Sunday, February 10, 2008

Reflections on "Across the Universe"

On movie night in Hyampom "Across the Universe" was playing. It is an all Beatles' songs musical romance and recap of the 60's. Lots of New York scenes. Katz's Delicatessan was in the movie. Allan and I ate Sunday evening there and I, the wasp, learned to love corn beef. One Sunday while on acid the glasses stacked on shelves made broken and straight lines forming a Hexagram for the I Ching which of course I had look up when I went back to the fifth floor walk up where we lived. Everything meant something then. There was portent and profundity everywhere thanks to drugs. More poignantly for me, they showed a peace march in NY that reminded me of one that Allan and I marched in. I actually dreamed about it last night, telling my daughter in the dream that there were veterans against the war and a band(don't remember if that was the case) and that we marched with the artists(which was the case). Allan Ginesberg was at the head of our group, dressed at Uncle Sam and carrying a flag and Peter Orlofsky was a drummer boy and someone else played the flute, recreating the famous Yankee Doodle painting. Behind us was a theatrical group. They had constructed a fighter plane that strafed peasants who ducked or fell to the ground over and over as we walked along. Very New York. Very arty. The street was lined with onlookers some shaking their fists and some teen age boys yelling, "Faggots! Queers!" I expect Allan Ginesberg tipped his hat to them. We were changing the world or so we thought. And who could have imagined then that 40 years later my daughter, her husband and I would be marching again, this time in Boston. The marchers were much older generally. We grey haired ones smiled at each other recognizing ourselves from years past. And there were lots of us, spanning generations. The streets were not lined with supporters or fist shakers. We marched past a huge hotel where some well coifed high heels and suited men and women looked at us for a moment as a curiosity and turned to go into their corporate conference. Changing the world, uhhh, not so fast. But still, we keep the faith there being no other place to stand.

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