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Brother Theodore
Ernest Samuel Llime - March 2009, Woodhaven

Sometime in the second half of the 70's, I got to sit in on one of Brother Theodore's rants. It left me feeling a lot like I felt lying in a dark field just before dawn on October 24, 1973 while my tank was burning.

I came to New York on December 15, 1975 after living for 14 years in the land of Israel which took place 14 years after I was born in a country named Romania. I have always been a dreamer, a stargazer, a somewhat displaced human and I am still not sure that I truly belong HERE (doesn't matter how you define that.) Looking at myself in my mind's eye I see a Candide, a Billy Pilgrim, a Michael Valentine (before he fully grokk-ed humans.)

I don't think anyone can imagine the impact that day to day life in America had on me (even I cannot and I've lived through it.) My English was improving constantly and the time came when I could finally understand what Dylan was singing about. It got so good that I could even understand every one of Zappa's words (with or without the Mothers) even though I still had no idea what the Hell he was saying. Saturday Night Live - which I watched religiously looking for clues - was in its most potent incarnation.  There was a guy on 5th avenue protesting his status as a battered husband and another guy who dyed his head with shoe polish to simulate hair, and played a drum kit on the sidewalk. Every day, in front of 550 5th avenue (that used to belong to the Shah of Iran) there was a crowd of Iranian protestors who took turns torturing and hanging each other in order to point out the injustices in their country. I was catching up on music by listening to The Fugs and Captain Beefheart.

In the present, I feel that I have made great progress understanding American humor. I read most - maybe all - of Robert Anton Wilson's writings, I saw "Abel Raises Cain" and I met Alan Abel (he claims he didn't do the "battered husband" gig.)

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