Those of us who were teenagers and young adults during the Eighties have been described as shallow, narcissistic, and youth-obsessed. All of this is true.
As a member of the Baby Boomer-Generation X crowd, I can see how such criticism is warranted. I’m in my forties now, and in the midst of my mid-life crisis. I look back on a life of shallow endeavors, the quest for instant gratification, and the wish for eternal youth. Mine has been a pointless life. And, that’s the point I want to make.
In no way am I excusing my generation for being such a disappointment to our Greatest Generation. We are. Even to ourselves. I am simply sharing an epiphany.
As I was listlessly scouring the Internet for any new information about the Health Care bill being savaged on the American people, I found myself on YouTube. While clicking on various links, I stopped short. Along the side, there was a thumbnail of a German music video from the Eighties. I recognized the name of the song and felt a very deep sadness. It is called, “Forever Young” by Alphaville.
This song was my absolute favorite song in the years following my graduation from high school in 1982. It was financially a very difficult time for my family. I hadn’t applied myself in high school and found myself searching for direction and purpose. “Forever Young” reflected my angst in a way I couldn’t quite figure out at the time. But, tonight, twenty-four years after I first heard it, the song’s lyrics and mood have made me better understand myself and my social peers.
It is in the song’s first few verses that I now understand just why my generation has been so self-centered; even nihilistic:
Let’s dance in style, lets dance for a while
Heaven can wait we’re only watching the skies
Hoping for the best but expecting the worst
Are you going to drop the bomb or not?
Let us die young or let us live forever
We don’t have the power but we never say never
Sitting in a sandpit, life is a short trip
The music’s for the sad men
Can you imagine when this race is won
Turn our golden faces into the sun
Praising our leaders we’re getting in tune
The music’s played by the madman
Forever young, I want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever, forever forever
Forever young, I want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever
I had never listened to the lyrics when I would dance to this song at my fraternity. Frankly, the lyrics sung by the accented English were hard to discern. Looking at them now, I see that it was an anthem for young people the world over who had grown up terrified by the eventuality of nuclear war. The song had at once a defeatist tone while still projecting a defiant sense of hope. The kind of freedom and joy one experiences when living in the moment.
Throughout the years since, I have felt a sense of urgency, as if time was running out. I felt that I had already squandered my best years living in anxiety. In fact, for as long as I can remember, I have always feel “old.” By that I mean, I felt as if life had passed me by, and it was too late for me; I was always playing catch up. Even when I was 23 and transferred to UCLA, I felt uncomfortably “old” around my peers. A part of me no longer felt the wonderful, glorious vitality of youth, and the sense of wonder it engenders. Consequently, I formed no lasting relationships save the one with my college sweetheart, Claire.
So, for the past twenty-four years, I have lived in time indeterminate. I haven’t wanted to live in the past, but I haven’t been able to live in the moment. I was always busy trying to do what I thought I needed to do to prepare for the future. I didn’t have time to lose, I thought. Consequently, I have, in fact, squandered my youth. I will always regret this.
I have to wonder who I might have been and how I might have lived had I not been under the constant fear of annihilation. I will never know. I can only learn to seize the day from now on, and appreciate what’s left of my time on Earth.
Which brings me to wonder the following: Is our current generation of young people being assaulted by terrifying messages the adults of today are propagating?
Just as throughout the Seventies and Eighties, we were bombarded with movies about natural catastrophes and airplane crashes and nuclear plant meltdowns, so too, are the children of today being inundated with panic. Global Warming! Global Warming! We only have five years to save the world!!
I resent Progressives for many reasons. This is one of them. It has been their incessant mewling and whining about Evil America and how it’s people are destroying the world that contributed to the theft of my innocence. Today, the Progressives are doing it again. Only this time, they are spiritually and intellectually destroying the innocence of our children.
We CANNOT allow them to continue to do so. We must reevaluate ourselves, and see the good and nobility that we as Americans possess. Our culture used to be a culture of LIFE. The sheer excitement of discovery and challenge and faith and hope. The word hope has been bandied around like a slogan this past three years. But, I have never felt as hopeless as I do now. Thanks to the radical Progressives in our government and media, hopeless abounds.
The spirit of America has been sapped from us. We have been weakened as a people. The Communists in our midsts have succeeded in their long-term goal: to rid America of God, the Family, and Self-respect. We are on the verge of giving up. Should we do so, our nation dies, and freedom may never again exist in the looming one-world government the Progressives seek to create.
So, we must fight. Fight the despair and hopelessness foisted upon us. We must pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and reclaim our national heritage. As Glenn Beck often says, “Freedom is in the American DNA.” And, he is right. Americans cannot thrive when enslaved.
We must fight the Progressives with every weapon we can devise; for this is a fight for survival. Let’s not let our children down. Let’s recognize the evil that relentlessly leeches hope from our way of life, and save our children from the same indeterminate nihilism caused by the Cold War and the Sixties Revolution. Let us pray to God for the strength to say, “No. We will not give up. We will not surrender. We will be free once more.”
Let us save ourselves and our America. May God bless us all.