I’ve been celebrating Hard Hat Riot Day on this blog for years, so I’m not going to “reinvent the riot” and write a brand new post.
However, I will restate what I said last year, which is that the Hard Hat Riot would never happen today, because America is over:
It’s harder for me to celebrate Hard Hat Riot Day now that I’ve actually been to NYC and stood where it all happened.
I went for the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
I bum-rushed a Troother.
I tripped a “God Hates Fags” hag.
Everybody else, local and tourist, just seemed to be wandering around like robots, not giving a shit about anything.
The Hard Hat Riot wouldn’t happen today.
Now locals hand out sandwiches to protesting hippies during Occupy, instead of punching them out.
Cops and construction workers aren’t working class anymore.
“An Air Force brochure on sexual assault advises potential victims not to fight off their attackers.”
If Altamont was the real end of the Sixties, maybe the Hard Hat Riot marked the birth of the “Reagan Democrat” but also, ironically, the start of American decline.
I returned from that trip profoundly depressed, and far less interesting in posting political stuff than I was before.
I would much rather spend my remaining years obsessing over old music and movies than trying to figure out what went wrong and even more importantly, how to fix it.
I often say “I liked Scrooge better before,” but I also have enormous sympathy for pre-epiphany Rick, and his jaded indifference to anything taking place beyond the walls of his Cafe American.
Was this ever true, or were we all just deluding and congratulating ourselves all along…?