Where are today’s rebels? Where is the counterculture?
Ear-budded hipsters, with their sheep-like devotion to Apple products and the Obama administration, sit in on the April 20 “Day of Pot” in Denver, content and satisfied with their free birth control and legalized maryjane. Meanwhile SWAT teams descend on Watertown, Massachusetts, trampling Fourth Amendment rights in search of a “person of interest”– while a Saudi National is quietly sent back to his homeland.
These hipsters champion the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado while the war on Big Tobacco rages on. Since 1997 the FDA inherited control over the $365.5 billion global settlement against Big Tobacco and now has the full authority as to how cigarettes are distributed, sold and marketed. The FDA prohibits advertising cigarettes at sporting and entertainment events; they have banned point-of-sale displays at stores and outdoor displays on billboards and public transportation.
Yet hipsters buy into the notion that as long as a mandate promotes the greater good, over-regulation is morally relative and the only thing that can be defined as evil and overreaching is America, capitalism and the church-going, taxpaying citizen who wants to push his morality.
Real rebels were the old Hollywood actors who smoothly lit cigarettes, inferring sexual innuendo to cleverly usurp the censorship board–not today’s celebrities who stage photo ops with despots. (Now Washington is making strides to censor cigarette smoking in movies while leaving in the graphic, gratuitous violence and sexual content. You’ve come a long way baby, indeed.)
Real rebels bravely speak out against tyrannical power and risk the reprisal of jail time, or even death, for voicing their opinion. (See the all female band, Pussy Riot, in the former Soviet Union, whose members were arrested and charged with hooliganism and sentenced to two years of imprisonment for protests directed at Vladimir Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church.)
We now have the Occupy movement and Anonymous who esteem themselves as anti-establishment, community activists who protest against The Man, renamed, the 1% #uppers, while listening to media mogul billionaire #uppers perform in-between sips of Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne while partying with the President before chartering off to repressed tropical utopias like Cuba.
These “free thinkers” sit idly by while Big Sis hoards ammo; the DOJ concocts Fast and Furious and green-lights drones to be used on U.S. citizens; the State Department decrees ‘what difference does it make?’ to terrorists plots while the President yearns to override constitutional rights with the wave of a pen.
We have government in our bedrooms, in our healthcare, in our Big Gulps and tanks in the streets of residential St. Louis but these issues are not of paramount concern for Hipster Nation. As long as the pot is legal and birth control is free it’s all good—and all for the ‘greater good’. The question begs to be asked: who’s greater good and how is that defined, Free Thinkers? (They might raise an eyebrow in protest once they sober up to realize that the government is regulating porn actors to use condoms…)
If Hipster Nation really wanted to be considered hip, they would brandish Winston and Lucky Stripe logos on their Timberland backpacks and sport incandescent light bulbs around the protest campsite while coordinating the next cyber attack on, let‘s say, the DOJ.
With summer coming upon us we can be sure we’ll see plenty of stories on spontaneous protests along with Anonymous, those harmless, Guy Fawkes-masked, anarchic, cyber-guerillas, who hack into the websites of the scourge of what ills America (News Corp, the Israeli government, MasterCard and Visa.)
You and your cute Guy Fawkes masks. Be brave young hipsters, be brave.