Monday, June 10, 2013

Me And Gil

It was back in 1981 or maybe 82. I was over Doris's house to buy some reefer. As we chatted a lanky black man came into the row house on 15th Street in NW Washington, DC. Doris said, "Tom - this is my friend Gil." I got up and shook his hand and told him it was good to meet him. He replied the same to me with words I can't remember right now. It's because as he was saying those words I was not concerning myself with what he was saying. Instead as he said each word it became more apparent to me that this in fact was Gil Scott Heron!

To which I said, "You're Gil Scott Heron." Gil smiled and agreed with me. "I knew it the second I heard your voice." Gil said a couple of self deprecating words to which I replied, "The revolution will not be televised." The three of us laughed and talked for an hour or so. People who know me would suspect that we had deep conversations about politics and social justice. Instead, we talk about people. We talked about personal experiences and enjoyed how much we were alike. Gil was one of the nicest guys I ever met and when I heard he passed away it made me sad to think I only had an hour with him.

Gil was right. The revolution will not be televised. In fact the revolution IS happening right now. The forces of the people and individual liberty have smashed through the lines of the old guard elites and we are over running them now. Just don't expect network coverage. We won't need any to whip these dogs. To Gil Scott Heron.

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
You will not be able to stay home, brother.
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip,
Skip out for beer during commercials,
Because the revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
In 4 parts without commercial interruptions.
The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John
Mitchell, General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat
hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary.
The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be brought to you by the 
Schaefer Award Theatre and will not star Natalie
Woods and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia.
The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal.
The revolution will not get rid of the nubs.
The revolution will not make you look five pounds
thinner, because the revolution will not be televised, Brother.

There will be no pictures of you and Willie May
pushing that shopping cart down the block on the dead run,
or trying to slide that color television into a stolen ambulance.
NBC will not be able predict the winner at 8:32
or report from 29 districts.
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of Whitney Young being
run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process.
There will be no slow motion or still life of Roy
Wilkens strolling through Watts in a Red, Black and
Green liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving
For just the proper occasion.

Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Hooterville
Junction will no longer be so damned relevant, and
women will not care if Dick finally gets down with
Jane on Search for Tomorrow because Black people
will be in the street looking for a brighter day.
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no highlights on the eleven o'clock
news and no pictures of hairy armed women
liberationists and Jackie Onassis blowing her nose.
The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb,
Francis Scott Key, nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom
Jones, Johnny Cash, Englebert Humperdink, or the Rare Earth.
The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be right back after a message
about a white tornado, white lightning, or white people.
You will not have to worry about a dove in your
bedroom, a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl.
The revolution will not go better with Coke.
The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath.
The revolution will put you in the driver's seat.

The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised,
will not be televised, will not be televised.
The revolution will be no re-run brothers;
The revolution will be live.

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