Chintan (David Hill) writes from Florida: “The reason I’m able to finally write this report is you; the young people of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida: you, who are not accepting the bullshit prayers and support of the middle-aged NRA-funded oligarchs that rule this land.”
I’ve been assigned the seemingly impossible task of reporting on the latest atrocity in the United States of America. I’ve interviewed a number of young people. I’ve asked them the important questions of the day; namely “What do you, as a young person, think the main problem is regarding the number of mass killings in our country [USA].” I got a wide variety of answers: guns, mental health, the FBI, Donald Trump, the liberal media, the conservative media, the NRA, psychotropic medications, violent video games.
Now, after fighting off deep depression (sadness) after viewing hours and hours of clips from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, here I am on February 20th, 2018, just under a week following the latest horrific killings in this land of the free and home of the brave, and I came up against a wall. What can I say about this? Do I quote my interviewees, give a fair and balanced report?
No, I can’t do it!
I can’t write coherently about this.
Back in 2011 when Jared Loughner shot up a shopping mall, killing a little girl and a few others, and wounding US Representative Gabrielle Giffords, I was a few miles away from that “event,” and within a few hours was able to write an article that was immediately published and subsequently garnered great praise for my insights into this sort of thing, but now, after so many of these “events,” I am left numb and dumb, and looking for a Xanax or Paxil or automatic weapon!
Just kidding about the automatic weapon. I’m a peacenik from the sixties, and it would be so fucking embarrassing to go out of this world in a violent haze.
Instead, to find some inspiration, I put on a CD entitled The Best of Sun Records, circa 1959, and danced my 74-year-old ass off to Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Howlin Wolf, and recalled a time in the late ’50s and early ’60s when revolution was in the air. Initially, we young’uns gyrated to Elvis and Little Richard with their innocent lyrics of good booty, tootie fruity, but even though the lyrics were sophomoric, the rhythm was throbbing in an area much lower than our little minds. We were being turned on by what was then called the “Devil’s Music.” We grew up fast during that time of threat of imminent nuclear disaster from the then “Evil Empire” of Russia, and began to walk with a swagger that freaked out the whole nation. “The kids are out of control,” screamed the mass media, which at that time was two TV networks and a bunch of local radio stations.
But, they were right. We were out of control. We were young. We were affluent. We had the luxury to relax and read. And so, we read. We read Catch 22, and Cuckoo’s Nest and The Ugly American, and The Autobiography of Malcom X, and Nineteen Eighty-Four, and we went on the road with Jack Kerouac, and we tuned into what a young southern preacher named Martin was doing, and when Dylan and the Beatles and Stones arrived, we were ready to tell our truth to power. The power at that time was Lyndon Johnson and Tricky-Dick Nixon, and their support for a war that was a fabrication, a lie; a lie in which so many of us were dying for no reason! Oh, that’s not correct. There was a reason. The reason was that the American empire needed the resources of that region of the world. “Got some rice? Got some oil? Give it to us or we will bomb the fuck out of you!”
We are not an unreasonable nation! All you have to do is listen to our humble demands.
So, back to the latest horrific act, perpetrated by a young man, who was probably taking anti-psychotic drugs with the side effects of homicidal and suicidal ideation. But, even if he wasn’t, he was mad, not insane, mind you, not “mentally ill”, but just mad; just a poor young man who could not get it together, who was lonely and sad and misunderstood and alienated and male!
We males are, by nature, aggressive. We have big muscles and the need to use them. If we don’t have a tree to cut down or a river to forge or a home to construct, we sometimes get a bit weird in the head and begin to think of purchasing a pistol (or a nuclear bomb if you are Donald Trump or Kim Jong Un)!
The reason I’m able to finally write this report is you; the young people, and especially you, Emma Gonzalez of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida: you, who are not laying down and rolling over and accepting the bullshit prayers and support of the middle-aged NRA-funded oligarchs that rule this land.
The ruling elite will do anything in their power to remain in power. That is their only GOD! They will pat you on the head and tell you whatever it is that they think you want to hear. Do not believe them. Marco Rubio and Donald Trump and even most of the Democrats only want one thing, and that is to remain in power. Power is a drug. That’s why they are so against other drugs. They have the real thing. They don’t want you enjoying a bit of mind-altering chemicals! Bad kids. Go to jail if you do it again! They have the real drug, and they are keeping it to themselves. They are funded by the NRA. They are funded by the drug companies. They are funded by Big Oil and Big Fast Food and Big Walmart and all the other members of the gang.
They do not give a fuck about you!
I have now danced through the whole CD, have imbibed two glasses of organic white wine, found a photo of me in front of the Sun Record Company to accompany this article, and am now prepared to offer my final thoughts on the subject:
You, the youth of America must lead the way. It is your passion that is needed. One suggestion, and this is based on my experience, having been young at one point in my life: Search, and find some of us old people who are still breathing deeply, still have the fire in the belly, and team up with us. You have the passion and the youth, but we, those of us who have survived earlier revolutions, have the fearlessness that can be very useful to your revolution. We are not afraid to die! That is what we can share with you: That, and hopefully a little wisdom.
Born and raised in Rhode Island, Chintan (David Hill) studied mental illness and became a stage actor. His first Dynamic propelled him into sannyas in 1977. In between prolonged visits to Pune and Rajneeshpuram he was co-director of the Rajneesh Center in New York (1978-1980) and later worked in mental hospitals. Now retired, he works as a writer and promotes meditation as a cure for mental illness. Chintan is the author of Mastering Madness. He currently resides in Deleon Springs, Florida.