Full fathom five thy father lies.
Of his bones are coral made.
Those are pearls that were his eyes.
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell
(From Shakespeare’s The Tempest)
In the latest Spider-Man movie (Homecoming) there are two telling scenes surrounding the character M.J. that go beyond the movie plot and make comment on America’s future.
First, we see M.J. headed to Washington D.C. as part of the High School academic decathlon team. She mentions that the main reason she is going is to protest. The teacher then says, “Protesting is patriotic.”
The second scene has M.J. and the same teacher in D.C. Standing at the base of the Washington Monument. He is behaving as a tour guide pointing out the monument positively, but M.J. confesses that she can’t celebrate something that was built by slaves (a massive overstatement and possibly not true at all).
The salient points here are these: the shaping of this present generation of young people/young adults has gone beyond a few anecdotal examples of rebellion or disconnect from what has been the norm. Our youth are growing up to believe that protest=patriotism, and on principle they can’t celebrate the things, people, and events of the past that have so shaped us that we have built monuments to them! This is a fundamental sea change in our nation. The ramifications will be myriad and exponential.