Peace Out at Terrain in Oak Park for the 4th of July and for the Summer of Love 2014 in honor of the Great American Hippie. Although often ridiculed the hippie is a remainder and reminder of a time the idea of “PEACE in the US” could be entertained as a possibility and not an irony –so how come that in 2014 this notion seems as simultaneously radical and ridiculous as “Anarchy in the UK” did in the 80’s?
We invite you to come out and let your inner hippie hang out at Terrain for a minute or for an afternoon, to entertain the idea that PEACE, LOVE and UNDERSTANDING is a possibility and not an irony. Let it be.
We kicked off PEACE in the US! with the participation of the Terrain “Peace Float” in the yearly Oak Park Independence Day Parade.
If joining in a 4th of July parade already feels like maxing out on my newly minted Green Card, on this beautiful summer’s day it also feels like we have the right to be here and it feels right to be here, wedged in between the peaceful citizens of Oak Park as represented by on one hand The Hemmingway Society and on the other hand Mom’s Demand Action!
As reflected by these two groups, opinions on gun ownership are perhaps as divided here in Oak Park as elsewhere in the country. Like so many other things, it is still a spectrum… And one where I have no trouble locating myself !–It beats me that a de facto terrorist group like the N.R.A. –a group which trains combatants and recruit youths on American soil, and have their more blood on their hands in terms of gun violence victims fallen every year in the United States since 2001 than there were victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks – are not yet held responsible for their actions. The rhetoric of war is so internalized in both daily and political American life that the US is a nation currently at war with itself, and several wars are continuously fought on American soil. Though at a glance unconnected, the war on drugs, the war on terror, the war on cancer, and the war on women, operate in similar, not so subtle ways and have become so entrenched we don’t seem to mind the collateral any more –be it colored bodies targeted in SWAT team raids and incarcerated at world record rates or female bodies screened intrusively and robbed of their reproductive rights. Yes, it makes me angry… but today we come in PEACE!
Being a recent immigrant to the United States, I fell deeply in love with this my new home country, although my wild romance with America sometimes feels like an abusive relationship. If America is behaving like some angry white dude, who need to take at least a class room full of kindergardeners with him, before pointing the gun at himself, it is about time somebody told him to “Peace Out!”
In the afternoon we all Peaced Out in a 4th of July celebration, in honor of the Great American Hippie. Apart of its LOVE of free LOVE, which, when you think about it, is not at all that bad an idea, the hippie movement had only one big political agenda, namely PEACE. Which, when you think about it, is also not at all that bad an idea. Let it be.
For the occation, and for the remainder of the summer, Terrain has been decked out in tie dye. More so than Ab-Ex, Tie Dye is the real great American art form, and has appeal across the board –in spite of the general hating that has been the fate of the Hippie, who has only survived in America in the form of the Hippie-chick-garb that adorn most sorority members this side of Urban Outfitters, during festival season.
In the name of PEACE in the US! I thought it high time to reclaim it.
So. Let there be tie-dye. Let there be hugs. Let there be a parade. Let there be bean burgers. Let there be antiestablishmentarianism. Let there be poetry. Let there be protest. Let there be Flower(Power)Bed(Peace).
Let there be PEACE and let there be LOVE.
We mourn our dead and our LOVE becomes a funeral pyre.