Greatest American Hero
Jerry Rubin, born 14 July, 1938
Self-described “orphan of Amerika,” outside agitator, leader of the Youth International Party, indicted co-conspirator in the trial against free speech in the streets and parks of Chicago, sports writer, mayoral candidate, and revolutionary, Jerry Rubin once “liberated” the last few copies of the Declaration of Independence from a John Birch Society Bookstore in order to distribute them to members of Congress.
A dying culture destroys everything it touches.
Language is one of the first things to go.
Nobody really communicates with words anymore. Words have lost their emotional impact, intimacy, ability to shock and make love.
Language prevents communication.
The visual impact of television and photography was Rubin’s artistic medium; he understood the ways in which images could sway the hearts and minds of viewers, and he assisted in the staging of demonstrations which thrived upon non-verbal messages. Attempting to exorcise the demons from within its walls, he and his cohorts strove to levitate the five-sided symbol of evil know as the Pentagon.
A practitioner of street theatre and a deeply poetic guerilla, Jerry Rubin led a group of pall-bearers who presented Democratic Presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy with a coffin that read “Electoral Politics.” In outrageous times, Rubin dared to be outrageous, and he didn’t care whether he was upsetting the anti-war candidate or the war machine. Dissent was not a tone reserved for only the most obvious tools of the corrupted society. In Rubin’s book, everyone got a pie in the face.
Born in Albany, Georgia, D. A. Powell earned an MA at Sonoma State University and an MFA at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His first three collections of poetry, Tea, (1998), Lunch (2000), and Cocktails (2004), are considered by some to be a trilogy on the AIDS epidemic. Lunch was a...