Opinion by Gerald Trumbule
One tiny change at 16th and Race
I've settled into a reflective mood today, quite fitting for a New Year's Eve Day. Thinking about the past year and wondering about the future. But unusually for me, I'm feeling positive about what is happening now and what may be coming upon us.
Maybe it's because I started off the day with a visit to the doctor after a 4-day bout of diverticulitis. If you don't know what that is, be assured that it involves a lot of moaning gut pain and disruptive effects on the movement system, and let's leave it at that.
Funny thing was, by the time I got to the doctor's office, I was feeling better. My body had apparently won the battle of infection overnight and driven off the dastardly germs ensconced in my gut.
When I left the medical plaza I discovered a brilliant sunny day, of that special Rocky Mountain kind, with winter-thin piercing light, and everything looked wonderful. People were smiling.
This country is on the move. That's what has me smiling. Sure, tomorrow's opening of 14 retail pot stores in Denver is a big move locally, but to me it's not really about the grass. It's about the beginning of the end, or at least a substantial change, in one small part of the Nixonian "War on Drugs".
Nixon himself was an evil, paranoid, drunk actually on drugs. Nixon's War was not about grass, it was about conditioning the American people to the mechanics of violent repression. Once you've seen 20 SWAT teams break down 20 front doors, it's not so shocking. Once you've seen homeowners and/or their dogs shot in their own front yards a few times, the effect wears off. Once you've seen protesters choked, pepper-sprayed, tasered, clubbed, knocked to the ground, manhandled, and kettled, you get used to it.
In Colorado, we voted for Amendment 64, "legalizing" pot, and we got some kind of change. I think that's a good thing. What we got remains to be seen, but it is a change. Maybe there will be more arrests for pot related infractions, I don't know. And this movement is clearly spreading across the country.
Here in Denver, and in Colorado, and in the country at large, I feel there is a bigger positive force moving for more important change, and it takes the form of the Occupy Movement. Occupy this, Occupy that, occupy your mind with what needs to be changed. That's what I see happening in so many ways that I won't even try to list them. Movement here, movement there, but it is movement and it's movement of people who are waking up, figuring it out, and starting to move. Of course it's not organized, but it is self-organizing. It has a lot to do with demographics, grinding away in the background, killing off the old, as the young, screwed worse than most, are waking up to an unsustainable world which must change if they are to survive. Without jobs, with large debts, without a liveable environment, and basically nothing to lose, they must get a move on.
Will anything happen soon enough to prevent wholescale tragedy? Probably not, but a lot of good shit is going to be happening in 2014 in the meantime. I can feel it in my gut.
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Opinion by Gerald Trumbule