Tuesday, February 5, 2008

To My Parents

As a member of the forgotten generation - that gap between the Gen-X slackers and the post-9/11 Millennials - those of us born between 1974 and 1989 - I ask you a favor: support Barack Obama.

This man is the John Kennedy of my generation - the only hope we've ever had. Do this for me - your child - let me stop living in your shadows.

You - booming babys - who stunted my growth with a steady diet of your youth. Down my throat went stories of how you were hippies and war heros and civil rights champions and creators of love and music.

You - lucky you - who held Dr. King, and JFK, and Lennon, and Carl Sagan, and Ginsberg as your own - leaving me with Jesse Jackson, and Clinton, and Madonna, and Bill Gates, and fuck if I know any poets.

You who witnessed, live, a man on the moon - while I witnessed, live, a teacher explode in the stratusphere.

You, who forced your children to grow in a world of television, demographics, and video games - yet dare blame me for my uninvolvement in the real world, when I've never confronted real, never seen or even smelled real. You grew up when history was static in books by experts, and left me to paddle ill-equipped in the historical fluid of wikipedia.

You had art - I have remixes, remakes and mash-ups.

You leave me insurmountable problems. You watched our debt grow from 0 to 9 trillion in your lifetime. You watched the skys blacken and the globe warm - and ask why I'm not doing more to fix it? And I will - but give me the political tools.

You gave me the burden of healthcare for you and my children, leaving me to pay a social security that I will never see - leaving the country bankrupt to pay you your pittance when you retire. Security indeed.

We have no hope. But don't blame yourselves, don't cry, mom. It's not gone - hope is a feeling I've never known.

I grew up knowing the problems you caused rested upon me to fix. I know I will never retire, and my children will be worse off than you, and that technology is our last great hope - and must be built by my hands. Yet you continue to push against my ideals like open-source voting or digital medical records or electric cars.

The truth is your generation drank up all the hope and wonder and left me thirsty for so long I feel born jaded. I have nothing left to believe in but iPhones and American Idol - which are more likely to stick around than the local grocery you complain I don't buy from.

Ramen is ramen, I say.

Dear, parents - you have fought some good battles in your lives. You can stop fighting now - you won. I grew up in a time where all people are equal, thanks. It never occurred to me to make my wife a homemaker, or disregard an employee because he's not caucasian. My battles are not black versus white or young versus old or rich versus poor. My battle is simple: the past versus the future. You must understand: things cannot stay the same.

The sheer size of your generation ensures that all votes bend to your desires. I don't know if I can change your minds in time, so I ask only for a small favor. Trust me - trust your children - if only this once. Vote for Barack Obama - my chance at hope.

Please. Get out of the spotlight. It's my turn to effect change - and I need Obama.


Jimmy said...

Eric, wow! Really, double wow. Haven't read a blog post this excellent and this real in a long time. Thank you.

PS. I'm not an Obama supporter, I cannot vote as I'm not a US citizen. To me this post goes beyond Obama though. You're describing a sentiment that is felt world wide. Lived in Europe many years, and now live in Australia, it's the same everywhere: the baby boomers bend the vote, reality is crumbling. Technology may be our last hope, but guard against the time in a decade or two when it's our time to rule that our children will hold our technological creations against us. There are already too many questionable such creations out there. Death by overcoding.

Allen R. said...

Eric, this is Allen from coffee. Amen , that was real. I myself am not an Obama supporter, but you're thoughts are spot on. I threw my support and money at Ron Paul (would have also supported Mike Gravel on the democratic side). I believe that voting on electibility is destroying the country, and it's mainly done by our parents. I will continue to vote Libertarian as I believe Libertarian ideas take the handcuffs off and give us the power to determine our own destiny. It is a generational problem, both Obama and Paul have overwhelming support from the youth, while our parents and grandparents continue to resist a revolution. Shame on the people of New Hampshire who say "Live free or die" and voted for John McCain.

Eric said...

Thanks - I do like Ron Paul. My reason for supporting Obama goes beyond economics, however. I see him as the only candidate in a long time who can do more than talk about change - but actually rally people to do something about the sorry state of our government. If I thought Ron could do half the things he talks about, he would be my #1, hands down.