Bang the Gangs Quickly

NOTE: This was written for Pastor Ortiz, Ron Solo, Steve Valesquez and their colleagues at CYO. It is unedited, a first draft. Everything on this site was written for particular people and a particular purpose. I recommend that you only read what’s intended for you. Glancing at random can be puzzling and/or off-putting. FORGIVE ME FOR USING HISPANIC INSTEAD OF LATINO IF THE LATTER IS YOUR PREFERENCE. Parts of Land? and/or Unilaterally, Virtually Overnight, Legally and Nonviolently…. might be germane for readers of this piece.

Bang the Gangs Quickly
by Ox

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice
. — Robert Frost’s Fire and Ice

Directly below are the Emmylou Harris lyrics for Bang the Drum Slowly (from the album Red Dirt Girl). Have you seen the ‘73 movie? It’s more about baseball than it is about death. After you glance at the lyrics, though, I’d like you to check out what I have to say about DEATH and GANGS IN CALIFORNIA and related matters below. And I’d like you to answer a few questions for me.

I meant to ask you how to fix that car
I always meant to ask you about the war
And what you saw across a bridge too far
Did it leave a scar

Or how you navigated wings of fire and steel
Up where heaven had no more secrets to conceal
And still you found the ground beneath your wheels
How did it feel

Bang the drum slowly play the pipe lowly
To dust be returning from dust we begin
Bang the drum slowly I’ll speak of things holy
Above and below me world without end

I meant to ask you how when everything seemed lost
And your fate was in a game of dice they tossed
There was still that line that you would never cross
At any cost

I meant to ask you how you lived what you believed
With nothing but your heart up your sleeve
And if you ever really were deceived
By the likes of me

Bang the drum slowly play the pipe lowly
To dust be returning from dust we begin
Bang the drum slowly I’ll speak of things holy
Above and below me world without end

Gone now is the day and gone the sun
There is peace tonight all over Arlington
But the songs of my life will still be sung
By the light of the moon you hung

I meant to ask you how to plow that field
I meant to bring you water from the well
And be the one beside you when you fell
Could you tell

Bang the drum slowly play the pipe lowly
To dust be returning from dust we begin
Bang the drum slowly I’ll speak of things holy
Above and below me world without end

The last line in the novel on which the film is based is From here on in I rag nobody. That’s not for me. Particularly when it comes to addressing the gang warfare which permeates so much of California and much too much of the country, which is slated to increase in intensity… as the so-called Drug War intensifies, U.S. state terrorism increases its abominations here and abroad, and economic conditions worsen. All that is inextricably intertwined with gang violence, of course.

But I don’t want to get into that right now, right here. Rather, I want the reader to focus on one question I have, a question which arises out of deep ignorance, but which is obligatory. That is, Why do the gangs not get over their traditions, habits and horrific battles over differences so that they could have a shot at moving in solidarity against THE BIGGER ENEMY?

Is it possible? If not, why not? [Okay, that's two additional questions.]

I can guess, of course. But I want those in the know to inform me.

I’m sure any response from readers will be instructive, and we can take matters from there.

I could link in You Tube footage here of Emmylou singing those lyrics above and/or footage of DeNiro and others from the film, BUT… I don’t want to waste anytime. I want to bang the gangs as soon as possible. For I have a wonderful paradigm which they could embrace together — tough as nails — that could improve their lot and serve them (and others) on planes unimagined to date. The thing is, we need to move very quickly. [Pause.] That window of opportunity will be banging closed forever shortly, and it won’t have the sound of of a pipe playing lowly.

If it ends… it will be as loud as ice.

Contact the author at aptosnews@gmail.com. Then he will provide a telephone number, if you like, for a more intimate exchange.