04 May 2024

Dear Sandy,

I'm sorry you never made it to class, fifty-four years ago today. Maybe if you had, you'd remember — something that's not happening now.

We have a war of highly dubious origin being prosecuted largely by and against the wrong people. Worse, it's being prosecuted with no respect whatsoever for civilian populations around the war zone — any of the civilian populations around the war zone — by bigoted old men (on all sides).

We have students protesting against that war, many — unfortunately, not all — of whom oppose atrocities notwithstanding the politics of their grandparents. ("Never Again" means everybody.) But the political apparatus in all of the nations involved is more interested in obtaining, maintaining, and asserting power than it is in policy. Or, for that matter, in humanity.

We have undereducated self-promoting assholes (who, when they have any education, deny its value) proclaiming that colleges aren't good for students or society anyway, and who propose sending the National Guard back to college campuses. We did then, too, so little has changed.

But "the worst type of people that we harbor in America" probably aren't the students. They have little, if any power — as evidenced by the disdain of their elders during election season. No, the worst type of people that we harbor in America believe in free speech for themselves, but not for others — rather precisely inverting every value behind freedom of speech, and disrespecting all of us who ever put on the uniform in its defense. That they resort to slogans, and tribalist stereotyping and bigotry, and a profound absence of decency — all the while failing to disclose any conflicts of interest — should surprise precisely no one.

Have a nice day, heirs of John Mitchell.

p.s. You arrogant, ignorant, impressed-with-your-own-cuteness Star Wars fanboys who've attempted to claim 04 May as your own should probably ponder how your "creator"'s alma mater is dealing with dissent right now, and ponder who is the Rebel Alliance, who is the Empire, and who benefits from such labelling. All of which requires a great deal more sophistication and nuance than that franchise can support… and maybe a couple years of college, something that none of the characters even contemplated. Get a life!