Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

I grew up in a military family and joined the Air Force in 1971 during the Vietnam War. It was there that I became a peace activist.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Hobo GI

Q: What is this?

A forward-looking street-based performance about the legacy of war and the need for nonviolent conflict resolutions. It is Lone Wolf Tribe's ongoing series about transforming militarism and aggression into compassion and kindness.

Q: Why a clown in a soldier’s uniform?

A: He is a hybrid character inspired by famous tramp clowns, Otto Griebling and Emmett Kelly, as well as World War II cartoonist Bill Mauldin, who realistically portrayed the punishing reality of soldiers fighting on the battlefields of Europe.

The sad clown is symbolic of the immense sorrow from war’s destructiveness - for both soldiers and civilians. The painful evidence shows in the alarming rates of veteran homelessness, PTSD & suicides.

Q: Why doesn’t he talk?

A: Honoring the clown’s pantomime tradition while acknowledging a soldier’s directive to not question orders, the Hobo Grunt works entirely in silence, embodying the adage: “actions speak louder than words”.

Q: Is he a veteran?

A: No, but his father was a Marine who committed suicide when the performer was 12 years old. He is also an associate member of Veterans for Peace, believing in a non-violent mission to end all wars.

Q: What is the point?

A: To deepen our empathy for all living beings, giving peace and healing a larger space to grow in our lives and in the world.


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