Earning merit

The other night I attended Christian Parenti’s talk on “Climate Wars,” an anti-war lecture focused on the rhetoric of global warming used as a weapon.As I sat there, listening to fresh, new ideas by this wellspoken activist, rather than a half-stoned hippie living in a tent, I wondered where the rest of my anti-war activists were. Probably out getting half-stoned too, I thought.I did, however, see some incredible things there as well as hear some even more incredible arguments.A strong majority of the people there were, I would say, at least over 40.This puts down the myth that the baby-boomers really don’t care about our climate and are dead set on letting the issue of global warming fall entirely on our generation’s shoulders.I don’t want to say I didn’t see any other students there besides myself; that would be a blatant lie, because there were a number of students there.Most of them were listening intently; others got up to leave no more than 20 minutes into the talk.One student pulled out a Cynic about halfway through, and I thought to myself: “At least he’s well read.” Then he flipped to the Sudoku section and began madly filling in the numbers; I guess the talk just wasn’t up his wannabe activist alley.This is where I’ve got to take up the fight and be an anti-activist activist. If that makes any sense. I wonder what you activists do when you’re not pontificating to one another, or whining about the capitalist dogma you refuse to buy into but do every day, because, let’s face it, there’s no way to avoid it. You need have more than just have a “reason” to protest. Do more than hunger striking or marching naked, and more than building a Tent City.As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “what’s the use in a lunch counter sit it, when you still can’t buy anything?”What’s the use in protesting, if no one is going to take you seriously enough to pay attention to you?How do you get merit, you ask? Well, you’re all on the right path if you’re reading this: get educated.Drop the motif that you will be accepted no matter what you look like; you won’t. Marching on the president’s office, demanding livable wages looking like you’ve slept under a bridge won’t get you anywhere, because no one is taking you seriously.Honestly, kids, I’m all for protest, but it’s time to put away the bong and granola, take a shower and earn some merit.