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H2O Man

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Member since: Mon Dec 29, 2003, 08:49 PM
Number of posts: 65,090

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Hair Peace

We were talking - about the space between us all
And the people - who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion
Never glimpse the truth - then it's far too late when they pass away
We were talking - about the love we all could share
When we find it - to try our best to hold it there - with our love
With our love we could save the world - if they only knew
Try to realize it's all within yourself - no-one else can make you change
And to see you're really only very small
And life flows on within you and without you.
We were talking - about the love that's gone so cold
And the people who gain the world and lose their soul
They don't know, they can't see - are you one of them ?
When you've seen beyond yourself
Then you may find peace of mind is waiting there
And the time will come when you see we're all one
And life flows on within you and without you.
-- George Harrison

I ventured to the upstate New York community of Sidney today, for the second time in three days. Forum members may recall Sidney making the national news in the fall of 2010, when its Tea Party Town Supervisor and two rabid councilmen attempted to force a tiny Sufi settlement to “remove” all Islamic burials from a legal cemetery. Since that time, I have been helping to run the campaigns of good people who have stepped up to the plate. Two were elected in 2011, and two more may win seats on the town board on Tuesday.

Thursday afternoon, I ran into two of my Sufi friends in front of a store on the main street. They asked me to extend an invitation to Dr. Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, to visit their settlement, and discuss some social justice and reconciliation projects. As we spoke, a highly intoxicated fellow approached us on the sidewalk. Although we were not in any way blocking his path, he stopped to stare at us in a manner that conveyed his utter disgust at the mere sight of us.

After a few moments of our ignoring him, he selected me as his target: “I’d like to cut your hair” was soon followed by “you look like a fucking faggot.” We continued to ignore him, which he may have mistaken as license to become bolder. He stepped rather close to me, and again commented on his desire to cut my hair. I told him that wasn’t a good idea, and we continued to ignore him while finishing our conversation.

Now that I was alone, he became a bit bolder, getting very close to me, repeating the hair-cut and faggot nonsense, and adding in, “There are kids with cancer and bald heads, you asshole.”

I’m an older man now, then I was young and enjoyed fisticuffs. I do try to be not only non-violent, but peaceful, as well. In fact, I’m not particularly fond of the person I was when I made a name for myself internationally, as an amateur boxer. But that younger self took over for a brief moment, and it was as if I were a spectator. I turned and stepped face-to-face with this annoying shadow. “You look like the type of guy who has made a lot of mistakes in your life,” I said. “The one you are making now is going to be the most painful mistake you ever made.” He said, “Fuck you,” and headed off in a different direction.

This type of incident never bother the younger version of me. Back in the late 1960s and early ‘70s, guys with long hair were too often the target of aggressive jack-asses. And both my oldest brother (a professional boxer) and I were at times mistaken for potential victims. I viewed street- and bar-fights as recreation. But Thursday’s incident was not so entertaining …..not because I couldn’t do a fuck of a lot of damage quickly, but because I am no longer that person who mistakenly finds meaning in it.

This morning, I attended a political breakfast on the main street in that same community. A highlight for me was showing an article in the town’s newspaper, reporting that attorney Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and the Pace Environmental Law Clinic have joined the fight against the Constitution Pipeline. For over a year, I’ve told the grass roots groups in Pennsylvania and New York that I talk to that they can only stop this project by bringing legal cases -- few elected officials or appointed bureaucrats have enough of a spine to stand up to the energy corporations. (Robert’s involvement is especially significant, considering that his former brother-in-law, Governor Andrew Cuomo, appointed him to the state’s “advisory committee” on hydro racking.)

When I left the meeting, I walked through an alley to get to my vehicle. There were two guys standing at the end of the alley, who looked like “red necks.” I attempted to ignore them, but one fellow said, “Hey! How long have you been growing your hair?” I said that I had been for many years. “That’s great,” he said. “I used to have long hair, but nothing like your’s.”

I thanked him, and went on my way.
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