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VICTORIA A. BONNEY

Antiwar activists, where are you?

MY FELLOW young Americans, the evidence is mounting that this war we are fighting in Iraq is not a ''just" war. No, this is a dirty fight, and we're in it for the long haul. But I guess that's the problem -- ''we" are not in it at all.

''We" are here in our land of iPods and cellphones, luxuriating in our apathetic comas while our soldiers are over there.

I know what you're thinking. You have that magnetic yellow ribbon on your SUV, and, boy, if that is not uber-effective I do not know what is. But let me ask you, if you'd just put your Podcast on pause and cellphone on silence for a moment, is this all enough?

Two wars ago, during the Vietnam disaster, there was Generation Activist. The youth of America rallied against ''the man." How did they do it? They didn't have e-boards or e-mail for that matter.

Yet somehow, this archaic mob of longhairs and peaceniks managed to mobilize. They marched on the National Mall. They protested everywhere, even in bed (refer to your hippie handbook, under John Lennon and Yoko Ono's ''bed-in"). Their methods were not always nonviolent, but they were creative and incorrigible.

Why is Generation Apathetic unable to have the same resounding roar?

For starters we have a woman from Generation Activist doing our dirty work. Former flower child Cindy Sheehan is out on the front lines with a pack of her patchouli-wearing alliances. What is the youth of America doing in the meantime?

We are watching it on our car television sets thinking about the jerk in front of us who is not driving fast enough.

It's not our fault that we all have Attention Deficit Disorder. We are conditioned like Pavlov's dogs to jump at the sound of ''You've got mail!" But we are in dereliction of our duty as a thorn in the side of authority. Our parents shouldn't have to bail us out of everything. So while we appreciate the help of Cindy and her comrades, this is our fight.

It's not only apathy that is killing the spirit of our generation, it's the execution of our dissidence. For some reason the youth of America think that violence is the most effective method of rebellion (albeit something we learned from our Playstations).

That brings us to another nifty way that the young inactivists of America are making life easier for our elected warmongers -- E-Marches.

Yes, E-Marches are the newest way to protest your government. All it takes is a double click and you will be part of a simulated march on Washington.

Oh, dear, sweet, well-intentioned youth, don't you see? Just as easily as you signed up to electronically protest your senators, they can delete you from their inbox. The Internet is a resource for sports scores, CliffsNotes, and porn -- not a venue for modern dissent.

We are a generation with potential coming out of our ears. We could move mountains if only we'd turn off our televisions. They only tell us we are powerless and to just give up.

So this is what you have to do. Tomorrow when you stop into Starbucks for your venti latte and the person behind the counter gives you your change, look at it. Look closely. There, written on your bills is our American mantra in a defunct language.

It says, ''E Pluribus Unum," which means, out of many, one. Let this be your daily reminder. Generation Apathetic, we are in this boat together.

It's up to us to chart a course. We cannot live our lives on cruise control.

Victoria A. Bonney is a senior at Endicott College.

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