Advocating Violence

1/11/11
BOOKENDS#2

time is was and what a time it was, it was
a time of innocence a time of confidences
long ago it must be, I have a photograph
preserve your memories they’re all that’s left you
Simon and Garfunkle, “Bookends Theme” (hover mouse HERE for groovy soundtrack to blog)

Advocating violence.
We live in a time when advocating violence is violent.

I used to advocate violence.
Back when the Left had the upper hand on threats and the Right were doing the bumping off, I got a FBI file,  for the words that came out of my mouth. Today I’d probably be recruited to run for office under a red Tea Party banner. The powers that be coded me the Purple Haired Bomb Thrower. I even had my own stamp… like TOP SECRET, but it read PURPLE HAIRED BOMB THROWER, on each page of their file. Or so I’ve been informed.  I’ve never actually seen that particular jacket* but my ex-old-man, the love of my life, a big time gangster–  smuggler style– had access via his crooked DEA contacts who checked it out for him,  the The Purple Haired Bomb Thrower was (is?) my very own — and remarkably, for them, original— code name.
Waylon (the ex-old-man) was just being prudent of course. After all he didn’t import 38 tons (per load) of hashish and pot for a couple of decades and remain alive and free, if not by not being prudent.
The Purple Haired Bomb Thrower.
At least that is what he told me, laughing his seductive no one can touch me laugh. He was relieved because I didn’t have a druggie– or informant–  jacket. Just a political one, and those he found humorous and trite. Not to mention out-of-date by the time we met (again) in 1988.
There was some truth to that jacket name– there usually is– because as I said, I did advocate violence at the time. In fact I advocated assassination. (Like of Ronald McDonald if he had been corporal? …who else?  was Rush Linbaugh around then? Sarah Palin?) But I digress.
A well placed assassination, it seemed to me, was a likely way– for the down and outers, like most students, certainly my group– to starkly alter the course of American History in one fell swoop… so to speak. There I go with that violent language again eh? vitriol–the word of the day.)  However, the Milk/Moscone killings had occurred in San Francisco only a few years before and one of the few American members of our gang was close to Peter Plate who suffered the brunt of the Dan White riots. (humm no wonder the cops were on us? how myopic we are in the throws. of battle, eh?)
Besides that connection, our gang used to do stunts on all-Black buses in San Francisco scaring the begezus out of those who didn’t catch our jokes, performing bad skits on the shaky bus about Angela Davis running for Nanny when she was drafted to run for VP instead of President by the Communist Party. Then we’d jump off and run away. That and many other sometimes more shocking demonstrations were the fast growing legacy of IOU, our gang.  To be honest it was mostly among ourselves that we advocated assassination. Mostly to mess with the law against uttering those words. We were making art, or so we thought.
Then one bleak rainy day in San Francisco, my mostly foreign student friends and I huddled together staring at the world map surrounded by skit story boards and punk art on cardboard tacked to kitchen wall listening to the radio, all of us uncharacteristically silent. John Lennon had just been shot outside of the Dakota in New York.
“That is the end of our assassination policy,” I announced. “No more advocating assassination.” (When it was time to lay down policy we all had a voice but I was most often the one who spoke what we were all thinking.) We’d been inspired to respond to the then-new Ray Guns world. My all male gang of Icelanders, South Americans, San Franciscans and Greeks looked at me with drawn faces. It was hard to tell if they were relieved or disappointed at my declaration. Like I said, I was most often the leader of this wayward group of film students, not by design but perhaps by my travel guide personality, and outspoken mouth. I had such a sense of entitlement in my 20’s! Perhaps the Tucson shooter did too.

Sadly this was a happy day of a young man who's frozen our hearts and ended or unalterably f'd up lives. Among his dead were a nine year old child and four elders. But check out his project here-- he might have been an artist and never hurt a flea. That smile is not insanity... it is belonging and art.

