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Let the Sunshine

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We starve-look
At one another
Short of breath
Walking proudly in our winter coats
Wearing smells from laboratories
Facing a dying nation
Of moving paper fantasy
Listening for the new told lies
With supreme visions of lonely tunes

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Hair: The Flesh Failures

I went to a performance of the musical, Hair, last night in New York City. I wonder how I would have reacted to the show before Casey was killed--before the insanity of war became my "new normal?"

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The original production of Hair debuted in 1967 when the Vietnam War was increasing in carnage and the counter-culture opposing it was also growing. I was 10.

I remember hearing The Age of Aquarius covered by the 5th Dimension for the first time and not even knowing my Zodiac sign--I quickly discovered that I am a Cancer and everything that meant. The Beatles had already mainstreamed long hair, so when the Cowsills sang the main song from the musical, it appeared cute and funny and only because some of the more provocative lyrics were left out.

Probably my favorite song at the time was Three Dog Night's cover of Easy to be Hard. As a 10 year old girl living in a predominantly working class, but white suburb of L.A., I never could have imagined how significant these lyrics would become in my own life 40 years later: "Especially people who care about strangers, who care about evil and social injustice; do you only care about the bleeding crowd; how about a needing friend, I need a friend."

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Like I said, I was 10. I was interested in The Beatles, The Monkees, softball and my elementary school crush, Tommy Enders. I sympathized with the anti-war movement at the time without really understanding it, but I knew it was seriously cool. The hype about Hair was the open drug use, open love and full-frontal nudity.

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Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan, who was KIA in Iraq on 04/04/04. She is a co-founder and President of Gold Star Families for Peace and the author of two books: Not One More Mother's Child and Dear President Bush.

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