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Photo by Katalina Gutierrez (www.katalinastudio.com)

 

“Packed in the plane were white, black, brown, red, and yellow people, blue eyes and blond hair, and my kinky red hair–all together, brothers! All honoring the same God Allah, all in turn giving equal honor to each group…All ate as One, all slept as One. Everything about the pilgrimage atmosphere accented the Oneness of Man under One God…That morning ws the start of a radical alteration in my whole outlook about ‘white’ men.”

–Malcolm X about his pilgrimage to Mecca from The Autobiography of Malcolm X

When Lorraine arrived she pulled out her camera and told me how she didn’t have a battery and asked where she could plug it in to power it. I was ready to call Karmegy Mellon to cancel the whole project for the day, as it would probably take me that long to bury Lorraine’s body someplace inconspicuous.

“I told you I wanted to do the bulk of the shooting in the park. I don’t exactly have a 700-foot extension cord so how the fuck are we supposed to shoot this?” I figured I’d get out my cursing before the filming started so by that time I could be recorded as monotonously peaceful like all other spiritual leaders.

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With a history of scamming the system that started on my first day of life in the hospital when I shoved a bottle of Aspirin, for which they extort $7 a pill from their patients, into my diaper, it was me who came up with the idea of going to the Radio Shack up the block and buying a cheap video camera and then returning it through their 30-day return policy.

Lorraine tried to get a little creative on the way to the park, asking me questions that she filmed with a shaky cam effect as popularized on Law & Order—to which I am referring to the original and not the 7 or 8 spin-offs such as Special Victims Unit, Pervy Cases, People Who Like To Cut Themselves, etc.—which was as annoying back then on that show as it is to me now. But once we got settled where I could control the action, filming went pretty well.

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When Malcolm X went to Mecca a lot of his racist beliefs were instantly reassessed as he saw black people and white people and yellow people and red people and one gray armadillo as all Muslims praying to the same Allah—mostly because if anyone called God by a different name all the other Muslims would tear him limb from limb, in the name of the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.

In his autobiography, Malcolm X wrote something like, “I am not sure what I will believe next month. But I am willing to drop everything I’ve believed up until that point if new information is presented to me.” In truth I think he just said, “Kill whitey!” but I am using a Biblical interpretation of his words, which means I am making up whatever I want it to mean based on my own prerecorded bias.

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I said how I wasn’t sure how I would feel cutting my hair that I had had for nearly two decades and have been so closely identified with but that I was willing to dive into the unknown and that a true spiritual warrior, as opposed to the majority of store-bought phonies, is willing to dive into the Unknown and destroy everything that he or she has held, especially those things near and dear, for ultimate Truth.

By association, in the same way that one officially becomes a Jew by having his foreskin hacked off like one snips the end of a cigar, I was pretending that by me just getting a haircut I would now somehow be elevated as a spiritual giant in line with Jesus, Buddha and Douglas Adams. It was nonsense but my whole character is based on nonsense so at least I was being consistent.

Douglas Adams So Long and Thanks for All the Fish

[Part 5 continues this horror story…]

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