-down scrutiny.

The older man fell by the wayside (metaphorically; not literally), but my love of Bob Dylan stayed strong and he was as important an artist when I saw him again much later (supported by Patti Smith) at the Darwin amphitheatre.

What is happening to us (and in us I include the US) when we read much more than is appropriate or necessary into young people making a political statement? I feel very old and I feel I have let this generation of young people down.

I am currently playing all my Bob Dylan songs to my teenage children and if the AFP try and question any young person in this house they will all point their fingers at me and say.
"That political stuff that's not ours, that's our daggy mother's crap music."
...and my heart will break (again) as I realise that the young already seem to know that they are beaten and don't bother to engage in the political debate and when/if they do a world of hurt comes down on them...
"You fasten the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
As young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud"
Masters of war - Bob Dylan circa. 1963We should support the youthful journey of exploration, searching and questioning. Instead we are complicit in the quelling of peaceful dissent.

Shame on us.


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