Easy to be Hard

December 16, 2008 at 3:01 pm Leave a comment

A friend of mine in the blogosphere is appearing in a production of Hair that will be performed in February. I would love to be able to see it. Ever since I heard about it, I have been fascinated about this being performed in a church, mainly because of the group nude scene. I understand this will be handled in a very appropriate way though.

I woke up this morning with the words from ‘Easy to be Hard’ from Hair, playing in my mind. It was the male voice Three Dog Night version from around 1969 that looped in my head, although it was sung by a female character, Sheila, in the play. The familiar words ‘especially people/ Who care about strangers/ Who care about evil/ And social injustice,’ made me smack my forehead and go, ‘Ahhhh… this is appropriate to the United Church’ and probably explains the play being put on there.

Thirty plus years ago, sitting in the theatre (was it the Royal Alex?), I was impressed that my generation was putting on such a production with cool rock music, nudity, profanity and a relaxed dress code. It gave me hope that we boomers may indeed be able to rise up against the ‘Man.’ The plot of the play wasn’t too hopeful. It saw the hero, Claude (Hooper Buckowski) ultimately being sucked into the giant maw of the Viet Nam war body grinder which sent the message that the Man always wins in the end. All that hope about social justice issues and the nascent concern over the environment was just a youthful dream. We would be defeated. Yet, people came away from the theatre with hope shinning in their faces. We would not give up.

‘Easy to be Hard’ symbolized the feeling that the Man could stomp on our heartfelt good intentions at any time, just as Claude trampled his girlfriend Sheila’s heart (symbolized by the gift of a shirt she had given him which he ridiculed and stomped on). Yet, ‘Let the Sun Shine In’, the closing number and another hit song from the show, was the powerful song that lit the light of hope. That theme has had a subliminal influence through my life. I have always had the hope that things will improve when we let the sun shine in.

The hope in our eyes and in our hearts as we left the Royal Alex that night was valid. The Viet Nam war ended, society changed and the environment blipped onto the radar of global concerns.

At this time of year, we celebrate Hope. Christmas is about the arrival of the thrill of hope. The weary world rejoices. Yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. Ah yes, the sun will shine in!

If you are stressed about Christmas and are being brought down by the commercialization of it all, or you can’t relate to the religion of it all, then take heart knowing that there is indeed hope. The meaning of Christmas is the birth of Hope, we are not alone, Hope is with us. Our frail human hope will be validated. As the pagans must have sung at this winter solstice time; ‘Let the Sunshine In.’



Entry filed under: Wrestling With God.

This is Christmas? The Best Year of Your Life

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