Back in 1970, Stanley Kramer, who by then had assembled a string of very liberal, but enjoyable and generally on target “message films” decided to make one about college rebellions. Hence the title: RPM, short of “Revolutions Per Minute”. Get it? Get it?! (It was written by Erich Segal, who would shortly have more success with another campus melodrama: Love Story.) It starred Anthony Quinn as a liberal professor and Gary Lockwood as one his disaffected and protesting students who rebels, goes on strike, you know the drill.
It was a terrible film, and of course by then, the sixties were over.
And if they were over in 1970, they’re really over 34 years later.
Of course, that hasn’t stopped about 85 students at Boulder High School in Colorado from holing up in the school library today. According to AP, “they’re concerned about the direction the country is headed and refusing to leave until they’ve met with leaders from the Republican Party”.
Somebody needs to remind the left that the sixties are really over, because since 9/11, they’ve been wallowing in more nostalgia than any conservative Republican ever did: the peace symbols, the tie-died clothes, the bell-bottoms, and now the desire to move to Canada, etc.
As Jonah noted a while back, this love of nostalgia doesn’t work when it comes from the left:
These Very Serious Young People (and some fossilized old people) seem overwhelmed by a mix of nostalgia and paranoia, which many on the right have learned is a crippling combination. Of course, nostalgia is common to all ideologies (even among libertarians and their unkempt cousins, the anarchists). But conservative nostalgia is almost always geared at recreating communities of the past. Therefore nostalgia is helpful for the right in that it reminds us what should be conserved. Left-nostalgia, however, is invariably aimed at recreating movements, not communities, of the past. This makes Left-nostalgia particularly pathetic, since all successful progressive movements are forward-looking. Conserving in a progressive movement is like trying to tie your shoelaces while running downhill.
Which is what has made the new anti-war movement seem particularly silly: you have a group of Americans who think it’s the 1960s, trying to keep a collective group in power in the Middle East who thinks it’s the eighth century! (Talk about really standing athwart history, yelling stop.)
So here you have a bunch of kids protesting an election, by using a forty year method of demanding attention. And of course, you just know the school’s teachers will buy into it, rather than explaining to their students–who are too young to vote!–that we’ve been having elections for over 200 years, (and if you lose, sooner or later you have to get over it) since it will hit so many of the teachers’ buttons as well. Our students are acting just like we did in 1968!
C’mon into the 21st century folks! Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be!