Saturday, August 29, 2015

Queens County Revisited: The 1970's (37)

While Barry was watching his tv in the other room--or when he wasn't around the apartment and I was alone in the basement apartment--I would usually spend my time there practicing my guitar quietly, reading, or writing new folk songs. And it was in this basement apartment that I wrote the "Enemy Number One" protest folk song about the Weatherfugitives.

Another reason I avoided being in the basement apartment as much as possible on the weekday evenings or weekend times when Barry was most likely to be around in the kitchen-dinette watching tv or listening to Neil Diamond or Elton John vinyl record albums, was that--despite his use of pot and guitar-playing ability--Barry was not 1960's New Leftist and politically hip in his politics and philosophical views during the 1970's, as I still was.

Like me, Barry had been anti-war enough during the late 1960's to have avoided the Vietnam War Era draft, initially by obtaining a student deferment from enrolling in a college; although in Barry's case the college he attended was Queens College (not Columbia College and Richmond College on Staten Island, which, in addition to attending a Queens College summer session, I had attended)--which Barry commuted to while still living with either his parents or other relatives in Queens (unlike me, who had lived away from my parents while attending college, except for the time I spent 2 months taking 4 summer session courses at Queens that I needed to obtain a CUNY BA).

But once he was no longer a student at Queens College and was at risk for for being re-classified 1-A and drafted into the U.S. war machine, Barry had apparently decided to escape the U.S. draft by moving to Israel/Palestine (where his ex-cop and Zionist father had apparently previously moved to) and living in Israel until his high lottery number removed him from any risk of being drafted by the U.S. war machine.

After he was no longer at risk of being drafted, however, Barry then moved back to the United States again since--despite being raised by hard-core Zionist parents and having apparently had some success recruiting Israeli "chicks" for his "bull pen"" by playing guitar and performing covers of 1960's pop folk and rock songs in some Israeli coffeehouses--he still felt, as someone who had grown up in the United States who primarily conversed in English and who had been somewhat influenced by the non-Zionist U.S. counter-culture/hippie culture, alienated from the type of young people and the kind of Zionist society he had encounterd and experienced when living in Tel Aviv.

Yet because of his more hardcore Zionist family background and Zionist upbringing, Barry--unlike me--was unwilling to accept the fact that the democratic right of national self-determination for the Palestinian people had been unjustly violated by the Zionist movement's: 1. establishment of an Israeli state in Palestine in the 1940's; 2. its expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees from Palestine in the late 1940's; 3. its military occupation of Gaza, East Jerusalem and the West Bank territories after it launched the June 1967 Middle East War; 4. its refusal to allow the large numbers of of Palestinians who still lived in refugee camps to return to Palestine/Israel; and 5. its continued failure in the 1970's to yet negotiate directly with secular left Palestinian nationalist political groups like the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO], the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine [PFLP], or the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine [DFLP), etc.

In addition, Barry--unlike me--seemed to prefer women who weren't feminist or sympathetic to the new wave of radical feminism that developed in the late 1960's and 1970's as the women he wished to be involved with in the 1970's. Apparently, none of the "chicks" that Barry had "scored" with or added to his "bull pen" in the late 1960's or early 1970's were radical feminist in their consciousness; and, for Barry, the women of his dreams and his fantasies were sill, in the 1970's, the women who looked most like those whose nude photographs appeared in the Playboy magazines that he had collected and kept stored in one of the basement apartment's closets. 

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