Too Much Hate Will Kill You

Freddie Mercury, who was known by his fans as the Queen of Rock and Roll (just as Prince is often affectionately referred to as the Prince of Pop and XTC are the Dukes of Stratosphere), once said that too much love will kill you.  He also said to always accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative, something I strive to do by hook or by crook (or at least by shnook) on this blog.

But alas (or a lad, if you prefer, under the circumstances of the current–I mean, late–reference), Freddie’s dead, which is also the name of a song by the equally late, or more accurately, former, Curtis Mayfield, author of the song “Move On Up,” which was used during the motivational soccer-playing sequence in the film Bend It Like Beckham, the movie that made that actress who later appeared in the Pirates of the Caribbean series a star (Keira Knightley, whose husband once liked to make ribald jokes about her surname, although she put an end to the practice by giving him a slap on the face he wouldn’t soon forget, not that it initially had the desired effect since he’s an exceptionally kinky bloke–by the way, in case either of the Knightleys, whose name I may be misspelling, or any of their friends, are reading this post, I’m making the whole thing up and it’s only intended as a bit of harmless fun, so please don’t sue me; besides, do you really need the money?), even though I was more smitten by the beautiful Indian-English girl who played her sidekick, and of course you never see her in anything these days, do you?  Notice how I don’t even know her name?  How’s that for fame?  Such a cruel mistress–gosh, how I miss stress.

Curtis Mayfield took his own life, apparently because he couldn’t take his own life anymore, and I can’t say as I blame him.  Depending on my mood, suicide sometimes sounds like just what the doctor ordered–Dr. Mengele, that is.  I’m always relieved after contemplating suicide that I didn’t follow through with it, partly because the noise that the gun would make as I blew my brains out would both:  a) wake up the neighbors, and b) give me an everlasting case of tinnitus in the too-tedious-to-be-believed (in) heavenly or else deliciously hellacious afterlife.

To be honest for a moment, I don’t in fact own a gun, and I hope I never do.  That’s not meant as a blanket denunciation of gun owners; firing guns into a target as a hobby is a blast, an excellent way to develop your hand-eye coordination.  It’s just that firearms have gotten a little out of hand, to say the least, and I wouldn’t trust myself with one, as I might accidentally slip and put an extra hole in my wife’s head, William Burroughs style.  (Burroughs told the Mexican police who covered the case that the shooting had been an accident, and they took his word for it; I’m inclined to think it might have been accidental-on-purpose–it’s the romantic in me–but he may have been telling the truth, considering he was probably tripping on heroin at the time and might have mistaken his wife for the undersea creature who looks like a humanoid octopus in the third Pirates of the Caribbean flick.)

My wife and I love each other intermittently, between the stepping stones of hate.  The Korean wife of a friend of mine from New Zealand told him that it was a good thing that guns weren’t legal in this country, as if they were, “we’d all kill each other.”  That seems to be the pattern unfolding in the United States these days, if you can believe the papers.  Did you hear there were something like three shootings a couple of weeks ago in the U. S.–by toddlers?  Hey, when I was a little boy, I was happy just to have one of those cool, plastic, metallic-blue Star Trek guns that shot the multicolored neon disks with the little matching holes in them.  I guess I was deprived of a more advanced childhood.

The horror of what happened in Boston at the beginning of this week has touched me in a way that’s hard to articulate.  As Boston is my hometown and birthplace, it’s hard not to take such an attack personally, or to be quick to forgive such a heinous display of lousy sportsmanship.  The marathon is a wonderfully bonding event deserving of its international renown, as I’m sure it promises to continue to be.  That someone or -ones would find it necessary to disrupt such a celebration of good fellowship and moral support of people striving to overcome their own limits of endurance is disheartening at best and infuriating at worst.  But fury leads to disproportionate reactions (war on terror, anyone?) that call to mind the Bob Dylan line about turning into “my enemy in the instant that I preach.”

I love Boston and pray for its recovery and the restoration of a feeling of safety and peace of mind among its citizens.  It’s a charming city with a wise and sensitive edge, and it’s always a treat to go back to, even though I’m now ten times older than the overall student population, who may well mistake me for one of the Boneys in Warm Bodies.

If there’s a heaven I’m sure the people who died in the bomb blasts have ended up there, unless God is an even bigger prick than I thought.  As for all the poor people who lost limbs in the explosions, I wish them the strength to endure as well as all those noble marathon runners.  I know I wouldn’t do too well under similar circumstances, considering what a whiner I already am.  With any luck, they’ll be able to afford the latest in prosthetics to help them along, as well as the support of those in their communities.  Let’s face it:  they’ve been dealt an awful hand.

As for whoever committed the attacks (and that goes for all the attacks going on everywhere else too), just remember, terrorism is for dickheads.  As Martin Luther King said, we should all let go of hate, as it’s too great a burden to bear.  It messes up your face and makes a Gordian knot of your heart.  Nobody needs that kind of aggravation.  Life’s tough enough even if you’ve got the wherewithal to love.

As a good friend of mine said to me yesterday (referring not to the marathon but to an anecdote about my late manager’s lost battle with cancer), life is so short, we might as well be happy while it lasts.

And who can be happy with a heart full of hate?

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