In the 1970 protest anthem "Chicago," Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young plead to an idealistic youth to head to Chicago and take to the streets in protest with the plaintive chorale, "We can change the world / Re-arrange the world / It's dying." Of course by 1970, the Weird Old America wasn't dying, rather it was the leftist protest movement itself, ultimately subsumed by Watergate in the mid-'70s to become encased in the idiot box of home viewers who stared at a television screen to watch the hearings, which were bracketed by Excedrin commercials. By the early 1990s, when the Soviet Union collapsed, the reactionary forces (reeducated by the 1960s) were fully in charge so that by 2009, the leftist protests of the idealistic '60s are now dead and buried, only to resurface on MSNBC, with Chris Matthews slogging it out with Pat Buchanan between Cialis commercials.
In Chris Marker's massive, towering, and impassioned documentary collage, A Grin Without a Cat, utilizing a treasure trove of newsreel footage, television clips, television news reports, found footage, and sarcastic commentary, impressionistically chronicles the rise and fall of the worldwide New Left movement of post-colonial struggle (Marker calls it "World War III") from the massive protests generated by the Vietnam War to the burial of the New Left by the end of the 1970s and the death of Marxism in the 1990s.
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