"People get ready, there's a train a coming, you don't need no ticket, you just get on board"…..…In memory of Curtis Mayfield.
The New Frontier has passed; the summer of love came and went. Poly and Ester are back wearing those platform shoes and mini skirts. The fashion police are reporting another phenomenon and it is respectfully called "sagging". To "sag" is to wear one's pants adrift midway down the buttocks. It is a most shocking sight. Fashion is in a free-for-all stage now. "Generation X" has developed its own thing, much as previous generations have.
The 90's saw the largest mobilization of American troops since the Vietnam War. Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein challenged President Bush's New World Order when his nation invaded Kuwait in August 1990. The Gulf War saw the use of "smart" bombs, Stealth fighters and GPS (Global Positioning System) satellites, which prompted the war to be labeled the "Nintendo" war because of its video game-like qualities.
Just because CNN showed spectacular images of bunkers and buildings being blown to bits didn't mean that people weren't dying inside them. Only when images of the carnage left in the wake of "smart" bombs, many of which missed their targets, and bodies strewn along the road to Baghdad did the horror of this war sink into the American consciousness.
The 80's paranoia of the United States economy being trounced by "Japan, Inc." proved to be a false one. Where the Japanese economy saw its go-go 80's "bubble economy" burst, American industry bounced back in the mid-90's as it made itself leaner and meaner. A consequence of this became a hollowing out of white-collar workers in the early 90's. For the first time since the Depression, mid and upper level managers found themselves out of work.
William Jefferson Clinton donned dark glasses and played his saxaphone on the Asenio Hall Show during his campaign for the presidency, bringing back the birth of cool. Clinton became the first Democratic President in 12 years, only to later be caught with his pants down.
More than ever, the video camera phenomenon proved that Big Brother was really watching us. This became evident when the Rodney King beating was captured by an amateur video photographer and shown around the globe. The tape turned a police beating, which is usually difficult to prove in court, into an open and shut case, or so we all thought.
Although the brutality of the Los Angeles police officers was clearly evident on the videotape, none were found guilty. This egregious miscarriage of justice prompted national lunacy, which resulted in riots breaking out in almost every major city, but most violently in and around Los Angeles. The trauma brought about by the riots has yet to be overcome.
Geronimo Pratt, political prisoner, was freed from prison after 27 years. The former Black Panther Party member was accused of murder and critically wounding another person. The FBI targeted Pratt back in the 60's.
Ethnic cleansing has become the current euphemism for genocide. In the US gangs are practicing their own form of ethnic cleansing by killing some of our brightest young people. Gang members, who would otherwise aspire to be captains of industry, are forced by the circumstances they find themselves in to join gangs instead. Prisons have become private industry, the latest form of institutionalized slavery.
Will the new millenium ring in with an already lost generation?
It is 10 O'clock, do you know where your kids are?
By Tallulah Dancier