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Postmaster: If undeliverable, send Form 3579 to The Texas Observer, 600 W. 7th, Austin, Texas 78701 Contraband . . . from page 5 behavioral strata, but the more we explore, the deeper runs the poisonous ore. New York is a cauldron of senseless violence, someone will rationally say, and this is simply one more cruel, bile-producing piece of evidence. But The Man Who Killed Lennon set out to stalk his peaceful prey from Hawaii, a continent and half an ocean away. He would have been just as happy, just as fulfilled in his grim courting of fame having the blasts from his .38 piece reverberate off the walls of a Buddhist temple in Nepal as off the Dakota’s fabled arches. The United States, someone will say, is a sick society that breeds demented seekers of publicity at the fatal expense of semi-mythical heroes in the flesh, the Kennedys, the King, Malcolm X, Lowenstein, Lennon and Lord have mercy who else. But The Man Who Killed Lennon is spiritual brother to the murderers of politicians and editors in Italy, the killers of nuns in El Salvador, the slayers of children by starvation in Cambodia. The world is their psychiatric ward. Or someone will say, what we need are stricter gun control laws. But The Man Who Killed Lennon had complied with a registration law. He could have secreted a stolen gun in his checked luggage and flown into any airport in the country with his deadly weapon. No amount of law will jam a firing pin. down every handgun in the Western Hemisphere, it would do no good. The malevolence is in the hemispheres of the brain. The creation of good brain matter is slow work. The laws that govern therein are not enforceable with handcuffs. We may as well burn incense, compose chants and dance until we swoon in a fever as try to prevent the internal bleeding of an emotion that floods the senses until disappointment is a loaded revolver, going off, killing distance and decency. When this country was an Eisenhower grin of a youth, some parents used to warn there was evil in the music that was washing up on the saddle shoes of our time, evil in the primitive rhythms that were no longer black and white but black/white and then all colors of the rainbow, washing like waves of shimmering light into the sad emptiness of childish libidos. Rock and roll, said some parents, was the creation of the dark side of nature, the releasing of a crazed, uninhibited, sexcharged energy, a new and criminal nervous system that, in time, would sizzle out of control through society, blazing dangerous sparks across the floors of the high school gyms of America the Beautiful. Hey, we said. We’re cool, controlled, hot from the waist up and hotter from the waist down, but cool. We laughed, danced and writhed out of a set of Sunday school shackles to search for the muscles that would let our legs and our minds move to this music, develop a new set of values for living in the danger zone of screamed emotion, strobe-light commitments, easy pleasure, easy sex, easy money, easy power. Easy death. Rock and roll was a growling panther in our ears, soothing us by its fearful proximity. But there was no evil in the music. We heard the dreams of California, felt the tread of the bands of lonely hearts, piping through the mist of a million lonely mornings. And the music was a beat, a tribal beat, flinging us out toward the limits of the place where all must choose, to grow or die, yet keeping us centrifugally stationary in our whirling adolescence. The music brought us closer to ourselves, and to what could be made of ourselves, farther into that dark night of knowledge where we also see our enemies for the first time, the enemies of too many futures to choose from, too many corners to get lost in space, the enemies of expensive heroes, cheap highs, full bellies and blank eyes staring at the horrors, the choices, that await every new generation, even the silent ones. Lennon paid dearly for his genius, and now we will stand the cost. The music came out of the galaxy we are passing through, and won’t stop playing now. The evil is in ourselves. And the lesson which is older than memory itself is in ourselves. We should know, however, that if the wound goes much deeper, we will never learn the lesson our own evil can teach us. Keep a faith, meanwhile. _classified COMMUNITY ORGANIZERSACORN needs organizers to work with low and moderate income families in 16 states for political and economic justice. Direct action on neighborhood deterioration, utility rates, taxes, health care. Tangible results and enduring rewardslong hours and low pay. Training provided. Contact ACORN, 503 West Mary, FREEWHEELING BICYCLES. 2404 San Gabriel, Austin. For whatever your bicycle needs. THE SAN ANTONIO Democratic League meets the first Thursday of each month. For information, call Jim Bode at 344-1497. TEXAS BOOKS, Rare and out of print. Free Catalog. Trackside Books, 8819 Mobud, Houston 77036. JOIN THE ACLU. Membership $20. Texas Civil Liberties Union, 600 West 7th, Austin 78701. BACKPACKING MOUNTAINEERING -RAFTING. Outback Expeditions, P.O. Box BOOK-HUNTING? No obligation search for rare or out-of-print books. Ruth and John River Hills Road, Austin 78746. MOUNTAIN RETREAT & HOT SPRINGS in private valley. Enjoy room, meals, swimming, sunbathing and exercise classes from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. THE PEACE MOVEMENT is alive and well in Texas. The American Friends Service Committee works for disarmament, human rights, economic justice. Join us. Write AFSC, 1022 W. 6th, Austin 78703. Classified advertising is 300 per word. Discounts for multiple insertions within a 12month period: 25 times, 50%; 12 times, 25%; 6 times, 10%. 32 DECEMBER 26, 1980