Personal tragedy and socialism

I have just come back from the funeral of a young friend of my older son. The dead boy was 26 years of age and he was found dead of an over dose on Saturday 21st. There were over two hundred people at the service which was held out in the open in the cemetery.

My boy was one of the pall bearers. He and the dead kid, K., had recently been on a drinking bender together. Two full days of self destruction. I had been very short with K. blaming him like most fathers for being a bad influence. He had tried to say something intelligent to me but his brains were addled. He also looked like shit. The heroin was destroying his teeth.

There were rumors that he had got off the "H" but they were to prove unfounded.

We all gathered in the hot Qld sun around the grave and a short service was held. Someone brought a painting of K. and set it up by his grave. In the painting he looked very pretty and apparently he had been a great one with women. He also wrote a lot of poetry and one of these was handed out with a hymn sheet. Some young women sang songs and read poems. The boy's brother spoke very haltingly and with great pain. He tried to rescue something from the awful mess by saying that at least K. had lived and now he was free.

There was a New Age feel to all the sentiments. It's as if one were reading or listening to Jim Morrison's lyrics. These were really the children of the 60s generation.

Then towards the end a minister spoke. He was initially apologetic because he had known K. very well, but then he launched into a sermon based on belief in the bible. He talked of Abraham and his trouble with Lot, of Job saying, the lord gives and the lord takes away. Blessed me the name of the Lord. He also mentioned Jesus' stoical suffering. there was talk of endurance and patience and also of our sins.

We started the hymn which was

"Bow done thine ear to me
No place of rest is nigh."

I was shocked by the number of people who seemed to know it. It was of course only the older ones who were singing.

We then finished with an old man leading a rambling prayer with more talk of sinfulness.

The young people reemerged to place roses on the coffin and then we broke into groups. I went over to say good by to my son and he was embracing the boy's father. They held each other for a long time and sobbed long and deeply. I was very moved. I always am when heterosexual men are decent to one another. It is so rare.

I then went over and talked to S. he is another of Ciaran's friends, but he is a worker and is determined to become a militant and fight back. He wants to expose yeat another dirty deal that the union bosses have made.

He complained to me about the Christians. I said they were the other side of the New Age types. Between them they spiritualized the whole affair and never once mentioned heroin.

I was angry about it all. Mostly against the Christians. I hate their smugness, their stupidity, their refusal to see that the respectable world which they defended so tenaciously against the 'Communist menace' in the 50 and 60 is now killing their young.

On the radio yesterday morning there was an item about the punishment beating which have increased in he Catholic ghettoes in Ulster, N. Ireland. The battle that is being waged there is of course to prevent heroin coming into the Catholic ghettoes. If the police and the Army can get heroin into the ghettoes then the resistance is truly over.

I thought as I looked around me that few very few would even begin to understand if I said this or if I pointed out that K. had died the victim of an industry which their precious police and precious judges run.

But Christians will not hear this. They prefer to sing rubbish like

Earth's passing pleasure vain,
How soon they fade and die!
I sought for bread but found a stone
Which could not satisfy.

I got a lift into town and I could not wait to log on. I am deeply demoralized about the state of the world. Young people have been horribly betrayed by their elders. The heroin tragedy is just one small aspect of the whole terrible nexus.

When oh when are we going to see a crack in this system?


Gary McLennan

I have been debating whether or not to post a reply to this with the group and finally decided that irrelevant as it is to other people there are things that happen which cause one to become radicalized. I had long been of the intellectual opinion that Marx was generally right in his analysis and conclusions. Among the small number of incidents in life that made me decide to take up the cause was a few years ago when a policeman in a small southern Indiana town told us that we were not to attempt to have the guy who raped our daughter prosecuted because he was a "valuable police informant." Such advice from a small town cop is generally good to follow. Another time my wife ran off with our son and when I found them in Wisconsin I was suddenly informed that because I had taken no interest in the boy (while searching for him) I was to be found to be the father so that my parental rights could be terminated so that the new boyfriend could adopt him, but being broke at the time I wrote to every attorney and legal aid service in the area and was turned down flat unless there was money up front. By the time the smoke cleared on that one (it's too crazy to go into) I realized that the lunacy of this government is inherent and irremediable.

Emotionally, of course, I will never be satisfied until the last attorney is strangled in the guts of the last politician. I take some comfort from the fact that among the judges who have committed outrages on my kids, one was apparently killed by another dissatisfied customer, and another was the victim of an attempted assassination in his own courtroom by Molotov cocktail (the bastard lives, oh well). I hasten to clarify that I had nothing to do with either case, but I read the papers and keep a bottle of Champagne on ice for the other one.

Intellectually it occurs to me there is probably a more rational alternative. To paraphrase a fine poem that appeared recently in the PWW, Some people toss around sleepless in bed worrying about the world, but I learned that our troubles are mutual so I sleep fine "with an outlook exceedingly red."

"Don't put no constrictions on the people. Leave 'em da hell alone. Jimmy Durante

James N. Stewart