'Plaint of the Playwright

'Plaint of the Playwright

[ Tuesday, October 09, 2001 ]

I talked with my friend Jesse last night.

Jesse, when we were younger, was a very active peace protester during the Gulf War.

Not that any of us appreciated this, then. Jesse (and he admitted this last night) would get really superior on you and argue his points like a madman--even if you were already converted.

Just to give this some perspective, someone once punched him in the chest during a peace rally. Jesse had already had chest surgery once before. (And ened up having chest surgery since) So, understand if he tended to take these things a bit seriously.

At the time, I was being Good Little American and stayed out of it.

When we went to visit mutual buddy Seth in Pittsburgh, the war was brewing, but hadn't started yet.

All the way up to Pittsburgh, I rode in the backseat while he and his then-girlfriend played the song "Give Peace A Chance" for what seemed like the entire trip.

I was a loaded gun.

When the war broke out, Seth and I found out about it first, and made the decision to steer Jesse away from any media for the rest of the trip.

To our credit, we were doing pretty good until we got to the student center.

Anyway, it was war, hoo, Good God, y'all, what is it good for, and Jesse now knew.

I remember his face at that point, though. He looked very defeated.

Hell, maybe he was just tired.

Anyway, it was because of these memories that I decided to call him last night.

Hey, dude, I said. Anyone call you a peacenik freak, yet?

There was a slight pause, and I got the feeling I'd insulted him.

"No," he said, "I'm...not like that anymore. I'm not like I was in high school."

He was in the subway when the planes hit, and was late for work.

"I was in such a hurry to get there that I ran down the street and somehow didn't catch that everyone else was just standing there, staring southward.

"I got into work and I said, 'Sorry I'm late--what'd I miss?'"


"Yeah. D'you hear about the big peace rally last night in Manhattan?"

No, it didn't make the papers here.

"It didn't really make the papers here, either--but it was right near where I live, and so when I walked outside, there was just WHAM, all these people."

I'm kinda suprised it didn't make the papers here.

"I'm not. I saw the headline to the New York Daily News today, and it said 'Tali-Boom.'"

Fuck me.

"I walked by a bar and heard people inside cheering at the bombing."

Like it's football.

"I gotta admit, though, I actually laughed when I heard that they were dropping food after they dropped bombs. I mean, is this a P.R. war or what?"

Oh, yeah. I like that they're doing it, but I also know they're only doing it because people are protesting. At least, I'd like to think that's the reason.

"Oh, I'm sure it is. But...I just see these kids running around in the peace rallys, and it's like...I remember being like that, and I know how little it gets you after a while.

"Don't get me wrong, I think that peace rallies are good, and we should have them...but..."

It's that bullshit superior attitude.

"Yeah. Plus I'm nowhere near as paranoid as I used to be."

I'm thinkin' I'm paranoid enough for the both of us, these days.

posted by Rob on 10:42 AM | link



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