Ohio


This is timely, never mind that Neil Young wrote it in 1970. For those of you who aren’t history buffs, Young was writing about a little incident at Kent State University in Ohio in which National Guardsmen opened fire on a group of student protesters, killing four. Actually, if you’ve had a lick of education and/or were alive at that time, you know that the Kent State shooting was a seminal event in recent American history, one that really threw into start relief the unrest caused by US military operations in Vietnam, the conflict between the establishment and the counterculture, the gap in generational values, and terrifying ease with which the state could turn upon its citizens. Times haven’t changed much; today we are seeing a sharp increase of similar unrest, as peaceful protesters get tear gassed by police in full riot gear, activists die under mysterious circumstances while in police custody, gun violence and police brutality soar to an all-time high, the political process is reduced to a carnival sideshow, the establishment generation pretends its damndest that the status quo is perfectly OK while students organize mass protests, and Neil Young is still righteously pissed off about all of it. It makes you question what exactly those kids who died in Ohio achieved, if we’re still paddling around in circles as a society, still grasping for basic civil rights and unable to agree if the concept of equality applies equally to all animals or not.

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