Jared Lee Loughner

“The wrong person might overhear us,” I explained. “Most importantly, the wrong person could get shot.” They nodded and that was that. No more advocating political violence. I think we were truly astonished that something that we’d been advocating in humor, as art, had been used on a Bard.  Our Bard. I still am.
“What you say happens,” I said just to fill the silence. They all nodded. This was one of our axioms. Handed down by William Burroughs. I’d passed along the teaching of that great paranoid master to them for months, and they’d had a chance to meet him personally when he took up my invitation to come to San Francisco for a rare reading. He hadn’t been there for the previous 25 years, “didn’t like the place,” but when I’d said, almost as an aside on a stoned phone call with him, that I could get “anything (he) wanted,” he’d replied, “I’ll have James call you tomorrow morning and set up the details.” He came, and I did.
Anyway, I believe it was right then on that rainy afternoon that my version of abracadabra was born.
“My friends,” I boomed, “more than ever– this is a world of say and it is so! Saynitso!”
“Oh ya! Saynitso! Dig it!!”
“Yeah man, dig it! Saynitso!”
Today, 1/11/11, this is more true than ever before. Or so we believe, since the perp hasn’t said a word. The Tucson Killings track back to a saynitso situation. And since I work for Huffington Post as a rare-bird Media Monitor, I’ve spent the last three days soaked in media for them. Even if it wasn’t a saynitso situation that caused the senseless shocking killings and attempted assassination of Gabby Giffords,  it is now.
And so it will go down as a result of vitriolic speech, in history, just like Paul Reveres historical ride after Longfellow wrote it became the poem (and made it so); the Tucson Killings exactly as they are being said/written about today in the media are history now.
You think it will go down like this? Numerous Tea Party nutcase candidates call-out/insight one nutcase and 6 non-nutcases were gunned down, including a nine year old girl, thus:  n+ nutcase Tea Party-ists + 1 alienated nutcase=  -6 non-nutcase innocents.
Go figure.
It doesn’t come out. But when did that make any difference in modern history?
Incidentally, the “kid” who did it was an equation nut so that little syllogism is for him.
Why do anything for him? Because he is a poor lost soul. (btw only my Buddhist friends have expressed sorrow for the young man first and foremost when we’ve conversed. What a bunch of seditionists huh? But those were my first thoughts too. That kid had had more doors shut in his face in the last few months than the Three Stooges in a lifetime.

So on this happy note, welcome to my blog. Make comments if you can figure out how to. And if “you” are an agent of some kind and my “chatter” has brought this little story to your attention, I welcome you as well and hope that you’ll comment if you have a minute. I know how damned busy being crooked some of you are, so hey, go get the nutcases and find treatment for them would ya? Keep busy that’s the best way to deal with your hypocrisy. You could start rounding up in Alaska. I used to live in B. C. and I’m telling ya, those long winters definitely make folks crazy. Good thing most of them are a long long ways away from the lower 48. Stay warm Mr/Ms. Agent Man.

Signing off, tonight as the Purple Haired Bomb Thrower. As I write that phrase again it doesn’t sound that rad. After all, it was part of the art school curriculum. Not the bomb throwing, but the hair. Wildly colored hair was #2** on the uniform code at the San Francisco Art Institute.  God how I loved that school. It could have saved Jared Loughner, his victims, and by proxy all of us who’ve been stunned and aching since his dreadful deed. I believe he felt that he had very few alternatives left; art school might have saved his soul. I know it saved mine.

Simone,  Pacifist  1/11/11
somewhere in cyberspace where I’ve resided since the WWW began uploading images
FOOTNOTES:
*Jacket is slang for a criminal record file, or a surveillance file with no criminal record. However, I did see one of my files, obtained for me by Allen Ginsberg in a his class action suit, I believe. It was only a few pages thick, but then I was only 23 at the time, hadn’t had all the time I’ve had now to accumulate brushes with radical behavior. I’ve haven’t tried to get my notorious PHBT jacket… but hey it doesn’t pay much to be avant guard, and after I left Naropa Allen and I began to have conflicts.    But I must admit that THE PURPLE HAIRED BOMB THROWER might make for a cool leather jacket patch… ah well, I’ll keep you posted.

** the #1 item on the dress code was of course “cool, black shades.” It probably still is. When I went back to the basement of SFAI numerous years later, I opened one of the still-unlocked lockers and sure enough…. there were my black Ray Ban Wayfarers and a cracked leather jacket. Some things never change. I wonder what color hair that film student was wearing… new lawn green?

