Peace, love and understanding

The world has become too mean and scary a place. I’ve been feeling this way since long before the Abu Ghraib photos and the video of Nicolas Berg’s death came to light. What happened to the values I grew up with — peace, love, and flower power? During the Vietnam war, despite the slaughter and torture going on, peace and love were IN and consumer culture cashed in on it. All the kids in my third and fourth grade wore dog tags, and I always had PEACE engraved after my vital stats. Flashing the peace sign made us feel hip.

Now what’s in? Kill Bill is nothing. Denzel Washington, of all people, is now a torturer on the big screen. And he’s supposed to be the hero. And what about Santa Cruz’s rep as a friendly and enlightened town, a hotbed of peace activists and peaceful surfers? Is it really much different? Walk downtown past O’Neill’s Surf Shop. Look at the series of posters in the windows. You’ll see models posing with lethal weapons and murderous expressions, selling a new line of wetsuits called Psycho. Are the wetsuits to keep the blood off?

The world is caught in a nightmare and needs to be woken up. We can work on that. I try to talk to people and ask what they think and feel. Too often, we just don’t. Think and feel. About what’s going on.