Friday, May 20, 2011
Hebron: Excuse My Language
It is well known within the writing community that you very rarely (if ever) use curse words. Yes, it attracts attention. Yes, it indicates drama or anger or fear or all of the above but it also, with each use, limits its power to communicate those intense emotions. If you are going to use a curse word in writing - the emotion better deserve the impact you are intending. You must consider your writing in the context of all time because 100 years from now an author will not have the same power to bang out a point with the same ferocity and all the past writers have now been lessened too. Do you plan on looking at Shakespeare and apologizing?
But, this is one of those times. I have no problem staring Conrad, Hemingway, Mahler or Keats in the eye or any of the million writers who will come after me and saying: "You understand I had to do this:"
What the fuck is going on here?
We are in Hebron. There are literally thousands of Arab children roaming the streets, angry and un-parented. Violent, disaffected youth raised, literally, in garbage dumps and on the back of hatred and hope of domination. You can't pick up litter on the street because that would be an act of "aggression" that they would punish with knives and sticks. They beat their donkeys and dogs. They have been raised to think we are monkeys and pigs. Fuck you, you do the math on that one. A few religious Jews believe...congregating where their stones can't reach and praying for a past to turn into a future that they forget their children are targets. UN Observers watch and do nothing. Dread-headed American hippy, trunstfundian, activist idiots parade around the streets in the day imagining wrongs and pains and excusing their violence. Then, at night, they scatter, like cockroaches - running from the violence they excuse. Sacrifice yourself too you dumb fuck. You understand it - then be part of it. Self-flagellate. Self-immolate. Burn yourself in effigy of your own misunderstood internal fire of guilt and regret. UTAH and ETHER have travelled the world painting trains, ducking their dodging bullets and trying not to burn on the third rail. But, here, they come in peace and love - bright neon colors and all kinds of open-mindedness. They stood by a gate - offering hope and beauty and
BANG! BANG! BANG! Rock after rock. Stones. Bricks - like mortar shells descend around them. UTAH is thrown down violently - she resists but realizes that an Israeli soldier is on top of her sacrificing himself for her protection. ETHER is pissed. Dude ran the streets - he doesn't want to be political. But an eye for an eye. They attacked first. Let him at them. No. Another soldier pulls him into a pillbox. You're safe here...for now.
If you respond, they respond. Escalation. War. Middle East. So, the soldiers are sitting targets. Protectors without protection.
More rocks, bricks, glass, shattering, hoping to cut, to bleed, to tear. They hate. The soldiers debate. Do they disburse the violent gang. Tear gas? Rubber bullets? How do we lessen the pain they are causing us without hurting them? A calculation of slow death. A bleeding bargain.
Today is EWOK's birthday. Having toured the world he could be anywhere celebrating life. Now, he is contemplating death. He chose to be here. He was just painting on the Arab side of town - he doesn't give a good g-ddamn who is who and what is what. Art transcends violence. Beauty above all. Birthdays remind us to be better - to live for a future. But, what kind of future is their when the children hide knives in their socks. He posed with five beautiful Jewish girls in front of his mural. Now some Arab youth are testing his metal. He has painted in South Central, LA in the eighties but this is worse. He is black. Some Arabs point at him and say "Barack, Barack, Barack!" He looks at me - the eyes say it all - I'm not trying to be racist. But...
Barack Barack Barack. '67 Borders. That announcement will come in two or three days.
We all want a victim. Then, choose me. My politics are crazy right wing. Don't paint us all with my brush. I own my own anger. I own my own belief system. I don't hurt no one until they try to hurt me. I love women and bless children. Hip-hop is the truth. And I never back down. I never bow. But, here I am in Hebron...tying my shoe. Before I know it - before I can look up - 10 Arab youth are around me. One has a stick. Another a brick. I see movement from the corner of my eye. Brooklyn is in my blood and I am two seconds away from that blood spilling across the Middle East. Do I hit a child. It is my only way out. They told me not to walk around at night. This is broad day light. Fight or die. You choose.
Fuck us all.