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About SimoneLazzeriEllis

Hello, I am a person in the after post modern world; a poet, author, film maker, & arts journalist by trade. I'm broke. I guess I'm a story teller and observer. The stories are all true, the reviews my best educated guess or rants in the middle of the night or behind a pony wall in a news room. You may disagree with what I say vehemently or not give a shit, or hey maybe awaken me anew with your Imagination and change boh our future-- yeah, I'd dig that-- .
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4 Responses to Advocating Violence

  1. Brigid Meier says:

    The brilliant Tibetan Buddhist teacher, Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche said many times that “All mind states are workable.” Then again, Passion, Aggression and Ignorance, The Three Poisons, permeate our culture today with increasing deadliness. Yes, Art is powerful. Words are powerful. Sarah Palin can put a rifle site’s crosshairs image over a politician and some deranged, borderline case can get ahold of an automatic weapon and take the metaphor literally and go postal. WHERE is the workability in this scenario? The only response I can dredge up is that there needs to be a tectonic shift in consciousness in this country but it will come too late for those recently shot in Arizona…

      • Dear Brigid Meier, thank you for the comment. I am just now re-undertaking (sic) my blog. But, “stupid is as stupid does.” smile, so please don’t expect perfect copy.

        Given that it has only been 9 days since Sandy Hook, is very fitting that I came across mine and yr posts about Tuscson NOW…. one week, two days from the day that will live in infamy. MY heart was so broken (still is) for both the victims and the shooter, as the media call him thinking that avoiding his name will hide truth. Sad for that lost soul and his sexy beautiful Mother whom, I believe, was just trying something — anything– to bring him out of the house, out of his shell, out of his godawful depression when she bought those guns.

        His was a depressive– a state that I know or at least know something of… not just by quality but quantity, was not passive. Why? Usually it is. Perhaps he was “thinking” that he needed to do something over and above his suicide, his final statement– but not this, not this! Perhaps we’ll never know why that school those kids.
        At least for the first minutes, I thought, that’s what he was doing… killing himself, suiciding— with a comment. Once and always, forever. Wrong! That concept is ludicrous though not rare… sick and absolutely psychotic. But nevertheless we have to entertain the thought that it all made “sense to him” at the time. For 10 minutes.

        Why do I feel so sorry for him?

        With a little considered scenario, Adam “took others out with him.” A common freaking” delusion—a major mutation of Evolution. Troubling, especially this time of the year and at the “end of the world.”

        Again why… WHY those heart-breaking YOUNG children (yes, white chill, but it’s possible that the up side of the nation’s response to white kids getting senselessly killed in a suddenly burst of fire, PERHAPS, just perhaps, is that those who are deeper feeling of us just may POLITICALLY “generalize” & become more peaceful.
        “Generalization” as it is called in dog training when the animal learns that sit on the grass is the same thing as sitting on concrete— WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE! And drive by shootings might not get so little attention, correction and yes, sympathy!

        Will this lead us to soul searching in all our parts, about why the hell we have created— with buttons bursting— a media, a literature, roll playing, all creating a Nationalistic credo of VIOLENCE against sentient beings? What kind of wrong headed idea is that? Don’t we need to evolve, positively mutate in a different direction?
        His timing was freaking eerie…That guy was the END OF THE WORLD.
        Thus here we are at the saynitso blog again. I truly hope you dear reader will continue ck’ing out my blog & afresh directions from from this post on at saynitsosimone.wordpress.com .
        Also my brilliant lover, Jared Dowty & I have a Scripted Series (TV) blog at scriptedseries.com

        Aside from the misery of Sandy Hook, we are super happy. I hope you are as well.
        MERRY CHRISTMAS & a LOVELY one to you ALL!!! AS DARK AS THESE TIMES ARE THE SPRIT RISES WITH EVERY BREATH!!

        This ‘new” approach to my blog will include media critiques, the day’s response to our world as spoken & recorded, reflections, such as this one, interaction and of course what I did for 30 yrs critiques of the media, big love, sex and poetry, film, television and obits, whatever comes alive.
        Happy Christmas, no matter what that means to you. As for you Brigid the QUEEN of every dance floor and traveler of the mind and heart? after our many years as communicators I trust that it will be thee and me in the Cosmos? non?

        simone simone

  2. Thank so much Brigid! your contact and your lessons help this isolated creature as I listen to the disasters happening so far to the south. I must admit, my friend, I long for IOU, not to advocate violence in particular, but to pick up pieces from those that do, and those that did. And those who felt victim to big mouth small courage. May the ones who can recover do so with grace and privacy, and those… who are gone, we are singing for you. As the Japanese say, “Never Again!” So, though I love you dearly Brigid, we must part ways in our visions of the future. That doesn’t mean we can”t hang together and watch the end of the world as we know it. I know already, it is happening now… maybe.
    I’ll be listening for that tectonic shift and observing mind, and you have my word I”ll find you if it begins! in the mean time, it ain’t over!

    yr old friend, simone

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