Monday, July 14, 2008

Generations Holding Hands, A Strong Family Makes

This year's theme was bridging generation gaps and learning how to meet the needs of all generations of family. Plunker's swan song hipstory that went on for hours in a cold mosquito infested meadow was followed by Garrick's recounting of the Grandfather David's epic speech in the heat in the 1970s. And so the torch is passed and at the time I felt like the bus had left me on the side of the road with one piece of luggage and no direction.

And then Vermin Supreme changed everything with the soon to be legandary "Donughts for Death Camp" movie. I missed experiencing this stroke of genus first hand, but heard about it from the mouth of the supreme one himself. In a nutshell, Death Camp is a family whose parents provide minimal guidance or supervision to their children and the kids dedicate themselves to outrageous behavior just to gain the attention of someone. A lot of this behavior was verbally or physically violent this year, but all attempts to bridge the generation gap failed. Of course it's hard to have a conversation with a nine year old who just called you a F%#(* and a B%#* and a C@&$^ and every other word that was invented to belittle another human being.

Vermin and some other folks took donughts and hung out and that is the beauty of this idea. It's simple. Food and people hanging out. Now I'm not claiming it turned the Death Camp scene into a Mister Rogers campout, but it was a critical step.

Our incredible Rainbow family is filled with people who have dug shitters, chopped wood, healed the body and mind, and parked cars for years and in the process have filled their brains with a bounty of Rainbow wisdom and now their bodies are weary. So I'm asking you, the earlies as Plunker says, to share your minds by leaving your comfortable chairs at Loven Ovens and Montana Camp and spending a few hours a day hanging out with your younger brothers and sisters at Shut Up and Eat It, Mence to Sobriety, Phat Kids and Trade Circle. Bring some donoughts, chocolate bars or fruit and just hang out and LISTEN to what the kids have to say. They don't need elders, but they do need someone to hear their dreams and concerns and maybe offer a small suggestion from time to time or some sugar for zuzus.

And so the generations will unfold one hand clasping one hand until a strong chain is formed.


Nate said...

Thank you for your kind and wise words.

I wish I would have met you while I was there this year...

You say that the young rainbows do not "need" elders. But as a 23 year old, I feel that I would be glad to have people more experienced than me to share their light.

I do need them.

We all need to stick together to keep the rainbow alive.

Karin Zirk said...

I'm trying to say that young people don't need to be lectured by earlies or told what to do. And Nate, you are spot on, we all need to stick together!

Hilary said...

My first encounter with "Death Camp" was as I sauntered along the trail leading there and a dissheveled young boy offered me a tab of paper and asked if I wanted a "bug dose". I was later informed that it actually was a "bunk" dose. I asked the kid if he had taken some. He laughed and explained it was fake. Later on, as I again approached, I heard firecrackers coming from the camp. There were some brothers trying to rationalize with the kids there who were setting them off. There was a fiesty pre-teen girl who was voicing their rights to have fun. She explained that they didn't drink or do drugs so why couldn't they have some harmless entertainment? I listened as Barry from So. Florida talked to the kids and I asked some of the campers there some questions like "Where are you from?" "Are you anarchists?" "Are you a community?" The answers were "Why?" and "Aren't we all one big community?" I finally got through when I asked how they thought a Vietnam or Iraq vet would respond to the firecrackers. I asked if they knew anyone who had been to Iraq. One young brother said they did, but people knew before hand that the explosions were going off. Right then a loud crack came from behind me. I pointed out that I hadn't known that one was coming and it could surely freak a vet out. They seemed to ponder my point and between me and Barry, and a few others, we seemed to diffuse the situation. At least it seemed that way when I walked away. Later my son, Ohm, told me I was lucky I didn't get a rock thrown at my head, as some people who confronted Death Camp had. He told me there was a planned intervention that evening and I never saw those kids again after that. Something must have been done about them. It was quite disturbing to see kids appear so wild and unguided. Most of the campers there looked like they could have been cast as renegades in the movie "The Postman". I almost thought their camp was staged by some acting troupe. It was quite memorable. Thank you Karin for spreading lessons of peace-keeping to our family.

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