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The View from the Juror Assembly Room

The clerk calls the names for the first panel.  I am not mentioned and I watch the forty or so people file out to the court room in sheeplike fashion. One of the names called, oh ghosts of the L.A. Superior Court, is Nicole Brown 00 but it seems not to be the same person.

Are we already in 1984 or Brave New World? At least then they gave us soma. Or are we in a pre-revolutionary society?   Will the U.S. soon be like Egypt, disaffected youth rioting in the streets.  Los Angeles has enough potential soldiers in that not yet existent war to staff several competing armies.

But who will be our secular and who our religious, who the students and who the Muslim Brotherhood?  If you asked someone like Chris Matthews, he would have an easy answer for you.  He would know who to call a racist and who not from among the myriad racial stocks that make up the City of Angels.

I find the situation to be too bleak even to be angry at him.  Or at Barack Obama who appears to alternate between campaigning and vacationing while the citizens he governs sit on their couches imbibing whatever self-administered soma is a hand.  What else do they have to do?

His presidency has been unquestionably the least successful of my lifetime. Its only accomplishment is a healthcare plan that nobody understands let alone wants.  Americans are polarized as never before.  Mass unemployment has become the new normal.

Back when I was a child of the sixties, revolution appealed to me (a little bit anyway -- though not as much as Robert Redford, evidently).  It seemed at the time it might be good to shake things up. Now -- in my sixties -- I'm rather less interested in government overthrow.

Ironically, America appears to need some kind of revolution now, much more than it did back then.  But not of the kind envisioned by Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin or even Bill Ayers or Bernardine Dohrn. More the type envisioned by Thomas Jefferson.  After all, he was the man who said:  "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure. "

I'm not quite ready to take Jefferson literally.  I'm not even sure he took himself that way.  But I do know the country I live in now is not the one in which I grew up.

(Thumbnail on PJM homepage, image atop article by Shutterstock.com.)