Tuesday, December 5, 2000 Volume 66, Issue 74



Candy is dandy, but Lacour ...

J. Brandon Lacour

"The summer is over, the harvest is in and we are not saved" -- Jeremiah the Prophet. 

Well, folks this is it for me. This is my last little political diatribe before traipsing back to the city of my birth for winter break and hopefully eighteen hours of uninterrupted sleep. 

I had hoped I could be writing some sort of conclusive evaluation of the 2000 campaign by now, but as the old saying goes "If wishes grew on trees..." I'm sorry -- I really don't know how that saying goes, but you get the picture. So, with or without a president, we shall all go staggering and bleary-eyed into the real start of the next millennium.

Journalists of various characters spent last December writing all the disposable epitaphs for the twentieth-century that we'll ever need. I suspect at least a few of them will dust off these articles for 2001, if only for good measure. 

But ignore them, I say. Will our country prosper one iota from sitting through some hackneyed montage of politicians, celebrities, empty-hearted paeans to the World War II generation, and the Summer of Love, smeared with the glib promise that "no matter what's in the papers, things are getting better, yo." 

Which is, of course, nonsense. Time magazine will probably run another profile on how great our technology is and how it is the key to the future. Maybe they're right; I used theM.D. Anderson Memorial Library's microfiche machine for the first time this year, and spent the remainder of the day feeling prosperous and sunny. That's me, though -- even my toaster mystifies me.

For a real epitaph for this century, I think of the various people I've talked to, the rag-tag army who belong to the generation who emerged from the chaotic 1960s and lived to see the end of the Vietnam experience in 1975, and felt for a brief moment in history that they were on the threshold of some real change.

After the end of the war and the end of Nixon, the future was wide open. The forces of old and evil had been vanquished and there could be some real work done addressing poverty, civil rights and a chance for true democracy. What happened? 

There was no real change, at least not in form similar to what people were promised and hoped for. Then to add to the frustration they find twenty years later, an alleged flower-child running the White House, who is significantly less liberal than Nixon. It's a sad thing to hear 1960s radicals say, that after Clinton and his Clintonoids, they miss Nixon. In all fairness, Nixon did have a much more liberal policy toward drugs, the working-class and individual rights; though he is now lying in rest with a stake through his heart, in that level of hell reserved for Nixon and other politicos, including Roy Cohn and possibly Lyndon Larouche.

This is probably the 20th century's political epitaph and state of the nation address. For those of you confused by the specter of Ralph Nader tearing through the country, preaching liberal balm for the nation, this is probably part of his rationale. 

History is a strange business. It's hard enough to get a grasp on the big names, but even harder to understand the nameless mass of people moving through history. It's much easier to bandy about the names of the major league politicos than to begin to address the concerns of the plebeians.

This is progress, people, and this is the end of this century, at least. For starters, we still have no new president and this intolerable political future. The summer is over, the harvest is in.

As for me, I'm heading off to New Orleans, to my home, my friends, my family, my dog, and the handicap ramp my father built for said dog--wait a minute, can any of this be true? Is it pure fiction? I wonder.

Lacour, a senior creative writing major, 
can be reached at jlacour@bayou.uh.edu.

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