Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Disconnect

THE WAR IN MY LIVING ROOM

On June 6, 1969 I graduated from high school. At the time, we were living just outside of Washington, DC in Northern Virginia. My father was at the Pentagon with the US Navy. From the time we left Newport News the previous summer, I had become more aware of the Vietnam War and what it was doing to my generation. Between 1963 and 1969, everything changed in the United States. Everything. John Kennedy had been assasinated  and this, it seemed to me, was when the real shock of brutal reality entered my world. It got progressively worse as the war continued to escalate, Americans were dying in the streets and on the battlefields of SE Asia, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is murdered in April 1968. By the time Robert F. Kennedy threw his hat in the ring as a democratic candidate for the presidency the country was in a social upheaval of staggering depth. RFK would end up shot in the head in a breezeway at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. It was June 1968.  And as I matured and grew, significant historical events took place all around me. I thought the peace and civil rights movements were powerful and so, fell in behind them both. What was not to support? It was imperative that we get out of Vietnam and bring the boys home. Getting behind the civils rights movement just made sense. The method and manner of the non-violent revolution was working. But it seemed there were forces far more effective that wanted no part of equality and peace.

Television was our opiate. It's true. Marshall McLuhan, the Canadian professor who coined the term "the medium is the message" was right on. My brothers and I would sit glued to that 19" Zenith black and white TV as the world unfolded before us.
SHORT VID ON MARSHALL MCLUHAN:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtycdRBAbXk

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