Silenced Spring

We woke up in 1968.

It’s not that we were asleep. Until then, we were busy being a kid. But shit went down that spring, shit even an eight-year-old couldn’t ignore.

We don’t remember Tet, although our babysitter had a Vietnam map on her livingroom wall. Her son was a cook in the Army. His current location was marked. Because of the Draft, Vietnam had a presence in American life that no subsequent war would match. You want to politicize a generation, put their asses on the line.

We don’t remember LBJ quitting, either. And because Eugene didn’t have a CBS station, we don’t remember Walter throwing in the towel.

But we do remember Bobby. And Martin. We remember the photos, now iconic, on the front page of the newspaper. We remember becoming aware of the world.

You live long enough, and your memories become a memorial. Your experience becomes history, as boring to future generations as anything before your birthdate was to you. We can argue over the meanings, but the events themselves are settled. They happened. You can look it up.

But when you’ve lived through those events, even though they’re now two generations past, they’re never quite settled. As each anniversary passes, there’s always a small thought in the back of your mind, a thought you will never escape as long as you live:

Things could have been different.


Anybody here seen my old friend Bobby?
Can you tell me where he’s gone?
I thought I saw him walkin’ up over the hill,
With Abraham, Martin and John.

I think that way about 9/11 and Florida recount among others.

Unfortunately, as much as we want to we can’t undo what has been done even if it was unbelievably stupid or horrible.

The hippie dream of peace and love died in 1968.

In 2008, many people saw Obama as the successor to MLK and RFK. Hasn’t worked out too well.

things could have been different.

but they were not.

@Dodgerblue: I may be alone but I think he’s doing very well, given the state of the country. I never thought he was at all radical. It seems to me that he’s always been quite conservative socially. Wasn’t that why we all got upset in the campaign? I never saw him as a firebrand.

I’ve always thought the 60s weren’t so much a political movement as a temper tantrum: tea-baggers from the left. Excepting the fight for civil rights. And that just about destroyed the Democratic party.

I live among the hippies of the 60s. They are less annoying now than they were then. Most of them now bathe regularly. That’s something.

Steve Jobs on medical leave.

And Chuck Colson says it’s God’s punishment for Apple withdrawing the Manhattan Declaration app in 5… 4… 3… 2…

I remember wandering around in the front yard trying to understand what had happened.

looks like Loughner is coming to Sandy Eggo for trial.

@Capt Howdy: Yep. Stinquers want to know whether the US Marshall’s security perimiter will extend to Chez Nojo or the Stinque World Domination HQ.

@Capt Howdy: @Dodgerblue: No worries. We’ll hold them off at Shakespeare’s Pub.


From NBC’s Pete Williams
Pay no attention to a Washington Post story today, which says, quoting “law enforcement sources” that “federal authorities are planning to move the trial” of Jared Loughner to San Diego.

For starters, “federal authorities” can’t move the trial anywhere. That decision will be made by the judge. Second, the Justice Department will OPPOSE any request to move the trial. Federal prosecutors want the trial to be conducted in Tucson.

It’s highly likely that Loughner’s lawyers will, at some point, seek to have the trial moved. And it’s certainly possible that it could be moved to San Diego. That’s where the judge is from. But the Justice Department will urge the judge to keep the trial in Arizona.

@Capt Howdy: I haven’t been paying close attention, but haven’t all the federal judges in the district recused themselves because they knew the victim? Either the trial moves, or a judge flies in.

@water: That’s heartwarming. Thank you for sharing.

I’m trying Firefox 4 Beta 9. It’s damned fast. Anybody else?

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