Whenever I feel like a good dose of depression, I watch the news on RTE.
After I have feasted of the murder of the day and watched the weather forecast, I sometimes leave the television on.
RTE have this series that they have been running for ages called ‘Reeling in the Years’.
‘Reeling in the Years’ is cheap television at its best. All they have to do is pick on some unfortunate bastard and send him down to the basement to dust off the cans of archive material. The contents are then stuck together with sticky tape and banged out to an unsuspecting audience.
Normally they broadcast stuff from the eighties and nineties which bores the arse off me. For fuck’s sake, the eighties and nineties aren’t history? They are only yesterday and I can remember only too well what happened.
For the last few night they have been broadcasting material from the late sixties and early seventies which is much more like it.
One thing that strikes me every time I see material from those days is the number of protests.
No matter what year, we see massive protests in O’Connell Street or in front of the Dáil complaining vociferously about low pay, high taxes or whatever took their fancy at the time. In the majority of those cases, the protesters won and everyone went home until the next riot.
Where the hell are the protests now?
God knows, we have more than enough to protest about. If anything we are spoiled for choice. We have the most corrupt, inept, incompetent bastards in office who have destroyed everything that we gained over the last fifty years and reduced the country to begging paupers. Ireland is not going down the toilet. It has sunk, and is now floating along with the rest of the shit off Howth Head.
When I was a student in the sixties, there would have been riots in the streets. The entire country would have gone out on strike, and we would have settled for nothing less than a complete rout of the government.
What the hell has happened? Where are the students? Where are the unions? Why isn’t there blood running in the gutters?
I am baffled by the meek acceptance of our plight. I am ashamed at the utter spinelessness of our youth. My generation stopped the war in Viet Nam through protests. We brought down governments. We changed things for the better.
The youth of today protest all right. They Twitter their anger. They complain on Bebo. They protest on Facebook.
Is this what the world has sunk to?