On April 4, 1967, Dr. Martin
Luther King Jr.gave his famous “Beyond
Vietnam” speech at Riverside Church in New York City,
exactly one year later he was murdered.
He had been planning the Poor People’s Campaign, a
march on Washington, D.C., where poor people would
come to the city and not leave until they got real change.
And so, there was somebody who was really pushing it,
challenging THEM, and they just killed him, boom, puff, he’s out of the way and there’s nobody else who can take his place, apparently.
But now, there are people revving up the idea that all
people deserve a piece of the pie. It’s been going on for a
while, but just lately making it into “trending” topical talk.
It’s about time.
I once thought The Revolution was the new girl in the
black hair in the second row at Sacred Heart Elementary.
And then The Revolution was a black and white ‘56
Chevy Station Wagon. At first I didn’t even want to accept
my Dad’s gift [what a douche-bag I was]
— a station wagon! are you freaking kidding me?
— but I got used to it and, wow, just wow.
After that it was marriage and
kids, quarts of beer on sale for 25 cents
[no, I just had a dream] and the Twins winning
the World Series, getting out of prison, finding my keys.
And I once thought I was The Revolution.
Of course I did.
I ran for Congress in Iowa
and thought I would save the poor and stuff like that.
That’s what it comes down to, people, people living
without stuff, stuff that they need, and we let that happen,
easily forget it or don’t think about it, as long as we are
able to maintain our routine and our life.
And so, real revolution, not just a Ginsberg poem,a Kerouac book, a Hicks or Carlin or Gregory or Bruce
routine and then out for pizza and drinks, would be kind of
scary, for those of us who … I don’t know, well we’ve
got shit to do, you know, really important shit
and lots of stuff.
But that’s what we need. Not the dumb kind or the
fake kind where we are saved by intrepid whitetail deer
hunters wearing NRA and MAGA caps.
That ain’t happening anyway.
That cavalry can’t even find the horses.
No, the real kind, the good
kind, where we are saved by ourselves.
We learn. We get angry.
We act. We talk to each other and we come together like in
a big Coke commercial.
[Or was it Fresca?]
That’s really what it’s all about.
That’s what has to happen.
Any other way and it’s just not right.
The black-haired girl smiles at you [You are my hero, you
chubby little douchebag] at lunch while you are on your hands and knees chasing your apple down the row and suddenly the world makes sense.
“In per-fect har-mo-neeeee!”