"Don't Tase Me Bro"

My twenty-something son and many of my students tell me that the Youtube sensation of the young guy being "tased" at the University of Florida during John Kerry's appearance has provided the new slogan for a generation. Just as the baby boomers had "Tune In, Turn On, and Drop Out," and "Give Peace a Chance," the current youth movement now has: "Don't Tase Me Bro."

After viewing several versions of the ignominious moment when this pathetic 21-year-old student had his free speech rights tazered out of existence I couldn't help but think the new slogan, "Don't Tase Me Bro," is somehow fitting. Their baby-boomer parents have totally failed them.

Instead of the promise of a new, more just and humane world that the young idealists of the 1960s looked forward to building, they have bequeathed to their children George W. Bush, Karl Rove, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, Tony Snow, and so on.

They've dumped in their children's laps a debilitating occupation of a sizeable Arab nation with all of its concomitant disasters; a political system that is drenched in money and corruption and unresponsive to the citizenry; a looming economic meltdown with an outsourced manufacturing base that has put the United States in hock to foreign investors; an approaching ecological catastrophe the likes of which the planet has never seen in the form of climate change; a deteriorating infrastructure and dilapidated schools; a media system dominated by a handful of right-wing corporations; and a fragmented, polarized nation that lacks the ability and the will even to provide elementary health care for its citizens.

"Don't Tase Me Bro."

Instead of imagining a better world where peace and justice reign, we've got Thomas Friedman's asinine "Flat Earth" combined with Samuel Huttington's "Clash of Civilizations." People the world over hate our president, our government, and our gluttonous consuming of far more than our share of the world's resources.

We have the worst Administration in our history. We have the most corrupt political institutions we've had in decades. The gap between the richest Americans and working people is wider than it ever has been, even surpassing the obscene inequality of the "Gilded Age." The "military-industrial-congressional-prison-complex" is devouring our young.

Just look at the photographs of the young kids who are having their lives cut short or horribly disfigured in Iraq. Eighteen-year-olds, nineteen-year-olds, twenty-year-olds - It's obscene.

"Don't Tase Me Bro."

The boomers from both political parties lack the wherewithal to stop the bloodletting. Those who hold stocks in Halliburton and other corporations profiteering from the war reap the financial benefits.

The children only asked of their parents that they leave the world in a slightly better condition than when they inherited from the "greatest generation." And the boomers answered them by giving them Bush and Cheney and Enron and Tom DeLay and Larry Craig and Fox News.

"Don't Tase Me Bro."