Guilt by association

Breaking news: Barack Obama has a supporter who drank beer mixed with lemonade back when she was a college kid, and debated the possibility that violent methods might be necessary and justifiable to end a war and provoke positive societal change. We discussed major issues of the day from every conceivable viewpoint because that was the purpose of higher education back in the Seventies. It is still the purpose of higher education, and don't forget it! True, we discussed it in unheated apartments while wearing goofy clothes and eating carob chips. We were young. There is a tendency, if not a statistical assertion, that college students change their minds and behaviors after graduation! I haven't knowingly eaten carob chips for a quarter century.

Our philosophy professor used to host "Large General Parties". He invited everyone interesting he knew, and they invited everyone interesting they knew. He filled his refrigerator with quart bottles of cheap beer and pitchers of lemonade. Everyone added lemonade to their paper cups of beer. At one of these parties a sociology professor showed a film about the Students for a Democratic Society and the Weather Underground. It was probably the 1976 film, "Underground" about Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. None of the people at those large general parties became domestic terrorists. Nearly all of us got jobs, got married, had kids, and don't want to relive the Viet Nam Era. We mostly worked to improve our neighborhoods, our kids' schools, and the environment. We changed our minds sometimes, and had a tendency to stay informed about current events. We kept listening to philosophers while finding the most appropriate and practical way to live in the real world.

© 2008 Nancy L. Ruder

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