When it came to the day of, I thought that I might make a special GioSafari appearance at the event. Rather than maul people with one (or more) of my pillows, I would sing songs about peace and love. So I made my way down to Union Square with my guitar and harmonicas, draped in the flannel onesie that was given me by my sister as a Xmas gift last year. I settled on the fringe of the battle grounds, opened my case, scattered some GioSafari stickers about, and began singing my heart out.
About half an hour into my set, a group of high-school-aged girls stood nearby watching me play. They held signs that read: "ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE" and "FREE HUGS." Also they seemed pretty awesome. My suspicions were confirmed when they asked whether I knew any Beatles. Do I know any Beatles... ha! We sang a few of their tunes, then moved on to Bright Eyes. It wasn't too long before the 90's requests came to the fore: Oasis, Sublime, Third Eye Blind. I obliged until the crowd dissipated.
Then my mind gets to work. It seems to me that we could learn a lot about our society, how and why it is so violent, if we were to study the microcosm of violence that is the pillow fight. There is one example in particular that best illustrates what I'm talking about:
But my spirits were lifted when, a little while later, I came across a young lady who was exacting vigilante justice. "Whenever I see a group of people ganging up on one person I try to jump in and help them out. I've made many rivals..." Now that's what I'm talking about!
Despite having been ganged up on and thinking way more than playing, I did have an excellent time with people who mostly had peace in their spirits, violent though the event can seem. There were countless people lining the outside of the circle with FREE HUGS signs and t-shirts. If someone fell to the ground, the surrounding violence paused so that they could stand again. And nobody took a blow too seriously. It was all in good fun.
Many people woke up sore today; some with black eyes and feathers in their lungs; some with vengeance in their hearts. As for me, I'm definitely looking forward to being an advocate of peace again next year! Until then, shalom aleichem.
Weebly isn't letting me upload pics for some reason, but you can see them on the GioSafari facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=165279&id=263408467256&ref=mf