My mother came to visit for the last few days.  I had to work during the day, and she was in meetings, but we spent the evenings together, went out to dinner, she met important people in my life, saw my new living situation, we went shopping at Macy's, and we went out to a Broadway show.  We had deliberated for a good week or so prior to buying tickets, and finally she made an executive decision that we would be seeing Hair.  I felt a small amount of trepidation about this, as Hair is known for having extensive nudity and sex, neither of which exactly fit in a show being viewed with one's mother.

But, as with all things, nothing really pays off if you're unwilling to see past the possible negatives.  So we went to the show.  I came straight from work, and after blitzing through a juicy diner burger and several diet cokes we took a cab to the theater, anxious about being late.  As usual, we were about 10 minutes early.  I love the theater, especially theaters in NYC, but the seats are WAY TOO SMALL.  This usually detracts from the show itself, but not this time--not even the giant of a man in front of me with the tall gelled hair distracted me from the show itself.

It was clear from the comments my mother made and the way she reacted that it was a significant performance.  She was involved in the counterculture movement at its tail end, but the hippy lifestyle was her own.  She cried at the end of the show.  I came close, not for times past, but for the fierce revolutionary spirit that burned within people of that caliber and seems to have died out in my own generation.  Our response to the negative aspects of life has been to become apathetic and ignore as much of the world as possible.  At least, that's how I see it.  The activists among us are a rare breed and generally thought of as too radical for the mainstream to adopt their ideals.

But, there is always hope.  We can change the way people think simply by providing a viable alternative at the right time.  Just like at the end of the show when the audience was asked to come dance on stage to "Let The Sun Shine."  We would have been unwilling to do so before the show, but afterwards, full of pathos and empathy for a bygone era of free love, marijuana, and awesome clothes, we were more than happy to oblige. And we had fun doing it.


Post a Comment

A blog about social change, written from Brooklyn, New York. Currently looking for contributors.