Monday 22 January 2018

Gene Kerrigan: Power structure preserved in a crisis

It's a frightening time and the elite minority are doing nothing to find real solutions, writes Gene Kerrigan

FOR a while I couldn't recognise what it was about the Occupy Dame Street protesters that irritated me. Was it their naivety? Their arrogance? The way some of them imperiously dismiss the timidity of the rest of us, those they call 'the sheeple'? Then, I began to remember another time of social upheaval, when Dylan said the times, they were a-changing. And some of us grew beards for a while and wore peace signs, and marched for this and against that.

We were young, and naive -- and full of ourselves. And maybe that's what irritates some of us today. Idealism in the face of great power can seem like a conceited assertion of higher values. And, boy, were we conceited.

One wretchedness of ageing is a loss of that raw idealism. One benefit of ageing is that we can imagine how we must have seemed to our parents when we and Mr Dylan shook our fingers at them. "Don't criticise what you can't understand," we sang along with Bob, as we scorned those who had lived through a depression, decades of poverty and a world war that killed 50 million.

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