From Aquarius to Aquarellist

I recall the ‘age of Aquarius’ well. You may recall a song by that title from a group called The Fifth Dimension […]. I was 22 years of age back in 1969 when the song was first released, and I always associate it with the ‘feel’ of those years – a period of youthful idealism, sometimes practiced to excess, but always imbued with hopes and aspirations for a more meaningful and profound life on earth. Yes, it included protest movements, experimentation with psychedelic drugs, and the famous denunciation of ‘any G-d over the age of 30’ – hallmarks of what became known as the ‘counter-culture’ movement.

Some half a century later, I find myself living in another turbulent era where society is once again being challenged. But this time by superficial, often manipulative, and ‘wokeful’ deniers of free speech, who cannot be compared with its sixties predecessor. Yes, in the sixties, ‘Danny the Red’ (Daniel Cohn-Bendet) and his cohorts took to the streets of Paris, and in Berkley ‘flower-children’ preached ‘free love’. But this seems beautifully innocent, if not tinged with quaint naiveté, compared to today’s social assault which is brutal, cruel, uncaring, and mischievous. Today’s protesters are not ‘Aquarians’ but ‘Aquarellists’. Oh, you may not have heard of this term. It means artists who paint in transparent water-colours. I am borrowing the term to suggest that today’s protests are ‘transparently’ misguided at best and downright manipulative at worst – morally watered-down versions of the idealistic zeal of its predecessors, to the point of being ethically bankrupt.

These transparently facile latter-day movements’ practice ‘intersectionism’ –intersecting with each other, supporting each other, irrespective of merit of cause or firm base. Black Lives Matter, Free Palestine, LGBT-Q, Women of Colour, Intersectional Feminism, and many others, feed off each other, cannibalistically, blindly adopting each other’s credos and slogans. Intersectionist movements claim rights based on, gender, caste, sex, race, class, sexuality, religion, disability, physical appearance, and even height(!), and intersect to support each other irrespective of merit or even common belief. If you care about Black Lives Matter, then you must voice anti-Israel sentiment, if not shout anti-Semitic slogans to boot! I much prefer the Age of Aquarius to the current fake ‘Aquarellists’. But we must take life as we find it – and therefore it is imperative that we summons up the courage to critique falsifications, shoddy reasoning, sensationalist and opportunistic journalism, and stand our ground against superficial and sloppy social causes that are foisted on a silent majority by a manipulative but social-media-savvy tiny minority.

I will choose truth over power-plays every time!