Thursday, December 13, 2012

My good old days

I'm a lifetime New Yorker in my sixties. I want to talk with younger people about the good old days because what was reality not so long ago should make you mad and galvanize younger people to get busy with #OWS or some similar allied group.

Did you know that back in the sixties the City University was well reputed and had zero tuition?That on top of that students who were good at least at test taking got Regents Scholarships that would at least cover carfare and lunch?

That most apartments were rent controlled. You could go to school, have a part time job and live in a thirty-five dollar a month apartment on Avenue A.

There were union jobs out there. We had major employment in the publishing industry with several newspapers and magazines employing lots of unionized proofreaders, deliverymen, printers, etc.

That in many ways there was more personal freedom. People bought joints outside movie theaters and lit up in the smoking section. (Maybe that was an excess but no one was getting locked up for personal use or possession of small amounts of marijuana). Probably one of those happy smokers was Mike Bloomberg.

Not to say that things were perfect or that we were just wonderful, just to say things can be better and you can fight for it and win.

Bad things were:

The draft and the Vietnam War. But millions of people raised hell about that which was good.
Police repression aimed at the Black Panther Party and the anti -war movement. (But there was fight back).

You can have free decent useful education. You can have personal freedom. You can organize and fight against injustice.