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Amiri Baraka: The Last Revolutionary (For Abbie Hoffman)

from “New Music – New Poetry”….

“Yeah! He come out yesterday. Give himself up to the Feds. A lot of lights and cameras. All the newspapers and I seen him come in! Good news for the tabloids, good news for the professional cooler-outers, good news for the state. It’s a TV story, he came in from the wars, from out in the hills. He’d fought the good fight, underground, so long, dodging a cocaine bust, in the name of the people. He’d come out now… for forgivness. He’d come out with a changed nose. Did he know now that the whole of the Chicago Seven had come out? Even Bobby Seale ungagged shouted a defiant cookbook. Inverts and Buddhists and Social Democrats, it all goes along so well. He had to come out. Like the Weather people when they found that the war was over. Had to, had to come out like Susan and Jane and Dick and Spot had to come out now that the war is over. And he was smiling, so kind and expansive in a moment of triumph. From North, in the bush, conquering the wild seed, he returns with media hype ticker-tape and the slobberings of prostitute reporters. Revolution for the hell of it! Steal This Book….soon to be a major motion picture! Coming wherever. The Yippies, in line, all the time. Come in, with a Wall Street jury and movie senator Tom and non-violent Dave and three card Molly Eldridge. Come in, come in all, come in. A Black playright we know says “I ain’t never been ideological”. Another one screams “Uphold the Middle Class!” with his head inside the ass of a whore named Hollywood. And we laugh…and we laugh…and we…laugh.. laugh. It’s a funny time but is it not better that all illusions suffer? That the clowns in our midst be exposed? Don’t tell me I told you so when the hero appears released right away on the news of the day. The TV tells us clearly “Come out with your hands up and all will be forgiven. Naughty children. Naughty children! Uncle Sam spank!” Be thankful you’re the wayward child of imperialism. He had to do it, he had to! And you too, the monitor beings, give it up! Jimmy Carter will give you a job. You can get a picture on your wall, grinning with his hand holding yours, selling papers about his papers. The bourgeoisie thinks will buy, Hero thinks. But most of us knew way back when that Abby and his boys will soon get in the wind. Not a “I told you so” but a class analysis. The last analysis. Which is the one the workers will make. Not jetset bohemian glamour or media shoutout fake militant clamour will change things. But those of us under the heel, missing a meal, whose pain is for real are not honorary because we cannot come out. There’s nowhere to go. No reward for surrender but vicious, unfufilled, stupid death. There is no “last revolutionary”, state media bastards, until the planet itself disappears. And who can speak on that? The real fighters are still fighters and the actual strugglers are actually struggling. Let the bullshit rides be blown away. No television magic or all purpose gibberish. No Hollywood squares or militant roach advertisements can change or estrange us from ourselves or each other. There are still, and will be till, revolutionaries in the landscape. In factories, community centers, workshops, and bowling alleys. In theaters, coal mines, hospitals, and tobacco fields. Real revolutionaries, hidden among the wakening mass. There is no last revolutionary till the planet itself explodes! So long live the death of bourgeois clowns! Long live the death of any illusion that they are revolutionaries! He had to come out, he had to! We know. And in the factories, and across the broad black belt, and Tierra De La Rasa in the Southwest, we let loose our joy cries and laughter. Goodbye Motherfucker! Goodbye! Welcome to Disneyland, we say. Smiling, we know you never really left….”

su Abbie Hoffman:

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