Sour Grapes
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Chicago 1968, New York 2004?

Over the years, I've read a number of very interesting and thought-provoking articles from The Village Voice. The first of these, from the late 1960's and which I typed up to give to friends to read, noted the sad irony of a counter-cultural movement espousing liberal values that had finally descended to calling cops "pigs". This could well have been written in the aftermath of the police riot at the Democratic Convention in August 1968.

With much less sadness, but plenty of irony, I note the latest such excellent article, "Get Mad. Act Out. Re-Elect George Bush."

One of the most exhilarating moments in Lewis Koch's life came in the summer of 1968.... [A]t the Democratic National Convention, he was an actor in what he thought was one of its glorious episodes. Cops were beating kids without provocation, and with the footage he was putting on the air, Middle America might finally realize that justice rested more with those protesting the war than those so violently defending it.

... Then came the most traumatic moment in Lewis Koch's life.

"... Nothing I had intended had gone through. Actually what they saw were clear pictures of these young kids rioting. Chaos in their city." Next thing he knew, Richard Nixon had swept to presidential victory on the wings of a commercial proclaiming�above those selfsame pictures�that "the first civil right of every American is to be free from domestic violence."

Now Lew Koch senses d�j� vu all over again in the loose talk among protesters of staging similar scenes at next week's Republican convention�talk that by putting the ugliness of the Bush regime on display, protesters thereby might end it. Koch's frustration is overwhelming. "What the protesters are saying is the same thing as the Weathermen: 'Bring the war home.' And you know what happens? You lose the war! They have guns. And they'll have the judges that Bush will appoint to the Supreme Court in the next four years."

... If resistance against Bush actually plays into Bush's hands, is it really resistance?


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